Pandemic has exposed Britain's vulnerabilities says food policy review

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 4:01pm

Henry Dimbleby’s national food strategy starts with review of ‘slow-motion disaster’ diet, poverty, and post-Brexit laws

It is a year since Michael Gove asked the businessman Henry Dimbleby to produce a national food strategy. In that time the coronavirus pandemic has brutally exposed the cracks in the British food system so the launch of part one of his review this Wednesday comes in a new and urgent context.

After only a few weeks of lockdown three million people in Britain were in households where someone was forced to skip meals and go hungry.

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Categories: Environment

National food strategy set out: banishing pollution and poverty for sustainability

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 4:00pm

Henry Dimbleby review exploring safe and affordable food aims at wake-up call

Henry Dimbleby’s national food strategy argues that the Covid-19 crisis has brought into painful focus the flaws in the UK’s food system, especially its effect on the nation’s physical and mental health. As the UK regenerates its economy it also has an opportunity to rebuild its food system.

The strategy review has two main focus points: addressing the “worst cracks” in the British food system that have appeared because of the pandemic; and finding ways of maintaining what it calls the UK’s high food standards after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December and the country seeks new trade deals around the world.

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Categories: Environment

Northern California Esselen tribe regains ancestral land after 250 years

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 12:59pm

The tribe purchased the 1,200 acre ranch near Big Sur as part of a $4.5m deal and will use it for educational and cultural purposes

Two-hundred and fifty years after they were stripped of their ancestral homeland, the Esselen tribe of northern California is landless no more.

This week, the Esselen tribe finalized the purchase of a 1,200-acre ranch near Big Sur, along California’s north central coast, as part of a $4.5m acquisition that involved the state and an Oregon-based environmental group.

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Categories: Environment

Believe It Or Not, Forests Migrate — But Not Fast Enough For Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 12:48pm

Forests "are restless things," writes Zach St. George in his new book The Journeys of Trees. He explains how, over millennia, forests creep inch by inch to more hospitable places.

(Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on the green recovery: Britain is being left behind | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 11:04am

The government talks a good game when it comes to radical policymaking. But its failure to invest in a zero-carbon future tells a different story

Senior figures in this government like to view themselves as insurgents against a hidebound Whitehall establishment. This is partly because Boris Johnson won the last election after pledging to “get Brexit done”, breaking the post-referendum stalemate in parliament. But it is also settled wisdom in Downing Street, and in the Treasury, that a more general shake-up is required of Britain’s body politic if it is to become more lithe and nimble, and get ahead of the game.

More evidence of this desire to disrupt came on Tuesday in the form of a speech by Stephen Barclay, the chief secretary to the Treasury. Addressing a centre-right thinktank, Mr Barclay heralded a new era of state spending in which the ethos of Silicon Valley would inform departmental decision-making. In the spirit of west coast venture capitalists, government ministers and their civil servants would back schemes that took risks and which would therefore sometimes fail. The interminable delays and inveterate caution that have blighted government projects and investment would become a thing of the past. Inculcating this new Whitehall worldview is seen as fundamental to speedily delivering the “infrastructure revolution” promised by Mr Johnson at the end of last month.

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Categories: Environment

Woman killed in apparent shark attack off Maine coast

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 8:57am
  • Woman was out swimming off Bailey Island, officials say
  • Shark death could be first of its kind in north-eastern state

A woman has been killed in an apparent shark attack off the coast of Bailey Island, Maine, in what would be the first such death on record in the north-eastern US state.

Related: Coronavirus live news: WHO warns of 'one big wave'; Twitter restricts Donald Trump Jr account for misinformation

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Categories: Environment

What do Highway Code proposals mean for pedestrians and cyclists?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 3:30am

Changes under consultation follow raft of cycling and walking announcements

Amid the storm of Covid-19, a raft of cycling and walking announcements has landed as part of the government’s attempt to promote a healthier population, save the NHS from collapse and fend off the worst outcomes from coronavirus.

The plans, which were in the pipeline before the pandemic, are good news for anyone who wants cleaner, safer roads, and residential streets that do not moonlight as rat runs for short-cutting drivers.

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Categories: Environment

Environmental racism is killing Americans of color. Climate change will make it worse | Mustafa Santiago Ali

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 2:15am

We’ve turned a blind eye to a public health time bomb in already vulnerable communities

I Can’t Breathe” is echoing across the planet. Filled with anguish and pain, these haunting words are spotlighting the systemic racism that has infected unjust policing practices, putting black and brown communities in its crosshairs. As police take lives with chokeholds and asphyxiate others with knees on their necks, we are reminded that racism is literally killing our people and planet.

Related: Is this the best of times, the worst of times, or both?

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Categories: Environment

'Tidal Wave' Of Power Shut-Offs Looms As Nation Grapples With Heat

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 2:11am

Power shut-off moratoriums imposed at the start of the pandemic are beginning to expire. Customers and utilities face a backlog of missed bills that may eventually be passed on to ratepayers.

(Image credit: Lynsey Weatherspoon for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Killer heat: US racial injustices will worsen as climate crisis escalates

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 2:00am

Exclusive: new research shows how black and brown neighbourhoods will be hit hardest by global heating

Dangerous heatwaves are exacerbating systemic racial inequalities, with soaring temperatures expected to further disadvantage communities of colour if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, new research shows.

Extreme heat is among the deadliest weather hazards humanity faces due to the climate crisis, which contributes to thousands of deaths in the US every year.

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Categories: Environment

World’s largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly in France

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 2:00am

Project aims to show clean fusion power can be generated at commercial scale

The world’s largest nuclear fusion project began its five-year assembly phase on Tuesday in southern France, with the first ultra-hot plasma expected to be generated in late 2025.

The €20bn (£18.2bn) Iter project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale. Nuclear fusion promises clean, unlimited power but, despite 60 years of research, it has yet to overcome the technical challenges of harnessing such extreme amounts of energy.

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Categories: Environment

Navajo Nation Sees Farming Renaissance During Coronavirus Pandemic

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 2:00am

The Navajo Nation is having a farming renaissance in the era of COVID-19. More residents are turning to traditional agriculture as they're under strict travel limits due to the coronavirus.

(Image credit: Tommy Greyeyes /Courtesy Hundred Storms Creative)

Categories: Environment

Almost 3 billion animals affected by Australian bushfires, report shows

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/07/28 - 1:55am

Exclusive: megafires ‘one of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history’, say scientists

Nearly 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by Australia’s devastating bushfire season of 2019 and 2020, according to scientists who have revealed for the first time the scale of the impact on the country’s native wildlife.

The Guardian has learned that an estimated 143 million mammals, 180 million birds, 51 million frogs and a staggering 2.5 billion reptiles were affected by the fires that burned across the continent. Not all the animals would have been killed by the flames or heat, but scientists say the prospects of survival for those that had withstood the initial impact was “probably not that great” due to the starvation, dehydration and predation by feral animals – mostly cats – that followed.

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Categories: Environment

Alarm over discovery of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels near Galápagos Islands

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/07/27 - 5:01pm

The fleet, found just outside a protected zone, raises the prospect of damage to the marine ecosystem

Ecuador has sounded the alarm after its navy discovered a huge fishing fleet of mostly Chinese-flagged vessels some 200 miles from the Galápagos Islands, the archipelago which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

About 260 ships are currently in international waters just outside a 188-mile wide exclusive economic zone around the island, but their presence has already raised the prospect of serious damage to the delicate marine ecosystem, said former environment minister Yolanda Kakabadse.

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Categories: Environment

Beloved Eel McPherson disappears from New Zealand pond during massive storm

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/07/27 - 4:44pm

Owners hope the friendly shortfin eel, which delighted children in Whangārei for 35 years, made it out to sea during deluge

A shortfin eel named Eel McPherson, who was beloved by a New Zealand city for 35 years, has bid bon voyage to its backyard pool and disappeared during a once-in-500-years flood.

The eel was kept by a Whangārei man, George Campbell, for decades – first at a fish museum that he ran during the 1990s and later at his home – said Campbell’s granddaughter, Alyce Charlesworth.

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Categories: Environment

NSW weather: heavy rain, flooding and huge waves threaten homes on south and Central Coast

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/07/27 - 4:14pm

Further beach erosion feared as Narrabeen and Wamberal north of Sydney hit by large wind-driven waves, and residents evacuated from 20 homes in Sussex Inlet

The New South Wales south coast has been hit by flooding after heavy downpours, damaging winds and large wind-driven waves. Narrabeen in Sydney’s north and Wamberal on the Central Coast have suffered further beach erosion, with houses dangerously close to the surf.

Torrential rain, which caused flooding around Newcastle and the Central Coast on Sunday, moved south overnight, bringing challenging conditions to the state’s south coast and the Australian Capital Territory forecast districts.

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Categories: Environment

Volkswagen, Porsche Paid Out $9.5 Billion To Defrauded Dieselgate Drivers

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/07/27 - 1:54pm

The German automakers have finished compensating U.S. owners as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. Most drivers chose to replace their vehicles, not repair them, the FTC says.

(Image credit: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Aging Dams Across The U.S. Pose Catastrophic Risks

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/07/27 - 1:06pm

A dam that failed in Michigan in May isn't the only one at risk — thousands of aging dams nationwide are not just in poor shape but weren't built for today's heavier rains caused by climate change.

Categories: Environment

California's only known wolf pack produces new litter of pups

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/07/27 - 11:12am
  • At least 14 wolves in Lassen family after new male joined pack
  • Wolves have been hunted since white settlers arrived in west

The only known wolf family in California has produced a new litter of pups, its fourth, building on a gradual recovery of the species in the US west.

Related: The endangered wolf that walked 8,712 miles to find love

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: oil giants help fund powerful police groups in top US cities

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/07/27 - 8:00am

Investigation portrays fossil fuel industry as common enemy in struggle for racial and environmental justice in America

Big corporations accused of driving environmental and health inequalities in black and brown communities through toxic and climate-changing pollution are also funding powerful police groups in major US cities, according to a new investigation.

Related: Trump is using federal agents as his 'goon squad', says Ice's ex-acting head

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