An extract from Liberatum’s documentary In this Climate, in which a range of cultural and environmental figures including Noam Chomsky, David Attenborough and Mark Ruffalo respond to the threat of climate change and to the deniers. The full-length film is scheduled for release before the World Economic Forum in January 2017
Coffee production supports 600,000 Kenyan farmers but their livelihoods are being threatened by a spate of robberies
Martin Kamai, a coffee farmer in rural Kenya, was sound asleep when the thieves broke into his warehouse. The 20 armed men jumped the gate, tied up the security guards and escaped with 100 bags of coffee beans – all of Kamai’s harvest.
The 29-year-old from Nyeri in central Kenya is just one of thousands of farmers affected by the country’s growing wave of coffee theft. According to Kenya’s Coffee Directorate, more than 30,000 kilos of coffee have gone missing since the start of 2016, costing the industry hundreds of thousands of dollars. Escalating robbery is not only threatening the farmers’ livelihoods but also international brands that may be re-selling stolen coffee without knowing it.Continue reading...
India wants to encourage more privately owned, small-scale hydropower projects to cut its climate emissions, but questions about environmental impacts remain
In the western Himalayas, the entire village of Hamal is powered by a small hydroelectric plant on the edge of the Shalvi river. It produces enough power to light up 100 homes at a time, ending the village’s once-endemic power cuts.
Small hydro projects, producing up to 25MW, have the potential to transform India’s rural communities and are being driven by companies such as Vaishnavi Consultants, which completed the Hamal project in 2014.Continue reading...
Gomez the last of the rare pygmy marmosets to be returned to Symbio wildlife park after he was left in a box on a vet’s doorstep
A rare miniature monkey has been reunited with its primate family south of Sydney after the group was kidnapped from a New South Wales zoo on Friday night.
Ten-year-old Gomez was the last of three pygmy marmosets to be returned to the Symbio wildlife park at Helensburgh after the theft.Continue reading...
Anti-Adani faction among Wangan and Jagalingou people argue supporters of huge Carmichael mine should not be recognised as representatives
Traditional owners who took discreet payments of $4,000 each to meet Adani and revive a land use deal for the Carmichael mine should be axed as representatives of their group, it will be argued in the federal court.
The case stems from a split within the Indigenous group whose consent is crucial for the planned $16bn mine in Queensland’s Galilee basin to go ahead.Continue reading...
We’ve tied all sorts of ills to a failure to sit down to a hearty breakfast. But research and history show that skipping our granola bowl does not, in fact, harm our health
Until very recently, common wisdom held that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. We’ve anecdotally tied all sorts of ills to a failure to sit down to a “complete breakfast.” But health research has proven that skipping that fried egg or bowl of cereal does not, in fact, lead to weight gain, health issues or underperformance.
Our reverence for breakfast is actually relatively recent. Before the late 19th century in the US, breakfast didn’t have any particular importance ascribed to it. But all that was changed by a small group of religious fanatics and lobbyists for cereal and bacon companies.Continue reading...
Oklahoma and Texas have been experiencing a rash of human-caused earthquakes. It happens when oil and gas wastewater gets pumped underground in the wrong places and disrupts faults. Oklahoma officials have cracked down on wastewater injection; Texas is apparently uninterested in doing much. That could mean a lot more quakes given that the country's biggest oil reservoir has just been discovered in west Texas.
Higher sea temperatures have led to the worst bleaching event on record, new study finds, with coral predicted to take up to 15 years to recover
A new study has found that higher water temperatures have ravaged the Great Barrier Reef, causing the worst coral bleaching recorded by scientists.
In the worst-affected area, 67% of a 700km swath in the north of the reef lost its shallow-water corals over the past eight to nine months, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies based at James Cook University study found.Continue reading...
Five people have so far been arrested in bitter battle, with Nick Clegg criticising the police for detaining peaceful protesters
It was, said Nick Clegg, “something you’d expect to see in Putin’s Russia, rather than a Sheffield suburb”. Council contractors and police had descended on a particularly desirable street in his Hallam constituency under the cover of darkness, “dragged” people out of bed to move their cars and detained peaceful protesters – “all to chop down eight trees”, he wrote in a local paper.
So far five people have been arrested in relation to a long-running and increasingly bitter battle over the fate of Sheffield’s trees, including a 70-year old emeritus professor and a 71-year-old retired teacher, both women. On Thursday two men will become the first of the city’s tree protesters to appear in court, charged under trade union legislation, following a protest on 2 November.Continue reading...
America’s surprise election is like water on the garden of activism. We stand in solidarity with all those who seek to protect the planet and nurture hope
This past Thursday was Thanksgiving. A time when we remember a feast, the first Thanksgiving, on Plymouth plantation in the autumn of 1621. The tales of pilgrims from the Mayflower who celebrated the harvest, shared and broke bread with the first Americans, are still used as inspiration and shared with children, teaching them the beauty of gratitude.
But it is now widely understood this Thanksgiving story is a fictional history. It was invented to whitewash the vicious genocide wrought upon the native inhabitants of this magnificent continent. Not only did the Europeans try to eradicate native populations, but they made every effort to eviscerate their culture, their language and eliminate them from these coveted lands.Continue reading...
The short answer is no (Is this a war on trees? Notebook, 22 November). As a several decades-long member of the Woodland Trust, I value mature trees and the recreation of ancient woodland, but in respect to Sheffield’s tree-culling, Patrick Barkham has given only a one-sided story, that of the “save all trees” fanatics who forced the council’s hand. In our leafy suburbs many of the trees are over 100 years old and, yes, they do add many benefits to the environment. However, many are huge, forest varieties, unsuitable for the streets in which they were planted. Thus some obstruct pavements and roadways, and their roots have caused ground upheavals of 20cm or more. Some are also reaching old age, with a consequent risk of falling branches.
Looking at the wider picture, it thus makes very good sense to cut these down and replant with more suitable varieties as part of the road and pavement renewal scheme, to avoid later more expensive replacement after they have damaged the new roads and pavements. I will be sad to see them go – it’s only a selected few – but very glad to get rid of the potholed roads and lumpy pavements with their tripping hazards. And my children will benefit from the new trees as they mature, as part of a planned tree-management scheme.
I am delighted to learn that the UK government is to encourage the production of electric cars (Report, 26 November). But there is only a very brief mention of the need for the adequate provision of charge points. My wife and I took delivery of our first electric car, a Nissan Leaf, six months ago. It is our only car. We live in a rural area. We can manage round trips of up to 100 miles easily, relying solely on our domestic charge point for topping up at night.
For longer trips, however, we need to know that there are properly functioning charge points available to enable quick recharges to get us safely home without the anxiety of possibly being stranded on the way back. Unfortunately we regularly find charge points out of order, even in major centres such as Newcastle. On a recent trip to Durham, right on the far edge of our range, we found that the only rapid charge point at an out-of-town park-and-ride centre had been out of order for a long time. If the use of electric cars is to be seriously encouraged, the provision of a good network of readily accessible and reliable charge points has to be given absolute priority.
Alongside her husband, Doug, Kris McDivitt Tompkins bought up vast swaths of Patagonia to save it from developers. Now, a year after Doug’s sudden death, she explains how their shared vision is close to reality
She was young, spirited and rich. It was the 1970s and Kris McDivitt seemed to come straight from California central casting; the glamorous ski-racing daughter of an oil-industry man who made her fortune as the first CEO of what was to become the billion-dollar outdoor clothing company Patagonia.
And then in 1993, aged 43, Kris McDivitt unexpectedly fell in love with Doug Tompkins, the adventure-junkie rock-climber and deep green environmentalist who had co-founded not one but two giant outdoor-clothing companies, North Face and Esprit.Continue reading...
Freshwater fish are out of sight and out of mind for most of the British public. And so are the dedicated band of fishery scientists who look after a resource that indicates the health of our rivers and lakes, and supports angling. Such an individual was my friend John Gregory, who has died aged 67, after a lifelong career in fisheries management.
John was born in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. His father, Tom, was an engineer at Rolls-Royce in Derby and his mother, Jenny, worked in the local hospital. After graduating in biological sciences from the University of East Anglia, and getting married to Lynden Stratten in 1971, John spent two years as a fisheries officer in the Solomon Islands.Continue reading...
Leaked documents reveal EU pledge to carry out tests deleted from draft as governments come under pressure from carmakers
Plans for independent checks of how much pollution new cars emit are being killed off by EU member states, according to leaked documents seen by the Guardian.
After the Dieselgate scandal, the European commission proposed empowering its respected science wing, the Joint Research Centre, to inspect vehicles separately from national authorities, which are paid by the car manufacturers they regulate.Continue reading...
Wolf attacks on animals in region around Spanish capital up from 91 to 209 in a year, prompting rise in reimbursement budget
Madrid’s regional government is to double its compensation fund for farmers who lose animals to wolves after a steep increase in fatal attacks in the last year.
Wolves, hunted to the brink of extinction over the past seven decades, have begun to reappear in the region in recent years.Continue reading...
Climate News Network: Three main dams supplying water to La Paz and El Alto are no longer fed by Andean glaciers and have nearly run dry
The government of Bolivia, a landlocked country in the heart of South America, has been forced to declare a state of emergency as it faces its worst drought for at least 25 years.
Much of the water supply to La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, and the neighbouring El Alto, Bolivia’s second largest city, comes from the glaciers in the surrounding Andean mountains.Continue reading...
Canada has made significant progress in its climate policy, but has further yet to go
The Paris Agreement was ratified globally in November. This is unprecedented amongst international agreements for how quickly it has come into force. The Agreement allows each country to decide how it will tackle climate change, and requires as of 2020, regular reporting on progress. Countries of the world have officially embarked in a global race to implement ambitious climate policies that contribute to reducing green-house gas emissions at the planetary-scale.
This process is not unlike the Olympics games where countries get together to compare their strengths and performance. If Canada wants to be a medalist in 2020, domestic climate policies must rapidly be adopted to accelerate the low carbon transition. In this context, Sustainable Canada Dialogues (SCD) – a network of 60+ scholars from across Canada – produced Rating Canada’s Climate Policy; a progress report on Canada’s climate actions over the past year. We analysed climate decisions made in Ottawa in 2016 in relationship to the 10 policy orientations that we proposed previously in our position paper entitled Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars.Continue reading...
Carbon Tracker says many plants running at overcapacity but China reluctant to wean itself off coal, fearing unemployment and unrest
China could waste as much as half a trillion dollars on unnecessary new coal-fired power stations, a climate campaign group has said, arguing that the world’s top carbon polluter already has more than enough such facilities.
China’s rise to become the world’s second largest economy was largely powered by cheap, dirty coal. But as growth slows, the country has had a difficult time weaning itself off the fuel, even as the pollution it causes wreaks havoc on the environment and public health.Continue reading...