Environment

The fracking protesters did us a public service. Jailing them was wrong | Michael Segalov

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/17 - 9:18am
The court of appeal protected the right to protest. If Theresa May persists with this disastrous policy, expect far more direct action

There were cheers inside court four of the Royal Courts of Justice this afternoon, when after a markedly short recess three appeal court judges returned to give their verdict. Sentenced to lengthy jail sentences last month, three-anti-fracking protesters - Simon Blevins, Richard Roberts, Rich Loizou - had what they had known all along confirmed by the lord chief justice, Sir Ian Burnett: the punishments handed down by the judge in their trial had been “manifestly excessive”. Instead of serving 15 or 16 months in HMP Preston, their release from prison is now imminent. But be in no doubt: they should never have been behind bars in the first place.

Related: Court quashes fracking protesters' 'excessive' jail sentences

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Categories: Environment

Everglades: climate change threatens years of work to reverse manmade damage

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/17 - 9:08am

Report warns that rising temperatures threaten the Everglades, including changing rainfall patterns and accelerating sea-level rise

Sea water encroaching on the Everglades will hamper decades of work by a government program to reverse manmade damage to the vast, fragile ecosystem at the tip of Florida, according to a new report published on Wednesday.

The federal, multibillion-dollar Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, authorized by Congress in 2000, was designed to redirect fresh water, reducing sea water incursion in a long-term effort to bring the tropical wetland ecosystem back to the way it looked in the early 20th century, before influxes of people to southern Florida drained much of it for development. The region, known as the “river of grass”, is less than an hour’s drive from Miami but is home to mangrove forests and cypress swamps housing alligators, orchids, storks and ibises, as well as threatened species such as the Florida panther. But it has long struggled to recover from water diversions for agriculture, swelling communities and other forms of environmental degradation, such as fertilizer runoff.

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Categories: Environment

UK government backs creation of Antarctic wildlife reserve

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/17 - 5:05am

Reserve to cover 1.8m km will protect penguins, leopard seals, orca and blue whales

The UK government has thrown its weight behind the creation of the world’s biggest environmental sanctuary, covering a huge swathe of the Antarctic ocean.

The massive 1.8m sq km reserve – five times the size of Germany – would ban all fishing in a vast area of the Weddell Sea and parts of the Antarctic peninsula, safeguarding species including penguins, killer whales, leopard seals and blue whales.

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Categories: Environment

Could carbon-capture technology be a silver bullet to stop climate change?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/17 - 3:00am

Few companies specialize in carbon removal and the tools they produce are currently still expensive

Peter Fiekowsky, a physicist and entrepreneur, hates silver bullets.

But at a climate summit in California last month he found himself pitching one. In partnership with the company Blue Planet, he was demonstrating a low-tech-looking machine that can pull carbon dioxide from the air and store it in construction materials.

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Categories: Environment

Republican lawmakers react to the IPCC report – ‘we have scientists’ too! | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/17 - 3:00am

Journalists grilled GOP politicians on climate change. It didn’t go well

Major climate science reports usually pass by largely unnoticed, but in the wake of the latest IPCC report a number of journalists laudably grilled Republican lawmakers about its findings. While their responses were predictably terrible, it’s nevertheless crucial for journalists to hold GOP politicians accountable for their climate denial and policy inaction. Donald Trump’s answers were particularly ignorant and nonsensical in his 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl.

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Categories: Environment

Anti-fracking activists appeal against prison terms amid protests

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/10/17 - 2:59am

Hundreds gather outside high court in London as jailed trio challenge sentences

Several hundred supporters of the three protesters jailed for blocking access to the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire have gathered outside the high court in London before their appeal against their sentences.

Related: Fracking in the UK: what is it and why is it controversial?

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Categories: Environment

'The coming of the mine separated us': a community split in South Africa

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 9:00pm

Poverty, conservation and industry are at loggerheads in the eastern town of Somkhele

Drive for an hour into the hills that lie behind South Africa’s wild eastern coast, and you will find a game park full of rhino and big cats, a sprawling town spread over dozens of summits and dry valleys, and a vast opencast coal mine.

If all the advantages of the rainbow nation – stunning landscape and wildlife, massive mineral resources and a youthful population – are represented here, then so too are all its problems.

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Categories: Environment

'They're billin' us for killin' us': activists fight Dakota pipeline's final stretch

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 5:58pm

Opponents of the 160-mile Bayou Bridge pipeline, which will cross Native American land and 700 bodies of water, have chained themselves to machinery

As the flat-bottom fishing boat speeds through waterways deep inside Louisiana’s Atchafalaya basin, the largest river swamp in the US, the landscape suddenly shifts from high banks of sediment and oil pipeline markers on either side to an open grove of cypress trees towering above the water. Flocks of white ibis appear, seemingly out of nowhere, to nest and hunt amid the moss-dripped, century-old wetland forest.

“This is what the entire basin is supposed to look like,” explained Jody Meche, president of a local crawfishermen alliance and a lifelong resident with a thick Cajun accent.

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Categories: Environment

Ian Kiernan, founder of Clean Up Australia, dies aged 78

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 1:58pm

Environmentalist and former Australian of the Year was diagnosed with cancer in July 2017

Ian Kiernan has died at the age of 78.

The former builder and Sydney yachtsman became one of Australia’s most well-known environmentalists after he founded Clean Up Australia in 1989.

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Categories: Environment

Be brave, UK business leaders and say why you're not going to the Saudi Davos

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 11:52am

City firms have hardly covered themselves in glory over the Jamal Khashoggi affair

It should be an easy decision for a board of directors to make: after the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, it would be obscene to send a corporate representative to next week’s “Davos in the Desert” event in Riyadh. What’s more, it should not be difficult to say so.

The list of high-profile dropouts is growing but, sad to report, the British financial establishment has not led the way to the exit. Big-name chief executives from the US – the likes of Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan – pulled out on Monday but the Brits followed only on Tuesday, leaving the impression they jumped only once it was less embarrassing, or commercially safer, to do so.

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Categories: Environment

UK farm funding remit launched before EU subsidies are cut

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 10:19am

New independent panel may allocate funding based on more varied factors than EU CAP

Farming conditions across the UK’s regions are to be assessed for the first time with a view to allocating financial assistance after EU subsidies are withdrawn, the government has said.

A new independent advisory panel will consider what factors should determine how future funding is divided among England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a remit to look at farm sizes and farm numbers, as well as environmental and socio-economic issues.

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Categories: Environment

After Midterms, Democrats Hope To 'Change The Narrative' On Environmental Rollbacks

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 9:17am

Democrats are making Trump's environmental rollbacks and climate denial a big issue in swing races this fall. If they take the House, they plan lots of oversight hearings and tough questions.

(Image credit: J. David Ake/AP)

Categories: Environment

Beer Prices Could Double Because Of Climate Change, Study Says

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 9:17am

The price of a six-pack in the U.S. could rise by $1 to $8 because of drought and heat. As one of the researchers says, it's "another way climate change will suck."

(Image credit: Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

Why It's Hard To Change Minds About Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 7:06am

The science is there. But some people aren't.

(Image credit: Aishath Adam/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Coffee Rust Threatens Latin American Crop; 150 Years Ago, It Wiped Out An Empire

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 5:02am

The fungus, which has no cure, is destroying harvests in Latin America. In the 1800s, it devastated Sri Lanka's powerhouse coffee industry. And scientists say it's only a question of time.

(Image credit: Jeff Koehler for NPR)

Categories: Environment

I was arrested for direct action against fracking. This is too important to stand aside | Esme North

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 4:26am
As a trained paramedic I understand emergency situations. In the face of catastrophic climate change, protest is a moral obligation

I was arrested yesterday for blockading Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire for more than 12 hours. It was the first day of fracking after a seven-year delay due to earthquakes, powerful local opposition and legal challenges.

As a trained paramedic, I have a good appreciation of emergency situations. Climate change is the biggest emergency of them all. I join more than 350 people who have been arrested for disrupting Cuadrilla’s site in Lancashire over the last two years. People driven to take such action range from local councillors to faith leaders, students to grandparents. In the past fortnight, three people were sentenced to up to 16 months in prison for climbing on top of lorries that carried key fracking equipment.

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Categories: Environment

Democrats Plan More Environmental Oversight If Midterms Swing Their Way

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 2:02am

Democrats running in some swing races are prioritizing environmental rollbacks and climate denial for the midterm elections. That could mean more oversight if Democrats take over the House.

Categories: Environment

Getting Back What You Lost — Rebuilding In A Wildfire Zone

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 1:53am

In northern California, homes are being rebuilt in the same area that burned to the ground in last year's Tubbs Fire. Despite the risk, a severe housing shortage in the area is forcing tough choices.

(Image credit: Lauren Sommer/KQED)

Categories: Environment

Scottish Power shifts to 100% wind generation after £700m Drax sale

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/10/16 - 1:32am

Big six energy firm drops fossil fuels for generation and say cheap green energy is the future

Scottish Power has ditched fossil fuels for electricity generation and switched to 100% wind power, by selling off its last remaining gas power stations to Drax for more than £700m.

Iberdrola, Scottish Power’s Spanish parent company, said the move was part of its strategy to tackle climate change and would free it up to invest in renewables and power grids in the UK.

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Categories: Environment

Critic Of Federal Public Lands Management To Join Department Of The Interior

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/10/15 - 1:47pm

The Department of the Interior has chosen a prominent property rights attorney in Wyoming as their new deputy solicitor. Its a controversial appointment for environmental groups.

(Image credit: Mead Gruver/AP)

Categories: Environment
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