Environment

Texas: city residents urged to evacuate after chemical plant explosions

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/12/05 - 7:21am

Port Neches issued voluntary order after elevated levels of chemical butadiene were detected following pair of blasts

Authorities in the Texas city of Port Neches have issued an order encouraging its 50,000 residents to evacuate due to concerns over air quality after a pair of chemical plant explosions occurred last week.

Port Neches issued the voluntary evacuation order late on Wednesday after elevated levels of the chemical butadiene were detected. Jefferson county emergency management officials said the elevated levels did not pose a serious health risk, but could cause dizziness, nausea, headaches or irritation to the eyes and throat.

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Categories: Environment

Music For Our Emergency

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/12/05 - 4:00am

No, songs addressing climate change aren't new. But the new music that does seems animated less by a sunny streak of mainstream activism, and more by a certain feeling we all seem to be sharing.

(Image credit: Shana Novak/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Why Freshwater Mussels Are Dying

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/12/05 - 3:07am

A mysterious die-off of freshwater mussels has biologists scrambling to figure out a cause. Freshwater mussels are critical to river ecosystems and to U.S. water supplies.

Categories: Environment

Nestlé cannot claim bottled water is 'essential public service', court rules

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/12/05 - 2:00am

Michigan’s second-highest court rules in favor of township in case that could damage company’s effort to privatize water

Michigan’s second-highest court has dealt a legal blow to Nestlé’s Ice Mountain water brand, ruling that the company’s commercial water-bottling operation is “not an essential public service” or a public water supply.

The court of appeals ruling is a victory for Osceola township, a small mid-Michigan town that blocked Nestlé from building a pumping station that doesn’t comply with its zoning laws. But the case could also throw a wrench in Nestlé’s attempts to privatize water around the country.

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Categories: Environment

NSW endures longest spell of air pollution on record as bushfires flare near Sydney

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 9:01pm

Emergency warning issued for fire north-west of Sydney, while many parts of NSW and Queensland remain blanketed in smoke

Five emergency warnings have been issued for fires in New South Wales on Thursday, including the 230,000-hectare Gospers Mountain blaze on Sydney’s north-western outskirts.

Queensland fire crews are also still battling a large bushfire on the Darling Downs with fears some properties have been lost, as Sydney and large parts of New South Wales continue to struggle with “the longest and the most widespread” period on record of poor air quality and hazardous levels of pollution.

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Categories: Environment

Australian businesses, unions and farmers say Paris agreement requires zero emissions plan

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 7:43pm

Australia Climate Roundtable says climate goals require ‘deep global emissions reductions’

Groups representing business, unions, farmers, investors, the environment and social policy advocates say Australia should adopt climate change policies that can put it on a stable path to net zero national greenhouse gas emissions if it is to play its part in the Paris agreement.

Launched to coincide with UN climate talks in Madrid, a joint statement by 10 groups under the Australian Climate Roundtable banner warns that unconstrained climate change would have serious economic, environmental and social impacts in Australia, and avoiding it would bring benefits and opportunities.

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Categories: Environment

Plastic pollution kills half a million hermit crabs on remote islands

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 5:01pm

Experts fear species decline after huge number of deaths on Henderson and Cocos

More than half a million hermit crabs have been killed after becoming trapped in plastic debris on two remote island groups, prompting concern that the deaths could be part of a global species decline.

The pioneering study found that 508,000 crabs died on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands archipelago in the Indian Ocean, along with 61,000 on Henderson Island in the South Pacific. Previous studies have found high levels of plastic pollution at both sites.

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Categories: Environment

Noeel: Electric Eel Lights Up Christmas Tree In Tennessee

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 3:52pm

Every time the electric eel named Miguel Wattson releases a jolt of electricity, a festively decorated Christmas tree next to his tank at the Tennessee Aquarium flickers and glows.

(Image credit: Thom Benson/AP)

Categories: Environment

Scottish Power plans to build solar panels beside windfarms

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 10:08am

Firm ‘squeezing maximum potential’ from clean energy sources to help UK hit net zero

Scottish Power plans to squeeze more renewable electricity from its onshore windfarms by covering the ground beside the turbines with photovoltaic panels and batteries.

The wind power firm has applied for permission to build its first solar power projects beneath the blades of its existing windfarms in Cornwall, Lancashire and Coldham.

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Categories: Environment

How To Live On A Disappearing Island

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 9:40am

Climate change is making Isle de Jean Charles an unlivable place in Louisiana.

(Image credit: LEE CELANO/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Jane Fonda On Climate Change And Civil Disobedience

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 9:06am

The Hollywood icon trades the red carpet for the Capitol steps.

(Image credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for GCAPP)

Categories: Environment

Flashy fish: electric eel powers Tennessee aquarium’s Christmas tree

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 6:11am

Special system connected to Miguel’s tank enables his naturally occurring shocks to power strands of lights on a nearby tree

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Visitors to the Tennessee aquarium may be shocked to learn that the Christmas tree is being powered by an unusual renewable energy source – an electric eel.

The flashy fish goes by the name of Miguel Wattson and has his own Twitter account, @EelectricMiguel.

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Categories: Environment

Radiation hotspots 'found near Fukushima Olympic site'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 5:47am

Greenpeace calls for fresh monitoring of region where nuclear disaster occurred

Greenpeace has said it detected radiation hotspots near the starting point of the upcoming Olympic torch relay in Fukushima.

Japan’s environment ministry said the area was generally safe but it was in talks with local communities to survey the region before the 2020 Games, which open on 24 July.

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Categories: Environment

On The Oregon Coast, Turning Pollution Into Art With A Purpose

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 3:02am

A local artist is turning the mountains of plastic garbage that wash up on beaches into dramatic sculptures of the very marine life threatened by the deluge of plastics.

(Image credit: Kirk Siegler/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Europe Is Burning U.S. Wood As Climate-Friendly Fuel, But Green Groups Protest

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/12/04 - 3:02am

In the search for alternatives to coal and gas, some European countries have turned to a very old fuel. They're importing wood from the United States. Some environmentalists say it makes no sense.

(Image credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

Categories: Environment

'No regrets': activists who shut down power plant await sentence

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 11:00pm

Members of WeShutDown stand trial for blockading the Weisweiler plant. Some call it ‘ecoterrorism’, while others label it a masterstroke in the art of protest

A group of climate activists who shut down a lignite coal power plant in Germany said they had no regrets and were prepared to repeat the action, as they awaited the conclusion of their trial.

The activists from the group WeShutDown blockaded the Weisweiler power plant near Aachen for several hours on 15 November 2017, by halting its coal-carrying conveyor belts and diggers. The energy company RWE, which owns the plant, claims the shutdown cost it €2m.

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Categories: Environment

Don't pursue economic growth at expense of environment - report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 11:00pm

Europe’s environmental watchdog gives warning as climate crisis continues

Pursuing economic growth at the expense of the environment is no longer an option as Europe faces “unprecedented” challenges from climate chaos, pollution, biodiversity loss and the overconsumption of natural resources, according to a report from Europe’s environmental watchdog.

Europe was reaching the limits of what could be achieved by gradual means, by making efficiencies and small cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, with “transformational” change now necessary to stave off the impacts of global heating and environmental collapse, warned Hans Bruyninckx, executive director of the European Environment Agency.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change to steer all New Zealand government decisions from now on

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 6:42pm

James Shaw says environmental factors will be ‘at the forefront of our minds’ when major decisions are made

A climate change “lens” will now be applied to all major decisions made by the government, New Zealand’s climate change minister has said, as floods and bushfires wreck havoc around the country in the first week of summer.

Minister James Shaw said cabinet “routinely” considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender.

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Categories: Environment

Swansea tidal power project launches 11th-hour £1m fundraising drive

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 5:01pm

Funds are needed to prevent Tidal Lagoon Power’s development consent expiring in June

The developers of a pioneering tidal power project in Swansea Bay have launched an 11th hour bid to raise over £1m to keep the project afloat.

The company has just over three months to raise enough cash to pay for the development costs of the £1.3bn project before its funds risk running dry in March.

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Categories: Environment

Paris climate deal: world not on track to meet goal amid continuous emissions

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/12/03 - 5:01pm

Slowdown this year in rising greenhouse gases does not negate long-term trend, finds carbon budget analysis

Carbon dioxide emissions rose weakly this year as the use of coal declined but natural gas took up the slack, a comprehensive study of the global “carbon budget” has found.

The rise in emissions was much smaller than in the last two years, but the continued increase means the world is still far from being on track to meet the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change, which would require emissions to peak then fall rapidly to reach net-zero by mid-century.

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Categories: Environment
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