Beth Gardiner: What Are The Consequences Of Breathing Dirty Air?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/01/15 - 7:39am

Journalist Beth Gardiner and activist Yvette Arellano explain the long-term health effects of air pollution. Yvette lives in a Houston neighborhood near the largest petrochemical complex in the U.S.

(Image credit: TED)

Categories: Environment

Celebrity power undermining global conservation efforts, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/15 - 5:42am

Hostile dispute over trophy hunting fuelled by ‘myths driven by emotion and morality that ignore critical facts’

Leading scientists have warned that global conservation is being undermined by celebrity power after they suffered death threats and abuse in a hostile dispute over trophy hunting.

Groups such as the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting and Born Free are pressuring the UK and US governments to ban trophy hunting, with support from many famous names, much of the public and more than 150 MPs across the political spectrum.

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Categories: Environment

Air pollution will lead to mass migration, say experts after landmark ruling

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/15 - 4:28am

Call for world leaders to act in wake of French extradition case that turned on environmental concerns

Air pollution does not respect national boundaries and environmental degradation will lead to mass migration in the future, said a leading barrister in the wake of a landmark migration ruling, as experts warned that government action must be taken as a matter of urgency.

Sailesh Mehta, a barrister specialising in environmental cases, said: “The link between migration and environmental degradation is clear. As global warming makes parts of our planet uninhabitable, mass migration will become the norm. Air and water pollution do not respect national boundaries. We can stop a humanitarian and political crisis from becoming an existential one. But our leaders must act now.”

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Categories: Environment

One, two, tree: how AI helped find millions of trees in the Sahara

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/15 - 4:00am

Efforts to map the Earth’s trees are growing – and could change our understanding of the planet’s health

When a team of international scientists set out to count every tree in a large swathe of west Africa using AI, satellite images and one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, their expectations were modest. Previously, the area had registered as having little or no tree cover.

The biggest surprise, says Martin Brandt, assistant professor of geography at the University of Copenhagen, is that the part of the Sahara that the study covered, roughly 10%, “where no one would expect to find many trees”, actually had “quite a few hundred million”.

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Categories: Environment

Pope’s adviser says Covid has highlighted ‘existential’ climate risk

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/15 - 1:00am

Focus must be on justice for those fleeing impact of extreme weather events, says new scientific adviser to Vatican

The pope’s newly appointed scientific adviser said the coronavirus pandemic has forced world leaders to face up to the “existential risk” of the climate crisis.

Prof Ottmar Edenhofer said rich countries now had a moral duty to compensate poor countries already suffering the impacts.

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Categories: Environment

Nose his business: New Zealand trains dogs to sniff out deadly kauri tree disease

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/14 - 9:09pm

Dogs are able to detect kauri dieback in seconds rather than weeks, greatly speeding up diagnosis

New Zealand is deploying dogs to sniff out a deadly disease that is causing havoc to ancient kauri trees in the North Island.

Four-year old English springer spaniel Pip and five-year-old jagdterrier Mawhai have spent over a year training to sniff out kauri dieback, in the hope the Auckland council biosecurity team can stop it spreading to islands off the gulf and the parts of the Waitakere Ranges, which have so far been spared.

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Categories: Environment

Australian government raises fears about the 'human cost' of China coal standoff

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/14 - 8:24pm

Like other Australian ministers, Keith Pitt has been unable to secure a call with his Chinese counterpart amid ongoing tensions

The Morrison government is appealing to China to rule out discriminating against Australian coal, with the resources minister raising fears about the “human cost” of the standoff as seafarers are stuck aboard more than 70 ships waiting to unload the product.

In an interview with Guardian Australia, Keith Pitt said the cost of coal had increased as a result of the impasse but Canberra was “yet to hear anything through official channels” about any change in Beijing’s treatment of the Australian commodity.

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Categories: Environment

Seagrass 'Neptune balls’ sieve millions of plastic particles from water, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/14 - 6:15pm

Researchers counted particles in seaballs that washed up on beaches in Spain

Underwater seagrass in coastal areas appear to trap plastic pollution in natural bundles of fibre known as “Neptune balls”, researchers have found.

With no help from humans, the swaying plants – anchored to shallow seabeds – may collect nearly 900m plastic items in the Mediterranean alone every year, a study reported in the journal Scientific Reports said.

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Categories: Environment

2020 was hottest year on record by narrow margin, Nasa says

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/14 - 11:15am

Due to different methods, US Noaa judged year as fractionally cooler than 2016 while UK Met Office put 2020 in close second place

Last year was by a narrow margin the hottest ever on record, according to Nasa, with the climate crisis stamping its mark on 2020 through soaring temperatures, enormous hurricanes and unprecedented wildfires.

The average global land and ocean temperature in 2020 was the highest ever measured, Nasa announced on Thursday, edging out the previous record set in 2016 by less than a tenth of a degree.

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: business secretary accepted donations from fossil fuel investors

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/14 - 9:35am

Exclusive: Kwasi Kwarteng accepted funding as part of 2019 election bid despite Tories’ green pledges

The UK’s new business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, accepted substantial donations from fossil fuel investors and advisers as part of his 2019 general election campaign, despite the government’s commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Kwarteng was energy minister until earlier this month, when he was promoted to secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy. He replaced Alok Sharma, who has now taken full-time responsibility for the UK’s hosting of this year’s UN climate talks, Cop26.

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Categories: Environment

Western Australia LNG plant faces calls to shut down until faulty carbon capture system is fixed

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/14 - 9:30am

Environmental groups blast state government for failure to penalise Chevron’s Gorgon plant for increased greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions from Chevron’s Gorgon LNG facility have increased because the company’s carbon capture system is not working properly, meaning more carbon dioxide is being vented into the atmosphere.

Environment groups have blasted the Western Australian government for not imposing penalties on the energy company after documents revealed sand was clogging the injection system designed to bury up to 4m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year under Barrow Island.

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Categories: Environment

Pandemic Causes Historic — But Fleeting— Drop In U.S. Climate Emissions

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2021/01/14 - 8:01am

As Americans stayed home during the pandemic, cars and planes produced less heat-trapping emissions. But the effect is only temporary.

(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'Carbon-neutrality is a fairy tale': how the race for renewables is burning Europe's forests

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 11:00pm

Wood pellets are sold as a clean alternative to coal. But is the subsidised bioenergy boom accelerating the climate crisis?

Kalev Järvik stands on a bald patch of land in the heart of Estonia’s Haanja nature reserve and remembers when he could walk straight from one side of the reserve to the other under a canopy of trees.

Järvik has lived in the Haanja uplands in the southern county of Võru for more than 10 years. His closeness to the forest has shaped his life as a carpenter and the fortunes of the surrounding villages, with their handicraft traditions – a substitute for farming on the poor arable land. Upcountry, travel literature promotes the region to city dwellers, promising its ancient woodlands as a place to rest and reinvigorate the mind.

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Categories: Environment

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Charged In Flint Water Crisis

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 6:23pm

At least a dozen people died and more than 80 people fell ill after untreated water from the Flint River caused lead to leach from old pipes, poisoning the water system city residents relied on.

(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Cicada 'super year': the familiar sound of Australian summer is louder than usual

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 9:30am

More of the insects have emerged this year in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. One reason is rainfall

The buzz call of the cicada is a familiar sound of the Australian summer and this season is what David Emery calls a “super year for our summer chorusing friends”.

A veterinary immunologist at the University of Sydney and cicada expert, Emery has been monitoring the insects for decades and, along with many residents of coastal New South Wales and beyond, has registered that the volume is more ear-splitting than usual.

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Categories: Environment

Swedish postage stamp celebrates work of Greta Thunberg

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 9:02am

Illustration of activist is part of a series highlighting government’s environmental quality goals

The environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been featured on a new Swedish postage stamp, in recognition of her work to “preserve Sweden’s unique nature for future generations”.

Thunberg, who turned 18 on 3 January, is pictured standing on a rocky cliff top wearing a yellow raincoat, with swifts flying around her, as part of a set by the artist and illustrator Henning Trollbäck titled Valuable Nature.

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Categories: Environment

Wanted: UK bison rangers, no previous experience expected

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 7:27am

Project using large beasts to help restore woodland offers unprecedented job opportunity

Can you handle a beast as heavy as a small car, that can hurdle high fences from a standing start, and is a peaceful bulldozer for biodiversity?

If you’re not intimidated by the weightiest wild land mammal in Europe, you could become Britain’s first ever bison ranger.

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Categories: Environment

Many In Flint Question Whether They'll Get Justice For Water Crisis

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 5:19am

There are reports that ex-Michigan Gov. Snyder and others will be charged in relation to the crisis that began seven years ago. There is also word that a possible civil settlement in the works.

Categories: Environment

Vast coalition calls on Biden to impose national moratorium on water shutoffs

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 3:30am

More than 600 environmental, rights and religious groups to present draft order amid widespread shutoffs despite pandemic

A broad coalition of organizations is urging Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to mandate a national moratorium on water and other utility shutoffs on day one in the White House, in order to curtail the spread of Covid-19 and ease the financial burden on struggling Americans.

More than 600 environmental, rights and religious groups will on Wednesday present the incoming Democratic administration with a draft executive order that would impose an immediate nationwide ban on disconnecting essential utilities like water, gas and electricity until at least 12 months after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

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Categories: Environment

Progressives Gear Up For Broad New Push On Climate Action

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 3:00am

The Green New Deal Network is launching with over $20 million to promote their agenda, as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office and Democrats set to control both chambers of Congress.

(Image credit: Richard Vogel/AP)

Categories: Environment
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