Environment and Climate Change

UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet

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Lesser consumption of animal products is necessary to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change, UN report says The Guardian – Felicity Carus A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change, a UN report said today. As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, ... Read More »

Di Natale outlines price for Senate peace to the new PM

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THE Greens today told Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull he could put them out of business by making “genuine changes” on issues such as climate change. Malcolm Farr – news.com.au The offer came from Greens leader Richard Di Natale, who offered to quit politics if Mr Turnbull altered direction on climate policy, same-sex marriage and the treatment of refugees. “If it represents a genuine change in direction and we finally get back on track when it comes to those issues, terrific,” ... Read More »

Make coal companies pay full costs of clean-up, say Greens

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EXCLUSIVE Greens leader Richard Di Natale has proposed a direct levy on coal miners to fund “billions of dollars” in environmental rehabilitation work on former coal mine and storage sites as well as the retraining of coal industry workers for the clean energy jobs of the future. The Sydney Morning Herald – In one of its most important policy markers leading into the pre-election period for a 2016 poll, Dr Di Natale will unveil the plan on Tuesday and will use ... Read More »

Don’t fall for the deep-sea scaremongers – wild fishing is healthy and sustainable

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Fishermen can’t win. The harder they work, the more successful they are, the more they are apparently despised. Take Scotland, for instance, where the EU (heavily influenced by well-financed NGO lobby groups) is attempting to exclude fishermen from large areas of the sea off the west coast that they may have fished for generations. The Conversation – Magnus Johnson Disclosure statement: Magnus Johnson has acted as a consultant to the North Sea Regional Advisory Council and Scottish Whitefish Producers Association, ... Read More »

Oceana urges EU to stop illegal swordfish landings

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EUROPEAN UNION The marine conservation organization Oceana urges the European Union (EU) and the Mediterranean countries to take measures to recover the Mediterranean swordfish stock given that this resource stock has been reduced to a third due to overfishing in only three decades. FIS – Oceana deplores that the European Union continues to ignore Mediterranean swordfish (Xiphias gladius) overfishing despite world renowned fisheries scientists are pointing out that Italy has failed to report around 41,000 tonnes in total for 20 ... Read More »

Pope’s climate message unlikely to sway Republicans

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The pope’s pleas to take action on climate change will fall on deaf ears with many Republicans when he speaks before a joint session of Congress. Politico – By Andrew Restuccia and Darren Goode Pope Francis has already made the issue a prominent part of his visit to Washington, using brief remarks at the White House on Wednesday to call climate change “a problem which can no longer be left to (a) future generation,” and he praised President Barack Obama ... Read More »

Syria war spurs opening of ‘doomsday’ Arctic seed vault

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As Aleppo gene bank built to safeguard global food supplies is at risk, researchers request frozen seeds from Svalbard. Syria’s civil war has prompted the first withdrawal of seeds from a “doomsday” vault built in an Arctic mountainside to safeguard global food supplies. The seeds, including samples of wheat, barley and grasses suited to dry regions, have been requested by researchers elsewhere in the Middle East to replace seeds in a gene bank near the Syrian city of Aleppo that ... Read More »

World court should rule on climate science to quash sceptics, says Philippe Sands

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International Court of Justice ruling would settle the scientific dispute and pave the way for future legal cases on climate change, says high-profile lawyer The Guardian – Adam Vaughan, @adamvaughan_uk False claims from climate sceptics that humans are not responsible for global warming and that sea level is not rising should be scotched by an international court ruling, a leading lawyer has said. Scientific bodies such as the UN’s climate science panel have concluded that climate change is underway and ... Read More »

In a blind test, economists reject the notion of a global warming pause

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Four separate studies have now demolished the myth of a global warming ‘pause’ The Guardian – John Abraham Oh how resilient myths can be, even in the face of facts. This past week saw the publication of the third strong refutation of the myth that global warming had somehow stopped a decade or two ago. You would think that with 2014 the hottest year on record and 2015 almost certain to exceed that, and 2016 to potentially set yet another ... Read More »

Germany Bans GM Seeds, Following Suit From Scotland

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Germany decided to outlaw the cultivation of genetically modified crops and GM seeds, following suit from Scotland who took similar measures earlier in September. YourNewsWire.com – by Sean Adl-Tabatabai in Sci/Environment A spokesman for The Agriculture Ministry, Christian Fronczak announced, “The German government is clear in that it seeks a nationwide cultivation ban. There’s resistance from all sides, from the public to the farmers.” Bloomberg.com reports: Germany is taking advantage of new measures allowing countries to opt out of growing ... Read More »

Climate change refugee faces deportation

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A man who for years has argued to be allowed to stay with his family in New Zealand because of climate change in his homeland is to be deported. SBS – Source: AAP A Kiribati man who made an unsuccessful bid to become the world’s first climate change refugee will apply to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations as he awaits deportation from New Zealand. Ioane Teitiota has for years argued his family’s health was at risk if ... Read More »

Down the drain: we need to rethink how we clean our homes

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Individually, we use thousands of chemicals in our households and very few of us think about whether they are harming the environment. We often think about buying a “green” detergent to wash our clothes, but the simple act of shampooing and conditioning our hair, even with green products, results in more than 30 chemicals being washed into our sewers. The Conversation – Peter Scales * Despite our best efforts in the supermarket, our waste water treatment systems are well designed ... Read More »

Adelaide joins race to become world’s first carbon neutral city

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South Australia aims to attract $10bn in low-carbon investment as part of ambitious new strategy and will seek to attend UN climate talks in Paris The Guardian – Oliver Milman @olliemilman The South Australian government is launching a new strategy to decarbonise its economy and has set a goal for Adelaide to become the first carbon neutral city in the world. A low-carbon economy experts panel has been appointed, including former Liberal leader John Hewson, professor Frank Jotzo and Anna Skarbek, ... Read More »

World’s biggest coal port joins fossil fuel divestment push

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Newcastle is the seventh council in Australia to announce it will shun fossil fuels, reports the Sydney Morning Herald The Guardian – Amanda Saunders for Sydney Morning Herald, part of the Climate Publishers Network Newcastle city council in Australia has voted to exit holdings in the big four banks if they continue to fund fossil fuel projects. About 80% of the Australian city of Newcastle council’s $270m investment portfolio is held in the big four banks, mostly through term deposits. ... Read More »

South African team may have solved solar puzzle even Google couldn’t crack

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Pioneering technology to deliver the cheapest, small-scale concentrated solar power plants in the world could revolutionise the renewable energy market The Guardian – Jeffrey Barbee in Stellenbosch It is a problem that has so far stumped even Google’s brainy engineers – how to generate cheap solar electricity using a small-scale array of mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy. Now a team at a South African university – led by a former Intel strategic planner – believes they have cracked it. ... Read More »

CSIRO gives fishing trawlers a clean bill of health

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FISHING trawlers have minimal impact on the environmentally sensitive ocean floor, a new CSIRO study has revealed. EMMA FIELD From: The Weekly Times This is good news for the fishing industry, which has long been criticised for damaging marine habitat. The CSIRO studied the impacts of trawling over Australia’s southeast marine region and found only 6 per cent of trawling activity touched the sea floor. The report also found fishing trawlers in the region — fishing waters extending 5km offshore ... Read More »