Drought And Fire Threat Lead To Forest Closings

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/06/17 - 5:12am

Forest officials closed the San Juan National Forest in southwest Colorado because of "historic levels" of fire danger. The closure will affect local tourism economies.

Categories: Environment

High risk of food shortages without pesticides, says chemical giant

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/17 - 4:00am

Head of Syngenta, world’s biggest pesticide maker, says rejecting farming tech could have serious consequences within 20 years

The world is likely to face food shortages within 20 years if pesticides and genetically modified crops are shunned, according to the head of the world’s biggest pesticide manufacturer.

J Erik Fyrwald, CEO of Syngenta, also said the technologies to produce more food from less land are vital in halting climate change, but that better targeting will mean farmers around the world will use less pesticide in future.

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Categories: Environment

Where have all our insects gone?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/06/17 - 1:00am
There is a crisis in the countryside – and a massive decline in insect numbers could have significant consequences for the environment

When Simon Leather was a student in the 1970s, he took a summer job as a postman and delivered mail to the villages of Kirk Hammerton and Green Hammerton in North Yorkshire. He recalls his early morning walks through its lanes, past the porches of houses on his round. At virtually every home, he saw the same picture: windows plastered with tiger moths that had been attracted by lights the previous night and were still clinging to the glass. “It was quite a sight,” says Leather, who is now a professor of entomology at Harper Adams University in Shropshire.

But it is not a vision that he has experienced in recent years. Those tiger moths have almost disappeared. “You hardly see any, although there used to be thousands in summer and that was just a couple of villages.”

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Categories: Environment

How safe are savings as Fed rushes in where ECB fears to tread?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/16 - 11:00pm
With the base rate in the eurozone still at 0%, funds are flowing back to the US using a myriad of financial instruments

While governments around the world contemplate the fallout from Donald Trump’s trade war with China, banks are wrestling with central bank moves that are likely to have a much more fundamental impact on the global economy.

On Wednesday the US Federal Reserve pressed ahead with its policy of raising interest rates, adding a seventh quarter-point rise since 2015 to leave the base rate at 1.75-2%. The Fed also pledged to continue selling back to the private markets loans it bought as part of a vast $4.5 trillion quantitative easing programme.

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Categories: Environment

The secret rainforest hidden at the heart of an African volcano - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/16 - 10:00pm

A ‘dream team’ of international scientists scaled Mozambique’s Mount Lico and found a wealth of new species


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Categories: Environment

Faecal transplants ‘could save endangered koala’

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/06/16 - 11:26am

Team of researchers changes microbes in koalas’ guts in order to improve type of food they consume

Scientists believe they have found a new weapon in the battle to save endangered species: faecal transplants. They say that by transferring faeces from the gut of one animal to another they could boost the health and viability of endangered creatures. In particular, they believe the prospects of saving the koala could be boosted this way.

The idea of using faecal transplants as conservation weapons was highlighted this month at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in Atlanta, where scientists outlined experiments in which they used the technique to change microbes in the guts of koalas.

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Categories: Environment

UK cycling is worth more than the steel industry – where's the strategy?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 11:30pm

A new report argues we’d all benefit if the government started taking the cycle industry seriously

If a country wants to make things, it needs a domestic steel industry. Our government considers this industry to be one of national strategic importance. But you would think it was also important to keep people moving, to make sure the air they breathe is clean and to look after their health.

It just so happens that cycling is one of the ways to unsnarl traffic congestion, reduce pollution and make folks hale and hearty. People who cycle to work even have fewer days off sick.

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Categories: Environment

'Dubai in Paris': French climate protesters fight plans for €3bn theme park

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 11:00pm

EuropaCity development on capital’s outskirts would feature ski slopes, waterpark, hotels and shops

Tending her rows of courgettes, leeks and potatoes, Cécile Coquel, a telecoms worker and guerilla gardener, stood firm despite local authorities’ recent warning that everything must be ripped up and the field vacated.

“These are the vegetables of the resistance!” she proclaimed. “We’ll fight to save this land.”

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Categories: Environment

Embattled EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Faces Anger In Farm Country Over Policy

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 1:49pm

The EPA administrator met with farmers in midwestern states this week to address frustrations over the renewable fuel standard.

(Image credit: Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media)

Categories: Environment

Fear And Frustration Over EPA Move To Kill Chemical-Disaster Protections

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 12:34pm

The EPA intends to block rules to prevent and respond to leaks, explosions and other disasters at chemical facilities and refineries around the U.S. That scares many people who live and work nearby.

(Image credit: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

McDonald's Says It's Ditching Plastic Straws In U.K. And Ireland

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 11:46am

McDonald's also says it will test alternatives to plastic straws in some restaurants in the U.S. and several other countries later this year.

(Image credit: Toby Melville/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

Government faces growing pressure over Heathrow third runway

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 9:18am

Government faces criticism from its own advisors over failure to mention emissions targets as campaigners enter second week of hunger strike

The government is coming under growing pressure from environmentalists and its own advisers over its support for a new runway at Heathrow.

The Committee on Climate Change [CCC] has expressed its “surprise” that there was no mention of the government’s legal obligations to reduce greenhouse gases when it announced it was backing Heathrow expansion plans earlier this month.

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Delhi's toxic air, Antarctic ice melt and plastic solutions – green news roundup

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 8:58am

The week’s top environment news stories and green events. If you are not already receiving this roundup, sign up here to get the briefing delivered to your inbox

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Categories: Environment

Can Scotland save its wildcats from extinction?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 8:52am

The secretive mammals are fast disappearing from the Highlands but last-ditch efforts to save them are fraught with challenges

Set deep in mixed woodland of Scots pine and birch, near the banks of the river Beauly in Inverness-shire, several huge, concealed pens contain two breeding pairs of Scottish wildcat.

Wildcats mate from January to March, and their high, anguished breeding calls through the dark winter nights are thought to have inspired tales of the Cat Sith, a spectral feline of Celtic legend that was believed to haunt the Highlands.

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Categories: Environment

Body of British botanist found in South Africa

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 7:58am

Rachel Saunders went missing with her husband in February while looking for rare seeds

Police in South Africa have identified the body of a British botanist who disappeared earlier this year while searching for rare seeds in a remote nature reserve.

Rachel and Rodney Saunders are thought to have been looking for rare plant seeds near the oNgoye Forest in KwaZulu-Natal province when they were last confirmed alive in mid-February.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 6:42am

A colourful sand lizard, a giant baobab tree and a racoon with a head for heights are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Delhi's air pollution is now so bad it is literally off the chart

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 6:39am

Dust storms come months before the start of city’s traditional ‘pollution season’

Smog more toxic than can be measured by monitoring devices has blanketed the Indian capital this week, months before the start of Delhi’s traditional “pollution season”.

A thick haze was visible across the city from Tuesday and some government pollution monitors have recorded concentrations of 999 – the highest they can measure – as dust storms kicked up in nearby Rajasthan state blanketed the region.

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Categories: Environment

First Nations look to buy equity in pipeline to have say in project's future

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 3:00am

Despite high-profile protests some indigenous Canadians believe only way to mitigate environmental impacts is through ownership

After Justin Trudeau’s surprise announcement that the Canadian government would nationalize a contentious pipeline, indigenous protesters have been among the most vocal in their opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, arguing that the project trespasses on their territory and poses a risk to the environment.

Protests led by First Nations have amplified public unease of over the mega project – which will triple the flow of bitumen from Alberta to the coastal waters of British Columbia – as the country attempts to balance its fight against climate change with an economy driven largely by the energy industry.

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Categories: Environment

Frydenberg tells states conservative Liberals won't get their way on emissions cuts

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/06/15 - 2:42am

Environment minister says he won’t back-end load target as some in his party demand

Josh Frydenberg has told his state and territory counterparts the emissions reduction trajectory in the national energy guarantee will be steady over 10 years, not back-end loaded as some of his conservative party room opponents have demanded.

Frydenberg, the federal energy minister, was clear during a phone hook-up on Friday that Canberra wanted least-cost abatement in the electricity sector, and that meant implementing a linear emissions reduction trajectory between 2020 and 2030, according to sources familiar with the conversation.

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