Around The Web

Sir David Attenborough: 'The wonder and beauty'

BBC - Mon, 2017-10-23 10:03
The great naturalist tells our science editor David Shukman why he'll never tire of his work.
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Enova wins at the Green Globe Awards

RenewEconomy - Mon, 2017-10-23 09:15
Enova Energy has won "Best of the Best" Regional Sustainability Award, which recognises outstanding achievements of an organisation who has come up with an original and successful initiative in regional or rural areas of New South Wales
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Greensmith and AEP launch hybrid hydro energy storage project in USA

RenewEconomy - Mon, 2017-10-23 09:09
The integration of advanced energy storage and software with hydroelectric generation is seen to be a world's first hybridized system of its kind to provide ancillary services.
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More acidic oceans 'will affect all sea life'

BBC - Mon, 2017-10-23 09:01
The eight-year study finds infant sea creatures will be especially harmed by more acidic oceans.
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What if eco-friendly hybrid cars aren't that green?

ABC Environment - Mon, 2017-10-23 07:37
A report backed by the Australian Automobile Association found some new cars were pumping out seven times the legal limits of some noxious emissions in to the atmosphere.
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World Pollutionwatch: evidence grows of lifelong harm from polluted air

The Guardian - Mon, 2017-10-23 06:30

Historical data from studies on museum bird specimens, combined with current research, gives us a picture of the long-term harm from air pollution

There is growing evidence about the lifelong harm from air pollution. The air that we breathe as children can stunt our lung growth, potentially causing problems later in adult life. Air pollution breathed decades ago has been shown to shorten lives in the UK today. However, investigating these lifelong impacts is hampered by a lack of historic measurements.

Can the natural environment help us? Starting with lichens in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris in 1886, biomonitoring has helped to track air pollution. In a new twist, researchers in the US have constructed a 135-year history of pollution in America’s rust belt by studying soot in the feathers of museum bird specimens. Tests on 1,347 birds showed that air pollution between 1880 and 1920 was worse than we thought. The birds also revealed useful data for climate modellers. It appears that soot pollution started to decrease around 1910, earlier than thought; with dips in the great depression and a rise for the second world war.

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Specieswatch: efforts are being made to preserve the Arctic char in Britain

The Guardian - Mon, 2017-10-23 06:30

Some 10,000 young char have been released into Kielder Water with the aim of saving this ancient fish, an important relic of our past

The Arctic char, Salvelinus alpinus, is a remarkable survivor from the ice age in Britain, having been trapped in various lakes and Scottish lochs for 10,000 years. As a result, if you manage to catch one, the fish may look considerably different from those in other lakes, because they have had many generations to evolve to survive in local conditions after being cut off from the oceans when the ice retreated.

Some scientists went to the trouble of designating each of these populations of Arctic char as separate species because of these different characteristics, but this idea has generally been dropped as too difficult, not least because there are dozens of cut-off populations, some yet to be described.

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Call for vehicle testing overhaul as Australia's emissions fight moves to roads

The Guardian - Mon, 2017-10-23 03:00

AAA says motorists are being misled by lab tests of emissions and fuel efficiency but green groups accuse it of delaying tactic

Australia’s motoring lobby is launching a campaign for “real-world” vehicle emissions testing, arguing the current system needs an overhaul because it is misleading consumers and regulators.

The Australian Automobile Association will on Monday release results from emissions and fuel consumption tests on 30 passenger and light commercial vehicles showing discrepancies between real world and official fuel consumption established in laboratory testing.

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Fracking protesters vow to 'put their lives on line' after scaling rig

The Guardian - Mon, 2017-10-23 00:39

Invasion of site in North Yorkshire comes as campaigners say they have seen letter stating exploration is due to start

Protesters in a tiny North Yorkshire village have vowed to put their lives on the line to prevent the first fracking operation in six years from taking place this week.

Two campaigners had to be rescued from an 18-metre (60ft) rig on Sunday after scaling the structure and waving flares – leading police to warn them of “the serious risk created by open flames and sparks on a live gas site”.

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The eco guide to new mindful activism

The Guardian - Sun, 2017-10-22 15:00

Placard-bearing angry activists have their place, but their are other, gentler ways to make a difference

Activists are the vital foot soldiers of the environmental movement. But is the classic activist model – placard-bearing and angry – actually effective? There’s a suggestion that if you’re not shouting in the face of The Man 24 hours a day, do you actually care?

Sarah Corbett warns that angry activists are in danger of burning out

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High court proves we have free speech against environmental wreckers | Bob Brown

The Guardian - Sun, 2017-10-22 07:00

Adani and the loggers should watch out – we have a right to peaceful protest to protect our environment

The high court has drawn a line in the sand against laws which burden the right of Australians to peaceful protest.

The court made no judgement on Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman’s decision to flatten the Lapoinya state forest in northwest Tasmania against the wishes of the local community. But it struck down his Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014 aimed at stopping people from protesting effectively against such forests being logged.

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Faith and caring for the environment

ABC Environment - Sun, 2017-10-22 05:05
This week, five Anglican archbishops urged world leaders to keep their promises ahead of climate summit in Bonn, Germany, next month.
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Why the environment matters to people of faith

ABC Environment - Sun, 2017-10-22 05:05
Former prime minister Tony Abbott says climate change activism is like a post-Christian religion, but is he right according to his own Catholic faith? Join our guests for a lively conversation about the role religion plays in environmental activism.
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Is Congress about to wreck the Grand Canyon and other national park treasures?

The Guardian - Sun, 2017-10-22 00:09

The Antiquities Act has been used to preserve some of America’s beloved lands and landmarks but it is facing assault from Trump and Congress

One-hundred-eleven years and a few months ago, Theodore Roosevelt signed the landmark law that helped cement his place as America’s conservation president.

Related: National park ban saved 2m plastic bottles – and still Trump reversed it

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A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It's a catastrophe

The Guardian - Sat, 2017-10-21 17:00

Insects have triumphed for hundreds of millions of years in every habitat but the ocean. Their success is unparalleled, which makes their disappearance all the more alarming

Thirty-five years ago an American biologist Terry Erwin conducted an experiment to count insect species. Using an insecticide “fog”, he managed to extract all the small living things in the canopies of 19 individuals of one species of tropical tree, Luehea seemannii, in the rainforest of Panama. He recorded about 1,200 separate species, nearly all of them coleoptera (beetles) and many new to science; and he estimated that 163 of these would be found on Luehea seemannii only.

He calculated that as there are about 50,000 species of tropical tree, if that figure of 163 was typical for all the other trees, there would be more than eight million species, just of beetles, in the tropical rainforest canopy; and as beetles make up about 40% of all the arthropods, the grouping that contains the insects and the other creepy-crawlies from spiders to millipedes, the total number of such species in the canopy might be 20 million; and as he estimated the canopy fauna to be separate from, and twice as rich as, the forest floor, for the tropical forest as a whole the number of species might be 30 million.

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I've always wondered: why don't chickens look down when they scratch?

The Conversation - Sat, 2017-10-21 15:22
Chicken eyes are stranger than you think: they can look up and down at the same time. Maggie J. Watson, Postdoctoral Researcher in Ecology, Conservation and Parasitology, Charles Sturt University Licensed as Creative Commons – attribution, no derivatives.
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Country diary: the woodland is intoxicating at this time of year

The Guardian - Sat, 2017-10-21 14:30

Bramshaw Telegraph, New Forest The heather is fading but there are so many fallen trees to explore, each with its diverse community of fungi

Without doubt, 200 years ago our walk would have made a slow start. We would have been watching with fascination the sliding shutters of the new signalling station, constructed as part of the chain linking Plymouth with London and Portsmouth. Skilful combination of its six panels could transmit messages at astonishing speed. Today only the place name, Bramshaw Telegraph, is left to remind us what once stood here.

Patches of wire wool – actually the lichen Cladonia portentosa – lighten up the fading hues of the heathers as we cross Studley Head. A deeply rutted track forewarns of forestry work ahead. A notice as we enter the woodland confirms this and urges caution: thinning is under way again in the Island Thorns Inclosure.

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Kea or Kākāriki? Bird of the Year contest gets New Zealand in a flap

The Guardian - Sat, 2017-10-21 10:33

Country’s treasured avian species puff up their plumage as nation votes on who rules the roost

Bird of the Year leaderboard – check the pecking order

First there was the “Jacinda effect” and a government to cobble together. Then came the mania for the jade Kākāriki, the shining cuckoo and the stern Ruru.

New Zealand’s Bird of the Year Competition has kicked off, and it has galvanised voters with the same intensity as the recent election. Now in its 13th year, the poll pits the country’s rare and endangered birds against one another: the cheeky Kea versus the shy Kiwi, the dowdy Bar Tailed Godwit against the alluring Hihi.

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New Zealand Bird of the Year leaderboard: check the pecking order

The Guardian - Sat, 2017-10-21 10:32

It’s the final countdown to New Zealand’s Bird of the Year award, the annual contest for the most popular bird in Aotearoa. Here you can see the current leader in the contest, updated hourly

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The place spacecraft go to die

BBC - Sat, 2017-10-21 09:26
Why one of the Earth's most remote places is the preferred place to dump space junk.
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