To Safely Study Volcanoes, Scientists Bring The Blast To Them

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/05/21 - 2:01am

Studying active volcanoes can be dangerous, which is why a group of scientists from around the world came together to simulate volcanic blasts. What they're learning will help them at a real eruption.

(Image credit: NPR)

Categories: Environment

After Grim Deaths In The Borderlands, An Effort To Find Out Who Migrants Were

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/05/21 - 2:00am

More than 200 migrants die attempting to cross the Southwest border each year. Slowly, scientists at a Texas laboratory are seeking the story of their bones.

(Image credit: Katie Hayes Luke for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Eden Project plans $150m ecotourism site for Victorian coalmine

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/20 - 11:10pm

Joint venture aims to turn Alcoa’s open-cut mine site into Anglesea project near Great Ocean Road

A UK charity that redeveloped a china clay quarry in Cornwall into a major ecotourism project has its eyes on Alcoa’s former coalmine in Anglesea, Victoria.

The Eden Project and Alcoa announced a plan to turn a portion of the site into a $150m ecotourism attraction based around Anglesea’s coastal location. They say they will seek input from the community.

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Categories: Environment

World’s biggest investor accused of dragging feet on climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/20 - 10:00pm

BlackRock, which controls $6.5tn in assets, urged to use its influence on planet’s biggest polluters

When a letter from BlackRock’s founder and chief executive, Larry Fink, landed in inboxes in January saying that the world’s biggest investor would no longer invest in companies that are not compliant with the Paris climate agreement, people took notice. The media jumped on the announcement, which appeared to herald a new era of finance facing up to the perils of the climate emergency.

The letter was a hoax, carried out by the Yes Men, a group of pranksters with a history of embarrassing big companies. But while the message was fake, the concern behind it was not: environmental campaigners see BlackRock as a key obstacle to progress on meeting climate crisis goals.

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Categories: Environment

Labor's entire policy agenda is up for review, Jim Chalmers tells Q&A

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/20 - 1:33pm

‘Our job now is not to engage in some year-long pity party,’ leadership aspirant says

The Labor leadership aspirant Jim Chalmers says the party’s entire policy agenda, including its ambitious 45% emissions reduction target, could be upended in the wake of Saturday’s shock election loss.

“Everything is up for grabs,” Chalmers told the ABC TV’s Q&A program when asked whether Labor would review its climate policy.

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Categories: Environment

A vision of 2040: everything we need for a sustainable world already exists

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/20 - 11:00am

There are real obstacles to environmental progress, but we must focus on what we are for, not just what we are against

When my daughter was two years old, I found myself struggling to finish any article relating to the dire state of our environment. I would get halfway through the piece, then disengage and move on to something else. I assumed I wasn’t the only parent to feel this way.

Curious to understand why I seemed incapable of persisting, I reached out to the environmental psychologist Renee Lertzman. She explained that when we receive information charged with fear, dread or anxiety, the limbic system in our brain can be activated, which can override the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with creative thinking and problem solving. These days our news feeds are filled with images and stories of a bleak future. This is what we bombard our consciousness with, the images we expose our children to and they may also be why many of us feel paralysed when it comes to taking action on solutions to save our planet.

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Categories: Environment

Seagull wars: councils spending scarce resources in effort to banish birds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/20 - 10:50am

Plastic owls, birds of prey and swapping eggs for dummy eggs among methods being used

It’s not just your chips that are threatened by seagulls at the British seaside: increasingly, the gull menace is hitting taxpayers in their pockets too, as research shows local councils are spending hundreds of thousands trying to control the birds.

Waste management practices are partly to blame, as less frequent collection of bins gives the scavengers plenty of access to free meals, in turn encouraging them into urban areas. The problem has escalated in the last 15 years, according to Sarah Trotter, an assistant professor of law at the London School of Economics, who has written two papers on the subject. The birds have been blamed for attacking pets and people in towns all around the UK’s coastline, and sometimes even inland.

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Categories: Environment

Climate Change And Its Effect On The Australian Elections

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/05/20 - 8:06am

Australians headed to the polls this weekend. Some people ate sausages after.

(Image credit: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

BP headquarters in London blockaded by Greenpeace

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/20 - 2:20am

Environmental activists accuse oil company of ‘fuelling’ climate emergency

Greenpeace activists have blockaded all entrances to the BP headquarters in London, demanding an end to all new oil and gas exploration.

The campaigners arrived at 3am on Monday and encased themselves in heavy containers before the oil company’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

BP pushed for Arctic drilling rights after Trump's election

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/05/19 - 5:26am

Despite PR damage over earlier spills, documents show oil firm pressed for reduced regulation

BP stepped up its campaign to be allowed to drill for oil in the Arctic sea and an Alaskan wildlife refuge after Donald Trump was elected president, according to documents that detail the British firm’s lobbying efforts.

Documents written by BP and oil industry groups show how the oil “supermajor” seized on the opportunity presented by Trump’s 2016 election victory to expand its offshore business, just seven years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

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Categories: Environment

Justin Bieber effect leads to closure of Icelandic canyon

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/05/19 - 3:25am

Fjaðrárgljúfur closed off to protect it from fans after it starred in pop star’s video

With one music video, Justin Bieber has made a pristine Icelandic canyon famous around the world. And that’s the problem.

Icelandic environmental officials have had to close off Fjaðrárgljúfur to protect it from the hordes of Bieber fans who are determined to visit the site, which is featured in the video for I’ll Show You. But these fans are not letting a few fences, signs or park rangers keep them away.

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Categories: Environment

Labour’s plans for cheap green energy are no more than electric dreams

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/05/19 - 1:00am

Proposals for renationalising gas and electricity are based on hopes of buying companies on the cheap

Labour’s plans to renationalise water, energy and rail companies have widespread support and with good reason: these industries are failing to meet the legitimate expectations of the public.

The question mark that hangs over these proposals is whether expectations are now being ramped up to such an extent that taking these industries back into public ownership will almost certainly be considered a failure.

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Categories: Environment

Extinction Rebellion urges ad industry to use its power for good

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/05/19 - 12:00am

Letter to senior figures urges them to use their power to influence public opinion on climate change

Environmental activists Extinction Rebellion have turned their fire on the advertising industry in a public letter, encouraging it to use its expertise in manipulating public opinion for good or risk mass public protests against it.

Speaking to the Guardian, one of the authors of the letter, which was written by Extinction Rebellion members with decades of experience of the advertising industry, said the group was not “singling out advertising, as we previously disrupted fashion week and are systematically challenging all industries who have the platform, influence and skills to tackle this epoch-defining crisis but are failing to do so in any meaningful way”.

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Categories: Environment

India's 'Tiger state' reports at least 11 rare cub sightings

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/05/18 - 7:43am

Forest officials record first births for many years in parts of Madhya Pradesh

Forest officials in Madhya Pradesh state, in India, have reported several tiger cub sightings, the first for years in some parts of the region.

At least 11 cubs have been sighted in the last week, including five in Panna Tiger Reserve and three each in Nauradehi and Ratapani sanctuaries.

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Categories: Environment

Australian election: Tony Abbott loses his Warringah seat to Zali Steggall

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/05/18 - 4:34am

Independent knocks former PM out of parliament with pro-climate action campaign

One of the Liberals’ leading conservatives and Australia’s 28th prime minister, Tony Abbott, has lost his blue-ribbon Sydney seat of Warringah after moderate Liberal voters abandoned him in protest at the role he played in opposing climate change action.

Abbott lost to the independent candidate and Olympian Zali Steggall, with thecount showing she was likely to win almost 60% of the vote on a two-party-preferred basis.

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Categories: Environment

Slippery challenge: can the European eel be saved from oblivion?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/05/18 - 12:00am

Project hopes to identify best habitats for extraordinary creature more endangered than giant panda – and shed light on mysterious breeding location

“That one is definitely over five years old, it could be eight to 10 years old,” shouts Dr Peter Walker, as a writhing 50cm long eel is scooped out of the River Tone near Taunton in Somerset. “This year or next I would expect this one to be on its merry way.”

The European eel makes an extraordinary 6,000km (3,728-mile) journey to the Sargasso Sea in the north Atlantic to spawn, from where its larvae travel all the way back. Now scientists hope a new project may shed light on this still mysterious part of eels’ lifecycle, which could provide crucial help in protecting the species.

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Categories: Environment

'Vote for the climate': NSW demands environmental short film's removal from internet

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/05/17 - 5:52pm

Create NSW contacted Screenworks, which then demanded the film-makers take down Island Home

A New South Wales government agency has demanded the removal from the internet of a hard-hitting environmental short film which urges Australians to “vote for the climate”.

Island Home features stirring imagery of Australia’s coastline, warning it will be harmed by the climate emergency, and criticises Adani for the Carmichael coalmine and Equinor’s proposal to drill the Great Australian Bight.

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Categories: Environment

Safety changes leave owners of river barges fearing dry times ahead

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/05/17 - 4:01pm

Operators of historic vessels could be sunk by requirements costing up to £250,000 per boat

Once, thousands of sailing barges plied the Thames estuary. Today, the sight of Will, the largest such vessel still travelling on the waters in London – now converted for pleasure cruises – turns heads.

Passengers on the deck of a giant cruise ship sailing up to Tower Bridge peer and wave at the historic barge below. But Will’s co-owner, Mark Tower, 60, warns that such sights – “absolutely part of the Thames maritime heritage” – could soon be lost.

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Categories: Environment

We all smell the smoke, we all feel the heat. This environmental catastrophe is global | Alexis Wright

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/05/17 - 2:00pm

Governments of the world need to act. It’s time to speak to our planet with kindness before it’s too late

All the raspy-voice myna birds have come here, to this old swamp, where the ghost swans now dance the yellow dust song cycles of drought. Around and around the dry swamp they go with their webbed feet stomping up the earth in a cloud of dust, and all the bits and pieces of the past unravelled from parched soil. The Swan Book, by Alexis Wright.

A dense haze of smoke crawled over Melbourne and embraced us for a day in its lonely pilgrimage, inviting us to contemplate its mourning rite, its long prayer.

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Categories: Environment

'Shame on you': Boots berated for wrapping prescriptions in plastic bags

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/05/17 - 10:51am

Campaigners say pharmacy chain should uphold promise to reduce plastic packaging

The pharmacy chain Boots has come under fire for using plastic bags, rather than paper ones, to package some of its prescriptions.

Environmental campaigners and customers criticised the firm, which signed up to a high-profile scheme to cut plastic packaging last year.

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Categories: Environment
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