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Tesco to phase out microbeads from its products by end of 2016

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 5:51am

All of the supermarket’s own-brand cosmetics and cleaning products will be free from the tiny plastic pieces within a month

Tesco will have phased out microbeads from all its own brand cosmetics and household cleaning products within a month, it was announced on Thursday.

While UK ministers recently said personal care products containing these tiny pieces of plastic will be banned from sale by the end of 2017, it is not clear yet whether the ban will extend to other types of products that rely on their abrasive properties.

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Categories: Environment

Vote for your favourite wildlife image of the year – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 5:21am

The Natural History Museum has chosen 25 of the year’s best images from its Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 shortlist. Voting is open until 10 January to find the people’s choice winning photo of the year

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London

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Categories: Environment

Protected forests in Europe felled to meet EU renewable targets – report

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 5:16am

Europe’s bioenergy plants are burning trees felled from protected conservation areas rather than using forest waste, new report shows

Protected forests are being indiscriminately felled across Europe to meet the EU’s renewable energy targets, according to an investigation by the conservation group Birdlife.

Up to 65% of Europe’s renewable output currently comes from bioenergy, involving fuels such as wood pellets and chips, rather than wind and solar power.

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Categories: Environment

Ivory Ban Hurts Alaska Natives Who Legally Carve Walrus Tusks

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 2:45am

Strict bans on ivory trade are aimed at preventing elephant poaching. But the measures are causing unintended consequences for Alaska Natives who hunt walruses and carve their tusks for a living.

Categories: Environment

Upstream From Standing Rock, Tribes Balance Benefits, Risks Of Oil Industry

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 2:44am

Hours from Standing Rock, N.D., is another reservation, in the the Bakken oilfield's sweet spot. Drilling has brought in millions of dollars, but the tribes have environmental worries, too.

Categories: Environment

Peru declares state of emergency over deadly forest fires

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 1:00am
  • Blazes have burnt 12,000 hectares, including five protected natural areas
  • Endangered species under threat from fires that ‘took us by surprise’

Peru has declared a state of emergency in seven districts in the north of the country where forest fires have killed two, injured four and burnt nearly 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of land, including five protected natural areas.

Wildfires have spread to 11 regions across the country, according to Peru’s civil defence institute, in what scientists say may be the worst drought in more than a decade.

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Categories: Environment

Perth zoo to release numbats into predator-free wild

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 12:30am

Release of captive-bred marsupials into 7,800ha Mt Gibson wildlife sanctuary part of ongoing attempt to save critically endangered species in Western Australia

Fourteen numbats will be released into a predator-free wildlife sanctuary 350km north of Perth in an ongoing attempt to save the critically endangered species.

It is the first release of captive-bred numbats into the 7,800ha Mt Gibson sanctuary, which has been declared free of feral cats and foxes following an extensive baiting program.

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Categories: Environment

Direct Action carbon reduction policy running out of steam

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 11:56pm

With 83% of the fund spent, the government’s central climate policy is almost exhausted, with no further funding committed

The federal government’s Direct Action carbon reduction policy appears to be running out of steam, with participation from industry dropping, the cost of the program rising and the budget for emissions reduction nearly exhausted.

The Clean Energy Regulator announced on Thursday it would pay a further $367m to polluting industries, in return for a commitment for them to reduce carbon emissions by 34.4m tonnes.

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Categories: Environment

i'm ending the vlog

The Field Lab - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 3:44pm

Yes...that was a clickbait title - for my blog.  YouTube personality  Casey Neistat announced on Saturday that he was ending his daily vlog.  With only a few missed days, Casey was able to post a well produced and interesting daily video log on YouTube for over a year and a half.  Needless to say, some of his 5.8 million subscribers are a little disappointed.  Since 2010, he has uploaded over 730 "films" to his YouTube channel with over 1.3 billion views.  By comparison, I have uploaded 99 videos to my meager YouTube channel with 799 subscribers and just over 1,000,000 views.

His signature style - bold opening title graphics, time lapses, drone footage, perfectly matched soundtrack, a frantic daily schedule, and roaming around on an electric skateboard have been emulated by any number of other YouTubers hoping that "the Neistat formula" will work for them.  Even the camera gear he uses is being copied.  As someone familiar with film production, when I watch his videos I see things others might not when following his daily escapades.  Although it may appear seamless, all I can think of is how much work goes in to setting up each "shot".  When I first began my blog, planning the day and the photos was rather daunting but nothing compared to what Casey has accomplished.  Like him - I have a formula that has become second nature (but a lot less work).

All that being said...today marks my 3,000th post and over 3,000,000 visits to my blog in a little over 8 years.  I'm not ending the blog.  61,75,44,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Morrissey wants GM to offer vegan leather for car interiors

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 1:45pm

The former Smiths frontman wrote to automaker CEO explaining that animal-friendly option would ‘only broaden appeal’ of Chevy Volt and Bolt models

Morrissey has a complaint: the leather that runs smooth on the passenger’s seat isn’t vegan.

The former Smiths frontman has penned a letter to General Motors’ chair and CEO, Mary Barra, asking the automaker to consider adding the option of vegan leather to its interiors. “Given that the Volt and Bolt are being marketed to eco-conscious buyers, entirely vegan options would only broaden their appeal,” the singer-songwriter wrote.

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Categories: Environment

Research On Chinese Haze Helps Crack Mystery Of London's Deadly 1952 Fog

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 1:06pm

Atmospheric scientists, pinning down chemical processes behind Beijing's pollution, discovered an explanation for the unusually toxic smog that killed thousands of people in London in December 1952.

Categories: Environment

Trump Says He Has 'Open Mind' On Climate, But Staff Pick Raises Questions

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 12:32pm

Myron Ebell has been chosen to lead the president-elect's transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency. Ebell is a well known climate change skeptic.

Categories: Environment

A poor choice of words to describe rich people | Brief letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 11:29am
Plastic packaging | The lure of London | Lewis Carroll’s Latin pun | ‘Ultra-high-net-worth individuals’ | Yugoslavia | Humanities v sciences | Hygge

If we are not recycling all our plastic waste, largely because many councils cannot deal with all the variations (Just a third of plastic is recycled, survey shows, 22 November), why are the major supermarkets allowed to keep inventing new wrappings consisting of mixed materials and marked “Not currently recyclable”?
Jean Wood
Hythe, Kent

• In 1970, it wasn’t the work, it was the prospect of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll and escaping from home that was the lure (Our friends from the north, G2, 22 November). Now I crave to return to Liverpool, but London-born husband refuses to go somewhere that’s wetter and colder.
Jennifer Henley

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Categories: Environment

Drive, baby, drive: Hammond's autumn statement is more grey than green

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 8:39am

The money for new roads and freezing fuel tax overwhelms support for electric cars, further fuelling the nation’s air pollution crisis

Drive, baby, drive - that was the message from chancellor Philip Hammond’s autumn budget statement, with more money paving the way to new roads and a freeze on fuel tax.

The problem is the UK already has an air pollution crisis that causes tens of thousands of early deaths – more traffic will only make it worse. Furthermore, rising transport emissions are one of the biggest obstacles to the nation meeting its legal targets for cutting carbon emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Woman Injured At Standing Rock Protest Might Lose Arm, Family Says

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 7:47am

Sophia Wilansky, a 21-year-old protester, has been hospitalized with a gruesome injury. Protesters say it was caused by a police concussion grenade; police say they have not been using grenades.

Categories: Environment

What businesses want Trump to know about climate change

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 6:00am

Nearly 400 companies and nonprofits signed a letter to express support for the Paris climate agreement. We asked a handful to tell us why

Many businesses that supply the goods and services we use every day understand that they have a role to play in keeping global warming in check. Their profits depend on it. The long term rise in global temperatures will change where and how we extract raw materials and produce the many things we take for granted, from the grapes crushed to make wine to the cotton spun to make the shirt you are wearing.

Nearly 400 companies and nonprofits signed a letter last week urging president-elect Donald Trump to stay in the Paris climate agreement and support policies that combat global warming. The list covers a wide range of industries and includes Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and Sierra Nevada Brewing. It also contains surprising signatories: companies that aren’t known to take part in environmental initiatives, such as Tiffany & Co, Monsanto and Staples.

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Categories: Environment

Autumn colors across North America – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 5:15am

As winter finally arrives across the US, we take a look back at the annual dazzling display of color across the continent

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Categories: Environment

UK has second-highest number of deaths from NO2 pollution in Europe

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 4:56am

Only Italy has more annual deaths from nitrogen dioxide, according to a report by the European Environment Agency

The UK is second only to Italy in Europe for the highest number of annual deaths from a major air pollutant, a report has found just days after a court gave UK ministers a deadline for drawing up a stronger air quality plan.

The European Environment Agency said the UK had 11,940 premature deaths in 2013 from nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic gas mostly caused by diesel vehicles and linked to lung problems. The number is down from 14,100 in 2012, but still the second worst in Europe.

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Categories: Environment

The simple, cheap instruments measuring global warming in the oceans | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 4:00am

They may be cheap and expendable, but XBTs provide crucial data about the oceans

Earth is warming due to the release of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Scientists are working hard to measure how fast the planet is warming, how much warming has occurred over the past few decades, and how this is affecting coastal areas, ecosystems, and fisheries. By understanding these factors, scientists can better project future climate impacts.

A large component of Earth’s warming involves the oceans, which absorb excess heat. The difficulty of gathering measurements in the oceans is that they are vast, deep, and often hard to reach. It’s also costly. Think about it: if you wanted to take the ocean’s temperature, how would you do it?

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Categories: Environment

The new climate change story must be one of rapid transition

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/11/23 - 3:26am

With a reality TV demagogue in power, it’s crucial that we find a story in which people can discern a better future

Climate change is like the type of film director who, having already thrown the audience into seemingly inescapable peril, keeps piling on the jeopardy. The carbon budget to stay below the Paris climate accord’s target of 1.5C of warming is all but used up, and staying below even its lower goal of 2C now requires elaborate leaps of faith.

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Categories: Environment
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