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Trump to sign executive order undoing Obama's clean power plan

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/03/26 - 12:59pm

EPA head Scott Pruitt, who sued to halt plan as Oklahoma’s AG, claims ending restrictions on coal power plants will be ‘pro-growth and pro-environment’

Donald Trump will on Tuesday sign an executive order to unravel Barack Obama’s plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Sunday, claiming the move would be “pro-growth and pro-environment”.

Related: The climate change battle dividing Trump’s America

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Categories: Environment

UK energy firms including big six miss smart meter deadline

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2017/03/26 - 10:48am

Ofgem considering further steps to protect billpayers as a result of suppliers’ failure to cut back-bills’ limit from 12 to six months

Britain’s leading energy providers are under fire again after missing a deadline to help households with smart meters avoid being hit with unexpected bills.

Electricity and gas suppliers, including the big six and smaller providers, had pledged that by the end of 2016 they would cut back on sending backdated or catchup bills to customers whose smart meters inaccurately measured their energy usage. However, not one of the big six or dozens of smaller suppliers have met the self-imposed target of cutting the limit for back-bills from 12 months to six months.

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Categories: Environment

Prince Rupert's Drop

The Field Lab - Sun, 2017/03/26 - 9:55am
smarter every dayPsalm 111:2 The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

In Chile, Landowner Makes The Largest Private Donation Of Land To A Government

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2017/03/26 - 5:14am

Kristine Tompkins, whose husband founded The North Face clothing company, tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro about her decision to donate a million acres of land she owns in Patagonia to Chile's government.

Categories: Environment

Shrinking Arctic sea ice threatens the majestic Beluga whale

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/25 - 11:59pm
The Arctic sea ice hosts algae, which sustain a food chain up to the beluga whale. But the ice is decreasing – and in summers, it may be gone entirely by 2050

The beluga whale is one of the most extraordinary species of marine creature known to science. It is a gregarious, pure white Arctic dweller that emits strange, high-pitched twitters that have given it its nickname: the sea canary. Belugas are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s “near threatened” list, because of past whaling and the impact of water contamination.

Now scientists have discovered that Delphinapterus leucas is facing a new global threat. Like many other species that live in the far north, their lives are being disrupted by global warming, according to Thomas Brown of the Scottish Association for Marine Science (Sams), who has been studying belugas for several years.

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Categories: Environment

The eco guide to keeping your recycling muscles fit

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/25 - 10:00pm

It’s desperately important that we redouble our efforts to combat pollution and waste

Recycling is a bit like fitness. The moment you stop putting in the effort, you lose your muscle.

This was on my mind as I watched microwavable black plastic containers whizzing up a conveyer belt at a recycling depot in Kent. This is progress. Innovation in plastic chemistry means these trays can now be recycled.

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Categories: Environment

this might just work...

The Field Lab - Sat, 2017/03/25 - 2:49pm
Had to re-jig the mechanism that holds the hot plate level (as the dish tilts) with the bigger solar fryer today.  Once I got the new parts situated, I did a preliminary test while I wait on my extra mirrors to arrive next week.  Maxed out at 678° after sitting in the sun for an hour.  Pretty windy today which really sucks the heat off the gizmo.  I reckon on a calm day I will be able to top the 700° mark.  Note: with the smaller dish I was only able to get the hot plate up to 275°.  79,83,45,0,W
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

‘Who knows what we’ll find next?’ Journey to the heart of Mozambique’s hidden forest

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/25 - 2:00pm
Since it was identified on Google Earth in 2005, the forest of Mount Mabu has amazed scientists with its unique wildlife. Jeffrey Barbee joins explorer Professor Julian Bayliss on the first trip to its green heart

The soggy boots of the team slide backwards in the black mud as they struggle up towards the ridge line separating the forest edge from one of the last unexplored places on Earth.

The rain is an incessant barrage of watery bullets firing down through the tree canopy. Thunder crashes. Tangles of vines and spider webs make for a Hollywood movie scene of truly impenetrable jungle.

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Categories: Environment

The hidden treasures of Mount Mabu – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/25 - 2:00pm

In the mid-2000s, in a room at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, Professor Julian Bayliss used Google Earth to discover a hidden rainforest in Northern Mozambique which is home to dozens of new species of flora and fauna. Professor Bayliss and Alliance Earth Director Jeffrey Barbee ventured with a team into the heart of the forest.

To find out more about the expedition click here

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Categories: Environment

Spring Fling Potluck tomorrow! 4-6 pm

Home Grown New Mexico - Sat, 2017/03/25 - 12:42pm

Don’t forget tomorrow is our Spring Fling Potluck for all us home garden growers. We already will have a good turnout but more are always welcome!

Sunday, March 26th—4 pm to 6 pm
Spring Fling Potluck-FREE!
Find out what Home Grown New Mexico classes and events are being held in 2017. Share some food and listen to our guest speaker. Bring a dish.

Avery Aguilar from the Santo Domingo Pueblo will give a presentation on Native American Pueblo gardening techniques.

Location: 2520-B Camino Entrada (Santa Fe Area HomeBuilders Association-next to Habitat ReStore on south side • Santa Fe, NM

(Camino Entrada is off  Cerrillos on the south side of town-the Police sttion is on the corner. Go down about 3 blocks and turn right at the “Habitat Restore” entrance sign and then left at the orange cones into the HomeBuilders Association parking area.)

Fee: FREE for everyone!

Please RSVP through Eventbrite:

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Foreign companies flock to build nuclear plants in the UK

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2017/03/25 - 9:00am
A South Korean firm is just the latest to be lured by Britain’s atomic amibitions as safety concerns and cost stalk the industry

Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future globally as concerns over safety and cost dog the industry. But in the UK, foreign investors are queueing up to back projects. The latest is South Korea. Its biggest power company is in talks to join the consortium backing a nuclear power station in Cumbria, in a sign of the continuing allure of Britain’s atomic ambitions to international companies. Kepco said last week it was interested in taking a stake in NuGen, which is 60% owned by Japan’s Toshiba and 40% by France’s Engie, confirming what had been an open secret in the industry for months.

Kepco’s president, Cho Hwan-eik, said that once the terms of a potential deal were ironed out, “we will be the first to jump into the race”.

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Categories: Environment

Fell race tests even the spectators

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 10:30pm

Dent Fell, west Cumbria Runners in the Jarrett’s Jaunt race have little time to appreciate the fell’s panoramic views of the Solway Firth

By hump-backed Wath Brow bridge, weary fell runners step gingerly down slippery banking into the icy waters of the river Ehen, swollen by overnight rain. Ah, the blessed relief as they rub and knead their calves with fingers and thumbs, jabbing deep into the muscles, soothing aches caused by scaling fellsides so steep they sometimes needed hands to help.

Related: Cumbria’s iron man

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Categories: Environment

a friday night film

The Field Lab - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 3:41pm

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Why reignite Tasmania's forest wars – to produce logs no one will buy? | Lenore Taylor

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 3:37pm

The state government’s determination to open up protected land for logging is a saga that moves from ridiculous to absurd

I thought I’d seen the turbid depths of policy driven by ideology and perceived political self-interest, but then I turned my attention back to the Tasmanian forest “wars”.

I first started reporting on this issue in 1988 when Bob Hawke and his environment minister Graham Richardson appointed a former judge, the late Michael Helsham, to investigate whether parts of the Tasmanian forest were worthy of world heritage listing. That resulted in the first of many agreements over the decades (in 1989, 1997, 2005 and 2013) in which federal and state governments paid hundreds of millions of dollars to “end the forest wars once and for all” by restructuring the industry and determining which forests should be protected and which should be open to logging.

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Categories: Environment

Inspectors find safety irregularities at Creusot nuclear forge in France

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 2:57pm

Evidence of doctored paperwork found at Areva-owned forge, which has made parts for Hinkley Point

An international team of inspectors has found evidence of doctored paperwork and other failings at a forge in France that makes parts for nuclear power stations around the world.

The UK nuclear regulator said the safety culture at the site, which has produced forgings for British plants including Sizewell B and the planned new reactors at Hinkley Point, fell short of expectations.

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Categories: Environment

Anti-Adani activists vow 'direct action' against mine contractor Downer

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 2:07pm

Campaigners will occupy work sites, chain themselves to machinery and clog phone lines, Galilee Blockade says

A group of activists say the mining contractor Downer Group is the “prime target” of a civil disruption campaign to force it to walk away from a $2bn deal to build and run Adani’s proposed Queensland coalmine.

Galilee Blockade organisers warn members of their network will occupy work sites, chain themselves to machinery and clog phone lines, among other actions that will cost Downer money until it exits a non-binding contract over the contentious Carmichael site .

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Categories: Environment

The EU is right to put bees before business | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 11:20am

Sarah Mukherjee accuses the EU proposal to ban neonicotinoids from fields of being “political” (Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides, March 24). Damn right. If she means supporting the long-term interests of people over the short-term blinkered interests of a few businesses, I can hardly think of a better definition of the word.

From DDT to lead in petrol, businesses have fought tooth and nail against legal restrictions, until they came and the predicted disasters never happened. But why stop at fields and neonics? Our parks and gardens have become vital havens for all kinds of wildlife and yet our garden centres are filled with wildlife-unfriendly herbicides and pesticides, ironically shelved alongside the “bee and butterfly friendly” plants. At least farmers can argue, whether or not you agree, that their livelihoods and our food is at stake. Little is at stake if we ban all poisons from our parks and gardens, beyond a few weeds on our paths and some greenfly. Future generations will be astounded that we took so long.
Charles Harris

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Categories: Environment

Murder in Malaysia: how protecting native forests cost an activist his life

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 8:08am

Malaysian activist Bill Kayong fought to save forest lands from logging and oil palm development. Like a troubling number of environmental campaigners around the world, he paid the highest price, reports Yale Environment 360

Environmentalists at risk: read part one in this series

It was 8.20am on 21 June 2016. Bill Kayong, an up-and-coming political activist in Miri, a coastal oil town in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, was 15 minutes into his morning commute, waiting in his pickup truck at a traffic light across from a shopping mall. Suddenly, two bullets shattered the side window and struck him in the head, killing him instantly.

Kayong was one of dozens of people killed while defending environmental and human rights causes in 2016. His life was taken just one day after a report from the human rights group Global Witness revealed that the previous year had been “the worst on record for killings of land and environmental defenders”, with 185 people around the world killed while taking a stand against development projects ranging from dams, to mines, to logging, to agricultural plantations.

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Categories: Environment

Bitten by the same bug: Octogenarian couple donate insect collection to university – video

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 8:02am

Octogenarian couple Charles and Lois O’Brien have this week announced they would donate their home collection of more than a million insects to Arizona State University. The collection was gathered over almost six decades and is worth an estimated $10m (£8m). It will help be a resource for scientists who study natural controls on the environment

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Categories: Environment

How Keystone XL, the pipeline rejected by Obama, went ahead under Trump

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/03/24 - 7:03am

The expansion, which was originally proposed in 2008 and faced strong protest from environmental advocates, secures permit to start building from Trump


TransCanada proposes expanding an existing pipeline to transport oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Port Arthur, Texas, to transfer Canadian tar sands oil to US refineries. It was scheduled to be completed by 2013.

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Categories: Environment
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