Environment

Pope Francis recruits Naomi Klein in climate change battle

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2015/06/27 - 4:11pm
Social activist ‘surprised but delighted’ to join top cardinal in high-level environment conference at the Vatican

She is one of the world’s most high-profile social activists and a ferocious critic of 21st-century capitalism. He is one of the pope’s most senior aides and a professor of climate change economics. But this week the secular radical will join forces with the Catholic cardinal in the latest move by Pope Francis to shift the debate on global warming.

Naomi Klein and Cardinal Peter Turkson are to lead a high-level conference on the environment, bringing together churchmen, scientists and activists to debate climate change action. Klein, who campaigns for an overhaul of the global financial system to tackle climate change, told the Observer she was surprised but delighted to receive the invitation from Turkson’s office.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

On climate change, Hispanic Catholics hear pope's message – and it's personal

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2015/06/27 - 5:00am

Long before Pope Francis called for the faithful to work toward environmental justice, water and drought were natural concerns for many in the western US and willing disciples may galvanize like never before

On a June morning, Father Rob Yaksich, a park ranger until he found his calling in mid-life as a Catholic priest, presided over his first ever Sunday Mass at the historic Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That day, he chose the power of spreading the faith as the theme of his sermon.

“Think of the mustard seed,” he told those gathered for the early morning Spanish language mass. “We all carry little mustard seeds of faith in our hearts. This mustard seed grows, and if it is nourished, it grows into a great tree.”

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Baby sugar glider takes flying lessons | @GrrlScientist

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2015/06/27 - 4:18am

Today’s “Caturday” video features an adorable young sugar glider (known as a “joey”) practicing her gliding skills in front of a fan

I couldn’t resist sharing this video with you: today’s “Caturday” video features an adorable young sugar glider (known as a “joey”) practicing her gliding skills in front of a fan:

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Why the US recycling industry is feeling down in the dumps

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2015/06/27 - 2:00am
Falling oil prices, a strong US dollar and a weakened Chinese economy are combining to make the global business of recycling less profitable than ever

Tucked in the woods 50km north of Washington is a plant packed with energy-guzzling machines that can make even an environmentalist’s heart sing – giant conveyor belts, sorters and crushers saving a thousand tonnes of paper, plastic and other recyclables from reaching landfills each day. The 24-hour operation is a sign that after three decades of trying, a culture of kerbside recycling has become ingrained in cities and counties across the United States. Happy Valley, however, it is not.

Once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, recycling in recent years has become a money-sucking enterprise. The District of Columbia, Baltimore and many counties in between are contributing millions annually to prop up one of the nation’s busiest facilities here – but it is still losing money. In fact, almost every facility like it in the country is running in the red. And Waste Management and other recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities nationwide are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

On the road: VW Golf GTE - car review

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 10:00pm
‘The emissions are roughly what you’d emit smoking a cigar. A cigar made of coal’

Everything’s easy once you’re used to it, so I try not to mention how long I normally spend figuring out the touch screen in cars, even though that accounts for roughly a third of my life. The Golf GTE (Gran Turismo Electricity) is brilliantly intuitive. Its technology is remarkable and it has five operating modes: pure electric, electric plus, battery hold, battery charge and auto hybrid. If they hadn’t managed to mask all that and make it easy to use, I would still be sitting in the car right now, waiting to move.

The battery life display is a bit boastful and unrealistic, constantly claiming 16 miles and going six, though obviously that doesn’t matter in a hybrid that you can just switch to battery charge (unlike next week: a little electric-car cliffhanger for you there). This exaggeration – the claimed combined cycle is a preposterous 166mpg, which I didn’t get anywhere near – is softened by ridiculous riders telling you that you make your own bed with your “driving style, speed, use of additional electrical consuming equipment, outside temperature, number of people in the car, driving style selection and topology”. What they really mean to say is, “There must be a way to guesstimate hybrid range, but we don’t yet know it.”

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The night visitors

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 9:30pm
Strathnairn, Highland One night, just after midnight, there were seven badgers just outside the end of the house

Using a red filtered torch to watch for badgers coming into the garden for peanuts is becoming a nightly ritual. The problem is judging just when they will arrive.

A week ago we put out a camera that would record what was happening through the late evening, at night, and early morning. There have been a number of surprises – one was the numbers of badgers coming in. One night, just after midnight, there were seven of them just outside the end of the house. There was no competition between them at any time, and the only contacts we recorded were two badgers grooming each other and a pair mating. Another highlight was when an adult brought in two cubs and they all tucked into the peanuts. Only once did we see a badger drink from the bird bath on the ground.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Planting coral could save Great Barrier Reef from climate change, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 4:13pm

Humans could save the Great Barrier Reef from global warming by transplanting corals that survive heat stress, say scientists

Humans could save the Great Barrier Reef from global warming by transplanting corals that survive heat stress, say scientists.

A new joint study by the Australian institute of marine science (AIMS) in Townsville and the University of Texas has found a genetic basis for tolerance of higher temperatures in coral.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Man bitten in fifth shark attack in North Carolina in two weeks

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 12:11pm
  • 47-year-old man injured on back in surf on Hatteras Island
  • Red flags raised at Avon on Outer Banks to alert beachgoers

Authorities say a man has been bitten multiple times by a shark on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the fifth such attack in the past two weeks.

Multiple media outlets reported that a 47-year-old man was bitten on the back on Friday while he was in the surf off Avon on Hatteras Island.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Mark Carney calls on businesses to disclose carbon footprints

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 10:43am

Bank of England governor says investors need such information to guide their decisions and repeats his mantra that the age of irresponsibility is over

Mark Carney has called for companies to disclose their carbon footprints to help investors to make clearer decisions about whether or not to back them.

London has a responsibility to lead if the age of irresponsibility is over.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

US climate deniers call Paris summit 'a threat' to the world

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 10:10am

Fundraising letter warns UN deal on climate change would spell an economic suicide for America

The godfather of climate denial has warned that a United Nations deal on global warming would spell “economic suicide” for America and a disaster to the world, according to a leaked fundraising letter.

In the rambling 13-page letter, Fred Singer, a retired rocket scientist who rejects the science underlining climate change, appeals for at least $425,000 (£270,212) to stop what he called the “radical, economy-wrecking and sovereignty-destroying UN climate pact”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Save Wildlife, Save Yourself?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 8:32am

Protecting the environment may reduce many diseases, such as Lyme and West Nile, a study finds. The tantalizing idea suggests that conservation and human health may be more connected than we thought.

» E-Mail This

Categories: Environment

Green news roundup: Dutch court's climate ruling and hope for elephants

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 8:04am

The week’s top environment news stories and green events. If you are not already receiving this roundup, sign up here to get the briefing delivered to your inbox

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

California's state pension funds move closer to divesting from coal

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 7:29am

In the latest Keep it in the ground update, a key vote is passed in the push to get US’s two largest pension funds to move out of thermal coal, plus we invite health professionals to sign an open letter asking Wellcome to divest

A key vote in the campaign to get California’s state pension funds to divest from thermal coal was passed this week.

The California Public Employee Retirement System (Calpers) and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) are the US’s largest pension funds, holding $299bn (£190bn) and $193bn in respective assets. Calpers currently holds at least $100m in at least 20 thermal coal mining companies.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 6:51am

Wood warblers, bear cubs and Bactrian camels feature in this week’s pick of images from the natural world

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Barack Obama sets sizzling climate action pace in push to leave legacy

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 4:00am

The president has used his executive power to spit out climate initiatives at a dizzying rate in 2015 but some see his actions on oil production as contradictory

The White House has churned out about 40 new measures to fight carbon pollution just since the start of 2015, stepping up the pace ahead of critical talks for a global climate change deal.

Two years after Barack Obama’s sweeping promise to fight climate change on 25 June 2013, the president has used his executive powers to spit out new climate events or announcements at a dizzying rate of one every 4.5 days this year, according to the running tally kept by the White House.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

What do mermaids think of climate change? - video

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 4:00am
In this hard-hitting report from the Mermaid Parade in New York City's Coney Island last weekend, we asked mermaids and other sea creatures for their views on the environment. What's the word from the fish and dolphin lobbies? How will rising sea levels affect undersea housing? And what is pollution doing to mermaids' hair? Find out in this video. Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Half of Europe’s electricity set to be from renewables by 2030

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 3:54am

Leaked EU paper predicts fast renewables growth to around double current levels if countries meet climate objectives

Europe will likely get more than half of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of the next decade if EU countries meet their climate pledges, according to a draft commission paper.

A planned overhaul of the continent’s electricity grids will now need to be sped up, says the leaked text, seen by the Guardian.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Prospect of warmer winters does not mean fewer deaths, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 1:26am

New scientific study pours cold water on the theory that mortality rates will drop in winter months as the climate warms, reports Climate News Network

Global warming is unlikely to mean that fewer people in northern latitudes will die from cold during the winter, according to a study by scientists in the US.

Despite arguments that an increase in death rates caused by global warming and increased summertime temperatures will be offset by a matching drop in mortality as winter temperatures also rise, the study cautions against assuming any such link as research suggests otherwise.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

EU ministers seek legally-binding and ambitious Paris climate deal

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 1:10am

Deal at UN climate summit later this year should be enforced through five-yearly reviews to avoid dangerous global warming, draft document shows

European Union ministers are seeking an ambitious, durable and legally-binding deal to curb global warming, enforced through five-yearly reviews, a draft of their position statement for UN climate talks shows.

EU environment ministers meet on 18 September in Brussels to iron out their joint position ahead of the UN talks in Paris in December. Diplomats have already drawn up a draft text.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef water quality to be monitored in real time in pollution crackdown

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/06/26 - 1:10am

Queensland government defends coalminer’s investment in online tracking tool, which will be showcased to world heritage committee ahead of Unesco’s final ruling on ‘in danger’ listing

The Queensland government will use new real-time water quality monitoring to take action against industrial and agricultural polluters of the Great Barrier Reef, says the state environment minister.

Steven Miles also defended the role of the state’s largest coalminer, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), as a cornerstone investor in the “eReef” tool, despite carbon-driven climate change being the reef’s greatest long-term threat.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content