What Are The Presidential Candidates' Views On Climate Change?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/10/15 - 1:06pm

The contrast between President Trump's and Joe Biden's views is obvious when it comes to climate change. Biden has an ambitious plan to reduce emissions, while Trump has tried to boost fossil fuels.

Categories: Environment

'An alarmingly familiar picture': UK on course to miss most biodiversity targets

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/15 - 10:56am

Out of 24 indicators of ecological health, 14 show long-term decline, according to new report

The UK is failing on its long-term biodiversity targets and seeing “relentless” declines in wildlife, according to government data that shows public sector investment in conservation falling in real terms by 33% in five years.

Out of 24 biodiversity indicators, 14 showed long-term decline, including continued deterioration of UK habitats and species of European importance, as well as a decline in priority species, according to the 2020 UK biodiversity indicators report, which gives the most comprehensive overview of the action the government is taking on the most pressing wildlife issues.

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Categories: Environment

Dangerous radiation levels from fracking | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/15 - 9:59am

Dr David Lowry on the risk of the radioactive gas radon being pumped into homes

I was very interested to read your report (13 October) on recent research by Harvard University scientists on radiation risks from fracking.

I have raised this concern in several letters to the Guardian over the past seven years. Indeed, seven years ago this month, Public Health England said in a review of potential risks that “there is … the potential for radon gas to be present in natural gas extracted from UK shale”.

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Categories: Environment

Rio F1 racetrack plans add fuel to Brazil deforestation row

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/15 - 6:07am

Most of city’s last flatland area along with 180,000 trees would be destroyed if project goes ahead

Locals say anteaters, caimans, capybaras, and a 4-metre boa constrictor have all been seen near Rio de Janeiro’s Camboatá Forest recently. The 200-hectare (494-acre) forest is an island of wildlife in a city of 6.7 million people, and local prosecutors say it is home to 21 endangered species including black-backed tanager birds and the cloud-fish, a tiny orange creature whose eggs survive in dried-out water holes and hatch when the rains return.

But most of Rio’s last flatland area of sub-tropical Atlantic Forest and its 180,000 trees will be demolished if plans go ahead to build a new Formula One racetrack over it.

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Categories: Environment

Amy Coney Barrett refuses to tell Kamala Harris if she thinks climate change is happening

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/15 - 5:42am

Supreme court nominee accuses Democratic senator of soliciting an opinion ‘on a very contentious matter of public debate’

Supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett refused to say whether she accepts the science of climate change, under questioning from Kamala Harris, saying she lacked the expertise to know for sure and calling it a topic too controversial to get into.

On Wednesday, Barrett framed acknowledgment of a manmade climate crisis as a matter of policy, not science, when she was pressed at her confirmation hearing by Democratic senator from California.

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Categories: Environment

UK supermarket salad suppliers investigated over pesticides in rivers

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/15 - 3:59am

Exclusive: Environment Agency takes action against one site and looks into more than 50 others

The UK environment watchdog is examining whether more than 50 sites that supply salad and vegetables to supermarkets and other businesses are discharging chemical pollution into rivers and streams.

The action follows revelations that a salad producer supplying retailers including Waitrose was washing pesticides into a protected chalk stream in Hampshire.

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Categories: Environment

'Solastalgia': Arctic inhabitants overwhelmed by new form of climate grief

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/15 - 12:00am

Solastalgia means a feeling of homesickness without ever leaving home - and for Inuit in Canada’s north it describes the psychological impact of the climate crisis

With snow just beginning to dust the hills surrounding the city of Iqaluit, the hunters scramble off in boats. They’re hunting Canada geese, as they have always done, only now using rifles and motorboats instead of the spears and kayaks of their ancestors.

Across Baffin Island, Inuit are harvesting before autumn begins to transition into winter. Later in the year, when the snows arrive in force and the fjords and harbours become thick with ice, the boats will be replaced by snowmobiles and the area will once again teem with human life.

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Categories: Environment

What Is The Future Of The Oil Industry?

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 1:01pm

It's a pivotal moment for the oil industry. With a pandemic-induced demand crash, the uncertainty about the long-term prospects for gas is growing. Forecasts chart divergent paths for the future.

Categories: Environment

Greener play areas boost children’s immune systems, research finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 11:00am

Autoimmune diseases are rising fast but first experimental study shows nature could help

Children whose outdoor play areas were transformed from gravel yards to mini-forests showed improved immune systems within a month, research has shown.

The scientists believe this is because the children had developed significantly more diverse microbes on their skin and in their guts than the children whose playgrounds were not upgraded.

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Categories: Environment

Rewild to mitigate the climate crisis, urge leading scientists

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 10:19am

Restoring degraded natural lands highly effective for carbon storage and avoiding species extinctions

Restoring natural landscapes damaged by human exploitation can be one of the most effective and cheapest ways to combat the climate crisis while also boosting dwindling wildlife populations, a scientific study finds.

If a third of the planet’s most degraded areas were restored, and protection was thrown around areas still in good condition, that would store carbon equating to half of all human caused greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution.

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Categories: Environment

World Bank and IMF must spearhead a green and inclusive recovery | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 9:42am

A group of European ministers and the EC’s commissioner for international partnerships call for measures to foster long-term resilience in the global economy and environment

The world is facing an unprecedented crisis. In just a few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has swept across the world, bringing human tragedy and causing an economic shock of historic proportions. While it poses a tremendous challenge to our economies and societies, the Covid crisis also gives us an opportunity to work towards a future that is more fair, equal and green.

This week, the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund are holding their annual meetings. We will discuss our efforts to fight poverty and hunger, support socioeconomic recovery and respond to the emerging debt crisis. “Business as usual” is not an option. It is imperative that the World Bank’s development financing of $160bn for the coming year is directed towards a sustainable and inclusive future. This is the time to strengthen our economies in line with the sustainable development goals and the Paris climate agreement.

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Categories: Environment

BHP bosses defend company's decision to stay in gas and oil 'for the medium term'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 9:30am

Chairman Ken MacKenzie tells AGM that fossil fuels will be part of the energy mix for decades

BHP management has batted away shareholder criticism of the miner’s intention to continue investing in gas despite claiming it will dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.

Speaking at BHP’s Australian annual meeting on Wednesday evening, chairman Ken MacKenzie also addressed the fallout from rival Rio Tinto’s decision to blow up 46,000-year-old rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara.

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Categories: Environment

‘It’s a silent killer’: fears of legionella grow amid pandemic

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 7:30am

Legionella in water is sickening and sometimes killing Americans, with the current reopening of buildings prompting fresh concerns

  • This story is co-published with Ensia

Before her 73-year-old mom contracted legionnaires’ disease at a nursing home earlier this year, Monique Barlow knew little about the deadly pneumonia and the waterborne pathogen that causes it.

“Until then, I didn’t give it much thought,” says Barlow. “I didn’t even really know what it was.”

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Categories: Environment

The Devil Has a Name review - fire-breathing thriller about a farmer taking on Big Oil

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 6:00am

Kate Bosworth shines in a juicy role as a cigar-smoking oil matriarch in this drama directed by veteran actor Edward James Olmos

Edward James Olmos is an actor-film-maker with a long history of advocating for Latino screen representation, and he has cast himself as something of what you might call a “magical Latino” stock character in this environmental courtroom drama. He plays Santiago, the right-hand man of Fred Stern (David Strathairn), a recently widowed California almond farmer, who is locked in a legal battle with a big bad oil firm. Santi always has some old-west wisdom to offer his old pal, such as “Don’t confuse fightin’ with livin’”; or “Who knows the true meaning of ‘covfefe’?”

It’s a forgivable indulgence, since The Devil Has a Name is also providing juicy roles for several other character actors who have long been underserved and unappreciated. Former child star Haley Joel Osment and Pablo Schreiber (“Pornstache” from Orange Is the New Black) are both having a high old time as scenery-chewing grifters with nefarious motives, while Martin Sheen recycles some of that President Bartlet twinkle as Stern’s dragon-slaying lawyer. The real revelation, though, is Kate Bosworth, a rising star of the early noughties (Blue Crush, Superman Returns) who never quite rose. As Gigi Cutler, however, she’s a new woman; a swaggering, cigarillo-chomping, femme-fatale version of cinema’s great rapacious oil men, who’ll drink your milkshake and probably your whiskey, too.

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Categories: Environment

Trump and Biden offer starkly different visions of US role in world

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 2:00am

The world is anxiously watching the election, with the candidates far apart on issues such as the climate crisis and nuclear weapons

Foreign policy barely gets a mention in this US election, but for the rest of the world the outcome on 3 November will arguably be the most consequential in history.

All US elections have a global impact, but this time there are two issues of existential importance to the planet – the climate crisis and nuclear proliferation – on which the two presidential candidates could hardly be further apart.

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Categories: Environment

Canada's last intact ice shelf broke off. It took our research station with it

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/14 - 12:00am

Researchers studying the area in the Arctic for years describe the day of the calving event – and where they go from here

In August, Adrienne White – an ice analyst at the Canadian Ice Service who monitors the Canadian Arctic for changes in sea ice – was reviewing satellite imagery when she spotted something remarkable. The enormous Milne ice shelf, which was the last intact ice shelf in Canada and which White had studied closely before as a PhD student, was dissolving.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland transition to renewables would generate almost 10,000 jobs, analysis shows

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/10/13 - 8:51pm

Exclusive: Sunshine and available land offer a ‘world-class’ opportunity, expert says

Queensland has the potential to draw all of its electricity from renewable sources in a 15-year transition away from fossil fuels that would generate almost 10,000 jobs, according to analysis commissioned by the Queensland Conservation Council.

Almost 11,000 ongoing jobs would then operate and maintain a suite of energy sources either existing or proposed in the state, including wind and solar and farms, hydro plants and battery projects.

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Categories: Environment

Yellow crazy ant infestation could spread to Queensland's wet tropics, conservationists warn

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/10/13 - 7:56pm

Calls for urgent funding from state and federal governments to deal with one of the world’s worst invasive species

One of the world’s worst invasive species could spread into Queensland’s wet tropics world heritage area unless there is urgent intervention from the state and federal governments, conservationists have warned.

Yellow crazy ants, which spit formic acid and can form supercolonies that overwhelm native species, have long been an issue in the country’s north, including in Cairns where they have encroached on the world heritage area.

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Categories: Environment

Image of tiger hugging tree wins 2020 wildlife photographer award

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/10/13 - 2:00pm

Sergey Gorshkov left a hidden camera in a Russian forest for 11 months to capture the big cat

An image of a clearly ecstatic tigress hugging an ancient Manchurian fir tree in a remote Siberian forest has won one of the world’s most prestigious photography prizes.

It took Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov 11 months to capture the moment using hidden cameras. His patience led to him being named 2020 wildlife photographer of the year by the Duchess of Cambridge at a ceremony at London’s Natural History Museum.

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Categories: Environment

Birdwatch: the curlew sandpiper – a visit from a restless global traveller

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/10/13 - 1:30pm

It was a treat to see this busy bird in Somerset, but then they do venture far from their Siberian breeding grounds

Of the thousand-plus waders at the high tide roost, all but a handful were either asleep or standing still, patiently waiting for the waters to recede. But one bird was feeding as if its life depended on it: methodically making its way across the muddy banks of the River Brue, picking up morsels of food with its long, decurved bill.

The bird’s frantic activity and elegant appearance identified it as a scarce visitor to the Somerset coast: a juvenile curlew sandpiper – named because its bill resembles that of its much larger relative.

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Categories: Environment
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