EPA Takes Toxic Site Flooded By Harvey Off Special Cleanup List

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 2:31pm

The EPA says the San Jacinto Waste Pits near Houston no longer needs Scott Pruitt's personal attention due to progress on a remediation plan. But the site is still years away from being cleaned up.

(Image credit: Rebecca Hersher/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 12:00pm

The breakthrough, spurred by the discovery of plastic-eating bugs at a Japanese dump, could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.

The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug.

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Categories: Environment

Who’s defending Canada’s national interest? First Nations facing down a pipeline | Martin Lukacs

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 11:37am

Justin Trudeau is bailing out a Texas oil billionaire. He should be bailing out Canada’s workers and the climate.

Last Saturday, Indigenous leaders stood arm-in-arm in front of the gates of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline worksite in Burnaby, British Columbia.

For weeks before, hundreds of non-native people – environmentalists, federal parliamentarians Elizabeth May and Kennedy Stewart, even an engineer formerly employed by the Texas oil corporation – had marched to the same place. In each case, police approached, read aloud their violation of a no-go zone, and arrested and shackled them.

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Categories: Environment

Scott Pruitt's $43,000 'privacy booth' violated spending laws, watchdog finds

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 11:28am

Purchase of a soundproof booth for EPA chief violates federal law that prohibits spending more than $5,000 on office improvements

An internal government watchdog says the Environmental Protection Agency violated federal spending laws when purchasing a $43,000 soundproof privacy booth for administrator Scott Pruitt to make private phone calls in his office.

The Government Accountability Office issued its findings on Monday in a letter to Senate Democrats who had requested a review of Pruitt’s spending.

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Categories: Environment

The plastic tsunami: pollution across Australia's coastlines – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 11:00am

With Australia’s beaches and oceans covered in rubbish, Tangaroa Blue volunteers spend days trying to clean things up. While these images are not beautiful or professionally taken, they are the harsh reality of the world’s plastic pollution problem.

‘Plastic is literally everywhere’: the epidemic attacking Australia’s oceans

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Categories: Environment

Canada: Trudeau vows to push ahead with pipeline plans in spite of protests

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 10:37am

PM says he is prepared to use taxpayer dollars to fund controversial expansion opponents say will have serious environmental consequences

Justin Trudeau has said Canada’s government is prepared to use taxpayer dollars to push forward plans for a controversial pipeline expansion, despite protests and efforts by a provincial government to halt the project on environmental grounds.

Related: Canada quarrel pits British Columbia against Alberta in battle of oil and wine

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Categories: Environment

Grocery Stores Get Mostly Mediocre Scores On Their Food Waste Efforts

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 9:13am

A new report, "Supermarkets Fail to Make the Grade in Reducing Food Waste," scores the 10 largest grocery stores on how they handle food waste. No store got an A, but Walmart got a B.

(Image credit: paul mansfield photography/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

The 'New Power' Generation: A Manifesto For A More Humane World

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 8:06am

Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms have written a guide for spreading ideas, building movements and staying ahead.

(Image credit: Michael Creagh)

Categories: Environment

The Renewable Energy Movement Ramps Up In Red States

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 7:06am

Where might you find a city that uses only renewable energy? Try Texas.

(Image credit: Photo by Drew Anthony Smith for Smithsonian magazine)

Categories: Environment

Dutch island wants its rabbits to breed like …

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 6:41am

Biodiversity concerns prompt emergency plan to use ferrets to round up the few rabbits left

It is not a pastime for which rabbits usually require much encouragement. But a mystery depletion in numbers on the Dutch island of Schiermonnikoog has led to an emergency effort to coax the local population into breeding … well, like rabbits.

Ferrets are being deployed to chase the reluctant remaining animals out of their warrens and into the hands of conservationists, who are bringing them together, safe from the stress of predators, in the hope that romance will blossom.

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Categories: Environment

'Lightweight PR and greenwash' – BP's low-carbon plan dismissed

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 6:20am

Environmentalists call strategy ‘20th century response to a 21st century problem’

Environmental leaders have dismissed BP’s new low-carbon strategy as “greenwash” and a lightweight response to climate change and the energy market’s rapid switch to renewables.

In a strategy published on Monday, BP said there would be no increase in its carbon footprint over the next seven years because it will cut emissions from its oil and gas rigs, and offset the rest.

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Categories: Environment

The courts are deciding who's to blame for climate change | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 3:00am

Oil companies? The government? The public? All of the above share the blame.

There are numerous ongoing legal challenges in an effort to determine who’s responsible for climate change. Exxon is under investigation by state attorneys general, cities are suing oil companies over sea level rise costs, and Our Children’s Trust is suing the federal government for failing to protect their generation from climate change. At the heart of these legal challenges lies the question – who bears culpability for climate change and liability for its costs and consequences?

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Categories: Environment

Two surfers attacked by sharks on Western Australia coast near Pro tournament

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/04/16 - 12:15am

Man in his 30s taken to Royal Perth hospital after being bitten on the leg while a 41-year-old surfer was treated at beach for minor injuries

Two people have been bitten by sharks while surfing off the same stretch of Western Australia’s southwest coast on Monday.

A 37-year-old man was bitten on the lower leg at Cobblestones beach in Gracetown, near the Margaret River Pro surfing tournament, just before 8am and managed to bodysurf back to shore.

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Categories: Environment

The ingenious cyclewear Victorian women invented to navigate social mores

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 10:00pm

Patents by female inventors from the 1890s reveal the creative ways women made their body mobile through clothing

Much has been written about the bicycle’s role as a vehicle of women’s liberation. But far less is known about another critical technology women used to forge new mobile and public lives – cyclewear. I have been studying what Victorian women wore when they started cycling. Researching how early cyclists made their bodies mobile through clothing reveals much about the social and physical barriers they were navigating and brings to light fascinating tales of ingenious inventions.

Cycling was incredibly popular for middle- and upper-class women and men in the late 19th century, and women had to deal with distinct social and sartorial challenges. Cycling exaggerated the irrationality of women’s conventional fashions more than any other physical activity. Heavy, layered petticoats and long skirts caught in spokes and around pedals. Newspapers regularly published gruesome accounts of women dying or becoming disfigured in cycling crashes due to their clothing.

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Categories: Environment

Coalition considers letting power companies buy offsets to cut emissions

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 8:07pm

Tony Abbott argues offsets are carbon trading but government says it could include them in energy guarantee

The Turnbull government is hedging its bets on whether to allow energy companies to use external offsets to comply with their new 26% emissions reduction target.

A new 12-page discussion paper obtained by Guardian Australia addressing the emissions reduction architecture of the national energy guarantee (Neg) suggests the government is yet to make a decision about whether domestic or international emissions offsets are in or out.

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Categories: Environment

Welcome to Australia's plastic beach – video

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 5:59pm

How much rubbish could you collect from a suburban beach in 30 minutes? You may find the answer confronting. Guardian Australia joins Paul Sharp and Silke Stuckenbrock from the Two Hands Project to see just how prevalent plastics are on Australia's beaches

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Categories: Environment

'Plastic is literally everywhere': the epidemic attacking Australia's oceans

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 11:00am

‘It never breaks down and goes away,’ say scientists struggling to understand the impact of widespread pollution

While heading down the Brisbane river, Jim Hinds once pulled aboard a drunken half-naked man just seconds from “going down for the last time”.

But on this day, like most other days for Hinds, it’s back to the horribly predictable as he launches his boat into the Nerang river on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

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Categories: Environment

UK government criticised for 'shocking' inaction on insulating draughty homes

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/04/15 - 7:15am

Citizens Advice says silence on energy efficiency plans will mean households lose out

The government’s failure to take action on insulating draughty homes has been criticised by the statutory body for energy consumers.

Related: Smart systems key to future of cheaper and cleaner energy supply

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Categories: Environment

Hidden plastics: just when you thought it was safe to dunk a teabag

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/04/14 - 11:00pm
Five surprising objects that contain plastic – with toxic implications for the environment

Last Tuesday, Waitrose announced plans to remove all disposable coffee cups from their stores by autumn of this year – customers will have to bring a reusable one of their own. Despite their cardboard appearance, coffee cups are actually lined with polyethylene and are hard to recycle. The cups gradually break down to form microplastics, which make their way into our waterways and food supply.

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Categories: Environment

As public pressure grows, Clipper is latest brand to end use of plastic in teabags

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/04/14 - 10:04pm
Firm joins PG Tips in dropping synthetic sealants as other major producers look to make bags 100% biodegradable

The UK’s longest-established Fairtrade tea brand has become the latest to ditch synthetic sealants in its teabags, amid mounting consumer pressure on manufacturers to help cut down on plastic pollution.

Clipper Teas – which champions the unbleached teabag – hopes to introduce a new, fully biodegradable bag free of polypropylene, a sealant used across the industry to ensure bags hold their shape, by the summer.

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Categories: Environment
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