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Bubonic plague in chipmunks forces closure of top Lake Tahoe sites

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/08/03 - 12:58pm

Disease can be spread by fleas that move between animals and humans but it is preventable and treatable

Surrounded by fires, parched by drought, and shut down by the pandemic – residents of California’s scenic South Lake Tahoe thought they’d endured everything.

That was until this week, when the US Forest Service announced it was closing several popular sites after discovering bubonic plague in the chipmunk population.

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Categories: Environment

Future BP dividend hikes will test investor commitment to its green plan

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/08/03 - 12:01pm

If the price of oil rises further, the firm’s move away from oil and gas output will fuel doubts

It’s hard to keep up with oil companies’ dividend policies. One minute they’re slashing payments to shareholders in the face of a pandemic that, supposedly, had permanently lowered the outlook for oil prices. The next they’re saying the coast is clear and divis can rise again.

Shell last week provided a classic example of this stop-start approach when, having cut by two-thirds last year, it announced a 38% increase. BP offered a less chaotic picture on Tuesday but the basic plot was similar. Last year’s halving of the divi was followed by a 4% increase, rather than the previously flagged zero.

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Categories: Environment

Prudential in talks to buy out and shut coal-fired plants in Asia

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/08/03 - 11:14am

Scheme with Asian Development Bank could help make big progress on climate goals, says insurer

The British insurer Prudential is working with the Asian Development Bank on a scheme to buy out coal-fired power plants in Asia in order to shut them down within 15 years.

Its backers say the plan is designed to limit use of the polluting fossil fuel while allowing workers time to find new jobs and incentivising countries to invest in clean energy alternatives.

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Categories: Environment

Boris Johnson ‘missing in action’ ahead of vital climate talks, says Keir Starmer

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/08/03 - 11:00am

Exclusive: Labour leader says prime minister’s lack of ambition risks failure of Cop26

Vital UN climate talks are at risk of failure because Boris Johnson is “missing in action” while his climate spokesperson talks about freezing bread, Keir Starmer has warned.

The Labour leader said there is already “dystopia” all around caused by climate breakdown, but Johnson’s ambition to tackle the scale of the crisis is irresponsibly small.

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Categories: Environment

Sierra Nevada red fox wins protection as endangered species

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/08/03 - 10:40am

The animals have suffered from drought, wildfires, habitat destruction, as well as poisoning and trapping

The slender, bushy-tailed Sierra Nevada red fox will be listed as an endangered species, federal wildlife officials announced, saying its population has dipped to just 40 animals in an area of California stretching from Lake Tahoe to south of Yosemite national park.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service decided against listing a distinct population of the foxes in the southern Cascade Range of Oregon and near Lassen Peak in northern California. But it said in a listing rule to be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday that the Sierra Nevada segment south of Tahoe “is in danger of extinction throughout all of its range”.

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Categories: Environment

BP to buy back $1.4bn of shares and raises dividend as rising oil price boosts profits

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/08/03 - 9:59am

Energy giant raises oil price forecasts for rest of decade, but lowers them for longer term

Future dividends will raise doubts about green plans

BP will hand shareholders a surprise dividend increase, and $1.4bn (£1bn) in share buybacks, after the company returned to profit after a rebound in oil prices which it believes could last for the rest of the decade.

The oil giant predicted that the world’s demand for oil will reach pre-pandemic levels by the second half of next year, and lifted the value of its oil reserves by $3bn after revising its forecasts for oil prices higher for the rest of the decade.

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Categories: Environment

Experts defend electric cars after Allegra Stratton comments

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/08/03 - 9:31am

Electric cars able to do long journeys and there are increasing number of chargers on UK roads, say experts

Electric car experts have rallied to the defence of the vehicles after suggestions from a government spokesperson that they were unsuitable for long journeys.

Electric cars have an average range of about 200 miles, suitable for the vast majority of journeys taken on British roads, while top-range models have a more extensive range of about 250 miles.

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Categories: Environment

rainbow

The Field Lab - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 6:10pm

 


Had a tiny freak downpour this afternoon.  Got a fast 1/4" of rain then it cleared right up.  77,86,73, .25",B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Wildfires Are Driving People Out Of Turkish Vacation Spots

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 6:00pm

Residents and tourists alike are being forced to evacuate Turkey's coastal towns, where flames have blazed for six days.

(Image credit: Yasin Akgul/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

NSW exceeds Barwon-Darling water allocations in first year of compliance after regime overhaul

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 4:00pm

Murray-Darling Basin Authority says the state did not operate in a manner consistent with its submitted water resource plan

New South Wales has been found to have exceeded its water allocations for 2019-20 in the Barwon-Darling catchment, one of the main cotton-growing areas of the state, raising new questions about the effectiveness of the state’s water enforcement rules.

The Barwon-Darling is the main tributary for the Darling and was the focus of the 2017 Four Corners report which raised allegations of water theft, pumps being tampered with and water users taking more than their allocations.

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Categories: Environment

Wildfire fighters advance against biggest US blaze amid dire warnings

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 12:27pm

Oregon’s Bootleg fire 84% contained but parched conditions raise risk of new ignitions

Firefighters made progress battling some of the largest fires burning across the west, but dangers of flare-ups and new ignitions remain amid hot, dry conditions that will bake the parched landscape.

Nine large fires have collectively burned more than 1.8m acres in 12 states, the National Interagency Fire Center reported on Monday morning, including 23 in Montana, some of which have displayed extreme fire behavior.

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Categories: Environment

Diesel car suits me better than electric, says PM’s climate spokesperson

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 12:04pm

Allegra Stratton cites time taken to recharge on long journeys, despite average electric vehicle now having range of over 200 miles

Boris Johnson’s climate spokesperson has criticised the infrastructure that she says is putting people like her off switching to an electric car.

Allegra Stratton, the prime minister’s former press secretary, revealed she drove a “third-hand” diesel Volkswagen Golf.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis: Siberian heatwave led to new methane emissions, study says

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 12:00pm

Leak of potent greenhouse gas is currently small but further research is urgently needed, say scientists

The Siberian heatwave of 2020 led to new methane emissions from the permafrost, according to research. Emissions of the potent greenhouse gas are currently small, the scientists said, but further research is urgently needed.

Analysis of satellite data indicated that fossil methane gas leaked from rock formations known to be large hydrocarbon reservoirs after the heatwave, which peaked at 6C above normal temperatures. Previous observations of leaks have been from permafrost soil or under shallow seas.

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Categories: Environment

North Sea oil firms will help UK hit net zero | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 9:41am

The UK offshore oil and gas industry sector is a major asset in ensuring the UK meets its Paris agreement commitment to keep the planet’s global average temperature rise below 1.5C, says Deirdre Michie

Far from threatening the UK’s net zero goals, all companies operating in the North Sea, including private equity and state-backed overseas oil and gas companies, help to provide this country’s energy security while working to reduce their carbon emissions, as set out in the recent North Sea transition deal that our industry agreed with the government (Foreign control of North Sea oil licences threatens UK’s net zero goal, 29 July).

Many of these companies are also involved in low-carbon projects that are critical to the UK achieving net zero by 2050. For example, Neptune Energy is progressing a hydrogen and carbon capture project, and Harbour Energy, which has grown from private equity roots, is part of the Acorn hydrogen and carbon capture and storage project off the north coast of Scotland.

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Categories: Environment

Stranded killer whale saved after hours-long rescue effort in Alaska

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 9:24am

Orca washed up on Prince of Wales island and was stuck in a crevice of rocks above the tide line

A killer whale stranded on a rocky shore in Alaska was saved in an hours-long rescue effort by boaters, locals and wildlife officials.

The 20-ft (6 metres) orca was spotted washed up on Prince of Wales island last Thursday, apparently stuck in a crevice of rocks 4ft above the tide line.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis has cost Colorado billions – now it wants oil firms to pick up the bill

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2021/08/02 - 3:00am

ExxonMobil and Suncor face lawsuits in the western state but big oil’s apologists say the US consumer is to blame for emissions

More than a decade after the Fourmile Canyon blaze drove even the firefighters out of Gold Hill, blackened hillsides and scorched trees attest to the Colorado mountain town’s close shave with destruction.

“Because of the wind and the dryness, it took off,” said Chris Finn, who volunteers as the town’s fire chief when he’s not running the local inn. “That day in 2010, I felt that my business and my house might not be here any more.”

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Categories: Environment

Top seeds: artists capture global efforts to future-proof nature – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/08/01 - 11:30pm

Scientists, ecologists and artists have collaborated to showcase global work to protect seeds in an exhibition at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & art gallery (Ramm) in Exeter.

Seedscapes: future-proofing nature runs until 5 September

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Categories: Environment

Sharks fleeing toxic red tide take refuge in Florida canal

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/08/01 - 11:00pm

Lemon, blacktip, bonnethead and nurse sharks retreat from sea as state struggles to contain pollution problem

Hundreds of coastal sharks have taken refuge in a Florida canal, apparently to escape the effects of a toxic red tide outbreak killing hundreds of tons of marine animals.

Related: Sexy secret life of basking sharks uncovered in Hebrides

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Categories: Environment

Lost and Found

The Field Lab - Sun, 2021/08/01 - 3:37pm


Luke 15:8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Tourists evacuated from Pescara as Italy records more than 800 wildfires

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/08/01 - 12:26pm

Wildfires burn across Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey in heatwave bringing temperatures above 40C

At least five people have been wounded and holidaymakers evacuated after wildfires devastated a pine wood near a beach in Pescara, Italy, as one of the worst heatwaves in decades swept across south-east Europe.

A five-year-old girl was taken to hospital but her condition is not believed to be life-threatening, according to reports.

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Categories: Environment
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