Environment

Can we humans save ourselves from self-destruction? | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/05/07 - 9:59am
Richard Middleton, Robin Russell-Jones, Judith Wright, Tom Fyans, Richard Aldwinckle, John Nissen, and Mayer Hillman respond to the latest dire warnings from scientists and policymakers on biodiversity and climate change

Eduardo Brondizio’s observation – “We have been displacing our impact around the planet from frontier to frontier. But we are running out of frontiers” – is crucial (Humanity facing ‘urgent threat’ from loss of Earth’s natural life, 7 May). This frontier-based structure of thought, in which there is always a beyond, an outside, a domain of otherness, underpins the dichotomies of class and hence of economics (capital and labour); of race, religion and migration; of gender and sexuality; as well as that of ecology. In every sphere, the uncivilised, untamed, more “natural” partner is positioned for exploitation and subordination. This is the basic structure underlying capitalism, but probably goes back much further to the beginnings of agriculture, when the land was first “tamed”.

Its time is up. We have reached the final frontier and there is no longer any outside. The very concept of “nature” is misleading, since it positions human beings over and against something different called the natural world, and which therefore can be conceptualised as providing us with “services”. The concept should be junked.
Richard Middleton
Crossmichael, Dumfries and Galloway

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Categories: Environment

Unnatural Order: The Human Threat To Life On Earth

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/05/07 - 7:06am

A new U.N. report says one million species of plants and animals are facing extinction. What can we do about it?

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Barclays Bank fossil fuel funding protests to spread worldwide

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/05/07 - 4:00am

Labour group Momentum joins activists to target branches in Germany, US and Canada

A UK-based campaign to pressure Barclays to stop its multibillion pound funding of fossil fuel corporations is spreading to countries around the world.

In the civil disobedience protests, organised by the grassroots Labour group Momentum and activists from People and Planet, campaigners disrupted business at 40 Barclays branches across the UK in March.

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Categories: Environment

Cambridge University agrees to explore fossil fuel divestment plan

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/05/07 - 2:46am

Ex-archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams welcomes plans for fully costed proposals

The former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has welcomed an “urgent change” by Cambridge University, after it agreed to provide fully costed plans setting out how it could divest multibillion-pound endowments from fossil fuel corporations.

The university’s management accepted a motion, known as a grace, which urged Cambridge to “set out fully the advantages and disadvantages, including the social and political ones”, of divestment from global coal, oil and gas companies.

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Categories: Environment

U.N. Report: 1 Million Animal And Plant Species Are At Risk Of Extinction

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/05/07 - 2:01am

Humans are threatening the natural world as we know it. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to marine biologist Dr. David Obura, one of the lead authors of the U.N. report.

Categories: Environment

News Brief: U.S.-China Trade Talks, Humans Accelerate Species' Extinction

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/05/07 - 2:01am

The White House is fighting China in trade talks, but a new report found top advisers battled over whether to impose tariffs on Chinese imports. The U.N. warns which species are at risk of extinction.

Categories: Environment

Adani refuses to commit to size of 'scaled-down' Carmichael coalmine

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 11:19pm

Exclusive: Company pursues approvals based on original plans for 60m-tonne megamine

Adani has refused to commit to the size of its “scaled-down” Carmichael coal project and is still pursuing final approvals based on plans for a 60m-tonne megamine in central Queensland.

The Queensland government has confirmed that while Adani announced last year it intended to build a much smaller mine, the Indian company has filed no formal plans on that basis.

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Categories: Environment

Selfridges makes all own-brand foods free of palm oil

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 4:01pm

Department store says milestone has been achieved nine months ahead of target

Selfridges has become the first major UK retailer to make its own-brand foods completely free of palm oil, nine months ahead of its original target and as part of its long-term sustainable strategy.

The upmarket department store is poised to announce that the nearly 300 products in its Selfridges Selection range on sale in its food halls – including chocolates and biscuits – are free of palm oil, along with its own-label cakes and mince pies for Christmas this year.

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Categories: Environment

Super trawlers threaten Australian fisheries, conservationists warn

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 3:01pm

Just six of the 76 giant vessels worldwide are banned from operating in country’s waters

Australia’s ban on super-sized industrial fishing boats is far too narrow and places local fisheries under threat, environmentalists have said.

A report released on Tuesday by the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Save Our Marine Life says just six of the 76 super trawlers worldwide are banned from operating in Australian waters.

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Categories: Environment

Bill Shorten faces down hostile questions in solo Q&A appearance

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 1:40pm

Labor leader leaves open option of boosting wages for aged care workers

Bill Shorten has left open the option of boosting wages for aged care workers, saying the fact that Labor is supporting early childhood educators in this election “does not mean that we won’t work to help aged care work force in the future”.

In a solo appearance on Q&A on Monday night, the Labor leader was asked why he was making a special case for subsidising the salaries of childcare workers, but not aged care workers.

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Categories: Environment

Effects Of Surgery On A Warming Planet: Can Anesthesia Go Green?

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 12:12pm

Anesthesia revolutionized surgery by vanquishing patients' pain. But many of the chemicals are greenhouse gases. One Oregon doctor who has done the math says some are much less damaging to the planet.

(Image credit: Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB)

Categories: Environment

1 Million Animal And Plant Species Are At Risk Of Extinction, U.N. Report Says

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 11:10am

"Protecting biodiversity amounts to protecting humanity," says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, who warns that species are being lost at an alarming rate.

(Image credit: Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Cancer and chemicals in Reserve, Louisiana: the science explained

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 3:00am

In the area closest to the local chemicals factory, residents face a cancer risk of 50 times the national average. So what’s in the air?

St John the Baptist parish sits about 20 miles from New Orleans in southern Louisiana. Home to about 45,000 people, this predominantly black parish contains the US neighborhoods most at risk of cancer due to air toxicity, according to government science. The parish sits at the heart of a region sometimes described as “Cancer Alley” because of the pollution from a high concentration of petrochemical plants.

Throughout the year, the Guardian will be reporting from St John and other places nearby. Here’s a rundown of the common questions on the science behind the health hazards in this corner of Louisiana.

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Categories: Environment

'People are dying horrible deaths': the Louisiana town where cancer haunts the streets – video

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 3:00am

Residents of the town on the banks of the Mississippi River have watched as family members and neighbors have been lost to cancer. Official figures show the risk of cancer from toxic air is 50 times higher in Reserve than the national average. Feeling neglected by politicians, they are fighting back against the chemical plant has been emitting chloroprene into the air for half a century

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Categories: Environment

'Almost every household has someone that has died from cancer'

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 3:00am

A small town, a chemical plant and the residents’ desperate fight for clean air

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Categories: Environment

First slavery, then a chemical plant and cancer deaths: one town's brutal history

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/05/06 - 3:00am

Long before Reserve, Louisiana was home to a chemical plant and riddled with cancer, it had suffered the violent deprivations of enslavement

At night the Pontchartrain Works lights up the horizon. During the day the tall scaffolding and plumes of emissions soar into the sky.

The chemical plant has caused misery here for years. But the land on which it is built holds older and even darker secrets. It is a history, say some residents of Saint John the Baptist parish, which helps explain the pervasive racial and environmental inequality that persists to this day.

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Categories: Environment

On the road with Bob Brown's Stop Adani Convoy: Hobart to Clermont – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/05/05 - 11:51pm

Photographer Matthew Newton travelled alongside the 5,000-strong protest against Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine, which left Hobart on 17 April before making its way to Clermont in central Queensland and on to Canberra, where it ended on 5 May. The former Greens leader Bob Brown lead the charge

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Categories: Environment

Edinburgh closes roads to cars in city centre to cut air pollution

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/05/05 - 3:03pm

Motorised traffic will be banned during Open Streets event on first Sunday of each month

Roads in the centre of Edinburgh were closed to traffic for the first time on Sunday as the city joined the Open Streets movement to reduce air pollution.

Related: Amsterdam to ban petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes by 2030

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Categories: Environment

Push for referendum on federal takeover of Murray-Darling river system

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/05/05 - 11:00am

Centre Alliance says water resources ‘must be managed in the national interest’

The Centre Alliance, which could hold or share the balance of power in the Senate after the election, has announced it will push for a referendum to give the commonwealth power over the Murray-Darling River system, in the wake of multiple scandals over enforcement and questions over spending of the $13bn allocated to the plan.

Rex Patrick, who led a push by the Senate in the last parliament to make the Murray-Darling Basin plan more effective, says giving the federal government a clear mandate to make laws for rivers that flow through more than one state is now essential.

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Categories: Environment

Formula E losses reach £140m as green racing attracts fresh interest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/05/05 - 8:13am

New teams and sponsors take heart as number of spectators more than doubles in a year

Formula E, the electric-powered racing series, has revealed that its pretax loss widened by 26.7% to £22.6m last year, giving it combined losses of £142.2m since it held its first race in 2014.

Formula E Operations is based in London and its biggest shareholder is Virgin Media-owner Liberty Global which has a 23.9% stake. The series features cars that are powered by a 250kW motor giving them a top speed of 280kph (174mph). They are 25% slower than Formula One cars but, unlike their bigger siblings, they produce little noise and no emissions.

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Categories: Environment
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