Environment

Singing to trees and Indigenous wisdom: the UK festival aiming to prevent ecological collapse

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/03/29 - 11:45pm

At the Primal Gathering retreat, attendees seek new – and sometimes surreal – ways to connect with nature and take meaningful action on environmental destruction

The explorer and documentary maker Bruce Parry pushed his penis inside his body on his 2005 BBC show Tribe in an effort to be accepted by the Kombai people in New Guinea, before turning white and having to lie down. He would do whatever it took to assimilate, including taking hallucinogenic drugs, drinking blood and running naked across the backs of a row of cattle.

Now he is focusing his energies closer to home. He is using the knowledge he gained from Indigenous societies around the world to encourage people in the UK to form stronger communities that can take meaningful action to halt ecological destruction.

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Categories: Environment

‘Beginning of a new era’: Pacific islanders hail UN vote on climate justice

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/03/29 - 6:51pm

Resolution asks ICJ to clarify countries’ obligations to fight climate change and the consequences they should face for inaction

A group of Pacific Island students who were instrumental in pushing a UN resolution that should make it easier to hold polluting countries legally accountable for failure to act on the climate crisis have greeted its adoption as historic.

“Young people across the world will recall the day when we were able to get the world’s highest court, the international court of justice, to bring its voice to the climate justice fight,” said Solomon Yeo, campaign director of Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change (PISFCC), who is from Solomon Islands.

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Categories: Environment

A climate policy that actually cuts emissions? It’s the reality that fossil fuel bosses and News Corp commentators can’t see | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/03/29 - 6:23pm

Changes to the safeguard mechanism take us a step closer to net zero by 2050 – the goal consecutive governments have signed up to

At some stage, policies that governments put forward to reduce emissions need to do exactly what they say on the tin.

This week’s deal between Labor and the Greens to improve a policy covering Australia’s biggest polluters does, finally, achieve that.

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Categories: Environment

Fears for UK butterfly numbers after die-off in 2022 heatwave

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/03/29 - 4:50pm

Evidence that drought cut late-summer hatchings raises fears that delayed effect of caterpillar die-off will be seen this year

The heat and drought of last summer caused British butterfly populations to crash later in the year, according to a new study.

Common butterfly species including the brimstone, small tortoiseshell, peacock, green-veined white and small white appeared in good or average numbers during the spring and early summer of 2022 but numbers in subsequent late-summer generations were greatly reduced.

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Categories: Environment

Quality standards to hold carbon offsetting industry to account

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/03/29 - 4:00pm

New guidelines for $2bn carbon offsetting industry aim to guide buyers towards high-quality credits

New quality standards for the $2bn carbon offsetting industry have been published to help guide buyers to high-quality credits following widespread concern that many are just hot air.

On Thursday, new guidelines for a “good” carbon credit programme were announced by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM), an initiative that aims to reassure buyers about the quality of offsets they are buying for climate commitments and help them avoid credits that do nothing to mitigate climate change or might be linked to human rights violations.

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Categories: Environment

US puts Italy-sized chunk of Gulf of Mexico up for auction for oil drilling

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/03/29 - 11:51am

In latest blow to Joe Biden’s reputation as the ‘climate president’, 73.3m acres of the gulf will be offered for fossil fuel extraction

An enormous swathe of the Gulf of Mexico, spanning an area the size of Italy, was put up for auction on Wednesday for oil and gas drilling, in the latest blow to Joe Biden’s increasingly frayed reputation on dealing with the climate crisis.

The president’s Department of the Interior offered up a vast area of the central and western Gulf, including plunging deep water reaches, for drilling projects that will stretch out over decades, despite scientists’ urgent warnings that fossil fuels must be rapidly phased out if the world is to avoid disastrous global heating. The auctions also come despite Biden’s own pre-election promise to halt all drilling on federal lands and waters.

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Categories: Environment

‘How do you laugh about death?’: the comedians tackling climate change

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2023/03/29 - 6:56am

Comedians and comedy programs have started to find ways to speak to the climate crisis in their work but how can something so heavy create laughter?

When David Perdue applied to be part of a climate comedy program, he felt a little out of his element: “I couldn’t recall one time I’d ever had a conversation with my friends about climate change,” said the Atlanta-based comic. Perdue, who is Black, added, “But I knew it was an issue that was going to affect people who look like me, so I wanted to use comedy to address that.”

Perdue was one of nine comedians who took part in a nine-month fellowship where they learned about climate science and solutions and collaborated on new, climate-related material. The Climate Comedy Cohort produced shorts, toured together, and pitched ideas to television networks. Their work is part of a broader effort to bring some levity to a topic that is increasingly present in everyday life.

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Categories: Environment

US environmental agency to conduct internal inquiry over Ohio train wreck

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 11:00pm

EPA’s response to the derailment has drawn intense criticism from East Palestine residents and public health experts

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog division is opening an investigation into the handling of the East Palestine train wreck which caused a toxic disaster in the small Ohio town.

An agency spokesperson declined to comment on why it is launching the investigation, but a public memo from the EPA office of inspector general states that it will “conduct interviews, gather data, and analyze a variety of issues, including hazardous waste disposal, air and water monitoring, soil and sediment sampling, and risk communication”.

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Categories: Environment

‘A second chance’: Peru sanctuaries help rescued monkeys back into the wild

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 10:30pm

At two wildlife centres in the Madre de Dios region, the victims of illegal mining activities embark on a long journey of rehabilitation

“She used to fight every time I tried to feed her, but she recognises it’s me now,” says Cinthia Pariguana-Garriazo, a veterinary nurse at Taricaya eco reserve. It is 6am, and she is coaxing a squealing baby spider monkey called Rain into accepting breakfast – a syringe filled with liquefied fruit and medicine.

Rain is fed every four hours and requires regular physical contact with Pariguana-Garriazo, her primary carer. Over the next few months, she will be gradually introduced to solid food and to other spider monkeys and her contact with humans will dwindle. From there, it’s a long process of rehabilitation before her release back into the wild. Juveniles can expect to stay at Taricaya for at least three years.

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Categories: Environment

Australia politics live: Chris Minns’ path to NSW majority government narrows; Hawke and Keating minister John Kerin dies

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 9:01pm

Minority Labor government in NSW looking likely as two more seats called for Coalition. Follow live

Sorry – I am told by a couple of senators that it was “technically” 4.13am.

So expect to see a few bleary-eyed senators in the coffee lines this morning.

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Categories: Environment

UK ‘strikingly unprepared’ for impacts of climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 4:01pm

Government’s official advisers point to ‘lost decade’ in efforts to protect lives and livelihoods

The UK is “strikingly unprepared” for the impacts of the climate crisis, according to the Climate Change Committee (CCC), which said there had been a “lost decade” in efforts to adapt for the impacts of global heating.

The CCC, the government’s official climate adviser, said climate damages will inevitably intensify for decades to come. It has warned repeatedly of poor preparation in the past and said government action was now urgently needed to protect people and their homes and livelihoods.

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Categories: Environment

Poole harbour oil spill washes up on wildlife haven Brownsea Island

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 11:58am

Exclusive: National Trust concerned at danger to rich mix of ecosystems including lagoon, woodland, salt marsh and reedbed

Oil from the Perenco pipeline leak in Poole harbour has washed up on the shores of Brownsea Island, an internationally important wetland and marine conservation zone.

Nearly 200 barrels of reservoir fluid – a brine mixture that is about 15% oil – leaked into the waters of Ower Bay on Sunday from the pipeline sparking a major incident and urgent clean-up operation.

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Categories: Environment

Insect infamy: rare beetle named for former California governor

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 8:52am

Bembidion brownorum, named for Jerry Brown, was last seen in 1966, but hadn’t been named until one was collected on his ranch

Scientists are naming a rare species of beetle in honor of the former California governor Jerry Brown after finding one at his ranch.

Bembidion brownorum was last seen in 1966, but it hadn’t been named or described until one was collected near a creek on Brown’s ranch in Colusa county, about an hour’s drive north-west of Sacramento, the University of California, Berkeley announced on Monday.

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Categories: Environment

The Maldives are 99% water, so why can so few teenagers swim?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2023/03/28 - 7:41am

A lack of swimming skills among young people, especially girls, stops them working in local industries and getting involved in conservation

Azha Abdul Azeez lives in Malé, the capital of the Maldives archipelago, surrounded by the idyllic Indian Ocean. But she “grew up in the house” and the water that makes up so much of Abdul Azeez’s home – a rich habitat including coral reefs, turtles, manta rays and exotic fish – terrifies her because she never learned to swim.

“[My parents] were worried that something might happen to me. I think that’s why they didn’t send me [swimming] when I was little,” she says.

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Categories: Environment

Return of the Gedi: space mission that maps Earth’s forests saved from destruction

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 11:30pm

Nasa grants last-minute reprieve to invaluable climate and biodiversity scanner on International Space Station, due to be incinerated in Earth’s atmosphere

Nasa has extended the life of a key climate and biodiversity sensor for scanning the world’s forests which was set to be destroyed in Earth’s atmosphere.

The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (Gedi) mission – pronounced like Jedi in Star Wars – was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2018, and has provided the first 3D map of the world’s forests.

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Categories: Environment

Meatball from long-extinct mammoth created by food firm

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 10:00pm

Exclusive: Australian company resurrects flesh of lost species to demonstrate potential of meat grown from cells

A mammoth meatball has been created by a cultivated meat company, resurrecting the flesh of the long-extinct animals.

The project aims to demonstrate the potential of meat grown from cells, without the slaughter of animals, and to highlight the link between large-scale livestock production and the destruction of wildlife and the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

‘We are very vulnerable’: cyclone-hit Vanuatu pins climate hopes on UN vote

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 5:49pm

Pacific nation is sponsoring resolution that will ask ICJ to rule on consequences for climate inaction

Last month, twin cyclones tore through Port Vila, the capital of the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. The category-four storms left corrugated iron roofs crumpled like leftover wrapping paper, flooded the streets with waste-ridden mud, cut residents off from water and electricity for several days, and sent many fleeing to hastily established evacuation centres.

Devastation of this sort is becoming more common throughout the Pacific, where rising sea levels are leaving shorelines increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather made more intense by climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Train carrying hazardous materials derails in North Dakota

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 12:09pm

A Canada Pacific train derailed on Sunday night, affecting 31 of its 70 cars, and spilling petroleum used to make asphalt

A train carrying hazardous materials derailed in North Dakota late on Sunday night in the latest toxic railway accident to hit the US.

The incident happened less than two months after a train derailed near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, causing a raging fire and leaking cancerous chemicals near the small town of East Palestine.

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Categories: Environment

Calls for answers over Poole harbour oil spill as cleanup continues

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 10:20am

Extinction Rebellion leads protest and council leader expresses anger over damage done to protected site

Environmental activists, biodiversity experts, politicians and nature lovers are demanding answers over an oil leak in Poole harbour, a site internationally recognised for its ecological importance.

Nearly 200 barrels of reservoir fluid – a brine mixture that is about 15% oil – leaked into the waters of Owers Bay on Sunday afternoon from a pipeline operated by the energy company Perenco.

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Categories: Environment

Labor agrees to absolute cap on emissions to secure Greens backing for safeguard mechanism climate bill

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2023/03/27 - 9:53am

Adam Bandt says deal puts ‘significant hurdles’ in the way of new coal and gas but Chris Bowen insists it will not kill off new investment

The Albanese government’s signature climate bill targeting big polluters is a step closer to passing after a deal with the Greens including an absolute cap on emissions.

The Greens leader, Adam Bandt, announced the deal on the safeguard mechanism bill on Monday, taking credit for “a big hit on coal and gas” that could effectively block half of 116 proposed new fossil fuel projects.

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