Not enough charging points for electric cars; fracking in Scotland economically marginal | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 12:01pm

While it is good news for the environment that UK sales of electric cars are rising (Report, 7 February) this trend is unlikely to really take off while we have such a disjointed and shortsighted policy regarding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

Boris Johnson sold the London-wide charging network to a French company that now runs the system as Source London. It has started to charge for charging, at rates that are unviable for many drivers, especially those with hybrid vehicles, where the cost of the electricity is more than the cost of petrol for the same mileage travelled. Furthermore, some London councils now make their own arrangements with other providers so there is no longer a functioning London-wide system.

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Categories: Environment

Health fund HCF divests from fossil fuels, saying industry harms members

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 12:00pm

In Australia-first move, private fund to pull $20m out of fossil fuel companies in acknowledgement climate change harms health

HCF has become the first Australian private health fund to divest from fossil fuels, having decided that the industry harms the health and wellbeing of its members, pulling about $20m out of fossil fuel companies in Australia and overseas.

In a letter to the campaign group Market Forces dated 15 December 2016, HCF said it would be divesting from fossil fuels on the same ground it used for pulling out of the tobacco industry.

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Categories: Environment

A Forgotten Group Of Grains Might Help Indian Farmers – And Improve Diets, Too

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 12:00pm

Once a staple in India, millets have fallen out of fashion in recent years. Now, faced with water shortages, one Indian state is re-introducing these drought tolerant cereals to people's diets.

(Image credit: Courtesy of L.Vidyasagar)

Categories: Environment

Winter migration of monarch butterflies to Mexico drops after one-year recovery

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 11:16am

Experts say decline to coverage of only 7.19 acres of forest could be due to late winter storms last year that knocked down more than 100 acres of trees

The number of monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico dropped by 27% this year, reversing last year’s recovery from historically low numbers, according to a study by government and independent experts released Thursday.

The experts say the decline could be due to late winter storms last year that blew down more than 100 acres (40 hectares) of forests where migrating monarch butterflies spend the winter in central Mexico.

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Categories: Environment

Blast at French nuclear plant does not pose contamination risk, say experts

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 10:47am

Authorities say fire in turbine hall was outside nuclear zones of Flamanville power station near Cherbourg

Authorities have said there is no risk of contamination from an explosion that occurred at EDF’s Flamanville nuclear plant in northern France.

EDF said the blast at 9.40am on Thursday was caused by a fire in the turbine hall, which is outside the nuclear zones of the power station, located 15 miles west of the port of Cherbourg. Five people were treated for smoke inhalation.

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Categories: Environment

EU must shut all coal plants by 2030 to meet Paris climate pledges, study says

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 8:57am

Europe will vastly overshoot its carbon emissions target for coal unless it closes all 300 power stations, says thinktank Climate Analytics

The European Union will “vastly overshoot” its Paris climate pledges unless its coal emissions are completely phased out within 15 years, a stress test of the industry has found.

Coal’s use is falling by about 1% a year in Europe but still generates a quarter of the continent’s power – and a fifth of its greenhouse gas emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Get off the sidelines: businesses can't play it safe politically in the age of Trump

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 7:51am

Consumers and employees want to know where their companies stand on Trump’s policies. Here’s how businesses should be reacting

On 12 January, a week before the inauguration, LL Bean found itself smack bang in the middle of one of now-President Trump’s notorious tweets:

Thank you to Linda Bean of L.L.Bean for your great support and courage. People will support you even more now. Buy L.L.Bean. @LBPerfectMaine

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Categories: Environment

Whistleblower: ‘I knew people would misuse this.’ They did - to attack climate science | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 4:00am

Fake news propagates through the conservative media to the halls of Congress where science is under attack

This weekend, conservative media outlets launched an attack on climate scientists with a manufactured scandal. The fake news originated from an accusation made by former NOAA scientist John Bates about a 2015 paper by some of his NOAA colleagues. The technical term to describe the accusation is ‘a giant nothingburger’ (in this case, a NOAA-thing burger) as Bates clarified in an interview with E&E News:

The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.

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Categories: Environment

Ivory is not beautiful, it’s barbaric | Nicky Campbell

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 3:42am

I grew up with a piano in my bedroom, but now the thought of ivory fills me with revulsion. The UK needs to impose a total ban on the trade of elephant tusks

What can I do to help elephants?

Growing up in our two up, two down terraced house on the Southside of Edinburgh, I shared my bedroom with a cherished family heirloom – my granny’s mini-grand. This beautiful piano had been to the other side of the world and back. It ended up taking up half my room and a whole lot of my life. I taught myself to play on it, bashing out the sevenths while pretending to be (pre-Wings) McCartney. Now I think of that piano with total revulsion. I believe anyone in the possession of ivory should feel the same. It is over. It has to be.

Look at the knife handles or antique toothpick and then think of the dead mother with her face hacked off as her tuskless, helpless one-year-old tries to nudge her back to life. Google image search is always a useful resource. I feel no differently about the thought of a gorilla-hand ashtray (yes, they are a thing in parts of the Far East) or a nice cool glass of lion bone wine (ditto). One more time: ivory is so over.

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Categories: Environment

Tesco's plan bee: spilt supermarket sugar to help feed hungry honey bees

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 1:35am

Discarded sugar from split bags plus leftovers from in-store bakeries heads to Cornish beekeepers as winter nectar shortage hits species

Waste sugar routinely thrown away by supermarkets is being collected to help feed stricken bees in Britain struggling to get enough nectar to feed themselves.

Related: Pesticides stop bees buzzing and releasing pollen, says study

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Categories: Environment

Scott Morrison brings coal to question time: what fresh idiocy is this? | Katharine Murphy

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 1:18am

What a bunch of clowns, hamming it up – while out in the real world an ominous and oppressive heat just won’t let up

There is no way you can write the sentence, “The treasurer of Australia, Scott Morrison, came to question time with a lump of coal on Thursday,” and have that sentence seem anything other than the ravings of a psychedelic trip, so let’s just say it and be done with it.

Scott Morrison brought coal into the House of Representatives. A nice big hunk of black coal, kindly supplied by the Minerals Council of Australia.

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Categories: Environment

Get a job with Adani and infiltrate coal project, activists urge supporters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/02/09 - 12:53am

Galilee Blockade, which opposes the $16bn Carmichael mine, urges followers to apply for jobs with the Indian company

A civil disobedience campaign targeting Adani’s controversial Queensland coal project has asked almost 12,000 supporters to sign up for a job with the miner.

The Galilee Blockade is working on infiltrating Adani and related companies to gain sources of information to help its plans for “direct action”.

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Categories: Environment

NSW could face power shortages as temperature rises on energy policy

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 11:42pm

Market operator Ameo says the state could run out of power on Friday while Coalition and Labor clash over energy policy

New South Wales is facing a possible power blackout on Friday as the state’s electricity system struggles to cope with soaring temperatures.

As Coalition and Labor frontbenchers sparred over the latest blackouts in South Australia, the power market operator warned on Thursday that Australia’s most populous state will run out of electricity between 3-5pm on Friday unless generators step in with the offer of more supply.

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Categories: Environment

Germ History: From Measles To Syphilis, How We Created The Golden Age Of Germs

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 10:01pm

Ten thousand years ago, many of our deadly human diseases didn't exist. What happened?

(Image credit: Xaver Xylophon/for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Almost 90% of new power in Europe from renewable sources in 2016

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 10:00pm

Wind energy overtakes coal as the EU’s second largest form of power capacity but concerns remain over politicians’ enthusiasm for renewables

Renewable energy sources made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe’s electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent’s rapid shift away from fossil fuels.

But industry leaders said they were worried about the lack of political support beyond 2020, when binding EU renewable energy targets end.

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Categories: Environment

Snake regurgitates tennis ball after mistaking it for food – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 8:35pm

With the help of snake handlers and Trish Prendergast, a senior veterinary nurse at a clinic in Townsville, Queensland, the 1.5m-long carpet python manages to regurgitate an entire tennis ball after it was found swollen in a residential yard

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Categories: Environment

Last stand: 'water protectors' return to Standing Rock as drilling set to begin

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 4:02pm

Tribal leaders may have urged activists to let the fight play out in the courts, but many on the ground are calling for a final push as the pipeline moves ahead

Clarence Rowland returned to Standing Rock in the dark of night.

The 26-year-old Oglala Sioux tribe member arrived to his solar-powered hut at 1.30am on Wednesday, knowing that within several hours, Dakota Access pipeline workers could start drilling.

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Categories: Environment

Powershop reveals cash for renewable projects from customers who paid more

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 12:01pm

Energy retailer raised $100,000 from customers, which will be given out as grants to community-owned energy projects

Amid fresh attacks on renewable energy targets from the federal government and large energy retailer ERM Power, smaller electricity retailer Powershop has raised $100,000 from its customers to be given out as grants to 10 community-owned projects around the country.

Three months ago Powershop launched the Your Community Energy initiative, where they gave customers the opportunity to pay higher rates, which it said would then be distributed to renewable energy projects that were community-owned.

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Categories: Environment

'It's Just A Mess.' New Orleans Residents Clean Up After Tornadoes

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 9:53am

Tornadoes injured dozens of people as they moved through southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday. In New Orleans East, the National Guard was helping clear streets of debris and downed electrical wires.

(Image credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Republican elders call for new national carbon tax to replace federal regulations

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/02/08 - 9:50am

GOP elder statesmen urge Donald Trump’s administration to impose a ‘free market, limited government’ response to rising global temperatures

A group of senior Republicans will meet with White House officials on Wednesday to call for a new national carbon tax to replace federal regulations as a way to combat climate change.

The GOP elder statesmen – which include former secretaries of state James Baker and George Shultz, and ex-treasury secretary Hank Paulson – will urge Donald Trump’s administration to impose a “free market, limited government” response to rising global temperatures.

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Categories: Environment
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