Environment

Evacuees wait out uncertainty in Lake Oroville dam crisis: 'I'm just praying'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 6:16pm

Local residents express a mix of frustration and stoicism as emergency crews race to stem flooding from America’s tallest dam

A fleet of cars, pickup trucks and motor homes crept its way north in twilight, past rivers swollen with brown, muddy water, and away from America’s tallest dam, where state officials desperately fought to keep the frothing waters from breaking through bulwarks and flooding into towns.

That was the dramatic scene on Sunday night. By late Monday afternoon, tens of thousands of people had relocated from the at-risk zone in northern California, 60 miles north of the state capital of Sacramento.

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Categories: Environment

Energy Australia boss says she fears bill shock for customers after heatwave

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 5:54pm

‘They are going to get a surprise and I am worried about them,’ says Catherine Tanna, joining push for transition to renewables

The boss of one of Australia’s largest energy suppliers says she is worried about customers’ power bills after the latest heatwave in the country’s south-east.

Energy Australia’s managing director, Catherine Tanna, has joined the push for a transition to newer forms of energy, saying bipartisanship is needed to draw up a national energy policy. The company operates sites including the Yallourn plant in the Latrobe valley, a brown-coal power station in Victoria that supplies nearly a quarter of the state’s electricity.

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Categories: Environment

Toshiba to confirm cessation of new nuclear projects outside Japan

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 4:43pm

In a blow to plans for a new UK power station, the Japanese firm’s expected announcement comes after review of overseas investments

Toshiba is expected to confirm that it is withdrawing from new nuclear projects outside Japan, dealing a blow to plans for a new power station in the UK.

Related: Brexit will delay new British nuclear power stations, warn experts

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Categories: Environment

'Extraordinary' levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 4:33pm

Presence of manmade chemicals in most remote place on planet shows nowhere is safe from human impact, say scientists

Scientists have discovered “extraordinary” levels of toxic pollution in the most remote and inaccessible place on the planet – the 10km deep Mariana trench in the Pacific Ocean.

Small crustaceans that live in the pitch-black waters of the trench, captured by a robotic submarine, were contaminated with 50 times more toxic chemicals than crabs that survive in heavily polluted rivers in China.

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Categories: Environment

90 Percent Of Fish We Use For Fishmeal Could Be Used To Feed Humans Instead

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 4:14pm

Currently, one-fourth of all fish caught globally goes to produce fishmeal and fish oil for farmed seafood, pigs and chickens. A lot of it is "food grade" and could be feeding the world's hungry.

(Image credit: Rodrigo Abd/AP)

Categories: Environment

Rollout Of Chevy Bolt May Mark Turning Point For Electric Car Market

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 3:25pm

The Chevy Bolt can go 238 miles on a single charge and costs about $30,000, after a federal tax credit. But the clean-car industry needs government support to thrive, and that's far from certain.

(Image credit: Paul Sancya/AP)

Categories: Environment

Judge rejects Standing Rock request to block Dakota Access pipeline drilling

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 1:45pm

Tribes lose challenge to the president’s decision to speed approvals for last stretch of $3.7bn pipeline under Missouri river in North Dakota

A federal judge has rejected a request from indigenous tribes to block drilling of the Dakota Access pipeline, the latest blow to the Standing Rock Sioux after Donald Trump fast-tracked final permits for the last phase of construction.

Related: Army veterans return to Standing Rock to form a human shield against police

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Categories: Environment

Pollution Has Worked Its Way Down To The World's Deepest Waters

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 12:47pm

Tiny creatures in the Mariana Trench have high levels of industrial contamination. The new findings suggest that even Earth's most remote locales feel the effects of human beings.

(Image credit: Dr. Alan Jamieson/Newcastle University)

Categories: Environment

Lake Oroville dam: emergency staff race to fix spillway before more rain strikes

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 12:01pm

Emergency workers and state officials were racing on Monday to repair a damaged spillway on the tallest dam in the United States, while almost 200,000 people evacuated downstream of the structure were given no indication of when they might return to their homes.

Related: Lake Oroville dam: mass evacuation ordered over flooding threat

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Categories: Environment

One day in the life of a suffocating planet: air pollution around the world

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 11:04am

To kick off a Guardian Cities week investigating air pollution, our reporters followed the sun from Sydney to Lagos to Los Angeles – taking readings, talking to locals and giving a snapshot of our choking cities

6.04pm GMT

We’ve reached the Pacific Ocean, where air pollution blissfully drops away to zero.

Thanks for joining us for a snapshot of air pollution on this otherwise unremarkable Monday in February 2017. The results have been worrying.

Bank of AQI400+ smog rolling into Beijing just now - within 20 minutes https://t.co/jbk3byT37C #beijing #airpocalypse #smog pic.twitter.com/Sf5Zom6F9M

Air filter, new and after five months in Delhi #GuardianCities pic.twitter.com/Jxn6OMUWCA

Holy shit #thatview #smog #almaty #kazakhstan #koktobe #incredible #sun #air #bluesky #cityscape

The rapid pace of industrialisation in this city is both a blessing and a curse; residents choke on their commute daily. #GuardianCities pic.twitter.com/OtA0qEhmgr

Outdoor air quality, Wilmington: 10 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter; 507 ppm of CO2; 44% humidity; moderate AQI of 42 pic.twitter.com/XfTIeRsDh7

5.46pm GMT

Los Angeles: 9.45am. I’m in a neighborhood called Wilmington, in the far south end of the city, which is home about 60,000 people – and some of the worst air quality in southern California.

It’s an unlucky part of town, nestled in between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. There’s a major complex of oil wells and refineries, and a heavily used diesel truck and rail shipping corridor. The port complex is America’s largest. Some homes are right next door to oil wells and refineries.

Hi from Wilmington, which has some of the worst air quality in Southern California pic.twitter.com/zljDhuvrYn

Outdoor air quality, Wilmington: 9 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter; 550 ppm of CO2; 44% humidity; moderate AQI of 38 pic.twitter.com/rlfrQ6RNLW

Outdoor air quality, Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, L.A.: 13 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter; 509 ppm of CO2; 65% humidity; moderate AQI of 53 pic.twitter.com/yYFjZTgZox

Outdoor air quality, Downtown L.A.: 16 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter; 532 ppm of CO2; 65% humidity; moderate AQI of 59 pic.twitter.com/8XSNEn7s7C

Outdoor air quality, Wilmington: 10 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter; 507 ppm of CO2; 44% humidity; moderate AQI of 42 pic.twitter.com/XfTIeRsDh7

Outdoor air quality, Wilmington: 22 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter; 564 ppm of CO2; moderate/bad AQI of 72 pic.twitter.com/cZ6ejGDvIW

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Categories: Environment

To Save The Planet, Give Cows Better Pasture

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 10:31am

What's the single most important thing that the world's farmers could do to reduce global warming? Give cattle — especially in the tropics — faster-growing, more nutritious pasture.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Neil Palmer/CIAT)

Categories: Environment

Canada reintroduces bison to Banff national park after more than a century

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 10:01am
  • Helicopters transport 16 of the large mammals to site in Alberta
  • Scheme restores once-dominant grazers to ecosystem

Canada has reintroduced a herd of plains bison to the country’s oldest national park in Banff, Alberta, officials said on Monday, more than 130 years after the North American animal last grazed the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies.

The conservation team moved 16 bison from a protected herd in central Alberta into an enclosed pasture in Banff national park in the west of the province last week.

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Act now before entire species are lost to global warming, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 9:00am

Climate change is threatening about 700 endangered species and policymakers must act urgently to lessen impact

The impact of climate change on threatened and endangered wildlife has been dramatically underreported, with scientists calling on policymakers to act urgently to slow its effects before entire species are lost for good.

New analysis has found that nearly half (47%) of the mammals and nearly a quarter (24.4%) of the birds on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species are negatively impacted by climate change – a total of about 700 species. Previous assessments had said only 7% of listed mammals and 4% of birds were impacted.

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Categories: Environment

'What can I do to help elephants?'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 6:00am

Climate change, poaching, competition for food and water … elephants have never faced such threats. Here are more than 50 ways to give them a helping hand. Can you add to the list?

There is so much being done to help stop elephants being wiped out in the wild. We’ve identified more than 50 campaigns and organisations around the world, from well-known charities like the World Wide Fund for Nature to grassroots groups like Elephanatics in Canada and Laos-based ElefantAsia. If you think we’ve missed anyone or anything, let us know at elephant.conservation@theguardian.com. We’ll update the list with your suggestions.

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Categories: Environment

Signs Of Hope At Oroville Dam, After Overflow Sparked Large Evacuation Sunday

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 5:58am

Lake Oroville's water level has finally dropped below its record high, after residents scrambled to comply with an evacuation order Sunday.

(Image credit: William Croyle/California Department of Water Resources via AP)

Categories: Environment

'We had to sue': the five lawyers taking on China's authorities over smog

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 5:00am

In an unprecedented legal case, a group of Chinese lawyers have charged the governments of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei with failing to protect their citizens from air pollution, which is linked to a third of all deaths in the country

Who is responsible for China’s chronic and deadly air pollution? That depends on who you ask. Officials blame the weather or outdoor barbecues, activists blame steel companies and coal-fired power plants. But Yu Wensheng blames only one actor: the government.

The 50-year-old lawyer recently launched an unprecedented suit against the authorities in three regions in China, claiming they have failed in their responsibilities. For a government with the motto “Serve the People”, Yu feels the officials are serving other interests by allowing nearly half a billion people to choke on toxic smog.

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Categories: Environment

Pant by numbers: the cities with the most dangerous air – listed

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 4:00am

We’ve broken down the data on dangerous PM2.5 particles, and listed them region by region – to reveal the cities with the worst air in Europe, the US, Africa, Asia and more

Billions of people in cities around the world are exposed to dangerous air, but pollution levels vary widely – and the fast-growing cities of Asia and Africa are the worst affected.

We’ve broken down data from the World Health Organization on ultra-fine particles of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5s) region by region. Paris’s air may have almost twice as many PM2.5s as WHO recommended levels (18 micrograms per cubic metre compared with 10µg/m³) – but Delhi’s air contains 122µg/m³, while Zabol, Iran, is the worst at 217µg/m³.

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Categories: Environment

This is why conservative media outlets like the Daily Mail are 'unreliable' | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 4:00am

Journalists try to get facts right. Tabloid propagandists try to advance an agenda

Wikipedia editors recently voted to ban the Daily Mail tabloid as a source for their website after deeming it “generally unreliable.” To put the severity of this decision in context, Wikipedia still allows references to Russia Today and Fox News, both of which display a clear bias toward the ruling parties of their respective countries.

It thus may seem like a remarkable decision for Wikipedia to ban the Daily Mail, but fake news stories by David Rose in two consecutive editions of the Mail on Sunday – which echoed throughout the international conservative media – provide perfect examples of why the decision was justified and wise.

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Categories: Environment

Could these five innovations help solve the global water crisis?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 2:51am

A number of creative technologies aim to increase access to clean water in developing countries. We asked two experts to assess some of them

The global water crisis has many causes, requiring many different solutions. As 1.2 billion people live in areas of water scarcity, these solutions must span policy, technology, and behaviour change to make a real difference.

A number of technological innovations address the crisis in novel ways. We asked two water experts – Vincent Casey, senior water and sanitation adviser at WaterAid, and Hannah Safford, an energy and environmental policy analyst – to assess some of the most creative approaches.

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Categories: Environment

Labor rejected One Nation preference deal after James Ashby approach – politics live

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/02/13 - 12:04am

Labor has denied it wanted a preference deal with One Nation after Pauline Hanson tells parliament the Queensland state Labor secretary approached the party. Follow it live...

6.55am GMT

Thanks to the brains trust including Gareth Hutchens, Katharine Murphy, Paul Karp and Mike Bowers. Tomorrow is another day so join us for #politicslive for all the news from the party rooms.

5.48am GMT

The member for Griffith will leave the chamber.

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