Environment

Costa Rica's best and brightest hummingbirds – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/02/04 - 4:30am

These distinctive and noisy birds come in hundreds of varieties – you can find about 50 types in Costa Rica, each with tiny beating wings and bright plumage

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Oregon's New Site To Explore: Valhalla

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/02/04 - 3:11am

A natural wonder 60 miles from Portland has never been documented until now. It's a deep and narrow slot canyon. There are concerns a lot of adventure-seekers from all over will show up to explore it.

Categories: Environment

Unpaid Water Bills In Flint Could Hinder Repairs

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/02/04 - 3:11am

Michigan's governor wants to spend $30 million to pay water bills in Flint. A lawsuit is seeking five times that in refunds and damages for people who paid for lead-tainted drinking water.

Categories: Environment

Why my cycling clothing company uses models without helmets

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/02/04 - 12:00am

The debate about helmet use is too often toxic, puts off new riders and obscures more important issues, argues the founder of Vulpine

Let me begin with a story.

Last night I walked into a pub and spotted a guy with two empty pint glasses in front of him. He had a lovely fresh third pint poised at his trembling lips. Fantastic, just what I was looking for.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Adani freezes investment in Carmichael mine until world coal price recovers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 11:49pm

Briefings spark speculation company might abandon plans for mine altogether amid move into solar projects worth US$16bn

Adani has frozen its investment in Australia’s largest proposed coalmine until world coal prices show a clear recovery, its executives have indicated in stock analyst briefings in India.

The briefings even gave rise to speculation that Adani Enterprises, which has previously flagged spending $4.1bn on the Carmichael mine in north Queensland, might abandon its plans for the mine altogether amid a huge move by the company into solar energy.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

US electricity industry's use of coal fell to historic low in 2015 as plants closed

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 10:01pm

The biggest source of climate pollution dropped to 34% of US electricity generation and co-author of a new report says: ‘These are permanent changes’

America’s use of coal for electricity dropped to its lowest point in the historical record in 2015, delivering a new blow to an industry already in painful decline.

The dirtiest of fossil fuels and America’s biggest single source of climate pollution, coal accounted for just 34% of US electricity generation last year, according to the Sustainable Energy in America handbook on Thursday.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Villagers fight to keep their slag-heap: archive, 4 February 1957

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 10:00pm

4 February 1957: Cherished by locals, the amenity in Glamorganshire is said to be a product of far-sighted planning and silvicultural experimentation

Slag-heaps, as spoil-tips of all kinds are commonly miscalled, give endless trouble to planning authorities, national and local. The creation of a new one, for instance, requires planning permission, and is almost invariably opposed by amenity societies. But a new kind of trouble has arisen in Glamorganshire over a slag-heap (and this one really is a slag-heap) near Ysguborwen Bridge: the local residents are up in arms - in the name of amenity - because somebody is carting it away.

Glamorganshire people are traditionally awkward customers. Legend has it that when, in the years of depression, Cwm Rhondda’s spoil-tips were shovelled away to make work for the unemployed local residents complained of the draught. But there is nothing perverse about the campaign to save the tip at Ysguborwen Bridge, for it is covered with majestic elms, sycamores, and silver birches 50 to 70 feet high - a fine sight even in a January thunderstorm and a favourite resort for picnic parties when clothed in all the glory of its summer foliage. Moreover, it screens from public view the ugly spoil-tips of the River Level Colliery and a lot of unsightly opencast mining operations.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The scientists harvesting energy from humans to power our wearables

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 10:00pm

An MIT lab has produced a device the size of a stamp that harvests energy from bending movements. Commercialising it could be a breakthrough for wearables

Inside a lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sangtae Kim has been tinkering with a paper-thin device the size of a stamp. Kim is interested in harvesting energy from humans (though not the kind that turns people into batteries in the movie, The Matrix). He wants to harness motions, such as walking and running, to power sensors and wearable gadgets.

“It provides a new way of harvesting human energy,” Kim says of his prototype device, which he described recently in an article co-authored with his adviser, Prof Ju Li and other researchers.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Crocodile turns up for a swim on Queensland beach near Cairns – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 6:39pm

Luke Downes captured this footage of ‘Snapper Jr’ casually floating towards swimmers at Kewarra beach near Cairns. While filming, Downes offered the crocodile a friendly greeting, but Snapper Jr didn’t stick around for long. Never fear, a wildlife expert has claimed that there are worse things in the water to worry about in that part of the world, like box jellyfish, which are capable of killing a person in under five minutes

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

CSIRO confirms up to 350 job cuts, with climate research bearing the brunt

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 6:17pm

Redundancies part of strategy to increase collaboration with industry and boost commercialisation, agency chief says

Up to 350 positions at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation will be made redundant, with its climate research divisions to bear the brunt of the job losses.

The chief executive of the national science agency, Larry Marshall, said the redundancies were in line with CSIRO’s 2020 strategy to increase collaboration with industry and boost commercialisation of science.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Hazelwood mine manager charged with 10 offences over 2014 Morwell fire

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 6:14pm

WorkSafe Victoria charges Hazelwood Power Corporation with Occupational Health and Safety Act breaches over fire which covered town of Morwell in ash

The company responsible for managing the Hazelwood mine in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley has been charged with 10 offences following a devastating mine fire which burned for 45 days and left surrounding suburbs choked by ash.

The fire began on 9 February 2014 after embers from surrounding bushfires entered the mine. The nearby town of Morwell was among the worst affected, left blanketed in ash, and residents were exposed to toxic carbon monoxide. It was the largest and longest-running mine fire in the history of Victoria.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

AGL pulls out of coal seam gas across Australia, leaving farmers ‘ecstatic’

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 5:41pm

Energy company cites low oil prices for decision to cease exploration and wind down or sell its gas fields, with CSG opponents calling the move a well-earned victory

AGL is pulling out of coal seam gas in Australia, ceasing its exploration and winding down or selling its operational gas fields.

Plummeting oil and gas prices were cited by AGL as one of the main reasons for the decision in its announcement to the ASX on Thursday morning, as well as lower than expected production volumes from one of its fields in NSW.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Call for urgent inquiry into world heritage forest fires in Tasmania

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 5:39pm

Experts say fires like those that continue to ravage Tasmanian forests, and look set to burn for days or weeks to come, could be the ‘new normal’

A national inquiry into the fires devastating world heritage forests in Tasmania is urgently needed, say conservationists and academics. The call comes as experts say fires like those could be the new normal.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has called for the public inquiry as dozens of fires continue to ravage the world heritage forests and look set to burn for days or weeks to come.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

From liquid air to supercapacitors, energy storage is finally poised for a breakthrough

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 5:07pm

Banks of batteries and other technologies could lower energy bills and help renewable power, says energy storage industry as it gears up for bumper year

“It doesn’t always rain when you need water, so we have reservoirs - but we don’t have the same system for electricity,” says Jill Cainey, director of the UK’s Electricity Storage Network.

But that may change in 2016, with industry figures predicting a breakthrough year for a technology not only seen as vital to the large-scale rollout of renewable energy, but also offering the prospect of lowering customers’ energy bills.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Activists condemn trophy-hunting club for 'turning wildlife into commodities'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 3:18pm

Safari Club International draws hunters to Las Vegas for four-day convention billed as the ‘Ultimate Hunters’ Market’ – highlighted by auction of animal hunts

The world’s largest trophy hunting club was on the defensive at its giant annual auction in Las Vegas as animal rights advocates and conservation experts traveled from across the globe to condemn the industry that killed Cecil, one of Africa’s most famous lions.

The Safari Club International on Wednesday kicked off its elaborate four-day convention and “Ultimate Hunters’ Market” inside the Mandalay Bay luxury hotel and casino – drawing 25,000 people to the members-only show. In ballrooms and convention halls with signs describing the event as the “THE BIGGEST THE BEST”, hunters mingled with outfitters, gun makers, booking agents, taxidermists and other industry representatives and enthusiasts.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Milking it: critics take aim at new environmental guidelines for dairy industry

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 3:00pm

The US dairy industry is outlining ways ranchers and producers can reduce their environmental impact. But do the new guidelines go far enough?

Brian Medeiros generally keeps the operation at Medeiros & Son simple and traditional. The Central California farm’s 2,500 cows get milked three times a day and the resulting milk is shipped to area processors and turned into cheese and butter.

“We’re not the newest, most fandangled-type facility,” said Medeiros, a second-generation dairy farmer.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Video shows only known wild jaguar in US at home in Arizona mountains

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 2:31pm

The big cat, known as ‘El Jefe’, has been living in 25 miles south of downtown Tucson – half a century after the last verified US jaguar was killed by a hunter

The only known wild jaguar in the United States is seen roaming around a creek and other parts of a mountain range just south of Tucson, Arizona in the first publicly released video of the big cat.

Related: Eastern Cougar extinct, no longer needs protection, says US conservation agency

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Michigan Governor Wants $30 Million To Help Pay Bills For Lead-Tainted Water

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 2:15pm

Flint residents are still being billed for water that's unsafe to drink. Tens of thousands of petitions have demanded a moratorium on residents' drinking water bills.

Categories: Environment

Flint water crisis: Michigan officials ignored EPA warnings about toxicity

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 11:37am

‘We all let the people of Flint down,’ authorities tells Congress in hearing that also highlights flawed water testing practices that persist in other major US cities

The Environmental Protection Agency warned of an unfolding toxic water crisis in Flint but was “met with resistance” by Michigan authorities, a fiery congressional hearing into the city’s public health disaster has heard.

Expert advice was dismissed, prompting Michigan’s government to issue an apology to the people of Flint at the hearing for sidelining people who raised concerns over dangerous levels of lead in in the city’s water.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Finally, Kenyans can watch their own country's wildlife on TV

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/02/03 - 9:22am

A ground-breaking series of programmes on Kenyan TV is set to transform public attitudes toward wildlife conservation

Africa’s unique wildlife heritage attracts millions of tourists to the continent and contributes enormously to the economy. It is a tragic irony that this wildlife remains unknown to the majority of Africans.

Recently I have been involved in an initiative that aims to change this state of affairs. Launched in January, the TV series “NTV Wild” is a collaboration between NTV, Kenya’s leading TV channel, my NGO WildlifeDirect, and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content