Environment

China's Crackdown On Polluters

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2017/12/30 - 6:02am

You've seen the pictures of smog-filled skies over Chinese cities, pedestrians venturing out only in gas masks. But 2017 was the year China finally began to crack down on big polluters.

Categories: Environment

'It's shocking, it's horrendous': Ellen MacArthur's fight against plastic

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/12/30 - 2:30am

She broke the solo record for sailing round the world, but now she is dedicating her life to an even greater challenge – saving it from the destructive tide of plastic pollution

Trophies from her past glories as a competitive yachtswoman are placed discreetly around the 16th-century building on the Isle of Wight, the base of Dame Ellen MacArthur’soperations today.

On a blackboard in one of the meeting rooms, the targets of a different passion are spelled out. From uncovering the scale of plastic pollution in the oceans to targeting the textile waste of the fashion industry, MacArthur, who in 2005 broke the solo record for sailing round the world, is dedicating her life to saving it.

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Categories: Environment

Pecking order: how John Gould dined out on the birds of Australia

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 8:16pm

From rosella pie to the ‘delicate’ flesh of baby emus, the 19th century ornithologist relished the taste of the creatures he so meticulously studied

Of all the changes to the study of ornithology in the past 200 years, the most striking, when reading John Gould’s seven-volume 1848 treatise The Birds of Australia, is the apparent lack of interest among modern scientists in what their subjects taste like.

Gould left no such questions unanswered. The prototype of his beautifully illustrated guide, digitised and made available online by the State Library of New South Wales, contains many tips for the keen sportsman on how best to shoot each of the featured birds and, where Gould had opportunity to sample them, what they tasted like.

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Categories: Environment

Trump's call for some 'good old global warming' ridiculed by climate experts

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 10:34am
  • US president again conflates weather with climate to mock climate change
  • Experts call comments ‘scientifically ridiculous and demonstrably false’

Donald Trump once dismissed it as a “hoax” created by the Chinese to destroy American jobs, but on a freezing Thursday night in the eastern US the president found himself pining for some of that “good old global warming”.

On holiday in Florida on Thursday, Trump wondered if global warming might not be such a problem after all.

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Categories: Environment

Rubbish piles up in Rome as holidays and rain disrupt collections

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 8:45am

Pictures of overflowing bins and bags spilling out their contents shared online as Five Star Movement fails to tackle waste

Mounds of uncollected rubbish have been piling up in Rome since Christmas Eve, with some residents setting them on fire in protest against a municipal administration that has failed to deliver on its promise to tackle the city’s waste.

Scenes of overflowing bins and bags spilling out their contents have been shared on social media as collections by the public services firm, Ama, were disrupted by holidays and heavy downpours.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 7:30am

A rare golden monkey, Hawaiian green sea turtles and Malaysia’’s last female Sumatran rhinoceros all feature in this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Trump's progress report: his impact so far and what to watch for next year

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 5:00am

What may be America’s strangest presidency ever has been a radical departure – in tone if not in substance – not least over race, the media and the environment

This is arguably the strangest presidency in America’s 241-year history.

Donald Trump, billionaire businessman and reality TV celebrity, rises at the crack of dawn, compulsively watches cable news, impulsively rattles off thoughts on Twitter and lives in perpetual campaign mode, re-enacting old battles against Hillary Clinton and arming for new ones against the media, Robert Mueller and his next Democratic foe.

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Categories: Environment

Alarming link between fungicides and bee declines revealed

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 5:00am

Fungicides are found to be the strongest factor linked to steep bumblebee declines, surprising scientists and adding to the threats to vital pollinators

Common fungicides are the strongest factor linked to steep declines in bumblebees across the US, according to the first landscape-scale analysis.

The surprising result has alarmed bee experts because fungicides are targeted at molds and mildews – not insects – but now appear to be a cause of major harm. How fungicides kill bees is now being studied, but is likely to be by making them more susceptible to the deadly nosema parasite or by exacerbating the toxicity of other pesticides.

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Categories: Environment

'It's a perverse system': how Colombia's farmers are reforesting their logged land

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 3:30am

In the wake of Colombia’s peace deal, the rush to clear Amazon jungle for cattle ranches and coca caused deforestation to soar. A new scheme hopes to enable farmers to make a sustainable living from the forest


In a cool forest patch along a rutted dirt road outside the Amazon jungle town of El Retorno in Guaviare, southern Colombia, Luis Vergara lifts his machete to clear a path through the brush. He walks through a 90-hectare plot of land he has replanted with valuable abarco trees – Colombian mahogany – in an attempt to replace what he logged from it.

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Categories: Environment

'Farm To City' Deal To Dry Out Stretches Of California's Legendary Salton Sea

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 3:03am

Critics say the state's mitigation plan falls far short of what's needed to protect this former tourist mecca from the impact of the coming water transfer.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Blue Planet II chosen by TV critics as best show of 2017

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/29 - 12:00am

In poll by Radio Times, wildlife series comes out on top ahead of Line of Duty, Big Little Lies and The Crown

Blue Planet II has been named the best television programme of 2017 in a poll of TV critics.

The seven-part wildlife series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, has proved a big success for the BBC and attracted more viewers than any other programme this year.

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Categories: Environment

Nice to meet you: amazing new animal species discovered in 2017 – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 11:30pm

From the Pink Floyd shrimp that makes a noise so loud it can kill small fish, to giant stick insects and new types of orangutans and gibbons, here is a round up of new animal species discovered this year

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Categories: Environment

Is this the future? Dutch plan vast windfarm island in North Sea

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 11:00pm

Advanced plans by Dutch power grid aims to build power hub possibly at Dogger Bank whose scale would dwarf current offshore sites


Britain’s homes could be lit and powered by windfarms surrounding an artificial island deep out in the North Sea, under advanced plans by a Dutch energy network.

The radical proposal envisages an island being built to act as a hub for vast offshore windfarms that would eclipse today’s facilities in scale. Dogger Bank, 125km (78 miles) off the East Yorkshire coast, has been identified as a potentially windy and shallow site.

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Categories: Environment

Israel drought: minister rallies thousands to pray for relief

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 6:45pm

Uri Ariel works with rabbis to bring worshippers to Western Wall as country struggles with long-running water shortage

With technology coming up short, Israel’s agriculture minister sought an unconventional solution on Thursday to end the country’s water shortage: rallying a few thousand worshippers at Jerusalem’s Western Wall to pray for rain.

Related: Food ruined by drought could feed more than 80m a day, says World Bank

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Categories: Environment

Thomas Fire Evacuees Return Home To Find What's Left

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 2:39pm

The massive Thomas Fire in Southern California is now 89 percent contained and evacuees are starting to return home. The Upper Ojai Valley was especially hard-hit. About a quarter of the homes there were destroyed.

Categories: Environment

Federal Appeals Court Gives EPA 90 Days To Propose Long-Awaited Lead Standards

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 2:39pm

A federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to propose a new standard for lead inside homes within 90 days. NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Eve Gartner, who litigated on behalf of groups suing the EPA to update the standards.

Categories: Environment

Flint Accused Of Violating Agreement To Replace Lead Service Lines

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 12:54pm

Advocacy groups say Flint isn't sharing information about efforts to remove lead service lines. They're asking a judge to force the city to comply.

(Image credit: Carlos Osorio/AP)

Categories: Environment

Hurricanes and heatwaves: stark signs of climate change 'new normal'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 5:00am

This year is set to be the third warmest on record in the US, as scientists say the fingerprints of climate change can be seen in numerous extreme weather events

Scientists say 2017 is set to be the third warmest year on record in the US as they look back on a year littered with stark signals of climate change.

The year-to-date average temperature across the contiguous US has been 2.6F above the 20th-century average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), placing it only behind 2012 and 2016 in terms of record warmth.

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Categories: Environment

The top US environment stories of 2017: Trump makes the political weather

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 5:00am

The new president immediately made his mark on environmental policy, pulling out of the Paris climate accord and targeting America’s protected public lands

It was a tempestuous year – politically and literally.

Related: Al Gore: 'I tried my best' but Trump can't be educated on climate change

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Categories: Environment

Forget Juicero, here are the tech gadgets we can actually get excited about in 2018

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/28 - 4:00am

If this year’s $120m juicing flop gave you reason to doubt in human ingenuity, take heart in these incredible inventions to come: from an artificial kidney to a breast pump you might actually want to use

Silicon Valley lost a valiant soldier in 2017. Internet-connected juice maker Juicero, funded to the tune of $120m, drowned in schadenfreude after it was discovered that its pre-portioned $7 packets of fruit and veg could be squeezed just as effectively by hand.

Never before has a company so perfectly encapsulated the absurdity of much of the investment in “disruptive innovation” in the technology industry’s epicentre.

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Categories: Environment
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