Environment

‘It is there pretty much forever’: Huntington Beach oil spill may permanently affect birds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/10/06 - 6:46am

Spill off California coast will be difficult to clear from areas that are home to diverse array of birds and endangered plants and animals

The full scale of the ecological damage from the Huntington Beach oil spill will take some time to become clear, with birds and marine mammals hardest hit in the short term.

That’s the view of experts with experience of other incidents as they consider a suspected underwater pipe leak that spilled roughly 126,000 gallons of crude oil just miles off the southern Californian coast.

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Categories: Environment

Investigations continue into oil leak off the coast of Southern California

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/10/06 - 2:03am

An oil spill off Huntington Beach has released more than 140,000 gallons of crude oil into coastal waters — killing marine life and fouling wetlands.

Categories: Environment

Black families passed their homes from one generation to the next. Now they may be lost

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/10/06 - 2:00am

Unstable property rights mean Black southerners may survive a flood but lose their home, and it’s causing the racial wealth gap to grow larger

Margaret Alston doesn’t remember the night that Hurricane Matthew hit, but she remembers how afraid she was of the flooding that followed.

The biggest hurricane to hit South Carolina since 1999, the storm caused massive inland flooding across large swaths of the south-east. In Bucksport, the small, unincorporated town where Alston grew up, the Wacamaw River overflowed, inundating the street Alston’s house is on and making it impassable.

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Categories: Environment

Ship's anchor may have caused massive oil spill off the coast of Southern California

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/10/06 - 1:12am

The torn underwater pipeline spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the ocean, according to federal investigators.

(Image credit: Jeff Gritchen/AP)

Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel industry gets subsidies of $11m a minute, IMF finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 11:00pm

Trillions of dollars a year are ‘adding fuel to the fire’ of the climate crisis, experts say

The fossil fuel industry benefits from subsidies of $11m every minute, according to analysis by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF found the production and burning of coal, oil and gas was subsidised by $5.9tn in 2020, with not a single country pricing all its fuels sufficiently to reflect their full supply and environmental costs. Experts said the subsidies were “adding fuel to the fire” of the climate crisis, at a time when rapid reductions in carbon emissions were urgently needed.

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Categories: Environment

UK petrol prices are closing in on all-time high, warns RAC

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 4:01pm

Cost per litre nears the record 142.48 set in April 2012, stoked by global demand outpacing supply rather than UK fuel shortage

Petrol prices could reach all-time highs before Christmas, the RAC warned, signalling “misery” for motorists still reeling from the fuel shortage crisis.

Amid signs that the number of petrol forecourts running dry was easing, the drivers’ organisation warned that anxiety about whether motorists could fill up their tanks was likely to be replaced by concern about how much it would cost.

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Categories: Environment

Australia urged to support Asian Development Bank plan to end fossil fuel financing

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 2:43pm

Thirty-five organisations implore Australia, which is ADB’s fifth-largest shareholder, to help the region ‘make a just and equitable low-carbon transition’

The Australian government is being urged to support an end to the financing of fossil fuel projects as the Asian Development Bank prepares to signs off on a new energy policy later this month.

The ADB “will not support coalmining, processing, storage, and transportation, nor any new coal-fired power generation”, according to a draft version of the policy, which also endorses “the early retirement of coal-based power plants”.

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Categories: Environment

Officials knew of California oil spill 12 hours before cleanup began

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 2:16pm

Authorities face questions over how much damage could have been prevented after 126,000 gallons of crude seeped into ocean

More than 12 hours passed after officials were notified of a sheen on the water off the coast of southern California before a response to the Huntington Beach oil spill began, records show. Questions are now arising over why the response took so long and how that might have intensified the ecological disaster taking form on the Orange county coastline.

The US Coast Guard said in a statement on Tuesday that the initial reports of a spill weren’t enough to warrant sending out boats to look for a leak.

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Categories: Environment

The survival rate of puffin chicks in Maine plunged this summer

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 1:27pm

Maine's Atlantic puffins took a big hit. Chicks' survival rate plummeted after a record-setting "marine heatwave" disrupted food supplies, showing how climate change is driving vast ecosystem change.

Categories: Environment

It'll be months before this Louisiana hospital opens back up after Ida closed it down

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 1:13pm

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with the CEO of Our Lady of the Sea General Hospital in Galliano, La., about the damage the hospital sustained during the hurricane and their efforts to come back online.

Categories: Environment

Water is scarce in California. But farmers have found ways to store it underground

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 1:13pm

Farmers in California's drought-plagued Central Valley have big plans for the next year of heavy rains. They want to use that water to replenish depleted aquifers, akin to depositing water in a bank.

(Image credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Cop26: fears smaller nations will be priced out of hosting pavilions

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 11:15am

Organisers of Glasgow climate talks said to blame Brexit and the pandemic for fees up to 30% higher than Cop25

Countries and organisations planning to host events at vital UN climate talks in Glasgow next month have said they fear that increased costs at this year’s event will cause problems for developing nations.

Multiple participants said that the cost of renting Cop26 pavilions – event spaces for hosting workshops, panel discussions and keynote speeches during the conference – is considerably higher than it was at Cop25 in Madrid, with some saying it had increased by as much as 30%.

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Categories: Environment

NSW government faces crucial court challenge to Murray-Darling water plan

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 9:30am

The Nature Conservation Council will argue decision-makers failed to properly consider climate change

A groundbreaking case has been filed against the New South Wales government seeking to invalidate an important water sharing plan in the Murray-Darling basin, on the grounds that decision-makers have failed to properly consider climate change.

The case, which is the first of its kind in the world, will be watched closely by countries such as the US which are also trying to grapple with allocating scarce water resources between agriculture and the environment, in a world that is being affected by climate change.

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Categories: Environment

A new report shows just how much climate change is killing the world's coral reefs

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 9:20am

Rising ocean temperatures killed 14% of the world's coral reefs, a new analysis finds. But it's not without hope: Experts say many can recover if immediate action is taken to curb future warming.

(Image credit: Luis Acosta/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Shipping firms vow to cut emissions if governments support low-carbon tech

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 4:00am

Industry calls for levy to fund new technologies – but environmentalists say proposal blocks climate progress

The global shipping industry has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by mid-century – but only if governments impose a mandatory levy on shipping fuel to fund the development of new low-carbon technology.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents the majority of the global shipping industry, submitted the plans to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the worldwide regulator and part of the UN.

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Categories: Environment

A historic rainforest and other lands have been returned to Indigenous Australians

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 3:16am

The Queensland government agreed to return more than 160,000 hectares of land, including the historic Daintree National Park, to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji community.

(Image credit: Peter Adams/Avalon/Universal Images Group vi)

Categories: Environment

The California oil pipeline spill could endanger sea life for years, experts say

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2021/10/05 - 3:00am

Experts say the long-term impacts to the environment — particularly on birds and marine life — could be significant. Officials haven't said what caused the oil to leak from an offshore pipeline.

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Global vaccine rollout vital to securing deal for nature, warns UN biodiversity chief

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/10/04 - 10:30pm

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema says access to Covid jabs for developing world will be critical to the success of in-person Kunming Cop15 summit

Governments hoping for a global agreement to halt biodiversity loss must put more effort into access to Covid-19 vaccines for developing countries, the UN’s biodiversity chief has warned.

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, said the Kunming Cop15 summit, at which governments will try to forge a “Paris agreement for nature”, was vital for halting the global crisis of species loss.

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Categories: Environment

Biomass is promoted as a carbon neutral fuel. But is burning wood a step in the wrong direction?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/10/04 - 10:00pm

Many scientists and environmental campaigners question the industry’s claims to offer a clean, renewable energy source that the planet desperately needs

Thick dust has been filling the air and settling on homes in Debra David’s neighborhood of Hamlet, North Carolina, ever since a wood pellet plant started operating nearby in 2019.

The 64-year-old said the pollution is badly affecting the health of the population, which has already been hit hard by Covid.

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Categories: Environment

The UK’s 2035 net zero electricity target: how could it be achieved?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/10/04 - 10:00pm

Decarbonisation plan, with almost 40% of power sourced from fossil fuels, is a monumental challenge

As Boris Johnson confirmed plans to decarbonise the electricity grid by 2035, the UK was sourcing almost 40% of its power from fossil fuels, underscoring the scale of the challenge ahead.

The government’s target, announced on Monday with less than a month until the start of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow, is a key component of its pledge to reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

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Categories: Environment
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