Which Water Is Best For Health? Hint: Don't Discount The Tap

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/07/27 - 5:02am

Scientists weigh in on whether Americans really need to pay for alkalinized, mineralized, or purified water from filters or bottles.

(Image credit: PhotoAlto/Antoine Arraou/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Is Zinke trolling San Francisco with plan to dismantle city's reservoir?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/07/27 - 2:00am

US interior secretary’s meeting with group in favor of Yosemite valley restoration met with puzzlement from experts

US interior secretary Ryan Zinke has prompted puzzlement by meeting with a group that seeks to dismantle a dam providing San Francisco’s water, as experts wonder whether he is taking the fringe proposal seriously or trolling the city.

Zinke’s Sunday discussion with Restore Hetch Hetchy concerned the dam at Hetch Hetchy reservoir in California’s Yosemite national park. Removing it would restore the valley, which was once so beautiful that the environmentalist John Muir called it “one of nature’s rarest and most precious mountain temples”, to its natural state - and force San Francisco to figure out where else to store 90% of its water supply.

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Categories: Environment

London's Tory mayoral candidates are stuck in the past on cycling

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 11:00pm

When the free-market case for bike infrastructure is so clear, why won’t Conservative candidates embrace it?

Among his many claims to political prominence, both good and bad, Boris Johnson was notable as a Conservative who built a lot of bike lanes fairly quickly (at least in the end).

Similarly, much of New York City’s bike renaissance was launched by Michael Bloomberg, the three-term mayor who, as a billionaire media tycoon and Republican, had more in common with most Bond villains than your stereotypical wind-in-the-hair bike advocate.

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Categories: Environment

Wyoming Gives 22 Winners The Chance To Hunt Grizzlies — Or Not

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 4:11pm

A whopping 7,000 people vied for the chance to hunt Wyoming grizzly bears for the first time in 44 years. Many entrants in the permit lottery said if they won, they would sit out the hunt.

(Image credit: Bryant Aardema/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

What The Trump Administration Has Proposed To Change In The Endangered Species Act

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 1:15pm

The Trump administration wants to roll back some rules for endangered species. Environmentalists say it could mean more species go extinct.

Categories: Environment

Lions attack sole rhino survivor of bungled Kenyan park relocation

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 9:37am

Ten black rhinos died last month in Tsavo East park due to conservation officers’ negligence

The only rhino to survive a bungled relocation to a Kenyan wildlife park has been attacked by lions, Kenya’s tourism minister, Najib Balala, has said.

Ten out of 11 black rhinos died last month in their new home in Tsavo East national park after being moved by the state wildlife service, prompting protests from conservation groups around the world.

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Categories: Environment

Farmers across UK braced for heavy rain and thunderstorms

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 9:29am

Sudden weather change after weeks of drought could cause flooding and crop damage

Farmers across many parts of the UK are bracing themselves for thunderstorms and outbursts of heavy rain after weeks of drought and high temperatures.

The sudden change in the weather, expected to affect eastern areas hardest but spreading to the north and Midlands over Friday, is likely to cause problems of flooding and potential crop damage.

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Categories: Environment

China's long game to dominate nuclear power relies on the UK

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 8:53am

Approval of Chinese nuclear technology in the UK would act as a springboard to the rest of the world

China wants to become a global leader in nuclear power and the UK is crucial to realising its ambitions.

While other countries have scaled back on atomic energy in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, state-backed Chinese companies benefit from the fact that China is still relying on nuclear energy to reach the country’s low-carbon goals.

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Categories: Environment

Almost all world’s oceans damaged by human impact, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 8:00am

The remaining wilderness areas, mostly in the remote Pacific and at the poles, need urgent protection from fishing and pollution, scientists say

Just 13% of the world’s oceans remain untouched by the damaging impacts of humanity, the first systematic analysis has revealed. Outside the remotest areas of the Pacific and the poles, virtually no ocean is left harbouring naturally high levels of marine wildlife.

Huge fishing fleets, global shipping and pollution running off the land are combining with climate change to degrade the oceans, the researchers found. Furthermore, just 5% of the remaining ocean wilderness is within existing marine protection areas.

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Categories: Environment

Huge Flood From Failed Dam In Laos Has Now Spread To Cambodia

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 7:01am

The flooding has killed at least 27 people in Laos. In Cambodia, the Sekong River rose to nearly 12 meters (almost 40 feet) on Thursday — a height that flooded 17 villages.

(Image credit: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

UK university accused of giving platform to Nord Stream 2 lobbyist

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 5:18am

King’s College London ‘lending appearance of neutrality’ to businessman with energy links

One of the UK’s most prestigious universities is facing allegations that it is providing a platform for lobbying on behalf of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project between Germany and Russia.

The German watchdog LobbyControl has accused King’s College London of lending an appearance of neutrality to a former German MP whose company has commercial contracts with Nord Stream 2 and an energy firm which stands to profit from the infrastructure project across the Baltic Sea.

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Categories: Environment

These six species are about to be sacrificed for the oil and gas industry

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 4:00am

Republican-led changes to the Endangered Species Act put plants and animals across America at risk. Here are the ones you should be most concerned about

Republicans in the western United States have been trying to whittle away the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since Donald Trump took office. Under new proposals, wildlife managers would limit protections for species designated as “threatened” (a level below endangered), consider the economic costs prior to defending a species, and de-emphasize long-term threats such as climate change.

The proposals follow Republican bills and budget riders that would remove protections for gray wolves in the lower 48 states, exempt the greater sage-grouse from an ESA listing for 10 years, and increase state involvement in conservation decisions.

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Categories: Environment

Taking out the trash: here is the bad news the Tories tried to bury | Polly Toynbee

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/07/26 - 3:09am

Parliament’s last day is always one for sneaky, underhand decisions. This year, the government has outdone itself

They have finally gone away. The prime minister tried to get rid of parliament a few days early, but couldn’t muster the votes. There was so much bad news to bury, it would have been easier to scuttle off sooner: nothing is good news for her these days, so scores of written ministerial statements slipped out in the last couple of days, in the hope that no one would notice.

It’s a tradition – a bad one – used by all governments called “take out the trash day”, the last day of the session, with no time for MPs to summon ministers to explain highly controversial decisions. They hope to duck under the radar, or that the opposition will forget in the long six-week break.

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Categories: Environment

Cover-up: Jakarta hides foul river with giant net before Asian Games

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/07/25 - 7:01pm

Authorities install mesh net to hide sight and smell of Sentiong River from athletes

The Jakarta city government has come under fire for buying a giant nylon net to cover up a polluted and foul-smelling river weeks before the Indonesian capital hosts the 2018 Asian Games.

The Sentiong River, which twists alongside the athletes’ village in Kemayoran in central Jakarta, is so polluted it is known by locals as kali item or the black river.

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Categories: Environment

What Friday's Extra-Long Lunar Eclipse Can Tell Us About The Earth

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/07/25 - 2:32pm

The moon will turn orange or even red. And the eclipse — expected to be the longest this century — will be best to see in eastern and southern Africa, the Middle East, eastern Europe and south Asia.

(Image credit: Petros Giannakouris/AP)

Categories: Environment

Yosemite evacuates tourists as wildfires cut summer plans short

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/07/25 - 1:37pm

Visitors express disappointment but park says choice to empty popular valley was tough but necessary

The few remaining campers in Yosemite valley packed up gear Wednesday and cleared the area for firefighters battling a huge wildfire near Yosemite national park.

The sun rose in a smoke-filled sky over the scenic valley, which normally bustles with summer tourists but has largely emptied out after authorities reluctantly ordered the closure a day earlier.

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Categories: Environment

Logging 'destroying' swift parrot habitat as government delays action

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/07/25 - 11:00am

Researchers say failures allowed logging of 25% of old growth forest despite extinction threat

Habitat for the critically endangered swift parrot is being “knowingly destroyed” by logging because of government failures to manage the species’ survival, according to research.

Matthew Webb and Dejan Stojanovic, two of the Eureka prize finalists from the Australian National University’s difficult bird research group, say governments have stalled on management plans that would protect known feeding and nesting habitat in Tasmania.

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Categories: Environment

Cheap material could radically improve battery charging speed, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/07/25 - 10:00am

Discovery could accelerate adoption of electric cars and solar energy, as well as helping to recharge your smartphone in minutes

A newly identified group of materials could help recharge batteries faster, raising the possibility of smartphones that charge fully in minutes and accelerating the adoption of major clean technologies like electric cars and solar energy, say researchers.

The speed at which a battery can be charged depends partly upon the rate at which positively charged particles, called lithium ions, can move towards a negatively charged electrode where they are then stored. A limiting factor in making “super” batteries that charge rapidly is the speed at which these lithium ions migrate, usually through ceramic materials.

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Categories: Environment

Why can’t we just produce less waste? | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/07/25 - 9:52am
Samantha Harding says Coca-Cola’s rewards-based recycling initiative only fuels more consumption, and Jean Glasberg calls for more water fountains

As Coca-Cola launches yet another heavily branded rewards-based initiative around recycling (Recyclers get half-price tickets for attractions, 25 July), it’s interesting to note that the global behemoth apparently still wonders whether deposit systems for bottles and cans increase recycling. Not only was it on a government working group that found that they do, but it runs many deposit systems around the world that see recycling rates as high as 98.5%.

As reward systems only fuel higher levels of consumption, the question is why would a company promote a solution to waste that actually creates more waste? The answer, predictably, is that the system only benefits itself and other big businesses, rather than being better for taxpayers or the environment.

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Categories: Environment

California wildfires partially shut down Yosemite at peak of tourist season

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/07/25 - 9:11am

Dangerous air quality forces closure of section of national park, which gets more than half a million visitors in July alone

Yosemite national park has been partially closed and officials have ordered more mandatory evacuations as wildfires continue to sweep across California this week. Fueled by dry conditions and high temperatures, smoke has settled over the popular tourist destination, causing unsafe conditions for visitors and workers, prompting officials to issue a temporary closure and evacuate the remaining tourists beginning on Wednesday at noon.

The California department of forestry and fire protection said on Wednesday that the blaze has burned 60 square miles (155 sq km). It is 25% contained.

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Categories: Environment
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