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Fracking is a form of climate-change denial | Josh Fox

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 12:39pm
Local communities are showing the courage to fight fossil fuel madness. We can all help them prevail

Here’s one thing we don’t often want to admit: it is too late to stop many of the harshest and most destructive aspects of climate change from materialising. We’re out of time. Superstorms, droughts, floods, disappearing islands, coastlines and lost species are already here.

Related: Weakening Hurricane Matthew brings flooding to south-eastern US

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Categories: Environment

Science Museum condemned for oil company sponsorship

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 12:26pm

Caroline Lucas and dozens of campaigners and scientists call on museum to drop Statoil backing of children’s gallery

More than 50 prominent scientists, campaigners and politicians have signed a letter calling on the Science Museum to drop its oil sponsorship.

Despite choosing not to renew its previous sponsorship deal with Shell following criticism and campaigning, the Science Museum decided to accept sponsorship from Statoil, a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company, for its revamped children’s gallery, which the letter’s signatories describe as an “unconscionable” decision.

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Categories: Environment

Science Museum should drop Statoil sponsorship of children’s gallery | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 12:19pm

On Tuesday, the Science Museum will launch its new interactive gallery for children – Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery. Despite securing sponsorship from an oil and gas company that is recklessly planning to drill seven new wells in the fragile Arctic, the London museum has also introduced an entry charge, restricting access to those visitors able to pay.

It is unconscionable that in 2016 a museum of science is handing a fossil fuel company legitimacy by allowing it to sponsor a gallery designed to inspire the next generation. Statoil is pursuing new sources of oil that must stay in the ground if there is to be any hope of leaving a safe climate for the children that are to visit this gallery. And from the Norwegian Arctic to the Great Australian Bight, Statoil’s plans are opposed by local communities and indigenous peoples who want the company off their lands and out of their waters.

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Categories: Environment

Theresa May's local council set to spend £50,000 to fight Heathrow runway

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 12:11pm

Windsor and Maidenhead council looks to increase budget for fighting expected government go-ahead for third runway

Theresa May’s local authority is prepared to spend £50,000 on a judicial review if her government approves the expansion of Heathrow next week, documents released on Monday reveal.

The papers underline the scale of resistance that the prime minister will face from residents in her Maidenhead constituency, which she has represented since 1997, if she agrees to allow the third runway to go ahead.

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Categories: Environment

Robert F Kennedy Jr takes big business to task over pollution at SXSW Eco

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 12:09pm

‘Good environmental policy is good for economic prosperity,’ according to the environmental advocate, who admonished corporations for not doing more

Robert F Kennedy Jr, a long-time environmental advocate, took big business to task as he stood on stage at the SXSW Eco environment conference in Austin on Monday. As one would expect from an attorney who is deft at making strong arguments, Kennedy lobbed punchy attacks on the Koch brothers and companies for characterizing environmental protection as an unnecessary expense that hurts business.

“You will hear a lot of times from big polluters, the Koch brothers, their indentured servants in Washington DC and the toadies on Fox News that we have to choose economic prosperity on one hand and environmental protection on the other,” Kennedy said. “Good environmental policy is good for economic prosperity.”

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Categories: Environment

Stances on fracking called into question | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 11:50am

Thank you for your coverage of the Lancashire fracking decision (Fracking given green light as Javid overrules local protests, 7 October). So, a substantial majority of those who have decided (possibly those who have informed themselves) oppose fracking, while half of those polled are undecided (Commentary: Decision reflects rank hypocrisy of senseless policy, 7 October). Regrettably you leave unexplored the question of why the Conservative government – who presumably possess the wherewithal to inform themselves – are so set on a course which peer-reviewed scientific literature over the last few years so decisively rejects, which the local democratic process has overwhelmingly opposed, and which will make it impossible for the UK to fulfil its climate commitments.
David Cragg-James
Stonegrave, North Yorkshire

• The anti-frackers take a high moral stance but, leaving aside the nimbyism, they do not explain how they think that we will continue to heat our/their homes. Non-fossil methods generate electricity but not gas; to convert our mostly gas-heated homes to electric heating would have an enormous ecological and cost impact, and the super-pylons required to carry the increased electricity load would have a far greater visual impact than the scattered fracking well sites. Talk of substantially reducing our energy usage by better insulation is no doubt academically sound but very much a pipe dream – even in my relatively well-insulated house I need to use my gas heating, sometimes even on a cool summer evening – and to upgrade the insulation of our whole housing stock by even a few percentage points is probably beyond the means of the country, quite apart again from the ecological impact of the production, transport and application of the materials involved.

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Categories: Environment

Bill Mollison obituary

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 8:52am

Ecologist and one of the co-creators of permaculture

Bill Mollison, who has died aged 88, was one of the co-creators of permaculture, an agricultural system that works with, rather than against, nature, on the basis that the natural world holds the key to stable and productive systems. Having developed the concept, he then travelled from his native Tasmania for 30 years to embed his approach worldwide. His ideas have spread widely – permaculture is practised in more than 140 countries and by more than 3 million people – even though in the 1970s the idea was considered, in Mollison’s words, “the highest form of sedition”.

Much of what he espoused was based on his great respect for the wisdom of subsistence farmers around the world, who have long used sustainable methods to grow their crops. In agricultural terms, this means planting diverse sets of crops, using perennial species to form productive stable systems, and ensuring the conditions for soils to be regenerated.

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Categories: Environment

Global summit to strike deal on phase-out of HFCs

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 8:30am

Meeting in Rwanda seeks amendment to Montreal protocol to eliminate manufacture of the chemicals used in fridges, air conditioners and inhalers

Governments will address the law of unintended consequences when they meet this week to revise a global treaty and try to eliminate the use of a group of greenhouse gases used in fridges, inhalers and air conditioners.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were hailed as the answer to the hole in the ozone layer which appeared over Antarctica in the 1980s because they replaced hundreds of chemical substances widely used in aerosols which depleted the thin layer of ozone which protects the Earth from harmful rays of the sun.

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Categories: Environment

London’s black communities disproportionately exposed to air pollution – study

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 8:11am

Black, African and Caribbean people are exposed to higher illegal nitrogen dioxide levels than the percentage of the population they account for

Black communities in London are disproportionately more likely to breathe illegal levels of air pollution than white and Asian ones, new research seen exclusively by the Guardian shows.

The study for the mayor of London shows black, African and Caribbean people account for 15.3% of all Londoners exposed to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels that breach EU limits, but they account for just 13.3% of the city’s population.

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Categories: Environment

Heathrow third runway expansion wins backing of Scottish government

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 6:27am

Holyrood backs plan to extend London hub amid claims it will create 16,000 jobs across Scotland

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow have received a significant boost after the Scottish government announced its backing for the scheme, which it claimed would create up to 16,000 jobs across Scotland.

Holyrood made the announcement amid mounting speculation that the Westminster government is to back a third runway in the coming weeks, ending years of arguments over airport expansion.

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Categories: Environment

Mysterious factory break-in raises suspicions about Chinese visit

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 5:49am

A burglary at an innovative Scottish wave-power company went forgotten, until a very similar project appeared in China

It was an unusual burglary, in which four or five laptops were stolen from a Scottish renewable energy manufacturer in the dead of a March night in 2011. So innovative was the company that it had been been visited by a 60-strong delegation led by China’s then vice-premier only two months before.

Nothing else was taken from the company and the crime, while irritating, went unsolved and forgotten – until a few years later pictures began emerging that showed a remarkably similar project manufactured in the world’s most populous country.

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Categories: Environment

On Columbus Day, A Look At The Myth That 'All The Real Indians Died Off'

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 4:07am

Two Native American authors tackle the perpetual challenge of combating ignorance, stereotypes and the notion that there's such a thing as a "real" Indian.

Categories: Environment

A celebration of botanical art throughout history – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 3:30am

A new book Plant: Exploring The Botanical World celebrates the beauty and diversity of plants from around the world across all media - from murals in ancient Greece to a Napoleonic-era rose print and cutting-edge scans

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Categories: Environment

Caring for Creation makes the Christian case for climate action | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 3:00am

The new book by Mitch Hescox and Paul Douglas is a marriage of science and faith

Most of you are aware of a growing movement amongst persons of faith to bring more action on dealing with climate change. The argument is powerful for the faithful – the Earth is God’s gift to humanity. We should care for it accordingly.

From within this movement, there are huge voices, widely respected by both the scientific and faith communities. Perhaps the best known is Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, a top climate scientist who is also an evangelist Christian. There are other persons and organizations who work similarly to connect these two world viewpoints in a powerful yet common-sense way.

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Categories: Environment

Global demand for energy will peak in 2030, says World Energy Council

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 12:38am

New technology and stricter policies will transform energy industry as ‘phenomenal’ growth in solar and wind power continues

Global demand for energy per capita will peak in 2030 thanks to new technology and stricter government policies, the World Energy Council has predicted.

In a report on a range of scenarios for global energy use, the group of academics, energy companies and public sector bodies outlined a “fundamentally new world for the energy industry” calling it the “grand transition”.

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Categories: Environment

Record low number of British butterflies a 'shock and a mystery'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/10/10 - 12:36am

Annual Big Butterfly Count records lowest ever number of usually prolific species despite the relatively warm, dry summer

If you think you saw fewer butterflies than ever this British summer, you are probably correct: the Big Butterfly Count has recorded its lowest number of common species since records began.

Normally ubiquitous butterflies such as the gatekeeper, comma and small copper experienced their worst summers in the history of the count, which is run by Butterfly Conservation and began in 2010.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef Legacy invites Leonardo DiCaprio to join its campaign – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/09 - 8:02pm

The conservation organisation Great Barrier Reef Legacy is raising funds to operate the reef’s only independent research vessel and it wants Leonardo DiCaprio’s help. The actor, a well-known environmentalist and activist for action against global warming, has spoken about the reef’s plight and the need to protect it

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Categories: Environment

getting down and dirty...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2016/10/09 - 5:00pm
The true leader in the polls is Satan.  There is no middle ground, no third option.  Everyone is part of God's kingdom, or of Satan's.  The whole world - its' politics, economics, education, entertainment, and, above all, its' "religion" - lies in the power of the evil one.
John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
James 4:4...know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  whosoever therefore well be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Grey squirrel spotted in Manchester suburb: Country diary 100 years ago:

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/09 - 2:30pm

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 13 October 1916

The appearance of the American grey squirrel in a Withington garden might well cause surprise, but the lady who reports it evidently knows this animal, which is rather larger than our familiar red squirrel, is grey in colour, and lacks ear-tufts. She wonders if it had escaped from confinement. I do not expect so; it is more likely that it has been intentionally released in one of the Manchester parks, or possibly at Belle Vue. Many of these engaging little squirrels are turned down in different parts of the country; I have seen them in woods near Torquay, and, locally, in Dunham Park.

The first successful introduction that I know of was more or less accidental. A large number of grey squirrels were placed in the marmots’ enclosure in the London Zoological Gardens, but the authorities did not calculate upon their excellent jumping powers, and several escaped. These ran free in the Gardens and in Regent’s Park for some time, getting very friendly with the visitors, even taking food from their hands. The result was that a number were pocketed by people who thought that they would make nice pets. Since then others have been put in the enclosure and allowed to escape; and the species has also been turned loose in other London parks. It appears to be more ready to make friends than our British squirrel, but possibly it has not the same hereditary recollection of stone-throwing boys.

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Categories: Environment

How can we know when the air we are breathing is harmful?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/10/09 - 1:30pm

In response to public concern, small, relatively inexpensive air pollution sensors are coming on to the market. But tests show that they can be inaccurate. Is there an alternative?

If only we could see the air pollution around us we could identify the culprits and avoid exposure. From an early age we are taught not to drink dirty water or eat mouldy food but we have less opportunity to avoid harmful air.

In a re-run of autumn 2010, this September’s warm weather caused unusually late summertime smog. Air pollution over most of England reached six on the UK government’s ten point scale. These incidents go largely un-noticed but they have a health impact; 10 days of high particle pollution in spring 2014 caused an estimated 600 extra deaths.

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Categories: Environment
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