Environment and Climate Change

Cultural heritage has a lot to teach us about climate change

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Museums, archaeological sites and historical buildings are rarely included in conversations about climate change, which tend to focus on the wider impact and global threats to our contemporary world. Authors: The Conversation Yet these threats impact everything, from local cultural practices to iconic sites of outstanding universal value. In light of this, it’s worth exploring the relationship between our heritage and the changing global climate in more detail. More powerful storms, flooding, desertification and even the melting of permafrost are ... Read More »

Bill Shorten: ‘We’ve got to end the climate change war’

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Exclusive: Marking five years as opposition leader, Shorten tackles thorny topics – energy, offshore detention and trade Katharine Murphy The Guardian Bill Shorten has signalled Labor will keep the national energy guarantee and maintain subsidies for households and businesses to install small-scale renewable energy until 2030, as the shadow cabinet prepares to deliberate on energy policy. In a wide-ranging interview marking five years as opposition leader, Shorten also revealed Labor was in talks with the Australian Medical Association about conditions ... Read More »

Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’

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It’s the final call, say scientists, the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures. Matt McGrath BBC Their dramatic report on keeping that rise under 1.5 degrees C says the world is now completely off track, heading instead towards 3C. Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. It will be hugely expensive – but the window of opportunity remains open. After three years ... Read More »

Cooperation needed to tackle fisheries subsidies

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In July 2016, an arbitral tribunal established that China — through failing to exercise due diligence in preventing Chinese-flagged vessels fishing in various locations in the South China Sea — had violated the… Margaret Young EastAsiaForum China had not, the tribunal found, exhibited due regard for the Philippines’ sovereign rights with respect to fisheries in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). China was also found to have breached provisions in the Convention relating to the protection of marine environment. The findings ... Read More »

Britain must reconnect with nature to combat ‘mental health epidemic’, says Caroline Lucas

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Exclusive: Green Party co-leader says government should change planning rules so everyone in UK has access to green space. Josh Gabbatiss Independent Caroline Lucas is urging British people to reconnect with nature to address the “mental health epidemic” facing the country. In a speech lamenting the decline of British wildlife, the Green Party co-leader will call for the government to change planning rules to ensure everyone in the UK has access to green space. While acknowledging environment secretary Michael Gove has taken green issues far more ... Read More »

Wildfires in Mediterranean Europe will increase by 40% at 1.5°C warming, say scientists

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Europe’s Mediterranean regions have strong sunshine, bright blue seas, beautiful beaches, and pretty holiday houses immersed in pine forests that provide welcome shade. Authors: The Conversation It sounds very inviting, but such a scenario is also perfect for severe wildfires such as the ones that killed 99 people this July in the popular holiday resort of Mati, in Greece. Now, new research in Nature Communications suggests that the summer fire season in Mediterranean Europe is going to get worse. Under ... Read More »

Fracking protesters’ ‘absurdly harsh’ jail sentences spark calls for judicial review backed by hundreds of scientists

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Exclusive Environmental protestors the first to receive prison terms since 1932 Peak District mass protest which established “right to roam”, solicitors say Alex Matthews-King Independent More than 200 academics have signed a letter calling for a judicial review of “absurdly harsh” prison sentences handed to three fracking protesters on Wednesday. An open letter, started by staff at the University of Sussex says that the jail terms of between 15 and 16 months for halting a convoy of lorries carrying shale drilling equipment “set a dangerous precedent”. Simon Roscoe Blevins, ... Read More »

Arctic Options: Why America Should Invest in a Future with China

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America needs to increase its engagement in the Arctic’s rapidly-changing geopolitical environment because inaction could lead to Washington losing future opportunities in the area. Alison McFarland The National Interest In August, the Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice broke up, releasing water on Greenland’s northern coast that typically remains frozen throughout the year. Occurring for the second time this year, the melting ice not only raises environmental concerns, but also brings the potential for geopolitical change. China presents a driving ... Read More »

Bob Inglis, a Republican believer in climate change, is out to convert his party

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Inglis is doubling down on the beliefs that cost him his seat in Congress: Climate change is real, and Republicans must act. James Rainey nbc news CHARLESTON, S.C. — Eight years ago, Bob Inglis ran for a seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives and didn’t even make it out of the Republican primary. He lost by nearly 3 to 1. His estrangement from South Carolina voters ran deep, friends-gone-missing and allies-turned-enemies deep. The chief reason Inglis was rejected ... Read More »

Costa Rica Launches Initiative on Environment and Human Rights

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“For All Initiative” Promotes Gender Equality in Global Environmental Treaties Marcos Orellana HRW Today, Costa Rica will launch an initiative aiming to make gender equality and human rights integral components of global environmental agreements. Costa Rica’s Vice President Epsy Campbell Barr will launch the For All Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly’s high-level segment. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, are expected to join the launch in New… ... Read More »

Remarks by Donald Tusk to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

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The European Union is fighting intensely to preserve the rules-based international order, which is currently under great strain, in terms of trade, security, climate change or human rights. Donald Tusk Voltaire We say this not only as countries strongly supporting the United Nations, but as a continent that cares deeply about respect, mutual understanding and solidarity between nations. As leaders, we must equip the United Nations with the means to fulfil its mandate successfully. More unity and collective action are ... Read More »

Let’s call it: 30 years of above average temperatures means the climate has changed

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If you’re younger than 30, you’ve never experienced a month in which the average surface temperature of the Earth was below average. Richard B Rood The Conversation Each month, the US National Climatic Data Center calculates Earth’s average surface temperature using temperature measurements that cover the Earth’s surface. Then, another average is calculated for each month of the year for the twentieth century, 1901-2000. For each month, this gives one number representative of the entire century. Subtract this overall 1900s ... Read More »

Don’t Leave Immigration Out of Our Environmental Laws

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In 2016, for the first time in decades, immigration control took center stage in a populist election. The last few years have been an era of polarization, not only between Republican and Democratic partisans, but between populism and… Julie Axelrod Center for Immigration Studies Those who care about the environment have been lining up on the opposite side of the partisan divide from those who care about immigration control. This divide has been as unfortunate as it is misguided: The ... Read More »

How to use Queensland’s new container recycling scheme

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There are doubts within the waste industry that Queensland’s new recycling scheme can be ready for launch at the start of next month. Tony Moore Brisbane Times From November 1, Queenslanders can claim a 10-cent refund for most plastic drink containers, beer bottles and aluminium cans at one of 232 collection points from Coen to Coolangatta. The state’s first-ever container exchange refund scheme is run by a not-for-profit company called COEX (Container Exchange) and branded as Containers for Change. Recycling companies see ... Read More »

Geologists Are Feuding About the Collapse of Civilization

A man rides his camel as he waits for tourists at the Giza pyramids area, south of Cairo, February 20, 2014. A militant Islamist group has warned tourists to leave Egypt and threatened to attack any who stay after Feb. 20, raising the prospect of a new front in a fast-growing insurgency in the biggest Arab nation. The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group, which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed two South Korean tourists and an Egyptian on Sunday, made the statement on an affiliated Twitter account. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: TRAVEL CIVIL UNREST) - GM1EA2K1MMP01

The year’s most acrimonious scientific fight is a mega-drama over a mega-drought. Robinson Meyer The Atlantic This summer, the decree went out: We are living in a new geological chapter in the planet’s 4.5-billion-year history. For a certain corner of the world, this was big news. You have probably heard of the Jurassic period (when dinosaurs ruled the Earth) or the Cambrian explosion (when complex animal life arose). Now we had a new name for our own neighborhood in time: ... Read More »

War on Waste: Is it legal to take the junk people leave on the kerb for council clean-up?

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Your neighbour has just put an old leather lounge out on the kerb for council clean-up. Alle McMahon ABC It would go perfectly in your living room, and you’ve seen people pick up furniture from the street before, but are you legally allowed to take it? Turns out it depends on where you live. What are the rules around taking items left on the kerb? The laws around salvaging — or “saving” items that would otherwise be destined for landfill ... Read More »