Campaigners start legal challenge to UK's $1bn grant to Mozambique gas project

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/06 - 10:00pm

Friends of the Earth seeks judicial review, saying aid deal contradicts climate commitments

Environmentalists at Friends of the Earth will mount a legal challenge against the government’s decision to offer $1bn in financial support to a major fossil fuel project in Mozambique that they say is “incompatible” with the Paris climate agreement.

The green group will go to the high court this week to seek a judicial review into the government’s decision to use taxpayer money to “worsen the climate emergency” by helping to finance a $20bn gas project on the Mozambican coast.

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Categories: Environment

Tahlequah the orca - famous for carrying her dead calf for 17 days - gives birth again

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/06 - 8:49pm

Researchers estimate the new calf, which was seen ‘swimming vigorously alongside its mother’, was born last week

An orca who became famous around the world in 2018 when she carried her stillborn calf aloft in the water for 17 days has given birth to a healthy baby.

The not-for-profit Center for Whale Research spotted the baby, dubbed J-57, “swimming vigorously alongside its mother”, named Tahlequah, on Saturday in waters near the border between the US state of Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia. They estimate that the calf was born on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

Unesco urged to oppose 'alarming' changes to Australian environment laws

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/06 - 10:30am

Conservation groups warn Australia’s natural world heritage sites are ‘under more pressure than ever before’

Australian conservation groups have written to the UN’s peak environmental heritage body urging it to oppose the Coalition’s bid to devolve the approval process for projects to state and territory governments.

In a letter to the director general of Unesco, the 13 groups warn of the “alarming moves … to weaken legal protection for Australia’s 20 world heritage listed properties” through changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

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Categories: Environment

Prominent scientist slams forestry association for dismissing logging links to bushfire risk

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/06 - 10:30am

Exclusive: John Dargavel says his professional body ‘damaged and demeaned’ all foresters by dismissing links between logging and bushfire risks

A veteran Australian forestry scientist has launched a blistering attack on his professional association after it used the retraction of a scientific paper to dismiss links between logging and increased bushfire risks.

In an open letter to the Institute of Foresters Australia seen by Guardian Australia, Dr John Dargavel said the institute’s reaction “damages our standing” and “demeans all foresters in the public eye”.

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Categories: Environment

Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan obituary

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/06 - 10:22am
Labour defence spokesman who helped to move the party away from a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament in the 80s

Martin O’Neill, latterly Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan, was an able Labour politician who as shadow defence secretary in the late 1980s played a crucial role in moving the party away from the policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament under Neil Kinnock.

A well-liked figure across all sections of the party, O’Neill, who has died aged 75, was appointed as deputy spokesman on defence by Kinnock in 1984 as the policy transition began to evolve, though Labour still went into the election three years later on a unilateralist platform.

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Categories: Environment

Extinction Rebellion calls move to class it as organised crime group 'ridiculous'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/06 - 8:02am

Climate group criticises move by UK government as Labour condemns newspaper protest

Extinction Rebellion has described government moves to treat the climate crisis protest movement as an organised crime group as “ridiculous”.

The group said associating it with the state’s definition of a crime gang as “characterised by violence or the threat of violence and by the use of bribery and corruption” was an insult to the thousands of ordinary citizens who supported its cause.

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Categories: Environment

Whatever Happened To ... The Melting Permafrost?

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/09/06 - 4:00am

Spoiler alert: It's still melting. A new study looks at the impact of rising rainfall. Meanwhile, scientists are more concerned about environmental threats than defrosting pathogens.

(Image credit: Kate Ramsayer/NASA)

Categories: Environment

The Observer view on Russia's poisoning of Alexei Navalny | Observer editorial

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/05 - 10:15pm

Western condemnation is worthless. But if Angela Merkel cancels the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Putin will take notice

Alexei Navalny, who lies critically ill in a German hospital after being poisoned in Siberia, is Russia’s unofficial leader of the opposition and the politician Vladimir Putin fears most. Relatively young, resourceful and smart, he has bravely defied many previous attempts to silence him, including imprisonment and physical attacks. Navalny is not easily dismissed as a pro-western dissident or leftwing intellectual. He is a Russian patriot, a daring, Jason Bourne-like figure who recently flew drones over the private dachas of the Kremlin elite to expose their apparently corruptly acquired wealth, then posted videos online.

That the Kremlin is responsible for Navalny’s plight is not in serious doubt. Whether Putin had prior knowledge of the plot, or personally authorised it, will probably never be known. As usual, the Kremlin is hiding behind a wall of denials and absurd claims, such as that Navalny fell ill after flying on an empty stomach. But his German doctors are unequivocal. He was poisoned by a chemical nerve agent, novichok, which the Russian state secretly developed and which only Russia is known to have used.

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Categories: Environment

With record new solar and wind installed, Australia's clean energy is booming – for now

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/05 - 1:00pm

Renewable energy equivalent to four large coal plants will be installed this year but lack of investment could put a brake on further growth

The numbers make a clear case that renewable energy is booming in Australia. Data released last week by the government’s Clean Energy Regulator suggests 6.3 gigawatts of new solar and wind energy – roughly equivalent in capacity to four large coal plants – will be installed across the country this year.

It would equal the record set last year, and is about five times greater than what was installed in 2016.

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Categories: Environment

More than 600 arrests made at Extinction Rebellion protests in London

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/05 - 12:35pm

Climate campaigners stage a range of public events over five days despite Covid restrictions

More than 600 people have been arrested during five days of climate crisis protests in central London, police have said.

Environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion (XR) reignited its efforts to highlight the dangers of climate crisis this month after they were largely placed on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Categories: Environment

Greta Thunberg says Venice documentary shows her real self

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/05 - 10:28am

Global climate activist pleased with film’s portrayal of her as a ‘shy nerd’

A documentary following Greta Thunberg and her journey from Swedish schoolgirl to global climate activist accurately portrays her as a “shy nerd”, the teenager said as the film premiered at the Venice film festival.

Director Nathan Grossman recorded Thunberg’s everyday life for a year, chronicling her rise to fame from the beginning of her school strike outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018 to her trips around the world demanding that political leaders take action to fight the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

Climate activists accused of ‘attacking free press’ by blockading print works

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/05 - 10:00am

Extinction Rebellion protests at News Corp sites condemned by Society of Editors as ‘attempt to silence other voices’

Ministers and MPs from all parts of the political spectrum have condemned Extinction Rebellion for blocking the delivery of newspapers across the UK on Saturday.

Four national newspapers, including the Sun and the Daily Mail, were missing from some newsagents’ shelves on Saturday morning after more than 100 environmental protesters targeted printing presses owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp on Friday evening.

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Categories: Environment

'It's a race to get out there': stir-crazy Californians are overwhelming campsites

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/05 - 3:00am

Parks in California are seeing double or even triple the usual number of campers, who can bring trash and unsafe behavior

Chris Giesige thought planning a camping trip would be simple. He’s a regular, often heading out into the wilderness several times per year. But when he recently tried to reserve a campsite online in Yosemite, then Mammoth, then Whiskeytown Lake, he was shocked to see they were all booked for weeks. Twice he thought he’d found an open spot, only to see it get snapped up moments later.

“I know May, June and July are busy camping months, but I don’t remember it being like this,” he says. “I have never had as much trouble before in trying to find a campground.”

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Categories: Environment

Mountain lion baby boom: summer is roaring success as 13 kittens born near LA

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/04 - 12:00pm

Births between May and August mark regional record for National Park Service researchers

A mountain lion baby boom has occurred this summer in the Santa Monica Mountains and Simi Hills west of Los Angeles.

Thirteen kittens were born to five mountain lion mothers between May and August, according to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/04 - 8:43am

The pick of the world’s best flora and fauna photos, including wild cats and a raccoon rescue

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Categories: Environment

Boris Johnson defends Tony Abbott in UK trade envoy row

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/04 - 7:53am

PM dismisses concerns over Abbott’s views on women, gay rights and climate

Boris Johnson has defended proposals to appoint Tony Abbott as a UK trade envoy despite claims that his misogynistic and homophobic comments, as well as his denial of the climate crisis, make him unfit to represent the UK on the world stage.

The prime minister addressed the issue on Friday after days of mounting pressure to drop the planned appointment. He dismissed the concerns of a wide range of campaigners who have insisted there are better candidates than the former Australian prime minister for the Board of Trade role.

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Categories: Environment

HS2 protesters glue themselves to DfT as construction begins

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/04 - 7:52am

Campaigners spray fake blood over building’s entrance in protest against high-speed line

Anti-HS2 protesters have sprayed fake blood over the entrance to the Department for Transport and glued themselves to its doors, on the day it was announced that formal construction of the high-speed rail line will begin.

The five activists chanted “HS2 is ecocide” and “HS2 has blood on their hands” as police attempted to remove them.

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Categories: Environment

On Beaches Quieted By The Pandemic, Lebanon Sees Sea Turtle Boom

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/09/04 - 7:27am

As Lebanon reels from multiple tragedies, conservationists are pointing to one bright spot. They say a record number of endangered green sea turtles have come to nest on the country's shores.

(Image credit: Yara Khasab /Orange House Project)

Categories: Environment

Greta Thunberg: don't dump climate crisis on children to fix

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/04 - 6:25am

World political leaders must step up on the environment, activist tells Venice film festival showing of documentary about her

The Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has called for more action to be taken to address the climate crisis, which she says has slipped dangerously off the political agenda.

Thunberg appeared by video link at the Venice film festival where the film, I Am Greta, has been screened. It documents her life as one of the most famous teenagers in the world after she became the figurehead for a global climate crisis campaign.

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Categories: Environment

US national park gateway towns ‘devastated’ as visitors stay away amid pandemic

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/04 - 3:00am

Communities that rely on a steady stream of tourists are suffering financially as locals can’t make up for the loss in visitor spending

On a normal Saturday in August, Mara Goodman would see up to 300 visitors at her job at the Mariposa county visitor center located on Highway 140, one of the major routes into Yosemite national park.

But it’s been months since Goodman saw a normal Saturday. This year, she’s more likely to get 30 visitors on a good day. That’s partly because Yosemite, which reopened in early June after a two-month closure, is only admitting half of its normal number of daily visitors due to the coronavirus.

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Categories: Environment
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