Trump administration to overhaul environmental review regulations

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/06 - 9:58am

Regulations would limit projects that require environmental review and no longer require agencies to weigh climate impacts

The Trump administration is set to unveil new regulations which would limit the types of projects like highways and pipelines that require environmental review and no longer require federal agencies to weigh their climate impacts, sources familiar with the plan said.

The proposed overhaul will update how federal agencies implement the bedrock National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa), a law meant to ensure the government protects the environment when reviewing or making decisions about major projects, from building roads and bridges, cutting forests, expanding broadband to approving interstate pipelines such as the Keystone XL.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Shutdown of US coal power facilities saved over 26,000 lives, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/06 - 9:00am

Shift to gas saved more than 300m tons of planet-heating carbon dioxide as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide levels dropped

The human toll from coal-fired pollution in America has been laid bare by a study that has found more than 26,000 lives were saved in the US in just a decade due to the shift from coal to gas for electricity generation.

Related: The Guardian view on the bushfires: Australia needs a government with the right priorities | Editorial

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Urgent new ‘roadmap to recovery’ could reverse insect apocalypse

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/06 - 9:00am

Phasing out synthetic pesticides and fertilisers and aggressive emission reductions among series of solutions outlined by scientists

The world must eradicate pesticide use, prioritise nature-based farming methods and urgently reduce water, light and noise pollution to save plummeting insect populations, according to a new “roadmap to insect recovery” compiled by experts.

The call to action by more than 70 scientists from across the planet advocates immediate action on human stress factors to insects which include habitat loss and fragmentation, the climate crisis, pollution, over-harvesting and invasive species.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Why Irish data centre boom is complicating climate efforts

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 10:00pm

Surge in processing industry will increase Ireland’s already too high carbon emissions

Inside Digital Realty’s Dublin data centre, racks of shiny black servers throb and whirr as unseen fans cool machines that steadily process unending data.

It operates 24 hours a day from the business park, sited on a former orchard, and the data joins a digital torrent in an underground fibre ring network that sweeps around the Irish capital and connects to undersea cables – the physical backbones of the digital world.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Labor MP urges war-like national mobilisation to tackle Australia's existential threat of climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 9:25pm

Mike Kelly says civil defence corps needed to tackle bushfires and failure to act would be ‘most serious dereliction of duty in our history’

The federal Labor MP Mike Kelly has called for a war-like national mobilisation effort to deal with the existential threat of climate change, warning that a failure to act would be the “most serious dereliction of duty in our history”.

The member for the New South Wales electorate of Eden-Monaro, which includes huge areas of the NSW south coast and the Snowy Mountains where destructive bushfires continue to burn, has called for the federal government to establish a civil defence corps (CDC) that would operate as a national disaster response reserve, and said compulsory national service might be necessary.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Jakarta floods: recovery effort begins as city counts cost of worst deluge in a decade

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 7:36pm

Indonesian soldiers spray disinfectant to battle disease as death toll passes 60, with thousands more living in emergency shelters

Mudslides and power blackouts have hampered the search for people missing in massive floods in Indonesia’s capital, where more than 60 people have died and some of the tens of thousands of evacuees are living in damp, cramped emergency shelters.

More than 1,000 soldiers and health workers sprayed disinfectant in hard-hit areas on Sunday to fend off the spread of disease. Monsoon rains and rising rivers submerged a dozen districts in the greater Jakarta area after extreme New Year’s Eve rains, causing landslides in hilly areas on the outskirts of the capital that buried scores of people.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Australia Deploys Military Reservists To Combat Wildfire, As Thousands Evacuate

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 3:08pm

Australia's volatile fire season saw "one of the worst days on record" this weekend, as record-breaking temperatures and low humidity exacerbated conditions.

(Image credit: Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Counting whales from space: scientists and engineers plan hi-tech effort

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 11:40am
  • New England Aquarium partners with local firm
  • Project could help work to save endangered right whales

An aquarium and an engineering firm in Massachusetts are working on a project to better protect whales – by monitoring them from space.

The New England Aquarium, based in Boston, and Draper, a firm based in nearby Cambridge, say new and higher-tech solutions are needed in order to protect whales from extinction. So they are using data from sources such as satellites, sonar and radar to keep a closer eye on how many whales are in the ocean.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Russia announces plan to ‘use the advantages’ of climate change

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 9:39am

Kremlin website recognises global heating as a problem but lists ‘positive’ economic effects

Russia has published a plan to adapt its economy and population to climate change, aiming to mitigate damage but also “use the advantages” of warmer temperatures.

The document, published on the government’s website on Saturday, outlines a plan of action and acknowledges changes to the climate are having a “prominent and increasing effect” on socioeconomic development, people’s lives, health and industry.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

California Cities Turn To Hired Hooves To Help Prevent Massive Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 6:01am

Cities across California are clearing out brush and invasive grasses on hillsides to help keep wildfires from spreading. But in some towns, in addition to hired hands, they're also using goats.

(Image credit: Megan Manata)

Categories: Environment

The Plight Of The Old-Fashioned Fisherman On A Changing Ocean

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 5:01am

For reasons ranging from climate change to protected zones, fisherfolk who go out in a small boat and use a rod are having a difficult time coming up with a good catch nowadays.

(Image credit: Octavio Aburto)

Categories: Environment

Fukushima unveils plans to become renewable energy hub

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 4:57am

Japan aims to power region, scene of 2011 meltdown, with 100% renewable energy by 2040

Fukushima is planning to transform itself into a renewable energy hub, almost nine years after it became the scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident for a quarter of a century.

The prefecture in north-east Japan will forever be associated with the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March 2011, but in an ambitious project the local government has vowed to power the region with 100% renewable energy by 2040, compared with 40% today.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The California city that wants to eliminate disposable coffee cups

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/05 - 4:00am

Berkeley’s new law targeting throwaway food packaging requires customers to go reusable or pay a fee

The next time Charles Bunch goes on a coffee break without his reusable coffee mug, he knows he’s going to pay for it.

On 1 January, the city of Berkeley, California, where Bunch works, rolled out the nation’s most comprehensive law to fight throw-away food packaging. The groundbreaking new rules require restaurants and cafes to charge 25 cents for each disposable cup, make all to-go containers compostable and, starting in July, use reusable foodware, such as porcelain dishes, for customers who are dining in.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Scott Morrison promises aid package for areas ravaged by Australia bushfires

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/01/04 - 8:59pm

Prime minister says communications breakdown left NSW fire authorities unaware army reservists called up

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has promised an aid package for areas ravaged by Australia’s continuing bushfire crisis and says he will consider a royal commission into the deadly blazes, which have burned vast areas on the east coast.

Speaking during a press conference the prime minister also said there had been a breakdown in communications with New South Wales authorities that left the Rural Fire Service and their Australian Defence Force liaison unaware army reservists had been called up to help with the fire effort.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

NSW south coast and southern highlands bushfires tear through areas that have not burned in decades

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/01/04 - 7:12pm

Kangaroo Valley, Milton and St Georges Basin all faced fire after a ‘catastrophic’ day as 20 new fires sparked between Nowra and Batemans Bay

“Right here we are the meat in the sandwich, so thanks for coming down.”

And so began Mark Coombes’s briefing for a new shift of firefighters in Nowra.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Australian fires: RFS commissioner not told of Scott Morrison's call-up of ADF reserve

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/01/04 - 5:41pm

Shane Fitzsimmons was ‘disappointed and frustrated’ to learn of prime minister’s reservists deployment plan from media reports

The New South Wales RFS commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, said neither he nor defence force personnel working from the state control centre were informed by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, of a plan to deploy 3,000 army reservists to assist in the bushfire crisis.

Fitzsimmons was “disappointed and frustrated” to learn of the plan through media reports on Saturday when fire crews were battling the most challenging conditions to date in terms of the number of concurrent fires in NSW.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

How Climate Change Is Affecting Australia's Fires

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/01/04 - 5:54am

Australia's Conservative government rejects efforts to tackle climate change. NPR's Leila Fadel speaks with former fire commissioner Greg Mullins about the public's anger as parts of Australia burn.

Categories: Environment

Threatened Hawaiian Bird Strives To Make Comeback

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/01/04 - 3:00am

One of Hawaii's most threatened seabirds, the Newell's shearwater, makes its home on the island of Kauai. Conservationists there are fighting to keep the iconic bird from disappearing.

(Image credit: André Raine/Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project )

Categories: Environment

Australia bushfire coverage: ABC emergency fire broadcasts praised but News Corp goes on attack

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/03 - 6:57pm

The ABC has received overwhelming praise for its ‘vital’ emergency reporting, despite ongoing scorn from Murdoch-owned media

Since Boxing Day, as bushfires raged across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, the ABC has handled more than 100 emergency broadcasts in a single week, receiving widespread praise for the practical, life-saving information and the professionalism on display.

The number of ABC emergency broadcasts for the first half of the 2019-20 financial year is already close to double that of the entire previous year.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

'Silent death': Australia's bushfires push countless species to extinction

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/03 - 3:33pm

Millions of animals have been killed in the fires but the impact on flora and fauna is more grim even than individual deaths

Close to the Western River on Kangaroo Island, Pat Hodgens had set up cameras to snap the island’s rare dunnart – a tiny mouse-like marsupial that exists nowhere else on the planet.

Now, after two fires ripped through the site a few days ago, those cameras – and likely many of the Kangaroo Island dunnarts – are just charred hulks.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content