The Guardian view on Biden’s risky gamble: betting on lowering oil prices | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 10:05am

The climate agenda risks being derailed by energy market disruptions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine

Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia this month highlights the paradox of American power. The US has the economic heft to punish an opponent – but not enough to alter the behaviour of a determined adversary. Sanctions will see Russia’s economy contract by 9% next year. But Washington needs more nations to join its camp to halt Moscow’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. Mr Biden has been forced to prioritise war objectives over ethics in meeting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who the CIA says ordered the barbaric murder of the prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The havoc that Russia’s war has caused on the world’s energy markets is contributing to an economic crisis that is playing into the hands of Mr Biden’s domestic opponents. This highlights the west’s failure to confront the climate emergency with a less carbon-intensive economic model. The green agenda risks being derailed by sky-high hydrocarbon prices. This scenario could have been averted if western nations had accelerated their net zero agendas by driving down energy demand – the lack of UK home insulation is one glaring failure – and spending on renewables to achieve energy security. Instead, this week the G7 watered down pledges to halt fossil fuel investment over fears of winter energy shortages as Moscow squeezes supplies.

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Categories: Environment

Woodland Trust calls for protections for England’s 2.1m ancient trees

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 8:52am

Conservation group wants to ‘drive cultural shift’ to designate trees and woodlands ‘as fundamental to quality of life’

She would never have dreamed of it a few years ago, but when lockdown came and she found herself separated from family and friends, “I’m not ashamed to say I hugged a tree or two if I was feeling sad,” says Jane Barber. “When you couldn’t hug people – and I didn’t have a partner at the time – it was really challenging for people who lived alone.

“We need connection, to feel connection with another living being. To connect with the tree’s history and reflect on what it might have witnessed is wonderful.”

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Categories: Environment

Rare wild ancestors of domestic pigeon found on Scottish islands

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 8:04am

Small populations of wild rock doves discovered in places including Outer Hebrides

Colonies of extremely rare and endangered birds that are the wild ancestors of domestic and feral pigeons have been found on secluded Scottish islands.

Researchers have spoken of their excitement and surprise at discovering small populations of wild rock doves in places that include the Outer Hebrides.

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Categories: Environment

There are good reasons for a double shampoo – if you can avoid waste

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 6:59am

An Italian town has banned the practice during a heatwave, but if done right it benefits hair and scalp

Global consumption of water is growing twice as fast as the world’s population and droughts are affecting swathes of the planet. So it was no surprise that this week the mayor of an Italian town in Emilia-Romagna, which is experiencing a severe heatwave, banned hairdressers from shampooing their customers’ hair twice, saying it would save thousands of litres of water a day.

As we all attempt to reduce waste, that additional shampoo at home or in the salon can seem like overkill. So is what is known in the trade as “double cleansing” really necessary? No, but every hairdresser and trichologist is seemingly in agreement that the second shampoo has distinct benefits to scalp and hair, regardless of skin and hair type.

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Categories: Environment

Woman, 71, gored by bison in third Yellowstone incident this year

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 6:44am

Woman, who has non-life-threatening injuries, treated in Wyoming hospital after encounter in national park

A 71-year-old Pennsylvania woman was gored by a bison on Wednesday in Yellowstone National Park, in “the third reported bison and visitor incident” this year, officials said.

The woman, who suffered non-life-threatening injuries, was transported to a hospital in Cody, Wyoming.

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Categories: Environment

Shredded trees, dead dolphins and wildfires — how Russia's invasion is hurting nature

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 6:39am

The environmental impacts from Russia's invasion of Ukraine could be felt far longer than the war itself.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

Categories: Environment

California sets the nation's toughest rules for the reduction of plastics

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 4:29am

Companies selling shampoo, food and other products wrapped in plastic have a decade to cut down on their use of the polluting material if they want their wares on California store shelves.

(Image credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Categories: Environment

Nonwhite Americans are eating less meat. Vegan activists of color explain why

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 2:39am

The increase in nonwhite Americans identifying as vegetarian and eating less meat is part of the longstanding work of vegan activists of color to make plant-based eating more accessible.

(Image credit: Toni Okamoto)

Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 1:15am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including a stonefish, a mountain jerboa and a bevy of otters

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Categories: Environment

Western Australia’s EPA urges 50-year extension of country’s most polluting gas project

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/07/01 - 12:10am

Woodside’s North West Shelf gas development would release more than eight times Australia’s annual emissions if it continues to operate until 2070

Western Australian authorities have recommended a 50-year extension of the country’s biggest polluting fossil fuel development, sparking condemnation from climate campaigners who warned it could add more than 4bn tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

The WA Environment Protection Authority (EPA) advised the state government it should give the greenlight to oil and gas giant Woodside Energy to run its North West Shelf gas development in the Pilbara until 2070.

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Categories: Environment

Big cats, big cities: how Los Angeles and Mumbai live cheek by jowl with feline locals

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 10:00pm

The two megacities are the only ones in the world where large carnivores thrive as the urban areas have encroached on natural habitats

Los Angeles and Mumbai, India, share many superlatives as pinnacles of cinema, fashion and traffic congestion. But another similarity lurks in the shadows, most often seen at night walking silently on four paws.

These metropolises are the world’s only megacities of 10 million-plus where large felines – mountain lions in one, leopards in the other – thrive by breeding, hunting and maintaining territory within urban boundaries.

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Categories: Environment

Brand new bang: Lake Tahoe resort scraps July 4 fireworks for drones

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 10:00pm

Pyrotechnic displays pose a heightened fire risk in a time of intense drought and cause distress to wild animals

Lake Tahoe’s north shore is breaking with tradition and will replace its Fourth of July fireworks celebration with a colorful light display of an entirely different nature.

The tourist town on the Nevada side of the storied lake will offer a night-time drone light show, a display officials at the Incline Village Crystal Bay visitors bureau said carries less danger in a parched landscape primed to burn.

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Categories: Environment

Australia news live: NSW flood warnings; Sydney train strike delays; at least 27 Covid deaths recorded

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 8:54pm

BoM updates floodwatch for NSW as severe weather warnings issued; Mark Butler urges Australians to get boosters as new subvariant circulates; NSW records nine new Covid deaths, Victoria 12 and Queensland six. Follow the day’s news live

Australia ‘deeply concerned by continuing erosion of Hong Kong’s rights’

Penny Wong, minister for foreign affairs, released a statement last night saying Australia remains “deeply concerned” by the continuing erosion of Hong Kong’s rights.

Australia remains deeply concerned by the continuing erosion of Hong Kong’s rights, freedoms and autonomy, two years since the imposition of the National Security Law.

The National Security Law has been applied broadly to arrest or pressure pro-democracy figures, opposition groups, the media, trade unions and civil society. The electoral reforms imposed by Beijing in 2021 have further eroded Hong Kong’s democratic governance.

This will be the fourth time the government has offered to make the changes, announced the changes, and then backtracked as a result of internal politics.

I’m just not sure where we go from here but our members are resolute. We are going to continue fighting to get these trains made safe, and we’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

It’s going to be a very messy day. It’ll be a weekend timetable with other trains taken out of it.

The families of the railway workers right now could be having $3,000 deposited in their account, instead of having that money spent on modifying perfectly good trains.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland plastics ban: balloon releases and disposable coffee cups targeted

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 6:51pm

Takeaway coffee cups, polystyrene packing ‘peanuts’ and plastic-stemmed cotton buds being phased out

The mass release of balloons will be a thing of the past in Queensland and the days could be numbered for takeaway coffee cups as the state moves ahead with a ban on plastics.

Polystyrene packing “peanuts”, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and microbeads will all be banished from September 2023 under a new five-year plan.

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Categories: Environment

California passes first sweeping US law to reduce single-use plastic

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 5:45pm

The bill states that 30% of plastic items sold or bought be recyclable by 2028 and economic responsibility falls to producers

California has passed an ambitious law to significantly reduce single-use plastics, becoming the first state in the US to approve such sweeping restrictions.

Under the new law, which California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, signed on Thursday afternoon, the state will have to ensure a 25% drop in single-use plastic by 2032. It also requires that at least 30% of plastic items sold or bought in California are recyclable by 2028, and establishes a plastic pollution mitigation fund.

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Categories: Environment

Former Australian chief scientist to head review of carbon credit scheme after whistleblower revelations

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 4:53pm

Climate change minister to announce Prof Ian Chubb will lead six-month probe of scheme labelled ‘largely a sham’ by one expert

The former Australian chief scientist and senior academic, Prof Ian Chubb, has been appointed to head a thorough review of Australia’s carbon credit scheme as experts escalate calls for a complete overhaul of the system.

Chris Bowen, the climate change minister, announced on Friday that Chubb, a neuroscientist and former vice-chancellor of the Australian National University, would lead the six-month review of the scheme, after a respected whistleblower described it as a fraud and waste of taxpayer money.

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Categories: Environment

The effect the Supreme Court's climate decision may have

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 2:15pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Environment Protection Agency does not have the authority to mandate carbon emissions reductions from existing power plants.

Categories: Environment

With time ticking for climate action, Supreme Court limits ways to curb emissions

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 10:01am

The U.S. Supreme Court's opinion in a key environmental case, WV v. EPA, says the federal agency lacks authority to use greenhouse gas emissions caps to force fossil fuel power plants out of business.

(Image credit: J. David Ake/AP)

Categories: Environment

US supreme court rules against EPA and hobbles government power to limit harmful emissions

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 7:38am

Court sides with Republican states as ruling represents landmark moment in rightwing effort to dismantle ‘regulatory state’

The US supreme court has sided with Republican-led states to in effect hobble the federal government’s ability to tackle the climate crisis, in a ruling that will have profound implications for the government’s overall regulatory power.

In a 6-3 decision that will seriously hinder America’s ability to stave off disastrous global heating, the supreme court, which became dominated by rightwing justices under the Trump administration, has opted to support a case brought by West Virginia that demands the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) be limited in how it regulates planet-heating gases from the energy sector.

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Categories: Environment

Supreme Court restricts the EPA's authority to mandate carbon emissions reductions

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 7:09am

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to mandate carbon emissions from existing power plants.

(Image credit: Al Drago/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment
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