Queensland shuts down 'inhumane' goat cull using poisoned dingoes

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 8:02pm

Environment minister orders all dingoes to be removed from Pelorus Island, where they had been introduced to kill goats

An “inhumane” program that used surgically sterilised dingoes as a form of pest control for goats on a far north Queensland island has been shut down by the state government.

The Hinchinbrook shire council had decided to release dogs implanted with time-delayed poison pellets on Pelorus Island, north of Townsville, to kill baby goats as a form of pest control.

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Categories: Environment

Large rockfall at West Bay on Jurassic Coast

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 1:58pm

Dorset police say they are investigating fall near Bridport but do not believe anyone is trapped under rubble

A popular stretch of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset has been hit by a large rock fall. It happened at the East Cliff side of West Bay, near Bridport, at about 7.40pm on Tuesday. Police, coastguards, the fire service and local authorities are investigating.

It is not thought that anyone was trapped following the fall but further assessments are being carried out by geology experts. A cordon has been put in place and the coastal path is closed from the east side of West Bay to Burton Bradstock.

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Categories: Environment

Federal Court Blocks Challenge To Social Cost Of Carbon

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 1:32pm

Economists call it the social cost of carbon. A single number that is supposed to reflect all of the costs society incurs when people burn fossil fuels. That number is now part of federal regulations, and some industries aren't happy.

Categories: Environment

Energy companies withholding supply to blame for July price spike, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 1:30pm

Analysis of temporary jump in prices in South Australia showed generation capacity far exceeded demand, pointing to market manipulation

Fossil fuel electricity generators in South Australia withheld their supply to push up prices and reap bigger profits, according to an analysis of the causes behind the extremely high prices there in early July.

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Categories: Environment

Majority of Victorians support urgent shift to renewable energy, poll finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 1:00pm

A ReachTEL poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth shows 68% of the state, including a majority of Liberal voters, want to see an end to reliance on coal

The vast majority of people in Victoria – and even a majority of Liberal voters – support the state moving towards 100% renewable energy “as a matter of urgency,” a new poll has found.

The polling comes as the state government works to rewrite the Climate Change Act, including pre-2050 emissions reduction targets.

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Categories: Environment

Louisiana floodwaters begin to recede but thousands remain in shelters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 12:49pm

Massive recovery operation begins as Red Cross reports flood that left 11 dead and damaged 40,000 homes is worst US disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012

Floodwaters in Louisiana have begun to recede, but the horror of the disaster continues to mount: on Wednesday afternoon more than 30,000 people had been rescued from the flood, 40,000 homes were affected and 6,000 people remained in shelters. At least 11 people have died.

Related: Louisiana floods: state begins recovery from devastating storm – in pictures

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on the heatwave: still hope on climate change | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 11:54am
Ira Glass the radio show host says global warming may not be amusing or surprising but it is still the most important thing that’s happening

The documentary broadcaster Ira Glass, the man behind the hit radio programme This American Life, is in Britain this week with his theatre show, Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. The production, a collaboration with the experimental dancers of Monica Bill Barnes & Company, puts storytelling and dance together in an improbable but, the reviews say, endearing and entertaining combination. The dancers like to bring dance into places were no one expects it. Mr Glass does the same with documentary. The collaborators are united in wanting to tell serious stories in an engaging manner.

Not many subjects defeat Mr Glass’s creativity. But climate change, he admits, is beyond even his midas touch with a tale. “Any minute I’m not talking about climate change it’s like I’m turning my back on the most important thing that’s happening to us,” he said recently. The trouble with it is that it is “neither amusing nor surprising”. It is “resistant to journalism”.

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Categories: Environment

Tidal energy support ebbs and flows | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 10:35am

Steve Emsley is wrong when he compares tidal lagoons with Hinkley and asks why tidal energy is not even being discussed (Letters, 17 August). The latest estimated cost of the lagoon proposed for Swansea Bay is £1.3bn. Hinkley would produce 65 times as much electricity, all day, every day – true “baseload”. Tidal lagoons would produce variable amounts (four times as much on a spring tide as on a neap tide in Swansea and a bigger difference further up the Severn estuary) and the generation would be intermittent (four three-hour blocks a day) – that’s not “baseload”.

Lagoons could only produce 8% (about 25TWh a year) of the UK’s electricity requirements (a figure challenged by tidal energy experts), if five others followed Swansea, each many times larger and much more costly than Swansea (many times more than £5bn in total). But consent for the next two (huge lagoons further up the Severn estuary off Cardiff and Newport) is most unlikely because of various EU environmental designations (special area of conservation, special protection area etc). As to why no one is discussing them: in fact, Charles Hendry is conducting a review of tidal lagoons to assess, among other things, whether they could play a cost-effective role in the UK energy mix (see www.hendryreview.com). Some think the review was prompted by belated government realisation that the figures bandied around for lagoons just don’t add up.
Phil Jones
Ynystawe, Swansea

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Categories: Environment

What Does It Take To Map A Walrus Hangout? 160 Years And A Lot Of Help

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 7:49am

Groups of walruses are vulnerable to disturbances, but it's hard to avoid them if you don't know where they are. A new tool from U.S. and Russian researchers draws on history to protect the animals.

Categories: Environment

The coral die-off crisis is a climate crime and Exxon fired the gun | Bill McKibben

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 4:11am

This week we’re staging protests on the ‘crime scene’ of the world’s affected reefs to send a signal that we’re not going to let fossil fuel firms get away with murder

Coral reefs are probably Earth’s most life-packed ecosystem; those who’ve had the privilege of diving in the tropics know the reef as an orderly riot of colour and flow, size and shape.

Which is why a white, dead reef is so shocking – as shocking in its way as a human corpse lying on the street, which still takes the form of the living breathing person it used to be, but now suddenly is stopped forever, the force that made it real suddenly and grotesquely absent.

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Categories: Environment

Visitors rush to the Great Barrier Reef to catch it before it’s gone

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 3:22am

Survey finds that 69% of visitors to the world’s largest coral reef system are motivated by the fear that it might disappear, reports Climate Home

In a reversal of the normal travel bucket list, tourists are rushing to see the Great Barrier Reef before it dies.

Half of the reef’s coral has disappeared in the past three decades due to a combination of warming ocean temperatures, coastal development, invasive starfish and agricultural runoff.

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Categories: Environment

A deep sea dive into Bermuda’s hidden depths – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 3:00am

Guardian environment reporter Oliver Milman joins a group of scientists on an underwater expedition off the Bermuda coast to help chart its hidden depths and gauge the general health of the area’s reef and coral. Travelling in a two-man submersible, Milman and submarine pilot Kelvin Magee go on a journey 500ft below the surface

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Categories: Environment

The deep ocean: plunging to new depths to discover the largest migration on Earth

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 3:00am

The deep ocean makes up 95% of habitable Earth, yet only 0.0001% has been explored. The Guardian joined a mission off Bermuda that is looking to unlock the secrets of the deep

Video: a dive into Bermuda’s hidden depths

The largest migration on Earth is very rarely seen by human eyes, yet it happens every day. Billions of marine creatures ascend from as far as 2km below the surface of the water to the upper reaches of the ocean at night, only to then float back down once the sun rises.

This huge movement of organisms – ranging from tiny cockatoo squids to microscopic crustaceans, shifting for food or favourable temperatures – was little known to science until relatively recently.

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Categories: Environment

How the fossil fuel industry's new pitch is more like an epitaph than a life lesson

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/08/17 - 12:08am

New fossil fuel advocacy group launched to celebrate an industry that’s driving dangerous climate change

Bright and glistening with all the glory of youth and promise, her eyes glance upwards. A jet crosses a cloudless sky.

A field of wheat sways in the breeze. She opens her arms in a wide embrace, open to the horizon.

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Categories: Environment

The Queen and David Attenborough urged to cut ties with charity linked to Finland mining plans

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 11:00pm

Flora and Fauna International has been hired by a British mining firm to assess the environmental value of a national park in the Arctic circle

Environmentalists and indigenous reindeer herders are calling on the Queen, Sir David Attenborough and Stephen Fry to disassociate themselves from a charity contracted to help a mining operation in a national park in Finland.

Fauna and Flora International (FFI), whose patron is the Queen, has been hired by the British-listed mining company Anglo American to assess the environmental value of Viiankiaapa, a stunning 65 sq km (25 sq mile) habitat for 21 endangered bird species in the Arctic circle.

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Categories: Environment

'We have to stop the bulldozers': swaths of koala habitat lost, say activists

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 10:48pm

Queensland’s relaxed land-clearing laws have allowed 84,000ha of habitat to be destroyed and must be rolled back, say WWF and Australian Koala Foundation

A relaxation in Queensland’s tree clearing laws led to the destruction of 84,000 hectares of critical koala habitat in the two years after the national icon was listed as vulnerable, according to new mapping by conservationists.

That koala habitat made up about 14% of all land cleared between mid-2013 and mid-2015 was an alarming revelation, WWF and the Australian Koala Foundation said.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland's rare mountain plants disappearing as climate warms, botanists find

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 10:00pm

Research by the National Trust for Scotland shows rare mountain plants in the Highlands and islands are retreating higher or disappearing entirely

There is clear evidence that some of Britain’s rarest mountain plants are disappearing due to a steadily warming climate, botanists working in the Scottish Highlands have found.

The tiny but fragile Arctic plants, such as Iceland purslaine, snow pearlwort and Highland saxifrage, are found only in a handful of locations in the Highlands and islands, clustered in north-facing gullies, coires and crevices, frequently protected by the last pockets of late-lying winter snow.

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Categories: Environment

Alaskan village votes on whether to relocate because of climate change

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 3:43pm

Coastal village of Shishmaref, which is losing ground to rising sea levels, could become the first in the US to move over the threat of climate change

The residents of an Alaskan coastal village have begun voting on whether to relocate because of rising sea levels.

Related: 'There was just no snow': climate change puts Iditarod future in doubt

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Categories: Environment

Alberta weighs ban on spear hunting after man films 'humane' bear killing

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 2:08pm

Environment ministry describes video of Josh Bowmar fatally spearing a bear ‘archaic’ and ‘unacceptable’ as Bowmar defends killing as ethical

Authorities in the Canadian province of Alberta have vowed to ban spear hunting and are weighing whether to lay charges against an American hunter after a video surfaced showing him killing a black bear with a spear.

The video – one of several hunting videos posted to the YouTube account of Josh Bowmar – shows Bowmar holding a long spear with a GoPro camera attached to it as a mature bear repeatedly approaches a bait bin set up to lure it to the site.

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Categories: Environment

What do America's national parks mean to you? Share your stories and photos

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/08/16 - 1:34pm

The National Parks Service celebrates its 100th birthday in August. How have America’s natural wonders impacted your life? Share your stories and photos

For 100 years, the National Parks Service has been providing Americans and international visitors alike with unspoiled vistas – and vacations to match.

Ahead of the centennial on 25 August, we want to hear from you. Do you have a particularly memorable hiking adventure to tell us about? Or an undeniably beautiful shot of a waterfall or mountain range? Share your stories and photographs with us. We’ll feature a selection in our coverage.

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