Climate Newsprint

Tory plan to limit onshore windfarms will raise energy bills, engineers warn

Guardian Environment - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 05:00
Royal Academy of Engineering report shows replacing onshore turbines with offshore wind would add extra cost to bills

A Conservative party plan to limit the number of onshore windfarms would drive up household energy bills, according to the UK's most eminent engineers.

Replacing a single banned onshore turbine with offshore wind power, which is more expensive, would cost £300,000 a year more in subsidies, with the extra cost being added to bills, the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) said. The engineers also said a cap on turbines would make it harder to meet the UK's legally binding targets for renewable energy and cutting carbon emissions.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Abbot Point gas project could dredge further half a million cubic metres

Guardian Environment - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 04:31

Proposed liquefied natural gas terminal beside Great Barrier Reef follows approval to dredge 3m cubic metres of seabed

A proposed gas project beside the Great Barrier Reef could involve dredging a further half a million cubic metres of seabed at Abbot Point a port where expansion already faces bitter opposition from environmentalists.

The Cooper to Abbot Point Liquefied Natural Gas Project, which has been submitted to the government for environmental assessment, may require dredging to clear the way for ships to export the resource.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Country diary: Chapel Fell, Weardale: A close encounter with a hare sparks a moment of pure joy

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 19:59
Chapel Fell, Weardale: I expected the hare to turn and race away. Instead it loped straight towards us

If the truth be told, I'd stopped to rest and regain my breath, not to admire the view. It had been a long plod up the steep bridleway.

When we turned to look back, the panorama that had opened up since we left the valley bottom was breathtaking. While our side of the valley was flooded with sunshine, the northern slopes were dissolving from view as clouds trailing long grey beards of hail swept across the high pastures. Behind us the fell summit still carried pockets of snow in shady hollows. Under our feet on the moorland edge there was just the merest hint of new grass growth, but the sounds of Pennine spring were all around: curlews' bubbling trills; mournful whistles of golden plover; squeaky cries of lapwings engaged in aerobatic courtship.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Climate change is good for you, says ultra-conservative Heartland Institute

The Guardian Climate Change - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 19:51

New study by thinktank funded by Koch brothers aims to debunk authoritative UN climate change report

For those concerned about climate change, the ultra-conservative Heartland Institute offers up a calming solution: try thinking of yourself as a pea, instead of a human. Peas in a lab sprouted faster with extreme concentrations of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas mainly responsible for climate change than under normal growing conditions, Heartland said.

Which pea shoot would you rather be, asked Craig Idso, the lead author of a new Heartland publication meant to debunk the authoritative new climate change report released by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Climate change is good for you, says ultra-conservative Heartland Institute

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 19:51

New study by thinktank funded by Koch brothers aims to debunk authoritative UN climate change report

For those concerned about climate change, the ultra-conservative Heartland Institute offers up a calming solution: try thinking of yourself as a pea, instead of a human. Peas in a lab sprouted faster with extreme concentrations of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas mainly responsible for climate change than under normal growing conditions, Heartland said.

Which pea shoot would you rather be, asked Craig Idso, the lead author of a new Heartland publication meant to debunk the authoritative new climate change report released by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Solar plane bids to fly around the world without fuel

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 15:35

Makers unveil bigger, redesigned version of a solar-powered plane that flew from coast-to-coast in the US last year

A bigger, redesigned version of a solar-powered plane that flew from coast-to-coast in the US last year has been unveiled in Switzerland, which its makers say will attempt to fly around the world without fuel next year.

An early version of the Solar Impulse successfully flew from the US west coast to the east coast, marking the first time the journey had been undertaken without fuel.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

'Do not kill sharks': Australian survey result undermines world's biggest cull

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 15:32
As western state slaughters sharks for perceived threat, Sydney Aquarium visitor survey finds 87% saying the predators should not be killed, and 69% backing human safety through education

Australia is conducting an aggressive culling drive against sharks, with the largest slaughter of the marine animals in the world now happening off the state of Western Australia. Yet a new survey finds that many people in the country are not frightened of sharks' presence.

Forty-five sharks have been killed off the state's shores so far this year after being caught in the hunt on baited drum lines. The state government wants to extend this practice for three years.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Corporate lobbying on climate change: silence is not neutrality

The Guardian Climate Change - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 15:00
For companies to be transparent on their position on climate change, they must be clear, consistent, and constructive

Questions are rising about how companies should lobby on environmental issues, and the ways in which their lobbying is reported. In the US, for example, companies must disclose the subject of their lobbying, but do not have to disclose the position that they are lobbying for. This incomplete reporting opens them to concerns from consumers and investors.

In an age of increasing transparency, business leaders can expect more scrutiny, especially as concerns about the climate grow. While the politics and policies of climate change may be complicated, the message to a CEO is simple: there should be no question about where your company stands on climate policy.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Wildlife in Gulf of Mexico still suffering four years after BP oil spill: report

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 14:54
Environmental campaign group finds ongoing symptoms of oil exposure in 14 species from oysters to dolphins

The BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused dangerous after-effects to more than a dozen different animals from dolphins to oysters, a report from an environmental campaign group said on Tuesday.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Satellite Eye on Earth: March 2014 - in pictures

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 14:46
Dust storms, desert lightning and ice strings were among the images captured by European Space Agency and Nasa satellites last month Continue reading...






Categories: Climate Newsprint

Years of Living Dangerously a global warming blockbuster | John Abraham

The Guardian Climate Change - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 13:00
This new Showtime climate change documentary is a nonfiction thriller you won't want to miss

In full disclosure, I am jealous that I did not get a chance to work on this perhaps the most important climate change multimedia communication endeavor in history.

Climate change really is a made-for-TV story. It has all the drama of Hollywood, with real-life villains and heroes thrown in. We scientists struggle everyday to communicate the importance of climate change to the world. It is great to see communication experts come in and accomplish what scientists alone cannot.

"The goal of this YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY is to galvanize a national conversation on the realities of climate change and inspire people to share their own stories and empower them to get involved in solutions. We're also implementing an engagement campaign that will extend this effort beyond the broadcast to encourage our global leaders in politics, business and religion, as well as concerned citizens, to state where they stand on key climate issues and take action."

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Years of Living Dangerously a global warming blockbuster | John Abraham

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 13:00
This new Showtime climate change documentary is a nonfiction thriller you won't want to miss

In full disclosure, I am jealous that I did not get a chance to work on this perhaps the most important climate change multimedia communication endeavor in history.

Climate change really is a made-for-TV story. It has all the drama of Hollywood, with real-life villains and heroes thrown in. We scientists struggle everyday to communicate the importance of climate change to the world. It is great to see communication experts come in and accomplish what scientists alone cannot.

"The goal of this YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY is to galvanize a national conversation on the realities of climate change and inspire people to share their own stories and empower them to get involved in solutions. We're also implementing an engagement campaign that will extend this effort beyond the broadcast to encourage our global leaders in politics, business and religion, as well as concerned citizens, to state where they stand on key climate issues and take action."

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Western Australian senate election is repudiation, not validation, of Abbott's climate policy | Alexander White

The Guardian Climate Change - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 12:04
If the recent Western Australian half-senate election was a referendum on the carbon price, it was yet another failure for Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott declared the Western Australia half-senate election to be a "referendum" on the carbon price in his first major door-stop as prime minister in Perth last year

If there is a new election it will be another opportunity for the people of Australia to say no to the carbon tax and frankly I welcome another opportunity for the people to participate in a referendum on the carbon tax.

Abbott said the 5.6% swing in the Senate election rerun was "typical" and one of voters' main expectations was that the government would get rid of the carbon and mining taxes.

"As far as I am concerned the very strong take-out of this result is that the Australian people yet again have voted to get rid of the carbon tax and get rid of the mining tax, and I expect these taxes to be swiftly scrapped," he said.

The by-election will be an opportunity for the people of Griffith to vote for a candidate that will support the Government's plan to build a strong and prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia.

In particular, it will be an opportunity to vote for a local member who will vote to scrap the carbon tax, reduce electricity prices and ease cost of living pressures.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Western Australian senate election is repudiation, not validation, of Abbott's climate policy | Alexander White

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 12:04
If the recent Western Australian half-senate election was a referendum on the carbon price, it was yet another failure for Tony Abbott.

Tony Abbott declared the Western Australia half-senate election to be a "referendum" on the carbon price in his first major door-stop as prime minister in Perth last year

If there is a new election it will be another opportunity for the people of Australia to say no to the carbon tax and frankly I welcome another opportunity for the people to participate in a referendum on the carbon tax.

Abbott said the 5.6% swing in the Senate election rerun was "typical" and one of voters' main expectations was that the government would get rid of the carbon and mining taxes.

"As far as I am concerned the very strong take-out of this result is that the Australian people yet again have voted to get rid of the carbon tax and get rid of the mining tax, and I expect these taxes to be swiftly scrapped," he said.

The by-election will be an opportunity for the people of Griffith to vote for a candidate that will support the Government's plan to build a strong and prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia.

In particular, it will be an opportunity to vote for a local member who will vote to scrap the carbon tax, reduce electricity prices and ease cost of living pressures.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Five pathways to post-capitalist 'renaissance' by a former oil man | Nafeez Ahmed

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 11:36
'Capitalism is torpedoing our prosperity, killing our economies, threatening our children. It must be re-engineered, root and branch.'

In The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance, Dr Jeremy Leggett a former oil geologist and government adviser on renewable energy warns of the risk of an imminent global oil crash as early as next year, and no later than 2020.

In my first post on Leggett's new book, I focused on his analysis of our "risk blindness." But despite his trenchant and uncompromising stance on the potentially catastrophic consequences of business as usual, Leggett is no doomer.

"The incumbency, with their 'new era of fossil fuels', will have suffered a setback as a result of the oil crisis, not a rout. They, like the investment bankers before them, will soon be arguing that the time for remorse is over. They will argue that all forms of national or regional carbon fuel resource must now be mobilised as fast as possible."

"First, the readiness of clean energy for explosive growth. Second, the intrinsic pro-social attributes of clean energy. Third, the increasing evidence of people power in the world. Fourth, the pro-social tendencies in the human mind. Fifth, the power of context that leaders will be operating in after the oil crash."

"The next crash will lay bare all the incumbency's illusions about a new era of fossil fuels and of a wealth-creating financial system in need of only light-touch regulation. They will have left themselves at the mercy of a society that will be looking back in anger, and a political class that will feel impelled, given the state of their streets, to project the will of the people. Society will be being swept with a realisation that energy needs must be met in large measure at home, as fast as possible, and in a climate wherein modern financial institutions cannot in general be trusted with either individuals' money or the provision of financial services to viable economies."

"Modern capitalism's worst-ever crash may prove to be a cloud drifting across human history that has a very big silver lining indeed."

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Armed With New Data, Researchers Again Challenge Effectiveness of Antiflu Drug

Science Magazine - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 11:15
New study questions strategy of stockpiling oseltamivir in case of flu pandemics
Categories: Climate Newsprint

Embattled Stem Cell Researcher Apologizes but Defends Her Work

Science Magazine - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 10:45
Haruko Obokata blames errors on inexperience but maintains the results are still valid
Categories: Climate Newsprint

Pro-Life Citizens' Initiative Worries E.U. Scientists

Science Magazine - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 10:15
European Commission must consider turning petitioners' plea into E.U. law
Categories: Climate Newsprint

Switching to a biomass boiler: 'It's sustainable and my exercise'

Guardian Environment - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 09:06

Tony and Rhoda Graham have switched their Windermere home from oil heating and are ready for the renewable heat incentive

The government announced the renewable heat incentive for householders today. For Tony and Rhoda Graham, who have lived for 30 years in their 5 bedroom home which doubles as a bed and breakfast, in an idyllic location in Windermere, it is long overdue.

Several years ago, while cycling through Europe, the couple came across eco-friendly biomass boilers, but couldnt find them in the UK. Eventually the government announced its intention to launch the scheme, which prompted them to make the switch from oil exactly a year ago, for Tony's 70th birthday. He explains why:

I switched for several reasons. We have our own woodlands opposite the property and for years I have managed its conservation and wildlife. I feel passionately about the need to be sustainable.

The boiler itself was £13,000, but in total weve spent around £20,000 to set this up. The financial gain is slow in coming although if we had to buy the wood, weve worked out it is still 50% cheaper than oil. When the RHI comes in, it will go some way to repaying some of the capital and running costs.

Why should I use fossil fuels to turn the wood into chip? For me, burning the wood is the most environmentally friendly option.

The domestic RHI is a super idea, and is all part of the governments commitment to reducing carbon emissions. My concern, however, is with the commercial companies. Large schemes and uptakes have created a massive demand for wood mostly chips and pellets. This is counter-productive as it will create something unsustainable and we are already importing both from abroad.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

ScienceShot: Ancient Bees Pulled From Tar Pit

Science Magazine - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 09:00
Insects may give clues to past ecosystems
Categories: Climate Newsprint
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