Guardian Environment News

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Updated: 3 hours 27 min ago

Experts fear deserted oil tanker off Yemen could explode

3 hours 31 min ago

‘Floating bomb’ holding 1m oil barrels could create environmental disaster in Red Sea

A deserted oil tanker described as a “floating bomb” that is currently anchored off the coast of war-torn Yemen has the potential to create an environmental disaster, according to experts.

A byproduct of the battle between the Saudi-backed UN Yemen government and the Houthis, the tanker, containing over 1m barrels of oil, is said to be eroding fast, but UN officials’ plans to visit the ship this week to assess the scale of the damage have been blocked. There are fears that gases have built up in the storage tanks, which means the ship could explode.

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Categories: Environment

20,000 tonnes of recycling dumped in Victorian landfill during SKM ban

Mon, 2019/07/22 - 11:00am

Fears grow that figure could compound into hundreds of thousands of tonnes if the company collapses

More than 20,000 tonnes of glass, paper and plastic was dumped in Victorian landfill while beleaguered waste company SKM Recycling was banned from accepting kerbside rubbish due to health and safety concerns.

Councils and environmentalists fear that figure could compound into hundreds of thousands of tonnes if the company is declared insolvent when taken to court this week or just stops operating, as its founder has threatened. SKM processes half of the recyclable rubbish collected from kerbside bins across the state.

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Categories: Environment

Leonardo DiCaprio flooded with requests to save Siberian lake

Mon, 2019/07/22 - 9:48am

Russian environmentalists inundate actor’s Instagram with messages urging him to support campaign to ‘Save our Baikal!’

As one of Hollywood’s best known environmentalists, Leonardo DiCaprio often uses Instagram to urge others to care about the planet. But lately his posts, in the comments section at least, have been dominated by a singular issue – the fate of a lake in Siberia.

Related: I was Insta-famous and it was one of the worst things to happen in my 20s | Verity Johnson

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Categories: Environment

Peter Iredale obituary

Mon, 2019/07/22 - 7:02am

My father, Peter Iredale, who has died aged 87, was the last director of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire, a pioneering institute that housed Europe’s first nuclear reactor.

Having joined Harwell in the late 1950s as a scientific officer, Peter progressed through various scientific and leadership positions there, with a focus that eventually expanded to embrace non-nuclear energy technologies such as wind and wave power. At one stage he led the marine and technology support unit at Harwell, and from 1979 to 1984 he chaired the UK wave energy steering committee.

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Categories: Environment

Adani protest: French journalists arrested while filming anti-coal activities

Mon, 2019/07/22 - 1:13am

Journalists charged with trespassing after filming Frontline Action on Coal activists include Hugo Clément

Four journalists working for the public television network France 2 have been charged with trespassing for filming a protest near the Abbot Point coal terminal, in north Queensland, targeting the operations of the Adani group.

The group of journalists includes Hugo Clément, a reporter well known in France for his documentaries about climate change and environmental issues.

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Categories: Environment

Air travellers may have to pay carbon charge to offset emissions

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 4:51pm

Planned tax will make public more aware of climate harm caused by flying, ministers hope

Air passengers may have to pay an extra “carbon charge” on flights as part of a government initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and tackle the climate crisis.

Passengers could choose to pay more for travel tickets, which would then be used to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Or the scheme could work on an “opt out” basis and also be applied to trains, buses and ferries.

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Categories: Environment

Cape Cod great white shark gives family a fright by snatching fish from line

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 2:03pm
  • Encounter captured on video shot from fishing boat
  • Captain: incident ‘just left everyone in awe’

A family fishing in Cape Cod Bay had a close encounter with a great white shark when it leaped from the water to snatch a fish they had caught.

Related: Echoes of Jaws as Cape Cod learns to live with rise of the great white shark

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Categories: Environment

Let’s sort the Earth out first before reaching for other planets | Letters

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 9:25am
Readers respond to the 50th anniversary of the moon landings and the future of space exploration

My husband and I felt a little discombobulated when we read “The moon was once a frontier. But new worlds now beckon” (Journal, 20 July).

On the TV and in the press we are invited to get excited all over again about men landing on the moon 50 years ago. We are told that several incredibly rich men are now busy designing rockets to take equally rich folk on the trip of a lifetime. In the meantime, we are witnessing the despoliation of our own planet to such an extent that in a few decades it will not be fit for human habitation. It seems to us that we’ve so many grave problems to solve here on Earth that all our efforts should be devoted to protecting the marvellous world we live in for us and future generations.
Joan Machin
Pudsey, West Yorkshire

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Categories: Environment

Britain’s first climate assembly agrees plan for council to tackle crisis

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 7:36am

Camden citizens’ proposals focus on housing, transport and green space

Britain’s first climate assembly has agreed on 17 proposals for action to tackle the climate crisis, including installing solar panels on all available roofs and cutting fossil fuels out of local government developments.

The assembly, convened by Camden council in north London, brought together more than 50 residents and a team of climate experts to develop proposals that could be taken up by the council to reduce carbon emissions and increase sustainability.

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Categories: Environment

Cycle hire firms urged to help clear dumped bikes from canals

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 5:46am

Trust says it is recovering 100 bikes a year – docked, dockless, even electric – in London alone

Hundreds of dockless bikes are being dumped in canals and rivers and most operators should do more help clean up the mess, the body responsible for the UK’s waterways has complained.

The Canal & River Trust said it was growing increasingly frustrated by the number of hire bikes abandoned in and beside its 2,000-mile network. It said more than 100 hire bikes a year were being thrown into canals in London alone.

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Categories: Environment

Neurotoxins on your kid's broccoli: that's life under Trump | Carey Gillam

Sun, 2019/07/21 - 3:00am

In the choice between big chemical corporations and ordinary citizens, the Environmental Protection Agency has made clear where its allegiances lie

How much is your child’s health worth? The answer coming from the leadership of the US Environmental Protection Agency is: not that much.

The EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler, this week confirmed what many Americans already know: when the Trump administration weighs the competing interests of corporate profits versus public health, the corporations win, hands down.

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Categories: Environment

The town fighting the climate crisis to stay afloat, one hurricane at at time

Sat, 2019/07/20 - 9:00pm

Fair Bluff has already been hit by two hurricanes – but if another arrives this year, it could become one of the US’s first climate crisis ghost towns

The water slithered up while the people went to sleep. No text alerts. No sirens. Just the Lumber River, the color of black tea, carrying out its slow, silent ambush, creeping up to the steps of the Baptist church and the rototillers at the hardware store and the 99-cent greeting cards in the pharmacy.

In her final hours in the home where she grew up, 55-year-old Bonnie Savage pulled a load of warm clothes from the dryer and folded them. She was hardly concerned about Hurricane Matthew. It had come ashore in South Carolina as a category 1 and was a tropical storm by the time it tumbled inland and into her hometown of Fair Bluff in eastern North Carolina.

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Categories: Environment

How melting plastic waste could heat homes

Sat, 2019/07/20 - 9:53am
Breakthrough means less pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions

It is a problem bedevilling households across the UK: what can we do with the mountains of food-spattered plastic waste left in our bins?

Now a group of scientists say they have the answer – by using the detritus of domestic life to heat homes.

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Categories: Environment

First climate assembly in UK draws up wishlist for council action

Sat, 2019/07/20 - 2:14am

Camden council officials say they intend to implement at least some of the panel’s ideas

Britain’s first climate “citizens assembly” opened its final session on Saturday morning at which more than 50 Londoners will decide on carbon-cutting measures they want their district to enact in order to confront climate change.

Camden’s Citizens Assembly, convened to interrogate what locals, neighbourhoods and the council can do for the environment, is deliberating action that would reduce fossil fuel usage in homes and public buildings and on roads.

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Categories: Environment

Death and broken livelihoods: farmers and wildfires in British Columbia | Joanna Chiu

Sat, 2019/07/20 - 2:00am

As wildfires increase in intensity, how can farmers safeguard their animals – and their way of life?

Two years after wildfires killed the pigs on his family farms in British Columbia, Scott Kellington is still coming to terms with the destruction.

This particular fire had come from the north, its towering flames whipped into a terrible ferocity by strong winds and sustained by the 40C heat. After making sure his wife was evacuated, Kellington and his three sons stayed behind to try to save the neighbourhood homes and livestock.

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Categories: Environment

Trump was oddly reasonable about plastic straws. His campaign may not like it

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 6:26pm

The president could have used a question about plastic waste to inflame the culture wars – but his answer wasn’t far off the mark

There was no shortage of pressing issues for Donald Trump to address on Friday afternoon when he spoke briefly to the press as he made his way to board a helicopter that would carry him to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Reporters posed questions about:

Iran’s seizure of British oil tankers

Trump’s racist and xenophobic smears of representative Ilhan Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen

the first amendment

American exceptionalism

Jeffrey Epstein

allegations that Trump was involved in directing his personal attorney Michael Cohen to make illegal hush payments to Stormy Daniels

trade talks with China

the potential involvement of Senator Rand Paul in talks with Iran

the definition of racism

Robert Mueller’s upcoming testimony to Congress

sanctions against Zimbabwe

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Categories: Environment

Heat warnings across US as climate experts warn of spike in very hot days

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 1:22pm
  • Alerts in place for states as far apart as New Mexico and Maine
  • Climate crisis expected to make heatwaves the ‘new normal’

More than half the US was under excessive heat warnings on Friday amid a brutal heatwave – which experts warned could become the “new normal” because of the climate crisis.

Related: Climate crisis: extremely hot days could double in US, study shows

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Categories: Environment

Give endangered jaguars legal rights, Argentina campaigners ask court

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 11:28am

With fewer than 20 left in the South American country’s Gran Chaco forest – the big cats could be classed as a ‘non-human person’

Argentina’s supreme court has been asked to recognize the legal rights of the South American jaguar, of which fewer than 20 individuals remain alive in the country’s Gran Chaco region.

The largest cat in the Americas once roamed the continent as far north as the Grand Canyon, but is now in decline across the entire western hemisphere.

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Categories: Environment

Guatemala court upholds request to suspend work at huge nickel mine

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 10:05am

Campaigners say full consultation was not carried out before 2014 reopening of European-owned Fenix site

Guatemala’s constitutional court has upheld a request from indigenous campaigners to suspend operations at one of the largest nickel mines in Central America, in a battle over the facility’s environmental impact.

The court found in favour of an appeal brought by campaigners who claim the ministry of energy and mines failed to carry out a full consultation with local people when it decided, in 2016, to extend the licence for the Fenix mine.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Fri, 2019/07/19 - 6:30am

Firebugs in Russia, monkeys in India and penguin visitors in a New Zealand sushi shop

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Categories: Environment