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UK reversing and undoing climate change policies, say doctors and nurses

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 8:40am

Alliance of health professionals BMA, eight Royal Colleges, the BMJ and The Lancet warn UK is bucking positive trend of global action on climate change

The UK is reversing its policies on climate change “without offering credible alternatives”, according to an alliance of Britain’s doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), they say that natural disasters, food and water insecurity, the spread of infectious diseases and forced migration “are already affecting human health and provide a glimpse of the near future”.

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Categories: Environment

Organisers of cancelled Paris climate march urge global show of support

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 8:20am

People around the world should protest ‘on behalf of those who can’t’, say organisers of climate march forbidden in light of Paris terror attacks

A march expected to attract 200,000 people onto the streets of Paris ahead of crunch UN climate change talks was forbidden by the French government on Wednesday in light of last Friday’s terror attacks.

But organisers have said it is now even more important for people around the world to come out onto the streets for “the biggest global climate march in history” to protest “on behalf of those who can’t”.

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Categories: Environment

The birdie dance: fancy footwork of courting birds revealed

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 7:12am

To woo potential mates, the blue-capped cordon bleu performs a high-speed tap dance too fast for the human eye to see, new research has found

Humans buy flowers. Capuchins throw stones. Giant tortoises bellow. But the blue-capped cordon bleu, a small finch found in Africa, really knows how to win over a mate.

The three-inch-high omnivores perform energetic cabaret acts to woo their partners, rattling through routines that feature head-bobbing, singing and tap dance, and often all three at once.

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Categories: Environment

The Tribe director to film inside Chernobyl exclusion zone

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 6:46am

Luxembourg will tell the story of primitive society in a permanent nuclear winter – and will be the second time Miroslav Slaboshpitsky has shot at the location

Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, the Ukrainian director of the award-winning drama The Tribe, is to shoot his follow-up feature inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone, around the site of the world’s worst nuclear power plant disaster.

Related: The Tribe review – one of the most disturbing films of the year

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Categories: Environment

France bans imports of lion hunt trophies

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 5:17am

Officials told to stop issuing import permits for lion heads, paws and skins, while country considers stricter controls on other species

France has banned the import of lion heads, paws and skins as hunters’ trophies, nearly four months after the killing of Zimbabwe’s most famous lion by an American trophy hunter sparked international outrage.

In a letter to the actor and animals rights activist Brigitte Bardot, France’s environment minister, Ségolène Royal, said that she had instructed officials to stop issuing permits for lion trophies and was considering stricter controls on trophies from other species.

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Categories: Environment

Pooductive: the toilet chat-app raising awareness of sanitation

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 5:11am

Startup, in partnership with UN-Water initiative, wants to get people messaging and playing games on the loo

Mobile app Pooductive sounds like a silly gimmick: a smartphone app for messaging and playing games with strangers while sitting on the toilet.

However, the app has a more serious aim: raising awareness of the 2.4 billion people in the world who do not have access to improved sanitation and clean water.

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Categories: Environment

The £200,000 cycling jerseys: Eddy Merckx collection goes on show

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 4:47am

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx will be reunited with nine of his winning jerseys at the Rouleur Classic in London tonight. Here are some of the most stylish

Twenty-five years ago Californian Brett Horton started his collection of cycling ephemera. This weekend perhaps his most valuable pieces – nine jerseys worn by the five-time Tour de France winner and multiple world champion, Belgium’s Eddy Merckx – will be on show at the Rouleur Classic expo in London. Merckx will be reunited with the jerseys on Thursday night when he attends the show. Their total value is now estimated at $304,000 (£198,426).

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Categories: Environment

Renewables are changing the climate narrative from sacrifice to opportunity | Adnan Z Amin

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 4:14am

Oil-rich countries are choosing renewables as a means to create jobs, boost GDP and improve livelihoods - as well as reduce emissions

Accelerating signs of climate change and rising global temperatures are perhaps more pressing here in the Middle East, where the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) is headquartered, than anywhere else on the planet.

Record-breaking temperatures made global headlines this year and a recent scientific study predicts the region will face heatwaves “beyond the limit of human survival” if climate change remains unchecked.

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Categories: Environment

Republicans make second bid to weaken Obama's hand at Paris climate talks

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 4:09am

White House regards moves to oppose the US deal and block $3bn in climate aid for developing countries as empty threats

Republicans moved for the second time in 24 hours on Wednesday to try to weaken Barack Obama’s position at the Paris climate negotiations, opposing a deal at the summit and threatening to block $3bn in aid pledged to developing countries.

The gesture, less than two weeks before nearly 200 countries gather in Paris to try to reach a deal to stop climate change, was intended to cast doubt about Obama’s ability to deliver on his agenda.

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Categories: Environment

Conservationists take court action over government failure to protect UK rivers

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/11/19 - 2:59am

Conservationists and angling organisations argue Defra and Environment Agency are failing in legal duty to protect rivers and wetlands from agricultural pollution

Conservationists and angling organisations have joined together to challenge “a government failure” to protect some of England’s “most precious rivers and wetlands” from agricultural pollution.

The high court on Thursday is hearing a judicial review from the WWF-UK, the Angling Trust and Fish Legal in what they say is a bid to protect rivers, lakes and coastal areas from further damage.

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Categories: Environment

Kiribati president pushes Australia to back moratorium on new coalmines

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 10:16pm

Anote Tong says freeze on new coalmines before global climate summit in December ‘easiest, most reasonable’ way to help reduce emissions

The president of the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, Anote Tong, has urged the Australian government to support a moratorium on new coalmines before the global climate summit in Paris in December.

Tong, who was in Melbourne for a public meeting hosted by the Australia Institute on Thursday, said it was the “easiest, most reasonable” measure world leaders could commit to to reduce emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's lead public servant for global climate talks reveals hopes and fears for Paris

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 8:48pm

Ambassador for the environment Peter Woolcott says terrorist attacks in Paris ‘will only strengthen’ France’s desire for a strong climate deal

You don’t get to hear from Peter Woolcott all that much in public, even though he is a pivotal character in Australia’s international climate change negotiations.

Woolcott is Australia’s ambassador for the environment and for the past 14 months has led the country’s negotiating teams at UN climate talks.

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Categories: Environment

COP21 climate marches in Paris not authorised following attacks

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 5:10pm

French government says demonstrations in closed spaces can go ahead but not those in public places

Major marches which had been planned to coincide with the COP21 international climate talks in Paris will not be authorised for security reasons, the French government has said.

Environmental activists – who had expected attract hundreds of thousands people on 29 November and 12 December – said that they accepted Wednesday’s decision with regret, but were now considering “new and imaginative” ways of making their voices heard.

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Categories: Environment

Victoria to review whether or not state will continue to fund coal projects

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 5:08pm

As a plan to make brown coal briquettes for export to China fails to attract private cash, the state will assess whether past projects gave value for money

The Victorian government has announced an independent review of coal development projects after a demonstration plant in the Latrobe Valley which was set to receive federal and state funding failed to attract private investment.

The project to make brown coal briquettes for export to China was withdrawn less than 12 months after Shanghai Electric Australia Power and Energy Development Pty Ltd was awarded state and federal government funding.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change is 'single biggest threat' to polar bear survival

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 5:01pm

‘High probability’ of a 30% decline in polar bear numbers by 2050 due to retreating sea ice, IUCN study finds

Global warming is now the single most important threat to the survival of the polar bear with retreating sea ice set to decimate populations, according to a new study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

It found a “high probability” that the planet’s 26,000 polar bears will suffer a 30% decline in population by 2050 due to the loss of their habitat, which is disappearing at a faster rate than predicted by climate models.

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Categories: Environment

Bullying tactics: brands can't squeeze suppliers if they're serious about sustainability

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 5:00pm

A more sustainable supply chain is needed, but will only emerge when the breakdown in trust between suppliers and buyers is resolved

Majestic Wine this week announced the removal of its chief buyer after its pre-tax profits dropped by almost half. Supply chain relations at the ailing retailer have been tense ever since it asked suppliers to stump up cash towards its new warehouse.

Regrettably, such practices are all too common. Global brewer Carlsberg is also facing animosity from suppliers after following the likes of Diageo, Halfords and Mars and extending its payment terms to 93 days.

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Categories: Environment

gilligan's desert

The Field Lab - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 3:37pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Congress to vote on bill to ban microbead hygiene products in US

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 3:06pm

House committee unanimously approves proposed legislation to phase out such personal care products, whose exfoliants can end up in rivers and lakes

US lawmakers are to decide whether to ban personal care products containing microbeads – minuscule pieces of plastic considered harmful to the environment – after proposed legislation was approved by a bipartisan committee.

Microbeads, typically under 5mm in size, are used as abrasive exfoliants in products such as toothpastes and facial cleaners. They often evade water filtration systems and flow into rivers, lakes and streams, where they can be mistaken for food by fish. Pollutants can bind to the plastic, causing toxic material to infect fish and, potentially, the humans that consume them.

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Categories: Environment

Kipper Williams on the 'new energy model'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 1:22pm

Gas-fired power given a big boost at the expense of coal … and renewables

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Categories: Environment

In 'Just Eat It,' Filmmakers Feast For 6 Months On Discarded Food

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2015/11/18 - 12:47pm

Roughly 133 billion pounds of food go uneaten each year — much of it still edible. So for a half-year, the two filmmakers behind Just Eat It vowed to eat nothing but food entering the waste stream.

Categories: Environment
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