Environment

How the gas industry aims to rebrand as ‘clean’ energy to appeal to Black and Latino voters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 3:00am

Pipeline companies facing opposition in blue states have launched a $10m PR campaign targeting the Democratic base

American energy corporation the Williams Companies was facing yet another setback in its attempts to build a natural gas pipeline in New York.

After a years-long battle, state regulators and pushback from protesters had forced the company to cancel its previously proposed Constitution pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York. And in May 2020, another major Williams project – a nearly $1bn gas pipeline that would run underwater from New Jersey to the Rockaway peninsula in Queens – was rejected for a second time.

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Categories: Environment

Nuclear power is gaining support after years of decline. But old hurdles remain

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 2:01am

Investment from the government and private sector are changing the trajectory of the aging U.S. nuclear fleet and spurring development of new nuclear technology.

(Image credit: Matt Rourke/AP)

Categories: Environment

Queensland airline Skytrans unveils plans for Australia’s first hydrogen-fuelled plane

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 12:22am

Hydrogen is a ‘truly sustainable solution’ for aviation which has so far been hard to decarbonise, says aircraft maker Stralis

A Queensland airline has announced plans for what it claims will be Australia’s first hydrogen-electric aircraft.

The airline, Skytrans, which operates out of Cairns and flies to Cape York and the Torres Strait, says the first plane will be in the air by 2026.

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Categories: Environment

Why are we feeding crops to our cars when people are starving? | George Monbiot

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/06/30 - 12:00am

Modern biofuels are touted as a boon for the climate. But, used on a large scale, they are no more sustainable than whale oil

What can you say about governments that, in the midst of a global food crisis, choose instead to feed machines? You might say they were crazy, uncaring or cruel. But these words scarcely suffice when you seek to describe the burning of food while millions starve.

There’s nothing complicated about the effects of turning crops into biofuel. If food is used to power cars or generate electricity or heat homes, either it must be snatched from human mouths, or ecosystems must be snatched from the planet’s surface, as arable lands expand to accommodate the extra demand. But governments and the industries that they favour obscure this obvious truth. They distract and confuse us about an evidently false solution to climate breakdown.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

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Categories: Environment

Earthly Order: ‘mercurial professor’ with urgent ideas on climate change

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 11:06pm

In his ambitious new book, distinguished professor Saleem Ali tries to bridge the gap between politics and science to help plan for a safer future

Saleem Ali – whose Twitter bio begins “Mercurial Professor” – is not trying to be the new Stephen Hawking.

“People buy all these theoretical physics books in droves because they think having them on the shelves will make them look smart,” opines the distinguished professor of energy and the environment at the University of Delaware. “A Brief History of Time is a very difficult book to read.”

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel industry faces surge in climate lawsuits

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 10:00pm

Number of climate-related lawsuits globally has doubled since 2015, with quarter filed in past two years

The world’s most polluting companies are increasingly being targeted by lawsuits challenging their inaction on climate change and attempts to spread misinformation, according to a new report.

Research by the London School of Economics Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment found a surge in legal cases against the fossil fuel industry over the past year – especially outside the US – and growing action in other corporate sectors.

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Categories: Environment

Australia news live: Labor orders review of Covid vaccine deals; NSW teacher and train strike

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 8:56pm

NSW industrial action continues; Liberal MP calls on John Barilaro to ‘withdraw’ from trade job; Anthony Albanese welcomes Nato’s growth; jobs data and wages announcement due; NSW records 23 Covid deaths, Victoria records 17. Follow all the day’s news live

The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has renewed his calls for China to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, declaring that Vladimir Putin “has made a strategic mistake because what his actions have done is unite the democratic world”.

Albanese – who has been in Madrid for a Nato summit – spoke to reporters yesterday after having a meeting on the sidelines with the leaders of Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

There we discussed the important focus of this Nato’s summit on the Asia-Pacific region. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has solidified the support amongst democratic countries for the rules-based international order and a determination to continue to provide support to the government and the people of Ukraine who are suffering as a result of this breach of international law and this brutal invasion by Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Vladimir Putin has made a strategic mistake because what his actions have done is unite the democratic world and provide a real determination to make sure that the resilience being shown by the Ukrainian people is backed up by resilience and support from democratic countries, including Nato, but also countries throughout the world.

Well, what we saw is prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we saw a without-limits partnership between Russia and China. We’ve seen a failure of China to condemn any of the Russian aggression that has occurred against Ukraine. China must look at what is happening and look at the resolve that is there from throughout the world and should be condemning Russia’s actions.

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Categories: Environment

Emissions warning: calls to stop ‘skyrocketing’ land clearing in NSW

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 8:56pm

NSW Labor and others warn failure to bring land clearing under control is ‘unsustainable’ and threatens Coalition pledge to cut emissions by 2030

Land clearing in NSW continues to exceed the long-term average, with more than 50,000 hectares of vegetation cleared for farming, forestry and infrastructure in 2020.

The NSW opposition has described the situation as unsustainable. The shadow minister for the environment, Penny Sharpe, promised Labor would use a statutory review of native vegetation laws to consider what would be necessary to stop “skyrocketing” clearing, if elected in March.

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Categories: Environment

Net zero nuance: commentary on decarbonising the grid misses the mark on batteries and nuclear | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 6:16pm

One claim from the past week is based on a nuclear plant that hasn’t been built and another confuses the role of battery storage

Commentary on decarbonising Australia’s electricity network seems to be heading towards net zero nuance, with questionable claims about the costs of batteries and nuclear power in the past week.

One claim relies on an estimate of the cost of a multibillion-dollar nuclear plant that doesn’t exist yet, and another puts a multitrillion-dollar figure against the cost of building batteries.

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Categories: Environment

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas handed 20 months in prison for campaign finance fraud – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 1:00pm

• It was a mixed Tuesday for Donald Trump-backed candidates in Republican primary elections around the country. Colorado voters largely rejected most Trump-supporting candidates in Tuesday’s GOP primaries, although Lauren Boebert, the extremist Colorado Republican congresswoman, won her bid for relection.

• In Illinois, Mary Miller, who had been criticized after she declared the Supreme Court’s abortion decision as a “victory for white life” – a spokesman said she had mixed up her words – won in after she was backed by Trump. Darren Bailey, who was also endorsed by Trump, won the Republican gubernatorial primary in the state.

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Categories: Environment

What Australia’s power grid urgently needs for ‘once-in-a-century transformation’ away from fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 10:30am

Most likely scenario to reach net zero by 2050 projects all coal-fired power plants exit by 2043, according to market operator

Work must begin urgently on five big transmission projects if Australia’s main power grid is to succeed in its “once-in-a-century transformation” off fossil fuels without shortages and energy cost blowouts, the market operator said in its blueprint report.

The integrated system plan (ISP), updated biennially by the Australian Energy Market Operator and released on Thursday, estimated the grid serving eastern states would need at least 10,000km of new transmission lines to link up a nine-fold expansion of wind and solar farm capacity by 2050 under its mostly likely scenario.

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Categories: Environment

Lismore ice-cream factory ‘will need to stand down 240 people’ unless flood support extended

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 10:30am

Norco says 44 workers who lost homes would be affected if government assistance ends

An ice-cream factory will stand down 240 workers in Lismore next month – including 44 who lost their homes in floods earlier this year – unless government support is extended.

Michael Hampson, the chief executive of Norco, the factory operator, said the decision came in the absence of further details of any federal assistance and confirmation the state government would not contribute to any further support package.

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Categories: Environment

The billionaire blocking off Montana’s wildlife: ‘Like fencing people out of Walmart’

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 8:59am

The fences Joe Ricketts erected around his ranch in the middle of the Blackfeet reservation are a deadly hazard for wildlife

Almost immediately after their new billionaire neighbor put up miles of 5ft fences around his Montana ranch, complaints started coming in to the Blackfeet tribe.

In photos and videos captured by Blackfeet tribal members and reviewed by the Guardian, animals such as elk, deer, moose and grizzly bears can be seen struggling to navigate around or over the fences as they follow a historical migration path. Sometimes, they are trapped in corners of the fences, or wounded and limping after failed attempts to jump over the barriers. On numerous occasions, mother moose have been seen separated from their young.

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Categories: Environment

Animals we’ve lost: the 15 carp species that disappeared from a single lake

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 2:30am

Just two species of the freshwater fish still exist in the ancient waters of Lake Lanao in the Philippines after predatory fish were accidentally introduced

It was a celebrated clan: a group of 17 carp species found nowhere else in the world except for an ancient freshwater lake in the Philippines. One so fat it could be fried without oil, another sought after for its delectable egg-filled ovaries, a third known, oddly enough, for its endearing overbite.

Yet in recent years 15 of them have been declared extinct, victims of mismanaged fish farming efforts that accidentally introduced predatory fish into their home. In all likelihood, these invaders will continue to menace the native carp until none of them are left.

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Categories: Environment

Dogs are sniffing out disease in animals vital to traditions of the Blackfeet tribe

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 2:01am

Montana's Blackfeet Nation is experimenting with a new way to detect chronic wasting disease in animals and toxic substances in plants used by tribal members for food and cultural practices.

(Image credit: Aaron Bolton/Kaiser Health News)

Categories: Environment

Whale entanglements may be dropping but the threat remains, feds say

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/06/29 - 12:05am

Entanglement in fishing gear is one of the two biggest threats to declining species of whales, along with collisions with ships.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Environment

AI could improve welfare of farmed chickens by listening to their squawks

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/06/28 - 4:06pm

The technology correctly distinguished distress calls from other barn noises with 97% accuracy

Artificial intelligence that could improve the welfare of farmed chickens by eavesdropping on their squawks could become available within five years, researchers say.

The technology, which detects and quantifies distress calls made by chickens housed in huge indoor sheds, correctly distinguished distress calls from other barn noises with 97% accuracy, new research suggests. A similar approach could eventually be used to drive up welfare standards in other farmed animals.

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Categories: Environment

Government policies will not get UK to net zero, warns damning report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/06/28 - 4:01pm

Progress report from the Climate Change Committee suggests ministers could renege on greenhouse gas emissions commitment

The government is failing to enact the policies needed to reach the UK’s net zero targets, its statutory advisers have said, in a damning progress report to parliament.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) voiced fears that ministers may renege on the legally binding commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, noting “major policy failures” and “scant evidence of delivery”.

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Categories: Environment

Five things we have learned about the UK’s path to net zero

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/06/28 - 4:01pm

Committee on Climate Change report paints a dire picture of Britain’s progress in reducing farm emissions and homes insulation

There are currently no credible plans to help the majority of households to improve their energy efficiency, the progress report from the Committee on Climate Change concludes: a gaping policy hole that is costing the UK dear, not just in climate terms but in unnecessarily high energy bills for our leaky homes. Insulating buildings would be the quickest and most effective way to counter soaring gas prices, but has been largely ignored by the government after the botched “green homes grant” was scrapped last year. Even our new homes are not efficient: at least 1.5m homes have been built in recent years that will require expensive retrofitting. “It’s a complete tale of woe,” said Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change.

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Categories: Environment

Floating in a rubber dinghy, a filmmaker documents the Indus River's water woes

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2022/06/28 - 9:48am

Pakistani filmmaker Wajahat Malik pulled together an expedition to raft down the 2,000-mile river. He hopes to reconnect people with the Indus, which is being threatened by overuse and climate change.

(Image credit: Diaa Hadid/For NPR)

Categories: Environment
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