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New sensor offers a window into the secret lives of Britain's rarest bats

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/10/30 - 6:57am

Device makes it inexpensive to monitor sites previously too hazardous or difficult for volunteers to enter after dark

The secret lives of the UK’s rarest bats could be revealed thanks to a new sensor that can record ultrasonic calls in dense woodland areas that have previously been difficult to reach.

For decades, acoustic monitoring has been done by bat detectors carried by experts reluctant to stray into woodland thickets during night-time walks. Now a new £60 sensor that can be left in woodlands for up to a fortnight, called AudioMoth, is giving researchers a richer insight into the lives of these elusive mammals after a successful pilot study.

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Categories: Environment

‘This season is off the charts’: Colorado fights the worst wildfires in its recent history

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/10/30 - 3:00am

Two major fires are consuming the forests in the Rocky mountains, killing at least two people and causing an estimated $195m in damages

By 23 October, a blustery Friday toward the end of a depressingly short autumn, the two largest wildfires in Colorado’s recent history were descending on Rocky Mountain national park, reaching toward each other with a mere 10 miles of bone-dry forest between them.

The Cameron Peak fire had arrived from the north and had already scorched through wilderness for 71 days. The East Troublesome fire was approaching from the west, sending flames over the Continental Divide and forcing the evacuation of the nearby town of Estes Park.

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Categories: Environment

‘Un-managing the land’: sheep make way for trees in Cumbria's uplands

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/10/30 - 12:30am

Sheep grazing has dominated the Howgill Fells for over a century, but with shifting agricultural subsidies and urgent calls to address biodiversity loss, change is coming

For William Wordsworth the Howgill Fells was a romantic landscape, for rewilders they could be home to wolves, and for farmer John Pratt, these hills are home. “I was hoping this day would never come. I shan’t say it will break my heart, but it will,” says Pratt, who is selling his sheep and retiring after 55 years of uplands farming. “I’ve had a flock of sheep since I was 14, so I’m ready for a break,” he adds.

The 69-year-old tenant farmer works seven days a week and takes six days of holiday a year. Since 1966 he has been renting Kilnmire Farm (with no heating in the house) on the edge of Ravenstonedale village in Cumbria with his wife, Hazel. He doesn’t drink alcohol (he’s Methodist) and doesn’t have a mobile phone because he “wouldn’t know how to use it”. He tried an olive for the first time in 2017. It’s a lifestyle none of his three children is willing to take on.

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Categories: Environment

Trump's environment agency seems to be at war with the environment, say ex-officials

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 11:20pm

Trump has brought public health and environment rollbacks at an EPA already in trouble – and staffers worry it isn’t equipped to keep Americans safe

Donald Trump’s environment agency “actually seems to have a war on the environment”, has been “utterly untenable”, and has brought about “deeply, deeply troubling times”, according to three administrators appointed under past presidents.

Reflecting on Trump’s dozens of attacks on core environmental protections, a fourth put it another way: “[I’m] really god damned pissed off – and that’s being kind.”

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Categories: Environment

Scrap gas pipeline in eastern Med due to climate cost, says report

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 11:00pm

Gas discovery at centre of Turkey-Greece dispute will ‘make world even less safe’

The giant gas reserves at the heart of a bitter political standoff between Greece and Turkey could lead to the same carbon emissions as the whole of France and Spain combined every year, according to a report that has called for the proposed gas pipeline project to be scrapped.

The gas discovery has inflamed regional tensions in the eastern Mediterranean as Greece and Turkey vie for control of new fossil fuel reserves in disputed waters and, according to Global Witness, the climate cost will outweigh its value in Europe’s carbon neutral future.

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Categories: Environment

Ecotricity founder to grow diamonds 'made entirely from the sky'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 5:01pm

UK millionaire Dale Vince says lab-grown gems will be ‘world’s first zero-impact’ diamonds

A British multi-millionaire and environmentalist has set out plans to create thousands of carats of carbon-negative, laboratory-grown diamonds every year “made entirely from the sky”.

Dale Vince, the founder of green energy supplier Ecotricity, claims to have developed the world’s only diamonds to be made from carbon, water and energy sourced directly from the elements at a “sky mining facility” in Stroud.

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Categories: Environment

vent light...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 3:49pm

 

63,68,46,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Gray Wolves To Be Removed From Endangered Species List

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 1:42pm

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is removing federal protections for gray wolves in the contiguous U.S., saying the species' recovery is a success. Wildlife groups are promising to sue.

(Image credit: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife/AP)

Categories: Environment

Gray Wolves To Be Removed From Endangered Species List

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 1:42pm

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is removing federal protections for gray wolves in the contiguous U.S., saying the species' recovery is a success. Wildlife groups are promising to sue.

(Image credit: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife/AP)

Categories: Environment

Trump administration ends gray wolf's endangered species protections

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 12:18pm

Conservationists warn move comes too early for species occupying a tiny slice of its former habitat

The Trump administration has removed endangered species protections from the gray wolf, a species once persecuted to near-extinction in the US, in a move that has been condemned as premature by conservationists.

The wolves have been provided federal protection for more than 45 years but this is no longer needed according to David Bernhardt, the US interior secretary, who announced the decision in Minnesota on Thursday.

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Categories: Environment

Protecting nature is vital to escape 'era of pandemics’ – report

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 7:00am

Halting destruction of wild places could slow frequency of deadly outbreaks, say scientists

The world is in an “era of pandemics” and unless the destruction of the natural world is halted they will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, kill more people and affect the global economy with more devastating impact than ever before, according to a report from some of the world’s leading scientists.

The emergence of diseases such as Covid-19, bird flu and HIV from animals was entirely driven by the razing of wild places for farming and the trade in wild species, which brought people into contact with the dangerous microbes, the experts said.

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Categories: Environment

2020 likely to be one of warmest years on record despite La Niña

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 4:00am

Climate crisis exacerbates extreme weather during natural events, say experts

La Niña climate event is under way, heralding a colder and stormier winter than usual across the northern hemisphere, but 2020 remains likely to be one of the warmest years on record.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has declared La Niña event – a cooling of surface ocean water along the Pacific coast of the South American tropics – to help governments and humanitarian agencies plan for extreme weather events around the world.

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Categories: Environment

As Biotech Crops Lose Their Power, Scientists Push For New Restrictions

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 2:00am

Some of the first GMOs – corn and cotton plants that have been genetically modified to fend off insects – are running into problems. Bugs have become resistant to them because they've been overused.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Environment

As Biotech Crops Lose Their Power, Scientists Push For New Restrictions

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 2:00am

Some of the first GMOs – corn and cotton plants that have been genetically modified to fend off insects – are running into problems. Bugs have become resistant to them because they've been overused.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Environment

Djab Wurrung people win injunction to halt roadworks and protect significant trees

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 1:25am

Work on highway in western Victoria stopped for three weeks following supreme court action by local activists

The Victorian government has been ordered to stop work for three weeks on a highway duplication in the state’s west that local Indigenous leaders say threatens culturally significant trees.

Transport authorities on Thursday offered to halt major works on Djab Wurrung cultural sites as a legal battle over the highway duplication on sacred land escalated.

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Categories: Environment

Tory MPs are right: the north needs a renaissance – but it's got to be green | Owen Jones

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/29 - 12:00am

Places hollowed out by deindustrialisation could be at the forefront of an environmental revolution

Here are two news stories which may not seem linked, and yet they are. The first: a letter written this week to the prime minister by the newly formed Northern Research Group. Representing 50 Conservative MPs in northern seats – including those wrested from Labour control after generations – they rightly point to how the pandemic “has exposed in sharp relief the deep structural and systemic disadvantage faced by our own communities”, and express fear that the cost of the crisis “could be paid by the downgrading of the levelling-up agenda, and northern constituencies like ours will be left behind”.

Related: Investors and graduates flock to UK's burgeoning windfarms

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Categories: Environment

Nationals call for ANZ boycott after bank's push for net zero emissions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/28 - 8:31pm

Bank says it will stop lending to its largest customers unless businesses have carbon transition plans

A climate change commitment from ANZ to halt lending to its largest customers unless the businesses can prove carbon transition plans by next year has been cautiously welcomed by conservationists, but enraged senior Nationals MPs.

ANZ’s new emissions policies, outlined in a climate change statement at its full year results presentation on Thursday morning, aim to support efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – but not net zero gas or oil by 2050 – with significant steps to be taken by the 2021 financial year to shape the bank’s operations until 2030.

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Categories: Environment

Global heating threatens UK wildlife’s ability to adapt and survive

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/28 - 5:01pm

Restoring and connecting habitat across Britain could save a fifth of species by 2030, says report by Rewilding Britain

Global heating is shifting Britain’s climatic zones by up to 5km each year, outpacing wildlife’s ability to adapt and survive, according to a new report by Rewilding Britain.

If species cannot adapt to higher temperatures or relocate elsewhere, they will be threatened with extinction.

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Categories: Environment

cold night / warm day

The Field Lab - Wed, 2020/10/28 - 4:41pm

 

58,64,28,0,B


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Trump to gut protections in Alaska’s Tongass forest, the ‘lungs of the country’

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/28 - 11:43am

Administration to permit logging in the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest

The Trump administration has announced it will lift protections in Alaska’s Tongass national forest, permitting logging in the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest.

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Categories: Environment
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