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How Bernie Sanders made Hillary Clinton into a greener candidate

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 7:10am

He may have lost his campaign, but Sanders achieved major wins, making his rival promise more on green policies and climate change, reports Grist

Hillary Clinton is her party’s presumptive nominee. Whether Sanders drops out tomorrow or the day he loses the roll-call vote at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, his campaign is over.

But if ever there were a losing campaign that achieved some major wins, it’s Sanders’. Not only did he force Clinton to talk more about economic inequality, he pushed her to promise stronger action to fight climate change and rein in fossil fuel companies. If Hillary Clinton becomes president and keeps some of her more recent promises to restrict oil drilling and fracking, Sanders will deserve a share of the credit.

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Categories: Environment

World carbon emissions stopped growing in 2015, says BP

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 6:30am

Move towards renewable energy and away from coal power helped stall emissions growth last year but slowdown may be temporary, says oil giant

Carbon emissions stopped growing in 2015 for the first time in 10 years as the world turned its back on coal and embraced energy efficiency and renewable power with increased vigour, according to a new set of statistics.

China led the way in driving down emissions but the latest figures from oil company BP come with a warning that the progress may not last.

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Categories: Environment

New ocean map reveals health of seas and value of protecting them – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 6:00am

The Atlas of Ocean Wealth, published ahead of World Oceans Day, brings together data from thousands of sources – from governments to Flickr photos – to provide insight into the economic and social value of our marine life. It is being used to pinpoint areas where even small-scale interventions can make a big difference to benefit local people and improve sustainability

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Categories: Environment

European parliament slams G7 food project in Africa

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 5:54am

Euro-MPs criticise G7-led food security programme, saying it pushes agribusiness and GM to the detriment of biodiversity and small-scale farmers

For a large majority of Euro-MPs, the G7’s decision to base its programme for food security in Africa on intensive agriculture is a mistake. The European parliament took its first official stance on the subject with the adoption of a report on the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) on Tuesday.

“We have already made the mistake of intensive agriculture in Europe. We should not replicate it in Africa because this model destroys family farming and reduces biodiversity,” said Mara Heubuch, a German Green MEP and rapporteur on the new alliance.

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Categories: Environment

Top beauty brands accused of refusing MPs' call for hearing on microplastics

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 5:07am

Companies should come clean on the harm plastic microbeads in their products is causing to marine life, says environment committee chair

The UK’s biggest beauty brands have been accused by an influential MP of showing contempt for their customers by refusing to appear in parliament to answer questions on the impact that their products are having on the oceans.

MPs on the environmental audit committee will hear on Wednesday from the UK and European cosmetics trade bodies on the harm caused by plastic ‘microbeads’ in cosmetics, which are mistaken for food by marine life.

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Categories: Environment

Indonesia plans tougher punishments for poachers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 3:52am

Environmentalists are sceptical that plans to quadruple maximum jail terms from five to 20 years will be effective.

Indonesia plans to quadruple maximum jail terms for animal poachers and traffickers in a major overhaul of wildlife crime laws, but environmentalists expressed scepticism on Wednesday that the changes would be effective.

Maximum sentences for poaching and trading protected animals will be increased from five years to 20 under the new legislation proposed by the environment and forestry ministry.

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Categories: Environment

To protect oceans from microplastics the UK must work with Europe | Mary Creagh

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 3:15am

The microbead pollution contaminating our marine life does not respect borders. As UK ministers meet on World Oceans Day they must look to find solutions by working with our neighbours and partners in Europe

From the shallowest coastal waters to the depths of the oceanic trenches some 10,000 meters beneath the sea, our oceans are home to a vast amount of life on earth. Covering over two-thirds of the world’s surface, they provide food and support tourism and leisure in every part of the world.

Our oceans are under pressure from warming and acidification, and on World Oceans Day, the environmental audit committee, which I chair, will be hearing about microplastic pollution.

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Categories: Environment

Trump and global warming: Americans are failing risk management | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 3:00am

40% of Americans don’t understand the risks posed by climate change or a President Donald Trump

Currently, about 40% of Americans support Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and about 40% of Americans are not worried about global warming. While short of a majority, this is a substantial fraction of the American public failing to grasp the risks associated with a Donald Trump presidency and potentially catastrophic climate change impacts.

In Business Insider, Josh Barro recently wrote about the former:

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Categories: Environment

Younger voters put social issues and environment before economy, survey shows

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 2:36am

Asylum seekers, marriage equality and climate change top of issues those surveyed wanted addressed

A survey of thousands of young Australians has found they are more interested in social and environmental issues than economic concerns, heading into the election.

The Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY), and a group called Youth Action, conducted a national survey of 3369 Australians aged between 12 and 25, between 4 April and 2 May.

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Categories: Environment

Was It Worth It For Lesotho To Sell Its Water To South Africa?

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 2:10am

What happens when a country decides to sell its water then hits a drought? Our Planet Money team takes us to a country in Africa that might have given away its most valuable resource.

Categories: Environment

Landowners And Federal Officials Dispute Red River's Boundaries

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 2:10am

The federal government is changing the border between Texas and Oklahoma. What's going on? That's what landowners along the Red River want to know.

Categories: Environment

Barnaby Joyce: using constitution to block Shenhua would be 'disastrous'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 1:39am

The deputy prime minister rejects suggestion by constitutional expert George Williams that section 51 could be used to halt mine on environmental grounds

Barnaby Joyce has rejected outright the use of an export power in the constitution to stop the Shenhua Watermark mine, saying it would be “economically and socially disastrous”.

Joyce told the Q&A audience in Tamworth this week that the commonwealth could do very little to stop mining on prime agricultural land near his New England electorate after an audience member asked about the commonwealth powers.

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Categories: Environment

Down to 60: scientists mull risky captive breeding for panda porpoise

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 1:07am

As the vaquita – the world’s smallest porpoise – plunges toward extinction, scientists have a tough decision ahead of them: to attempt a super risky captive breeding programme or not?

Today, there are approximately 7.3 billion people on the planet – and only 60 vaquitas. The vaquita has seen its population drop by 92 percent in less than 20 years in Mexico’s Gulf of California as the tiny porpoises suffocate to death one-by-one in gillnets. Now, scientists with the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) are cautiously moving forward on a once unthinkable option: captive breeding.

“We have no idea whether it is feasible to find, capture and maintain vaquitas in captivity much less whether they will reproduce,” said Barbara Taylor, one of the world’s foremost experts on the vaquita with NOAA. “The uncertainties are large.”

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Categories: Environment

The jumping shark: great white pictured completely out of the water

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 1:04am

Nathan McLaren, an electrician, captured the moment a 3.3m long shark breached out of the water behind a surfer on the east coast of Australia

A once-in-a-lifetime photograph has caught the moment a great white shark breached its entire body out of the water behind an oblivious surfer.

The photograph was taken by Nathan McLaren on Tuesday as he watched surfers off Swansea Heads, just south of Newcastle in New South Wales.

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Categories: Environment

West Australian editor defends 'Jaws' front page image of shark pursuing children

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/08 - 12:10am

Image met with accusations of fearmongering, but after two fatal shark attacks in five days, Brett McCarthy says risk of mauling is ‘now clearly a public safety issue’

The editor of the West Australian newspaper has defended the paper’s controversial front page, which featured a photoshopped image of children being chased out of the surf by a shark under the headline “Will it take this?”

It followed calls from the paper for the government to restart its controversial shark cull policy after two fatal shark attacks in five days.

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Categories: Environment

World's widest web? Flood-hit spiders find higher ground

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/07 - 9:22pm

Webs of tens of thousands of arachnids combine to form thick netting above trees in north-western Tasmania in ‘mass ballooning event’

Deluged homeowners in Tasmania’s north-west are not the only residents of the waterlogged area to seek higher ground.

Vast translucent covers have formed above trees in towns such as Westbury in the wake of storms and the state’s worst floods in 40 years.

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Categories: Environment

'An act of solidarity': Anohni treks 100km across Australian desert to protest uranium mine

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/07 - 8:19pm

The force behind Antony and the Johnsons joins more than 100 activists and traditional owners in walk through east Pilbara in Western Australia to protest proposed Kintyre mine

Right now, walking across the remote east Pilbara in the Western
Australian desert, is a wagon train of more than 100 artists,
activists and traditional owners.

Along the way, stories are told about the land: where water is
sourced, where the animals and the plants are, where traditional
burial and hunting grounds may be, and why mining on this land must
not go ahead.

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Categories: Environment

Ellen DeGeneres urges Australians to help save Great Barrier Reef

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/07 - 6:45pm

Video message part of Remember the Reef campaign launched to coincide with release of Finding Dory

Ellen DeGeneres has joined the fight to save the Great Barrier Reef with a video message urging Australians to take action on “saving this amazing place”.

The video message is part of a “Remember the Reef” campaign launched to coincide with the release of her latest film, Finding Dory, in which she plays a reef-dwelling blue tang fish with short-term memory loss, and coincides with a Guardian special report on the future of the reef and what can be done to save it.

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Categories: Environment

Ellen DeGeneres campaigns for Great Barrier Reef protection – video

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/07 - 6:44pm

In a message for Australia, the actor and chatshow host says she’s a big fan of ‘your beautiful, great, wonderful Great Barrier Reef, which is home to my favourite fish, Dory’. The video is part of the Remember the Reef campaign that coincides with the release of her latest film, Finding Dory. DeGeneres provides the voice of Dory in the sequel to 2003’s critically acclaimed Finding Nemo. Disney will work with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the Great Barrier Reef marine park authority to help raise awareness of the reef’s decline. For more information visit rememberthereef.com

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Categories: Environment

Smart fish can recognise human faces, scientists find

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/07 - 5:45pm

Oxford University study could shed light human brain function and whether facial recognition is an innate or learned ability

A tropical fish can tell one human face from another despite lacking a brain section that homo sapiens and other “smart” animals use for this task, scientists said Tuesday.

The astonishing ability was demonstrated in experiments with eight archerfish, a tropical species best known for spitting pressurised water jets to shoot prey out of the air.

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Categories: Environment
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