Environment

Climate change inaction pushes 'doomsday clock' closest to midnight since 1984

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 11:07am

Symbolic clock is now at three minutes to apocalypse, the darkest hour for humanity since the cold war

The symbolic doomsday clock moved to three minutes before midnight on Thursday because of the gathering dangers of climate change and nuclear proliferation, signalling the gravest threat to humanity since the throes of the cold war.

It was the closest the clock has come to midnight since 1984, when arms-control negotiations stalled and virtually all channels of communication between the US and the former Soviet Union closed down.

Related: 2014 officially the hottest year on record, US government scientists say

Related: US Senate refuses to accept humanity's role in global climate change, again

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Categories: Environment

Snapshots from Tanzania's wildlife reserves – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 10:09am

The Serengeti national park and adjacent Ngorongoro conservation area in northern Tanzania are famous for their diverse and abundant African wildlife, from the ‘big five’ to migrating giraffes, wildebeests, zebras and gazelles

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Categories: Environment

Ban fracking, says former Tory environment secretary Caroline Spelman

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 10:07am

Conservative MP calls for fracking moratorium as Labour says fracking should not be allowed unless regulatory loopholes are closed

The former Tory environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, has called for a ban on fracking in the UK ahead of a report by an influential committee of MPs that is expected to conclude fracking could derail efforts to tackle climate change.

The intervention by Spelman, a member of the Environmental Audit Committee, comes as the government’s drive for fracking came under heavy political attack on Thursday.

Related: A county divided: is Lancashire ready for its fracking revolution?

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Categories: Environment

US Senate refuses to accept humanity's role in global climate change, again

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 10:03am

Senators accept global warming is not a hoax but fail to recognise human activity is to blame, nearly 27 years after scientists laid out man’s role

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Categories: Environment

EU carbon market price expected to rise before 2020 following MEPs' vote

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 9:25am

Industry committee votes against unambitious package to reform flagging EU Emissions Trading System

The chances of a modest increase in carbon prices before 2020 rose on Thursday after votes by MEPs on one of the European Parliament’s most conservative committees.

MEPs on the industry committee voted first against market reforms to EU carbon trading, and then against the package they had just agreed. The chaotic manoeuvring leaves open the possibility of more ambitious reforms early this year, which could lead to higher carbon prices.

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Categories: Environment

The oceans are warming so fast, they keep breaking scientists' charts

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 8:25am

NOAA once again has to rescale its ocean heat chart to capture 2014 ocean warming

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Categories: Environment

Record number of rhinos killed by poachers in South Africa in 2014

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 5:47am

Asian demand for valuable rhino horn caused the number killed to jump by 21% to 1,215, despite increased efforts to protect them

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel firms accused of renewable lobby takeover to push gas

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 5:15am

Fossil fuel companies have taken up majority positions in key renewables trade groups steering them towards a pro-gas stance that influenced Europe’s 2030 clean energy targets, industry insiders claim


Major fossil fuel companies and energy utilities have used their financial power to take control of key renewable energy lobby groups in Europe in an effort to slow the continent’s transition to clean energy, according to industry insiders.

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Categories: Environment

Small energy companies ‘all better than big six’ on customer satisfaction – Which?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 2:49am
Meanwhile children’s charity slams energy firms for failing in their legal obligations to vulnerable families

Small energy companies have beaten the big six on customer service ratings for the fourth year in a row, according to consumer body Which?

Npower achieved the lowest score for the fourth year running with 35%, rated the worst for its complaint handling and customer service.

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Categories: Environment

Building Sponge City: Redesigning LA For Long-Term Drought

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 1:32am

In Los Angeles, some see drought as a design opportunity. The Arid Lands Institute in Burbank is developing ways to turn the city into a "sponge" in order to take in water and store it for later.

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Categories: Environment

UK nuclear ambitions dealt fatal blow by Austrian legal challenge, say Greens

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/01/22 - 12:00am

Lawyers say legal delays could prevent UK from realising its ambitions for new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C by 2023

Plans for a new generation of nuclear reactors in the UK have been dealt a fatal blow by Austria’s decision to launch a legal challenge to the EU’s approval of a £17.6bn subsidy deal, according to the Green Party.

On Wednesday, the Guardian revealed that Austria will appeal the EU’s decision last year to approve the subsidy deal between the UK government and EDF for Hinkley Point C.

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Categories: Environment

A magpie mob bent on mischief?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 10:30pm
Sandy, Bedfordshire This might have looked like a black and white case of a sociable flock, or a gang – the reality was neither Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Australia a leader on trade but lags on environment in development index

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 9:44pm

Commitment to development index places Australia second to last on environmental policy in terms of how it affects poorer countries

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Categories: Environment

WA surf club only group to back all aspects of shark cull, documents reveal

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 4:19pm

Notes obtained under freedom of information show Department of Fisheries among groups to criticise the drumline proposal

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Categories: Environment

Campaigners urge Cameron to reconsider his stance on fracking

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 10:13am

Over a quarter of a million people have signed a petition calling on the prime minister to rethink his ‘all out’ support for fracking in favour of clean energy

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Categories: Environment

Montana residents line up for pure drinking water after major oil spill contaminates supply - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 9:27am

After a major oil spill along the Yellowstone river in Montana on Sunday, elevated levels of benzene – a cancer-causing component of oil – were detected in the drinking water of the nearby Glendive. While the EPA supervises the spill cleanup, truckloads of bottled water were brought in for the 6,000 people in and around the agricultural community

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Categories: Environment

Obama attacks Republican 'I am not a scientist' climate change denial in address

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 9:06am

President pivots State of the Union address to make sure Republicans do not undo climate change action but offered no concrete signs of new initiatives

Barack Obama insisted forcefully before his newly empowered opposition on Tuesday that he would hold the line against attacks on his domestic and international climate agenda. But even though he called out climate deniers once again, the president offered no concrete sign of new initiatives on the horizon in his remaining two years in power.

After repeatedly using his executive authority to advance climate measures, Obama pivoted in his State of the Union address to making sure that Republicans did not undo what he has sought to accomplish on climate change.

Related: 'I still believe': Obama's defiant State of the Union vows equality over hostility

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Activist gets six-month suspended jail sentence for disrupting badger culls

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 8:59am

Jay Tiernan of Stop the Cull campaign found in contempt of court for nine breaches of an injunction brought in by the National Farmers’ Union

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Categories: Environment

10 signs the stars are aligning for a climate deal in Paris

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 8:56am

Following Al Gore and Pharrell Williams’ Live Earth 2015 announcement, we round up nine other reasons to feel happy ahead of crunch climate talks in Paris in December

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Categories: Environment

Six in 10 UK onshore windfarms rejected, says report

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/01/21 - 8:19am
Rejection rate now double that when coalition came to power, as onshore wind power becomes major area of political tension

About six out of 10 new UK onshore windfarm projects were rejected last year as a result of tougher planning guidelines and more applications being called in for a personal decision by the communities secretary, Eric Pickles, a report has found.

The analysis from the Fabian Society, a left-leaning thinktank, found 57% of all onshore projects were rejected in 2014, meaning only 161 mostly smaller ones got the go-ahead.

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