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Idaho Gets A 'Dark Sky Reserve'

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/12/22 - 2:55am

Just over 14,000 square miles of central Idaho have been designated a "Dark Sky Reserve" for committing to preserving a pristine night sky by limiting light pollution.

Categories: Environment

UN poised to move ahead with landmark treaty to protect high seas

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/12/22 - 2:30am

Waters outside national boundaries are currently unregulated, devastated by overfishing and pollution. 140 countries back the motion to establish a treaty

The world’s oceans are set for a long overdue boost in the coming days as the United Nations votes for the first time on a planned treaty to protect and regulate the high seas.

The waters outside national maritime boundaries – which cover half of the planet’s surface – are currently a free-for-all that has led to devastating overfishing and pollution.

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Categories: Environment

Make supermarkets and drinks firms pay for plastic recycling, say MPs

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 11:30pm

Environmental audit committee recommends adoption of ‘polluter pays’ principle, as well as backing deposit return scheme and public water fountains

Supermarkets, retailers and drinks companies should be forced to pay significantly more towards the recycling of the plastic packaging they sell, an influential committee of MPs has said.

Members of the environmental audit committee called for a societal change in the UK to reduce the 7.7bn plastic water bottles used each year, and embed a culture of carrying reusable containers which are refilled at public water fountains and restaurants, cafes, sports centres and fast food outlets.

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Categories: Environment

New Zealand gives Mount Taranaki same legal rights as a person

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 10:18pm

The sacred mountain in the North Island is the third geographic feature in the country to be granted a ‘legal personality’

Mount Taranaki in New Zealand is to be granted the same legal rights as a person, becoming the third geographic feature in the country to be granted a “legal personality”.

Eight local Māori tribes and the government will share guardianship of the sacred mountain on the west coast of the North Island, in a long-awaited acknowledgement of the indigenous people’s relationship to the mountain, who view it as an ancestor and whanau, or family member.

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Categories: Environment

Northern Territory government condemned over mine's huge toxic dump

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 8:13pm

Environmental groups ask whether government can ever adequately regulate the Macarthur River Mine, after reactive waste rock was dumped in wrong place

The Northern Territory government’s claim that no report exists from an investigation into an accidental dumping of toxic mining waste demonstrates a lack of transparency and an inability to regulate a mine which has had repeated problems, environmental groups have said.

On Thursday Guardian Australia revealed the Glencore-owned McArthur River mine near Borroloola, about 700km south-east of Darwin, had accidentally dumped thousands of tonnes of reactive waste rock in the wrong place, where it combusted and began emitting sulphur dioxide.

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Categories: Environment

a few grams of flesh...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 3:38pm
Last trip to Alpine for the year...followup with Dr. Butt Jabber in Alpine today.  Good news - no sign of any bugaboos in the tiny polyp he removed.  Stocked up and hunkering down till 2018.  Slight chance of rain tonight.  68,77,35,0,B 
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Fossil Fuel Industry Pushes For Clean Power Plan Replacement

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 2:55pm

The industry declared victory when the Trump administration reversed President Obama's signature climate plan. Now, fearing a legal challenge, they're in the odd position of pushing for a replacement.

Categories: Environment

Displaced By Katrina, Then Harvey. He Carries On With 'A Little Bit Of Introspection'

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 2:55pm

Stephen Lipp has gone through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Hurricane Harvey in Texas. By now, he's learned a few things about dealing with disaster.

Categories: Environment

Devastating climate change could lead to 1m migrants a year entering EU by 2100

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 12:00pm

Researchers plotted temperature rises against the number of asylum applications and are predicting that as the southern hemisphere heats up the number of people migrating to the EU each year will triple

Climate change will drive a huge increase in the number of migrants seeking asylum in Europe if current trends continue, according to a new study.

The number of migrants attempting to settle in Europe each year will triple by the end of the century based on current climate trends alone, independent of other political and economic factors, according to the research. Even if efforts to curb global warming are successful, the number of applications for asylum could rise by a quarter, the authors predict.

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Categories: Environment

Nuclear and renewables provide record share of UK electricity, ONS says

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 11:10am

Power generated from low carbon sources hit 54.4% between July and September, according to Office for National Statistics

More than half of the UK’s electricity came from nuclear power stations and renewables between July and September, official figures show.

The record high share of 54.4% of power from low carbon sources was a result of the rapid growth in solar and wind power, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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Categories: Environment

Nearly 20,000 badgers culled in attempt to reduce bovine TB

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 10:40am

Almost twice as many badgers have been killed this autumn, after massive expansion of the cull zones

Nearly 20,000 badgers were culled this autumn as part of the government’s attempt to reduce bovine TB in cattle, in what critics called the largest destruction of a protected species in living memory.

The 19,274 dead badgers is almost twice as many as last year after 11 new cull zones were added to a swath of the West Country worst-hit by bovine TB. While some badgers were trapped before being shot, the majority – 11,638 badgers – were killed by free shooting, a method judged inhumane by the British Veterinary Association.

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Categories: Environment

Diverting aid to fund waste collection will save lives and clean the ocean, says charity

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 8:21am

UK government should make 100-fold increase in the amount of aid spent on dealing with plastic waste, says Tearfund

The British government should divert hundreds of millions of pounds from its aid budget to help developing countries clear up their waste and reduce marine plastic pollution, a charity has said.

The development charity Tearfund is in talks with senior government figures, and hopes to persuade ministers to increase the spending on waste and rubbish collection in the developing world from a few million pounds to hundreds of millions a year.

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Categories: Environment

Mistrial Declared In Bundy Ranch Standoff Case

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 8:07am

The government's case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy accuses him of leading an armed standoff over control of U.S. public lands in 2014.

Categories: Environment

What Does 'Containing A Fire' Really Mean?

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 3:01am

As California battles raging wildfires, "containment" is a term used often by firefighters and in media coverage. But how does it work?

(Image credit: Alejandro Zoñez/AP)

Categories: Environment

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Battle Ends, But Drilling Not A Given

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 3:00am

After nearly 40 years of heated debate, Congress voted on Wednesday to open the Alaska refuge to oil drilling. Now, it's a wait to see who will actually drill and when.

(Image credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP)

Categories: Environment

All UK police forces should adopt Welsh approach to videos of dangerous driving

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/12/21 - 12:00am

Camera footage of road traffic offences can be uploaded onto the Welsh police website Operation Snap

Head to your favoured social media platform and at some point you’ll come across footage or photos of poor and illegal behaviour on the UK’s roads. Among the inevitable comments of outrage and armchair verdicts will inevitably be a discussion about whether the police saw this footage, and if so what action they took.

But with 45 police forces operating across the UK, the biggest problem most people will face is an inconsistency of approach both over how to submit evidence and which forces will accept it.

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Categories: Environment

A small number of farms are responsible for the majority of antibiotic use

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/20 - 11:30pm

Research shows antibiotic use is uneven between farms, making behaviour change a tantalising prospect

A small number of the UK’s dairy farms account for an outsized proportion of antibiotic use, according to new research, suggesting that closer scrutiny of antibiotic prescribing practices could help bring down their use.

A study published in the BMJ publication Vet Record found some farms were using “extremely high levels” of antibiotics in their cattle. While most of the dairy farms surveyed showed lower than average use compared with the averages for all livestock reared in the UK, some outlying farms with high levels of use stood out.

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Categories: Environment

Hinkley Point: the ‘dreadful deal’ behind the world’s most expensive power plant

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/12/20 - 11:00pm

Building Britain’s first new nuclear reactor since 1995 will cost twice as much as the 2012 Olympics – and by the time it is finished, nuclear power could be a thing of the past. How could the government strike such a bad deal? By Holly Watt

Hinkley Point, on the Somerset coast, is the biggest building site in Europe. Here, on 430 acres of muddy fields scattered with towering cranes and bright yellow diggers, the first new nuclear power station in the UK since 1995 is slowly taking shape. When it is finally completed, Hinkley Point C will be the most expensive power station in the world. But to reach that stage, it will need to overcome an extraordinary tangle of financial, political and technical difficulties. The project was first proposed almost four decades ago, and its progress has been glacial, having faced relentless opposition from politicians, academics and economists every step of the way.

Some critics of the project have questioned whether Hinkley Point C’s nuclear reactor will even work. It is a new and controversial design, which has been dogged by construction problems and has yet to start functioning anywhere in the world. Some experts believe it could actually prove impossible to build. “It’s three times over cost and three times over time where it’s been built in Finland and France,” says Paul Dorfman, from the UCL Energy Institute. “This is a failed and failing reactor.”

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Categories: Environment

the legal drone...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2017/12/20 - 2:28pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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