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UK's beef herds could be key to sustainable farming, says report

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/07 - 12:00am

Cattle can fertilise land but consumption of other meat, milk and eggs must fall by 50%

The UK’s beef herd could be at the heart of a sustainable farming system that tackles both the climate and wildlife crises while producing sufficient healthy food, according to a report.

However, production and consumption of other meat, milk and eggs would have to fall by half, and large forests of new trees would have to be planted, the analysis from the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission charity (FFCC) found.

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Categories: Environment

Sad day for democracy

The Field Lab - Wed, 2021/01/06 - 3:34pm


Trump gave a speech this morning to his supporters who are in DC to protest the election results.After reiterating his baseless claims of voter fraud, he told his minions:"We will never give up...we will never concede."It is no surprise that a few hours later his gang of thugs stormed the Capital and disrupted the proceedings causing lawmakers to be evacuated.
Here is Joe Biden's live response to the assault.

and here is trump's incredibly lame taped response to the assault.
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Trump auction of oil leases in Arctic refuge attracts barely any bidders

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/06 - 1:33pm

Coastal plain was up for sale as part of the Trump administration’s plan to pay for Republicans’ tax cuts with oil revenue

The Trump administration’s last-minute attempt on Wednesday to auction off part of a long-protected Arctic refuge to oil drillers brought almost zero interest from oil companies, forcing the state of Alaska into the awkward position of leasing the lands itself.

The coastal plain of the Arctic national wildlife refuge was up for sale to drillers as part of the Trump administration’s plan to pay for Republicans’ tax cuts with oil revenue. Conservatives argued the leases could bring in $900m, half for the federal government and half for the state.

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Categories: Environment

Major Oil Companies Take A Pass On Controversial Lease Sale In Arctic Refuge

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/01/06 - 1:19pm

After a three-year push by the Trump administration, almost no oil companies offered bids. Analysts point to controversy, low oil prices and an incoming administration that opposes drilling.

(Image credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Categories: Environment

Jenrick criticised over decision not to block new Cumbria coal mine

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/06 - 1:09pm

Environmental campaigners say failure to call in West Cumbria Mining planning application ‘jaw-dropping’

Environmental campaigners and a local MP have criticised the government’s “jaw-dropping” decision not to block the building of a “climate-wrecking coal mine”.

The communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, decided on Wednesday not to challenge the planning application for a new coal mine in Cumbria, despite opposition from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron.

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Categories: Environment

The barriers to a carbon fee and dividend policy | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/06 - 10:34am

We are working hard to change the government’s mind on carbon fee and dividend, writes Catherine Dawson. The climate crisis cannot be solved within a continuing market economy, says Frank Jackson

In his article (There’s a simple way to green the economy – and it involves cash prizes for all, 5 January), Henry D Jacoby gives a brilliant analysis of the benefits of a carbon fee and dividend (or climate income) carbon-pricing policy and why there are some psychological barriers to its wider adoption. Citizens’ Climate Lobby is an international grassroots environmental group which has been encouraging politicians to consider adopting carbon fee and dividend (CF&D) since 2007.

CF&D has been adopted in Canada and Switzerland – although the latter does not currently tax fuel for energy while it moves towards the development of more renewable energy systems. Canadians could have replaced its implementer, Justin Trudeau, last year and ditched the policy. They didn’t.

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Categories: Environment

Australian coal shipments to China at standstill amid unresolved trade tensions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/06 - 9:30am

No ships left the big ports in Queensland and NSW in December ahead of Beijing resetting coal import quotas for the new year

Hopes of an early resumption in the Australian coal trade to China have been dashed after analysis revealed no ships had left the largest export terminals in Queensland and New South Wales bound for the country last month.

Market watchers say that goes against the annual trend of ships setting off for China in December, so that they arrive for the resetting of coal import quotas at the beginning of a new calendar year.

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Categories: Environment

Brazilian beef farms ‘used workers kept in conditions similar to slavery’

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/01/06 - 6:08am

Workers on farms supplying world’s biggest meat firms allegedly paid £8 a day and housed in shacks with no toilets or running water

Brazilian companies and slaughterhouses including the world’s largest meat producer, JBS, sourced cattle from supplier farms that made use of workers kept in slavery-like conditions, according to a new report.

Workers on cattle farms supplying slaughterhouses earned as little as £8 a day and lived in improvised shacks with no bathrooms, toilets, running water or kitchens, according to a report from Brazilian investigative agency Repórter Brasil.

Since 1995, the report said, 55,000 Brazilian workers have been rescued by government inspectors from “situations similar to slavery”. While the number of investigations has fallen in recent years – 118 workers were freed in 2018, compared with 1,045 a decade earlier – that does not mean the situation has improved, just that inspections have been reduced, it noted.

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Categories: Environment

Australian wildlife 20 times more likely to encounter deadly feral cats than native predators

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/05 - 9:03pm

Researchers find invasive felines hunt with greater intensity, in broader environments and in greater numbers than equivalent native marsupial predator

Australia’s wildlife are at least 20 times more likely to come across a deadly feral cat than one of the country’s native predators, according to a new study.

Invasive cats, which kill billions of native animals each year, form a triple threat, the study finds, by hunting with greater intensity, in broader environments and in greater numbers than an equivalent native marsupial predator – the spotted-tailed quoll.

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Categories: Environment

Severe climate-driven loss of native molluscs reported off Israel’s coast

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/05 - 5:01pm

Mediterranean study finds subtidal populations of cockles, whelks and other species have collapsed by 90%

The world’s most devastating climate-driven loss of ocean life has been reported in the eastern Mediterranean, one of the fastest warming places on Earth.

Native mollusc populations along the coast of Israel have collapsed by about 90% in recent decades because they cannot tolerate the increasingly hot water, according to a new study, which raises concerns about the wider ecosystem and neighbouring regions.

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Categories: Environment

Cold snap forces UK electricity market prices to new high

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/05 - 10:35am

National Grid issues urgent call for suppliers to generate extra 524MW of electricity capacity

Plunging temperatures and a drop in wind turbine power generation have pushed UK electricity market prices to a new high and prompted the National Grid to put out an urgent call for suppliers to provide extra capacity.

The National Grid control room warned that its spare electricity supplies would be “tight” this week, and on Tuesday issued an official call for generators to bring forward an extra 524 megawatts of electricity capacity within 24 hours.

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Categories: Environment

Trump administration pollution rule strikes final blow against environment

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/05 - 8:43am
  • EPA rule will require release of raw data from scientific studies
  • Critics fear compromising personal details and health benefits

The Environmental Protection Agency has completed one of its last major rollbacks under the Trump administration, changing how it considers evidence of harm from pollutants in a way that opponents say could cripple future public-health regulation.

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Categories: Environment

Electric cars rise to record 54% market share in Norway

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/05 - 7:21am

Nordic country becomes first in the world where electric car sales outstrip those powered by other means

Norway became the first country in the world where the sale of electric cars has overtaken those powered by petrol, diesel and hybrid engines last year, with the German carmaker Volkswagen replacing Tesla as the top battery-vehicle producer, data shows.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) made up 54.3% of all new cars sold in the Nordic country in 2020, a global record, up from 42.4% in 2019 and from a mere 1% of the overall market a decade ago, the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) said.

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Categories: Environment

Trump auctions Arctic refuge to oil drillers in last strike against US wilderness

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/05 - 3:37am

Sales of drilling rights are the climax to one of the nation’s highest-profile environmental battles

In one of its last strikes against the American wilderness, Donald Trump’s administration will on Wednesday auction off portions of the Arctic national wildlife refuge to oil drillers.

The lease sales are the climax to one of the nation’s highest-profile environmental battles. The lands on the northern coastal plain of Alaska are home to denning polar bears and migrating herds of Porcupine caribou that indigenous communities depend on and consider sacred. But the oil industry has long suspected that the ground beneath the plain holds billions of barrels of petroleum.

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Categories: Environment

There’s a simple way to green the economy – and it involves cash prizes for all | Henry D Jacoby

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/01/05 - 1:00am

The ‘carbon dividend’ is so elegant that it seems too good to be true. Governments should make it a post-pandemic priority

Over the past year – when societies around the world have had to grapple with their greatest challenge in decades – climate change hasn’t been at the top of the agenda. But that doesn’t mean it’s gone away. Far from it – in fact, we just experienced the hottest September in 141 years, and extreme warmth recorded in the Arctic continues a disturbing trend. When the focus turns back to this ongoing existential threat, hopefully we’ll have learned some lessons from the pandemic about what can be achieved when imaginative thinking is brought to bear.

Our approach towards tackling the climate crisis is necessarily going to be multipronged. But one powerful tool is that of a carbon tax. So far, however, only a few nations have taken this route. Why?

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Categories: Environment

Why the world's biggest mammal migration is crucial for Africa – photo essay

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/04 - 11:00pm

Up to 10 million straw-coloured fruit bats descend on Zambia’s Kasanka national park every year, dispersing millions of seeds as they go

  • Words and photographs by Georgina Smith

David Mubiana will always remember the day he was shot. It happened in 2002, when his unit was ambushed by poachers with AK-47 rifles and a shotgun. He was wounded in the arm and stomach; one bullet rupturing his spleen. As a wildlife police officer in Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife, his job is inherently risky.

“Even if you fall down, you have to stand up and continue fighting. If we finish our wildlife, [our children] are not going to see what we are seeing today,” he says.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's new climate pledge to UN criticised for not improving on 2030 target

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/04 - 9:45pm

Labor says the Coalition is isolated on climate change and needs to commit to net zero emissions by 2050

Australia has formally updated its United Nations climate policy without fanfare and without any improvement to its 2030 target to cut emissions, sparking criticism from Labor, the Greens and climate policy experts and campaigners.

Repeating language heard frequently in recent months, the document, submitted to the United Nations on New Year’s Eve, says Australia will “meet and beat” its declared 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels.

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Categories: Environment

happy moo year

The Field Lab - Mon, 2021/01/04 - 11:59am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Hundreds flock to Maryland park to view 'exceptional' rare bird

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/01/04 - 9:31am

Birders headed to Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park to view brightly coloured painted bunting

Hundreds of people have flocked to the Washington DC area to catch a glimpse of a new, celebrated arrival who has offered some welcome relief following a bruising year. No, it’s not Joe Biden.

Excited birders have crammed into a Maryland park, braving rain and dismally low temperatures, to witness the painted bunting, a brightly coloured bird that usually reserves its elan for the warmer climes of Florida.

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Categories: Environment
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