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Vast coalition calls on Biden to impose national moratorium on water shutoffs

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 3:30am

More than 600 environmental, rights and religious groups to present draft order amid widespread shutoffs despite pandemic

A broad coalition of organizations is urging Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to mandate a national moratorium on water and other utility shutoffs on day one in the White House, in order to curtail the spread of Covid-19 and ease the financial burden on struggling Americans.

More than 600 environmental, rights and religious groups will on Wednesday present the incoming Democratic administration with a draft executive order that would impose an immediate nationwide ban on disconnecting essential utilities like water, gas and electricity until at least 12 months after the coronavirus pandemic ends.

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Categories: Environment

Progressives Gear Up For Broad New Push On Climate Action

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/01/13 - 3:00am

The Green New Deal Network is launching with over $20 million to promote their agenda, as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office and Democrats set to control both chambers of Congress.

(Image credit: Richard Vogel/AP)

Categories: Environment

Top scientists warn of 'ghastly future of mass extinction' and climate disruption

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 10:01pm

Sobering new report says world is failing to grasp the extent of threats posed by biodiversity loss and the climate crisis

The planet is facing a “ghastly future of mass extinction, declining health and climate-disruption upheavals” that threaten human survival because of ignorance and inaction, according to an international group of scientists, who warn people still haven’t grasped the urgency of the biodiversity and climate crises.

The 17 experts, including Prof Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University, author of The Population Bomb, and scientists from Mexico, Australia and the US, say the planet is in a much worse state than most people – even scientists – understood.

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Categories: Environment

BlackRock holds $85bn in coal despite pledge to sell fossil fuel shares

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 10:00pm

Loophole means asset manager can hold shares in firms earning less than a quarter of revenues from coal

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, holds investments worth $85bn in coal companies, a year after it promised to sell most of its shares in producers of the fossil fuel.

A loophole in the asset manager’s policy means it is still allowed to hold shares in companies that earn less than a quarter of their revenues from coal, meaning it has held on to shares or bonds from some of the world’s biggest coalminers and polluters. Those companies included the Indian conglomerate Adani, the UK-listed commodities companies BHP and Glencore, and the German energy company RWE, according to research by Reclaim Finance and Urgewald, two campaign groups.

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Categories: Environment

Origin seeks fossil fuel leases in 'incredibly fragile' Queensland channel country

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 7:15pm

Exclusive: applications to explore Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre basin submitted by energy company last July but previously unreported

The energy company Origin wants to search for fossil fuels across 225,000 hectares of the Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre basin in Queensland’s channel country – part of one of the world’s biggest free-flowing river systems.

The company is waiting to hear if the Queensland government will grant the applications for 10 petroleum leases, which were submitted in July last year but have not been previously reported.

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Categories: Environment

Australia the only developed nation on world list of deforestation hotspots

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 5:01pm

WWF report finds area six times the size of Tasmania has been cleared globally since 2004

Australia remains one of the world’s hotspots for deforestation according to a new report by WWF, which finds an area six times the size of Tasmania has been cleared globally since 2004.

The analysis identifies 24 “deforestation fronts” worldwide where a total of 43 million hectares of forest was destroyed in the period from 2004 until 2017.

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Categories: Environment

National Trust aims to save Yorkshire abbey from climate-linked flooding

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 5:01pm

A £2.5m scheme in the Skell Valley hopes to protect Fountains Abbey and the city of Ripon

Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, was originally set up by 13 Benedictine monks seeking refuge from the more extravagant, rowdy monks in York. Eight hundred years later, the abbey ruins and its gardens face another threat: the climate crisis.

The Skell Valley, where the ruins stand, has been flooded several times in recent years, raising fears that the UK’s largest monastic ruins are at risk of irreparable damage. Now a £2.5m National Trust project – aided by a £1.4m lottery grant – has been greenlit to improve the landscape’s resilience to changing weather.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 2:13pm
I am getting ready to sell over 100 pocket watches.  Before I start listing them on eBay, I'm giving my blog readers a chance to get in on the action first.  If you are interested in a pocket watch, send me an email. Price range is $40 - $125.  I will send you specifics on what is available. lifeoffthegrid@yahoo.com  44,53,27,0,C 

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Indian court suspends new agriculture laws after mass protests

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 10:23am

Judges order committee to look into grievances, but unions vow further demonstrations until laws repealed

India’s supreme court has suspended a series of controversial new agriculture laws that had prompted hundreds of thousands of farmers to stage a months-long protest in Delhi over fears their livelihoods were at stake.

Since November, upwards of half a million farmers had marched to the peripheries of Delhi and occupied roads and highways going into the capital, setting up a 24-hour protest camp and refusing to move until the new laws were repealed.

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Categories: Environment

US greenhouse gas emissions fell 10% in 2020 as Covid curbed travel

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 10:16am

But emissions reductions came at huge cost and will likely rebound as vaccines are distributed, authors of report say

Planet-heating emissions in the US fell by more than 10% in 2020, a record drop generated by extraordinary reductions in travel and industrial activity in the teeth of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

The historic jolt to American life, which has resulted in more than 375,000 deaths and a huge surge in joblessness, caused many states to impose travel restrictions and curbs on business activity. This resulted in greenhouse gas emissions dropping by 10.3% last year, according to a new estimate by Rhodium Group.

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Categories: Environment

A river used to run through it: how New Mexico handles a dwindling Rio Grande

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/12 - 4:00am

The Rio Grande used to flow freely, but now in Las Cruces, humans, fish and plants are vying for water in the arid landscape

Imagine the world without its most famous rivers: Egypt without the Nile, or London without the Thames. In Las Cruces, New Mexico, residents don’t have to envision the American west without the Rio Grande – it runs dry in their city almost every single year.

Related: Hope grows that Biden will restore US national monuments shrunk by Trump

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Categories: Environment

NSW coal-fired power plant chosen as site of Australia's biggest battery

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 10:49pm

Analysts say Origin’s plan for 700MW battery at Lake Macquarie Eraring power station and Neoen’s proposal for a 500MW storage project near Lithgow will accelerate the state’s energy transition

Two new large-scale batteries that would be Australia’s biggest battery storage projects are proposed in New South Wales in a bid energy analysts say will accelerate the state’s energy transition.

Origin Energy is moving forward with its plans for a 700MW battery at its Lake Macquarie Eraring power station, which the company said would be the largest battery project currently under consideration in Australia.

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Categories: Environment

New Zealand records seventh-hottest year, with extreme weather more likely

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 7:15pm

It has been nearly four years since New Zealand experienced a month with below-average temperatures, researchers say

New Zealand recorded its seventh-hottest year on record in 2020, and marked nearly four years since it experienced a month with below-average temperatures.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) has been collecting New Zealand’s temperature records since the early 1900s, and said on Tuesday that above-average temperatures were becoming increasingly common.

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Categories: Environment

my former Airstream

The Field Lab - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 2:48pm



Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Trump Administration Auctions Arctic National Wildlife Refuge To Oil Drillers

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 2:19pm

After a three-year push, the Trump administration has opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil leases. It's a scramble to lock in drilling before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Categories: Environment

Insect populations suffering death by 1,000 cuts, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 1:00pm

‘Frightening’ global decline is ‘tearing apart tapestry of life’, with climate crisis a critical concern

Insect populations are suffering “death by a thousand cuts”, with many falling at “frightening” rates that are “tearing apart the tapestry of life”, according to scientists behind a new volume of studies.

The insects face multiple, overlapping threats including the destruction of wild habitats for farming, urbanisation, pesticides and light pollution. Population collapses have been recorded in places where human activities dominate, such as in Germany, but there is little data from outside Europe and North America and in particular from wild, tropical regions where most insects live.

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Categories: Environment

Chinese nuclear firm told it must resolve Bradwell safety issues

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 11:43am

Disposal of radioactive waste is one of six issues to be addressed before plant in Essex can go ahead

The Environment Agency has told the Chinese nuclear developer behind plans to build a new reactor in Essex that it must resolve at least six safety issues before it can move forward.

The issues identified by the environment watchdog in its early assessments of the plans for the site at Bradwell-on-Sea include concerns over how China General Nuclear Group (CGN) will dispose of radioactive waste.

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Categories: Environment

Case of manatee with 'Trump' etched into back under investigation

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 11:25am
  • Mutilated aquatic mammal spotted at spring in Florida
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service appeals for public’s help

Federal wildlife officials in Florida are reportedly seeking information on the perpetrators of an attack on a manatee, which apparently had the word “Trump” scraped into its back.

Related: Florida manatee deaths up 20% as Covid-19 threatens recovery

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Categories: Environment

More than 50 countries commit to protection of 30% of Earth's land and oceans

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 10:44am

Coalition says promise is key to preventing mass extinctions and ensuring clean air and water

A coalition of more than 50 countries has committed to protect almost a third of the planet by 2030 to halt the destruction of the natural world and slow extinctions of wildlife.

The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, which includes the UK and countries from six continents, made the pledge to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans before the One Planet summit in Paris on Monday, hosted by the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

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Categories: Environment

Harmful effects of wood burners need further study | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/11 - 9:32am

In response to articles on the risk of air pollution from wood-burning stoves, Simon Tate tested his own, but was surprised at the results

As an owner of a wood burner, your articles (Wood burners triple harmful indoor air pollution, study finds, 18 December; Avoid using wood burning stoves if possible, warn health experts, 1 January) caused great concern. We live in a rural area and would struggle without our stove. But according to a Sheffield University study, we are endangering our health by flooding our lounge with levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that may far exceed the World Health Organization’s safe limit of 25 micrograms per cubic metre. I purchased a £200 air quality monitor, convinced that it would confirm that there was a problem with PM2.5 levels. I was therefore astonished to discover that our wood burner had no effect on PM2.5 levels, even when the door was opened for refuelling. For reference, I lit a match and the PM2.5 level shot up to 165 micrograms per cubic metre.

We only burn wood and kindling that contain less than 20% moisture. We operate the stove at optimum temperature by using a stovepipe thermometer and spent as much on the flue as the stove. More in-depth research is needed before conclusions can be drawn about whether all wood burners cause indoor air pollution.
Simon Tate
Leyburn, North Yorkshire

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Categories: Environment
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