Environment

Federal court asked to overturn Adani mine approval due to impact on Great Barrier Reef

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/14 - 4:41am

Exclusive: Conservation group argues Greg Hunt did not take into account the impact on the reef of greenhouse gases emitted when burning coal from Queensland’s Carmichael mine

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High gold prices causing increased deforestation in South America, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/14 - 2:59am

Rising gold prices have made it profitable to extract lowgrade deposits lying beneath protected Amazon and other South American forests, says study of mining impacts

A surge in the price of gold has led to increased deforestation of the Amazon and other South American forests, according to a new study of mining impacts.

With the rewards now higher than the risks, small scale garimpeiros – artisanal miners – are flocking into protected areas to extract the precious metal from low-grade seams under the tropical forest that were previously unprofitable, says the paper published on Wednesday in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

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Scientists discover how to recover fingerprints from bird feathers and eggs

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/14 - 2:52am

Method of recovering fingerprints from feathers and eggs could help catch those guilty of wildlife crime, according to scientists

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Indonesia's new marine laws threaten sustainable fisheries

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/14 - 2:40am

Illegal fishing by foreign vessels costs Indonesia billions of dollars each year, but measures to stop them could bankrupt sustainable pole and line fisheries

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'Green' biomass boilers may waste billions in public money

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/14 - 12:00am

Over £10bn could be paid in incentives for non-domestic biomass boilers despite a government study showing they are less efficient than thought and won’t help the UK meet clean energy targets

Billions of pounds of public money is to be spent supporting ‘green’ boilers, despite evidence from the government’s own experts and industry that they will do little to help the UK meet its clean energy targets.

A study by the Department of Energy and Climate Change found that biomass boilers in the non-domestic sector were around 10-20% less efficient than expected. Those boilers account for 90% of payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), the government’s flagship scheme to encourage a shift to low carbon heating.

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Campaign aims to raise awareness of Fairtrade gold

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 11:00pm

Fairtrade Foundation’s ‘I do’ campaign encourages couples to buy Fairtrade wedding rings to help improve the lives of gold mining communities

A human ‘ring of gold’ will be formed outside St Paul’s Cathedral on Wednesday to mark the start of a new campaign encouraging couples to tie the knot with Fairtrade wedding bands.

The “I Do” campaign backed by top designers including Katharine Hamnett will urge brides and grooms to buy Fairtrade gold to help improve the lives of the people who mine gold, and the environment.

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Catkin and comet, earthly and celestial keepers of time and motion

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 10:30pm
Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: One has days to shake off its golden pollen, the other will not pass this way for 8,000 years Continue reading...
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Shark watch: Newcastle beaches remain closed for record fifth day

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 9:43pm

Beach inspectors say they are taking no chances with a five-metre great white that has been seen several times over a 10km range

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Researcher threatens to withhold information if WA keeps killing tagged sharks

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 1:46pm

South Australian researcher Andrew Fox says Western Australia’s policy ‘goes against everything we stand for’

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Climate denier Ted Cruz will oversee Nasa – what could possibly go wrong?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 10:49am

A staunch denier of global warming will have oversight of Nasa, one of the US’s key scientific agencies studying climate change, reports Slate

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Does Europe's coke habit mean massacring ‘uncontacted’ indigenous people?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 9:36am

Reported killings in the Amazon are thought to have been committed by drugs traffickers

What might it take to stop people from using, or glamourising the use of, cocaine? The violence, murders and crime endemic to the cocaine trade, perhaps, or the fact it finances terrorism, guerrilla warfare, paramilitaries and myriad other criminal operations.

Either that, or the way it corrupts politics, governments and institutions, or exploits child labour, damages the environment, poses threats to security, development and law, and diverts billions of pounds of public money that could be spent on other things. That’s to say nothing of the devastating impacts of initiatives supposedly intended to crush the trade, including military interventions and the aerial fumigation of coca - the raw material for cocaine - with dangerous chemicals.

drugs traffickers and Peruvian loggers. The majority of the contacted group are young. The majority of the older people were massacred by whites from Peru who shot at them and set their houses on fire. They say that many of the older people died. . . They say that so many people died they couldn’t bury them all and their corpses were eaten by vultures.

In the last few years territories inhabited by peoples in isolation along the Peru-Brazil frontier have been used by people moving drugs from Peru to Brazil... The recent news about a group in isolation in a village along the River Envira, whose members are being exterminated by people carrying out illegal activities, more than demonstrates that our concerns about them being killed are justified.

Since about 2013 the headwaters of the Envira, where this group comes from, has been free of loggers. That’s why some people believe the “whites” or “non-Indians” who killed various members of this group and burnt their houses must be narcos, rather than loggers, given that this area has become a narco-trafficking route to Brazil. It’s not clear when [the attacks] took place. It seems it was two or three years ago. Currently, the big threat in the upper Envira, in the Alto Purus National Park, is narcos, but if the attacks happened before 2013 it could have been narcos or loggers.

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Categories: Environment

Hebei's steel cities and China's pollution crisis – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 8:15am

China’s Hebei Province has some of the worst air pollution in the country and the area’s vast steel industry is a key focus of government efforts to improve air quality. Lu Guang’s stark images capture the industrial landscapes of some of Hebei’s most polluted cities

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Low carbon battery-powered train carries first passengers

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 7:38am

Five-week trial will see first battery locomotive operating on the UK rail network in more than 50 years, reports BusinessGreen

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Rare spider under threat from housing estate plan, conservation charity warns

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 7:09am

Developing on Radford Quarry site could spell the end for the horrid ground-weaver, only found in Plymouth, says Buglife

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Halliburton could join UK fracking firm Third Energy at Yorkshire test site

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 5:12am

Campaigners voice concern that Halliburton, the company involved in the controversial Deepwater Horizon oil spill, could be awarded contract to explore for shale gas in Yorkshire

Campaigners have raised concerns over fracking in Yorkshire potentially involving US contractors Halliburton, the company that paid out over $1bn to settle claims over its role in the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster and admitted destroying evidence.

Third Energy has said it will apply to frack for shale gas at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale and a spokesman told the Guardian that Halliburton is tendering to provide services. “As is normal in the oil and gas industry, Third Energy is discussing the scope of work, for various services and equipment contracts, with a range of potential sub-contractors,” he said. “At this stage no contracts have been awarded but Halliburton is one of the companies with whom we are in discussion.”

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Gamekeeper jailed in Scotland's first custodial sentence for killing bird of prey

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 4:09am

George Mutch imprisoned for fourth months after being convicted of killing a goshawk by hitting it with a stick

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Will Gadd: 'We were climbing ice that isn’t going to be there next week'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 4:04am

When ice-climber Will Gadd set out to conquer the world’s greatest glaciers he didn’t realise it would become a race against climate change. Now he hopes striking images of his climbs will raise awareness of the effects of global warming


When explorer Will Gadd set out to climb ice on every continent in the world 10 years ago, he assumed he would have plenty of time to accomplish his goal. With only Africa and Antarctica left on his to-climb list, however, the professional free climber and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year recently discovered that he would have to act sooner than he thought.

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‘If First Milk goes, that will finish my business overnight’

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 12:29am
As prices plummet and dairy co-operative delays payments to farmers, a founder member says the next months will be critical Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

GM crops to be fast-tracked in UK following EU vote

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2015/01/13 - 12:00am

GM maize likely to be authorised in near future, as MEPs vote in favour of new rules to allow countries to choose whether to grow GM crops

GM crops could be speedily brought to the UK market after MEPs voted to allow countries to choose whether to grow the crops on Tuesday.

The new EU law, which comes into force this spring, will allow states to cultivate GM crops that have already been approved by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa). According to Sarah Cundy, the UK’s head of GM policy and regulation, that could happen quickly.

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The mystery of the missing hen harriers

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2015/01/12 - 11:00pm
Who has been killing one of England’s rarest birds? Patrick Barkham reports on the fierce conflict between game hunters and wildlife conservationists Continue reading...
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