Environment and Climate Change

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 »

Snailfish: how we found a new species in one of the ocean’s deepest places

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From an unmanned submersible, protected by a casing of stainless steel almost an inch thick and a window made from super strong sapphire crystal, we can observe the life that thrives at our planet’s most extreme and… Authors: The Conversation Thanks to technology and sheer material strength, we can temporarily trespass into this high pressure environment. But in stark contrast to the robust deep sea imaging equipment we rely on, the creatures our camera records look extremely fragile. Four-and-a-half miles ... Read More »

How to eat well – and save the planet

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Switching to a healthier diet can reduce an individual’s water footprint by as much as 55%. BBC According to new research, turning vegetarian has the biggest impact, but even cutting down on meat gives a saving of at least 10%. Shifting to a healthy diet is a “win-win situation”, say researchers. Citizens will be healthier and their food can be produced using less of one of our most precious natural resources – water. “The main message is that if you ... Read More »

Climate change conflicts are here – and ‘scallop wars’ are just the beginning

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As the planet warms, species are moving further north to climate zones which are closer in temperature to what they originally evolved in. The oceans have absorbed most of this temperature increase, and… Heather Alberro The Conversation In the face of this disruption, legal boundaries for fishing fleets could become increasingly irrelevant. As the fish stocks they once contained move out, conflict is likely to arise between countries exploiting… As a result, the ongoing “scallop war”, which has seen tense ... Read More »

The Indian tribe that gave up hunting to save forests

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A tribe in the north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland gave up their ancient tradition of hunting to protect wildlife. Photographer Sayan Hazra chronicles life in the village years after it banished the practice. BBC At one time, 76-year-old Chaiyievi Zhiinyii was a skilled hunter. But he stopped hunting in 2001. The Khonoma tribe gave up what was an important source of livelihood some 20 years ago in order to create a more stable ecosystem for future generations. For centuries, many ... Read More »

When the Beach Is Out of Reach—Coastal Access Becomes a Growing Concern

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As Americans crowd toward the coasts, states and municipalities are caught in passionate battles about public access, while lawsuits seem headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. Timothy B. Clark Route Fifty NORTHEAST HARBOR — Maine, it is said, has more coastline than any other state. Measured along the twists and turns of countless coves and inlets, the coast stretches 3,478 miles, a few more than California’s—and over 5,000 miles if one counts the shorelines of… But Maine does not grant the ... Read More »

Father and son’s incredible close encounter with ocean giants

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A Victorian father and son have shared an incredible close encounter with some gentle giants of the sea. 9news Drew Woods and his seven-year-old son Ollie were about to head out to paddleboard off the coast of Shoreham, on the Mornington Peninsula, about midday yesterday when something caught their eye in the distance. Mr Woods and Ollie raced out about 500m on the boards to where two southern right whales were swimming. A professional cameraman friend of the family was ... Read More »

Weak hand at helm as Australia drifts upon stormy regional seas

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Political turmoil compels leadership to prioritize domestic survival, rather than the greatest series of foreign policy challenges Canberra has faced in decades. By LACHLAN COLQUHOUN Asia Times Australia faces arguably its greatest series of regional foreign policy challenges in decades – including, most notably, how to balance its relations with a rising China – but political turmoil is hampering a coherent and committed response. New Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently visited Indonesia to ink a new trade deal, while Foreign ... Read More »

Chevron wins Ecuador rainforest ‘oil dumping’ case

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An international tribunal in The Hague has ruled in favour of the US oil company, Chevron, in an environmental dispute with the government of Ecuador. BBC Chevron had been ordered to pay $9.5bn (£7.4bn) compensation to thousands of residents in Ecuador’s Amazon region. They accused the company of dumping toxic waste in local lakes and rivers of the Lago Agrio region for decades. The court said that the 2011 Ecuador Supreme Court ruling had been obtained through fraud, bribery and ... Read More »

‘A moral obligation’ – MCG goes carbon neutral for finals season

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Few images are as emblematic of Melbourne as the MCG, floodlit and heaving with tens of thousands of punters.  Packed to the rafters. But this spectacle comes at a cost. Joe Hinchliffe The Age Have you ever wondered how much electricity is consumed to power those light towers? Or how much carbon is emitted in transporting those fans to the ground, heating their pies, cooling their beers or frying their chips? The Melbourne Cricket Club, which runs the venue, has. ... Read More »

UN Begins Talks on World’s First Treaty to Regulate High Seas

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UNITED NATIONS, Sep 7 2018 (IPS) – After several years of preliminary discussions, the United Nations has begun its first round of inter-governmental negotiations to draft the world’s first legally binding treaty to protect and regulate the “high seas”—which, by definition, extend beyond 200 nautical miles (370… Thalif Deen “The high seas cover half our planet and are vital to the functioning of the whole ocean and all life on Earth. The current high seas governance system is weak, fragmented ... Read More »

Iran and Turkey Divert Iraq’s River Waters, Leaving Iraq on the Brink of Catastrophe

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Global attention has been focused on the strained Ethiopian-Egyptian relations due to the construction of the Renaissance Dam by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile, whose reservoir – once filled – will probably lower the… Col. (ret) Dr. Jacques Neriah Institute for Contemporary Affairs But little attention has been given to the brewing conflict over the Tigris (Dajla in Arabic) and Euphrates (Furat in Arabic) waters, both iconic rivers on which Iraq’s existence in both ancient and… Deadly riots in Iraq’s ... Read More »