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Europe bans two endocrine-disrupting weedkillers

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/04/19 - 2:24am

Use of Amitrole and Isoproturon, herbicides that have been linked to cancer, infertility and birth defects, is prohibited from 30 September

The European commission has ordered a ground-breaking moratorium on two endocrine-disrupting weedkillers that have been linked to thyroid cancer, infertility, reproductive problems and foetal malformations.

Use of Amitrole and Isoproturon will now be banned from 30 September across Europe, after an EU committee voted unanimously for the first ever ban on endocrine-disrupting herbicides.

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Categories: Environment

Houston floods - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/04/19 - 2:17am

Storms have dumped more than a foot of rain in the Houston area, flooding dozens of neighbourhoods and forcing the closure of city offices and the suspension of public transport. Massive flooding has become nearly an annual rite of passage in the city, which is experiencing deaths and devastation for the third year running

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Categories: Environment

Power plan maps out route to follow for 100% renewable energy future

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/04/19 - 1:35am

GetUp! and SolarCitizens say its ‘homegrown power plan’ means it would be technically feasible and cheaper for Australia to switch from fossil fuels

A plan to transform Australia’s energy use to 100% renewables was published by GetUp! and SolarCitizens on Tuesday after a modelling studycommissioned by the groups suggested such a transition was technically feasible and would be cheaper than the status quo.

The “homegrown power plan” spells out dozens of policy ideas the two organisations say would achieve a switch to 100% renewable energy while delivering more equitable access to electricity and a fair transition for workers in the fossil-fuel industry.

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Categories: Environment

Why Limits to Growth's forecasts are still relevant today | James Dyke

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/04/19 - 12:00am

The 1970s study which predicted civilisation would collapse some time this century was wrong on resources, but right on pollution

Forty-four years ago, the size of the global economy was £20tn in today’s prices. In 2014 it was £55.18tn. It’s certainly been a rocky road at times, but the trend of economic growth has been robust. Only four years over this period have shown a contraction of economic output.

Consequently, one should feel foolish for suggesting that there are not only limits to growth, but that such limits are already affecting the global economy. That’s one evaluation of the book Limits to Growth, which was published in 1972 and contained the central, controversial conclusion that the seemingly never-ending increase in population, industrial output, food production, and resource use would rapidly unravel at some point around the middle of the 21st century.

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Categories: Environment

Cycling up 100 Pyrenees climbs in 10 days: how can I do it? | Oliver Duggan

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 11:00pm

With a combined ascent of more than 49,000m, the Cent Cols challenge is a daunting experience. And I’ve signed up to ride it

From early May to the start of September, the three grand tours of cycling – the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España – see the world’s best riders tackle countless punishing climbs amid three weeks of racing.

And then, just as this rolling spectacle packs away for another year, 30 amateur riders will attempt an arguably equally difficult feat of ascending. Participants in September’s self explanatory-named Cent Cols challenge will try to ride 100 categorised climbs through the French Pyrenees in just 10 days.

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Categories: Environment

Why Our Brains Weren't Made To Deal With Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 9:00pm

Human beings would be better at fighting climate change if we weren't so, well, human. In this episode, we explore the psychological barriers to addressing climate change.

Categories: Environment

Fracking: former Northern Territory opposition leader calls for referendum

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 8:34pm

Delia Lawrie says Labor’s policy of a moratorium is insufficient and voters should be given a clear say on the issue

A referendum on fracking should be held at one of the two elections scheduled in the Northern Territory for this year, the former NT opposition leader and outgoing member of the parliament Delia Lawrie has said.

On Tuesday, Helen Bender from Queensland’s Darling Downs and the US cattle rancher and anti-fracking activist John Fenton addressed media with their experiences and offered a warning to Territorians that “if you do not think this will impact you, you are very … wrong”.

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Categories: Environment

Beyond Tesla: solar-powered battery could challenge Australia's soaring electricity prices

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 7:27pm

ZCell developer says its battery for homes is more efficient and recyclable

Australia is at the dawn of a battery storage revolution. A recent report from US-based IHS Technology states that Australia’s energy storage market will grow from less than 500 battery installations in 2015 to 30,000 installations by 2018, while Morgan Stanley has found that half of all households in Australia are interested in installing solar panels with battery storage, with the market potential estimated to be $24bn.

From the lithium battery Tesla Powerwall unit to the lead acid gel battery of AllGrid Energy’s GridWatt system, the Australian market seems to be welcoming one battery innovation after another.

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Categories: Environment

Barnaby Joyce says Johnny Depp apology video needed more 'gusto' – video

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 6:40pm

The deputy prime minister and Nationals leader, Barnaby Joyce, says Johnny Depp’s performance in the apology video could’ve used a bit more ‘gusto’, claiming the actor looked like ‘he was auditioning for the Godfather’. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard released the video to apologise for smuggling their two dogs, Pistol and Boo into Australia. The video has since gone viral, with many online commenters not buying the authenticity of Depp’s performance

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Categories: Environment

pushing the limits

The Field Lab - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 4:22pm

It occurred to me that my non functional payphone is always an attention grabber when I get new visitors.  It also occurred to me that it has a coin slot that never gets any coins.  Rigging it now so something will happen when visitors deposit a quarter.  To complete the project I need a micro lever switch.  I am sure I have some somewhere but I just couldn't find them.  Just ordered 10 of them at 5:57PM on Amazon Prime and they will be here Wednesday afternoon - for $8.74 including 2 day shipping.  68,75,66,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

MPs warn vote to leave EU would threaten UK environmental policy

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 4:01pm

Air and water quality, biodiversity and countryside would be at risk, Commons environment select committee report says

Leaving the EU would threaten the UK’s air and water quality, biodiversity and the countryside, a committee of MPs has warned.

The UK has benefited from an EU-wide environmental cleanup in the past four decades, and giving up membership would lead to a damaging policy vacuum and an end to influence over green regulations, the commons environmental audit select committee has said in a report.

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Categories: Environment

Modelling shows move to 100% renewable energy would save Australia money

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 2:09pm

Exclusive: Estimated cost of moving all electricity, industry and transport onto renewables by 2050 would be $800bn, a saving of $90bn

Transitioning Australia to 100% renewable energy by 2050 would cost less than continuing on the current path, according to a new report.

Related: Australia's defence force could run on sugar cane and tyres under biofuel plan

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Categories: Environment

Florida wakes up to climate change

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 1:30pm

The city of Miami Beach is slowly disappearing under water. At the big high tides of the year the sea washes over the famous wide beach and floods many of the city streets and magnificent Art Deco buildings. And over the past decade the floods have been striking more frequently.

Most of the city sits just a few feet above sea level, built on a foundation of porous limestone, allowing the rising seas to seep into the city’s foundations, surge up through pipes and drains, encroaching on fresh water supplies and saturating infrastructure. The city is now investing in a $500m project to raise roads and a pumping system to hold back the floods.

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Categories: Environment

A Rare Look Inside The 'Gigafactory' Tesla Hopes Will Revolutionize Energy Use

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 12:28pm

Tesla is building what it says is the world's largest battery factory. The scale is expected to drive down the cost of electric cars and batteries that homeowners can use to store surplus solar power.

Categories: Environment

Is Yellowstone National Park In Danger Of Being 'Loved To Death'?

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 12:12pm

Each year, the park attracts millions of visitors and provides a home to countless animal species. But journalist David Quammen warns that balancing tourism and preservation can be tricky.

Categories: Environment

British farmers best served by UK staying in EU, says NFU

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 11:21am

Decision by organisation representing farmers in England and Wales comes after report on impacts of Brexit on farming

Farmers’ interests are best served by the UK remaining in the European Union, their union has concluded.

The National Farmers’ Union, which represents farmers across England and Wales, said it would not be actively campaigning in the EU referendum and would not tell its 55,000 members how to vote.

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Categories: Environment

Use tax disobedience to create a fairer society | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 11:13am

The latest tax scandal is bringing the erosion of our democracy into ever sharper focus. Britain suffers under an enormous democratic deficit due to state capture by “free”-market neoliberal fundamentalism and its associated corporate and financial interests, in aggressive ascendancy since the 1970s. Notwithstanding the 2008 financial crisis, this capture of the state has remained unaddressed, with successive governments shamefully complicit in it. Despite copious corroborative research and endless petitioning and protesting, all we’ve seen is disingenuous hand-wringing and political evasion.

Our collusion with this apology for a “democracy” must stop. We, the citizenry, are therefore taking matters into our own hands – with a “Golden Rule Tax Disobedience” whose intention is grassroots mobilisation against systemic injustice, favouring far greater equality, shared and stable prosperity, enhanced quality of life and, most importantly, an environmentally sustainable future.

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Categories: Environment

Within the EU, Britain can take the lead on tackling climate change | Letter from John Gummer, Chris Huhne, Adair Turner and others

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 10:27am
Letter from John Gummer, Chris Huhne, Adair Turner, Craig Bennett, Tom Burke, Amy Cameron, Michael Jacobs, John Sauven, Matthew Spencer, James Thornton and Crispin Tickell

Britain has shown great diplomatic leadership on climate change and successive governments have had a major influence on action to decarbonise the world’s economy. We believe that the UK’s standing as an international climate leader could recede within months if we were to leave the EU.

Membership of the EU has enabled the UK to punch above its weight. It has given us a platform to influence not only the climate commitments of our European neighbours, but also those of the US and China. In the last European parliament, all countries agreed to follow the carbon reduction trajectory set by the UK for the next 15 years.

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Categories: Environment

Veolia vows to recruit 10% of workforce from marginalised groups

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 10:05am

French-owned outsourcing company pledges to employ army veterans, ex-offenders, long-term unemployed and homeless people

Veolia, the rubbish collection and road sweeping company, has vowed to ensure that 10% of new recruits come from marginalised groups – including army veterans, ex-offenders, long-term unemployed and the homeless.

The French-owned outsourcing company employs 14,000 people in the UK and operates water, waste management and energy services for local councils across the country, covering half the UK’s population.

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Categories: Environment

Boaty McBoatface may not be name of new polar research vessel

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/04/18 - 9:11am

Name overwhelmingly backed in poll but government would prefer something that ‘captures the spirit of scientific endeavour’

It might be the democratic will of the people, but RRS Boaty McBoatface will probably never weigh anchor, the government has signalled.

The Natural Environment Research Council, which asked the public to vote on a name for its new £200m polar research vessel, confirmed on Sunday that the votes were overwhelmingly in favour of naming the state-of-the-art ship Boaty McBoatface. The suggestion received 124,109 votes, four times more than second-placed RRS Poppy-Mai, named after a 16-month-old girl with incurable cancer.

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Categories: Environment
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