Around The Web

Debt for dolphins: Seychelles creates huge marine parks in world-first finance scheme

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 22:00

An innovative exchange of sovereign debt for marine conservation, backed by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, could pave the way to saving large swaths of the world’s oceans

The tropical island nation of Seychelles is to create two huge new marine parks in return for a large amount of its national debt being written off, in the first scheme of its kind in the world.

The novel financial engineering, effectively swapping debt for dolphins and other marine life, aims to throw a lifeline to corals, tuna and turtles being caught in a storm of overfishing and climate change. If it works, it will also secure the economic future of the nation, which depends entirely on tourism and fishing. With other ocean states lining up to follow, the approach could transform large swaths of the planet’s troubled seas.

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Standing Rock is everywhere: one year later | Chief Arvol Looking Horse

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 21:00

A call for continued efforts to protect our water and our Earth

One year after the closing of the camp at the Standing Rock Reservation, Standing Rock is everywhere. Our collective water has been assaulted for many generations to the possible point of no return.

Our Elders foretold of a Black Snake and how the Water of Life — “Mni Woc’oni,” which is our first medicine — would be affected if we did not stop this oncoming disaster. Mni Woc’oni is part of our creation story, and the same story that exists in many creation stories around Mother Earth.

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Why you need to start thinking about waste management

ABC Environment - Thu, 2018-02-22 17:25
Think about how much rubbish you accumulate in 24 hours: food-wrappers, drink bottles, and other assorted rubbish.
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Country diary: wood pigeons dice with death on the road

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 15:30

Sandy, Bedfordshire: These grit peckers are masters of last-minute escapology. But not always

Twice every day, soon after dawn and a little before dusk, wood pigeons come down on country roads to feed. Not for them the tyre-stamped carcasses that are peeled off the asphalt by crow beaks. Pigeons are grit peckers, heads down like chickens in a yard. They gobble up tiny stones to act as so many grinding pestles in the mortar of their digestive tract.

While crows have adapted to life in the fast lane with cunning and calculating judgment, wood pigeons are masters of last-minute escapology. But not always. Last autumn, I noticed one standing in the middle of a straight, wood-edged road, head lowered, picking away at the ground. I drove on, slowed and waited for it to fly. It flew all right: just a few metres in front of the car it gave a tiny hop that brought it just above the bumper. I heard a soft thud and then, through an explosion of down, a grey bundle smacked against the windscreen, after which I looked in the rear-view mirror to see the poor bird’s body cartwheeling off towards the verge. Weeks later, I was still picking out pale feathers that had wedged firmly on impact in the radiator grill.

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Anthony Albanese rules out retrospective legislation to fight Adani

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 15:14

Labor frontbencher says party must ‘get the policy mechanisms right’ over Carmichael coalmine

Anthony Albanese says Labor should not single out existing projects, like the Adani coalmine, that have already gone through approval processes “and then retrospectively change existing laws, which would have ramifications across the board”.

The Labor frontbencher has effectively ruled out Labor overhauling the Environmental Protection Biodiversity and Conversation Act as part of a strategy to boost legal options of killing the controversial Queensland coal project.

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Stronger storms mean new 'category six' scale may be needed

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 14:13

Traditional scale used goes only to five but strength and intensity of storms is increasing, says scientists

The increasing strength, intensity and duration of tropical cyclones has climate scientists questioning whether a new classification needs to be created: a category-six storm.

The Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale currently runs in severity from one to five, with five describing near-total destruction.

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Will the NEG make the energy transition easier or harder?

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-02-22 13:39
The ESB needs to go back to the drawing board and have another go at its National Energy Guarantee. They doesn’t understand what a bad solution they have proposed.
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Weatherill: Why state election will be referendum on renewables

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-02-22 13:30
Jay Weatherill goes all-in for renewable energy, saying the state election is an effective referendum on the technology and a loss will be used to stop renewable developments in other states. Plus: His comments on AEMO, Tesla, the Coalition and Nick Xenophon.
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Three SA Fisheries - Agency application 2018

Department of the Environment - Thu, 2018-02-22 13:24
The public consultation period for assessment for ongoing export accreditation will be open from 23 February until 29 March 2018.
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Herbert Smith Freehills advises Ararat wind farm on innovative corporate PPAS with flow power

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-02-22 12:46
Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Ararat Wind Farm (AWF) on its entry into two innovative corporate power purchase agreements with Flow Power, a Melbourne based electricity retailer.
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Your drive to the shops makes life pretty noisy for whales

The Conversation - Thu, 2018-02-22 11:59
From the oil that makes your petrol, to car parts, to the groceries and other things in your weekly shop, retail consumerism is driving a boom in the amount of noise in the world's oceans. Andrew J. Wright, Marine Mammal Researcher, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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Adani abandons March deadline to secure funding for Carmichael coalmine

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 10:27

Multinational says deadline was predicated on a subsidised Australian government loan

Adani’s plan to build Australia’s largest coalmine has suffered another setback. The company has abandoned its March deadline for securing financing for the first stage of the Carmichael mine.

In October, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, the chief executive of Adani Australia, told Reuters it aimed to settle financing for the project by March 2018.

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Germany’s sonnen to build battery manufacturing plant in Adelaide

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-02-22 09:35
Germany's sonnen to build battery storage manufacturing plant in Adelaide, creating more than 400 jobs and planning 50,000 storage units.
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Sun Metals, MSF Sugar sign up to Queensland “virtual power plant”

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2018-02-22 09:01
Major industrials Sun Metals and MSF Sugar join state government-led "virtual power plant", that will draw electricity from customers around the state to bolster supply during peak demand.
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Weatherwatch: floating windfarms prove their worth

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 07:30

Potential for floating windfarms is huge, as many countries have windy sites close to shore

Floating windfarms are likely to be the next large-scale development in renewable energy. The first Hywind Scotland, developed by the Norwegian state oil giant, Statoil, has proved a greater success than its designers hoped. The five giant six-megawatt turbines, 25 miles east of Peterhead, produced more power than expected in the first three months and withstood hurricane-force winds and giant waves.

The potential for this technology is hard to overstate. Few countries have shallow continental shelves like the UK to build offshore windfarms on the sea bed, but many have windy sites close to shore where floating windfarms could be anchored to provide power for coastal cities.

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The humble 'bin chicken' is helping science understand the Tyrannosaurus rex – video

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 05:20

The Australian white ibis, AKA the 'bin chicken', might not have won the title of Australia's favourite bird, but its next race might help scientists understand how dinosaurs walked and ran

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Ancient Britons 'replaced' by newcomers

BBC - Thu, 2018-02-22 04:12
Britain's Stone Age population was almost completely replaced some 4,500 years ago, a study shows.
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Should Australia recognise the human right to a healthy environment?

The Conversation - Thu, 2018-02-22 03:23
Should Australia join the majority of the world and provide legal recognition of the human right to a healthy environment? Dr Meg Good, Adjunct Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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Calling citizen scientists: more data needed to protect echidnas

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 03:00

These masters of disguise are some of the world’s oldest surviving mammals, but they are threatened by habitat loss, traffic and feral cats – and they need our help

They may be one of the world’s oldest surviving mammals – around for at least 25m years – but scientists don’t know much about echidnas. Now researchers believe the remaining Australian population may be threatened and they need citizen scientists’ help to save them.

Related: 'Fantasy documents': recovery plans failing Australia's endangered species

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National Farmers' Union elects first female president

The Guardian - Thu, 2018-02-22 02:47

Minette Batters becomes first woman to hold top job since NFU was founded in 1908

The National Farmers’ Union has elected Minette Batters as the first female president in the organisation’s 110-year history.

Batters, a Wiltshire beef, sheep and arable farmer who has also diversified her business into weddings and catering, was previously the NFU’s deputy president.

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