All hot air: UK commits to climate action but not to new funding

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/06/12 - 2:31pm

Boris Johnson announces £500m for ‘blue planet fund’, but pledge was contained in 2019 Conservative manifesto

Boris Johnson has set out his intention to “build back better for the world”, to protect the natural environment and wildlife, and tackle the climate crisis, at the G7 summit in Cornwall. But he committed no new funds to the initiative, and other G7 leaders showed little sign of coming forward with the cash commitments that campaigners said were needed to help developing countries cope with the climate emergency.

Announcing £500m to be spent on a “blue planet fund”, for the protection of the oceans and coastal areas in poor countries, he said: “As democratic nations, we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system. The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global green industrial revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.

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Categories: Environment

‘My God, I’m in a whale’s mouth’: lobster diver on brush with hungry humpback

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/06/12 - 10:27am

Michael Packard, 56, was spat out after half a minute but expert says experience would have been ‘totally freaky’ for the whale

A New England lobsterman has described the moment he realised he was trapped in the mouth of a humpback whale off the coast of Cape Cod.

“Oh my God, I’m in a whale’s mouth and he’s trying to swallow me. I thought to myself, ‘hey, this is it. I’m finally going to die. There’s no getting out of here,’’’ Michael Packard told a local news station in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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Categories: Environment

Environmental campaigners stage ‘festival-type’ protests at G7

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/06/12 - 9:38am

World leaders called upon to put the ocean first and respond to the demands of climate change

Thousands of protesters, young and old, took to the sea and the beaches and streets of Cornwall to try to make their voices heard by the G7 leaders.

Arguably, the most picturesque demonstration took place off Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth where more than 1,000 surfers, kayakers and swimmers staged a “paddle out” organised by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) to call for more protection for the world’s seas and oceans.

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Categories: Environment

Finding fangs: new film exposes illicit trade killing off Bolivia’s iconic jaguar

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 11:01pm

Undercover documentary investigates the trafficking of Latin America’s big cat to meet demand in China

Elizabeth Unger was a 25-year-old biology graduate working as a PhD research assistant for big cat and climate projects in Latin America when she heard about the Bolivian authorities intercepting dozens of packages containing jaguar fangs sent by Chinese citizens to addresses in China.

“I was really blown away as [the story] was completely under the radar,” she says. Six years later, she is making her directorial debut with a film about the trade, which is contributing to a decline in the population of Latin America’s iconic big cat.

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Categories: Environment

Scott Morrison arrives in UK for G7 amid protests for climate change action

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 4:05pm

Australia, one of four guest countries invited to the summit in Cornwall, is an outlier on climate with G7 nations agreeing to more ambitious targets

Scott Morrison has arrived at the G7 meeting of the world’s so-called most advanced economies amidst climate change protests and a call from Prince Charles to “do it for the planet”.

Official talks on economic recovery, global resilience and foreign policy started Friday between the leaders of the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

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Categories: Environment

Coming Soon To An Atlas Near You: A Fifth Ocean

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 3:38pm

National Geographic has recognized the Southern Ocean as the fifth official ocean. The cartographic update doesn't surprise researchers who study the importance of the waters surrounding Antarctica.

(Image credit: Alexander Gerst/ESA via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Telstra says it’s too big to go ‘off grid’ to reach 100% renewable energy target

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 1:00pm

Australia’s largest telco will instead focus on pumping power back into the network from the new $120m Crookwell 3 windfarm in NSW

The Telstra CEO, Andy Penn, has said the company is too big to go “off-grid” in its pursuit of using 100% renewable energy, meaning it must invest in returning renewable energy to the grid to achieve its goal.

Australia’s largest telecommunications company has towers, exchanges, data centres and a network of 50,000km of fibre running across the country. It accounts for around 1% of all of Australia’s energy production and is the 14th biggest electricity user in Australia.

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Categories: Environment

U.S. Farmers Of Color Were About To Get Loan Forgiveness. Now The Program Is On Hold

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 11:17am

A new federal program created by the Biden administration to reverse years of economic discrimination against U.S. farmers of color has ground to a halt.

(Image credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

World oil demand ‘will rebound to pre-Covid levels by end of 2022’

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 9:07am

Opec and allies will face pressure to pump more fossil fuels as economies recover, says IEA

The world’s demand for oil will rebound to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, as recovering economies require oil-producing countries to pump more fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and their allies, including Russia, collectively known as Opec+, will need to “open the taps to keep the world oil markets adequately supplied”, the global energy watchdog said in its monthly oil report.

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Categories: Environment

Mandë Holford: Could Snail Venom Someday Save Your Life?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 7:22am

Cone snails are deadly sea predators; their venom can kill fish and even humans. But chemical biologist Mandë Holford says that powerful venom can actually be used for good — to treat human diseases.

(Image credit: Courtesy of TED)

Categories: Environment

Marah Hardt: What Can We Learn From The Sex Lives Of Fish?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 7:20am

Marine biologist Marah Hardt is fascinated with the mating habits of marine life. If we want to save the oceans, she says we have to understand the weird and whimsical sex that helps populate it.

(Image credit: Courtesy of TED)

Categories: Environment

Catherine Mohr: A Love Story... That Begins With A Sea Urchin

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 7:18am

Catherine Mohr shares the story of a scuba diving trip gone wrong, where getting stabbed by a sea urchin transformed her relationship with the ocean... and ultimately led her to the love of her life.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Catherine Mohr)

Categories: Environment

German Greens choose moderate path in bid to reignite election hopes

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 5:53am

Poll on eve of conference shows support for party has fallen away after fuel price debate

The leaders of Germany’s Greens will resist a push by party activists this weekend to adopt more ambitious climate policies, balancing their ecologist message with care to ensure poorer voters are not left out of pocket after September’s election.

The Greens, aiming to win the chancellery for the first time at the 26 September federal election, surged ahead of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in polls in late April after picking Annalena Baerbock as their candidate to run for chancellor.

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Categories: Environment

California to transport 17m salmon to the sea by truck as drought bites

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 3:00am

Low water levels and high temperatures mean juvenile Chinook salmon are being given a helping hand to reach the ocean

Baby Chinook salmon from California’s Central Valley typically have a long swim downriver to the ocean to survive into the next stage of life. This year, they are getting a helping hand in the form of a fleet of tanker trucks set to carry almost 17 million of the fish to the sea.

It’s all part of a flurry of steps across western US states to keep tens of millions of endangered salmon from suffering in a year of historic drought for the region.

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Categories: Environment

‘Magical’: synchronous fireflies light up US national parks

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 3:00am

For two weeks in late spring, near dusk, the fireflies at the most-visited national park in the US flash in unison, a ‘one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon’

As fireflies in the southern Appalachians search for their mates each year, a crowd of people awaits them, hoping to catch a glimpse of a rare light show known to some as a life-changing experience.

For two weeks in late spring, near dusk, the synchronous fireflies at the Great Smoky Mountains national park put on a spectacular display across the landscape, flashing in unison for about five seconds and then stopping, together, like twinkling Christmas lights.

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Categories: Environment

Sri Lanka’s worst ever maritime disaster reveals the true cost of our identity crisis | Sandali Handagama

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 2:00am

We must find a way to embrace shipping, the ocean and our place in the world without shackling ourselves to unpayable foreign debt

Growing up in Sri Lanka in the 1990s, it was drilled into me from an early age that my island was destined to be a maritime hub. At school, I was taught that Sri Lanka was once the heart of the maritime Silk Road, a network of trade routes that connected the east and west from 130BC to the mid-1400s.

My textbooks were filled with tales about how Sri Lanka’s strategic positioning and rich natural resources were so prized that it was consecutively colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and British empires for almost four centuries.

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Categories: Environment

Want to turn your bicycle into an e-bike? Here’s just the gizmo

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/06/11 - 12:00am

With Swytch, you can clamp a wheel, battery and sensor to any model and enjoy a power-assisted ride

I’ve been something of a sceptic about technological bike gizmos over the years, add-ons that too often seem to represent a solution in search of a problem, an attempt to reinvent something – the bicycle – that was not far short of perfect anyway.

I’m no luddite. New developments make cycling even more enjoyable and useful, not least near-puncture proof tyres and tiny, retina-searing lights. Plus, of course, there’s the amazing world of electric-assist bikes, or e-bikes.

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Categories: Environment

Half of clothes sold by online fashion brands ‘made from virgin plastic’

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/06/10 - 11:00pm

Fast-fashion boom fuelling rise in use of synthetic fibres made from fossil fuels, study shows

Approximately half of the clothes sold by large online fashion brands such as Boohoo and Asos are made entirely from virgin plastic materials such as polyester, despite a push to reduce the huge environmental impact of the fashion industry.

An analysis of 10,000 items added to the Asos, Boohoo, Missguided and PrettyLittleThing websites over a fortnight in May found an average of 49% were made entirely of new plastics such as polyester, acrylic and nylon. In some stores just 1% contained recycled fabric, according to the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) study.

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Categories: Environment

2 Artists Want G-7 Leaders To End E-Waste. So They Sculpted Them Out Of Trash

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2021/06/10 - 4:51pm

Made of circuit boards and smartphones, a giant sculpture of the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations is greeting them at a summit in England. The creators want to raise awareness about e-waste.

(Image credit: Jon Super/AP)

Categories: Environment

Australian researchers discover why only two of echidna’s four penis heads become erect at one time

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/06/10 - 4:42pm

The major blood vessel of the penis splits into two main branches which each supply two of the four penile heads

The penis of an echidna has four heads but only two become erect at any one time. Now, Australian researchers have uncovered why.

Scientists discovered the marsupial has unusual reproductive anatomy that causes male echidnas to ejaculate from only two of their four penile heads at one time.

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Categories: Environment
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