Environment

5,500 UK churches switch to renewable energy

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 4:01pm

Churches estimated to have diverted £5m from fossil fuels to clean energy providers

More than 5,500 churches including some of the UK’s most famous cathedrals have converted to renewable power to help tackle climate change.

Church of England places of worship, along with Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker and Salvation Army congregations, have made the switch to 100% renewable electricity, and faith leaders are urging more to follow suit.

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Categories: Environment

Work on Caribbean island airport halted by court ruling

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 12:09pm

Critics say airport and resort would do more ecological harm to Barbuda than Hurricane Irma

A high court has suspended all construction work on a controversial airport development on the unspoilt Caribbean island of Barbuda that residents say will devastate its fragile ecosystem.

Antigua and Barbuda high court of justice granted an interim injunction to prevent building work on the airport from continuing during a legal challenge against the territory’s government over the international airport development.

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Categories: Environment

California vows to 'fight this stupidity' as EPA moves to scrap clean car rules

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 10:19am

Governor Jerry Brown calls administration’s proposal to weaken Obama-era emissions rules ‘reckless’ and a ‘betrayal’

The Trump administration has moved to weaken US vehicle emissions standards and has set up a major confrontation with California by scrapping its ability to enact stricter pollution standards and mandate the sale of electric cars.

Related: Elon Musk: the volatile visionary at risk of steering Tesla off the road

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Categories: Environment

Buried UK government report finds fracking increases air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 9:00am

Report was with ministers in 2015 but only published three years later, days after a key fracking permit was awarded

A UK government report concluding that shale gas extraction increases air pollution was left unpublished for three years and only released four days after ministers approved fracking in Lancashire, it has emerged.

The report, written by the government’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), was given to ministers in 2015, but was published quietly on 27 July. Fracking firm Cuadrilla was given the first permit under a new regulatory regime on 24 July, the final day of the parliamentary year.

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Categories: Environment

North-west England's hosepipe ban rained off

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 6:26am

United Utilities announces U-turn on controversial ban due to rainfall and cooler weather

A controversial hosepipe ban affecting millions of people in the north-west of England has been called off three days before it was to start because of the “recent deluge and a drop in temperatures”.

United Utilities had said on Tuesday that there would be no U-turn on the decision to start the ban on Sunday, but it has now announced that the demand for water has eased.

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Categories: Environment

'A lot of transparency': Frydenberg defends $444m grant to small reef charity

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 4:44am

Environment minister says unsolicited grant complied with guidelines, and questions about it are a distraction

The environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, has dismissed concerns about the Turnbull government’s decision to hand an unsolicited grant of $444m to a small Great Barrier Reef not-for-profit without a tender process.

He has also rejected claims that the grant process lacked transparency, saying the process complied with governance guidelines on grants and the Australian Audit Office would be able to follow how the money was being spent.

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Categories: Environment

'You're the naive one': youth activist's open letter to a candidate for governor

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 4:00am

Scott Wagner called a climate campaigner ‘young and naive’. But it’s the young who will pay for his mistakes

Victoria Barrett is one of the 21 plaintiffs, aged 10 to 21, in the high-profile Juliana v the United States lawsuit, which faulted the US government for failing to protect its citizens from climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Wildfire smoke: experts warn of 'serious health effects' across western US

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/08/02 - 3:00am

Smoke from fires has been linked to asthma attacks and heart problems and has contributed to a decline in air quality

As climate change helps push up the number of wildfires in the western US, communities face losing lives and properties to the flames. But another threat also looms large – dangerous exposure to wildfire smoke.

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Categories: Environment

Greens pressure Victoria to block national energy guarantee

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/01 - 3:00pm

Campaign by Greens joins efforts by GetUp and Greenpeace to scuttle Turnbull government energy policy

The Greens are intensifying pressure on the Andrews government in Victoria to block the national energy guarantee, leafleting inner city seats ahead of a make or break meeting on the policy in just over a week.

The activity on the ground by the Greens joins a campaign already under way from GetUp and Greenpeace to persuade both the Victorian and Queensland governments to torpedo the policy in the Coag energy council.

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Categories: Environment

2017 Was One Of The Hottest Years On Record

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/08/01 - 2:03pm

Greenhouse gas concentrations reached a record high. Global sea level was the highest on record, too. NOAA's State of the Climate report points to the urgency of addressing climate change.

(Image credit: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

California Carr Fire Leaves Many Unsure About Their Future

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/08/01 - 1:39pm

People who escaped the Carr fire near Redding, Calif., are living with uncertainty. Some know they lost their homes, others know their homes are standing but don't know when they can go back.

Categories: Environment

Sweden's highest point set to lose title as glacier melts

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/01 - 10:32am

Glacier on the southern tip of Kebnekaise mountain shrinks due to record Arctic temperatures

Sweden’s highest peak, a glacier on the southern tip of the Kebnekaise mountain, is melting due to record hot Arctic temperatures and is no longer the nation’s tallest point, scientists said on Wednesday. “I’ve never seen this much melted snow on the southern peak as I did this summer,” said Gunhild Rosqvist, a Stockholm University geography professor.

Related: Extreme global weather is 'the face of climate change' says leading scientist

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Categories: Environment

Pets displaced by California fires find a 'little bit of home' at strip mall

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/01 - 10:27am

Shasta Gateway mall outside Redding, California, is hosting about 463 animals and an army of 400 volunteers

At first glance, the Shasta Gateway mall outside Redding, California looks like any other American strip mall: a cracked, sun-beaten parking lot; a pizza place; a cell phone store. Except every time a door opens, the sound of yips and yelps leaks out.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as the Carr fire has swept across the far north of California, resulting in at least six deaths. While humans had designated places to go during the evacuation, many of their animals did not; several shelters did not accept pets.

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Categories: Environment

Last year was warmest ever that didn't feature an El Niño, report finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/08/01 - 9:08am

State of the climate report found 2017 was the third warmest with a record high sea level and destructive coral bleaching

Last year was the warmest ever recorded on Earth that didn’t feature an El Niño, a periodic climatic event that warms the Pacific Ocean, according to the annual state of the climate report by 500 climate scientists from around the world, overseen by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) and released by the American Meteorological Society.

Related: Rising temperatures linked to increased suicide rates

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Categories: Environment

Surrounded by fire, California politicians question links to climate change

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 10:00pm

As Carr fire claims lives and homes in pro-Trump area, local residents reject science: ‘It’s bull’

At a public meeting not far from the California town of Redding last year, the US congressman Doug LaMalfa said that he “didn’t buy” human-made climate change.

“I think there’s a lot of bad science behind what people are calling global warming,” he said on another occasion.

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Categories: Environment

Coles backs down on banning free plastic bags

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 7:13pm

Greenpeace say supermarket’s decision to continue providing reusable plastic bags is irresponsible and disappointing

Coles has reversed its decision to stop providing free plastic bags to shoppers, saying some need more time to adjust to the switch to reusable bags.

The supermarket banned single-use plastic bags on 1 July and told customers they would have to pay 15c for thicker, reusable bags. But then it began handing out the thicker bags for free in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia as it gave customers time to adjust.

It was meant to stop providing its reusable Better Bags for free on 1 August but has now gone back on that decision and appears set to provide them indefinitely. The thinner, single-use bags at Coles remain unavailable.

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Categories: Environment

After Calf's Death, Orca Mother Carries It For Days In 'Tragic Tour Of Grief'

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 2:54pm

What began as a moment of joy ended in tragedy when the infant died last week. Since then its mother has refused to let go, holding her child tightly in what experts call a moving expression of grief.

(Image credit: Michael Weiss/Center for Whale Research via AP)

Categories: Environment

To Combat Rhino Poaching, Dogs Are Giving South African Park Rangers A Crucial Assist

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 2:53pm

Anti-poaching rangers have sophisticated resources at their command. But one of the most effective is strikingly low-tech. "Since we use dogs, the guys can't hide from us anymore," says a trainer.

(Image credit: David Fuchs )

Categories: Environment

Wildfires More Common in Western U.S.

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 1:40pm

A century's worth of fire suppression in forests, drought and heat from climate change, and the "suburbanization" of the woods mean that fires like the Carr Fire in Redding, Calif., are the new norm.

Categories: Environment

Grieving Mother Orca Carries Dead Calf For More Than A Week, Over Hundreds Of Miles

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2018/07/31 - 1:19pm

The calf was the first to be born in the endangered pod of Pacific Northwest killer whales in three years.

(Image credit: Taylor Shedd/Soundwatch, taken under NMFS MMPA permit #21114)

Categories: Environment
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