Environment and Climate Change

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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 »