Greta Thunberg: At Davos we will tell world leaders to abandon the fossil fuel economy

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 6:01am
Averting catastrophe would be the best business decision to emerge from the economic forum in its 50 years of existence
Greta Thunberg tells world leaders to end fossil fuel ‘madness’

We have just entered a new decade, a decade where every month and every day will be absolutely crucial in deciding what the future will look like. Towards the end of January, chief executives, investors and policymakers will gather in Davos for the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum.

Related: Greta Thunberg tells world leaders to end fossil fuel ‘madness’

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Categories: Environment

The great dismantling of America's national parks is under way | Jonathan B Jarvis and Destry Jarvis

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 4:00am

In this waking nightmare, the Trump administration has filled the parks department with anti-public land sycophants

  • We’re expanding our public lands project this year. Read more here.
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Categories: Environment

Welcome to Hawaii's 'plastic beach', one of the world's dirtiest places

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 4:00am

Hawaii has long evoked images of a Pacific paradise but Kamilo Beach, located on the Big Island, presents a starkly different reality

An array of plastic crunched underfoot as Mattie Mae Larson walked down Kamilo Beach. Toothbrushes, a plastic broom, a leaking bottle, the back of a TV.

Larson used to come to this remote stretch of Hawaiian sand as a child to climb 10ft-high mountains of debris, searching for treasures.

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Categories: Environment

America's public lands are in danger – and in 2020 we'll report from the frontlines

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 4:00am

Amid mounting threats posed by privatization, energy extraction and climate change, we’re devoting new resources to our public lands journalism

Public lands are facing threats like never before. Seasoned superintendents have been shuffled around the country to force their retirement. Ancient cacti are being plowed up to make way for a border wall. Mention of climate change has been suppressed.

These attacks are outlined by none other than Jon Jarvis, the head of the National Park Service under Barack Obama, in a Guardian op-ed co-authored with his brother, Destry. “These are not random actions,” the Jarvises conclude. “This is a systematic dismantling of a beloved institution.”

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Categories: Environment

Pain, cancer, death: Michigan families devastated by toxic chemicals in their water

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 1:30am

Residents had for years been drinking water contaminated by dangerous PFAS chemicals – and the impact has been brutal

In the years before 2017, Sandy Wynn-Stelt and her husband had suspicions about the water they drew from a well on their House Street property in the Michigan town of Belmont. She attributed the bad taste to it being well water, but the “weird film” on their morning coffee was difficult to explain.

By June 2017, state officials alerted her that PFAS from a nearby, decades-old dump belonging to Wolverine World Wide, a shoe giant best known for the Hush Puppy brand, had contaminated their well.

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Categories: Environment

Blair attacks nuclear power privatisation - archive, 10 January 1985

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 10:30pm

10 January 1989: As well as cost, Labour’s energy spokesman warns about the risk of nuclear accidents

Tony Blair, Labour’s energy spokesman, yesterday launched a new assault against the flotation of the electricity industry by declaring that the sale of nuclear power will be “the most expensive mistake in the history of privatisation”.

Speaking on the eve of the Electricity Bill starting its committee stage in parliament and today’s long awaited Department of Energy publication of the ‘licences’, Mr Blair added that the Government faces “a potential bill running into billions of pounds”.

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Categories: Environment

Trump announces plan to acquire a book – about himself

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 8:12pm

President said Thursday – while announcing a rollback of environmental regulations – that he plans to read Donald J Trump: An Environmental Hero

Donald Trump is going to acquire a book.

The book in question, as Gizmodo reported on Thursday, is titled Donald J Trump: An Environmental Hero, by Edward Russo. And the shocking news emerged as the president announced a rollback of environmental regulations at the White House, taking an axe to the environmental review process required for infrastructure projects. The move, which he pitched as a way around “endless delays” to various projects, poses a new threat to the climate and is likely to face legal challenges.

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Categories: Environment

News Corp employee lashes climate 'misinformation' in bushfire coverage with blistering email

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 7:32pm

Senior employee’s reply-all email to executive chairman calls the company’s coverage ‘irresponsible’ and ‘dangerous’

A senior News Corp employee has accused the company of “misinformation” and diverting attention from climate change during the bushfire crisis in an explosive all-staff email addressed to executive chairman Michael Miller.

The email accuses News Corp papers, including the Australian, the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, of misrepresenting facts and spreading misinformation to focus on arson as the cause of the bushfires, rather than climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Grass growing around Mount Everest as global heating intensifies

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 5:01pm

Impact of increase in shrubs and grasses not yet known but scientists say it could increase flooding in the region

Shrubs and grasses are springing up around Mount Everest and across the Himalayas, one of the most rapidly heating regions of the planet.

Related: 1.9 billion people at risk from mountain water shortages, study shows

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Categories: Environment

BlackRock joins pressure group taking on biggest polluters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 12:50pm

World’s largest investor signs up to Climate Action 100+ after criticism from activists

BlackRock, the world’s largest investor, has joined an influential pressure group calling for the biggest polluters to reduce their emissions, after criticisms that it was undermining action addressing the climate crisis.

The US investment firm has signed up to Climate Action 100+, a group of investors managing assets worth more than $35tn (£27tn), that pressures fossil fuel producers and other companies responsible for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions to show how they will reduce carbon dioxide pollution.

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Categories: Environment

Can lab-grown food save the planet? | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 12:14pm
Daniel Pryor of the Adam Smith Institute, David E Hanke, Georgina Ferry and Prof Mick Watson respond to an article by George Monbiot claiming that lab-grown food will end farming and save the planet

It’s encouraging to find agreement across the political divide on the potential of new technologies to combat climate change, reduce animal suffering and supplant massive agricultural subsidies. The Adam Smith Institute recently released a paper on the topic that made many of the same points as George Monbiot (Lab-grown food will end farming – and save the planet, Journal, 8 January).

One overlooked benefit of lab-grown food is that it may help the UK tackle the crisis in housing affordability. As farming is superseded by precision fermentation, the significant amount of land currently used for livestock farming (including parts of the green belt) will be freed up for development in places that people actually want to live.

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Categories: Environment

Flycatchers and fantails: new songbirds discovered on tiny islands

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 12:00pm

Five species and five subspecies found in Indonesia in the largest discovery of its kind in more than a century

Ten new songbird species and subspecies have been identified on a trio of previously under-explored Indonesian islands in the largest discovery of its kind in more than a century, according to a new study.

Hidden away on the remote Wallacean islands of Taliabu, Peleng and Batudaka, close to where British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace independently developed the theory of evolution to Charles Darwin, five new bird species and five subspecies were detected during a six-week expedition to the area, off the coast of Sulawesi.

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Categories: Environment

White House unveils plan for major projects to bypass environmental review

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 11:52am

Plan would help Trump administration advance projects held up over global heating concerns such as the Keystone XL oil pipeline

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a plan to speed permitting for major infrastructure projects like oil pipelines, road expansions and bridges.

Related: How the oil industry has spent billions to control the climate change conversation

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Categories: Environment

Trump Administration Proposes Major Changes To Bedrock Environmental Law

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 8:48am

The move would ease approval for major infrastructure projects. It could mean federal agencies won't need to consider climate impacts of things like pipelines and highways.

(Image credit: Jim Mone/AP)

Categories: Environment

'There should be clear warnings': hair dye cancer risk stokes fear in black women

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 4:00am

Permanent hair dye increases a black woman’s risk of breast cancer by 45% and the more they’re used, the greater the risk, as products believed to contain more dangerous chemicals

Priscilla Graves is a hairstylist with 15 years’ experience straightening and coloring black women’s hair. She has endured bouts of dizziness, nausea and difficulty breathing from applying potent chemical straighteners, and regularly deals with distraught clients suffering alopecia and painful blisters after using dyes and lotions specifically marketed to African Americans.

“I try to find out online what’s in the products, but the government should be doing more to keep us safe and keep dangerous chemicals out of cosmetics,” said Graves, 34, at a salon in Harlem. “There should be clear warnings on the labels, we need more information.”

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Categories: Environment

Trump Officials To Overhaul National Environmental Policy Act

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 3:10am

Under expected new rules, federal agencies won't have to consider climate impacts of major infrastructure projects. The move aims to speed the OK for things such as oil and gas pipelines and highways.

Categories: Environment

The blackest city in the US is facing an environmental justice nightmare

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/01/09 - 3:00am

Detroit’s most vulnerable residents face inequalities like toxic air, lead poisoning, and water shutoffs. Now they’re fighting back

Growing up in southwest Detroit, Vince Martin thought it was normal for the sky to be orange.

When he was three years old, his family moved from Cuba to one of the black areas of town. At the time, discriminatory housing practices segregated the city. His Afro-Cuban family settled in the 48217 district, now Michigan’s most polluted zip code, where 71% of the population is black and air pollution makes the sky look like it’s on fire.

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Categories: Environment

New Zealand has its fourth-warmest year on record

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/08 - 6:25pm

100 daily records set around the country in 2019, with experts saying global heating is driving the trend

New Zealand has experienced its fourth-warmest year since records began in 1909, with temperatures between 0.5C and 1.2C higher than annual averages across the country.

There were 100 new daily temperature records set at spots around New Zealand.

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Categories: Environment

How the oil industry has spent billions to control the climate change conversation

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/08 - 1:39pm

Activists say Democratic climate proposals won’t be able to pass until lawmakers put a stop to oil companies trying to rebrand themselves

America’s oil companies are trying to rebrand themselves as part of the solution to the climate crisis, launching a campaign to counter top Democrats’ proposals to rapidly cut pollution from the power plants and cars that run on the industry’s petroleum and natural gas.

They say natural gas – a fossil fuel that emits heat-trapping carbon dioxide – is helping to slow climate disruption by providing an alternative to coal.

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Categories: Environment

Viking runestone may allude to extreme winter, study says

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/08 - 12:23pm

Ninth-century Rök stone may deal with fear of cold climate crisis in Scandinavia

One of the world’s most famous runestones is now believed to have been erected by Vikings fearing a repeat of a previous cold climate crisis in Scandinavia, a study has concluded.

The Rök stone, raised in the ninth century near Lake Vättern in south central Sweden, bears the longest runic inscription in the world, with more than 700 runes covering its five sides.

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