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Climate change: how Victoria trumped New South Wales in the great renewable energy race

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 5:16pm

Wind and solar energy projects are set to be the big winners of the state’s ambitious renewable energy targets

Two years ago Rob Stokes, the then environment minister for New South Wales, promised that his state could become Australia’s answer to California in the clean energy industry.

“We are making NSW No 1 in energy and environmental policy,” Stokes, a Liberal, told the Clean Energy Week gathering in Sydney in July 2014.“When it comes to clean energy, we can be Australia’s answer to California.”

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Categories: Environment

Threatened species face extinction owing to ‘God clause’, scientists say

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 5:02pm

Western Australia’s government is seeking the power to approve activities that could ‘take or disturb’ an endangered species

Western Australia’s government could have the power to approve activities that could make a threatened species extinct, under biodiversity laws now before state parliament.

The provision has been dubbed “the God clause” by scientists and conservationists, who say giving the environment minister discretion to effectively authorise the extinction of a species contradicts the very purpose of biodiversity legislation.

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Categories: Environment

UN calls for post-Brexit UK to link with EU on environment policy

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 4:00pm

Global or regional agreements are vital for cross-border problems such as pollution and wildlife crime, says new environment chief, Erik Solheim

The UN’s new environment chief has called for a post-Brexit Britain to link up with the EU on environment policy, adopting key bloc climate laws and maintaining its nature directives.

In his first interview since taking office, Erik Solheim told the Guardian it was vital that supranational decisions continued for problems such as pollution and wildlife crime which crossed borders, and could not be dealt with by states acting alone.

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Categories: Environment

hot router?

The Field Lab - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 1:54pm
So I get an email Saturday afternoon from FlightRadar24 that my receiver is offline.  I think it must be a heat issue with my router from Big Bend Telephone.  I had my computer plugged into the LAN1 port and the receiver in the LAN2 port.  At first I just lost function from the LAN2 port then by Sunday night I lost function of the LAN1 port.  On Monday I plugged the computer into LAN3 and the receiver into LAN4 and was back in business and had the receiver back online for a brief time.  I decided to shut down and unplug the receiver before I ended up frying my remaining two ports in case that really is the issue.  Before I go through the customer service hassle with Big Bend Telephone, I am going to try out a "new" router.  Since this brand is the only one that works with my service, I ordered two "lightly used" ones off Ebay for $25 including shipping.  In the meantime I am rerouting all my wires (a bit of a nightmare) so I can position the equipment in a "cool friendly" spot in the hut.  95,106,78,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

'The New York Times' Investigates An Ailing Clean Coal Project

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 1:29pm

The Kemper Project is an electrical generating station currently under construction in Kemper County, Miss. The plant has been held up as a model of the Obama administration's efforts to promote new, clean energy technologies, but the project is two years behind schedule, still not operational, and more than $4 billion over budget. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Ian Urbina of The New York Times about the Kemper Project and the administration's clean energy policy.

Categories: Environment

The little guy v The Man: when ordinary people take on Trump, Fox​ and the government

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 9:05am

From fighting the American billionaire’s Scottish golf course plans to saving Happy Birthday from entertainment giant Warner and facing down a fracking firm – the stories of David and Goliath legal battles

David Milne, 51, lived in peace on the Menie estate north of Aberdeen when Donald Trump rolled up with plans to bulldoze the area. The residents’ fight against dirty tactics became the focus of the documentary You’ve Been Trumped – and continues today.

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Categories: Environment

Leadsom vows to continue with UK's climate commitments

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 8:25am

Tory leadership candidate and EU Leave campaigner says she remains committed to current pledges to cut emissions and decarbonise energy supply

Andrea Leadsom, the Tory leadership candidate and campaigner to leave the EU, vowed on Tuesday to continue with the UK’s commitments to tackle climate change and decarbonise the energy supply.

She said that reducing greenhouse gases was a duty to future generations, and pledged to continue with the UK’s carbon budgets to set a limit on emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Communities Uneasy As Utilities Look For Places To Store Coal Ash

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 6:46am

In 2014, after disastrous spills and opposition from environmentalists, the EPA imposed new rules on the storage of coal ash. Two towns are pushing back against different ways of storing the ash.

Categories: Environment

Is it an e-bike, is it an e-car? No, it’s a bio-hybrid

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 6:01am

Damian Carrington tests a concept vehicle touted as a ‘solution for future urban transport’ in a rapidly urbanising world

I’m sitting in a cross between an electric-assisted bicycle and an electric car that looks like a cool golf buggy.

The model I am in is also the only one in the world and cost a lot of money to build. So no pressure as I take this concept vehicle for my first spin. The Schaeffler Bio-Hybrid looks hi-tech, but luckily it is very easy to drive. Or do I mean ride?

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Categories: Environment

Climate change: the missing issue of the 2016 campaign

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 4:30am

Guardian US survey reveals anger of voters as election year debate fails to deal with concerns over the gathering global disaster

The race for the White House is failing to grapple with the key issues of the day, especially the urgent need to combat climate change before atmospheric changes become irreversible, a slice of the American electorate believes.

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Categories: Environment

Mark Rylance backs campaign to stop dredging off Kent coast

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 3:00am

Wolf Hall actor lends his support to Save our Sands, which wants to stop the dredging of Goodwin Sands for the development of Dover port

The actor Mark Rylance has lent his support to a campaign to stop the dredging of a stretch of sandbanks off the Kent coast.

Dover Harbour Board has applied for a licence to dredge Goodwin Sands, which had been proposed as a marine conservation zone, for aggregate to be used in the expansion and development of Dover port.

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Categories: Environment

New research: climate may be more sensitive and situation more dire | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 3:00am

When comparing apples to apples, a new study finds energy budget climate sensitivity estimates consistent with climate models

Scientists use a variety of approaches to estimate the Earth’s climate sensitivity – how much the planet will warm as a result of humans increasing greenhouse effect. For decades, the different methods were all in good general agreement that if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, Earth’s surface temperatures will immediately warm by about 1–3°C (this is known as the ‘transient climate response’). Because it would take decades to centuries for the Earth to reach a new energy balance, climate scientists have estimated an eventual 2–4.5°C warming from doubled atmospheric carbon (this is ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’).

However, a 2013 paper led by Alexander Otto disrupted the agreement between the various different approaches. Using a combination of recent climate measurements and a relatively simple climate model, the ‘energy budget’ approach used in Otto’s study yielded a best estimate for the immediate (transient) warming of 1.3°C and equilibrium warming of 2.0°C; within the agreed range, but less than climate model best estimates of 1.8°C and 3.2°C, respectively.

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Categories: Environment

Sadiq Khan unveils plans for extra charge on London's most polluting cars

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 2:31am

Mayor to target older, dirtier vehicles with £10 charge from 2017 as part of proposals to tackle the capital’s ‘toxic’ air

Older, dirtier cars will have to pay a £10 pollution charge to drive in central London, according to plans set out by Sadiq Khan on Tuesday.

The charge, on top of the existing £11.50 congestion charge, would apply from 2017 to cars first sold before 2005. The mayor of London’s proposals to tackle the capital’s “toxic” air also include a big expansion of a planned Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) and a faster roll-out of cleaner buses.

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Categories: Environment

Flooding in China leaves more than 100 people dead or missing

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 1:58am

Heavy rains have left vast areas near the Yangtze river underwater with a typhoon due to hit by the end of the week

Flooding in the Yangtze river basin in China has left 112 people dead or missing in recent days, with more damage feared from a typhoon expected to land within days.

About 16 million people have been affected by heavy rains that have engulfed vast areas near the Yangtze, China’s longest river, the Beijing News cited the civil affairs ministry as saying.

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Categories: Environment

Plastic waste dumped in UK seas 'carried to Arctic within two years'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/07/05 - 1:08am

Analysis shows most UK plastic ends up in the Arctic, where it does ‘extreme harm’ to the fragile polar environment

Plastic dumped into the seas around the UK is carried to the Arctic within two years, scientists have revealed, where it does “extreme harm” to the fragile polar environment.

Marine plastic pollution is a huge problem, with 5tn pieces of plastic now floating in the world’s oceans. The plastic is frequently mistaken for food by fish and birds, causing damage to life throughout the seas.

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Categories: Environment

Can sport shed its wasteful reputation and go green? - live chat

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/07/04 - 10:00pm

Footballers have had their fair share of attention but join us on Tuesday 12 July, 1-2pm BST, to discuss the unsung heroes making sport more sustainable

Few might realise as they watch the semi-final of the UEFA European Championship that the Stade Vélodrome stadium has micro urban wind turbines or that the venue, which is the largest club football ground in France, recovers heat from a nearby wastewater treatment plant.

Huge sporting events such as the Euros present big challenges and opportunities for innovation around issues such as construction, energy, transport and consumer waste. But innovative ideas are being applied to sports all year round.

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Categories: Environment

Life before the Clean Air Act - your memories and pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/07/04 - 10:00pm

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, we’ve been asking Guardian readers to share their memories and stories of what the UK was like before the act came into force.

  • You can see all the contributions – or submit your own – via GuardianWitness

The great smog of 1952 swathed London in a toxic smog of pollution, resulting in thousands of deaths over a four-day period. The Clean Air Act was a groundbreaking piece of legislation that led to the phase-out of coal in Britain’s towns and cities.

Sheila Romain, 88, West Sussex
“Coming home from school one day I caught the bus from Crystal Palace to Dulwich. When we got to Gypsy Hill the bus driver said he couldn’t see well enough to go on. I got off knowing I could walk home. When the driver saw in which direction I was going he asked if he could follow me. So, for the next mile and a half, the bus followed me. This must have been the winter 1946-47.”

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Categories: Environment

These marshes are awash with invisible chemistry

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/07/04 - 9:30pm

Claxton, Norfolk Ants allow us to reflect upon a chemical realm we can seldom know empirically. They are governed by it

If I set aside the rag-winged rooks and moulting lapwings, and forget the storms that this land has just endured, the morning seems utterly still. I stand to watch a long flotilla of cumulus over the marsh, as beautiful and unmoving as sail ships becalmed in doldrums. There is so little breeze that neither foreground nettle nor the red-tinged Yorkshire fog beyond so much as stirs.

Even with my coarse senses, however, I know that this rain-washed stillness is volatile and densely scented. There is a deer nudging through the reeds that I shall never see, because it navigates by smell.

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Categories: Environment

Pauline Hanson's One Nation will bring climate science denial to the Senate

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/07/04 - 9:10pm

Fringe political groups such as One Nation, Family First and the Liberal Democrats still reject the evidence that humans are causing climate change

So we’re in that post-election twilight zone where analysts, psephologists and columnists try and pull something cogent out of all the mess of uncertainty.

Who’ll be the next prime minister? Which party will lead and how will they do it? What does it all mean, and did Donald Trump have anything to do with it? What do psephologists do when there’s no election on?

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Categories: Environment

Shark warning as 12-metre whale washes up on Western Australian beach

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/07/04 - 8:22pm

Authorities to remove carcass of humpback whale on Honeycombs beach because it is a popular surf location and decomposing animal could attract sharks

A 12-metre humpback whale weighing up to 40 tonnes has washed up on the beach near Margaret River prompting a shark warning.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife will remove the whale carcass that washed up on Honeycombs beach in Leeuwin-Naturaliste national park in the WA’s south-west.

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Categories: Environment
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