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George Monbiot skins and eats roadkill squirrel on Newsnight – video

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/08/28 - 3:47am

Environmentalist and Guardian writer George Monbiot butchers and cooks a squirrel on the BBC’s Newsnight on Thursday. Monbiot, who lives in Powys, Wales, prompted fierce debate on social media after he revealed he had cooked and eaten a squirrel after finding it dead but still warm at the roadside. He decided to demonstrate the process in the Newsnight studio with presenter James O’Brien, to promote discussion about eating roadkill and the ethics of meat production

Watch the full video on Newsnight

Read: why I ate a roadkill squirrel

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Categories: Environment

California Battles The Drought With Successful Conservation Efforts

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/08/28 - 2:06am

California's cities managed to cut their water usage by 31.3 percent during July — surpassing the amount mandated by the state's governor because of the four-year drought.

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Categories: Environment

The key to water security could be lurking in a New Mexico sewage farm

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 11:00pm

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, a pilot project is using heat-loving algae to clean wastewater and generate energy

The sulphurous springs of Yellowstone national park are scalding, tainted with heavy metals and acidic enough to eat through clothing. But their murky depths are also home to an algae that scientists claim could one day help provide cleaner, healthier water around the world.

“Galdieria sulphuraria is one of the most interesting microorganisms on the planet,” says Peter Lammers, a professor in algal bioenergy at Arizona State University. “It grows in a witches brew, can degrade over 50 organic molecules and even photosynthesise like a plant.” That makes it ideal, Lammers says, to use somewhere even more unpleasant than Yellowstone’s volcanic springs: urban sewage farms.

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Categories: Environment

Life is languid in the drowsy wood

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 9:30pm
Fermyn Woods, Northamptonshire I have it all to myself, and in two hours of exploring long open rides and twisting enclosed trails I see no other human

The moniker Fermyn Woods applies to a scatter of woods. I am in the biggest chunk, covering three square kilometres of land, but a clear kilometre away from the renowned Fermyn Wood, the bit that draws crowds to its playground and purple emperor butterflies.

In today’s wood, the names tell of a mottled history – Harry’s Park Wood, Meadow Leys, Old Dry Bushes. Clearly this was not always hazel coppice, and ash and oak high forest, with patches of conifer plantation: in the past, livestock roamed meadows and park woodland.

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Categories: Environment

Run for your lives, climate campaigners are sophisticated and can tie their own shoelaces

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 8:22pm

Coal lobbyists think Australians should be shocked that climate campaigners have strategies and are coordinated

Before I reveal some chilling truths about environmental campaigners, you’d best grab your nearest cuddly toy and take refuge behind the sofa.

As government ministers, conservative commentators and coal lobbyists have warned us in recent days, the greenies are coming.

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Categories: Environment

Panda mum Mei Xiang grooms surviving cub following death of smaller newborn – video

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 7:03pm

Giant panda Mei Xiang shows proper maternal care to her surviving cub a day after the smaller twin died. It is common for a mother to favour the stronger cub, decreasing the other’s chance of survival. The births at Washington DC’s National zoo captured international attention as giant pandas are among the world’s most endangered species with about 300 in captivity and roughly 1,600 in the wild

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Categories: Environment

Don't believe the hype. Coal employs fewer people than McDonald's | Ben Oquist

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 5:21pm

If Tony Abbott wants to focus on jobs, he has to abandon his obsession with coal – a capital intensive industry that creates fewer jobs than the horse industry

The prime minister has repeatedly said that the next election should be about jobs. He has attempted to kick-start a new “economy versus environment” strategy in relation to a coal mining. According to the ABS a huge 0.3% of Australians are currently employed in coal mining. If the coal industry trebled in size tomorrow it still wouldn’t be enough to create jobs for the extra 101,900 people who have become unemployed since Tony Abbott became prime minister.

Anyone who has ever seen an open cut coal mine will understand why they don’t create a lot of jobs. Work that was once done by men with picks and shovels is now done by explosives and enormous machines. Economists call such industries “capital intensive” which is another way of saying “doesn’t create many jobs”.

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Categories: Environment

One Direction's Harry Styles: if you like dolphins, don't go to SeaWorld – video

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 4:16pm

Harry Styles of One Direction tells fans at a concert in San Diego last month not to go to SeaWorld if they like dolphins. The city is home to one of company’s biggest parks. On Thursday, bankers at Credit Suisse warned Styles had sparked a surge in negative sentiment towards the controversial aquatic theme park, which is already suffering a collapse in profits

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Categories: Environment

by request

The Field Lab - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 3:28pm
made progress today...94,99,70,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Video: DIY Cure for Bible Bump (Ganglion Cyst)

Holy Scrap - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 2:41pm

Our friend Caleb visited us at the Portland rental that we're in through the month of August. He showed us a big lump on the back of his hand. Wendy immediately recognized it as a "bible bump", also known as a ganglion cyst. These cysts appear near joints and are caused fluid leaking into the surrounding tissue. We used a folk, DIY technique to get get rid it and whacked it with a big book. We did not have a bible, but we had the Shulgin Index, fitting don't ya think? We took a video of the process. Caleb was completely shocked when it worked. So we we. Sure beats a visit to the doctor!

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

McArthur river pollution: Glencore yet to put up all warning signs a year after alert

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 2:16pm

Freedom of information requests unearth inconsistent messaging from miner and Northern Territory government on the extent of heavy metal contamination

Glencore has yet to finish erecting signs warning of contaminated river life near a Northern Territory mine more than a year after the miner and the state government became aware of elevated levels of heavy metals.

Government documents have revealed inconsistencies in the information given to the public about potential lead contamination of fish near the company’s McArthur river mine, despite the NT government and mining giant being aware of recommendations for warnings since July 2014.

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Categories: Environment

Extreme Arctic sea ice melt forces thousands of walruses ashore in Alaska

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 1:51pm

Survival of walruses threatened as they wash ashore on a remote barrier island just before Obama is due to visit region to draw attention to climate change

The extreme loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is forcing thousands of walruses to crowd ashore on a remote barrier island off Alaska, and threatening their survival.

Barack Obama will be the first US president to visit the Alaskan Arctic on 31 August on a three-day tour to draw attention to the drastic consequences of climate change for the Arctic, such as warming winters and the rapid retreat of sea ice.

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Categories: Environment

Life history trade-offs: why tropical songbirds have fewer chicks | @GrrlScientist

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 11:00am

Tropical songbirds produce fewer, high-quality nestlings per breeding effort than do songbirds that breed in temperate zones, according to a study published today. This study reports that tropical songbirds’ nestlings grow longer wings, and faster, which means they spend less time in the nest where they are vulnerable to predators

It has been a long-standing ornithological mystery as to why tropical songbirds have smaller clutches of eggs and raise fewer chicks per breeding effort than do temperate songbirds. But today, a study published in the journal Science argues that life history strategies lie at the heart of this conundrum. In this study, evolutionary ecologist Thomas Martin, an Assistant Unit Leader and Senior Scientist at the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Montana, compares nestling growth rates between closely-related species of tropical and temperate songbirds. He documents that nestlings of tropical songbirds grow longer wings, and grow them faster, than do nestlings of temperate songbirds. Longer and faster wing growth means that the nestlings leave the nest sooner, thereby reducing their risk of predation. Further, because tropical songbirds have more resources available to invest into their offspring, they produce fewer chicks per breeding effort and invest more resources into each individual, thereby giving their offspring a higher survival rate after they fledge (leave the nest). In contrast, temperate songbirds have fewer resources available to nurture their chicks and their offspring suffer a higher mortality rate after they leave the nest, so temperate songbirds compensate by producing a greater number of lower-quality offspring.

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Categories: Environment

Video: The Insulated Carbonated Grolwer

Holy Scrap - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 10:42am


If there is one road trip tool that is essential it is a way to keep your beer cold and carbonated while on the road. We have been traveling for four months and this little DrinkTanks growler has been awesome. It uses threaded CO2 cartridges that you would normally purchase to fill a flat bike tire in an emergency. Since we find ourselves going through cool mountain towns and then off to the trails this has been the ideal way to keep our beer cool and carbonated in the car while we are on a long run.

Drinktanks 64oz Growler: http://amzn.to/1Vc4SOc
Drinktanks Keg Cap System: http://amzn.to/1LC4bMs
CO2 refill cartridges: http://amzn.to/1JnstWX
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Peter Hall obituary

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 10:17am

As a lecturer in tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University, my father, Peter Hall, showed students at the university’s Hollings campus and on field studies in areas as diverse as the Peak District, Snowdonia and Budapest the benefits and limits of sustainable tourism. Peter, who has died aged 78, also enjoyed a long association with the Open University as a lecturer in the arts.

He began his academic career in the general studies department at what was then Hollings College, teaching industrial and interpersonal communications skills. He had been recruited from Granada Television, where he worked as a researcher, scriptwriter and editor on both factual programmes and dramas such as Coronation Street.

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Categories: Environment

Slashing household solar subsides will kill off industry, government told

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 9:48am

Renewable energy sector condemns proposal to cut feed-in-tariff for small-scale solar installations by almost 90% from 1 January

The government wants to slash by 87% subsidies for householders who install solar panels on their rooftops, in a move that renewable energy experts warn could kill off a promising industry.

The potential reductions in the level of feed-in tariff (FIT), contained in a long-awaited consultation document released by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (Decc), and are far larger than expected.

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Categories: Environment

The day we stopped Europe’s biggest polluter in its tracks | John Jordan

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 8:43am
Earlier this month, 1,500 protesters forced the temporary closure of a vast lignite mine in Germany. It was terrifiyng, exhilarating – and direct action at its best

This month, I broke the law. I wasn’t alone; I was with 1,500 others, many of whom had never broken any law for their beliefs before. Together we managed to shut down Europe’s biggest source of CO2 emissions: RWE’s lignite mines in the Rhineland in Germany.

In total, around 800 of us were arrested, and hundreds of us refused to cooperate with the authorities by withholding our names and IDs. This hampered the bureaucracy so badly that we were released without charge. It was the world’s largest act of disobedience against the mining of fossil fuels – and it might be the spark that ignites a rising, cross-border movement of disobedience for climate justice.

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Categories: Environment

European ‘extreme weather belt’ linked to worst drought since 2003

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 8:34am

Severe droughts that stretched across a central European band this summer are consistent with climate models for a warming continent, experts say

A swathe of central Europe has suffered the most severe drought since 2003 in what EU climate experts see as a harbinger of climate changes to come.

Rainless weeks and relentless heat desiccated a vast tract of central European land separating the continent’s drier south from its wetter north between 1 April and 31 July, according to a report by the European drought observatory (EDO).

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Categories: Environment

Middle East faces water shortages for the next 25 years, study says

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 7:51am

Rising population and dwindling water supplies will affect millions of people and exacerbate conflict in the region

Water supplies across the Middle East will deteriorate over 25 years, threatening economic growth and national security and forcing more people to move to already overcrowded cities, a new analysis suggests.

As the region, which is home to over 350 million people, begins to recover from a series of deadly heatwaves which have seen temperatures rise to record levels for weeks at a time, the World Resources Institute (WRI) claims water shortages were a key factor in the 2011 Syria civil war.

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Categories: Environment

Ocean warming and acidification needs more attention, argues US

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2015/08/27 - 6:37am
  • Concern growing over climate change-induced warming on marine life
  • US to raise issue in Paris climate talks and call for more research

The US government has urged the international community to focus more on the impact of climate change on the oceans, amid growing concern over changes affecting corals, shellfish and other marine life.

Related: Naomi Klein on climate change: 'I thought it best to write about my own raw terror'

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Categories: Environment
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