Climate Newsprint

Facebook criticised for ‘worrying lack of transparency’ over climate change

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 06:00

Almost quarter of world’s largest listed companies have set targets for reducing their climate emissions

Businesses’ commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions has reached a tipping point, claims a new report, despite a rise in emissions over the past five years and a lack of transparency by some high-profile brands.

Just weeks ahead of a critical UN summit on tackling climate change in Paris, an analysis of data from 2,000 of the world’s largest listed companies has found a rise in action on climate change.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Beguiling berries wait for the birds

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 05:29

Wenlock Edge Shropshire The birds are set to turn fruit unpalatable or poisonous to us into flying fuel

Sloe berries don’t taste to me of their midnight colour or the bloom on their skins as blue as the sky might be high above this fog. To the touch they feel ripe enough, even though it’s warm and there’s no purging frosts yet. They roll smoothly in the mouth.

The first bite releases a bitter wave which sweetens into damson. Then, like wearing a gum shield, an anaesthetising astringency covers my teeth and gums.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

It sucks to swim like a jellyfish, study of animal's movement suggests

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 02:10

Discovery by Stanford University researchers could challenge assumption that ability to ‘push’ water is a widely desired evolutionary trait

For the longest time, science has assumed that in order to run, swim, or fly, animals and humans must exert pressure on the ground, water or air around them to project themselves forward.

But a study published on Tuesday suggests that rather pushing water rearward, jellyfish and lampreys – a species of snake-like, jawless fish also known as lamprey eels – “pull” themselves forward by creating a region of low pressure in the water ahead of them.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Ash trees under threat if harmful borer beetle finds way to Britain

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 00:59

Asian emerald ash borer, given the maximum risk rating to the tree species, is ‘moving uncontrolled’ through Russia having established itself in US and Canada

A tiny beetle could wipe out Britain’s ash trees much faster than the established ash dieback disease which is expected to eventually kill millions of the trees, according to the government’s leading authority on pests and pathogens threatening UK forests.

“The emerald ash borer is moving uncontrolled through Russia. It flies long distances, moves quickly and can reproduce in the UK,” said Nicola Spence, chief plant health scientist. The beetle has not has yet arrived in the UK, but she warned: “There is a high risk of it being introduced and establishing itself.”

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Most Coalition voters do not believe in human-induced climate change – CSIRO

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/04/2015 - 00:57

Five years of surveys show 52% of Liberal voters believe in climate change but don’t think human activity is causing it, and 13% do not believe it is happening

Four out of five Australians believe that climate change is happening, but those who do not are much more likely to vote for the Coalition, new analysis of existing CSIRO data has found.

Related: Lack of planning for climate change puts Australia behind its allies, report finds

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Almost 40% of Americans 'not too worried' about climate change

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 18:18

In a recent poll, two-thirds of Americans say they accept climate change, and the vast majority say human activities cause it – but they aren’t very worried

Most Americans know the climate is changing, but they say they are just not that worried about it, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. And that is keeping the American public from demanding and getting the changes that are necessary to prevent global warming from reaching a crisis, according to climate and social scientists.

As top-level international negotiations to try to limit greenhouse gas emissions start later this month in Paris, the AP-NORC poll taken in mid-October shows about two out of three Americans accept global warming and the vast majority of those say human activities are at least part of the cause.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

French energy giant EDF buys Dungeness – 'Britain's only desert'

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 18:08

Owner of local power station pays undisclosed sum for barren headland in south Kent, once home to the late artist and film director Derek Jarman

Dungeness Estate, the windswept stretch of shingle coastline where the film-maker Derek Jarman spent his final years, has been bought by EDF Energy, the French company that owns a nearby nuclear power station.

The sparsely populated, barren headland on the south Kent coast, home to disused railway coaches and sometimes inaccurately described as “Britain’s only desert”, has been snapped up by EDF for an undisclosed amount after being put up for sale in the summer for £1.5m.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

US 'playing catch-up to China' in clean energy efforts, UN climate chief says

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 17:43

Christiana Figueres takes swipe at Barack Obama, saying China ‘has taken an undisputed leadership’ in transforming economy to avoid further climate change

China is now leading the world when it comes to fighting climate change – handily beating the US’s efforts under Barack Obama to move to a clean energy economy, the United Nations climate chief said on Tuesday.

In a swipe at the US president, who has embraced the fight against climate change as his legacy, Christiana Figueres, the UN’s leading climate official, said that when it came to getting off fossil fuels America was still relegated to an also-ran.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Chilean miners say they were cheated out of profits from Hollywood film

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 17:27

Miners are suing lawyers for bad contracts ahead of release of The 33, which stars Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche and depicts their 69-day ordeal

Nine of the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months in 2010 have sued their lawyers for failing to secure an adequate share of the revenue from a new Hollywood film about their 69-day ordeal.

The plaintiffs – many of whom are still suffering from physical and psychological after-affects – say their lawyers offered bad advice and cheated them out of income from books, TV serials and the movie.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Paris to stop traffic when air pollution spikes

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 16:22

Mayor wins long-running battle to introduce emergency traffic bans when pollution from vehicles reaches dangerous levels

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has won a long-running battle with the French government to introduce emergency traffic bans in the city when air pollution spikes.

The move to speed up the introduction of alternate driving days for cars with odd and even number registration plates was announced after pollution spiked in the French capital on Monday, just weeks before the city is due to host a crucial UN climate change summit.

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Half of world's rare antelope population died within weeks

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 16:06

Scientists are struggling to explain the mass die-off of at least 150,000 endangered saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan earlier this year

More than half of the world’s population of an endangered antelope died within two weeks earlier this year, in a phenomenon that scientists are unable to explain.

Related: Kazakhstan's mass antelope deaths mystify conservationists

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Dancing pheasants and roaring bucks: readers' October wildlife pictures

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 13:00

We asked you to share your October pictures of the wildlife around the world. Here’s a selection of our favourites

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Pontoon to nowhere: why the Thames Deckway cycle scheme gets it wrong

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:42

The scheme’s creators are seeking money to fund a floating bike lane in London. But like all such ideas, it misses the point of cycling

When last year I first read about a mooted scheme to build a floating pontoon cycleway along the Thames in London, I assumed it was yet another of those design flights of fancy that would generate some speculative media coverage, boost the CVs of those involved, and then vanish.

But it seems they’re serious.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Powerful cyclone causes flooding in Yemen, already hit by civil war

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 12:24

Most intense storm in decades sends thousands fleeing for shelter. UN says of 1.8 million people in cyclone-hit area, 1.4m already need humanitarian support

A cyclone with hurricane-force winds made landfall on Yemen’s Arabian Sea coast on Tuesday, flooding the country’s fifth-largest city, Mukalla, and sending thousands of people fleeing for shelter.

Officials and meteorologists say the cyclone is the most intense in decades in the arid country, whose storm response is hampered by poverty and a raging civil war.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Arbitrary focus on hurricane wind speed has birthed a new climate myth | John Abraham

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:00

Claims of a ‘hurricane drought’ are based on an arbitrary focus on wind speed while ignoring storm pressure, power, and damage

As humans warm the planet through the emission of heat-trapping gases, we expect weather to change. Some ways it has changed are clear and measurable. For instance, heat waves and droughts are setting in faster and are more severe. We are also seeing more intense precipitation events that lead to more flooding.

But what about storms? We know that hotter ocean waters add fuel to storms, particularly typhoons and hurricanes. That tends to make them stronger. Also, the added heat increases rainfall and the rising seas make us more vulnerable to storm surge. But it isn’t this straightforward. Hurricanes need the right conditions to form and there is evidence that those conditions will become less likely. So, the general rule of thumb is, there may be fewer typhoons and hurricanes, but they will become more intense.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

The eco guide to hoverboards | Lucy Siegle

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:25

They have their problems, but hoverboards are much more efficient and eco-friendly than your average petrol scooter

Ever since blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan was fined 5s in 1842 for injuring a girl on the bike he is said to have invented, history and bylaws have been unkind to new forms of personal transport.

Are self-balancing scooters or unicycles (the “hoverboards” seen on our most hipsterish streets) our equivalent? These have been touted as the great crossover technology hit of our times.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

The cities that are cleaning up their act

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:06

We asked a panel of experts how communities from Mexico City to Belfast are becoming healthier and more sustainable

There is no better example of a city turning things around – and quickly, said Seth Schultz, director of research, measurement and planning at C40 Cities. “It was not long ago that Mexico City held the dubious distinction of [being] the city with the world’s dirtiest air. That is no longer the case.”

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Delhi's air pollution is causing a health crisis. So, what can be done?

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 09:00

The city’s toxic air has been linked to allergies, respiratory conditions, birth malformations and increasing incidence of cancers. But as a recent car-free experiment showed, action to cut pollution can be effective

For a few hours one morning two weeks ago, private cars were banned from driving into the heart of old Delhi. It was hard to tell at the messy road junction in front of the historic Red Fort and the shopping street of Chandni Chowk, though, which was still crammed with auto-rickshaws and buses barrelling along the roads with seemingly little regard for any traffic rules.

But Delhi’s so-called “car-free day” experiment was nevertheless a success: scientists monitoring the air here, routinely one of Delhi’s most polluted areas, found a dramatic 60% drop in the amount of dangerous pollutants – the tiniest particles that come out of traffic exhausts and which can exacerbate health problems such as asthma, heart disease and stroke – compared to the previous day.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Guardian Live: should we say yes to nuclear power?

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 07:00

George Osborne has backed a deal with China to build a new £24bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. At a Guardian Live event in Manchester we asked, should the UK back nuclear power?

Last month George Osborne backed a deal with China to build a £24bn nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The government claims the new plant will be relied on to deliver 7% of the UK’s electricity while providing a low-cost, low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels. But not everyone agrees, with critics arguing that the plants will be expensive to build and questioning whether nuclear energy represents a safe, clean and cost-effective energy future.

The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester played host to a public debate as part of the Manchester Science Festival in which four expert panellists debated the motion: Nuclear power, yes please. These were some of their thoughts:

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Crocodile eggs and 3D printing: could these be champions of the Top End's Indigenous communities?

Guardian Environment - Tue, 11/03/2015 - 05:47

In Arnhem Land, the Northern Territory government is pinning its hopes on some unusual, but potentially lucrative, projects to increase employment

Three-dimensional printing using recycled water bottles is an unlikely enterprise to be found in a remote corner of Arnhem Land, but it’s among a suite of potential ventures being explored to boost development in Indigenous Northern Territory communities.

Also on the table is an expansion of a crocodile egg harvest and hatchery program, and a high-end bespoke furniture company targeting the overseas market.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint
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