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Keystone XL: Republican ranchers join the fightback in South Dakota – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/03 - 4:00am

After Trump’s revival of the Keystone XL pipeline project, some communities along its route are getting ready to fight back. Others see the US president keeping his promise to ‘make America great again’. The Guardian drove along the proposed route of the pipeline, through three red states – Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska – to hear what those who will be affected have to say about it

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Categories: Environment

Adani may face fine over sediment released in floodwaters after Cyclone Debbie

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/03 - 3:03am

Queensland environment department says it is considering action against mining giant with fines of up to $3.8m possible

Adani faces a possible multimillion-dollar fine for environmental breaches over floodwaters released from its Queensland coal port after Cyclone Debbie.

The Queensland environment department said it would consider “compliance action” against Adani over discharges of water containing more than eight times the level of sediment allowed from Abbot Point terminal.

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Categories: Environment

Is the climate consensus 97%, 99.9%, or is plate tectonics a hoax? | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/03 - 3:00am

A new study argues the 97% climate consensus estimate is too low, while deniers claim it’s too high

Four years ago, my colleagues and I published a paper finding a 97% consensus in the peer-reviewed literature on human-caused global warming. Since then, it’s been the subject of constant myths, misinformation, and denial. In fact, last year we teamed up with the authors of six other consensus papers, showing that with a variety of different approaches, we all found the expert consensus on human-caused global warming is 90–100%.

Most of the critiques of our paper claim the consensus is somehow below 97%. For example, in a recent congressional hearing, Lamar Smith (R-TX) claimed we had gone wrong by only considering “a small sample of a small sample” of climate studies, and when estimated his preferred way, it’s less than 1%. But in a paper published last year, James Powell argued that the expert consensus actually higher – well over 99%.

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Categories: Environment

My dog is a registered waste collector, says critic of lax regulation

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/05/03 - 2:28am

Environmental consultant says light-touch approach is leading to record levels of waste crime, costing £600m a year

Regulatory failings are contributing to fly-tipping and waste crime costing more than £604m a year, according to an investigator who was able to license a dog as a rubbish collector.

A report by an environmental consultancy, Eunomia, says “systematic failure” to regulate the more than 180,000 waste carriers, brokers and dealers is leading to record levels of crime.

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Categories: Environment

Inequality, drought and the deadly fight for precious grazing land in Kenya

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 10:45pm

Arrival of hundreds of poor tribesmen seeking grazing lands for their cattle has triggered outbreak of violence in Laikipia

Early one morning last week, Richard Constant drove across the 24,000-acre ranch that he part-owns on a high plateau in central Kenya to discover what remained of his home.

In March, Constant’s friend and business associate Tristan Voorspuy, a British army officer turned safari operator, had been shot dead on his horse while inspecting the damage caused by armed herders who had driven tens of thousands of cattle on to the ranch.

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Categories: Environment

The ancient magic of apple blossom time

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 9:30pm

Wenlock Edge We have lost so many old orchards here that this young tree will hopefully encourage future planting

To misquote the old Andrews Sisters song about a May Day wedding: “I’ll bewitch you, in apple blossom time.” Apple blossom has powerful emotional, cultural and ecological significances, each of which is inseparable in these woozily psychedelic days of spring.

There’s a small apple tree planted a few years ago behind the windmill on top of the hill. It’s grafted from a scion cut from a hedge apple about half a mile away as the crow flies, selected for its beautiful blossom. This simple act encapsulates centuries of cultivation and the ancient art of growing the branches on one tree on the roots of another.

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Categories: Environment

Resources minister steps up extraordinary Westpac attack over Adani coalmine

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 7:13pm

Matt Canavan accuses bank of conflict of interest over policy to limit lending for coal projects to ‘existing coal-producing basins’

Matt Canavan has redoubled his attack on Westpac – accusing the bank of a conflict of interest over financial links to the Newcastle port – as a direct competitor to future coalmines in the Galilee basin.

“This stinks to high heaven,” the resources minister told the ABC in response to the bank’s new policy to limit lending for new thermal coal projects to “existing coal-producing basins”.

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Categories: Environment

Black rhinos return to Rwanda 10 years after disappearance

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 6:27pm

Around 20 eastern black rhinos are being moved to Akagera national park from South Africa

Around 20 endangered eastern black rhinos are returning in an “extraordinary homecoming” to Rwanda after the species disappeared from the country 10 years ago, the African Parks organisation has said.

The rhinos are being moved from South Africa to the Akagera national park in eastern Rwanda, according to the non-profit group that manages protected areas for African governments.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 4:32pm
Burros taking a break during filming of a future friday night film.  Still not a YouTube millionaire...yet90,95,61,0,C
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

UK killer whale died with extreme levels of toxic pollutants

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 10:00am

Adult whale Lulu was one of UK’s last resident pod and had never produced a calf, probably because pollutants in her blubber had caused infertility

One of the highest concentrations of toxic pollutants ever recorded in a marine mammal has been revealed in a Scottish killer whale that died in 2016.

The adult whale, known as Lulu, was a member of the UK’s last resident pod and a postmortem also showed she had never produced a calf. The pollutants, called PCBs, are known to cause infertility and these latest findings add to strong evidence that the pod is doomed to extinction.

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Categories: Environment

Seals are deafened in noisy shipping lanes, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 9:36am

Urbanisation of marine environment impacts on seal hearing and is comparable to noise pollution of inner cities

Seals are being temporarily deafened by underwater noise in the UK’s busy shipping lanes, a new study suggests. Researchers compared the experience of the seals to that of people living amid the din of inner cities.

Dr Esther Jones, an ecologist from the University of St Andrews, said: “Like humans living in busy, noisy cities, some seals live in areas where there is a lot of shipping traffic and associated noise.

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Categories: Environment

This Ex-Child Soldier Went Undercover To Save The Gorillas

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 9:04am

Rodrigue Katembo has quite a resume: child soldier, park ranger, undercover agent, friend of gorillas and elephants. And now, he is a Goldman Environmental Prize winner.

Categories: Environment

Nuclear industry warns UK must avoid 'cliff edge' over Brexit

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 7:44am

Leaving Euratom treaty without new deals would have dramatic impact on Hinkley Point C and other stations, says NIA

The UK nuclear industry has issued its strongest warning yet to ministers on the problems it faces if the government is unable to strike new international atomic power deals during Brexit talks.

Failure to put in place alternative arrangements to replace the existing European nuclear treaty, Euratom, which the UK is quitting as part of the article 50 process, would have a “dramatic impact” on Hinkley Point C and other new power stations around the country, the industry said.

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Categories: Environment

Wildlife on your doorstep: share your May photos

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 7:30am

May brings the joys of spring for the northern hemisphere while winter is a step closer for the southern hemisphere. We’d like to see your wildlife photos

Whether you are in the northern hemisphere where creatures are enjoying spring, or you’re in southern climes edging closer to winter, May, which brings change, is a great time for wildlife photography.

Related: Corvids build castles in the sky

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Categories: Environment

Support the Guardian's climate change reporting: make a contribution now

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 5:09am

The Guardian has expanded its global environment desk with three new appointments

Last November, the Guardian environment columnist Bill McKibben made the grim prediction that the “damage from the US election would be measured in geologic time”.

One hundred days and counting into Trump’s presidency, there’s little reason for optimism. The former CEO Of ExxonMobil is our secretary of state. The new head of the US Environmental Protection Agency wants to dismantle the agency. The Keystone pipeline has been revived, the clean power plan is in peril, and vast swaths of the Atlantic seaboard may be opened to offshore drilling.

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Categories: Environment

Britain's energy supply is in jeopardy after Brexit, warn MPs

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 4:35am

Business committee says leaving EU means exiting European atomic power treaty, which could ‘threaten power supplies’

The future of Britain’s power supply has been jeopardised by Brexit and the government must act urgently to ensure nuclear power stations stay open, MPs have warned.

The influential Commons business, energy and industrial strategy committee said that any gap between the UK leaving a European atomic power treaty and entering into secure alternative deals would “severely inhibit nuclear trade and research and threaten power supplies”.

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Categories: Environment

UK government agrees to publish air pollution strategy in next week

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 4:30am

No 10 strategy to cut premature deaths could include scrappage scheme for highly polluting diesel vehicles and clean air zones

A draft plan to tackle air pollution will finally be published within the next week, after No 10 said it would not challenge a court ruling forcing the government to release information before the election.

Theresa May’s official spokesman said the government would not appeal against the high court judgment, which rejected attempts by ministers to keep the policy under wraps until after the poll. This means the government will have to publish its draft air-quality plan before 9 May, but No 10 said it wanted to wait until after the purdah period for the local elections was over on Thursday.

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Categories: Environment

Nespresso bid to recycle coffee pods

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 4:14am

Nestlé bows to environmental backlash over popular home brewing system

The coffee company Nespresso – part of the Swiss multinational Nestlé – is to trial a scheme to make it easier for consumers to recycle their used aluminium capsules in the UK, in the face of a growing environmental backlash against increasingly popular single-serve pods, many of which end up in landfill.

A six-month pilot, starting this week in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, will allow Nespresso Club members to recycle their used capsules through their council household recycling service, using special purple bags provided by the company. The borough’s 190,000 residents will only be able to put out capsules made by Nespresso.

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Categories: Environment

Alarm sounded over delays to develop UK mini nuclear reactors

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 3:58am

Lords scold government for lack of progress on small modular reactors plan, warning UK nuclear sector will suffer if firms walk away

The government’s failure to deliver on a multimillion-pound competition to develop mini atomic power stations has hurt the nuclear sector and risks international companies walking away from the UK, a Lords committee has warned.

In 2015 the then chancellor George Osborne promised £250m over five years for a nuclear research and development programme, an undisclosed sum of which was for a competition to pave the way for small modular reactors.

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Categories: Environment

Climate contrarians want to endanger the EPA climate endangerment finding | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/05/02 - 3:00am

A terrible new white paper tries to make the case that carbon pollution isn’t dangerous

Although Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has been among the biggest proponents of withdrawing America from the Paris climate agreement (using bogus ‘blame China’ arguments to make his case), climate deniers have been unhappy with him. That’s because Pruitt doesn’t want to challenge EPA’s carbon pollution endangerment finding – he thinks it would be a lost cause. A group of contrarian scientists released a white paper trying to pressure him to attack the finding anyway.

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Categories: Environment
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