Environment

Cycling in the 'Ayrshire Alps': welcome to the UK's only road cycling park

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/04/12 - 1:10am

The demise of Davie Bell memorial race has led to a fitting tribute to the legendary Scottish cyclist

The loss of a once popular road race from the UK cycling calendar is never a good thing, but a unique legacy has emerged from the ashes of one event in Scotland.

The demise of the Davie Bell Memorial Race in 2015 – a National ‘A’ event which had been running since 1966 – prompted the organiser to look for other ways to promote cycling.

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Categories: Environment

Footage shows wetlands blackened by Abbot Point coal dust, activists say

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/04/12 - 12:15am

Adani says it released water into the Caley valley wetlands after Cyclone Debbie, but claims photos showing apparent contamination are ‘misleading’

New footage reveals the scale of coal dust contamination of nationally significant wetlands after Cyclone Debbie hit Adani’s Queensland port, environmentalists claim.

Helicopter and drone flyovers recorded footage showing a large part of the Caley Valley wetlands “smothered” by a “thick black sludge of coal”, together with lumps of coal scattered on a nearby beach where turtles nest, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Australian Marine Conservation Foundation said.

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Categories: Environment

Caley valley wetlands footage shows coal contamination, say activists – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/04/12 - 12:15am

The Australian Conservation Foundation and Australian Marine Conservation Foundation say this footage shows the wetlands before and after the Abbot Point port water release, which caused visible coal dust contamination of Queensland wetland. After Cyclone Debbie, additional water was released from the Adani facility with government permission, but port manager Adani denies there has been visible contamination. The Queensland environment department is investigating

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Categories: Environment

Six jumbo jets long … the £2.4bn ship that can lift an oil rig

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 10:30pm

As the Pioneering Spirit prepares for a record-breaking lift for Shell, we look at its role in cleaning up the North Sea

Festooned with cranes, oil pipelines and manned by a crew of several hundred, the Pioneering Spirit sits in the port of Rotterdam like a giant marine version of a forklift truck.

Next month this vessel, one of the world’s largest ships, will arrive in the North Sea and attempt to remove the 24,500-tonne top of a Shell oil rig installed during the oil boom years of the 1970s. If successful it will be the heaviest ever single lift of a rig’s “topside”, and only the second by this purpose-built $3bn (£2.4bn) ship.

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Categories: Environment

UK butterflies worst hit in 2016 with 70% of species in decline, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 10:30pm

Mild winter, cold spring and late summer lead to fall in numbers as 40 of 57 species struggle to cope with fluctuating weather

Butterflies in the UK have suffered one of their worst years on record, with 70% of all species experiencing a decline in numbers over the past year, according to conservationists.

The annual UK butterfly monitoring scheme (UKBMS) found that 40 out of the 57 species studied saw numbers drop between 2015 and 2016, making 2016 the fourth worst year on record for the insects.

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Categories: Environment

The bee-fly is a true sprite of spring

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 9:30pm

Croft Castle, Herefordshire The noble parasite is an actor in the uncanny drama of life feeding on life

She looks like a fly in a fur coat; her wings made of clear cellophane with black bat markings; her syringe proboscis not for piercing flesh but sipping nectar; she is either a blur of speed or a full stop. The bee-fly is a chimera of contradictions and as true a sprite of spring as any of the animals associated with the season.

Sunlight forms pools under the ancient trees in the park at Croft Castle in Herefordshire. The great trunks of sweet chestnut trees, grown according to legend from chestnuts captured from Spanish ships at the Battle of Trafalgar, spiral on a bank above an oak that is a thousand years old. Its massive trunk, broken, bulging with the fearlessly mischievous expression of Pan himself, still sprouts living branches.

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Categories: Environment

Katter MPs vow to block Queensland budget unless crocodiles culled

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 7:29pm

Call for Palaszczuk government to allow crocodile-hunting safaris in far north Queensland follows string of recent attacks

Queensland’s Katter Australian party MPs are threatening to block the upcoming state budget, unless the Palaszczuk government culls crocodiles.

The Mount Isa MP, Robbie Katter, said he and fellow KAP MP Shane Knuth will block the budget unless the government supports their legislation to establish crocodile safaris in far north Queensland, along with other management strategies.

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Categories: Environment

Adani mine must stand on its own two feet, Labor's Jason Clare says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 4:14pm

Company should not receive $900m loan for rail line because it claims project is viable without it, shadow minister for resources says

Adani should not receive a $900m concessional loan for a rail line from its proposed Carmichael mine because the company claims the project is commercially viable without taxpayer funds, Jason Clare has said.

Speaking on Radio National on Wednesday, the shadow resources and northern Australia minister said it would be “terrific” if the project went ahead and created jobs but it should “stand on its own two feet”.

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Categories: Environment

Maryland Lawmakers Vote To Allow Beekeepers To Shoot Black Bears That Threaten Hives

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 4:10pm

Bears have a taste for honey but are really after the bee "brood": eggs, larvae, and pupae — a source of protein and fat. Bee experts note that after a bear attack, a colony is unlikely to survive.

(Image credit: Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP)

Categories: Environment

Cash-Strapped State Environmental Agencies Brace For Budget Cuts

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 1:31pm

Proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency could leave state environmental agencies doing more with less money. But many say they are already strapped.

Categories: Environment

Top Scientists Revamp Standards To Foster Integrity In Research

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 1:21pm

The National Academy of Sciences has toughened up its guidelines to call cutting corners, dubious statistics and not fully sharing research methods "detrimental" to science.

(Image credit: Robert Essel NYC/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Loss of coral reefs caused by rising sea temperatures could cost $1tn globally

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 1:12pm

Loss of Great Barrier Reef alone could cost north Queensland 1m visitors a year, imperilling 10,000 jobs and draining $1bn from economy

The loss of coral reefs caused by rising sea temperatures could cost $1 trillion globally, a report from Australia’s Climate Council has projected, with the loss of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef alone costing that region 1m visitors a year, imperilling 10,000 jobs and draining $1bn from the economy.

The longest global coral bleaching event on record, which began in 2014 and has affected some reefs in consecutive years, has given reefs little chance to recover, and should be a “wake-up call” to act to save the natural and economic assets, the Climate Council’s Lesley Hughes said.

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Categories: Environment

After Outcry, USDA Stops Using 'Cyanide Bombs' In Idaho — For Now

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 11:08am

An M-44 spit sodium cyanide on a boy and his dog in Idaho last month, killing the dog and drawing petitions for removal of the devices. The USDA's Wildlife Services agency has acceded to that request.

(Image credit: Bannock County Sheriff's Office)

Categories: Environment

Tiny newspaper in US wins Pulitzer prize for taking on big business

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 10:41am

Art Cullen of 3,000-circulation Storm Lake Times awarded global prize for editorials challenging powerful interests in Iowa

A number of important local stories were leading the website of the Storm Lake Times, circulation 3,000, on Tuesday morning. Second-grader Alejandra Gonzales found a four-leaf clover in the field behind her school. A local woman had bought and renovated a building to house 25 elderly cats.

And in a modest announcement of just a sentence, another notable local happening: on Monday, Art Cullen, the paper’s owner and editor, was awarded a Pulitzer prize, the most prestigious award in global journalism, for his editorial writing. Fellow honorees for 2017 include the rather better read New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Miami Herald.

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Categories: Environment

Toshiba warns over its survival as it forecasts £7bn losses

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 8:36am

Crisis creates concern about future of UK’s Moorside nuclear plant, in which subsidiary Westinghouse is a key player

Toshiba, one of the biggest names in consumer electronics, has warned it is facing annual losses of more than £7bn and the future of the company is in doubt as a result of financial turmoil at its nuclear power plant construction business.

The Japanese company finally released third quarter results, after twice delaying publication while auditors attempted to quantify the scale of the problems at Toshiba’s US nuclear engineering subsidiary Westinghouse, which filed for bankruptcy last month.

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Categories: Environment

Aleutian Dreams: life as an Alaskan fisherman – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 4:00am

Corey Arnold is a fine art photographer and a commercial fisherman, working the stormy waters of the Bering Sea by Alaska. His latest work documents life in this remote wilderness, both at sea and on the shore, capturing trawlers, foxes, eagles and the grandeur of the scenery. Aleutian Dreams can be seen at Charles A Hartman Fine Art in Portland, Oregon, until 27 May

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Categories: Environment

Runoff pollution from Cyclone Debbie flooding sweeps into Great Barrier Reef

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 2:29am

Damage comes after many coral reefs in Whitsundays were pummelled and broken by storm

Scientists have raised concerns about another sting in the tail from Cyclone Debbie, with fresh runoff pollution from torrential rains sweeping into Great Barrier Reef waters where many corals lie smashed.

The cyclone dumped much of its deluge on a stretch of the north Queensland coast known as an “erosion hotspot” that generates almost a third of all sediment flowing into the reef.

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Categories: Environment

Malcolm Turnbull tells Indian billionaire native title will not stop Adani coalmine

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 2:22am

Prime minister also confirmed company would seek $1bn government loan to fund rail line for $16bn project, after meeting Gautam Adani in New Delhi

Malcolm Turnbull has assured the Indian billionaire hoping to build Australia’s largest coal mine in Queensland, Gautam Adani, that native title issues will not stop the $16bn project.

The prime minister, who is halfway through a four-day visit to India, also confirmed the Adani Group would seek a $1bn government loan to fund a rail line for the Carmichael mine project, but said Adani understood the request would be independently assessed.

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Categories: Environment

How Human Rights Efforts And The Fight Against Climate Change Are Related

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 2:06am

Rachel Martin talks to Mary Robinson, former Ireland president and ex-U.N. high commissioner for Human Rights, about issues that require multilateral cooperation at a time when nationalism is rising.

Categories: Environment

Coalition backbencher breaks ranks with colleagues over $1bn Adani rail loan

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/04/11 - 12:52am

Bert Van Manen opposes federal loan to Indian miner for Carmichael coalmine, saying government or rail company should build the link instead

A Coalition backbencher has broken ranks with senior colleagues by declaring Adani should not receive a $1bn federal loan to build a railway for its Carmichael coalmine.

Bert Van Manen, MP for the south-east Queensland seat of Forde, said he supported opening up the Galilee coalfields but the government or a rail company should build and run the rail link to port, not the miner.

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Categories: Environment
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