Caroline Lucas calls for action in Brighton recycling row

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/08 - 4:50am

Green party MP presses Veolia to accept more plastic waste

The recycling company Veolia has been accused of refusing to adapt a 30-year contract to allow Brighton and Hove council to collect more plastic waste as local authorities struggle to meet a national target of 50%.

Caroline Lucas, the Green party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said the company had refused requests to change the contract. As a result, attempts by the city to increase the collection of plastic waste had failed.

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Categories: Environment

'Voice of the forest': George the snail, last of his kind, dies at age 14

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/08 - 4:00am

Climate change and invasive predators have taken a heavy toll on native animals and insects in the Hawaiian Islands

As New Year’s Day broke in the Hawaiian Islands, one rare creature was not there to emerge from his shell and greet it: George, the last snail of his kind and a local celebrity, was dead at age 14.

Related: World's oldest known wild bird to become a mother for the 37th time

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Categories: Environment

Bath Abbey to be heated using water from city's hot springs

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/08 - 3:43am

Green energy scheme uses 1.1m litres of hot water flowing through Roman baths each day

Work to install eco-friendly heating in Bath Abbey using hot water from the city’s Roman baths is beginning.

Contractors are surveying the great Roman drain, which carries steaming water from Bath’s hot springs to the River Avon, as part of a project to use the springs to warm the nearby abbey that starts on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/08 - 3:00am

Last year’s 3.4% jump in emissions is the largest since 2010 recession and second largest gain in more than two decades

A new analysis shows US greenhouse gas levels are increasing as the Trump administration unravels efforts to slow climate change.

Carbon emissions rose sharply last year, increasing 3.4%, according to new estimates from the economic firm Rhodium Group. That year’s jump in emissions is the biggest since the bounce back from the recession in 2010. It is the second largest gain in more than two decades.

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Categories: Environment

Galápagos island gets its first iguanas since Darwin after mass-release

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/07 - 5:58pm

Land iguanas wiped out by feral pigs have been reintroduced to Santiago Island

A group of more than 1,400 iguanas have been reintroduced to an island in the Galápagos archipelago nearly two centuries after they disappeared from there, authorities said on Monday.

The Galápagos land iguanas from North Seymour Island were freed onto Santiago Island as part of an ecological restoration program, the National Galapagos park authority said in a statement.

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Categories: Environment

Base paired up: study suggests genetic formula to monogamy

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/07 - 1:00pm

Scientists compared DNA of 10 species and found 24 genes which marked out males that stayed with their mates

It could be a handy riposte for the stalwart commitment-phobe. When challenged on their reluctance to be tied down, half-hearted partners could shrug and claim their neural gene expression profiles made them that way.

That is, at least, if research on smaller animals holds true in humans. Researchers who compared the DNA of 10 different species found a common genetic formula which marked out males that stayed with their mates and lent a hand from their less-than-committed cousins.

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Canada: indigenous anti-pipeline protesters call police presence ‘act of war’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/07 - 11:56am

Police officers deployed near checkpoint where protesters have gathered to block the construction of a natural gas pipeline

Indigenous protesters in Canada have called a growing police presence near their makeshift checkpoint “an act of war”, as tensions mount over a stalled pipeline project in northern British Columbia.

In defiance of a court order, dozens of protesters have gathered on a logging road nearly 700km (430 miles) north-west of Vancouver, to block the construction of a natural gas pipeline.

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Categories: Environment

Dutch eco initiative halves energy bills in first UK homes

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/01/07 - 7:00am

Nottingham pioneers ‘Energiesprong’ after it wins £5m funding from EU

A Dutch approach to transforming old homes through a dramatic green makeover has arrived in the UK and cut tenants’ energy bills in half.

Nottingham has become the first city council to pioneer the “Energiesprong” (energy leap) initiative, which has radically upgraded the energy efficiency of thousands of homes in the Netherlands.

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National Park Service Plans To Expand Operations Amid Government Shutdown

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/01/06 - 8:08pm

Volunteers and a skeletal staff have maintained sites in some parks. In others, the amount of damage and trash triggered an unprecedented move from the National Park Service to return more workers.

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Charles Darwin's ailments are 'typical of Lyme disease' in UK

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/01/06 - 11:02am

Naturalist’s symptoms of diarrhoea, rashes, palpitations and flatulence could have been tick infection, say researchers

He travelled the world studying exotic creatures in dangerous lands, but the disease that marred Charles Darwin’s life may have been caught closer to home as he trudged around Britain collecting insects, shooting birds, and picking up stones, researchers say.

The Victorian naturalist who gave the world the theory of evolution is a strong contender for the most famously ill scientist in history. His diaries, notebooks and letters brim with despair over ailments ranging from diarrhoea, rashes and heart palpitations, to vomiting, muscle pain and incessant flatulence.

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Categories: Environment

The death of Venice? City’s battles with tourism and flooding reach crisis level

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/01/06 - 2:00am

A tax on daytrippers has hit the headlines, but La Serenissima’s mounting problems also include rising waters, angry locals and a potential black mark from Unesco

Why Italy regrets its Faustian pact with tourist cash

Venice’s Santa Lucia railway station is packed as visitors scuttle across the concourse towards the water-bus stops. Taking a selfie against the backdrop of the Grand Canal, Ciro Esposito and his girlfriend have just arrived and are unimpressed with what may greet them in future if the Venetian authorities get their way: a minimum city entry fee of €2.50 throughout the year, rising to between €5 and €10 during peak periods.

It is the price of a cappuccino, but for them “it’s going too far”. “They are using people like a bank machine,” says Esposito. “We are in Europe and can travel freely across borders, yet we have to pay to enter one of our own cities.”

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Categories: Environment

Katharine Hayhoe: 'A thermometer is not liberal or conservative'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/01/06 - 12:00am

The award-winning atmospheric scientist on the urgency of the climate crisis and why people are her biggest hope

Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She has contributed to more than 125 scientific papers and won numerous prizes for her science communication work. In 2018 she was a contributor to the US National Climate Assessment and was awarded the Stephen H Schneider award for outstanding climate science communication.

In 2018, we have seen forest fires in the Arctic circle; record high temperatures in parts of Australia, Africa and the US; floods in India; and devastating droughts in South Africa and Argentina. Is this a turning point?
This year has hit home how climate change loads the dice against us by taking naturally occurring weather events and amplifying them. We now have attribution studies that show how much more likely or stronger extreme weather events have become as a result of human emissions. For example, wildfires in the western US now burn nearly twice the area they would without climate change, and almost 40% more rain fell during Hurricane Harvey than would have otherwise. So we are really feeling the impacts and know how much humanity is responsible.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change ravages Turner’s majestic glaciers

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/01/05 - 10:59pm
New images by Emma Stibbon of locations used by Turner and Ruskin highlight the toll taken on Alpine landscape

A Royal Academician has followed in the footsteps of JMW Turner and John Ruskin to capture in photographs the breathtaking sites in the French Alps that 19th-century artists caught so strikingly. The resulting images reveal a stark depiction of how climate change has taken its toll on the glaciated landscape.

For a forthcoming exhibition on Ruskin and Turner, Emma Stibbon was commissioned to go to Chamonix and record the glaciers around Mont Blanc where, in the early 1800s, Turner painted sublime watercolours that inspired Ruskin to embark on his Alpine tours decades later, photographing and drawing awe-inspiring glaciers such as the Mer de Glace.

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Categories: Environment

Hyams beach: thousands turned away as NSW tourism hot spot 'loved to death'

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/01/05 - 6:41pm

Shoalhaven council uses traffic controllers to redirect visitors after area ‘inundated’ with thousands of cars

Thousands of drivers have been turned away from the New South Wales beach billed as having the world’s whitest sand as the local council brainstorms solutions with residents over its booming popularity.

Shoalhaven city council has appointed traffic controllers to redirect visitors from the Hyams beach village in Jervis Bay, given its parking capacity is 400 but up to 5,000 vehicles are around each day during peak season.

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Categories: Environment

An Engineering Wunderkind's Ocean Plastics Cleanup Device Hits A Setback

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/01/05 - 3:04pm

Four months into its testing phase, the Ocean Cleanup's plastic-catching device isn't catching as much plastic as intended.

(Image credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

London nurseries to get air purifiers after toxic air concerns

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/01/05 - 2:32pm

Mayor Sadiq Khan says toddlers’ exposure to air pollution is ‘inexcusable’

A group of state-run nurseries in London are to be given air filtration systems as concern grows about the impact of the UK’s toxic air on some of the capital’s youngest and most vulnerable residents.

Five nurseries have been selected for the purifiers in the first wave, with 20 nurseries being audited to measure the extent of toddlers’ exposure to the potentially deadly particles from vehicles.

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Categories: Environment

Threatened Bluefin Tuna Sells For $3 Million In Tokyo Market

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/01/05 - 1:00pm

Sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura purchased the 612-pound Pacific bluefin tuna at auction. Conservationists are alarmed about the fate of the species.

(Image credit: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'An Eerie Silence' Where Federal Land Agency Workers Are Furloughed

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/01/05 - 3:01am

The partial federal government shutdown has furloughed thousands of people who work on millions of acres of public land across the country. That means work on critical projects has mostly stopped.

(Image credit: Kirk Siegler/NPR)

Categories: Environment

London's ultra-low emission zone: good or bad idea?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2019/01/05 - 1:30am

Campaigners say it will cut pollution, but opponents claim it will hit poor people hardest

“I’m just really glad the ULEZ is coming. Children’s lungs can’t wait,” says Jemima Hartshorn, a Brixton resident who helped set up campaign group Mums For Lungs.

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Categories: Environment

'Appalling' toilets and rule-breaking as US shutdown hits national parks

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/01/04 - 11:00pm

Deaths reported at several sites amid staffing shortages, as local teams lend a hand at Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and elsewhere

Human waste by the side of a busy road in Yosemite. Overflowing toilets in the Grand Canyon. The Rocky Mountains inaccessible because of unplowed roads.

And in all these places, ordinary people stepping in to try to save some of America’s most revered landmarks from being overrun.

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