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All in on renewable energy: Jay Weatherill to ramp up SA target to 75%

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 5:52pm

South Australian premier also promises country’s first renewable energy storage target in a ‘rejection of the federal government’s approach’

The South Australian premier, Jay Weatherill, has gone all in on the state’s transition to renewable energy, promising to lift the state-based renewable energy target from 50% to 75% by 2025 and to introduce the country’s first renewable energy storage target.

A re-elected Labor government would set a target that 25% of the state’s peak demand be met by stored renewable energy, equating to about 750MW of storage. The target would be met with subsidy arrangements, the premier said.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change 'will push European cities towards breaking point'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 5:01pm

Study highlights urgent need to adapt urban areas to cope with floods, droughts and heatwaves

Major British towns and cities, including Glasgow, Wrexham, Aberdeen and Chester, could be much more severely affected by climate change than previously thought, according to new research.

The study, by Newcastle University, analysed changes in flooding, droughts and heatwaves for every European city using all climate models.

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Categories: Environment

Like Lemons? Quinoa? Thank This Food Explorer For Bringing Them To Your Plate

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 3:24pm

In the early 20th century, botanist David Fairchild traveled the world and brought plants back to the U.S. that we now see as thoroughly American. NPR talks with the author of a book on Fairchild.

Categories: Environment

Plantwatch: seagrass meadows are vital – but in serious decline

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 2:30pm

Seagrass shelters fish and acts against erosion and climate change, but is under threat

Meadows of seagrass are one of our great but sorely neglected wild plant spectacles. This humble plant spreads out in lush green carpets that can stretch for miles around much of Britain’s coast. There they shelter young fish and shellfish, as well as protecting against erosion of the coast by storms and floods, by trapping sediment in their roots.

And the seagrass meadows also play a big part in fighting climate change. They soak up carbon dioxide and hold tremendous stores of carbon on the sea floor, more than twice the carbon stored by a forest of similar area. And across the world, seagrasses are believed to lock away more than 10% of all the carbon buried each year in the oceans.

Related: Species and habitats found in recommended marine conservation zones – in pictures

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Categories: Environment

Airlines sound alarm over 'blank cheque' for Heathrow third runway

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 12:16pm

Bosses from British Airways, Virgin and easyJet urge MPs to secure pledge on cost before vote

The true cost of Heathrow expansion is likely to be “grossly” higher than the £14.3bn the airport has cited, airlines have told MPs, adding that transparency and guarantees should be supplied ahead of a crucial vote.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, British Airways’ parent company and the main operator at Heathrow, said parliament should not trust Heathrow and said he had “zero confidence” that a third runway would be delivered on time and budget.

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Categories: Environment

Plastic bans worldwide will dent oil demand growth, says BP

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 7:31am

But oil giant expects demand for crude to grow and not peak until late 2030s

Bans around the world on single use plastic items such as carrier bags will dent growth in oil demand over the next two decades, according to BP.

However, the UK-headquartered oil and gas firm said it still expects the global hunger for crude to grow for years and not peak until the late 2030s.

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Categories: Environment

'Sloppy and careless': courts call out Trump blitzkrieg on environmental rules

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 4:00am

A cascade of courtroom standoffs are beginning to slow, and even reverse, the EPA rollbacks thanks to the administration’s ‘disregard for the law’

In its first year in office, the Trump administration introduced a solitary new environmental rule aimed at protecting the public from pollution. It was aimed not at sooty power plants or emissions-intensive trucks, but dentists.

Every year, dentists fill Americans’ tooth cavities with an amalgam that includes mercury. About 5 tons of mercury, a dangerous toxin that can taint the brain and the nervous system, are washed away from dental offices down drains each year.

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Categories: Environment

Scientists race to explore Antarctic marine life revealed by giant iceberg

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 3:37am

British Antarctic Survey is trying to reach a newly revealed ecosystem that had been hidden for 120,000 years below the Larsen C ice shelf

A team of international scientists is due to set off for the world’s biggest iceberg on Wednesday, fighting huge waves and the encroaching Antarctic winter, in a mission aiming to answer fundamental questions about the impact of climate change in the polar regions.

The scientists, led by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), are trying to reach a newly revealed ecosystem that had been hidden for 120,000 years below the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula.

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Categories: Environment

California Aims To Get Past The Yuck Factor Of Recycled Wastewater

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 3:01am

With the potential of another drought looming, California is looking at recycled wastewater as a source for drinking. Recycled water is California's single largest source of new water supplies.

Categories: Environment

Ikea joins Big Clean Switch to offer 100% renewable energy tariff

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 12:01am

Joint venture claims cheaper green power could save UK households £300 a year

Ikea is calling for households to join its latest joint venture – a collective energy switch that promises an exclusive 100% renewable electricity tariff.

The furniture retailer has joined forces with the “Big Clean Switch” campaign to use a collective switch to secure cheaper green power for the households that sign up.

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Categories: Environment

It's time football started to take cycling seriously | Robin Ireland

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/02/20 - 12:00am

Few clubs cater for fans who choose to cycle to the ground, but simple changes could help reduce traffic jams and pollution on match days

I am a football fan and I am a cyclist. These identities do not need to be mutually exclusive – so why is it often such a challenge to go to the game by bike?

I support Norwich City and I live in Liverpool, which is the first hurdle. Liverpool is 238 miles away from Norwich, and the direct train takes more than five hours. Because of this, I have pretty much given up on home games.

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Categories: Environment

Problem-solving could be key to grey squirrels' success, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 11:00pm

Research in UK shows invasive species bests native red squirrels in complex tasks

The ability to solve problems may explain why grey squirrels are thriving at the expense of native red ones in the UK, research suggests.

Wild greys and reds were presented with an easy task (opening a transparent lid) and a difficult version (a more complex process of pushing and pulling levers) to get hazelnuts.

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Categories: Environment

Faster reproduction could hold key to saving critically endangered frog

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 6:48pm

Researchers believe introducing frogs to lower elevation areas would help them reach sexual maturity earlier

Researchers are hoping to increase the population of one of Australia’s most endangered frogs by helping them reach sexual maturity earlier.

The number of wild northern corroboree frogs, which are only found in cold, mountainous areas of the ACT and New South Wales, has been in sharp decline, mostly due to chytrid fungus. The fungus causes an infectious disease that is killing frogs around the world. There are only 20 of the small black and yellow striped frogs left living in the wild in the ACT and fewer than 1,000 in NSW.

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Categories: Environment

'Much work needed' to make digital economy environmentally sustainable

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 5:01pm

MPs cast doubt on whether energy efficiency gains can keep offsetting rising power demand

A cross-party group of MPs has raised doubts over whether the growing energy demand from digital technology and the proliferation of internet-connected gadgets can continue to be offset by energy efficiency improvements.

More efficient smartphones, networking gear and data centres have so far largely staved off increased power demand from the internet and computing – which now accounts for about 6% of global electricity use.

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Categories: Environment

A less timid version of Justin Trudeau won’t cut it. The NDP must be bolder | Martin Lukacs

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 4:29pm

To challenge the Liberals, Jagmeet Singh will have to overthrow Canada’s neoliberal consensus

At the New Democratic Party’s convention this weekend in Ottawa, their new leader Jagmeet Singh declared “the time to be timid was over.” For a party whose shambling meekness in the last election let Justin Trudeau claim the mantle of progressive champion, such a shift could not come sooner.

That an opportunity exists to capitalize on enormous hunger for change is apparent. Trudeau harnessed it for his route to power, only to betray it in office. The environmental Adonis transformed into an oil barons’ salesman. An electoral reform promise was broken with a shrug. Instead of a peace offensive, we’ve gotten a military spending spree; instead of novel social programs, novelty socks.

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Categories: Environment

a monday matinee...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 3:20pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Transport secretary wins injunction to stop HS2 protesters

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 11:20am

High court order bans eight campaigners from ancient woodland in west London

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, has been granted an injunction banning campaigners opposed to the construction of the HS2 line on an area of ancient woodland in west London from “unlawful protest” on the site.

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Categories: Environment

'Fantasy documents': recovery plans failing Australia's endangered species

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 10:00am

Expired, unfinished or undeveloped: conservationists call for more transparency and accountability in species management systems

Less than 40% of Australia’s nationally-listed threatened species have recovery plans in place to secure their long-term survival.

And close to 10% of listed threatened species are identified as requiring plans to manage their protection but the documents are either unfinished or haven’t been developed, according to data published by the environment and energy department.

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Categories: Environment

In Pyeongchang, Trees Get Help To Resist The Wind

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 9:09am

The wind roared in from Siberia, toppling concession stands and security scanners. These huge gusts led NPR's team to realize why so many trees in the area have elaborate support systems.

Categories: Environment

Seismic Surveys Planned Off U.S. Coast Pose Risk To Marine Life

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/02/19 - 8:00am

The Trump administration could give companies permission to set off sonic explosions to explore for oil and gas deposits. Scientists say this could seriously harm marine life.

(Image credit: Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment
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