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Don’t be eco-friendly just to do a good deed – do it to make your mark

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 9:29am

Researchers have found people will act in a more environmentally helpful way when they consider what kind of legacy they hope to leave behind

In the face of an overwhelming amount of data suggesting that climate change poses an immediate and catastrophic threat to our very existence, we remain largely inert. The stakes truly could not get any higher, yet many of us steadfastedly refuse to change our behaviour.

What’s it going to take?

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Categories: Environment

RHS study aims to find best way to tackle slugs and snails in gardens

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 9:27am

Project with chemicals company BASF will look at mulch, slug pellets and nematodes to find best method of fighting the pests

A study is being launched to discover the best way to tackle what many gardeners see as their ultimate foes – slugs and snails.

The one-year research project will examine the use of mulch, slug pellets and nematodes, a form of biological control of slugs and snails. It is being conducted by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the chemicals company BASF, the only UK producer of nematodes.

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Categories: Environment

Bayer in talks to buy GM food company Monsanto

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 7:29am

German pharmaceuticals giant approaches world’s biggest seed firm over ‘negotiated acquisition’ set to be worth at least $40bn

The German drugs and chemicals group Bayer has pounced on Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed company, with an unsolicited takeover offer likely to be worth more than $40bn (£27bn).

Bayer, which invented aspirin in the 19th century, said executives from both companies had met to “privately discuss a negotiated acquisition of Monsanto Company” to create a “leading integrated agriculture business”.

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Categories: Environment

Fracking investors losing patience with planning delays, says industry boss

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 6:46am

Head of Cuadrilla’s warning to UK energy minister over ‘unnecessary delays’ comes ahead of Yorkshire shale gas planning decision

The backers of fracking in the UK do not have “limitless patience” for planning delays, according to a leading industry boss.

Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, warned that despite the government’s promise to fast track fracking, the planning process remains a slow lane. The comments come just ahead of a planning decision in Yorkshire on Third Energy’s application for shale gas exploration.

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Categories: Environment

Why air pollution in schools is such a big deal – and what to do about it | Ian Colbeck

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 5:14am

About 3,000 British schools are in areas where air quality is poor, with those in poorer communities suffering more

Former London mayor Boris Johnson has been accused of holding back negative findings from a 2013 report on the city’s air pollution.

The report stated that 433 of London’s 1,777 primary schools were in areas where nitrogen dioxide concentrations breached EU limits. Nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, is an air pollutant that when inhaled can aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis. It has been estimated that in 2010 there were 5,900 deaths in London associated with long term exposure to NO2.

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Categories: Environment

How much do you know about bees? - quiz

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 4:43am

Despite our professed concern for bees, a YouGov poll for Friends of the Earth found that most of us can’t recognise a honey bee. Take the green group’s quiz to see how much you know

• The Great British Bee Count take place from 19 May-30 June

How many different species of bees are in the UK?





Which of these foods is not pollinated by bees?





Bees pollinate what percentage of the world's main crops?





How many of the UK’s bee species make honey?





When bees visit plants what are they after?



Mating ritual


Which of these items of clothing depends on pollination by bees?

Silk tie and scarf

Cotton jeans and socks

Woolly jumper

Polyester walking gear

What is the main cause of bee decline?


Habitat loss


Climate change

How can I most help bees?

Grow different plants for bees to visit all year round

Deck your patio area

Mow the lawn

Use a pesticide to get rid of aphids

Which one of the following do you think is the honey bee?

Tawny Mining Bee

Honey Bee



5 and above.

Not bad.

8 and above.

Buzzing brilliant!

0 and above.

Oh dear.

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Categories: Environment

Climate scientists, mourning Earth's losses, should make their voices heard | Sarah Myhre

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 3:00am

Climate scientists are feeling the need to engage in social leadership before it’s too late

It’s easy to find a news hook to begin an opinion piece on climate change. Coral bleaching, record-setting heat waves, and expensive, deadly wildfires are a weekly occurrence in the news cycle. But, as climate warming advances, extreme events won’t be newsworthy – they’ll be expected.

We scientists are the gatekeepers of the basic information that fuels decision making by nations, businesses and communities. As these public entities are more and more threatened by the advancing impacts of climate warming, from flooding, to water scarcity, to the spread of tropical diseases, our role as objective scientists has to change. We are so skilled at many, many detailed and quantitative tasks, but, as you would expect from a community of introverts, we are not great at shining that brilliant light back on ourselves.

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Categories: Environment

Greenpeace activists scale British Museum to protest BP sponsorship

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 2:54am

Museum temporarily closes as activists hang huge banners renaming the new BP-sponsored Sunken Cities Egypt exhibition as ‘Sinking Cities’

Greenpeace activists have climbed the British Museum and have hung banners off its columns in protest at BP’s sponsorship of its new ancient Egypt exhibition.

The museum was temporarily closed for around four hours on Thursday during the protest because of “visitor safety reasons.”

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Categories: Environment

Why Rain Barrels Are Now Legal In Colorado

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 2:18am

Who owns rain that falls from the sky? In the West, this is a topic of serious discussion and lawmaking. This summer, after much debate, Colorado will allow homeowners to use rain barrels.

Categories: Environment

UK farmers to cut antibiotic use to combat drug resistance

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/05/19 - 1:49am

Taskforce will work with farming leaders and government to replace and reduce antibiotic use for livestock

A new taskforce to reduce the use of antibiotics in farming in the UK is being set up in response to government concerns on the growing resistance of diseases to antibiotic medicines.

The alliance for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) said it would work with organisations including farming leaders, food companies and government to find ways to replace antibiotic use where possible, and reduce it where not.

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Categories: Environment

London borough installs 6,000 solar panels over marketplace

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 10:01pm

£2m scheme by Hounslow council on Western International Market will be biggest solar scheme by any local authority, and use batteries to store energy

A London council is unveiling a vast installation of 6,000 solar panels on a wholesale market rooftop, which it says is the largest such array put up by a local authority.

The London Borough of Hounslow says its £2m investment in solar, which has been installed on the roof of Western International Market, is also the first by a council to adopt battery storage to maximise the power from the panels.
The 1.73 megawatt (MW) array of 6,069 panels and four 60kW lithium batteries system now generates half the site’s required electricity.

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Categories: Environment

In regional Australia, messages about fairness can't drown out the three word slogans | Jason Wilson

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 7:44pm

For areas on the wrong side of a boom, ‘jobs and growth’ makes sense – in the absence of a better-articulated vision for northern Australia, symbolism matters

I’m back in Townsville for a family funeral. The relationship between the present and the past is at the top of my mind. Right now, all that means is I’m finding it hard to envision the future of the city I see around me. I’m not the only one.

I didn’t make it to Malcolm Turnbull’s press conference – there are arrangements to be made, relatives to visit. In any case, in local media he’s been inescapable.

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Categories: Environment

Nick Xenophon, the 'anti-politician' poised to cause headaches – whoever wins election

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 7:43pm

The senator who started out as an anti-pokies campaigner is likely to be leading a new, significant political force after the poll

If Malcolm Turnbull wins the election, Nick Xenophon could help him introduce emissions trading, stop some of his company tax cuts, frustrate his attempts to cut Gonski schools funding and stall some of his sweeping changes to superannuation. If Bill Shorten wins, Xenophon could force big changes to Labor’s centrepiece policy on negative gearing.

And those nation-shaping or agenda-cruelling possibilities are what Guardian Australia has learned from just a few snatched conversations with the hyper-busy senator.

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Categories: Environment

Arctic oil drilling: outcry as Norway opens new areas to exploration

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 7:08pm

Norway issues licences for fresh areas of exploration for the first time in 20 years as part of what minister calls ‘a new chapter’ for petroleum industry

Norway awarded Arctic drilling licences to 13 oil companies on Wednesday, including in a hitherto unexplored part of the Barents Sea, drawing condemnation from environmental groups.

Related: Licence to drill: Centrica awarded rights to explore Barents Sea

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Categories: Environment

California lifts water conservation order after wet winter – but drought isn't over

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 6:49pm

Districts with nearly 40m will compare water supply and demand assuming that dry conditions will stretch for three years, but some say it’s a tough decision

California decided Wednesday to allow hundreds of local water districts to set their own conservation goals after a wet winter eased the five-year drought in some parts of the state.

The new approach lifts a statewide conservation order enacted last year that requires at least a 20% savings.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef needs $10bn for chance of survival, scientists say

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 6:25pm

This election is Australia’s last chance to save the reef, which requires $1bn a year for 10 years to reduce water pollution to give it a chance to survive climate change, report warns

The 2016 Australian election is the last opportunity to save the Great Barrier Reef, the authors of a new scientific paper have warned.

The government needs to commit to $1bn a year for 10 years to reduce water pollution, which would give the reef a chance to survive the impacts of climate change, according to the paper published in the journal Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.

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Categories: Environment

As Alberta wildfire rages, thousands who fled must wait weeks to go home

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 4:39pm

The more than 88,000 Fort McMurray residents evacuated during the wildfire must wait until June to begin a phased re-entry plan, says Alberta premier

The wildfire in northern Alberta continues to rage out of control, growing to more than 423,000 hectares as officials said it would be at least another two weeks before the tens of thousands of evacuated Fort McMurray residents would be allowed to return to the city.

Relief – in the form of cooler weather and slight precipitation – may be on the way for fire crews, Rachel Notley, the Alberta premier, said on Wednesday. “So of course we’re all crossing our fingers that that happens.”

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Categories: Environment

Exclusive kiteboarding club threatened with $4.6m fine for damaging wetlands

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 3:06pm

The kiteboard and duck hunting club rebuilt levies, added two helipads, and created a lounge area on the tiny island near Silicon Valley without a permit

An exclusive kiteboarding club on a tiny island – just a 15-minute helicopter ride away from Silicon Valley – has been threatened with a $4.6m fine by a California state water agency, which is accusing the club’s owner of damaging tidal wetlands.

Since purchasing the tiny island, the Point Buckler Club, in 2011, John Sweeney, a former professional sailor and advertising executive, has rebuilt levies, added two helipads, and built a lounge area featuring dark green shipping containers, astroturf, a wood burning stove, and bright orange styling to achieve what he describes on Facebook as a “Sunset Magazine look circa 1960s”.

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Categories: Environment

the cycle of life...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 2:30pm

She just got her girlish figure back.  Hard to believe a whole nother burro fit in there.  64,73,62,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Are you confused by food expiration dates? You're not alone

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/05/18 - 2:25pm

Almost 90% of Americans throw away food prematurely. Two bills introduced in Congress today aim to avoid confusion by simplifying food labeling

The US Senate and the House of Representatives today introduced bills to clarify the rules regarding expiration date labels on food. The current labeling system means an estimated 8m lbs of food is thrown away prematurely every year.

The bills, from Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep Chellie Pingree (D-ME), aim to standardize America’s food date labeling system. Instead of the many different dates currently in use, the new system would have just two – one to indicate peak quality and another for use on products, such as deli meat and unpasteurized cheese, that could make people ill if eaten after a certain date.

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Categories: Environment
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