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EPA proposal to limit role of science in decision-making met with alarm

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/17 - 9:29am

Democratic lawmakers and scientists denounced proposal to allow administrators to reject study results if research isn’t public

Democratic lawmakers joined scientists, health and environmental officials and activists on Tuesday in denouncing a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), backed by industry, that could limit dramatically what kind of science the agency considers when making regulations.

Related: Andrew Wheeler: 'point man for Trump' focused on undoing Obama's EPA agenda

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Categories: Environment

Hosepipe ban firm loses 133 litres of water in leaks per house a day

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/17 - 7:11am

United Utilities, imposing ban on 7m households, is second worst for leaking pipes

The water company ordering a hosepipe ban on 7m households in the north-west of England has the second-worst record for leaking pipes of any supplier, industry data shows.

The temporary use ban being imposed by United Utilities from 5 August has led to calls for water firms to do more to tackle leakage on their networks.

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Categories: Environment

How Trump’s wildlife board is rebranding trophy hunting as good for animals

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/17 - 3:58am

As hunters hold immense clout in the Trump administration and most of the council’s members are advocates of the sport, critics worry the board will protect their hobby, not the animals

Donald Trump has called big-game trophy hunting a “horror show”, despite his own sons’ participation in elephant and leopard hunts, and in 2017 he formed an advisory board to steer US policy on the issue.

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Categories: Environment

Only 2% of lithium-ion batteries in Australia are recycled, report says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/17 - 12:18am

CSIRO says lack of consumer awareness is ‘number one issue’ affecting recycling

Australians have to boost their recycling of lithium-ion batteries, a new CSIRO report has found.

Consumers only recycle 2% of our lithium-ion batteries, and an estimated $813m to $3bn worth of valuable components is in landfill. The commonly-used rechargeable batteries are used in mobile phones, laptops, household appliances and, increasingly, electric vehicles.

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Categories: Environment

IEA warns of 'worrying trend' as global investment in renewables falls

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2018/07/17 - 12:00am

Fossil fuels increased share of energy supply investment last year – the first time since 2014

The world’s energy watchdog has sounded the alarm over a “worrying” pause in the shift to clean energy after global investment in renewables fell 7% to $318bn (£240bn) last year.

The International Energy Agency said the decline is set to continue into 2018, threatening energy security, climate change and air pollution goals.

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Categories: Environment

Swan upping on the Thames: counting the Queen's birds – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 11:00pm

This week marks the annual stocktake of the crown’s swans on the River Thames, known as swan upping. The process of counting the swans on the river and identifying them as belonging to the Queen or one of the two City livery companies that also have rights to them – has been carried out since the 12th century, when the birds were so prized for their meat that all wild swans in England were appropriated as property of the crown. The pomp, finery and techniques of swan upping would be familiar to the villagers who looked on centuries ago

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Categories: Environment

Our phones and gadgets are now endangering the planet | John Harris

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/16 - 10:00pm

The energy used in our digital consumption is set to have a bigger impact on global warming than the entire aviation industry

It was just another moment in this long, increasingly strange summer. I was on a train home from Paddington station, and the carriage’s air-conditioning was just about fighting off the heat outside. Most people seemed to be staring at their phones – in many cases, they were trying to stream a World Cup match, as the 4G signal came and went, and Great Western Railway’s onboard wifi proved to be maddeningly erratic. The trebly chatter of headphone leakage was constant. And thousands of miles and a few time zones away in Loudoun County, Virginia, one of the world’s largest concentrations of computing power was playing its part in keeping everything I saw ticking over, as data from around the world passed back and forth from its vast buildings.

Most of us communicate with this small and wealthy corner of the US every day. Thanks to a combination of factors – its proximity to Washington DC, competitive electricity prices, and its low susceptibility to natural disasters – the county is the home of data centres used by about 3,000 tech companies: huge agglomerations of circuitry, cables and cooling systems that sit in corners of the world most of us rarely see, but that are now at the core of how we live. About 70% of the world’s online traffic is reckoned to pass through Loudoun County.

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Categories: Environment
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