Schools urged to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 5:01pm

Education secretary asks headteachers to consider using sustainable alternatives

Schools are being encouraged to set themselves the target of eliminating their reliance on single-use plastics by 2022.

The education secretary, Damian Hinds, has urged headteachers in England to consider using sustainable alternatives instead of non-recyclable plastic for items such as straws, bottles, bags and food packaging.

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Categories: Environment

Sicily Is Shaken By Earthquake As Mount Etna Erupts Once Again

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 3:37pm

The volcano erupted two days ago, triggering 1,000 mostly small tremors. At least 10 people were injured and a number of buildings were damaged in Wednesday's quake.

(Image credit: Marco Restivo/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Woodside seeks approval for gas project near WA's Dampier marine reserves

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 1:00pm

Federal environment department publishes proposal on Christmas Eve and public has only 10 business days to comment

The oil and gas company Woodside Energy has applied for federal approval for dredging and pipeline construction in waters near the Western Australian Dampier Archipelago marine reserves.

The company has sought the approval as part of its proposed Scarborough gas project, an offshore development about 380km from the Burrup peninsula that would use a 430km pipeline to transport gas to its existing Pluto liquefied natural gas facility on the peninsula.

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Categories: Environment

Executives In Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Deserve 5-Year Prison Terms, Prosecutors Say

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 9:50am

Japanese prosecutors say three top TEPCO executives didn't do enough to protect the nuclear plant, despite being told in 2002 that the Fukushima facility was vulnerable to a tsunami.

(Image credit: Kimimasa Mayama /AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

There's A Lot At Stake In The Weekly U.S. Drought Map

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 8:00am

As drought has deepened across the West, much attention is paid to a colorful map that shows the hardest-hit areas. The scientists who update the map each week face enormous pressure to get it right.

(Image credit: Kami Engstrom/Courtesy of Matt Isgar)

Categories: Environment

Japan Embraces Commercial Whaling, Pulls Out Of Global Alliance That Banned It

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 6:41am

Japan is leaving the International Whaling Commission, which put a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s. The country will allow commercial hunts for the first time in 30 years next July.

(Image credit: Kyodo/Reuters)

Categories: Environment

Beyond Garnish: How Science Helps An Indoor Farm Amp Up Flower Flavor

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 6:02am

Chefs are turning to Fresh Impact Farms, located in an unassuming strip mall outside of Washington, D.C., when they want edible flowers, herbs, and greens that do more than just make a pretty plate.

(Image credit: Brian McBride/RWRestaurant Group)

Categories: Environment

Falling total fertility rate should be welcomed, population expert says

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2018/12/26 - 12:00am

Figures showing declining birth rates are ‘cause for celebration’, not alarm

Declining fertility rates around the world should be cause for celebration, not alarm, a leading expert has said, warning that the focus on boosting populations was outdated and potentially bad for women.

Recent figures revealed that, globally, women now have on average 2.4 children in their lifetime a measure known as total fertility rate (TFR). But while in some countries that figure is far higher – in Niger it is more than seven – in almost half of countries, including the UK, Russia and Japan, it has fallen to below two.

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Categories: Environment

'It's warm water now': climate change strands sea turtles on Cape Cod shores

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/25 - 11:00pm

The Gulf of Maine’s rapidly warming waters draws in larger numbers of Kemp’s ridley turtles, enticing them to stay longer

At the New England Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital in a repurposed shipyard building south of Boston, the casualties of climate change swim in tanks as they recover after being pulled stunned from the beach.

Every year, as autumn turns to winter and ocean temperatures off Massachusetts drop below 10C (50F), dead, dying and stricken sea turtles wash up on the shores of Cape Cod as those shelled reptiles that have failed to migrate south start to die in the chilly waters.

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Categories: Environment

More than 50 Australian plant species face extinction within decade

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/25 - 8:18pm

Study finds just 12 of the most imperilled species are listed under national environment laws as critically endangered

More than 50 Australian plant species are under threat of extinction within the next decade, according to a major study of the country’s threatened flora.

Just 12 of the most at-risk species were found to be listed as critically endangered under national environment laws – the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act – and 13 had no national threatened listing at all.

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Categories: Environment

Japan confirms it will quit IWC to resume commercial whaling

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/25 - 8:17pm

Japan will resume hunting in its waters in July but will end controversial expeditions to the Southern ocean

Japan is to leave the International Whaling Commission and resume commercial whaling for the first time in more than 30 years, the government said on Wednesday, in a move that has drawn international criticism.

The country’s fleet will resume commercial operations in July next 2019, the government’s chief spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said of the decision to defy the 1986 global ban on commercial whaling.

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Categories: Environment

Shell says it wants to double green energy investment

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/12/25 - 5:01pm

Company already committed to spend $1bn-$2bn annually in the next two years on low carbon energy

Shell has declared an ambition to double the amount it spends on green energy to $4bn (£3.2bn) a year, in a sign of how the Anglo-Dutch company is looking to speed up its move to a future beyond oil and gas.

Maarten Wetselaar, the head of the gas and new energy unit which generates a third of the company’s revenues, said he wanted to raise Shell’s investment in low carbon energy.

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Categories: Environment

How Houses Themselves Become Fuel For Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 2:06pm

Wildfires destroyed thousands of homes across California this year. Fire scientists are discovering that most homes burn down from blowing embers, sometimes long after the the fire has passed.

(Image credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Categories: Environment

Rescue Efforts Underway After Tsunami Hit Indonesia Without Warning

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 8:44am

Warning systems failed to alert residents of danger when volcanic activity triggered a tsunami on Saturday. Hundreds died, and more than 11,000 people have been displaced on Java and Sumatra islands.

(Image credit: Achmad Ibrahim/AP)

Categories: Environment

Fears of health crisis as Delhi suffers worst air pollution this year

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 3:45am

Authorities in Indian capital rate conditions as ‘severe to emergency’

Pollution in Delhi has reached its worst level this year in the past two days, prompting authorities to rate conditions as “severe to emergency”, which indicates the potential for a public health crisis.

Senior government officials said the main reasons for the increase in smog were unusually cold air, fog and a lack of wind.

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Categories: Environment

Father Christmas’s winter wonderland homes are hotting up

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 12:00am

Many towns claiming to be the birthplace of Santa Claus have seen unseasonal temperatures

After a year in which the climate has been far more naughty than nice, even Father Christmas – in his various guises – is feeling the heat, according to the towns that claim to be his birthplace.

From Alaska to Finland, half a dozen Arctic towns have staked a claim to be the home of Santa Claus or whatever other name he is locally known as. And almost without exception, these winter wonderlands are hotting up.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland considers continental wildcats to save native species from extinction

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/24 - 12:00am

Releasing ‘pure’ animals could counter interbreeding with domestic cats, experts say

Conservationists could release wildcats captured from other European countries in the Scottish Highlands in a final effort to protect Scotland’s population from extinction.

Recent genetic testing by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland of 276 Scottish wildcat samples found those in the wild are so heavily interbred with domestic cats that they are close to becoming functionally extinct.

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Categories: Environment

Locked doors, cancelled tours: US national parks suffer amid shutdown

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 12:50pm

Visitors face ‘disruption and disappointment’ as states scramble to keep key sites open

The doors remained locked at Fort McHenry National Monument in Maryland, the birthplace of the US national anthem. In Georgia, the Fort Pulaski National monument announced it would be closed except for one boat ramp. At Washington’s Mount Rainier national park, ranger-led snowshoe walks were cancelled.

And at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, a scheduled talk by the nation’s oldest park ranger, 97-year-old Betty Reid Soskin, had to be called off.

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Categories: Environment

The fuel tax wars can’t be won without a greener alternative

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 10:00am

The major international agencies should devise a progressive tax regime that penalises the biggest carbon emitters and offsets costs for the poorest

President Macron needs to win the war on fuel tax. Every country does. It is an issue on which the governments in Paris and Nairobi have been forced to make U-turns. It is rising up the political agenda in other countries, including the UK and Germany, where the rebirth of the Greens and the rise of the rightwing AfD has paralysed the Bundestag.

Without some kind of resolution to how much consumers and business pay for burning fossil fuels – a deal that most agree gets near being fair and addresses the problem of climate change – the battle will not be fought politely inside parliamentary debating chambers, but on the streets.

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Categories: Environment

The Secret Fishing Habits Of Northwoods' Wolves

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 6:17am

Researchers in northern Minnesota have discovered that wolves have a much more varied diet than previously thought. They hunt deer, but also eat fish, beaver and blueberries.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Voyageurs Wolf Project)

Categories: Environment
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