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Elon Musk's big battery for South Australia already half complete

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 4:16pm

Tesla boss said the project is a great example of how to replace fossil fuels with renewables

• Elon Musk: SpaceX can colonise Mars and build moon base

The clock is ticking on entrepreneur Elon Musk’s promise to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in South Australia within 100 days or provide it for free.

But with the facility already half finished, the US billionaire looks set to get paid.

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 2:58pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Animals, Plants Rafted Across The Pacific After Japan's 2011 Earthquake

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 2:17pm

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Greg Ruiz, a marine ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, about nearly 300 Japanese marine coastal species that traveled across the Pacific Ocean.

Categories: Environment

An Absent EPA Climate Report, And A Tale Of Two Flooded Superfund Sites

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 12:16pm

A 2014 EPA climate report warned that Superfund site cleanup and monitoring processes needed updates to prepare for more severe floods. That report is no longer located on the current agency website.

(Image credit: Jason Dearen/AP)

Categories: Environment

Los Angeles' legendary palm trees are dying – and few will be replaced

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 11:15am

A beetle and a fungus are killing off the trees that have become synonymous with the city, making way for trees that give more shade and use less water

They are the sultry, swaying backdrop to countless films, posters and music videos, an effective way to announce: this is Los Angeles.

Palm trees greet you outside the LAX airport, they line Hollywood Boulevard, stand guard over the Pacific and crisscross neighbourhoods poor and rich, a botanical army of stems and fronds which symbolise the world’s entertainment capital.

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Categories: Environment

Chicken safety scandal: 2 Sisters faces parliamentary inquiry after revelations

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 11:12am

Commons committee to summon founder Ranjit Singh Boparan as three supermarkets suspend contracts and FSA launches investigation

Three of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains have halted deliveries of chicken from a factory belonging to the country’s biggest poultry supplier after undercover filming revealed poor hygiene standards and food safety records being altered.

The 2 Sisters Food Group, which owns the site, is also facing a “short, sharp” parliamentary inquiry in the wake of evidence uncovered by a joint investigation by the Guardian and ITV News, which showed footage of workers altering the source and slaughter date of poultry being processed at the plant in West Bromwich. Experts said their actions could artificially stretch the commercial life of the meat and dupe consumers into buying chicken past its use-by date.

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Categories: Environment

Cameroon palm oil campaigner arrested in crackdown on activists

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 10:03am

Nasako Besingi has been jailed after opposing a US-funded palm-oil plantation and supporters say this is linked to Cameroon’s ‘anglophone crisis’

A prominent campaigner against palm oil plantations has been arrested amid a growing crackdown on environmental and human rights activists in Cameroon, according to local lawyers and NGOs.

Nasako Besingi, who has led opposition to a US-funded 73,000 hectare farm in a biodiverse rainforest, is among more than 100 individuals who have been detained during an escalation of tension between the predominantly French-speaking authorities and the country’s large English-speaking minority.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 8:04am

Bearded tits in Norfolk, rutting deer in Dublin, and a hungry polar bear in Alaska are among our pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Wood-burning stove ban will not be enforced against householders

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 7:29am

Focus of London mayor’s proposed ban will be on educating owners not to burn wood during bad air quality episodes

Sadiq Khan’s proposed ban on wood-burning stoves in the most-polluted areas of London will not be enforced against householders and will only be in operation at certain times of the year.

Under the mayor of London’s plans, the stoves would be occasionally banned from use in zones in the capital from 2025 and UK-wide laws blocking the sale of all but the newest, cleanest stoves from 2022 would be brought in earlier.

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Categories: Environment

Selfies, storage and tiny nuclear bunkers: alternative uses for your wood-burner

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 6:21am

Sadiq Khan wants to reduce air pollution – and one of the worst offenders is the wood-fired stove. But is there any other use for your Scandi-inspired heater?

In a blow targeted straight at the city’s middle-class heart, Sadiq Khan is trying to occasionally ban some wood-burning stoves from being used in London. To reduce air pollution, he is seeking powers to prohibit the burning of wood in any areas that suffer from poor air quality. However, there are 1.5m wood-burning stoves in the UK, and that number is increasing by 200,000 annually. So, if you have a wood-burning stove that you can’t currently use, what are you supposed to do with it? Some thoughts.

• Use it to burn something less harmful to the environment than wood. Polystyrene perhaps?

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Categories: Environment

M&S, Aldi and Lidl suspend buying from chicken plant that fiddles kill dates

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 5:15am

Food Standards Agency, Tesco and Sainsbury’s investigate 2 Sisters Food Group plant after Guardian/ITV News story

Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Lidl have suspended buying chicken from 2 Sisters Food Group’s West Bromwich plant following a Guardian and ITV News investigation that found evidence it had tampered with food safety records.

The moves came as the Food Standards Agency said its inspectors had audited the site on Thursday, as it announced its own investigation on the back of the Guardian’s and ITV’s evidence of potential regulatory breaches at the chicken processor. The regulator also urged “anyone with information for this investigation” to make contact.

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Categories: Environment

'Our desire for goods is at the heart of this': Why Bruce Parry wants us all to live more sustainably

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 5:03am

In his new documentary, the explorer joins Borneo’s Penan tribe to see what the world’s indigenous people can teach us about our own survival and that of the planet

Bruce Parry has made a career out of going native. The Royal Marine-turned-celebrity explorer may not yet be as fully-fledged an institution as David Attenborough, but if the British public were to nominate anyone to paddle up a crocodile-infested creek, tuck into a wriggling dinner or liberate their mind with shamanistic drugs, Parry would surely rank near the top.

So it is worthy of note that this affable and – until now – mainstream film-maker has been forced to part ways with the BBC for his latest project, a documentary that stresses environmental defence begins on the home front.

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Categories: Environment

We are all at risk from poisonous mercury. It's time to take action

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 4:18am

Mercury is found in household items from beauty products to electronics, and even in food. Without proper safeguards our health is in danger

Mercury is far more pervasive than most people realise, and we have no idea how many people are at risk. It can be found in everything from mascara and dental amalgam to thermometers and skin whitening creams – and that’s before it reaches the food chain.

There is no safe level of exposure, and everyone is at risk when mercury is released without safeguards. Children and newborn and unborn babies are most vulnerable, along with populations who eat contaminated fish. Studies have shown that children as far afield as Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia and Greenland all suffer cognitive impairment from eating fish containing mercury.

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Categories: Environment

Methane emissions from cattle are 11% higher than estimated

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 3:23am

Bigger livestock in larger numbers in more regions has led to methane in the air climbing faster than predicted due to ‘out-of-date data’

Emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from livestock are larger than previously thought, posing an additional challenge in the fight to curb global warming, scientists have said.

Revised calculations of methane produced per head of cattle show that global livestock emissions in 2011 were 11% higher than estimates based on data from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).

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Categories: Environment

Nestlé pays $200 a year to bottle water near Flint – where water is undrinkable

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/09/29 - 3:00am

While Flint battles a water crisis, just two hours away the beverage giant pumps almost 100,000 times what an average Michigan resident uses into plastic bottles

Gina Luster bathed her child in lukewarm bottled water, emptied bottle by bottle into the tub, for months. It became a game for her seven-year-old daughter. Pop the top off a bottle, and pour it into the tub. It takes about 30 minutes for a child to fill a tub this way. Pop the top, pour it in; pop the top, pour it in. Maybe less if you can get gallon jugs.

Luster lives in Flint, Michigan, and here, residents believe tap water is good for one thing: to flush the toilet.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil's worst month ever for forest fires blamed on human activity

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/28 - 11:00pm

September saw more fires than any month on record, as experts say uptick is due to expansion of agriculture and reduction of oversight and surveillance

Brazil has seen more forest fires in September than in any single month since records began, and authorities have warned that 2017 could surpass the worst year on record if action is not taken soon.

Experts say that the blazes are almost exclusively due to human activity, and they attribute the uptick to the expansion of agriculture and a reduction of oversight and surveillance. Lower than average rainfall in this year’s dry season is also an exacerbating factor.

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Categories: Environment

Second rock fall shakes Yosemite as British victim is named

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/28 - 8:20pm

Welsh climber Andrew Foster, 32, was man killed on El Capitan, say authorities, and ‘substantially bigger’ fall has since taken place

A massive new rock fall hit Yosemite national park on Thursday, cracking with a thundering roar off the iconic El Capitan rock formation and sending huge plumes of white dust surging through the valley floor below. It came a day after another slab dropped from El Capitan, killing one British climber and injuring a second.

The climber killed by Wednesday’s rock fall has been named as Andrew Foster, 32, from Wales. National park authorities said on Thursday night that his wife was undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital.

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Categories: Environment

Air pollution: Sadiq Khan calls for ban on wood-burning stoves

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/09/28 - 5:08pm

London mayor cites figures showing that the home stoves, used in 16% of households, produce up to a third of all the capital’s fine-particle pollution

Wood-burning stoves could be banned in some areas to combat air pollution under proposals by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Khan has written to Michael Gove, the environment secretary, to request extra powers to improve air quality in the capital, including measures to tackle solid-fuel burning and construction pollution. The proposed measures include minimum emissions standards for vessels on London’s waterways and heavy construction machinery like diggers and bulldozers.

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Categories: Environment

no promises...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2017/09/28 - 4:14pm
Contemplating another long overdue project.  Not sure if I really ready want to tackle this mess as I am a bit out of practice when it comes to something so overwhelming.  Vote in the comments if you think I should.  I could use some encouragement... It would certainly make for a good time lapse video.  70,76,64,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Voted Out Of Office

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/09/28 - 4:02pm

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault lost a re-election bid after a controversial campaign to block the Dakota Access Pipeline.

(Image credit: Jessica Gresko/AP)

Categories: Environment
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