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Saving Great Barrier Reef from climate change should be central election issue, says Tim Flannery

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 9:00pm

Scientist says lack of attention to climate change is ‘staggering’ given it is Australia’s last chance ‘to close down coal-fired power stations and save the reef’

Tim Flannery says preserving the Great Barrier Reef from coral bleaching linked to climate change should be a central issue in the federal election campaign.

Flannery, a scientist and member of the Climate Council, said the lack of attention paid to climate change so far in the eight-week campaign was “staggering”.

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Categories: Environment

The long game: will Malcolm Turnbull's gamble pay off?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 7:06pm

The leader who promised to end three-word slogans now says ‘jobs and growth’ every second breath. But will diluting the personality that made him popular win him the power to build a lasting legacy?

Malcolm Turnbull is selling his “jobs and growth” election message with the zeal of a man whose life’s ambition depends on it.

Which, of course, it does.

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Categories: Environment

forth day

The Field Lab - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 6:24pm













Four days in a row with rain.  Last night was .22" and got hammered tonight with .52".  Good thing I did a quick supply run this afternoon because my road is a mess now.  68,93,57, .52,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Global warming will hit poorer countries hardest, research finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 4:49pm

Tropical regions likely to suffer biggest increase in hot days and extreme weather because of climate change, say scientists

New evidence that poorer countries will suffer the worst effects of climate change has shown that the number of hot days in tropical developing countries is likely to increase markedly as global warming takes hold.

It has long been expected that poor people would bear the brunt of climate change, largely because so many more of the world’s poorest live in tropical latitudes whereas, wealthier people tend to live in more temperate regions.

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Categories: Environment

People power: Tasmanian residents to store solar energy and sell it back to grid

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 4:49pm

Some 40 Bruny Island households are to be transformed into ‘mini-power stations’ as they trial Reposit Power’s software and solar storage

There are more than 1.5m households in Australia with rooftop solar. And in a few months time, 40 Tasmanian homeswill be acting as mini power stations – not just producing energy for their own consumption and to export back into the grid, but actively trading and profiting from the power they generate.

Much has been written about rooftop solar and the impending boom in battery storage but the key ingredient to turning homes into mini-power stations is the software that links the hardware of these technologies. Now the Canberra-based startup Reposit Power is helping to change the way households and energy companies think about solar and storage.

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Categories: Environment

BP plan to drill for oil in Great Australian Bight rejected for second time

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 4:11pm

Australian offshore oil and gas regulator keeps reasons for rejection secret, but says company will be given an opportunity to revise application

BP’s application to drill for oil deep in the pristine Great Australian Bight has been rejected for a second time by the offshore oil and gas regulator, Nopsema.

The regulator said on its website on Monday evening the company would be given an opportunity to revise its plans and resubmit. The decision implies the regulator found BP’s plans did not meet its regulatory requirements, although the reasons were kept secret.

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Categories: Environment

Richard Di Natale: global warming is the most urgent threat to Australia's security

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 2:56pm

Greens leader tells the Lowy Institute Australia should develop an independent foreign policy that made poverty and climate change priorities

The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, has accused the Turnbull government of failing to understand that global warming is a bigger threat to Australia’s national security than terrorism.

In an address due to be given at the Lowy Institute on Tuesday, he also criticises Australia’s bid to be on the UN human rights council, asking how the country can provide any leadership when “our own house is not in order”.

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Categories: Environment

It's time for the environment roundup with Ian the Climate Denialist Potato | First Dog on the Moon

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 2:30pm

Today we are looking at some of the environmental issues facing the nation and how lucky we are to have Greg Hunt as our environment minister

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Categories: Environment

Aircraft contrails bring warmer nights and conspiracy theories

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 1:30pm

Scientists agree that aircraft pollution affects surface temperatures, but some people believe they have a darker side

A sky crisscrossed with contrails from high-flying aircraft is a familiar sight in Britain and North America. Depending on the weather conditions these can merge into a blanket of high cloud that at times can be dense enough to blot out the sun.

Understanding exactly what this does to the climate is still work in progress, but it’s generally agreed that in these areas where the aircraft are constantly pouring out pollution the contrails make the nights warmer by acting as a blanket and the days cooler by reflecting sunlight back into space. Some studies suggest that over 30 years, these contrails will raise average surface temperature by as much as 1C, a serious magnification of global warming.

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Categories: Environment

Yellowstone bison calf euthanized after park visitors picked up animal on road

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 12:37pm

A calf that two men picked up in their SUV because they thought it was ‘freezing’ was put to sleep after it was rejected by its herd upon returning

A newborn bison calf that was picked up and put into the back of car because someone thought it was cold has had to be euthanized, prompting the National Parks Service to criticize a spate of “inappropriate, dangerous and illegal behavior” by visitors to Yellowstone.

Last week two visitors, reportedly a man and his son, were admonished by Yellowstone rangers after they picked up a baby bison and placed it into the back of their SUV. The bison was driven to a ranger due to concerns that the animal was cold.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change puts 1.3bn people and $158tn at risk, says World Bank

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 12:00pm

Organisation urges better city planning and defensive measures to defend against rapid rise in climate change-linked disasters

The global community is badly prepared for a rapid increase in climate change-related natural disasters that by 2050 will put 1.3 billion people at risk, according to the World Bank.

Urging better planning of cities before it was too late, a report published on Monday from a Bank-run body that focuses on disaster mitigation, said assets worth $158tn – double the total annual output of the global economy – would be in jeopardy by 2050 without preventative action.

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Categories: Environment

'Break Free' fossil fuel protests deemed 'largest ever' global disobedience

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 11:22am

Coalition of environmental groups call for oil, coal and gas to be kept in the ground during mass protests around the world over the past two weeks

Thousands of people have taken part in what organizers have called the largest ever global civil disobedience against fossil fuels, with dozens of activists arrested during protests that shut down coalmines, rail infrastructure and a port.

The protests, held over the past two weeks in countries including the US, UK, Australia, South Africa and Indonesia, saw activists call for oil, coal and gas to be kept in the ground. A coalition of environment groups, which called the actions “Break Free”, are pushing for a complete shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

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Categories: Environment

Glyphosate unlikely to pose risk to humans, UN/WHO study says

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 10:53am

Chemical used in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller ‘unlikely to pose carcinogenic risk from exposure through diet’

Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller brand, has been given a clean bill of health by the UN’s joint meeting on pesticides residues (JMPR), two days before a crunch EU vote on whether to relicense it.

The co-analysis by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation found that the chemical was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.

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Categories: Environment

'You can feel it in your throat': going to school in a pollution blackspot

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 10:22am

Parents at the gates of one London school are not surprised that NO2 levels in the area are well above recommended levels

Copenhagen primary school in north London does not immediately stand out as a pollution hotspot. The school gates open on to a quiet cul-de-sac, while along one side runs the Regent’s canal, where birds swoop in the afternoon sunshine. The large Victorian building is topped by an “edible roof garden”, designed to allow the children to grow fruit and vegetable in a restful environment.

Related: Boris Johnson accused of burying study linking pollution and deprived schools

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Categories: Environment

Boris Johnson accused of burying study linking pollution and deprived schools

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 10:22am

Unpublished report found four-fifths of the 433 London primary schools in areas breaching EU limits for NO2 were deprived

An air quality report that was not published by Boris Johnson while he was mayor of London demonstrates that 433 schools in the capital are located in areas that exceed EU limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution – and that four-fifths of those are in deprived areas.

The report, Analysing Air Pollution Exposure in London, said that in 2010, 433 of the city’s 1,777 primary schools were in areas where pollution breached the EU limits for NO2. Of those, 83% were considered deprived schools, with more than 40% of pupils on free school meals.

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Categories: Environment

Spectacular bearded vulture spotted for first time in UK

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 10:09am

Ornithologists hope for glimpse of species reported to have been seen in Wales and west country

A spectacular bearded vulture, believed to be the first recorded in the UK, has been spotted soaring over the Severn estuary and moorland in Devon.

If it is confirmed that the vulture, also known as the lammergeier or ossifrage, is a wild bird, it will be the first of its species to be found in Britain and the sightings have already caused ornithologists to rush to the west country hoping for a glimpse.

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Categories: Environment

Shell working to repair leak that spilled 2,000 barrels of oil into Gulf of Mexico

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 10:09am

Thursday leak created a 13 mile-wide slick on the surface of the water, from group of underwater oil wells 97 miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana

Shell has said it has begun work to repair a fault in a flowline that has resulted in around 2,000 barrels worth of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 88,000 gallons of oily-water mixture has been released from the Glider Field, a group of four underwater oil wells located around 97 miles south of Port Fourchon in Louisiana. The company said it suspects a line connecting these wells to a Shell platform leaked oil on Thursday, creating a 13 mile-wide slick on the surface of the water.

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Categories: Environment

PHOTOS: Protesters Around The World Target Fossil Fuel Industry

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 8:13am

For two weeks, protesters have gathered — on kayaks, on train tracks, at mines and at refineries — to demonstrate against coal, oil and other energy sources that contribute to global warming.

Categories: Environment

Tampons aren't for toilets: biodegradable bag hopes to fight the flushers

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 5:20am

Around 9.3 million women use tampons in the UK, but we don’t often speak about how we dispose of them

“Everyone knows that horror story of wrapping a tampon up in toilet roll and trying to smuggle it out your friend’s bathroom,” says Martha Silcott, inventor of Fab Little Bag, a biodegradable bag designed to make it easier for women to bin their tampons.

Silcott, a former City worker turned entrepreneur, surveyed hundreds of women and girls before launching her product on something we don’t usually talk about: the monthly, often messy matter of getting rid of used tampons. She found 40% chose to bin, 60% were flushers.

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Categories: Environment

World's largest floating windfarm to be built off Scottish coast

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/05/16 - 4:29am

Statoil granted seabed lease to develop floating windfarm 15 miles off the coast of Peterhead that is expected to be operational by the end of 2017

The world’s largest floating windfarm is set to be built off the coast of Scotland after its developers were granted a seabed lease on Monday.

Statoil, the Norwegian energy company, expects to have five 6MW turbines bobbing in the North Sea and generating electricity by the end of 2017. The company has already operated a single turbine off Norway.

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Categories: Environment
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