Confessions of a Deliveroo rider: get fit by delivering fast food

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/01/08 - 5:28am

Carlton Reid picks up burgers and pizzas, but he doesn’t eat them - he delivers them. In just a few months he has lost weight and saved cash for the Giro d’Italia

There’s a way to get healthy from fast food: the trick is to deliver it, not eat it. I’m 52, but am now fitter than I was at 22. As a gig-economy food delivery rider I’m getting paid to melt my middle-age spread. I started in November, but have lost 5kg. Although I only do a few evening hours per week, I have already banked enough cash to pay for a trip to see the Giro d’Italia in May.

I get paid £4.25 for every drop, and the faster I pedal, the more drops I can fit in. Students are the mainstay of the food delivery business, and on a good night – when the students are flush – I can pocket £20 an hour. Not bad for time I’d otherwise waste trawling Twitter.

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Categories: Environment

Soaring Popularity Of Grass-Fed Beef May Hit Roadblock: Less Nutritious Grass

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/01/08 - 5:00am

Since the mid-'90s, levels of crude protein in the plants, which cattle need to grow, have dropped nearly 20 percent, and it may just be a matter of time before prairie grasses can't support grazing.

(Image credit: Alex Smith/Harvest Public Media)

Categories: Environment

As Cracks Widen In Washington State, Government Prepares For A Landslide

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/01/08 - 2:55am

Dozens of people have agreed to move temporarily to hotels in case a landslide destroys their homes.

(Image credit: Anna King/Northwest News Network)

Categories: Environment

Dozens Evacuate In Washington State, Fearing Landslide

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 4:51pm

A massive crack on top of Rattlesnake Ridge in south-central Washington state has nearby residents evacuating, as geologists and government officials predict a potentially devastating landslide.

Categories: Environment

Country diary 1968: a meeting with the bracken-red fox

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 3:30pm

8 January 1968 The fox was completely absorbed in its own affairs and very catlike in its stance, it stood motionless and its sharp nose pointed at a tuft of winter-pale grass

KESWICK: The first week of the new year often brings strange weather as if it is undecided as to which season it belongs to and one milder morning lately, with soft clouds resting on the snowy fells, there was a smell of growing things in the air. It was an indefinable smell – not the flowering witch hazel, the swelling daphne, or even the balsam poplar whose buds, though furled, can send out sweetness. It was, rather, the exhalation of the earth itself and a promise of growth to come. There were a few wintry daisies in the grass but they are as scentless as snow.

Related: 21st-century fox: how nature's favourite outsider seduced the suburbs

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Categories: Environment

Pollutionwatch: reducing sulphur emissions saves lives – and forests

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 2:30pm

We used to worry more about acid rain than about climate change. It took years but the agreements made in the Gothenburg Protocol have made a difference

Today we focus our concern on climate change, but 40 years ago it was acid rain and forest die-back that dominated our air and environment debate. In 1977, a new measurement programme showed that the sulphur landing in Scandinavia was far greater than the countries were producing. Industrial coal burning and westerly winds meant that the UK was Europe’s largest exporter of sulphur air pollution. Moving power generation to the countryside and building tall chimneys had reduced local air pollution but did not prevent sulphur being transported over thousands of kilometres.

This was at the height of the cold war. Warsaw Pact countries offered 30% reductions in their sulphur emissions and watched as the western allies were split. The UK was isolated and Canadian provinces were pitched against upwind industrial states in the US.

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Categories: Environment

Agricultural policy under Michael Gove | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 12:17pm
Allan Buckwell says British farmers are not ‘subsidised’, Jane Mardell and Richard Middleton fear that only the rich will be able to buy British-grown food, and Vanessa Griffiths and Kate Ashbrook see hope in public access to land

Please don’t use the word “subsidy” for payments to farmers who manage land for biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides (Report, 3 January). A subsidy is generally considered a temporary assistance and often comes with an undertone that is negative and undeserved. There is now a large body of analysis and evidence to support paying for services that the market cannot supply. We don’t talk about subsidising nurses for health services, or teachers for educational services. So let’s pay for environmental services on a similar basis.

It is good that Michael Gove is supportive of this approach, but there is no need to leave the EU to do it. With strong UK leadership, the common agricultural policy has been adapted for over 20 years to enable governments to pay farmers for environmental services, and to do this under their own locally devised schemes. The resources allocated for this purpose have been decided domestically, and we could have done much more of this had we chosen. Let’s hope Mr Gove now delivers on his rhetoric.
Allan Buckwell
Professor emeritus of agricultural policy, Imperial College, London

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Categories: Environment

Mesmerised by the mole that dug up my garden | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 12:15pm
A blackbird would stand beside it, taking the worms and insects dislodged, recalls Sallie Bedford

We had a mole a few years ago that made 17 molehills on our back lawn in as many days (Country diary, 4 January). I watched from the kitchen window each morning as the new hill was being excavated, the earth moving with clumps falling away. A blackbird would stand beside it, watching carefully and taking the worms and insects dislodged – fascinating! This was another wild creature to add to our garden list of frogs, grass snakes, lizards, slowworms and so on and we loved having it, though I must confess to trying to catch it by standing over it when the earth was moving one day and grabbing at the soil, without success. How did it move so quickly? Instead of collecting the soil we raked it back into the grass and eventually the mole departed (to the flower beds) and the area returned to its meadow-like state.
Sallie Bedford
Henfield, West Sussex

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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Categories: Environment

Ineos 'misled' public over fracking in Sherwood Forest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 8:55am

Company got permission for seismic surveys in sensitive areas despite claiming it would exclude them

One of Britain’s top fracking firms has been accused of misleading the public over its intent to explore for shale gas in a protected area of ancient woodland in Sherwood Forest.

Ineos, a UK-based petrochemicals firm, has said publicly it would exclude sensitive areas of the legendary home of Robin Hood from its seismic surveys.

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Categories: Environment

What Happened To Mexico's Earthquake Warning System?

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 6:06am

Mexico has an earthquake early warning system that gives people time to take cover. But that system didn't work when a 7.1 magnitude quake struck Mexico City, killing hundreds of people.

Categories: Environment

Oil tanker ablaze following collision with ship off coast of China – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 5:14am

An oil tanker has collided with a cargo ship off China's east coast, causing an oil spill and setting the tanker ablaze. China and South Korea have mounted a search-and-rescue operation to find the 32 people – 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis – reported missing

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Categories: Environment

Government pledges £5.7m to develop new northern forest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 4:13am

Plan to plant 50m trees along 120-mile stretch next to M62 will provide habitat for wildlife as well as help manage flood risk

The government has pledged £5.7m to kickstart the creation of a northern forest that will stretch from Liverpool to Hull.

The plans, which are being led by the Woodland Trust, include the planting of 50m trees along a 120-mile stretch of land running next to the M62. The project is expected to cost £500m over 25 years, with more than £10m committed by the Woodland Trust and the remainder still to be raised.

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Categories: Environment

Oil tanker on fire and 32 crew missing after collision off China's coast

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/01/07 - 1:07am

China and South Korea mount search operation for crew of Iranian tanker spilling oil east of Shanghai after collision with Hong Kong freighter

Thirty-two people, mostly Iranians, were missing after an oil tanker collided with a cargo ship off China’s eastern coast, authorities said on Sunday.

The missing – 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis – were all from the Iranian tanker Sanchi, which was carrying 136,000 tonnes of oil condensate. It spilled oil and was floating while still on fire early on Sunday.

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Categories: Environment

Pressure grows for UK to bring in blanket ban on ivory trade

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/06 - 5:05pm
Consultation by the government shows huge public support for ending all sales

Environmental campaigners believe that public pressure is finally about to force the environment secretary, Michael Gove, to introduce a blanket ban on the commercial trade in ivory in the UK.

A consultation on what form a proposed ban should take has just closed, and the government says it will give its response soon. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which is overseeing the consultation, said there had been “a massive public response to the government’s proposed ban on ivory sales”. More than 60,000 responses were received, half of them coming in the week running up to Christmas, making it one of the biggest consultations in Defra’s history. Of the responses analysed so far, the overwhelming majority support a ban.

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Categories: Environment

Republican Opposition To Offshore Drilling

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/01/06 - 6:21am

The Trump administration is planning to allow more offshore drilling. This has put it at odds with Republicans like Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who talks with NPR's Scott Simon

Categories: Environment

The latest cutting-edge technology changing our landscapes? Trees

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/01/06 - 2:30am

The UK has been slow to embrace agroforestry, fearing trees compete for valuable space and water. In fact they can increase crop diversity as well as profits, as two pioneering Cambridgeshire farmers have found

“Most people round here think it’s pretty normal for the earth to just blow away,” says Lynn Briggs. “They seem to think it’s what happens and you just have to live with it. It’s even got a name – they call it fen blow.”

But when Lynn and her husband Stephen moved on to their Cambridgeshire farm in 2012 they had some radical farming notions. Against all precedent, the Briggs planted rows of fruit trees at 21-metre gaps in their cereal fields to provide both windbreaks and alternate crops. “Our neighbours thought we were absolutely crazy,” says Stephen. His soil, however, began to stay put.

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Categories: Environment

Massachusetts Hit Hard By Winter Storm

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 2:17pm

Massachusetts bore the brunt of the winter storm. Many coastal communities were flooded by a storm surge and Boston recorded its highest tide in almost a century.

Categories: Environment

What To Do If You Come Across A Frozen Iguana

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 2:17pm

On Thursday, we reported iguanas were falling from trees in Florida. Now, we explain why it is happening and what citizens should do in reaction. Bottom line: don't touch them. They are not dead. They may thaw out and attack.

Categories: Environment

Reduce waste, recycle more, and stop the burning | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 11:26am
Jenny Jones says the UK must respond proactively to news that China has banned imports of millions of tons of plastic waste

This could be the year we start burning more of our waste than recycling it (China’s plastic waste ban ‘creates a crisis for UK local authorities’, 3 January). There are already three English regions where incineration (energy from waste) has become the most likely way for councils to dispose of our waste and the amount that we recycle has flatlined in all but one area of the UK. The exception to this is Wales, partly because they use the incineration ash to make concrete and count this as recycling. We need to urgently cut down on how much we use and build the recycling infrastructure to deal with the waste ourselves. We need regulation to ensure that what we use contains a minimum percentage of recycled materials, so that we can build up the market for such products. Most urgent of all is a charge on incineration to remove the perverse incentive for councils to burn, rather than recycle.
Jenny Jones
Green party, House of Lords

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Categories: Environment

South-east England at risk of water shortages this summer, officials warn

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/01/05 - 10:00am

A year of unusually dry weather means parts of England are facing summer drought with groundwater and some reservoirs well below normal

A year of dry weather, only slightly alleviated by recent storms, has left much of south-east England facing drought this summer.

Groundwater and some reservoir levels are well below normal and only above-average rainfall in the next three months will refill them, officials warned on Friday. One water company, Southern Water, has applied for a drought permit to allow them to take more water than normally allowed from the River Medway in Kent, to try to avoid water restrictions for households in the summer.

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Categories: Environment
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