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'Tech unicorn' Octopus Energy to create 1,000 new UK jobs

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 10:01pm

Firm says it wants to help Britain become ‘best place to invest in clean energy’

Octopus Energy plans to create 1,000 new technology jobs across sites in London, Brighton, Warwick and Leicester, and a new tech hub in Manchester, as part of its vision to make the UK the “Silicon Valley of energy”.

The supplier will employ graduates at the new sites to help develop the proprietary green energy technology platform which has helped to make Octopus one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK.

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Categories: Environment

Tasmanian devils released into sanctuary north of Sydney in step towards 'rewilding'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 8:00pm

If the 30 animals thrive in the predator-free area in the Barrington Tops, it could be a step towards reintroduction on Australia’s mainland

Conservationists working with disease-free Tasmanian devils have taken the next step in what they hope will be a “rewilding” project that could eventually see the species reintroduced to the Australian mainland.

About 30 devils, free of devil facial tumour disease, have been released into a 500ha, predator-free sanctuary in the Barrington Tops national park, north of Sydney.

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Categories: Environment

California Wildfires Have Burned 4 Million Acres And The Season Isn't Over Yet

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 5:06pm

"The 4 million mark is unfathomable. It boggles the mind, and it takes your breath away," a spokesperson for Cal Fire said.

(Image credit: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Solar Oven Cookery

Home Grown New Mexico - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 3:42pm

Solar Oven Cookery
by Alessandra Haines
September 2020

Looking back on this extraordinary summer of environmental and social turmoil a bright spot (quite literally!) has been regularly cooking in the solar oven. It is super easy, safe and versatile. It’s near impossible to burn anything and can be left unattended while you are out. No fossil fuels are used and no fumes are produced.

The oven I have been working with is a Sun Oven. It is basically an insulated box with a glass top and mylar reflectors. It works very well for patio use and is easy to move about and store. There are many varieties of commercial solar ovens available and a plethora of DYI designs. It is an incredibly simple device with really nothing to break down or go wrong.

The beauty of solar cooking is that you can eat well and NOT HEAT UP THE HOUSE!!!! As our temperatures rise keeping our interiors cooler in the summer is paramount. We all know that fossil fuel powered AC is not really a solution to a warming climate!

There are things that cook especially well in the solar oven that require long cooking times and I probably wouldn’t bother to cook in the regular oven or stove top in the heat of the summer.

For example, it works very well for any type of simmered soups or stock, stew, posole, cassoulet and polenta. Dried beans can be cooked in 2-3 hours with no soaking. Simmering only requires about 220F so even if the sun is less than optimal your liquid based dish will cook.

It’s perfect for roasting or baking: potatoes, yams, beets, turnips, carrots,
tomato, summer or winter squash as well as any type of casserole, enchiladas etc.

For baking anything in the 350-400F range is possible. My solar oven tends to max out at 350F so if its a cookie that wants 400F it might just take a bit longer. Smaller baked goods will cook faster. For example, banana muffins might be a better choice than a huge loaf of banana bread. The temperature can be adjusted by adjusting the angle of the oven to the sun and by cracking the lid open a bit which also releases condensation on the glass.

Cooking outdoors with the sun does require you pay attention to the weather. On occasion, if it clouds up, you may have to finish up your baked potatoes or whatever inside in the kitchen oven. The optimal cooking window is from about 11 am to 4 pm.

Cookware should be dark and heat absorbing rather than reflective such as foil or stainless steel.

Dark enamelware (black, red, blue, dark green) heats up the quickest as it is lightweight.

Cast iron or dark clay cookers also work very well and a black enamel toaster oven tray is the perfect size for roasting vegetables.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Foraged Flavors of Santa Fe

Home Grown New Mexico - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 3:30pm

Our friends at Slow Foods Santa Fe are putting on the following event:

Foraged Flavors of Santa Fe/ZOOM Event

Speaker: Ellen ZachosDate: Tuesday October 6Time: 5:00-6:30 pm
For more info on this upcoming event and to sign up,
go to: Foraged Flavors of Santa Fe


Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee On How To Stay Optimistic On Fighting Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 3:13pm

Climate change was a question in last week's presidential debate, after not being asked about in 2016 debates. Inslee made climate change the focus of his brief presidential bid.

(Image credit: Elaine Thompson - Pool/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

That no flesh should glory in his presence...

The Field Lab - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 1:20pm

 1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Seven bodies found near France-Italy border after 500mm of rain falls in 10 hours

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 1:10pm

Torrential rains sweep away houses and roads, and 21 people are reported missing

Seven bodies have been found in a region straddling the French-Italian border near Nice after torrential rains swept houses and roads away, officials in both countries said.

Five of the bodies were discovered on Sunday in northwestern Italy, including four washed up on the shore between the towns of Ventimiglia and Santo Stefano al Mare, near the French frontier. Some of the corpses might have been swept down the coast from France.

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Categories: Environment

Activists try to stop autobahn being built through German forest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 7:42am

Dannenröder tree felling will be a catastrophe, say environmental campaigners

Thousands of climate activists gathered in a stretch of woodland north of Frankfurt on Sunday as a planned motorway extension through the Dannenröder forest pits the autobahn against 250-year-old oak trees.

About 27 hectares (67 acres) of forest are to supposed to cleared by next February to make way for a new 3km stretch of the A49 dual carriageway. Police in the state of Hesse are preparing for months of stand-offs with protesters, who say the erosion of a healthy mixed forest makes a mockery of the German government’s ambitious climate targets.

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Categories: Environment

'This is the Everest of zero carbon' – inside York's green home revolution

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 7:00am

The city plans to build Britain’s biggest zero-carbon housing project, boasting 600 homes in car-free cycling paradises full of fruit trees and allotments. When will the rest of the UK catch up?

Joseph Rowntree, Yorkshire’s chocolatier-philanthropist, had a dream. He wanted to build “improved houses” for working people and, in 1902, revealed his plans for the experimental village of New Earswick, on the edge of York. The village would make the most of the existing natural landscape, setting little terraces of arts and crafts houses along streets edged with grass verges. Not only would their interiors would be flooded with fresh air, natural light and “a cheerful outlook”, they would also have the modern luxury of indoor loos. Designed by garden city doyens Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker, the development went on to inspire the national Homes Fit for Heroes programme after the first world war, paving the way for the birth of council housing.

More than a century on, York is set to break the mould once again. Plans have just been submitted for the first stage of arguably the UK’s most ambitious council-led housing programme in a generation. The city is planning to build at least 600 homes across eight sites within the ring road, each designed to have a net carbon emissions figure of zero. Every element of the scheme, from the front door out into the transport network, is tuned to tackle the climate emergency head on.

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Categories: Environment

Schadenfreude Saturday

The Field Lab - Sat, 2020/10/03 - 1:57pm

As he continually seeks to insert rival Joe Biden's health and mental capacity into the presidential campaign, Trump has voiced escalating concern within his inner circle about how it would appear if he contracted the coronavirus and has insisted on steps to protect himself while he ignores protecting the American people...demanding these protections even as he refuses to wear a mask in public and agitates for large campaign rallies where the virus could spread despite health officials warnings.  During the presidential debate on Tuesday, Trump mocked Joe Biden for frequently wearing a mask.  Two days later, Trump tested positive after exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms and was whisked away by helicopter on Friday to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment.  

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Sir David Attenborough reveals favourite animal to young royals

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/10/03 - 10:06am

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s three children quiz veteran broadcaster on his passion for nature

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children have shared their passion for animals with Sir David Attenborough in an adorable video.

Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, quizzed the 94-year-old broadcaster in a video recorded at Kensington Palace in August. Princess Charlotte revealed that she likes spiders, and Attenborough told Prince Louis that his favourite animals were monkeys.

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Categories: Environment

High and dry: will India's swimming camels be the last of their kind?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/10/03 - 12:30am

Rapid industrialisation in Gujarat threatens the mangroves that kharai camels and their nomadic herders depend on

Ayub Amin Jat treats his camels like his children. But then his camels are no ordinary ungulates: they are a unique breed of camels that swim.

Amin Jat’s semi-nomadic ancestors have kept these camels in the Indian state of Gujarat for hundreds of years. Known as kharai camels, their name is derived from the local word khara, meaning saline. During the rainy season, they swim along the Gulf of Kutch, an inlet of the Arabian Sea, to small forest islands and graze on mangroves and other saline-loving plants.

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Categories: Environment

‘Dramatic’ plunge in London air pollution since 2016, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/10/03 - 12:00am

Exclusive: Number of people living with illegal pollution levels has fallen by 94% since Sadiq Khan became mayor

Air pollution in London has plunged since Sadiq Khan became mayor, with a 94% reduction in the number of people living in areas with illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide. The number of schools in such areas has fallen by 97%, from 455 in 2016 to 14 in 2019.

Experts described the reductions as dramatic and said they showed the air pollution crisis was not intractable. More than 9,000 people in the capital were dying early each year due to dirty air in 2015.

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Categories: Environment

‘Green hydrogen’ from renewables could become cheapest ‘transformative fuel’ within a decade

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/10/02 - 1:00pm

Government has nominated ‘clean hydrogen’ using gas and CCS but for many countries ‘clean’ already means without fossil fuels

“Green hydrogen” made with wind and solar electricity could become the cheapest form of what the Australian government has described as a “transformative fuel” much faster than expected, analysts believe.

Chinese manufacturers have reported making systems to create hydrogen with renewable energy for up to 80% less than official Australian estimates from just two years ago.

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Categories: Environment

California Wildfires Near Tragic Milestone: 4 Million Acres Burned

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/10/02 - 12:21pm

The unprecedented fire season has already killed 30 people, and burned down thousands of buildings and homes, forcing over 96,000 residents to evacuate.

(Image credit: Noah Berger/AP)

Categories: Environment

First new deep coalmine in UK for 30 years gets go ahead

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/10/02 - 11:45am

Planning permission granted to Cumbria project that will extract 2.7m tonnes of coal per year

Plans to open the UK’s first new deep coalmine in 30 years have been given the go-ahead by councillors in Cumbria.

West Cumbria Mining (WCM) said it plans to mine under the seabed to extract around 2.7m tonnes of metallurgical coal annually, which is solely for use within industry and not for power stations. Steel and chemical factories in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire and Port Talbot are expected to burn the coal’s output, with the company arguing that the coal will replace imports and will not increase emissions because it will not be shipped over from the US.

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Categories: Environment

sorting the junk...

The Field Lab - Fri, 2020/10/02 - 9:55am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Saving the airlines could cost the Earth | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/10/02 - 7:57am

Cllr Richard Robertson says the environmental impact of air travel needs to be recognised, while Matthew G Andersson thinks the most central question is whether airlines are really for-profit commercial businesses any longer

Your long read on the airline industry’s collapse was really quite depressing (Inside the airline industry’s meltdown, 29 September). Yes, the airlines are suffering huge losses and many jobs have been lost, but the assumption that passenger numbers will eventually return to pre-pandemic levels would be to throw away one of the only big gains from the lockdown.

Airlines pay no duty on fuel and their tickets are very cheap, but they are costing the Earth as a result. It is disingenuous to assume that biofuel will ever be available in sufficient volume or that enough trees be planted (and survive) to offset the carbon released by the air industry. There is no place in a sustainable future world for the scale of flying that had been reached prior to the pandemic.

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Categories: Environment

Water firms in England criticised over rising environmental pollution

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/10/02 - 5:23am

Environment Agency says pollution from nine companies at worst level in five years

Water companies in England were responsible for their worst levels of environmental pollution in five years in 2019, leading to condemnation from ministers and the Environment Agency.

In its annual assessment of the nine privatised water and sewerage companies, Emma Howard Boyd, the chair of the EA, said their performance continued to be unacceptable. More investment was needed by several of the companies wich were failing to protect the environment, she said.

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Categories: Environment
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