Environment

Humans need to become smarter thinkers to beat climate denial | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/06 - 4:00am

A new paper shows that climate myths consistently fail critical thinking tests

Climate myths are often contradictory – it’s not warming, though it’s warming because of the sun, and really it’s all just an ocean cycle – but they all seem to share one thing in common: logical fallacies and reasoning errors.

John Cook, Peter Ellerton, and David Kinkead have just published a paper in Environmental Research Letters in which they examined 42 common climate myths and found that every single one demonstrates fallacious reasoning. For example, the authors made a video breaking down the logical flaws in the myth ‘climate changed naturally in the past so current climate change is natural.’

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Categories: Environment

UK built half of Europe's offshore wind power in 2017

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/06 - 3:48am

Capacity is growing fast and turbines getting bigger – some almost as large as the Shard

Britain accounted for more than half of the new offshore wind power capacity built in Europe last year, as the sector broke installation records across the continent.

The windfarms out in the North Sea and other shallow European waters are getting bigger in every sense. Soon turbines will almost be as large as the Shard, Europe’s tallest building.

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Categories: Environment

Britons rescued from van roof in Queensland crocodile danger area

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/06 - 3:13am

Three men in their early 20s were trapped during the night by rising floodwaters

Three English backpackers have been saved from rising floodwaters in Australia after their campervan was submerged in a crocodile warning area.

Emergency services in Queensland launched a rescue mission after the men, in their early 20s, were spotted perched on the vehicle’s roof, metres from a sign warning of the presence of the deadly animals.

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Categories: Environment

Tea Farmer In India Leads Charge For Organic, Evades The Charge Of Elephants

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/02/06 - 2:55am

In the biggest tea-producing region of India, hazards range from red spider mites to wild elephants. One brave grower faces them head on, all while spurring a movement to grow tea organically.

(Image credit: Furkan Latif Khan/NPR)

Categories: Environment

I got 'doored' while undertaking on my bike. Was it my fault?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/06 - 12:00am

Helen Pidd was cycling through stationary traffic when a passenger opened his door into her path

As soon as the van door hit me I thought: finally. After cycling regularly for 15 years it always seemed something of a miracle that I had never been knocked off.

My second instinct was to feel sheepish. Was it my fault?

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Categories: Environment

Ozone layer not recovering over populated areas, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 11:00pm

While the hole over Antarctica has been closing, the protective ozone is thinning at the lower latitudes, where the sunlight is stronger and billions of people live

The ozone layer that protects people from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is not recovering over most highly populated regions, scientists warned on Tuesday.

The greatest losses in ozone occurred over Antarctica but the hole there has been closing since the chemicals causing the problem were banned by the Montreal protocol. But the ozone layer wraps the entire Earth and new research has revealed it is thinning in the lower stratosphere over the non-polar areas.

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Categories: Environment

How Tesla's big battery is bringing Australia’s gas cartel to heel

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 7:40pm

South Australia’s big gamble on grid-scale battery storage may pay for itself in just a year if it continues to prevent massive price spikes

• Giles Parkinson is editor of RenewEconomy

On Sunday 14 January something very unusual happened.

The Australian Energy Market Operator called – as it often does – for generators in South Australia to provide a modest amount of network services known as FCAS, or frequency control and ancillary services.

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Categories: Environment

After Deadly Mudslides In California, Residents Are Trying To Plan For Next Time

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 2:21pm

Mudslides and debris flow in Southern California killed more than 20 people in January. Public safety officials say people in flow-prone areas throughout the western U.S. need to spend more time preparing for the possibility of these natural disasters.

Categories: Environment

Rio Tinto investors recruited to force mining giant to quit Minerals Council

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 10:00am

Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility needs 100 shareholders to co-file resolution at AGM

Investors in the mining giant Rio Tinto are being recruited to demand the company quit the Minerals Council of Australia.

The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has urged shareholders to co-file a resolution at Rio Tinto’s annual general meetings in Australia and the UK in the autumn. The centre successfully filed a similar motion at BHP’s AGMs last year, leading the company to review its membership of trade associations.

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Categories: Environment

'Everything is made into a political issue': rethinking Australia's environmental laws

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 10:00am

Public should be given a greater say on development plans, experts say

Environmental lawyers and academics have called for a comprehensive rethink on how Australia’s natural landscapes are protected, warning that short-term politics is infecting decision-making and suggesting that the public be given a greater say on development plans.

The Australian Panel of Experts on Environmental Law has launched a blueprint for a new generation of environment laws and the creation of independent agencies with the power and authority to ensure they are enforced. The panel of 14 senior legal figures says this is motivated by the need to systematically address ecological challenges including falling biodiversity, the degradation of productive rural land, the intensification of coastal and city development and the threat of climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Asda joins wave of supermarkets pledging to cut plastic waste

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 9:24am

Series of measures includes reducing plastic in its own-brand packaging by 10% – but does not go as far as cutting it out altogether

Asda has become the latest supermarket to join the war against plastic by pledging to reduce it “wherever” it can, including slashing the amount in its own-brand packaging by 10% in the next 12 months.

In a series of measures, Asda promised to scrap 5p carrier bags in all stores by the end of the year, switch 2.4m plastic straws used in its cafes to paper and introduce reusable drinks cups in its shops and cafes by the end of 2019.

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Categories: Environment

What the saviour of London’s pigeons taught me about the problem with plastic

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 6:17am

Decades ago, the late writer and critic Naomi Lewis spent hours on the streets rescuing birds tangled in nylon thread. She should have been a warning sign of the horrors to come

Not knowing what to do with myself and my bad temper in my 30s, I went to a creative writing class at City Lit, a London-based adult-education college. The teacher looked odd – about 70, she was always dressed in black, her hair was grey and a little wild and she seemed to have dusted her face in flour, some of which speckled her black clothes.

But there was something magical about Naomi Lewis. She was full of enthusiasm, thrilled by the efforts of her class. She would sit at the end of our square of tables, always cheery, and call out excitedly: “So good! So much of interest!”

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Categories: Environment

Top ivory investigator murdered in Kenya

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 3:49am

Esmond Bradley Martin, whose groundbreaking investigations helped the fight against elephant poaching, died after being stabbed at home in Nairobi

A well-known American ivory-trade investigator, who pioneered efforts to combat elephant and rhino poaching, has been killed in his home in Nairobi, prompting an outpouring of shock and revulsion across the conservation world.

Esmond Bradley Martin, 75, died after being stabbed in his house in the Nairobi suburb of Langata on Sunday. His wife, Chryssee Martin, found his body. Bradley Martin had led global investigations into illegal wildlife trading since the 1970s and was a charismatic and familiar sight at conservation conferences.

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Categories: Environment

Big business, not taxpayers, should pay to clean up plastic waste | Geraint Davies

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 1:00am

Plastic is destroying our oceans, yet big corporations are still being given money to produce cheap plastic. It’s time for polluters to pay for the damage they cause

A six-year-old boy, Harrison Forsyth, provided us with a much needed wake-up call last week. He called on the boss of Aldi to protect our oceans:

“Dear boss of Aldi, I have watched this programme called Blue Planet 2 and I have seen that the plastic in the sea is making the animals sick and die.

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Categories: Environment

Labor weighs Adani options as Canavan says Australia needs to 'get these jobs going'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 12:57am

Coalition pressures Queensland government to back Aurizon proposal to build rail link

Labor has inched closer to resolving its stance on the controversial Adani coalmine as the federal resources minister, Matt Canavan, declared he was looking at alternatives to open up the Queensland coal basin and “get these jobs going”.

With federal parliament resuming for the new political year on Monday, the shadow cabinet was expected to discuss policy options on Adani after the Labor leader, Bill Shorten, toughened his rhetoric substantially against the north Queensland mine.

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Categories: Environment

Why are politicians getting away with bike lane claims based on hearsay? | Laura Laker

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/05 - 12:00am

Peers use evidence-free anecdotes and cabbie hearsay to claim cycle lanes cause congestion – shouldn’t we demand a higher standard?

A number of peers have attempted to defend unsubstantiated claims that cycle lanes cause congestion and air pollution, apparently echoing anecdotal evidence from their own observations, taxi drivers and the rightwing press. These claims tend to go unchallenged and are allowed to shape the political debate – but this has to stop.

In a House of Lords debate on air pollution on 15 January, the prominent scientist and Labour peer Lord Robert Winston questioned the government over journey times for motor traffic before and after cycle lane construction, saying idling or slow-moving engines pollute more at slow speeds.

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Categories: Environment

Whale and shark species at increasing risk from microplastic pollution – study

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 11:01pm

Large filter feeders, such as baleen whales and basking sharks, could be particularly at risk from ingesting the tiny plastic particles, say scientists


Whales, some sharks and other marine species such as rays are increasingly at risk from microplastics in the oceans, a new study suggests.

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Categories: Environment

Country diary 1918: spring-like weather stirs the blood

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 11:00pm

5 February 1918 The sap is running, forcing on new life. In the withy bed the hares in couples, weeks before their proverbial date for madness, dodge round the clumps, while a ‘joyous clamour’ rises from the mere

The gay cock chaffinch, in smart, nuptial garments, rattles out repeated challenges to a distant rival, who strives to answer in as sprightly terms; it began to sing here three days ago at least. The blackbird this morning pipes airs and variations with such skill and finish that we can hardly realise that he has only just begun to sing.

The spring-like weather, which has brought out the semi-wild snowdrops in a Cheshire wood, has dotted the yellow crocuses about our gardens, awakened the sleepy bees and sent them to the winter aconites, has stirred their blood.

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Categories: Environment

Cape Town Copes With Water Crisis

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 3:08pm

The South African city of Cape Town is set to run out of water in April. NPR's Michel Martin talks to local business owner Nina Elvin-Jenson about how she's dealing with the water restrictions.

Categories: Environment

The Forgotten Renewable: Geothermal Energy Production Heats Up

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 3:08pm

Experts say the American West is full of geothermal reservoirs whose energy could power millions of homes. But extracting that energy isn't easy.

(Image credit: Benjamin Purper/KVCR)

Categories: Environment
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