Environment

Murray-Darling basin plan fails environment and wastes money – experts

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 10:00am

Scientists and economists condemn squandering of $4bn on projects that have failed to improve the river’s health

A group of prominent scientists and economists have issued a stark warning to the nation’s politicians: the Murray-Darling basin plan is failing to achieve environmental goals and is a “gross waste” of money.

The group of seven economists and five scientists with deep expertise in the river are meeting on Monday morning in Adelaide to issue what they are calling the Murray-Darling declaration.

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Categories: Environment

Crofters on Lewis fight EDF and Wood Group's windfarm proposal

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 7:09am

Energy giants hope Scottish court will permit development of 36 turbines on moorland

Hundreds of crofters are fighting an attempt by the energy giants EDF and Wood Group to build a windfarm on the island of Lewis.

More than 200 crofters have objected to proposals to build on communal land close to Stornoway, the biggest town in the Outer Hebrides. The crofters want to build their own development, with the profits going to the local community.

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Categories: Environment

South African Farmers Lose Crops And Workers Amid Crippling Drought

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 6:09am

Agriculture generates hundreds of millions of dollars per year for this nation. But with water being diverted to Cape Town and expected to run out in April, farmers are preparing for the worst.

(Image credit: Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

In The U.S. Virgin Islands, Health Care Remains In A Critical State

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 6:09am

In September, two Category 5 hurricanes devastated the region. Now, its hospitals can no longer provide major surgery, cancer treatment or specialized care, forcing daily staff cuts and revenue loss.

(Image credit: Greg Allen/NPR)

Categories: Environment

How Bill Gates aims to clean up the planet

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/02/04 - 2:00am

It’s a simple idea: strip CO2 from the air and use it to produce carbon-neutral fuel. But can it work on an industrial scale?

It’s nothing much to look at, but the tangle of pipes, pumps, tanks, reactors, chimneys and ducts on a messy industrial estate outside the logging town of Squamish in western Canada could just provide the fix to stop the world tipping into runaway climate change and substitute dwindling supplies of conventional fuel.

It could also make Harvard superstar physicist David Keith, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and oil sands magnate Norman Murray Edwards more money than they could ever dream of.

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Categories: Environment

White House To Withdraw Controversial Nominee For Top Environmental Post

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/02/03 - 11:38pm

The White House will pull nominee Kathleen Hartnett White to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. White has drawn criticism for her comments on climate change.

Categories: Environment

Labor offers solar panels and Tesla batteries for 50,000 South Australia homes

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/02/03 - 8:39pm

‘Virtual’ power plant will cut bills, premier says, as Turnbull attacks renewable policy at Liberal campaign launch

A network of at least 50,000 home solar systems backed up by battery storage will create the world’s largest “virtual” power plant to cut energy bills, Jay Weatherill has said.

The South Australian premier said a trial was already under way to install solar panels and Tesla batteries on 1,100 Housing Trust homes. The cost would be financed by the sale of electricity. The power generated by the solar panels and the batteries would not be owned directly by the households.

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Categories: Environment

Adani coalmine won't get federal rail funding, Liberal minister says

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/02/03 - 4:17pm

Concessional $900m loan cannot proceed without Queensland government approval, Karen Andrews says

The Adani Carmichael coalmine will not receive federal funding from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for a vital rail line, a Turnbull government minister has said.

The announcement by Karen Andrews on Sunday is a major blow to Adani, which has sought a $900m concessional loan for rail to link the Carmichael mine to port – and could spell the end of the project entirely if it can’t secure private finance.

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Categories: Environment

North Carolina governor seeks offshore drilling exemption in Zinke meeting

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/02/03 - 1:40pm
  • Roy Cooper: ‘No safe method to drill for oil and gas off the coast’
  • Interior secretary had exempted Republican-controlled Florida

North Carolina’s governor said he had a good conversation on Saturday with the interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, regarding plans to expand drilling for gas and oil off the state’s coast.

Related: Trump administration plans to allow oil and gas drilling off nearly all US coast

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Categories: Environment

Cape Town faces Day Zero: what happens when the city turns off the taps?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/02/03 - 1:00am

In 10 weeks engineers will turn off water for a million homes as this South African city reacts to one-in-384-year drought. The rich are digging boreholes, more are panic-buying bottled water, and the army is on standby

Interactive explainer: how Cape Town is running dry

The head of Cape Town’s disaster operations centre is drawing up a plan he hopes he never has to implement as this South African city on the frontline of climate change prepares to be the first in the world to turn off the water taps.

“We’ve identified four risks: water shortages, sanitation failures, disease outbreaks and anarchy due to competition for scarce resources,” says Greg Pillay. “We had to go back to the drawing board. We were prepared for disruption of supply, but not a no-water scenario. In my 40 years in emergency services, this is the biggest crisis.”

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Categories: Environment

Yorkshire coal plant to close with loss of 130 jobs

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/02/02 - 10:01am

Eggborough’s failure to get capacity market contract proved final straw for power station

A major coal power station in Yorkshire will close at the end of September after it failed to secure a government subsidy to provide backup power next winter.

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Categories: Environment

Green Brexit is impossible to guarantee, EU is warned

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/02/02 - 8:42am

Exclusive: Leaked paper from group representing Tory MEPs says it will be impossible to ensure current standards are kept in Britain or EU

The European Conservative and Reformist group which represents Conservative MEPs has has said Brexit will make it “impossible” to guarantee that current environmental standards can be maintained in Britain or the EU.

A leaked document seen by the Guardian also calls for “the closest possible working relationship” between the EU and UK after Brexit, and for a “no regression clause” in future British trade deals.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/02/02 - 7:00am

Golden monkeys, whooper swans and a giant tortoise are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

From Scraps To Snacks: Pulp Left Over From Juice Bars Is Reborn In New Foods

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/02/02 - 6:00am

Juicing is all the rage – and produces lots of leftover fruit and vegetable bits. Once thrown out as compost, that fiber is now sneaking its way into snacks, breakfast foods and even burgers.

(Image credit: Grace Hwang Lynch for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Former national monuments shrunk by Trump to be opened for mining claims

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/02/02 - 4:00am

Presidential order reduced protections for land once part of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments

Hundreds of thousands of acres of land that were part of two US national monuments shrunk by Donald Trump are being opened on Friday to mining claims for uranium and other minerals.

It is a symbolic step in a broader conflict over the fate of America’s public lands, on which Trump hopes to encourage greater access for extractive industries.

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Categories: Environment

Almost four environmental defenders a week killed in 2017

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/02/02 - 4:00am

Exclusive: 197 people killed last year for defending land, wildlife or natural resources, new Global Witness data reveals. In recording every defender’s death, the Guardian hopes to raise awareness of the deadly struggle on the environmental frontline

The slaughter of people defending their land or environment continued unabated in 2017, with new research showing almost four people a week were killed worldwide in struggles against mines, plantations, poachers and infrastructure projects.

The toll of 197 in 2017 – which has risen fourfold since it was first compiled in 2002 – underscores the violence on the frontiers of a global economy driven by expansion and consumption.

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Categories: Environment

January becomes hottest month ever recorded in New Zealand

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/02/01 - 11:44pm

Average temperature for the month was 20.3C, more than three degrees higher than normal

January was the hottest month ever recorded in New Zealand, according to figures released on Friday, and experts say climate change is one factor.

Related: Met Office warns of global temperature rise exceeding 1.5C limit

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Categories: Environment

Country diary: where sparrows go when they vanish at dusk

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/02/01 - 10:30pm

Caistor St Edmund, Norfolk: Trying to find enough shelter to keep warm and conserve energy without increasing the risk of attack is a juggling act for a small bird


The torchlight cut through the dark, searching the canopy of a tall cedar as it swayed in the last gusts of the storm. A splash of white 15 metres up caught my attention: bird droppings, bright against the dark bark. Just above it, a wood pigeon was resting cosily against a jackdaw. A cock pheasant turned its head to observe me, that russet and red enhanced by the torch beam.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil's Pantanal - the world's biggest wetland: in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/02/01 - 10:00pm

To celebrate World Wetlands day, WWF is highlighting its work in the Pantanal, the world’s biggest wetland. This pristine environment in South America supports a rich variety of wildlife and plants, while its enormous water reserves are vital for the 8 million people who depend on the Pantanal’s fresh water, fish, climate control and tourism.

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Categories: Environment

Nigel the lonely gannet dies as he lived, surrounded by concrete birds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/02/01 - 9:47pm

New Zealand conservationists mourn loss of celebrated bird that was lured by replica gannets in the hope of establishing a breeding colony

If there is such a thing as a tragic life for a bird, then the life of Nigel “no mates”, a New Zealand gannet, probably fits that bill.

Nigel lived for years on his own on uninhabited Mana Island off the north of the country, surrounded by concrete replica gannets.

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Categories: Environment
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