The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/05/17 - 6:48am

A bobcat, a Burmese python and a baby elephant

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Categories: Environment

130 species, 187 miles and lots of energy drinks: Inside the World Series of Birding

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

As the clock struck 12, the Meadowlands Marsh Hawks set out into the New Jersey night. But could they tally enough birds to beat their rivals?

A white SUV ground to a stop near a sliver of New Jersey marshland, tires snarling against the gravel and sand access road. Three men – Christopher Takacs, David Bernstein, and Michael Wolfe – bounded out. Brine lingered in the moist air as they rushed forward on foot, traveling below an overpass. Reeds lined the lane, which was somewhere along the Hackensack River. Midges and ticks lurked in the dark as the trio waited for midnight. Takacs’ phone alarm chirped. It was finally midnight. As if on cue, something trilled in the near distance.

“There’s a shorebird calling!” one of the men said.

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Categories: Environment

How you and your government can tackle air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/05/17 - 1:46am

From walking more to reducing waste, here’s what you can do to make a difference

Most air pollution is produced by the burning of fossil fuels and waste, and this is the focus of the World Health Organization’s global recommendations:

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Categories: Environment

Oil Spill Seeping Into Gulf Of Mexico Contained After 14 Years, Coast Guard Says

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 8:21pm

The Taylor Energy oil spill began after Hurricane Ivan triggered an underwater mudslide and caused the company's oil platform to topple and sink.

(Image credit: Gerald Herbert/AP)

Categories: Environment

Angus Taylor's Oxford rowing mate's company was a beneficiary of $80m water deal

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 6:03pm

Exclusive: Energy minister went to university with the fund manager who was chief investment officer in Pacific Alliance Group

One of the main beneficiaries of an $80m sale of water to the federal government was a Hong Kong-based investment fund whose founder and chief investment officer attended New College, Oxford, alongside Angus Taylor.

In 2017, the government paid Eastern Australia Agriculture $80m for its entitlements to overland flows on two properties in Queensland.

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Categories: Environment

Japanese man prepares for landmark case against dolphin hunts

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 1:00pm

Taiji resident will testify in attempt to ban activity as part of charity’s legal challenge

A man from Taiji, the Japanese fishing town whose annual slaughter of dolphins has drawn widespread condemnation, will appear in court on Friday in an unprecedented legal challenge to the hunts.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the plaintiff, who has asked not to be named until the hearing has concluded, said he had been been ostracised in Taiji, where he was born and raised but decided to speak out against the hunts.

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Categories: Environment

EPA Watchdog Finds Ex-Chief Scott Pruitt Spent $124,000 On 'Excessive' Airfare

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 12:24pm

The Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog has found $124,000 in improper travel expenses by former administrator Scott Pruitt. It suggests the agency find a way to recover those costs.

(Image credit: Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Great Australian Bight: parties soften stance as voters protest over drilling

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 11:00am

With sitting Liberal MPs along coast under pressure from angry electorate, Coalition promises audit of regulator’s decision

A last-ditch effort to win votes in key seats in South Australia and Victoria has prompted both major parties to make changes to their policies on oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight.

The resources minister Matt Canavan – who has previously said offshore oil exploration should be a national priority – said on Thursday a re-elected Coalition government would commission an independent audit of the oil regulator’s consideration of exploration in the Bight.

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Categories: Environment

How does Labour plan to pay for its energy nationalisation policy?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 10:02am

Taking back control from private shareholders will cost a Labour government billions

The Labour Party has announced plans to take back control of Britain’s energy network from private shareholders, as part of a sweeping nationalisation policy. We look at how a Labour government plans to pay for the multibillion pound programme.

Related: Nationalisation plans will bring more than howls of outrage | Nils Pratley

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Categories: Environment

Trump Administration Wants To Cut Funding For Public Housing Repairs

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 8:39am

Public housing officials estimate that it would cost $50 billion to fix up buildings that have fallen into disrepair nationwide. The Trump administration is calling for more private investment.

(Image credit: Amr Alfiky/NPR)

Categories: Environment

414 million pieces of plastic found on remote island group in Indian Ocean

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 6:23am

Debris on Cocos (Keeling) Islands was mostly bottles, cutlery, bags and straws, but also included 977,000 shoes, study says

On the beaches of the tiny Cocos (Keeling) Islands, population 600, marine scientists found 977,000 shoes and 373,000 toothbrushes.

Related: ‘Monstrous’: Indigenous rangers’ struggle against the plastic ruining Arnhem Land beaches

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Categories: Environment

Remote Island Chain Has Few People — But Hundreds Of Millions Of Pieces Of Plastic

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/05/16 - 6:00am

The Cocos Keeling Islands make up barely 6 square miles in the Indian Ocean. It's a good place to measure debris because almost no one lives there. Scientists were flabbergasted by what they found.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Silke Stuckenbrock)

Categories: Environment

Why the vitriol about my bike expenses won't stop me cycling for work – MP

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/05/15 - 11:00pm

Media criticism has actually kickstarted my drive to get commuters on to two wheels

Over the last few weeks, our schoolchildren have staged climate change strikes, while Extinction Rebellion locked down central London. Nearby, MPs (including myself) listened to Greta Thunberg and held debates on climate change.

So, at a time when most of the country is focused on the threats to our environment, the challenges we face in addressing them and the need for not just behavioural change but a transformation of our economy, what is more newsworthy to Fleet Street?

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Categories: Environment

New York aims to fight climate change by creating green union jobs

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/05/15 - 11:00pm

Effort to build offshore wind turbines to power up to 6m homes will create more than 10,000 jobs under Climate Jobs New York plan

As global warming has worsened in recent years, environmentalists and union members have often protested against each other, whether over fracking, oil pipelines, coal production or the Green New Deal.

But an innovative new labor-environmentalist effort in New York – to build offshore wind turbines to power up to 6m homes – is a sharp departure from all that feuding and shows that these two groups can work together to advance renewable energy and reduce dependence on carbon-based energy.

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Categories: Environment

Indiana Jones of climate science: the professor who escaped a 70ft crevasse

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/05/15 - 10:30pm

After filming himself as he clambered out with a pickax, John All has resumed his Himalayan mission

One spring morning in 2014, before breakfast or even coffee, John All, 49, a Mount Everest climber and then a professor at Western Kentucky University, was walking near his tent on a remote Himalayan peak in Nepal called Himlung when he broke through a thin layer of snow and clattered 70ft down a crevasse. He would have kept falling, almost certainly to his death, were it not for a small ice shelf spanning the fissure, upon which he miraculously, if painfully, landed.

Stunned and injured – it turned out he’d broken 15 bones, dislocated his shoulder, and was bleeding internally – All gathered himself in the icy crypt and then, like any good scientist, began to document the ordeal. He thought of his teammates on the mountain, his students back at school, his mother at home in Georgia. They would want to know what had happened to him should he not make it, which seemed likely.

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Categories: Environment

UK energy companies fail to promote women to executive roles

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/05/15 - 10:00pm

Male-dominated boards due to lack of flexible working and unconscious bias, report finds

Leading UK energy companies are failing to promote women into senior roles, figures show.

Just 6% of executive board seats are filled by women, and 42% of major energy firms have no women on their boards at all.

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Categories: Environment

Electric 'flying taxi' prototype unveiled by German start-up

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/05/15 - 9:00pm

Lilium says electric jet-powered five-seater aircraft could be in service by 2025

A new “flying taxi” has been unveiled by German start-up Lilium, which claims the vertical take-off craft could be the basis for an on-demand air service within six years.

The electric jet-powered five-seater aircraft is designed to travel up to 300km, a journey that would take it an hour at top speed.

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Categories: Environment

PG&E Transmission Lines Caused California's Deadliest Wildfire, State Officials Say

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/05/15 - 7:43pm

The utility giant had already acknowledged that the fire investigation would likely find its equipment responsible for the Camp Fire in 2018.

(Image credit: Terry Chea/AP)

Categories: Environment

Climate change threatens 26 native species in Great Dividing Range, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/05/15 - 4:00pm

Australian researchers say governments must step up and protect critical habitats to give wildlife a chance

More than 20 native animals would disappear from the Great Dividing Range before the end of the century if global emissions continue at business as usual rates, according to new analysis by Australian researchers.

The University of Queensland and Australian Conservation Foundation study, published this week in Global Ecology and Conservation, examines native fauna in a part of the country that is home to three-quarters of the population and much of Australia’s biodiversity.

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Categories: Environment

Labour to end energy consumer 'rip-off' and renationalise network

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/05/15 - 2:35pm

Jeremy Corbyn and Rebecca Long-Bailey will say heat and electricity are a human right

Labour will announce plans on Thursday to seize back control of Britain’s energy network from private shareholders in an effort to fight climate change and end fuel poverty.

Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, are expected to say that heat and electricity should be a human right for all and nationalisation of the network is key to decarbonising the economy.

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