Environment

Keep it in the ground: why this is a matter of basic ethics

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 11:00pm

Charitable trusts can give good short-term reasons not to disinvest from fossil fuels. But that is not the point, says Felix Salmon

If the purpose of your existence is to make the world a better place, why would you invest billions of dollars in companies that make the greatest contribution to global climate change? That’s the simple question behind the Guardian’s Keep it in the Ground campaign. But is there a simple answer?

Sadly, perhaps there isn’t. We could ascribe all of these investments to some kind of misplaced avarice. But that doesn’t make sense: it is not as if buying shares in these companies is some kind of “get rich quick” scheme. Indeed, oil and gas companies have significantly underperformed on the market as a whole over one year, three years, five, even 10 years. The real answer is more a complicated case of priorities, politics, pragmatism and portfolios.

Related: A new study urges leaving fossil fuels in the ground. How will it affect business?

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Related: Nobel prize winners join call for charities to divest from fossil fuels

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Categories: Environment

Never mind the oil – bringing Texas to Surrey would spell disaster

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 10:00pm

Environmental and financial risks mean the discovery of massive oil reserves in south-east England represents a threat, not a bonanza

The British fossil fuel industry is rubbing its hands in glee. UK Oil and Gas Investments has described massive oil reserves discovered in the south-east of England as a “world-class resource”. Already, excitable reports are painting a picture of Dallas come to Dorking, a new era of big oil and big money in a normally sleepy part of the country.

The headline figures are certainly impressive: 50-100bn barrels, compared with some 45bn barrels extracted from the North Sea over a period of 40 years. Of course, the facts behind the spin are slightly less flashy: only around 3-15% of this oil may actually be recoverable; and there are questions about commercial viability and, of course, serious doubts over whether a sprouting of Dallas-style onshore oil pumps across the landscape will ever gain public approval.

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Categories: Environment

That’s mountains for you

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 9:30pm

Great Langdale, Lake District “I remember the pain and shock as I bum-slid down on the seat of my pants inch by inch in darkness”.

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Categories: Environment

100 years ago: Determined activity on the land

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 2:30pm

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 14 April 1915

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Categories: Environment

Pollutionwatch: Groundhog spring

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 1:30pm

This spring is proving to be a repeat of last year. On 23 March, Paris banned odd number plate cars once again to bring particle pollution under control. As in 2014 this was accompanied by days of free public transport and reduced speed limits.

Once again the polluted air also covered most of the UK. Londoners experienced the top level of ten on the UK pollution scale on 17 March and levels between seven and nine were widespread; only the highlands of Scotland and north Wales escaped. Further particle pollution returned in early April. Warnings were provided for vulnerable people but no action was taken to control pollution sources.

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Categories: Environment

Green party would consider banning Grand National, suggests Natalie Bennett

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 11:23am

Party leader tells BBC’s Andrew Marr that horse racing, factory farming and other animal welfare issues would be reviewed by a Green government

The Green party would consider banning the Grand National and other horse and greyhound races as part of an animal protection drive should it form the next government, its leader Natalie Bennett has suggested.

A promise to review such events will appear in the party’s manifesto, which is due to be released on Tuesday, she said.

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Categories: Environment

Beyond Almonds: A Rogue's Gallery of Guzzlers In California's Drought

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 4:19am

California is parched. Wells are running dry. Vegetable fields have been left fallow and lawns are dying. Who can we blame? From almonds to politicians to cheap water, here are seven candidates.

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Categories: Environment

How beautiful is the cherry blossom this year? Share your photos

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 3:34am

Cherry blossom season is here for many and we’d like to see your pictures. Share your photos or videos via GuardianWitness

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Categories: Environment

An oasis as drought turns lush California to desert

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2015/04/12 - 12:00am
Tough residential water restrictions and changes to green public spaces are brought in to combat effects of lowest rainfall on record Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Federal Government Protects Bat, Angers Industry

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2015/04/11 - 3:08pm

The northern long-eared bat has been designated as a threatened species, triggering new regulations to protect it. But oil and gas and agriculture organizations say those new rules will hurt them.

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Categories: Environment

Plagued By Smog, Krakow Struggles To Break Its Coal-Burning Habit

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2015/04/11 - 1:50am

Russian gas is expensive, so many Poles still rely on coal. Krakow is one of the most polluted cities in the EU's most polluted country. All that coal is akin to "smoking 2,000 cigarettes per year."

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Categories: Environment

Larks ascending

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2015/04/11 - 1:41am

Wepham Down, West Sussex Through binoculars I can see the bird’s wings fluttering, its tail splayed open, and its beak shuddering with the effort of throwing its tuneful song into the sky

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Categories: Environment

Offshore oil drilling faces tougher rules from Washington – report

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/10 - 10:47pm

Obama administration said to be preparing announcement about blowout preventers – the type of device that failed in Deepwater Horizon disaster

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Categories: Environment

Lunch, Not Landfill: Nonprofit Rescues Produce Rejected At U.S. Border

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/04/10 - 12:57pm

Each year, millions of pounds of Mexican produce are rejected just past the border even though it's tasty and edible. Instead of the landfill, it's now going to needy families across the U.S.

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel-free funds outperformed conventional ones, analysis shows

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/10 - 8:21am

Investors who dumped holdings in coal, oil and gas earned an average return of 1.2% more a year over last five years, data from the world’s leading stock market index reveals

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Categories: Environment

Shell complaint claims Greenpeace activists risk success of Arctic drill

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/10 - 7:19am

Failure to remove activists occupying Arctic-bound rig could cause the oil firm to miss the summer drilling window in the Chukchi Sea, court filings by the company reveal

Shell has warned it could miss a window to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer, if six Greenpeace activists occupying a rig under contract to the company are not removed, court filings by the oil company reveal.

Failure to act against the climbers who boarded the Polar Pioneer rig 750 miles north of Hawaii on Monday would result in “irreparable harm” and “monetary damages”, the document seen by the Guardian shows.

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Categories: Environment

Smog across England prompts Defra to issue health warning

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/10 - 7:04am

Haze in cities such as Brighton is a result of local pollution and emissions blown from continental Europe

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Categories: Environment

Green news roundup: Guardian climate campaign, cod and Speedo diplomacy

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/10 - 6:28am

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

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Categories: Environment

US carbon emissions set to fall to lowest level in two decades

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/10 - 6:00am

Analysts say decline of coal and rise of wind and solar will lead to significant fall in emissions this year, reports RTCC

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Categories: Environment

New paper shows how sensitive the ocean biosystem is to climate change

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/10 - 6:00am

Disrupted to marine ecosystems can take thousands of years to recover

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Categories: Environment
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