Nature

Recycling costs surge for UK councils after Chinese ban on ‘foreign garbage’ imports

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‘It’s clear that the ban by China on imported waste, which could soon be implemented from other countries, could have a marked impact on councils’ ability to recycle’ Josh Gabbatiss Independent Councils are calling on companies to fund recycling costs and invest in efforts to cut packaging after many were struck by China’s decision to stop importing “foreign garbage”. At least a fifth of local councils reported they had seen a direct impact of this ban, which restricted imports of plastics and… A poll ... Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

How solar kits and battery lamps are replacing kerosene across Africa

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For decades, people in rural Africa have been using sooty kerosene lamps to dimly light their homes. Jörg Peters The Conversation But in recent years households, even in poor areas, have started to replace their kerosene lamps with non-rechargeable dry-cell battery driven lamps and solar kits. This is happening largely without any governmental or donor involvement. These devices are equipped with light-emitting diodes (LED) that have become significantly cheaper over the years. This has, in turn, made them a highly ... Read More »