Green prawn imports suspended amid white spot disease outbreak

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 7:30pm

Australian government sanctions a major importer after virus detected in Queensland, says Barnaby Joyce

The importation of green prawns into Australia will be suspended after an outbreak of white spot disease in Queensland, the federal agriculture minister, Barnaby Joyce, has announced.

The federal government had taken action against a major prawn importer on Friday after the disease was detected in Queensland, Joyce said. The virus is highly contagious and lethal, killing prawns quickly. It has the potential to devastate the industry but does not pose a risk to humans.

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Categories: Environment

Tiger snake bites father and son in their Melbourne home

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 5:46pm

Matt Horn bitten twice after he found 11-year-old Braeden, who has autism, playing with the reptile

A Melbourne father and his 11-year-old autistic son have been bitten by a tiger snake that slithered into their suburban home.

Matt Horn was bitten twice as he tried to protect his son, Braeden, who had been bitten while playing with the snake in the hallway of their Diamond Creek home.

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Categories: Environment

A Big Fish Sells For Over Half A Million — But Other Big Questions Persist

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 3:07pm

For the sixth year in a row, Kiyoshi Kimura won a massive Pacific bluefin tuna at Tsukiji market's famed New Year auction. Conservationists are worried about the species' dwindling population.

(Image credit: Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

Categories: Environment

Climate Scientist Pens Open Letter To President-Elect Trump

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 2:27pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Ben Santer, a climate scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, about his open letter to Donald Trump on climate change.

Categories: Environment

Fishing Rule Aims To Do For All Marine Mammals What It Did For The Dolphin

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 1:49pm

Foreign fisheries exporting seafood to the U.S. will now have to meet the same standards for protecting whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals as American fisheries do.

(Image credit: Flip Nicklin/ Minden Pictures/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

All that glitters is not green: Costa Rica's renewables conceal dependence on oil

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 9:51am

Costa Rica produced 98% of its electricity last year without fossil fuels but the sustainable success story unravels with the rising demand for gasoline and cars

Unless you’ve avoided social media for the last week, you probably know that last year, Costa Rica was able to produce 98% of its electricity without oil – a feat that most larger and wealthier countries have never accomplished.

Over the past few days, reports of Costa Rica’s 271 days of fossil-fuel free electricity have made their way to almost every corner of the internet.

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Categories: Environment

Human rights abuses complaint against WWF to be examined by OECD

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 8:25am

In unprecedented move, OECD will look into allegations that world’s largest conservation organisation facilitated abuse of Baka people of Cameroon

A human rights abuses complaint against WWF, the world’s largest conservation organisation, is to be examined by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD) in an unprecedented step.

Anti-poaching government “eco-guards” in the Cameroon rainforests, part-funded and logistically supported by WWF, are alleged to have destroyed camps and property belonging to the hunter-gatherer Baka people. The guards are accused of using physical force and threats of violence against the Baka people over a number of years.

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Categories: Environment

James Delingpole article calling ocean acidification 'alarmism' cleared by press watchdog

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 6:50am

Climate sceptic journalist’s claim that marine life has nothing to fear from rising ocean acidity levels is not misleading but ‘comment’, says Ipso

A magazine article claiming “marine life has nothing whatsoever to fear from ocean acidification” has been deemed neither misleading nor inaccurate by the UK’s press regulator.

The feature, written by journalist and climate-change sceptic James Delingpole, appeared in the Spectator under the headline “Ocean acidification: yet another wobbly pillar of climate alarmism”.

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Categories: Environment

The biggest environmental battles facing the Trump administration

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 6:00am

Some flashpoints for environmental activists relating to climate change that are likely to erupt in the first few months of Donald Trump’s presidency

Donald Trump is likely to face unprecedented opposition from environmental groups during his presidency as activists prepare to battle the new administration on a number of fronts across the US.

While environmentalists clashed with Barack Obama over the Keystone and Dakota Access oil pipelines, these fights could pale in comparison to the array of grievances Trump will face over water security, fracking and climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Yellowstone fish deaths point to huge toll of human activity on rivers

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 4:46am

A recent outbreak of a fish parasite on Yellowstone may have seemed unremarkable, but new research shows it could be linked to years of human activities that are slowly chocking river systems to death, reports Environment 360

The Yellowstone river has its headwaters in the mountain streams and snowy peaks of the famous US national park with the same name, and makes an unfettered downhill run all the way to the Missouri river, nearly 700 miles away. It is the longest undammed river in the Lower 48 states.

Last August, the Yellowstone made national headlines when a parasite killed thousands of fish, mostly whitefish. Fear of spreading the parasite to other waterways forced Montana officials to close the river to fishermen, rafters, and boaters. At the height of summer, the stunningly scenic, trout-rich river was eerily deserted. Fishing re-opened in the fall, but the parasite has been found in other Montana waterways.

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Categories: Environment

The solar cooker that seeks its own place in the sun | Kate Hodal

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 4:14am

Solar cookers need to be moved during the day, an inconvenience that leads to some being discarded. But what if a clever unit did its own sun tracking?

Solar cookers have been promoted as a safe alternative to boil water, cook food, or even sterilise medical equipment, but many require the user to move the unit so that its focal point is in direct line with the sun. It is a seemingly simple move, but critics claim it has tended to deter users from cooking with them.

Roughly 3 billion people worldwide still cook on open fires or solid fuel stoves, according to the World Health Organisation, which estimates more than 4 million people die every year because of household pollution associated with such cooking measures.

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Categories: Environment

Cuadrilla starts work on Lancashire fracking site

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 4:06am

Energy firm says it is building access road at site in Fylde after receiving government green light last year

The energy company Cuadrilla has started work on a controversial shale gas site in Lancashire that will later this year become the first well to be fracked in the UK since 2011.

The site at Preston New Road in the Fylde is one of two rejected by Lancashire county council, but its decision was overturned last year by the communities secretary, Sajid Javid.

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Categories: Environment

Green Investment Bank sale is 'deeply troubling', say Scottish ministers

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 2:57am

Climate minister Nick Hurd told bank’s portfolio will be broken up and asset-stripped by Australia’s Macquarie

The prospect of the UK Green Investment Bank being stripped of its assets in a sale to Australian investment bank Macquarie is “deeply troubling”, Scottish ministers have told Westminster.

The sale of the Edinburgh-based bank, which supports offshore windfarms and other green projects, is expected to be agreed in January. But the Labour party, Liberal Democrats, Greens and former Conservative ministers have all raised concerns in recent weeks that privatisation may see the bank lose its environmental purpose.

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Categories: Environment

China to invest £292bn in renewable power by 2020

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/01/05 - 1:27am

World’s largest energy market looks to move from coal towards cleaner fuels

China will plough 2.5tn yuan (£292bn) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country’s energy agency has said, as the world’s largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner fuels.

The investment will create more than 13m jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration said in a blueprint document that lays out its plan to develop the nation’s energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period.

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Categories: Environment

Bluefin tuna sells for £500,000 at Japan auction amid overfishing concerns

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/01/04 - 10:57pm

Huge fish sells for 74m yen as conservationists call for moratorium to help stabilise plunging Pacific stocks

A bluefin tuna has fetched 74.2m yen (£517,000) at the first auction of the year at Tsukiji market in Tokyo, amid warnings that decades of overfishing by Japan and other countries is taking the species to the brink of extinction.

The 212kg fish, caught off the coast of Oma in northern Japan, was bought by Kiyomura, the operator of the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain, after its president, Kiyoshi Kimura, outbid rivals for the sixth year in a row.

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Categories: Environment

Dance of wings over the white crests

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/01/04 - 10:30pm

Roker beach, Sunderland Storms tore wracks from the seabed and raucous black-headed and herring gulls rode the waves

Storms had torn wracks and kelps from the seabed and driven them against Roker pier, forcing the heap higher up the beach with each successive tide. This afternoon it was seething with seabirds.

There were sanderlings, conspicuous in their pale grey and white plumage, and turnstones, whose feathers so closely matched the hues of the brown fronds that they would have been all but invisible if they had not been constantly on the move. Close by, on the seaward side, raucous black-headed and herring gulls gathered, riding the waves.

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Categories: Environment

Family out on day trip saves whale caught in fishing net – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/01/04 - 8:01pm

A family enjoying a new year’s trip has freed a humpback whale it found entangled in fishing nets off the coast of Antofagasta, Chile. Juan Menares said two of his children dived in to free the distressed 10-metre animal on Monday. Menares said: ‘That feeling after doing something good ... fills me with joy, fills me with pride and to be able to do something that I really had never done before.’

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Categories: Environment

Fires, Floods And Earthquakes: New Report Finds 2016 Was Particularly Disastrous

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/01/04 - 3:33pm

Last year sometimes felt like one natural catastrophe after another. Now, reinsurer Munich Re says there were some 750 natural disasters, suggesting it was a particularly bad year.

(Image credit: Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Categories: Environment

Research Finds Evidence Of Coastal Buffer Weakening U.S. Hurricanes

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/01/04 - 2:39pm

Fewer hurricanes have made landfall on the coast in the past decade. Research suggests a bipolar relationship between conditions in the Atlantic and along the coastline may have a protective effect.

Categories: Environment

World's oldest known orca presumed dead in blow to endangered whales

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/01/04 - 12:34pm

Known as Granny and believed to be 105, the matriarch of a small population of struggling Puget Sound orcas was first identified by researchers in the 1970s

The world’s oldest known orca – a century-old matriarch of a small population of endangered Puget Sound orcas – has been missing for months and is presumed dead by researchers in what is being described as a tremendous blow to an already struggling population.

Known as Granny and believed to be 105 years old, the orca has not been seen by researchers since mid-October, according to the Centre for Whale Research in North America’s Pacific Northwest.

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Categories: Environment
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