Hawaii becomes first US state to ban sunscreens harmful to coral reefs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/03 - 5:45am

In a bid to protect its marine environment, Hawaii has passed a bill banning sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals that have ‘significant harmful impacts’ on ecosystems

Coral reefs and sunshine keep tourists flocking to Hawaii but add sunscreen to that holiday mix and the result can be serious damage to the marine environment that makes the islands so attractive to visitors in the first place.

This week Hawaii took action on the issue, passing a bill that will make it the first US state to ban sunscreens that are harmful to coral reefs. If subsequently signed by state governor David Ige, the ban will come into place in January 2021.

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Categories: Environment

Midwestern Vintner Saves The Forgotten Grapes That Saved Europe's Wines

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/05/03 - 5:00am

Jerry Eisterhold wanted to make unique wines. It all started when he pulled a random, rare book from his shelf — a book written by a 19th-century horticulturist whose work had fallen into obscurity.

(Image credit: Laura Ziegler/KCUR 89.3)

Categories: Environment

Albert Kelly, An Adviser To EPA Chief Scott Pruitt, Resigns Abruptly

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/05/03 - 1:58am

Rachel Martin talks to former EPA Superfund manager Albert Kelly, who resigned Tuesday amid the investigations that continue to dog his boss, Scott Pruitt.

Categories: Environment

'Breathtakingly beautiful': Kew's Temperate House reopens after revamp

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/05/03 - 12:45am

Five-year project involved moving 10,000 plants and replacing 15,000 panes of glass

After five years, 10,000 plants uprooted and replanted, 15,000 panes of glass replaced, 69,000 sections of metal, stone and timber repaired or replaced, enough scaffolding to stretch the length of the M25, and £41m spent, the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world is ready to open its doors again. The Temperate House in Kew Gardens is once again, as the naturalist Sir David Attenborough describes it, “a breathtakingly beautiful space”.

The great glass and iron doors to this botanical cathedral, first opened in 1863, closed in 2013 for the most complex restoration project in the history of Kew Gardens, and will reopen to the public on Saturday.

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Categories: Environment

I'm cooking to protect our culture, our food and our stories | Zach Green

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 10:55pm

All my life I’ve struggled with my identity but when I go out to cook with traditional owners, we are all connected

I firmly believe food is the path to reconciliation in Australia. When I cook with Indigenous ingredients, I tell the stories of the animals and plants I’m using, explaining their significance as totems and the deep connection between food, kinship and culture.

At 12, I discovered a family secret: my grandmother was Aboriginal, part of the stolen generation. I took pride in the revelation, telling my new high school friends that I was a Gunditjmara man. The racial abuse I received in response silenced me for the next five years.

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Categories: Environment

Shift to renewables would save Australians $20bn a year – report

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 5:59pm

Study says 40% of transport could be emissions-free by 2035 and neighbours could trade clean electricity

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A total shift to renewable energy would pay for itself through cost savings within two decades, and ultimately save Australians $20bn a year in combined fuel and power costs, a new report says.

The report, released on Thursday morning, outlines a path to powering homes and businesses from renewable sources by 2030. By 2035, 40% of transport could be emissions free, it says.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change aid to poor nations lags behind Paris pledges

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 4:01pm

Donor nations’ 2020 target of $100bn annual fund for adapting economies falls short by near 50% says Oxfam

Finance for poor countries to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and deal with climate change is lagging behind the promises of rich countries, an Oxfam report finds.

While taxpayer-funded finance has increased, and the private sector has stepped up with some initiatives, the amount raised could still fall short of the goal of providing $100bn a year to the developing world by 2020.

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Categories: Environment

Hawaii Approves Bill Banning Sunscreen Believed To Kill Coral Reefs

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 3:05pm

If Gov. David Ige signs the bill, popular sunscreen brands including Coppertone, Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic will be illegal. Lawmakers say they contain chemicals harmful to delicate marine life.

(Image credit: Caleb Jones/AP)

Categories: Environment

In Oklahoma, Critics Say Pruitt Stalled Pollution Case After Taking Industry Funds

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 2:14pm

When Scott Pruitt served as Oklahoma's attorney general, he took over a major pollution lawsuit brought by his predecessor. Critics accuse Pruitt of inaction on the case, which remains unresolved.

(Image credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP)

Categories: Environment

A Temperature Roller Coaster Could Be Coming

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 1:58pm

Global warming has so far seen a gradual rise in average temperatures. But that may change, with extreme variations. And poor countries could bear the brunt of it.

(Image credit: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Weatherwatch: May 1935 saw unusually wintry conditions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 1:30pm

Widespread frost caused damage to fruit and vegetables as temperatures plunged

It has not been a great spring – so far, at least – but temperatures have been more or less normal: unlike those of May 1935. The month in which King George V celebrated his silver jubilee started well, with fine, sunny weather, and highs of 23C.

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Categories: Environment

Liberal activists target Tony Abbott's seat over climate change policy

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 11:00am

Sydneysiders urged to join party in former PM’s seat to ‘shift the politics’ and speak up for the environment

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Tony Abbott’s political future could be under threat from a group of activists who have been organising environmentally conscious voters to join Liberal party branches on Sydney’s north shore – a move that could unseat the former prime minister.

Billing themselves as “the counterweight” to the pro-coal power Monash Forum, the North Shore Environmental Stewards have held at least two recruitment functions at which attendees were urged to tap into their networks of environmentally conscious people to join the Liberal party branches in Abbott’s seat of Warringah and on the lower north shore.

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Categories: Environment

Plants 'talk to' each other through their roots

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 11:00am

Scientists studying corn seedlings believe that they send signals under the soil, advising each other of the proximity of other plants

Plants use their roots to “listen in” on their neighbours, according to research that adds to evidence that plants have their own unique forms of communication.

The study found that plants in a crowded environment secrete chemicals into the soil that prompt their neighbours to grow more aggressively, presumably to avoid being left in the shade.

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Categories: Environment

How Did Birds Lose Their Teeth And Get Their Beaks? Study Offers Clues

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 10:03am

Modern birds are dinosaurs without toothy jaws, and with bigger brains. Newly published research fills in some of the missing links in their evolution.

(Image credit: Michael Hanson and Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar/Nature Publishing Group)

Categories: Environment

Pakistani city breaks April record with day of 50C heat

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 9:31am

Citizens consider fleeing Nawabshah in fear of what summer might bring

A Pakistani city has set a global record temperature for the month of April, with the mercury rising to more than 50C on Monday, prompting fears that people might leave to escape even higher temperatures when summer sets in.

The southern city of Nawabshah recorded a high of 50.2C on Monday.

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Categories: Environment

EDF plan for tallest UK onshore wind turbines prompts outcry

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 8:32am

Isle of Lewis residents protest against windfarm plan to raise turbine height to 200 metres

The first government-backed effort to revive onshore windfarms after ministers scrapped public subsidies for the technology has run into opposition in the western isles of Scotland.

EDF Energy has said its plans for two major windfarms on the Isle of Lewis may need to reach heights normally the preserve of turbines at sea, prompting an outcry from residents.

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Categories: Environment

Everglades under threat as Florida's mangroves face death by rising sea level

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 7:52am

The ‘river of grass’ wilderness and coastal communities are in peril, with the buffer coastal ecosystems on a ‘death march’ inland

Florida’s mangroves have been forced into a hasty retreat by sea level rise and now face being drowned, imperiling coastal communities and the prized Everglades wetlands, researchers have found.

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Categories: Environment

Recycle the Weetabix! What I learned from a month on the app that tackles food waste

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 5:47am
We waste £13bn worth of food each year in the UK, with 71% of that being wasted at home. At the same time, use of food banks has boomed. Is Olio the answer?

I am walking with a woman named Kerry, whom I have just met, to her car. She is in her mid-30s and has a tinge of attitude. When we reach her car, she opens the boot. Inside are hundreds of industrial-sized tubs of hummus, enough to power Brighton for a week.

I met Kerry online, not via some kind of hummus-appreciation society messageboard, but on Olio, an app that is attempting to end food waste at home by letting people upload details of the food they would otherwise chuck out, so that others living nearby can take it off their hands. I am trying out the app for a few weeks to see if it can reduce my own waste to zero (and to see if I can get some freebies).

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Categories: Environment

Women fighting forest fires say abuse is rife – but men often go unpunished

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 3:00am

Women in the US Forest Service love what they do. But they also describe a toxic male environment that tolerates, and even promotes, their harassers

Denice Rice handles things for herself. A more than 20-year veteran of the US Forest Service’s wildfire operations, she’s spent weeks at a time working blazes deep in the wilderness. So she thought she could manage when, in 2009, her new second-in-line supervisor started giving her unwanted attention. “He immediately befriended me and started mentoring me, and from there it just got weird,” she remembers.

For two years she said nothing. “He’d get handsy and then I’d snap and make him back off and it would stop for a while, and then it would start up again.” But in 2011, the two got into an argument and he assaulted her, poking her breasts with a letter opener, as she related in 2016 testimony before a congressional committee examining sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the US Department of Agriculture, which oversees the forest service. The man did it “with a smile on his face in an arrogant way like he could get away with it. And I stood there in shock.”

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Categories: Environment

States Sue To Keep Emissions Standards

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/05/02 - 2:09am

NPR's Rachel Martin talks with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra about California and other states' lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's decision to rewrite auto emissions rules.

Categories: Environment
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