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New 'disturbance map' shows damaging effects of forest loss in Brazilian Amazon

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 7:00am
  • Silent Forest Project map reveals urgent need for conservation protections
  • ‘It is terrifying to see the Amazon degraded to this extent,’ scientist says

As Brazil’s government steps back from Amazon conservation, the urgent need for stronger protection has been made more apparent by a new data map that highlights the knock-on effect of the forest’s capacity to absorb carbon, regulate temperatures and sustain life.

Related: Wild Amazon faces destruction as Brazil’s farmers and loggers target national park

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Categories: Environment

UK heatwave triggers air pollution alert as people flock to beaches

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 5:17am

Teenager and woman drown in separate incidents as sweltering heat forces Royal Ascot to consider relaxing dress code

The heatwave that has brought the longest spell of high June temperatures for two decades has also triggered an air pollution alert in London, with southerly winds due to bring toxic air to large parts of England and Wales on Wednesday.

Thousands of people flocked to the coast to enjoy the sunshine and temperatures of more than 30C (86F) on Tuesday, but experts warned that poor air quality would reach dangerous levels on Wednesday as temperatures are forecast to top 33C in the capital.

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Categories: Environment

Not so green: how the weed industry is a glutton for fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 4:00am

Producing a few pounds of weed can have the same environmental toll as driving across America seven times – harming cities’ and states’ plans to curb emissions

As he opens the steel door to the jumble of his office, located in a cloistered warehouse on the west side of Denver, Paul Isenbergh is barking down the phone about a duplicitous business rival. He’s wearing a shirt and rust-colored tie. Yards from his desk, rows of drying cannabis plants are strung up on two clothes lines.

Isenbergh spent 30 years as a real estate broker in Florida. When he moved to Denver in 2011, he didn’t even know medicinal marijuana was legal in Colorado.

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Categories: Environment

How Your Sandwich Changed The World

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 3:00am

What road did your lunch travel before it reached your plate? NPR's latest animated video follows a BLT from the fields where it began its journey.

(Image credit: Skunk Bear/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Unregulated vegetation 'thinning' adds up to land clearing on a huge scale

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2017/06/20 - 12:33am

Substantial areas are being cleared under the guise of ‘thinning’, which does not require a permit. Landholders need to be rewarded for preserving native vegetation

Land clearing is accelerating across eastern Australia, despite our new research providing a clear warning of its impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, regional and global climate, and threatened native wildlife.

Policies in place to control land clearing have been wound back across all states, with major consequences for our natural environment.

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Categories: Environment

Malcolm Turnbull leaves open alternative to clean energy target after internal criticism

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 11:58pm

Prime minister says he will restrict gas exports and ask Aemo for advice on ‘optimising affordability for consumers’

The Turnbull government has moved to hose down intensifying internal concerns about rising power prices by confirming its intention to restrict gas exports, and by opening the way for an alternative to the clean energy target proposed by Australia’s chief scientist.

The prime minister confirmed on Tuesday the government would proceed with its previously telegraphed export controls forcing gas companies to supply the domestic market and would also unilaterally abolish limited merits review – a controversial legal mechanism that contributes to high power prices.

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Categories: Environment

How do we build an inclusive culture for disabled cyclists?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 11:00pm

A new survey confirms the use of bicycles as mobility aids and the frustration felt when disabled cyclists are told to dismount

Last week, my charity Wheels for Wellbeing published the results of a national survey of disabled cyclists which is, to our knowledge, the first of its kind. The results largely confirmed our suspicions, including that disabled cyclists – though part of our cycling culture – remain excluded from it in a number of ways.

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Categories: Environment

Worst global coral bleaching event eases, as experts await next one

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 10:14pm

US researchers believe worst event on record is ending but fear coral won’t recover in time before oceans warm again

The worst coral bleaching event in recorded history, which has hit every major coral region on Earth since 2014, appears to be coming to an end, with scientists now worrying how long reefs will have to recover before it happens again.

After analysing satellite and model data, and finding bleaching in the Indian ocean no longer appeared widespread, the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) has announced the event is no longer occurring on a global scale, and appears to be coming to an end.

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Categories: Environment

Ten more elephants poisoned by poachers in Zimbabwe

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 10:00pm

The elephants were killed in the Hwange national park by what has become a common means of poaching

Ten elephants, including a mother and her young calf, have been found poisoned in and around Zimbabwe’s premier game reserve, Hwange national park. Six of the animals died in the south of the park last week; some had their tusks hacked off. The others were found outside the northern sector of the park in state forestry land.

Park rangers responded quickly. A bucket of poison was found near the gruesome scene in the north and three arrests were made over the weekend. One of those arrested was found in possession of ivory.

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Categories: Environment

This tree was young when Culloden was fought

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 9:30pm

Aigas Field Centre, Beauly, Highlands I am struck by the way the willow expresses the richness entailed in a drawn-out death

Just 10 minutes down the valley from this outstanding educational institute is the largest goat willow in Britain. The veteran is tucked away at the roadside amid a line of alders and so sunk in a deep and almost subaquatic gloom that you could easily miss it. A visit also requires a minor girding of loins to brave the midge-laden atmosphere, although meeting the tree on intimate terms is worth any amount of insect nuisance.

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Categories: Environment

Ethiopia's Coffee Farmers Are 'On The Front Lines Of Climate Change'

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 5:17pm

A new study says that Ethiopia could lose more than 50 percent of its coffee growing regions to climate change. But, higher altitude areas could become more suitable for coffee in the coming decades.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Alan Schaller)

Categories: Environment

Nationals' push for coal-fired power leaves voters cold in Guardian Essential poll

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 12:00pm

Concerted effort to talk up the merits of coal wins over only 18% of voters, but renewables love fades if bills rise quickly

A concerted push by federal Nationals to build more coal-fired power plants as part of the Turnbull government’s energy policy overhaul has been given the thumbs down by voters, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.

Related: The Guardian Essential Report, 20 June results

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Categories: Environment

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 9:32am

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

A third of the world now faces deadly heatwaves as result of climate change

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 8:00am

Study shows risks have climbed steadily since 1980, and the number of people in danger will grow to 48% by 2100 even if emissions are drastically reduced

Nearly a third of the world’s population is now exposed to climatic conditions that produce deadly heatwaves, as the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere makes it “almost inevitable” that vast areas of the planet will face rising fatalities from high temperatures, new research has found.

Climate change has escalated the heatwave risk across the globe, the study states, with nearly half of the world’s population set to suffer periods of deadly heat by the end of the century even if greenhouse gases are radically cut.

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Categories: Environment

Global warming brews big trouble in coffee birthplace Ethiopia

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 8:00am

Rising temperatures are set to wipe out half of Ethiopia’s coffee-growing areas, with loss of certain locations likened to France losing a great wine region

Global warming is likely to wipe out half of the coffee growing area in Ethiopia, the birthplace of the bean, according to a groundbreaking new study. Rising temperatures have already damaged some special areas of origin, with these losses being likened to France losing one of its great wine regions.

Ethiopia’s highlands also host a unique treasure trove of wild coffee varieties, meaning new flavour profiles and growing traits could be lost before having been discovered. However, the new research also reveals that if a massive programme of moving plantations up hillsides to cooler altitudes were feasible, coffee production could actually increase.

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Categories: Environment

John Oliver on the coal industry: 'Trump needs to stop lying to miners'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 7:42am

On Last Week Tonight, the host discussed the coal mining industry’s loss of jobs and Donald Trump’s promises to revive it during his presidential campaign

John Oliver addressed the topic of coal mining on his show Sunday night, exploring the industry’s loss of jobs and the factors that have led to it.

“Coal,” he began, “basically cocaine for Thomas the Tank Engine. We’ve heard a lot about coal this past year, particularly from President Trump. In fact, arguably the key reason that we have this cautionary Bible story in the White House was his ability to connect with mining communities during the campaign.”

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Categories: Environment

Mozambique: 6,000 animals to rewild park is part-funded by trophy hunting

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 7:17am

Donation of animals by Zimbabwe wildlife conservancy to stock war-torn park could not have happened without big-spending hunters

Call it Noah’s Ark on lorries. Dozens of trucks rolled over the Zimbabwe savanna carrying elephants, giraffe, African buffalo, zebras, and numerous other large iconic mammals. Driving more than 600km of dusty roadway, the trucks will deliver their wild loads to a new home: Zinave national park in Mozambique. The animals are a donation from Mozambique’s Sango Wildlife Conservancy – a gift that the owner, Wilfried Pabst, says would not be possible without funds from controversial trophy hunting.

“In remote places and countries with a weak tourism industry and a high unemployment rate, it is very difficult – or almost impossible – to run a conservancy like Sango without income from sustainable utilisation,” Pabst said.

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Categories: Environment

Wyoming Toads Begin To Recover As States Seek Endangered Species Act Overhaul

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 7:14am

Western lawmakers and members of Congress are pushing to change the Endangered Species Act. They want states to have more control over which animals and plants the act protects.

(Image credit: Cooper McKim/Wyoming Public Radio)

Categories: Environment

Storms cut Big Sur off from the world. But for a price, the trip of a lifetime awaits

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 5:00am

Winter storms lashed this stretch of coastal California, rendering many parts inaccessible, but now wealthy tourists are helicoptering in to this exclusive idyll

When winter storms hammered the 90-mile ribbon of coastal California known as Big Sur, the results were calamitous.

A bridge collapsed in the north and landslides buried chunks of highway further south, cutting off segments totaling 35 miles in between. People fled, abandoning homes and businesses.

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Categories: Environment

New South Korean president vows to end use of nuclear power

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2017/06/19 - 1:49am

Moon Jae-in said he would lead country towards a ‘nuclear-free era’ following fears of a Fukushima-style meltdown

South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, has vowed to phase out the country’s dependence on nuclear power, warning of “unimaginable consequences” from a Fukushima-style meltdown.

Moon, a left-leaning liberal who won last month’s presidential election by a landslide following the impeachment and arrest of Park Geun-hye, said he would increase the role of renewable energy and lead South Korea towards a “nuclear-free era”.

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Categories: Environment
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