Environment

Oregon governor's husband cleans park bathroom – and sends Trump the bill

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/16 - 10:33am

Dan Little, a retired forest service worker, took matters into his own hands when the shutdown left his local wilderness a mess

The longest ever government shutdown has left US national parks chronically understaffed, with grim consequences: messy toilets, broken Joshua trees, and unsupervised campers.

Related: Keeping US national parks open during the shutdown is a terrible mistake | Jonathan B Jarvis

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Categories: Environment

Ministers to review Durham open-cast mine decision

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/16 - 9:34am

Government admits process that allowed Pont Valley site to begin operating was flawed

The government is to review a decision to allow open-cast coal mining in a valley in County Durham.

Lawyers for the government have written to campaigners to say their decision-making was flawed and agreed to look again. The mine in the Pont Valley, known as Bradley, began operating last year after four decades of opposition.

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Categories: Environment

Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/16 - 4:00am

Rising temperatures can be charted back to the late 1950s, and the last five years were the five hottest on record

Last year was the hottest ever measured, continuing an upward trend that is a direct result of manmade greenhouse gas emissions.

The key to the measurements is the oceans. Oceans absorb more than 90% of the heat that results from greenhouse gases, so if you want to measure global warming you really have to measure ocean warming.

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Categories: Environment

The women fighting a pipeline that could destroy precious wildlife

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/16 - 4:00am

Activists fight to stop construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline, which endangers an ecosystem that is one of the most important bird habitats in the western hemisphere

Deep within the humid green heart of the largest river swamp in North America, a battle is being waged over the future of the most precious resource of all: water.

On one side of the conflict is a small band of rugged and ragtag activists led by Indigenous matriarchs. On the other side is the relentless machinery of the fossil fuel industry and all of its might. And at the center of the struggle is the Atchafalaya river, a 135 mile-long distributary of the Mississippi river that empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

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Categories: Environment

A View From The Palmer Research Station In Antarctica

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/16 - 3:04am

David Greene talks to marine biologist James McClintock about how warming temperatures are impacting glaciers around the Antarctic Peninsula, and consequences of a global rise in sea level.

Categories: Environment

Trump replacement for Obama climate plan worse than doing nothing – study

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 11:00pm

Administration’s alternative to clean power plan would let emissions ‘rebound’ via coal-fired power plants, researchers find

The Trump administration’s replacement for the linchpin Obama-era plan to combat climate change would increase greenhouse gas emissions in much of the US more than doing nothing at all, according to new research.

Planet-warming emissions would “rebound” under the Trump policy, researchers found, as it delays the retirement of coal-fired power plants. Carbon dioxide emissions would be 8.7% higher in 18 states and Washington DC by 2030, compared with having no policy at all.

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Trump's war on science: how the US is putting politics above evidence

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 11:00pm

Experts say the administration is blatantly dismantling proven programs, and the consequences could be dire

Donald Trump’s administration is cutting programs scientists say are proven to protect Americans, from pollution safeguards to teen pregnancy prevention and healthier school lunches, with effects that could last for years.

Experts who have worked in the federal government under Republicans and Democrats say both have sometimes put politics ahead of science but none have done so as blatantly as Trump. And they warn the consequences could continue long into the future.

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Categories: Environment

A Small Plastic Package Is A Big Culprit Of The Waste Filling Oceans

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 4:03pm

To really understand the plastic problem in countries like the Philippines, you have to understand how consumer goods there are packaged.

Categories: Environment

Cost To Military Of Extreme Weather Events Is Likely To Grow

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 3:08pm

The Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune was devastated by Hurricane Florence. Climate scientists say global warming will inevitably mean more such damage to the country's national security infrastructure.

Categories: Environment

Cotton Seed Sprouts In China's Lunar Lander

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 1:14pm

A mini biosphere was sent up in China's Chang'e-4, which landed on the far side of the moon in early January. Photos show the small, green shoot of a cotton plant in a container aboard the spacecraft.

(Image credit: China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency/AP)

Categories: Environment

Nestlé targets the last of the Smarties plastic caps

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 12:08pm

Confectioner to phase out all non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle plastic from products

The food and drink multinational Nestlé has stepped up its effort to reduce its use of plastics, rolling out plastic-free packaging across several products and pledging to phase out plastic Smarties tube tops.

Nestlé has pledged to phase out all plastics that are not recyclable or are hard to recycle for all its products worldwide between 2020 and 2025. In the UK, its focus will be on recycling and increasing recycled PET content.

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Categories: Environment

Juliet and friends found for Romeo the lonely water frog

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 10:49am

Five frogs found on Bolivian expedition funded through lonely hearts profile

For 10 years, Romeo, the last known Sehuencas water frog on the planet, led a solitary life in a conservation centre in Bolivia. Now scientists have found him a Juliet.

The adult female was among five frogs found on an expedition into Bolivia’s cloud forest. The $25,000 search was funded by donations gathered after Romeo’s keepers posted a lonely hearts profile on the dating website Match.com on Valentine’s Day last year.

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Categories: Environment

Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 9:00am

Scientists say it may still technically be possible to limit warming to 1.5C if drastic action is taken now

Climate change could be kept in check if a phaseout of all fossil fuel infrastructure were to begin immediately, according to research.

It shows that meeting the internationally agreed aspiration of keeping global warming to less than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is still possible. The scientists say it is therefore the choices being made by global society, not physics, which is the obstacle to meeting the goal.

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Categories: Environment

'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 3:40am

Tuna fishery gains first MSC gold standard after nation’s huge push to boost stocks, protect livelihoods and ban foreign vessels

Indonesia, the world’s largest tuna fishing nation, has pulled out all the stops in recent years to transform the health of an industry blighted by depleted stocks and illegal poaching.

Measures by the government – which have even included the bombing of foreign vessels fishing illegally in Indonesian waters – have helped fish stocks more than double in the last five years.

But now the industry has reached another important milestone: one of Indonesia’s tuna fisheries has become the first in the country – and second in south-east Asia – to achieve the gold standard for sustainable practices.

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Categories: Environment

An Island Crusader Takes On The Big Brands Behind Plastic Waste

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/01/15 - 3:02am

Every year, 8 million tons of plastic wash into the oceans. The biggest sources are in Asia. In the Philippines, one man is going head-to-head with multinational corporations to stop the plastic tide.

(Image credit: Jes Aznar for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Trump plans to relax Obama rules for oil companies put in place after BP disaster

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/14 - 11:00pm

Proposed revised rules include a change that would allow oil companies to select third party companies to evaluate the safety of their equipment

The Trump administration is expected to give BP and other big oil companies more power to self-regulate their offshore drilling operations, years after investigators found that lax regulatory oversight was one of the leading culprits behind the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worst environmental catastrophe in US history.

The move to relax new rules that were put in place by the Obama administration after the BP disaster, which killed 11 workers, spewed 4m barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and cost BP $65bn, comes as the White House is seeking to open offshore oil and gas drilling to the vast majority of US coastal waters, including in the Arctic.

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Categories: Environment

Fish kill at Lake Hume downgraded to 60 dead fish

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/14 - 7:59pm

A new fish kill in the Murray River is not as severe as initially believed, as fears of more fish deaths increase amid soaring temperatures

A new fish kill event at Lake Hume has been downgraded to 60 dead fish from 1,800 after authorities from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries arrived to investigate.

The office of primary industries minister, Niall Blair, on Tuesday initially suggested some 1,800 fish had died in Lake Hume which is part of the Murray River system.

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Categories: Environment

In The Aftermath Of The Camp Fire, A Slow, Simmering Crisis In Nearby Chico

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/01/14 - 3:05pm

More than two months after the Camp Fire, the small city of Chico, Calif., is struggling to handle an influx of an estimated 20,000 new people from neighboring Paradise.

(Image credit: Kirk Siegler/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Muck-spreading could be banned to reduce air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/14 - 11:00am

New government strategy aims to reduce ammonia emissions by changing farming methods

Muck-spreading, the agricultural practice of spraying fields with liquid manure, will effectively be banned under government plans to reduce air pollution.

Animal manure is a key source of ammonia, a powerful pollutant that, combined with other chemicals in the air, form fine particles that can lodge deep in the lungs, harming human health.

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Categories: Environment

Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/14 - 10:23am

Environmentalists attack rules that fail to ban funding oil projects linked to tar sands

Environmental activists have accused Barclays of being on the “wrong side of history” after publishing an “underwhelming” climate policy document that fails to rule out funding for tar sands projects.

Barclays is the last major UK bank to publish rules for how it will conduct business with companies involved in carbon-heavy industries such as oil and coal. Other lenders including HSBC, RBS and Lloyds outlined their own commitments last year.

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Categories: Environment
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