Environment

Crises collide as climate emergency pushes America’s homeless population to the brink

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/04/21 - 3:00am

As homelessness rises, climate-related disasters make matters worse. But Covid relief measures and Biden’s infrastructure proposal are providing cause for cautious optimism

Terri Domer knows well what a brewing storm looks like.

Domer, 62, an Iowa native, has spent her life watching thunderstorms gather and tornadoes dash across rolling hills. Last August, when the midday sky darkened over the riverside homeless encampment where Domer and four other people spent most nights – built on a sandy bank near downtown, under tall trees – she quickly set about covering up their supplies.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists Hope New Techniques Will Reverse Decline In Florida Reefs

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/04/21 - 2:03am

NOAA is overseeing a $100 million effort to restore Florida's most important coral reefs. Over the last 40 years, they've been degraded by disease, development and environmental stresses.

Categories: Environment

NSW government pays Shenhua $100m to cancel coalmine project

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/04/21 - 12:44am

Watermark deal ends as NSW Nationals talk up coal industry before Upper Hunter byelection

The NSW government will pay Chinese-owned mining company Shenhua $100m to withdraw from its Watermark coalmine project on the Liverpool Plains, ending a 13-year battle with the region’s farmers.

The deputy premier and resources minister, John Barilaro, confirmed the deal on Wednesday that will see Shenhua withdraw its mining lease application and surrender its development consent for the mine.

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Categories: Environment

Why is the Science Museum still being contaminated by Shell’s dirty money? | George Monbiot

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/04/20 - 10:00pm

It is extraordinary that the museum is receiving funding from a fossil fuel giant for an exhibition on, of all things, the climate

Taking money from fossil fuel companies today is like taking money from tobacco firms in the 1990s. The damage public institutions inflict on themselves by receiving this sponsorship exceeds any benefits. Just as their hands were once stained with nicotine, now they are stained with oil. The tobacco experience suggests that it can take many years to expunge these damn’d spots and restore their reputations.

This is the position in which the Science Museum now finds itself. It appears to have learned nothing from the reputational harm it caused itself by accepting money from the oil companies BP and Equinor. Last week it revealed that Shell was funding – wait for it – its new exhibition on climate breakdown.

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Categories: Environment

China’s Xi Jinping to attend Joe Biden’s climate summit

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/04/20 - 7:38pm

Virtual summit on Thursday will be the first meeting between the two leaders since Biden took office

China’s President Xi Jinping will attend a US-led climate change summit on Thursday at the invitation of President Joe Biden, in the first meeting between the two leaders since the advent of the new US administration.

Biden has invited dozens of world leaders to join the two-day virtual summit starting on Thursday, after bringing the US back into the 2015 Paris agreement on cutting global carbon emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Genetic diversity in salmon has declined since fish farming introduced – study

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/04/20 - 4:01pm

Researchers say loss of diversity in Sweden’s Atlantic salmon population could compromise ability of fish to adapt to climate change

Fish farming may have been devised as a remedy to reinvigorate dwindling fish stocks but this human solution has spawned another problem: lower genetic diversity.

Now, a study shows that the genetic makeup of Atlantic salmon populations from a century ago compared with the current stock across 13 Swedish rivers is more genetically similar than distinct, which researchers say could compromise the ability of the fish to adapt to climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Melting ice in Arctic linked to bowhead whales holding off annual migration

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/04/20 - 4:01pm

Researchers in Canada find that population did not make the 6,000km roundtrip in 2018-2019

As the ice melts at pace in the Arctic, the mining and shipping industry has carved itself an opportunity out of the crisis. Meanwhile, the marine ecosystem is left to coping with the heat, noise, pollution and the cascade of other changes that come with the upheaval of the environment.

Now researchers have found a whale species that typically migrates away from solid sea ice each autumn and returns every summer to feast on tiny crustaceans did not make the 6,000km (3,700-mile) roundtrip in 2018-2019.

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Categories: Environment

Some CEOs Are Hearing A New Message: Act On Climate, Or We'll Cut Your Pay

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2021/04/20 - 1:31pm

Some companies, under pressure from shareholders, are tying executive compensation to climate targets. It's not widespread yet, but the approach is catching on.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Australia’s third-largest carbon emitter says it must transition to renewables and curtail coal plants

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/04/20 - 10:30am

Stanwell, which is Queensland’s largest power generator, says ‘energy market is shifting from fossil fuel generation’ at a ‘rapid pace’

Australia’s third-largest greenhouse gas emitter and Queensland’s largest power generator, Stanwell Corporation, has revealed plans to transition its business from fossil fuels to renewables, including curtailing the output of its coal-fired power plants.

The Queensland government-owned corporation operates three coal plants, including two – Tarong North and Stanwell – regularly touted as among the youngest in the country and not scheduled to close for several decades.

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Categories: Environment

He survived California’s deadliest wildfire. But not his encounter with police

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/04/20 - 3:00am

Stephen Vest was left homeless after the Camp fire destroyed Paradise. He died last year after a chaotic incident in which police shot at him 11 times

Through the overhead lights from his car, the security guard saw that Stephen Vest was injured. The dark-haired 30-year-old’s left arm appeared to be bleeding as he walked out of the park just before 8pm on a warm night last October.

“What’s wrong? What happened? What can I do to help?” the guard asked Vest from his car.

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Categories: Environment

‘Within minutes I was weeping’: the US pastor using scripture to mobilize climate action

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/04/20 - 2:00am

Religious leaders, who know how to relate to communities on an emotional level, may be best positioned to convince people to support climate activism, experts say

The Rev Scott Hardin-Nieri regularly revisits the story of Noah’s ark. “People look at that story fondly, because they focus on all the animals that were saved,” the pastor says. But for Hardin-Nieri, Noah’s ark isn’t a simple story of hope; it is principally a story about human suffering amid widespread ecological devastation. “We forget how many people were killed in this apocalyptic world where the environment was ruined,” he says.

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Categories: Environment

Green stimulus plan could create 1.2m UK jobs in two years, research finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 11:00pm

Every job lost to Covid pandemic could be replaced in upcoming recovery years, Green New Deal UK finds

A stimulus programme focused on green and digital infrastructure, research and development, energy and care work could create more than 1.2m jobs within two years and more than 2.7m jobs during the next decade, according to research.

Such a strategy alongside additional government investment could mean every job lost to the coronavirus pandemic would be replaced during vital upcoming recovery years, a report by Green New Deal UK non-profit group has found.

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Categories: Environment

Oxford University receives £11m from fossil fuel firms, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 11:00pm

Figures from oil, gas and petrochemical companies does not include £100m from Ineos in 2021

Oxford University has received more than £11m from oil, gas and petrochemical companies since 2015, according to a new report by students and alumni of the elite university who are calling for it to cut its ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Oxford recently announced plans to eliminate the carbon footprint of its site and supply chain by 2035 to help tackle the climate crisis but, according to the report, departments within the university continue to take funding from and work closely with fossil fuel extraction giants such as Schlumberger, ExxonMobil and BP.

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Categories: Environment

‘Water warriors’: the US women banding together to fight for water justice

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 9:00pm

Women have been deeply embedded in the movement for clean water and sanitation for decades, which has become even more pressing amid the pandemic

Deanna Miller Berry first learned of the scores of complaints about Denmark, South Carolina’s water supply, during her 2017 mayoral campaign.

For at least a decade, residents of the rural, predominantly Black and lower-income town “knew something was happening” and tried to sound the alarm, said Berry. “A lot of folks [were] complaining that they were starting to get sick, hair loss and skin issues.”

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Categories: Environment

‘No action on anything’: Australia increasingly isolated as US and others ramp up climate ambition

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 8:30pm

Ex-diplomat Dean Bialek says as other countries take ‘massive steps forward’ from Paris any attempt by Canberra to ‘fly under the radar’ will fail

Australia will not be able to “fly under the radar” when it comes to the climate crisis with the US and other major countries preparing to make new pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 years, experts say.

The US president, Joe Biden, has promised to unveil his plan to cut emissions by 2030 before he hosts a virtual summit of 40 national leaders, including Scott Morrison, on Thursday.

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Categories: Environment

Montana guide mauled to death in grizzly bear attack outside Yellowstone

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 6:30pm

Charles Mock, 40, died of scalp and facial wounds after managing to call 911 for help

A Montana backcountry guide has died after he was mauled by a large grizzly bear that was probably defending a nearby moose carcass just outside Yellowstone national park, officials said Monday.

Charles “Carl” Mock, 40, who lived in the park gateway community of West Yellowstone, died Saturday, two days after he was attacked while fishing alone in a forested area along the Madison River several miles north of West Yellowstone, said a Gallatin county sheriff’s office spokesperson, Christine Koosman.

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Categories: Environment

Secretary of state says countries investing in new coal ‘will hear from US’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 4:45pm

Antony Blinken says Biden administration will challenge those failing to cut reliance on coal as Scott Morrison emphasises costs of action

The Biden administration is ready to challenge countries whose inaction on the climate crisis is setting the world back, including those that fail to cut their reliance on coal, the top American diplomat has warned.

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, called for much stronger action to address global heating over the course of this decade, hours after Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, continued to emphasise the costs of acting on climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Eden Project to start drilling for ‘hot rocks’ to generate geothermal energy

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 10:39am

If successful project will allow water to be injected down borehole to be superheated by rocks beneath

A drilling rig is about to arrive at the Eden Project in Cornwall to bore almost three miles down into the granite crust in search of “hot rocks” that will be used to warm the attraction’s biomes and other buildings.

The first of the lorries carrying a 450-tonne, 55-metre-high drilling rig will arrive on the outer edge of the site next week, and if all goes well the geothermal scheme will begin operating by Christmas or early next year.

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Categories: Environment

EU ‘reflecting’ on conflict of interest rules after BlackRock controversy

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 9:51am

Bloc has come under fire for hiring manager of oil shares to work on environmental controls for banks

The EU is considering introducing new conflict of interest rules after it was criticised for hiring BlackRock, a major manager of oil company and financial shares, to work on new environmental rules for banks.

The European ombudsman found in November found that the European commission, the EU’s executive arm, had not properly considered conflicts of interest when awarding the contract to BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor.

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Categories: Environment

US researchers seek citizen scientists as billions of Brood X cicadas set to emerge

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/04/19 - 8:55am

Last Brood X event for 15 states including New York, Ohio, Illinois and Georgia occurred in 2004 while insects to surface in mid-May

As New Yorkers nervously await the emergence of billions of cicada bugs set to swarm through their city and the north-east of the US, researchers are seeking to enlist citizen scientists to track the coming plague.

The so-called Brood X of cicadas are set to emerge after 17 years underground. This particular cohort of the periodic insects will swarm in several large areas in the eastern US, as they prepare for one enormous mate fest, including New York’s Central Park and parts of the Bronx and Staten Island.

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Categories: Environment
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