The government's report on the Great Barrier Reef is a 'dog ate my homework' moment | Larissa Waters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 10:03pm

The federal and Queensland governments are risking the reef being put on Unesco’s in-danger list with their coal obsession and shoddy progress report

If you’ve ever visited the Great Barrier Reef, or are one of the 70,000 people whose job relies upon it, you know why it’s considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Yet it faces more pressure than ever before, from global warming, water quality, industrialisation of the coastline, and ever more extreme weather.

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Categories: Environment

Great Australian Bight oil drilling plans too 'technical' for FoI release, says regulator

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 7:33pm

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority censors documents sought by Greenpeace

Australia’s offshore oil regulator is censoring documents about BP’s plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight on the grounds that environmental campaigners could use the information to “oppose all drilling activities” there – and that the plans are too “technical” for the public to understand.

Nathaniel Pelle, a Greenpeace campaign who requested the documents under freedom of information laws, said the decision hindered democratic debate.

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Categories: Environment

Drinking too much water when ill can be harmful, finds study

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 4:30pm

Doctors warn excessive intake can pose risks for some patients and say medical advice needs to be more specific

The common advice to drink plenty of water when ill is based on scant evidence and can actively harm chances of recovery, doctors have warned.

Medics at King’s College hospital NHS foundation trust, in London, raised the alarm after they treated a patient with hyponatremia – abnormally low sodium – from drinking too much water to help with a recurring urinary tract infection.

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Categories: Environment

Tornado Outbreaks Are On The Rise, And Scientists Don't Know Why

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 3:14pm

A new study looks at clusters of tornadoes, like those that hit the Southeast this week. They are costly in lives and insurance payouts.

Categories: Environment

Climate Scientists Struggle To Identify Cause Of Bigger Tornado Clusters

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 2:14pm

Climate scientists say the conditions that might produce more or stronger tornadoes are spreading along with a warmer atmosphere. But there's no sign so far that this is happening. New research finds that when tornadoes occur in clusters, as they often do, those clusters contain more tornadoes than ever. And we're also seeing more clusters with especially powerful tornadoes.

Categories: Environment

$199 for a luxury cruise? 'Voluntourism' eco vacations struggle to catch on

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 1:06pm

One cruise liner is offering passengers weeklong cruises centered entirely around volunteer work. But are these vacations as sustainable as they seem?

Cruise lines are among the travel industry’s worst polluters, notorious for dumping insufficiently treated sewage into oceans or producing as much soot as 1m cars per day.

Now, cruise companies are seeking to offset that tainted image by offering “voluntourism” experiences. Passengers onboard Carnival Cruises’ Fathom line, for example, can expect to tan by the pool in the morning, build water filters in the Dominican Republic in the afternoon, then dance on the ship’s deck at night.

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Categories: Environment

Two-thirds of Australians think reef crisis is 'national emergency' – poll

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 12:00pm

Overwhelming majority of people agree the government should legislate to stop chemicals polluting the Great Barrier Reef

More than two-thirds of Australians think the condition of the Great Barrier Reef should be declared a “national emergency” and support much stronger measures to protect it than are now being considered.

On Thursday the government released its report on the reef to Unesco, which was a condition of the reef being excluded from the UN body’s “world heritage in-danger” list. The government reported slow progress on the key issue of water quality and the failure of a major plank in the plan – slowing tree clearing in Queensland.

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Categories: Environment

Don’t call Sheffield tree campaigners fanatics | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 11:36am

Tree campaign groups across Sheffield have been at pains to garner expert inputs to substantiate their very clear arguments against the Sheffield chainsaw massacre (Letters, 29 November). The Woodland Trust is a longstanding critic of the Sheffield “Streets Ahead” programme and its epic and disastrous plans for street tree “management”. Equally, the Sheffield Wildlife Trust has not been shy about its deep reservations. More recently, the Arboricultural Association has felt compelled to take a position. It is insulting to condemn them as “fanatics”.

Campaigners do not advocate saving every tree and have a clear position on the removal of the dead and the dangerous. Yet we live in a post-truth, post-factual world. Perhaps then we should be unsurprised when finding some rot and a little deadwood are being cast in the way of constructive dialogue.

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Categories: Environment

Hull's Siemens factory produces first batch of wind turbine blades

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 11:27am

New £310m plant hailed as positive ‘perfect storm’ for port area with one of Britain’s highest unemployment rates

A new £310m factory in Hull that makes wind turbine blades has been hailed by ministers as proof that manufacturing has a “glittering” future in the UK.

The first batch of 75-metre blades have emerged from the plant, part of a vast “green port” built by Siemens and partners at docks that used to export Yorkshire coal.

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Categories: Environment

London mayor issues pollution warnings at bus stops and tube stations

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 11:16am

UK capital experiences high pollution levels on Thursday with warnings telling people to avoid strenuous exercise

Air quality alerts have been issued at bus stops, tube stations and roadsides across London because of high pollution levels, said a spokeswoman for the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

The alerts will notify Londoners on Thursday evening during their commute home from work.

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Categories: Environment

Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For 'Deliberate Pollution'

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 10:52am

The Department of Justice says Princess Cruises will pay a $40 million penalty for "deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up."

Categories: Environment

In California, Squid Is Big Business. But Good Luck Eating Local Calamari

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 9:42am

While the U.S. has a thriving squid industry, chances are the calamari you are eating made a 12,000-mile round trip before ending up on your dinner plate.

Categories: Environment

EU on track to meet 2020 renewable energy target, report shows

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 8:18am

Energy and climate targets are ‘well within reach’ but the transport sector is lagging behind

EU countries are on track to meet their 2020 targets for renewable energy and emissions cuts but could fall short of ambitious longer-term goals, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Thursday.

“The EU’s 2020 targets on energy and climate are now well within reach,” EEA executive director Hans Bruyninckx said.

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Categories: Environment

US businesses push against Trump's attempts to dismiss climate change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 7:00am

Environmentally friendly groups at Companies vs Climate Change said they will work to make sure Trump won’t undo all the progress the country has made

From his claim that global warming was a gigantic hoax masterminded by China to his promise to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris agreement, Donald Trump’s surprise election win was widely decried by those who feared that recent progress in tackling climate change was about to come undone.

Related: Donald Trump presidency a 'disaster for the planet', warn climate scientists

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Categories: Environment

Demonstrations outside tree-felling court hearing in Sheffield

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 6:36am

Protesters gather to support Simon Crump and Calvin Payne, who appeared in court after trying to save 100-year-old tree

Approximately 150 people have staged a protest in support of two men who appeared in court in Sheffield after they tried to stop a 100-year-old tree being cut down.

Simon Crump and Calvin Payne are two of five people to have been arrested in the long-running battle over the local authority’s tree-felling programme.

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Categories: Environment

Obama funds dirty energy projects around the world | The daily briefing

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 6:22am

Communities feel effects of US-funded developments; abortion activists challenge state laws; senators seek declassification of files on Russia and election

Through the US Export-Import Bank, Barack Obama’s administration has spent nearly $34bn supporting 70 fossil fuel projects around the world, work by Columbia Journalism School and the Guardian has revealed. Guardian reporters have spent time at American-backed projects in India, South Africa and Australia to document the sickness, upheavals and environmental harm that come with huge dirty fuel developments. In India, for example, the reporters heard complaints about coal ash blowing into villages, contaminated water and respiratory and stomach problems. “While Obama can claim the US is the world’s leader on climate change – at least until Donald Trump enters the White House – it is also clear that it has become a major funder of fossil fuels that are having a serious impact upon people’s lives,” they write.

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Categories: Environment

Is there evidence the Tasmanian tiger still exists? – video report

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 6:12am

The last Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, is said to have died in 1936 and was declared extinct in 1986. The Thylacine Awareness Group claims there have been 5,000 reported sightings of thylacines in the past 80 years, however, they do acknowledge video evidence is ambiguous

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef progress report: We have to do better on water quality, says Australia

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 6:01am

Efforts to curb tree clearing have failed, the government admits in its update to Unesco on work to save the world heritage site

Australia needs to work faster on lifting water quality to save the Great Barrier Reef, according to its first progress report to Unesco since the world heritage site was spared an “in-danger” listing.

The report admitted that a key plank of Australia’s conservation plan – land-clearing reforms in Queensland to staunch water pollution – had failed. It also highlighted climate change, which is the biggest threat to the reef and led to the worst recorded coral bleaching in its history this year, but which the plan makes no attempt to address.

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Categories: Environment

Christmas deliveries go green as major retailers embrace renewable lorry fuel

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 5:09am

Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos among the first users of a new biomethane fuel for gas-powered trucks, reports BusinessGreen

Gas-powered lorries laden with Christmas parcels are set to have a lighter carbon impact this season thanks to the launch today of a new renewable fuel from CNG Fuels.

Retailers including John Lewis, Argos and Waitrose have already confirmed some of their long-distance lorries will run on the green gas – a renewable biomethane fuel derived from food waste – which is up to 40% cheaper than diesel and emits 70% less carbon dioxide, CNG Fuel says.

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Categories: Environment

Obama's dirty secret: the fossil fuel projects the US littered around the world

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 5:00am

Through the Export-Import Bank, the Obama administration has spent nearly $34bn on dirty energy plants in countries from India to Australia to South Africa

Seemingly little connects a community in India plagued by toxic water, a looming air pollution crisis in South Africa and a new fracking boom that is pockmarking Australia. And yet there is a common thread: American taxpayer money.

Through the US Export-Import Bank, Barack Obama’s administration has spent nearly $34bn supporting 70 fossil fuel projects around the world, work by Columbia Journalism School’s Energy and Environment Reporting Project and the Guardian has revealed.

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Categories: Environment
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