Dolphin numbers up in Hong Kong after Covid crisis halts ferries

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/09/15 - 5:18am

Revival prompts calls to divert boats to help protect native Indo-Pacific humpbacks

Large numbers of dolphins returned to Hong Kong waters within weeks of the Covid-19 crisis shutting down high-speed ferries, and researchers are now calling for protections before the ferries resume.

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, also known as Chinese white dolphins and pink dolphins, are native to the Pearl River estuary, but typically avoided the waters between Hong Kong and Macau because of the high volume of high-speed boats.

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Categories: Environment

Drought, plague, fire: the apocalypse feels nigh. Yet we have tools to stop it | Art Cullen

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/09/15 - 3:26am

In climate change, the Four Horsemen have a perfect force of destruction. Maybe these fires and floods will be a wake-up call to stop stalling

As the west coast burns into an orange hellscape you have to wonder if those preaching the end of time aren’t on to something. The people smart enough to make a cellphone have been warning that we have no more than a decade to tamp down the climate crisis. Other wise men and women think we don’t even have that much time. We should listen.

People have been preaching the end of time since the beginning of time. The whole story got laid down in the Book of Revelation. Being raised Catholic, we did not read the Bible that much and were casually advised by the nuns to not wade too deep in that chapter. Concentrate on Love Thy Neighbor because Ye Shall Not Know the Hour or Day.

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Categories: Environment

Alarm over inbreeding after California cougars spotted with crooked tails

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/09/15 - 2:43am

Deformities point to unsettling sign of extremely low genetic diversity in isolated population in the Santa Monica mountains

Mountain lions with crooked tails have been spotted in the Santa Monica mountains, an unsettling sign of extremely low genetic diversity within an isolated population of less than two dozen individuals roaming the rugged canyonlands just north of Los Angeles.

In early March, biologists examined a young sedated male mountain lion. The cougar, designated P-81, had a kinked tail shaped like the letter L and only one descended testicle, a condition known as cryptorchidism.

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Categories: Environment

‘We’ve always known ours was contaminated’: the trouble with America’s water

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/09/15 - 2:30am

Ageing infrastructure, legacy pollution and emerging contaminants across the US are driving a growing urgency to do something about America’s water crisis

  • This article is co-published with Ensia

Once a week, Florencia Ramos makes a special trip to the market in Lindsay, California. “If you don’t have clean water, you have to go get some,” says Ramos, a farm worker and mother of four who lives in the neighboring Central Valley town of El Rancho.

Related: The US is in a water crisis far worse than most people imagine | Erin Brockovich

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Categories: Environment

Visiting California Fires, President Trump Denies Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/09/15 - 2:05am

Trump declined to acknowledge the role climate change likely plays in fueling the flames. In Delaware, Democratic challenger Joe Biden addressed the disasters' links to human-caused climate change.

Categories: Environment

Wyoming Doubles Down On Its Long Support For Carbon Capture

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/09/15 - 2:05am

The country's largest coal producing state is desperate to keep the struggling industry going. Wyoming is investing big to try to clean up coal's carbon emissions, even as many say it's too late.

Categories: Environment

Facebook and Google announce plans to become carbon neutral

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 10:00pm

Firms join Apple and Microsoft in committing to put no excess carbon into the atmosphere

Facebook and Google are becoming carbon neutral businesses, joining competitors Apple and Microsoft in committing to put no excess carbon into the atmosphere, both companies have independently announced.

But the details of the two companies’ ambitions differs greatly. At Google, which first committed to going carbon neutral in 2007, the announcement sees the company declaring success in retroactively offsetting all carbon it has ever emitted, since its foundation in 1998. It has also committed to being powered exclusively by renewable energy by 2030.

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Categories: Environment

Parks Australia charged with damaging sacred site in Kakadu national park

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 8:08pm

Aboriginal authority alleges the federal organisation built a walking track near Gunlom Falls in the Northern Territory ‘without permission’

Parks Australia, which manages the world-heritage listed Kakadu national park, has been charged under the Northern Territory’s sacred sites act with damaging an area near the spectacular Gunlom Falls, one of Kakadu’s most popular attractions.

The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority alleges that Parks Australia built a walking track on a sacred site at Gunlom “without permission, close to a ceremonial feature of the sacred site that is restricted according to Aboriginal tradition”.

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Categories: Environment

New Zealand minister calls for finance sector to disclose climate crisis risks in world first

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 7:48pm

Green party makes electoral pledge that would make it mandatory for large financial institutions to reveal exposure to climate-related risks

New Zealand’s left-leaning Green party said it would require the financial sector to make annual disclosures about the impact of the climate crisis on their business, if it once again formed a government after October’s election. The policy would be a world-first, said James Shaw, the climate change minister and co-leader of the party.

“Australia, Canada, [the] UK, France, Japan, and the European Union are all working towards some form of climate risk reporting for companies,” said Shaw in a statement. “But New Zealand is moving ahead of them by making disclosures about climate risk mandatory across the financial system.”

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Categories: Environment

Biden condemns Trump as 'climate arsonist' as wildfires burn – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 6:28pm

1.51am BST

Kari Paul here, logging off for the night. Thank you for sticking with us on these fast-moving news days. Here is what you should know from the last few hours:

1.15am BST

The post office is shutting down temporarily in fire-stricken states

As historic and destructive fires continue across the western United States, the USPS has temporarily closed post offices in California, Oregon and Washington due to fire danger and power outages related to the fires.

As a result of the wildfires in CA, WA and OR, there are some temporary service disruptions. Please check our service alerts page for complete details.

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Categories: Environment

MPs urge government to fix 'throwaway' fast-fashion trend

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 4:01pm

Create more sustainable fabrics and boost textile recycling facilities, says all-party group

The government is being urged by a cross-party group of MPs to take urgent steps to fix throwaway ‘‘fast fashion’’ by supporting the development of fabrics with a lower environmental impact and boosting clothing recycling facilities.

After Covid-19 exposed its “faultlines”, the industry needs to follow a more sustainable route to survive, recommends the report from the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for ethics and sustainability in fashion.

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Categories: Environment

Five cyclones churn in Atlantic Ocean for only second time in history

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 3:29pm
  • Bermuda shutters schools and ports for Hurricane Paulette
  • Hurricane Sally moves towards US Gulf coast

For only the second time in recorded history, five tropical cyclones are churning in the Atlantic Ocean at the same time.

Related: Trump dismisses concerns about coronavirus spread at Nevada rally – live

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Categories: Environment

EU commission accused of 'cheating' on net-zero emissions accounting

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 3:03pm

Leaked proposal includes carbon sinks provided by trees, soils and oceans in target

The EU executive has been accused of “cheating” on its 2030 climate plans by proposing to include carbon sinks provided by trees and soils in its emissions reduction goal.

The European commission will this week call for an EU emissions reduction target of “at least 55%” by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, according to a leaked draft seen by the Guardian. The proposal sets the stage for an intense political battle over the autumn to agree the target, intended to set the EU on track to meet a landmark pledge of net-zero emissions by the middle of the century.

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Categories: Environment

'I Don't Think Science Knows': Visiting Fires, Trump Denies Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 2:47pm

On the other side of the country Joe Biden also addressed the fires, linking them to climate change.

(Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

West coast cities face the world's worst air quality as wildfires rage

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 1:37pm

Smoke from the fires, which have burned millions of acres across the west, has nearly reached Hawaii and Michigan

Four west coast cities in the US currently rank in the top 10 for worst air quality in the world, as wildfires rage up and down the western seaboard, cloaking the entire region in smoke.

Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, hold the No 1 and No 2 spots, while San Francisco and Los Angeles sit at four and six. Collectively, with the smoke from the wildfires, these four cities have knocked every city in China out of the top 10 for worst air quality.

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Categories: Environment

At Least 35 Dead As Wildfires Rampage Along The West Coast

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 1:02pm

In addition to dangerous smoke and fog, there is now concern that two of the biggest fires threatening cities and towns near Portland, Ore., might combine.

(Image credit: Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'It's A Bit Surreal': Oregon's Air Quality Suffers As Fires Complicate COVID-19 Fight

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 12:04pm

The air quality in Portland, Ore., ranks among the world's worst. The Environmental Protection Agency forecasts "very unhealthy" air quality.

(Image credit: John Locher/AP)

Categories: Environment

Northern hemisphere breaks record for hottest ever summer

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 11:54am
  • Past three months were 1.17C above 20th-century average
  • 2020 on track to be one of five warmest years, Noaa finds

This summer was the hottest ever recorded in the northern hemisphere, according to US government scientists.

Related: Bigger than London, bigger than New York City: visualizing the size of fires in the US

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Categories: Environment

Redesigning The Office For The Next 100-Year Flu (Yes, It's Coming)

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 2:00am

Architects are already looking beyond COVID-19 to imagine the office of 2025 and beyond — an office that will keep us safe on the job, whatever pandemic virus strikes next.

(Image credit: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Long kept secret, Canada's ghostly spirit bears are even rarer than thought

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/09/14 - 1:00am

Adept at catching salmon because they blend into the daylight, the white bears are small in number – yet First Nations are stepping in to help

When Marven Robinson was a kid, any mention of spirit bears was met with hushed dismissal from the elders in his community, the Gitga’at First Nation of Hartley Bay, British Columbia. Since the 19th century, Indigenous peoples in the area learned to keep the bears with ghostly coats a secret to protect them from fur traders.

As the ancient legend goes, the Wee’get (meaning the “raven,” known as the creator of the world) turned every 10th black bear white to remind people of the pristine conditions of the Ice Age.

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Categories: Environment
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