Environment

Julia Gillard says her government's carbon price proves climate policy isn't 'all too hard'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/08/04 - 8:45pm

Former prime minister says ‘helplessness’ is no answer and warns against increasing nationalism during coronavirus pandemic

Julia Gillard has warned against a feeling of “received helplessness” that policies to reduce greenhouse gases are “all too hard”, citing the carbon price legislated by her government as proof climate policy “can get done”.

Gillard, the former Australian prime minister and current Beyond Blue chair, made the comments on Wednesday in an Australia Institute webinar about the mental health impact of Covid-19 and the need to “build back better” with more early intervention on the other side of the pandemic.

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Categories: Environment

South Korea floods and landslides kill 14 after 42 days of rain

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/08/04 - 5:43pm

Three New Zealanders among dead after avalanche hits Gapyeong holiday cottages

Fourteen people have been killed and more than 1,000 forced from their homes as 42 consecutive days of rain, South Korea’s longest monsoon in seven years, triggered floods and landslides.

Heavy rain, which has also battered China, Thailand, Myanmar and India, inundated farmland and flooded parts of major highways and bridges in the capital, Seoul.

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Categories: Environment

Throng of new penguin colonies in Antarctica spotted from space

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/08/04 - 4:01pm

Satellite images reveal guano patches, boosting known emperor penguin colonies by 20%

Satellite images have revealed 11 previously unknown emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica, boosting the number of known colonies of the imperilled birds by 20%.

The discoveries were made by spotting the distinctive red-brown guano patches the birds leave on the ice. The finds were made possible by higher-resolution images from a new satellite, as previous scans were unable to pick up smaller colonies.

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Categories: Environment

BP's dividend cut puts firm on road to deliver green energy pledge

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/08/04 - 11:09am

Lockdown has hammered oil prices but it also offers a chance to refocus on clean energy

BP has set itself the target of shrinking its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050. To do that will require big investment in a whole range of green energy alternatives. It will be happening at a time when the economic disruption caused by Covid-19 has sent the oil price tumbling and threatens to leave the company with more stranded assets on its hands.

Something has to give in those circumstances, and that something is BP’s dividend, which was cut for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a decade ago. In truth, the decision was a no-brainer, with perhaps the only surprise being that the payout to shareholders was reduced by half rather than by the two-thirds announced by Shell in April.

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Categories: Environment

BP enjoys share bounce after unveiling plans to shift away from fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/08/04 - 9:45am

Despite reporting one of its worst quarterly results on record BP shares closed up 6.5%

BP has won guarded praise from climate emergency campaigners and a hefty share price bounce by unveiling new plans to shift away from fossil fuels and towards low carbon energy within the next decade.

BP revealed the energy transition strategy alongside its first dividend cut since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, after plummeting to a record multibillion-dollar loss and slashing the value of its oil and gas assets due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Categories: Environment

Hurricane Isaias Dumps Heavy Rain And Possible Flooding On North Carolina

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/08/04 - 6:58am

Noel King speaks with Mike Sprayberry, the director of Emergency Management in North Carolina, about the flooding and heavy rain from Hurricane Isaias.

Categories: Environment

Rising temperatures will cause more deaths than all infectious diseases – study

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/08/04 - 12:00am

Poorer, hotter parts of the world will struggle to adapt to unbearable conditions, research finds

The growing but largely unrecognized death toll from rising global temperatures will come close to eclipsing the current number of deaths from all the infectious diseases combined if planet-heating emissions are not constrained, a major new study has found.

Related: Killer heat: US racial injustices will worsen as climate crisis escalates

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Categories: Environment

Wildlife forensics: how a giant pangolin named Ghost could help save the species

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 11:45pm

A new research programme in Gabon is identifying the ‘isotopic fingerprint’ of the world’s most-trafficked mammal in the fight to beat smugglers

After a two-week chase through Lopé-Okanda national park, a mosaic of rainforest and savannah in central Gabon, David Lehmann and his Wildlife Capture Unit were celebrating – they had caught a giant pangolin nicknamed Ghost, the biggest on record.

The team – consisting of eco-guards, an indigenous tracker, a field biologist and a wildlife vet – hope that Ghost, who weighs 38kg and measures 1.72m from nose to tail, will give valuable insights in their fight against poaching.

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Categories: Environment

How to start cycling with young children

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 11:00pm

Mounted seats, cargo bikes and trailers offer families different options to give cycling a go

Those lockdown days of blissfully quiet roads may be behind us but, with local authorities across the UK investing in cycle infrastructure, now is still an excellent time to give cycling a go. That is especially true for young city-dwelling families who would formerly have relied on public transport to get around but are now reluctant to risk a bus, tram or train journey.

Fortunately, cycling with small children is not merely convenient and healthy but also great fun too. Here is how to do it.

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Categories: Environment

Isaias Makes Landfall In North Carolina

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 12:40pm

The eye came ashore near Ocean Isle Beach before the system weakened into a tropical storm. It's expected to linger in North Carolina before swirling up the Mid-Atlantic coast.

(Image credit: Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

July rainfall across Australia dips to 43% below average, BoM reports

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 10:30am

Some places in NSW and Queensland had record rainfalls, while Tasmania had its second-driest July on record

Rainfall across Australia was 43% below average in July, continuing a long-term drying trend consistent with rising atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions, the weather bureau says.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s climate statement for July says the continent was drier than average across most of its south, from Western Australia to the south-west of New South Wales and including most of Victoria. Tasmania recorded its second-driest July on record behind 1957. South Australia had its lowest rainfall for the month since 1997.

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Categories: Environment

Americans are planting mystery seeds the government has warned against

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 9:53am

At least four people who were unaware of government warnings planted seeds that arrived in mail

Americans have been planting mystery seeds which appeared to be sent from China, unaware of government warnings to dispose of the suspicious shipments.

Related: Sowing doubt: people around world receive mystery seed parcels

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Categories: Environment

Panda conservation efforts failed to protect other mammals – study

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 9:36am

Animals including leopards have almost disappeared in protected habitats

Efforts to protect the giant panda have failed to safeguard large mammals sharing its habitats, according to research showing dramatic declines in leopards and other predators.

In its effort to save the giant panda, China has cracked down on poachers, outlawed the trade in panda hides and mapped out dozens of protected habitats.

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Categories: Environment

'There’s still a choice': New Zealand's melting glaciers show the human fingerprints of climate change

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 8:00am

New research has found extreme melting of the country’s glaciers in 2018 was at least ten times more likely due to human-caused global heating

Twice a year, glaciologist Lauren Vargo and her colleagues set up camp beside two small lakes close to New Zealand’s Brewster glacier. Each time the trek to carry the measuring stakes takes a little bit longer as the glacier’s terminus gets further away.

Dr Vargo, a native of Ohio now working at the Antarctic Research Centre at the Victoria University of Wellington, is studying New Zealand’s glaciers from the air and on the ice.

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Categories: Environment

The pandemic has revealed gruesome animal abuses at US factory farms | Andrew Gawthorpe

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 5:53am

Stories have emerged of mass killings of chickens and pigs, a tiny fraction of daily abuses heaped on farmed animals

More than any event in recent history, the coronavirus pandemic has made plain the consequences of our abuse of animals. From the Chinese wet market where the virus likely emerged to the American slaughterhouses which have become key vectors of transmission, our ravenous demand for cheap meat has been implicated in enormous human suffering. But the suffering is not ours alone. The pandemic has also focused our attention on how American agribusiness – which has benefited from deregulation under the Trump administration – abuses animals on an industrial scale.

Related: US nears 150,000 Covid-19 deaths as Republicans and Democrats pitch opposing plans – live

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Categories: Environment

With big rallies cancelled, young climate activists are adapting election tactics

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 2:10am

Phone banks, social media and friend-to-friend campaigning are the new focus ahead of this year’s US elections

For young climate activists in the US, staying home because of the pandemic does not mean staying silent, with plans gathering pace across the country to make their voices heard in November’s elections.

It has been nearly a year since an estimated 6 million people across the world joined the youth-led global climate strikes on 20 September.

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Categories: Environment

Statue of white woman holding hatchet and scalps sparks backlash in New England

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/08/03 - 1:00am

Hannah Duston, subject of the first publicly funded US monument to a woman, is implicated in the deaths of 10 Native Americans

The statue is the earliest publicly funded monument to a woman in the US.

It stands in the out-of-the-way town of Boscawen, New Hampshire. It shows a woman holding a hatchet in one hand and a fistful of scalps in the other. Her name is Hannah Duston.

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Categories: Environment

Close encounter: mother and calf whales stun surfers at Sydney's Manly beach

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/08/02 - 8:02pm

Images show dozens of surfers about 10 metres from whales, which migrate up and down the Australian coast

A whale calf, closely followed by its mother, came within metres of surfers and swimmers at Manly beach, in Sydney’s north, on Sunday afternoon.

The pair were initially identified as humpbacks by onlookers, but marine wildlife experts later said they were most likely southern rights, which also migrate north to calve, then return to colder waters for the southern summer.

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Categories: Environment

More coal power generation closed than opened around the world this year, research finds

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/08/02 - 5:00pm

China continues to increase its coal power, but in India new construction has ground to a near halt

The size of the global coal power fleet fell for the first time on record over the first six months of the year, with more generation capacity shutting than starting operation.

Global Energy Monitor, a US research and advocacy group that tracks fossil fuel development, found the closure of coal generators closing, mostly across Europe and in the US, outstripped stations being commissioned, largely in Asia.

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Categories: Environment

California's Apple Fire Destroys More Than 20,000 Acres

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/08/02 - 12:30pm

Officials have ordered evacuations for nearly 8,000 people in southern California, as the state continues to grapple with a rapidly growing number of COVID-19 cases.

(Image credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Categories: Environment
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