The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/07/19 - 6:30am

Firebugs in Russia, monkeys in India and penguin visitors in a New Zealand sushi shop

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Categories: Environment

Britain's first climate assembly: can it help fix democracy too?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/07/19 - 4:45am

At meeting of randomly selected Londoners there are differing views but a respectful tone

In an airless library in north London, 56 people are trying to help fix not one global crisis but two. There are students and builders, a civil servant, an entrepreneur, a restaurateur, a support worker. There are immigrants and retirees and even a retired immigrant.

This is Britain’s first climate assembly, a randomly selected panel of local people convened by the London borough of Camden to consider what can be done to confront the climate emergency. The jurors have been assembled to listen to briefings, pose questions, assess facts, debate and discuss, and then ultimately recommend action to Camden council. The big question before them is what action the district can take to limit global heating and its impact.

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Categories: Environment

Can The Current U.S. Heat Wave Be Linked To Climate Change?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/07/19 - 2:04am

The National Weather Service warns a widespread and dangerous heat wave is building in the central and eastern U.S. How should people think about these kinds of events in the era of climate change?

Categories: Environment

Refinery Explosions Raise New Warnings About Deadly Chemical

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/07/19 - 2:00am

Chemical experts say recent refinery explosions could have been far more devastating if deadly hydrogen fluoride was released. Some are calling for a ban on the chemical.

(Image credit: Matt Rourke/AP)

Categories: Environment

Why we're tackling the Etape du Tour despite our breast cancer

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 11:01pm

Our conditions have forced us to temper our expectations, but my friend and I won’t let them stop us pursuing what we love

A breakaway is a cycling term that refers to an individual or a small group of cyclists who have successfully opened a gap ahead of the peloton, the main group of cyclists. On 21 July, two of us are plotting a breakaway from the disease that hangs over our daily lives by tackling one of the most challenging amateur cycling events.

The Etape du Tour, which has been running since 1993, is a chance for amateur cyclists to test their mettle on a stage of the Tour de France, riding on the same routes and under the same conditions as the professionals.

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Categories: Environment

Astronauts in the Grand Canyon: how Nasa used the west as a moonscape

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 10:00pm

Rare photos capture astronauts in the Apollo program training in the rugged canyons, craters and lava fields of Arizona

On 20 July 1969, the world paused as an estimated 600 million people watched Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon. But few knew they were watching steps those men had long practiced in the canyons, craters and lava fields of Arizona.

Fifty years after the moon landing, Arizona’s role remains a forgotten piece of history – but this pockmarked landscape of high rocky plains once served as Nasa’s training ground for astronauts headed to the lunar surface.

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Categories: Environment

Crown backs down and ‘refines’ plans for offshore wind auction

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 10:00pm

Tender process for seabed use made more transparent after warnings from energy firms

The Queen’s property manager has bowed to criticism over its plans for the biggest offshore wind auction in a decade by agreeing to fairer terms for renewable energy companies.

The Crown Estate, which holds the rights to seabeds around the British Isles, told windfarm developers on Thursday that it has “refined” its controversial plans for the upcoming tender to make it more affordable to develop renewable energy.

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Categories: Environment

'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 8:27pm

Former PM doesn’t want wind farms ‘spoiling our landscape’ and praises Angus Taylor for supporting coal-fired power

The former prime minister Tony Abbott has continued his crusade against wind turbines, labelling them the “dark satanic mills of the modern era”.

Abbott, who was dumped at the 18 May election as the member for Warringah, had previously questioned the health impacts of wind turbines, despite there being no “consistent evidence that wind farms cause adverse health effects”. He has also previously dismissed them as “ugly”, “noisy” and “visually awful”.

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Categories: Environment

Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 2:29pm

Evironmental Protection Agency rejects proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, despite growing evidence of its toxicity

The US government has rejected a proposed ban on a toxic pesticide linked to brain damage in children, dismissing a growing body of research on the health hazards of a widely used agricultural chemical.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a ruling on Thursday that it supported farmers’ continued use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that growers have long sprayed on almonds, citrus, cotton, grapes, walnuts and other major crops in America. The decision, outlined in a response to a petition from environmental and public health groups, said “critical questions remained regarding the significance of the data” on neurological impacts on children.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef authority urges 'fastest possible action' on emissions

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 1:12pm

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority says ‘further loss of coral is inevitable’

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef has made an unprecedented call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, warning only the “strongest and fastest possible action” will reduce the risks to the natural wonder.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has published a climate position statement that says the reef is already damaged from warming oceans and it is “critical” global temperature rises remain within 1.5 degrees.

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Categories: Environment

Minister flags 'ambitious' recycling targets to kickstart waste market

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 11:00am

States will be required to spend agreed portion of procurement budget on recycled materials for public projects

The federal government is preparing to unveil “ambitious” new targets that will require all states and territories to spend a portion of their procurement budgets on recycled materials for public projects.

New waste reduction minister, Trevor Evans, who is the first person to hold the portfolio at a federal level, said he would seek agreement from state and territory environment ministers for the new target at their next meeting, expected before the end of the year.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis: extremely hot days could double in US, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 7:13am

Amid widespread US heatwave, experts predict dangerous extremes in summer temperatures will only get worse

As the climate crisis progresses, the number of extremely hot days around the US could more than double, according to a peer-reviewed study and report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

By mid-century, an average of 36 days a year could feel like 100F (37.7C) or hotter. Toward the end of the century, 54 days a year could feel that hot, researchers with the science advocacy group found.

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Categories: Environment

The Water Crisis In Chennai, India: Who's To Blame And How Do You Fix It?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 4:09am

Reservoirs are dry in India's sixth biggest city. Municipal taps work only a few hours a day. Trains are delivering emergency water supplies.

(Image credit: Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Our Taste For Turtle Soup Nearly Wiped Out Terrapins. Then Prohibition Saved Them

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/07/18 - 4:00am

By the turn of the 20th century, America's love affair with diamondback terrapin soup — a subsistence food turned gourmet fare — had left the turtle's population teetering. Booze ban to the rescue.

(Image credit: Jesse D. Eriksen/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

If We All Ate Enough Fruits And Vegetables, There'd Be Big Shortages

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/07/17 - 3:30pm

There's already not enough produce for everyone in the world to get the daily recommended amount. Two new studies urge revamping the food system to feed the growing population and protect the planet.

(Image credit: Wanwisa Hernandez/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Vast clouds of flying ants deceive weather satellites

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/17 - 2:14pm

Experts believe false readings occurred because radar interpreted insects as raindrops

Huge swarms of flying ants that hit England’s south coast were mistaken by weather satellites in space for clouds of rain.

The Met Office’s radar captured what it described as “insect clutter” over the counties of Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset on Wednesday morning. They were also spotted in East Sussex and Kent.

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Categories: Environment

Manmade Antarctic snowstorm 'could save coastal cities from rising seas'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/17 - 11:00am

Blowing trillions of tonnes of snow on to ice sheet could halt its collapse, researchers say

Spraying trillions of tons of snow over west Antarctica could halt the ice sheet’s collapse and save coastal cities across the world from sea level rise, according to a new study.

The colossal geoengineering project would need energy from at least 12,000 wind turbines to power giant seawater pumps and snow cannons, and would destroy a unique natural reserve. The scientists are not advocating for such a project, but said its apparent “absurdity” reflects the extraordinary scale of threat from rising sea level.

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Categories: Environment

'Not a dustbin': Cambodia to send plastic waste back to the US and Canada

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/17 - 7:38am

Country vows to return 1,600 tonnes of waste as south-east Asian countries revolt against an onslaught of rubbish shipments

Cambodia has announced it will send 1,600 tonnes of plastic waste found in shipping containers back to the US and Canada, as south-east Asian countries revolt against an onslaught of rubbish shipments.

China’s decision to ban foreign plastic waste imports last year threw global recycling into chaos, leaving developed nations struggling to find countries to send their trash.

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Categories: Environment

Zara clothes to be made from 100% sustainable fabrics by 2025

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/17 - 6:14am

Owner says its brands including Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear will all follow suit

The owner of high street fashion chain Zara has announced that all of its collections will be made from 100% sustainable fabrics before 2025.

Inditex – which was named the world’s third largest apparel company this year by Forbes – said its other brands, including Zara Home, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear, will also follow suit.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists Desert USDA As Agency Relocates To Kansas City Area

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/07/17 - 3:35am

The mandatory move imposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on most of the workers at two vital research agencies has been criticized as a "blatant attack on science."

(Image credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Categories: Environment
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