Environment

Great Barrier Reef should be listed as ‘in danger’, Unesco recommends

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 8:57pm

Australian government ‘stunned’ by recommendation and will strongly oppose draft decision, environment minister Sussan Ley says

The Great Barrier Reef should be placed on to a list of world heritage sites that are “in danger”, according to a recommendation from UN officials that urges Australia to take “accelerated action at all possible levels” on climate change.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says the world’s biggest coral reef system should be placed on the list at the world heritage committee meeting next month.

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Australian mouse plague forces evacuation of jail in western NSW

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 8:26pm

Mice have damaged internal wiring and ceiling panels at Wellington correctional centre

The mouse plague that has cut a destructive swathe through western New South Wales for months is forcing the evacuation of a jail in the region.

Up to 200 staff and 420 male and female prisoners at Wellington correctional centre will be transferred to other prisons in the next 10 days while cleaning and remediation work takes place.

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Big Sur fire: hundreds of firefighters battle blaze raging in California

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 5:47pm

Willow fire is one of dozens burning across US west, including Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, amid dry conditions

Firefighters are battling to contain a wildfire that erupted near Big Sur last week, as the flames continue to engulf the dry California landscape and threaten historical sites, cabins, and ranches.

The fire is one of dozens of wildfires burning in hot, dry conditions across the US west, including in Arizona and New Mexico.

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Lumber Prices Are Finally Dropping After They Soared During The Pandemic

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 1:49pm

Demand for new homes and a rise in DIY renovation projects ate up the lumber supply during the pandemic. Meanwhile, sawmills struggled to keep pace amid COVID-19 setbacks.

(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

How To Stay Safe In The West Coast's Sweltering Heat Waves

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 1:30pm

As a sweltering heat wave hits much of the West Coast, NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Dr. Kristina Dahl from the Union of Concerned Scientists about the health risks of exposure to extreme heat.

Categories: Environment

Brothers Set Yosemite's Record For Longest Sky-High Walk

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 1:11pm

Highline walkers set a new record by stepping more than half a mile across a gaping void in Yosemite National Park, balanced on a strip of nylon webbing.

Categories: Environment

As Seagrass Habitats Decline, Florida Manatees Are Dying Of Starvation

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 12:15pm

The mammals were removed from the endangered species list in 2017, but algae blooms and overdevelopment have killed 46,000 acres of seagrass, leaving manatees without enough to eat.

(Image credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

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Legacy of toxic leaded petrol lingers in air in London, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 12:00pm

Most cities likely to be affected by the pollutant, which is particularly harmful to children’s brains

Toxic lead from petrol that was banned 20 years ago still lingers in the air in London, a study has shown, with researchers saying the legacy of leaded fuels is likely to hang over most cities.

While levels are much lower than at their peak in the 1980s, they remain far above natural background levels. Lead is extremely poisonous and there is no safe amount of exposure. It is of particular concern for children, as it damages their developing brains and ability to learn.

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Unearth review – fracking horror finds something nasty under the cornfield

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 6:00am

When hard-pressed farmers do a deal with the energy industry, full-on eco terror ensues, undoing this movie’s careful groundwork

If HP Lovecraft had joined Extinction Rebellion, this is the kind of idea he might have come up with: a cautionary horror story about fracking, which disguises itself as a 70s ensemble drama before erupting into something altogether ickier. While Terrence Malick loved filming American cornfields at the hallowed “magic hour”, this awkward hybrid prefers loitering at what you might call “morbid hour”, with Korean cinematographer Eun-ah Lee bathing everything in sallow, deathly light. The blight beneath everyone’s feet is creeping into their hearts.

Set in rural Pennsylvania, Unearth is a tale of two houses: the Lomacks and the Dolans. Beer-chugging divorcee dad George Lomack (Marc Blucas) is struggling to provide for his two daughters with a failing auto-mechanic business; dollar signs light up in his eyes when a gas-extraction outfit called Patriot Exploration comes calling with an offer for his land. This is much to the horror of Kathryn Dolan (Adrienne Barbeau, on fearsome form), matriarch of the neighbouring clan, who is fighting to keep her land productive, and whose photographer daughter Christina (Allison McAtee) likes blowing off some steam amid the corncobs with pent-up George.

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If we want to fight the climate crisis, we must embrace nuclear power | Bhaskar Sunkara

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 3:18am

A powerful form of clean energy already exists – and it is far more reliable than wind and solar

On 30 April, the Indian Point nuclear power plant 30 miles north of New York City was shut down. For decades the facility provided the overwhelming majority of the city’s carbon-free electricity as well as good union jobs for almost a thousand people. Federal regulators had deemed the plant perfectly safe.

Related: Earth is trapping ‘unprecedented’ amount of heat, Nasa says

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Categories: Environment

The White House Wants To Fight Climate Change And Help People. Cleveland Led The Way

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 2:09am

The White House wants to fight climate change in ways that also remove economic and racial disparities. The city of Cleveland has a plan that describes what that might mean.

(Image credit: Ryan Kellman/NPR)

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Mark Vaile won’t be next Newcastle university chancellor following backlash over coal links

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/06/21 - 1:10am

Former deputy PM says ‘based on feedback from some university constituents’ he won’t take up role in July as planned

The former deputy prime minister Mark Vaile won’t become the next chancellor of the University of Newcastle following a backlash over his links to a coal company.

The university released a statement on Monday afternoon confirming Vaile, who is the chairman of Whitehaven Coal, had advised he intended “not to proceed” with the appointment.

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Farm plan poses ‘catastrophic’ threat to Zambian park vital for fruit bats

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/06/20 - 10:00pm

Conservationists warn of impact on world’s largest mammal migration, key to seed dispersal across Africa

Plans to create a huge commercial farm next to a national park in Zambia could have a “catastrophic” impact on wildlife, conservationists have warned, threatening vital habitat for bats undertaking the world’s biggest mammal migration.

Every October, about 10 million straw-coloured fruit bats descend on the evergreen swamps of Kasanka national park in central Zambia from across Africa, feasting on figs and fruit and berries in the surrounding area, and dispersing seeds across the continent in their epic journey. The park is home to 479 bird species and 114 mammals.

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Australia’s top economists back government intervention to speed switch to electric cars

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/06/20 - 6:55pm

Majority support subsidising EV purchases and setting a date to ban import of petrol-powered cars, while others prefer a carbon tax to lower emissions

Australia’s top economists overwhelmingly back government measures to speed the transition to electric cars in order to meet emission reduction targets.

An exclusive poll of 62 of Australia’s preeminent economists – selected by their peers – finds 51 back measures to boost the takeup of electric cars including subsidising public charging stations, subsidising the purchase of all-electric vehicles, and setting a date to ban the import of traditionally powered cars.

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California authorities hunt suspect behind ‘atrocious’ attacks on Pelicans

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/06/20 - 8:37am

Thirty-two of the slow-flying water birds were found in Orange county, with all but 10 showing fractures to their wings

Authorities in California are looking for a suspected human culprit behind attacks on more than two dozen brown pelicans found seriously injured in the south of the state.

In an alert issued last week, the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Orange county said 32 pelicans have been found between San Clemente and Huntington Beach, with all but 10 showing compound fractures to their wings.

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Bee-friendly urban wildflower meadows prove a hit with German city dwellers

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/06/20 - 7:00am

Countrywide scheme is flourishing after being set up to reverse a 75% decline in insect populations

To escape the Berlin bustle on a summer afternoon, all that Derek O’Doyle and his dog Frida have to do is lap the noisy building site outside their inner-city apartment, weave their way through the queue in front of the ice-cream van, and squeeze between two gridlocked lorries to cross over Baerwaldstrasse.

Bordered by a one-way traffic system lies a bucolic 1,720 sq metre haven as colourful as a Monet landscape: blue cornflowers, red poppies, white cow parsley and purple field scabious dot a sea of nettles and wild grass as armies of insects buzz through the air. Two endangered carpenter bees, larger than their honey bee cousins and with pitch-black abdomens, gorge themselves on a bush of yellow gorse.

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‘We will not stop’: pipeline opponents ready for America’s biggest environmental fight

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/06/20 - 3:00am

Activists have traveled from all over the US to protest against the construction of Line 3, a giant project that crosses Indigenous land

As the sun set, more than a dozen young people carried a wooden bridge toward a narrow section of the Mississippi River. The bridge allowed the group to cross more easily from their camp to where the immense oil pipeline was being built on the other side.

They were cited for trespassing – but they had symbolically laid claim to the marshy landscape.

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UN blasts world leaders for failing to seal £72bn-a-year deal on climate

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/06/20 - 2:30am

Financial aid ‘critical’ to help developing countries limit fossil fuels – and make Cop26 a success, says UN

The head of climate change at the UN has warned that world leaders are still “far away” from securing a deal to limit the disastrous effects of global heating, with less than five months to go before a key summit in Glasgow.

Time is now running out, said Patricia Espinosa, who was formerly foreign minister of Mexico but now leads the UN on climate policy. She told the Observer that although advances had been made at the G7 meeting in Cornwall last weekend, progress had not been made on honouring past commitments to find $100bn (£72.5bn) a year to help developing countries invest in green technologies.

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New oilfield in African wilderness threatens lives of 130,000 elephants

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/06/20 - 1:00am

Exploratory project in Botswana and Namibia is threat to ecosystems, local communities and wildlife, conservationists say

Tens of thousands of African elephants are under threat from plans for a massive new oilfield in one of the continent’s last great wildernesses, experts have warned.

Campaigners and conservationists fear the proposed oilfield stretching across Namibia and Botswana would devastate regional ecosystems and wildlife as well as local communities.

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Head of Independent Sage to launch international climate change group

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/06/19 - 10:01pm

Sir David King hopes to emulate success of British Covid advisory body by issuing monthly reports on environmental crisis

Several of the world’s leading scientists plan to launch an independent expert group this week to advise, warn and criticise global policymakers about the climate and nature crises.

The new body has been inspired by Independent Sage – the cluster of British scientists who have held UK ministers and civil servants to account for their lack of transparency and mishandling of the Covid pandemic.

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