It's the economy that needs to be integrated into the environment - not the other way around | Andrew Simms

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 1:55am

BP’s call for a ‘meaningful carbon price’ is the latest example of wrongly trying to apply economic theories and tools to the environment

BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy is a standard industry reference document. It’s a useful indicator of trends, if occasionally the victim of politics.

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Categories: Environment

Pressure mounts over 'suppression' of UK fracking impacts report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 12:00am

Campaigners accuse the government of sitting on a potentially explosive report from its official advisers on the impact of fracking for shale gas

Pressure is growing on the UK government to release a report into the impacts of shale gas fracking, which campaigners have accused ministers of suppressing.

The Committee on Climate Change, which advises parliament on meeting the UK’s carbon targets, submitted the report in March. It covers the expected impact of exploiting the UK’s onshore oil and gas resources on nationally set greenhouse gas targets.

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Categories: Environment

'It's so beautiful': Indigenous rangers spot rare golden-coloured mole in desert

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 9:26pm

Rarely seen and barely studied, the kakarratul, or northern marsupial mole, spends most of its life burrowing through sand dunes

A little golden creature darted across a dirt track in the Gibson desert, just in front of the four-wheel drive.

Pintupi woman Yalti Napaltjari, travelling with a group of Aboriginal rangers from the Kiwirrkurra Indigenous protected area, gave a yell and jumped out.

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Categories: Environment

Hedgehogs continue to disappear from British gardens, wildlife survey shows

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 9:01pm

RSPB campaign urges gardeners to do one thing to help wildlife this summer after survey reveals rise and fall of familiar species

Gardeners are being urged to do more to help hedgehogs this summer after new figures showed that fewer people than ever are seeing the once-familiar species.

Results from the from the RSPB’s citizen science survey showed that only 25% of people see hedgehogs in their garden at least once a month, around three percentage points less than last year and than in 2014.

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: first mammal species wiped out by human-induced climate change

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 8:44pm

Exclusive: scientists find no trace of the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that was the only mammal endemic to Great Barrier Reef

Human-caused climate change appears to have driven the Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic mammal species into the history books, with the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that lives on a tiny island in the eastern Torres Strait, being completely wiped-out from its only known location.

It is also the first recorded extinction of a mammal anywhere in the world thought to be primarily due to human-caused climate change.

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Categories: Environment

How swifts survive a wet British June

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 1:30pm

Long-distance flights enable aerial hunters to feed their young whatever the weather

For Britain’s breeding birds – especially those migrants that spend only a short time here before heading back to their winter home in Africa – June is a crucial month.

Plentiful sunshine – June is usually the sunniest month of the year in England and Wales, thanks to the long hours of daylight – provide the vast amounts of insects and invertebrates that these birds require to feed their young.

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Categories: Environment

Here's Really Where Zika Mosquitoes Are Likely In The U.S.

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 1:14pm

A few months ago, health officials published a map that made it look like a big part of the U.S. was at high risk for Zika. Now they've released a new map that paints a very different picture.

Categories: Environment

A Map Of Where Your Food Originated May Surprise You

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 11:25am

A new study reveals the full extent of globalization in our food supply. More than two-thirds of the crops that underpin national diets originally came from somewhere else — often far away.

Categories: Environment

Carbon dioxide levels in atmosphere forecast to shatter milestone

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 8:41am

Scientists warn that global warming target will be overshot within two decades, as annual concentrations of CO2 set to pass 400 parts per million in 2016

Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 will shatter the symbolic barrier of 400 parts per million (ppm) this year and will not fall below it our in our lifetimes, according to a new Met Office study.

Carbon dioxide measurements at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii are forecast to soar by a record 3.1ppm this year – up from an annual average of 2.1ppm – due in large part to the cyclical El Niño weather event in the Pacific, the paper says.

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Categories: Environment

Legal ivory sale drove dramatic increase in elephant poaching, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 6:00am

Research shows the legal sale in 2008 catastrophically backfired – but two African nations want to repeat the stockpile sell-off

A huge legal sale of ivory intended to cut elephant poaching instead catastrophically backfired by dramatically increasing elephant deaths, according to new research.

The revelation comes just months before a decision on whether to permit another legal sale and against a backdrop of more African elephants being killed for ivory than are being born. In 2015 alone, 20,000 elephants were illegally killed.

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Categories: Environment

Scrap destructive Gwent Levels motorway plan, charities say

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 3:04am

In open letter charities say environmental evidence should lead Welsh government to stop plan that would cut through wetland

Ten leading environmental charities have claimed a proposed section of motorway that would cut through wildlife-rich wetland represents “ecological destruction on an unprecedented scale”.

The charities have written an open letter to the Welsh government calling for it to scrap £1bn plans to build a 14-mile stretch of motorway through the Gwent Levels near Newport in south Wales.

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Categories: Environment

Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 3:00am

Analysis of Peabody Energy court documents show company backed trade groups, lobbyists and thinktanks dubbed ‘heart and soul of climate denial’

Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals.

The funding spanned trade associations, corporate lobby groups, and industry front groups as well as conservative thinktanks and was exposed in court filings last month.

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Categories: Environment

The Grand Oil Party: House Republicans denounce a carbon tax | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 3:00am

Lobbying from the petroleum industry may have convinced Republicans to denounce a carbon tax

On Friday, the US House of Representatives voted on a Resolution condemning a carbon tax. As The Hill reported:

Lawmakers passed, by a 237-163 vote, a GOP-backed resolution listing pitfalls from a tax on carbon dioxide emissions and concluding that such a policy “would be detrimental to American families and businesses, and is not in the best interest of the United States.”

Six Democrats voted with the GOP for the resolution. No Republicans dissented.

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Categories: Environment

Air pollution linked to increased mental illness in children

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 1:57am

New research is first to establish the link and builds on other evidence that children are particularly vulnerable to even low levels of pollution

A major new study has linked air pollution to increased mental illness in children, even at low levels of pollution.

The new research found that relatively small increases in air pollution were associated with a significant increase in treated psychiatric problems. It is the first study to establish the link but is consistent with a growing body of evidence that air pollution can affect mental and cognitive health and that children are particularly vulnerable to poor air quality.

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Categories: Environment

Where have all our curlew gone?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/12 - 9:30pm

The Stiperstones, Shropshire We might have been walking towards a future devoid of the riveting, other-worldly call of the curlew

A few Sundays ago, Mary Colwell-Hector and I were walking with a bunch of ornithologists and conservationists along the Stiperstones ridge. The scent of gorse drifted on warm air. Sunlight moved over the heather and farmland finding sheep, meadows and cattle. But our talk was more of what wasn’t there. We should have been seeing curlew, returned from the coast to breed here in the Shropshire-Powys borderlands.

The British Trust for Ornithology estimates that 68,000 breeding pairs remain in the UK – about 46% of the 1994 figure. “But where are they? They’re not here, and they’re not in Wales or Ireland,” said Mary, the former producer of Shared Planet, who is walking 500 miles through Ireland and England to highlight fears about the decline of these distinctive waders.

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Categories: Environment

Five things we can do right now to save the Great Barrier Reef | John Pandolfi

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/12 - 8:39pm

It can be easy to tune out when you think a problem is too big to solve, but there are five things that need to happen now to save the reef

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the state of the Great Barrier Reef and the major threat it faces. Sometimes it feels overwhelming – reefs are dying and it seems nothing can be done.

Actually there is much that can be done, from the Australian government really putting our money where its mouth is, to understanding that science must be at the basis of all action.

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Categories: Environment

Today's campaign: how would you rather spend $1bn?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/12 - 3:16pm

Election 2016: Labor unveils broadband pledge as Coalition promises more money for the Great Barrier Reef

Let’s start today with a game: how would you rather spend $1bn?

Labor has announced it will spend an extra $1bn on the national broadband network, which will apparently double the number of homes connected as fibre-to-the-home, rather than fibre-to-the-node, and meet the Coalition’s timeline of finishing the project by 2022.

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Categories: Environment

Coalition will protect Great Barrier Reef with $1bn fund, says PM

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/12 - 1:03pm

Amid a series of reports detailing the poor state of the reef, Malcolm Turnbull is promising improved water quality and clean energy for the region

Malcolm Turnbull has promised that a re-elected Coalition government will protect the Great Barrier Reef by tackling its two biggest challenges – climate change and water quality.

The prime minister will pledge to set up a new $1bn reef fund with $1bn – taken from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s $10bn special account – to invest in projects that will improve water quality, reduce emissions and provide clean energy in the reef catchment region.

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Categories: Environment

Sea of glass: the underwater world of Leopold Blaschka

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/12 - 1:00am

The 19th century glassblower’s intricate sculptures of marine life are a window on the ocean 150 years ago, says ecology professor Drew Harvell

In the 1860s, when the Bohemian glassblower Leopold Blaschka began sculpting models of underwater creatures, the Industrial Revolution, population growth and climate change had yet to take their toll on marine biodiversity. Over three decades, using techniques that still baffle experts, Leopold and his son, Rudolf, handmade about 10,000 marine sculptures, each one rendered in minute detail: impossibly delicate anemones, livid orange cuttlefish – creatures at once alien and unnervingly lifelike.

In a world before scuba diving, underwater photography or ocean life surveys, the Blaschkas’ models proved an invaluable educational resource, with universities worldwide purchasing collections of glass specimens. One of the largest, with 570 models, belongs to Cornell University in the US, where until recently it was all but forgotten, stowed in a warehouse in a state of disrepair. As a young professor in the 1990s, Dr Drew Harvell began cataloguing the collection, discovering a “time capsule” of 19th-century marine biology. “There’s value in the entire collection,” she says. “It’s what you could see 150 years ago, frozen in time.”

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Categories: Environment

How a student's death highlighted our reliance on companies for health advice

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/12 - 12:00am

The death of Wei Zei, a student seeking cancer cures online, raises questions about the responsibility of tech companies for the health data they provide

China’s equivalent of Google is under fire. Search engine Baidu has been criticised following the death of 21-year-old student Wei Zai, who used the search engine to research esoteric treatments for his cancer.

After Wei Zai’s death, the state-run People’s Daily attacked Baidu, claiming it was ranking search results in exchange for money. “There have been hospitals making profits at the cost of killing patients who were directed by false advertisements paid at a higher rank in search results,” the article claimed, adding, “profit considerations shall not be placed over social responsibility”.

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Categories: Environment
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