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Release of Exposure Draft - NGER (Measurement) Amendment Determination 2015 (No 2)

Department of the Environment - Fri, 2015-05-29 11:00
Release of Exposure Draft National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Amendment Determination 2015 (No 2) Comments close 12 June 2015.
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Release of Exposure Draft - NGER (Measurement) Amendment Determination 2015 (No 2)

Department of the Environment - Fri, 2015-05-29 11:00
Release of Exposure Draft National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Amendment Determination 2015 (No 2) Comments close 12 June 2015.
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Fort McKay: the Canadian town that sold itself to tar sands

The Guardian - Thu, 2015-05-28 21:06

This tiny Alberta town is one of the world’s single biggest sources of carbon pollution. The community grew rich on oil, and was wrecked by oil. So local Cece Fitzpatrick decided to run for chief, promising to stand up to the industry that came there 50 years ago

Within a 25-­mile radius of Fort McKay, 21 projects with a capacity of up to 3.3m barrels a day have been approved or are in production. Another 20 with a combined capacity of about 1.6m barrels a day are in the planning stage, according to Fort McKay First Nation.

Locals can hear, smell, feel and taste the evidence of extraction, even inside their homes. On bad days, it smells like cat piss, according to Cece Fitzpatrick.

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Release of Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts 2013

Department of the Environment - Thu, 2015-05-28 10:00
The Department has released Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts presenting national, state and territory and industry emissions estimates for 1990-2013. The publications are available on the Progress of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory...
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Release of Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts 2013

Department of the Environment - Thu, 2015-05-28 10:00
The Department has released Australia’s National Greenhouse Accounts presenting national, state and territory and industry emissions estimates for 1990-2013. The publications are available on the Progress of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory...
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Two species listed as critically endangered under the EPBC Act

Department of the Environment - Mon, 2015-05-25 15:55
The Minister has approved the inclusion of two species, Calidris ferruginea (curlew sandpiper) and Numenius madagascariensis (eastern curlew), to the critically endangered category effective 26 May 2015.
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The devil’s birds reveal their tender side

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-05-25 14:30

Bristol This is an aerial holiday park: the swifts are here for the local cuisine and to find romance

The wall next to Clifton Down train station is alive with the sounds of spring; the blackbird’s bubbling song, bees buzzing and the chirping of tiny tits hiding in the ivy. But sitting outside a bar with a pint of cider I’m willing it to be summer already. I’m trying to block out the commuter traffic and gossiping students to listen for a sign that the next season is on its way.

The sky is an obliging cornflower shade and the sun shines honey-coloured through my glass but the breeze is bracing. It has driven the resident swifts up beyond my hearing. A pair circle high over the shopping centre, two thin black crescents in the perfect blue sky.

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New threatened species listings

Department of the Environment - Mon, 2015-05-25 09:12
The Minister has recently listed one species as threatened and approved a conservation advice for one listed species.
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Can we save the rhino from poachers with a 3D printer?

The Guardian - Sun, 2015-05-24 16:30
Bioengineering startup Pembient aims to reduce demand for black-market rhino products by 3D-printing artificial horn – but wildlife groups remain sceptical

In a meeting room in an industrial area of San Francisco, Matthew Markus unpacks the contents of a small carved wooden box that depicts a rhinoceros with an impressive horn. Inside it are vials containing powder and small, hard-looking chunks. There are also what looks like miniature horns. “I term it conservation 2.0,” says Markus.

Markus is the co-founder of Pembient, a startup that aims to thwart the illegal wildlife trade by recreating animal products in the lab. It is starting with rhino horn but has plans for more complex materials such as elephant tusk. The hope is to produce rhino horn so biologically similar to wild horn – but at about one tenth of black market costs – that buyers and illegal traders will switch, thereby curtailing relentlessly increasing poaching levels. The mysterious box contains Pembient’s collection of prototypes. “We are working towards a bio-identical product by reverse-engineering rhino horn down to the smallest degree,” says Markus, who claims his version can be better than the real thing. “Our goal is that the only way you can tell the difference is that there will be pollutants in the wild horn.”

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'Stable' Antarctic ice sheet may have started collapsing, scientists say

The Guardian - Fri, 2015-05-22 04:00

Southern Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet losing ice 8,500 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza every year, satellite data shows

A vast slab of Antarctic ice that was previously stable may have started to collapse, according to new analysis of satellite data.

Research published in the journal Science on Thursday found the Southern Antarctic Peninsula (SAP) ice sheet is losing ice into the ocean at a rate of 56 gigatons each year – about 8,500 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza. This adds around 0.16mm per year to the global sea level.

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A climate change poem for today: Doggerland by Jo Bell

The Guardian - Thu, 2015-05-21 18:34

UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy curates a series of 20 original poems by various authors on the theme of climate change

The land bridge connecting Great Britain to mainland Europe during the last Ice Age was gradually flooded by rising sea levels around 6,500 BC. It was discovered in 1931 when a Norfolk trawler dredged up an unexpected artefact.

Out from Cromer in an easy sea, Pilgrim Lockwood
cast his nets and fetched up a harpoon.
Twelve thousand years had blunted not one barb.
An antler sharpened to a spike, a bony bread knife
from a time of glassy uplands and no bread:
Greetings from Doggerland, it said.

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Harlequin ladybirds declared UK's fastest invading species

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-05-20 21:33

World’s most invasive ladybird is consolidating its presence in the country and is responsible for the decline of seven native species, scientists say

Harlequin ladybirds have been declared the UK’s fastest invading species after reaching almost every corner of the country in just a decade.

The cannibalistic ladybirds were first realised to have reached the UK in 2004 when they were seen in Essex and have since spread as far afield as the tip of Cornwall and the Shetland Islands, making it the fastest alien invasion of the UK on record. Grey squirrels, American mink, ring-necked parakeets and muntjac deer are advancing at a rate far behind them.

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The Svalbard seed vault: safeguarding the world's crop varieties – video

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-05-20 17:20
The Svalbard seed vault, which opened in 2008, has been entrusted by the world's governments with the safekeeping of the most prized varieties of crops on which human civilisation was raised. It contains the seeds of around 4,000 plant species – more than 720,000 individual samples. The site was built to be disaster-proof – it lies 130 metres up a mountain in Norway in case of sea-level rise and is earthquake-resistant Continue reading...
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Wales launches £25m underwater kite-turbine scheme

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-05-20 16:01

Anglesey renewable energy project to generate enough electricity to power 8,000 homes

A unique renewable energy scheme involving underwater “kite-turbines” is being launched off the coast of north Wales.

As part of the £25m project, 20 turbines will be anchored off Anglesey and when fully operational should generate enough electricity to power 8,000 homes.

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Icelandic plan to ship whale meat to Japan angers environmentalists

The Guardian - Wed, 2015-05-20 03:41

Campaigners say scheduled export of 1,700 tonnes of fin whale meat, set to be eaten by Japanese diners, flouts conservation agreements

Environmentalists have reacted angrily to a controversial planned shipment of fin whale meat to Japan by an Icelandic whaling company, saying it flouted international conservation agreements.

The Icelandic whaling company Hvalur HF plans to ship 1,700 tonnes of whale meat via Luanda in Angola, repeating a similar controversial delivery of 2,000 tonnes last year which sparked protests along its route.

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Chairs’ Update 19 May 2015 | Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review

Department of the Environment - Tue, 2015-05-19 17:21
Find out the latest updates on the Commonwealth Marine Reserves Review.
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Eucalypt woodlands of the Western Australian Wheatbelt ecological community

Department of the Environment - Tue, 2015-05-19 16:25
The Threatened Species Scientific Committee is seeking comments on the proposal to list this as a critically endangered ecological community. The public consultation period will be open until 30 June 2015.
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Where there is oil and gas there is Schlumberger

The Guardian - Tue, 2015-05-19 07:00

It’s ubiquitous in fossil fuel operations across the world, has more staff than Google, turns over more than Goldman Sachs, and is worth more than McDonald’s – yet you won’t have heard of it. Meet the oil world’s most secretive operator

In the dying hours of a high-level conference on the banks of the Thames late in April, two oil executives are sitting patiently waiting on faded leather chairs in the lobby of a five-star Tower Bridge hotel, briefcases, architects’ plans and a folded flipchart pad at their feet.

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Fossil fuels subsidised by $10m a minute, says IMF

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-05-18 23:30

‘Shocking’ revelation finds $5.3tn subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments

Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an “extremely robust” estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments.

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The real story behind Shell's climate change rhetoric

The Guardian - Mon, 2015-05-18 07:00

In the first of an investigative series into the fossil fuel giants from which we are calling on Gates and Wellcome Trust to divest, we reveal Shell’s pursuit of ever riskier reserves is at odds with its own forecasts for dangerous global warming

A man of Ben van Beurden’s power and reputation for blunt speaking is capable of silencing a ballroom packed with his boisterous peers. When the chief executive of Shell rose to address an industry gathering in a London hotel, a respectful hush descended.

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