Nicolas Cage to star in climate change disaster movie

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 2:58am

The actor will take the lead in The Humanity Bureau, set in 2030 when global warming has destroyed much of the Earth’s hottest regions

Nicolas Cage is to take the lead in a new sci-fi movie depicting a world ravaged by climate change. The film, called The Humanity Project, takes place in 2030, when much of the midwest of America has been rendered uninhabitable.

The government agency of the title exiles people felt to be unproductive and banishes them to a colony, New Eden. Cage plays a caseworker seeking to appeal the exile of a single mother (Sarah Lind) and her son (Jakob Davies).

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Categories: Environment

BHP Billiton raises 'power security' fears after latest South Australia blackout

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/12/01 - 12:07am

CEO Andrew Mackenzie warns jobs in peril due to government policy failure after power was cut to 200,000 properties on Wednesday night

Federal and state governments must make power security a priority after South Australia suffered another widespread blackout, the boss of mining company BHP Billiton has warned.

Andrew Mackenzie said problems which cut power to 200,000 properties on Wednesday night showed that investment and jobs were being placed in peril by the failure of policy to both reduce emissions and secure affordable and uninterrupted power.

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Categories: Environment

Trees may increase air pollution on city streets

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 11:01pm

Leaves and branches can slow air currents and cause pollutants to settle, says health watchdog

City trees, popularly thought to remove pollutants and improve urban life, may also increase the amount of foul air that people breathe, says the UK body which gives independent health guidance to national and local government.

“Leaves and branches slow air currents, causing pollutants to settle. They may also act as sinks for particulates and chemicals that may have direct or indirect effects in air quality. Air quality [under trees] may deteriorate at street level near vehicles,” says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) in new draft guidance for local government to combat air pollution.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change will stir 'unimaginable' refugee crisis, says military

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 11:00pm

Unchecked global warming is greatest threat to 21st-century security where mass migration could be ‘new normal’, say senior military

Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”.

The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency.

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Categories: Environment

Shark net exemption granted in 'national interest', Josh Frydenberg says

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 9:16pm

Start to tourism season prompts environment minister to override federal law and allow the nets in NSW

Josh Frydenberg overrode federal law to give the go-ahead to lethal shark nets in northern New South Wales to save the local tourist industry and nipper clubs.

The environment minister has argued that there was a “national interest” in installing the controversial nets because, with the tourism season about to start, surf shops were experiencing decreased sales and nipper clubs had fewer registrations.

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Categories: Environment

Direct Action review could bring changes to renewable targets, says PM

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 6:51pm

Malcolm Turnbull says ‘mechanisms’ to meet 2030 Paris emission reduction targets may need to be examined

Malcolm Turnbull has acknowledged the looming review of the Direct Action climate policy in 2017 “may result in some changes” to the federal renewable energy target.

The prime minister’s hedged observation on Thursday morning comes ahead of the release of the preliminary findings of the Finkel energy security review determining whether the national electricity market can deliver reliable base load power while meeting Australia’s climate change commitments.

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Categories: Environment

Nice proposes 'smooth driving' measures to cut air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 5:38pm

Variable speed limits, removal of speed bumps and ‘no idling’ zones near schools among recommendations

Speed bumps should be removed, speed limits made variable on England’s motorways, sometimes dropping as low as 50mph, and a congestion charge considered in more cities to cut air pollution and save lives, health experts have said.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) released a series of recommendations on Thursday which it said would “promote a smoother driving style” and help keep emissions down.

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Categories: Environment

Siemens' £310m Hull plant will take windfarm technology to new level

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 5:06pm

Greg Clark welcomes 700-job factory, which will produce hundreds of 75m-long blades a year for a new generation of offshore windfarms

The first batch of 75-metre-long wind turbine blades will roll out of a new factory in Hull on Thursday, destined for huge windfarms off the UK’s coast.

The inauguration of the Siemens plant at the city’s Alexandra Dock employs 700 people and was hailed by campaigners as an example of how curbing carbon emissions could create jobs.

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Categories: Environment

Snorkeller suffers heart attack from Irukandji sting in far north Queensland

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 5:05pm

Victorian woman spends two days in hospital after being stung on neck off Fitzroy Island

A female snorkeller is lucky to be alive after suffering heart failure following an Irukandji jellyfish sting in far north Queensland.

The 39-year-old Victorian woman was snorkelling off Fitzroy Island last Friday when she was stung on the neck by the deadly, thumbnail-sized jellyfish.

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Categories: Environment

Blocking Supplies To Pipeline Protesters Would Be 'Huge Mistake,' N.D. Governor Says

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 4:16pm

Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Wednesday his emergency evacuation order for areas near the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline did not authorize roadblocks or forcible removal of people.

Categories: Environment

Antarctic Beetle Species Discovery Doubles As Birthday Gift To Scientists' Mentor

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 4:05pm

Ball's Antarctic Tundra Beetle was small and brown, and it has been extinct for millions of years. The scientists who discovered it named it in honor of another beetle scientist's 90th birthday.

Categories: Environment

Tasmanian tiger sightings: 'I represent 3,000 people who have been told they’re nuts'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 2:37pm

The Thylacine Awareness Group is ‘dedicated to the research, recognition and conservation of our most elusive apex predator’ – declared extinct in 1986

Six years ago Neil Waters moved to Tasmania. There, he says, he had a “brief encounter” with a thylacine, the carnivorous marsupial known as the Tasmanian tiger, declared extinct in 1986.

Two years later, in January 2014, he was doing work on his house when a smaller animal walked up a dirt track leading out of a tin mine and past his bedroom window.

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Categories: Environment

Deforestation Of The Amazon Up 29 Percent From Last Year, Study Finds

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 1:26pm

Brazil's National Institute for Space Research found that more than 3,000 square miles of forest cover were lost between August 2015 and July 2016 — a substantial increase over the year before.

Categories: Environment

'Walking sharks' at greater risk of extinction than previously thought

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 12:05pm

New analysis of nine species that ‘walk’ by night on shallow reefs shows their range is much smaller than was known

Bizarre “walking sharks” are at a greater risk of extinction than previously thought, with new information about their distribution leading researchers to expect greater efforts to protect them from human threats such as fishing and climate change.

Bamboo sharks include nine species of sharks that swim and “walk” in shallow waters around northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and parts of Indonesia. In 2013 a new species of the genus was found in Indonesia.

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Categories: Environment

Wildfires Still Burn In Tennessee As Death Toll Rises To At Least 7

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 11:42am

Eight new blazes raged Wednesday near Gatlinburg, Tenn., where fire has already destroyed more than 150 structures and injured dozens of people. "There were rivers of fire," said a resident who fled.

Categories: Environment

Cold weather in England and Wales set to continue

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 11:38am

Parts of UK experienced coldest night of the season on Tuesday, with temperature of -9.4C (15F) recorded in Powys in Wales

England and Wales will continue to experience some of the coldest temperatures of the last 12 months over the next few days , as the meteorological winter starts on Thursday.

Related: Cold snaps: frost and ice around the UK – in pictures

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Categories: Environment

Sheffield council urged to drop plans to fell war memorial trees

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 7:16am

Trees planted in memory of a school’s former pupils killed in first world war set to be cut down in road maintenance project

Campaigners are demanding that Sheffield council re-examine plans to cut down trees planted to honour soldiers killed in the first world war, in the latest development of the long-running battle over the local authority’s tree-felling programme.

The 23 trees on Western Road in the Crookes area of the city were planted in memory of a group of young soldiers who attended nearby Westways primary school and were killed in the war.

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Categories: Environment

Inner Mongolia's unauthorised steel factories – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 6:07am

‘We will make China a beautiful country with blue sky, green vegetation and clear rivers,’ vowed President Xi Jinping in September. But these haunting photographs by the award-winning Canadian photojournalist Kevin Frayer, who travelled to Inner Mongolia to witness the activities of unauthorised steel mills, underline the scale of Beijing’s challenge to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels

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Categories: Environment

Tesco and Sainsbury's ban plastic cotton buds to cut waste

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 5:15am

UK’s two largest supermarket chains will replace the plastic stems with paper ones in all own-brand products by the end of 2017

The UK’s two largest supermarket chains have committed to end the sale of cotton buds with plastic stems, which are the most common litter from toilets flushed on to the country’s beaches.

Both Tesco and Sainsbury’s will replace the plastic stick with paper by the end of 2017 in their own-brand products.

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Categories: Environment

Obama's complicated legacy on climate change - video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/30 - 5:00am

Barack Obama has been called the first ‘climate president’ for acknowledging the real threat of global warming. But work by Columbia University and the Guardian shows that Obama’s climate record has been badly tarnished by investments made in dirty fuels around the world

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Categories: Environment
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