Breaking Waves: Ocean News

04/06/2020 - 15:31
The 23-year-old man sustained injuries to his hand, leg and elbow in a ‘horrific’ attack A shark has killed a Queensland parks and wildlife officer during a work trip at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. The premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has paid tribute to the 23-year-old, who died in hospital on Monday night a few hours after he was mauled near North West Island. Continue reading...
04/06/2020 - 12:02
There’s a kind of hush all over the world as the reduction in human activity stops the Earth buzzing so much Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The dramatic quietening of towns and cities in lockdown Britain has changed the way the Earth moves beneath our feet, scientists say. Seismologists at the British Geological Survey have found that their sensors are twitching less now that human activity has been curtailed, leading to a drop in the anthropogenic din that vibrates through the planet. Continue reading...
04/06/2020 - 10:41
Most new electricity globally was green and coronavirus bailouts must boost this further, says agency Almost three-quarters of new electricity generation capacity built in 2019 uses renewable energy, representing an all-time record. New data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) shows solar, wind and other green technologies now provide more than one-third of the world’s power, marking another record. Fossil fuel power plants are in decline in Europe and the US, with more decommissioned than built in 2019. But the number of coal and gas plants grew in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In the Middle East, which owns half the world’s oil reserves, just 26% of new electricity generation capacity built in 2019 was renewable. Continue reading...
04/06/2020 - 06:00
Two-fifths of Americans rely on water utilities which have not suspended the policy of shutoffs for non-payment Millions of Americans risk losing running water if they fall behind with bill payments in coming months, as mass layoffs triggered by the coronavirus pandemic force families to make impossible tradeoffs on paying household expenses. Around two-fifths of the country rely on water utilities which have not suspended the policy of shutoffs for non-payment, despite public health warnings that good hygiene – specifically frequent hand washing – is crucial to preventing spread of the highly contagious virus, according to data analysed by Food and Water Watch (FWW) and the Guardian. Continue reading...
04/06/2020 - 05:54
Judge makes major ruling in mass ‘dieselgate’ litigation against VW in England and Wales The car manufacturer Volkswagen subverted key air pollution tests, a British court has found, by using special software to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides under test conditions. The high court finding is a boost to attempts by campaigners to force the company to address the impact of its cars in producing lung-damaging pollutants at far higher levels than were legally permissible. Continue reading...
04/05/2020 - 23:00
Warning comes as destruction of nature increasingly seen as key driver of zoonotic diseases See all our coronavirus coverage Coronavirus latest: at a glance The United Nations’ biodiversity chief has called for a global ban on wildlife markets – such as the one in Wuhan, China, believed to be the starting point of the coronavirus outbreak – to prevent future pandemics. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, said countries should move to prevent future pandemics by banning “wet markets” that sell live and dead animals for human consumption, but cautioned against unintended consequences. Continue reading...
04/05/2020 - 18:06
The blaze started on Saturday close to the site of the world’s worst ever nuclear disaster Ukrainian officials have sought calm after forest fires in the restricted zone around Chernobyl, scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident, led to a rise in radiation levels. Firefighters said they had managed to put out the smaller of two forest fires that began at the weekend, apparently after someone began a grass fire, and had deployed more than 100 firefighters backed by planes and helicopters to extinguish the remaining blaze. Continue reading...
04/05/2020 - 08:33
Fall in energy use combined with bright, breezy weather leads to lowest electricity prices in 10 years Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Coronavirus latest – at a glance Thousands of British homes will be paid to use electricity during the day for the first time, as wind and solar projects produce a surge in clean energy during the coronavirus lockdown. On Sunday morning, windfarms contributed almost 40% of the UK’s electricity, while solar power made up almost a fifth of the power system. Fossil fuels made up less than 15% of electricity, of which only 1.1% came from coal plants. Continue reading...
04/05/2020 - 08:23
Students and laid-off bar and restaurant workers given jobs as pickers after urgent appeal Scottish fruit farmers have solved a recruitment crisis that could have resulted in this year’s harvest of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries being destroyed. Several thousand people, including students and restaurant and bar workers laid off because of the coronavirus outbreak, have taken low-paid fruit-picking jobs in Tayside and Fife normally done by seasonal workers from Bulgaria and Romania. Continue reading...
04/05/2020 - 04:14
The oil industry saw its opening and moved with breathtaking speed to take advantage of this moment I’m going to tell you the single worst story I’ve heard in these past few horrid months, a story that combines naked greed, political influence peddling, a willingness to endanger innocent human beings, utter blindness to one of the greatest calamities in human history and a complete disregard for the next crisis aiming for our planet. I’m going to try to stay calm enough to tell it properly, but I confess it’s hard. The background: a decade ago, beginning with indigenous activists in Canada and farmers and ranchers in the American west and midwest, opposition began to something called the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to carry filthy tar sands oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. It quickly became a flashpoint for the fast-growing climate movement, especially after Nasa scientist James Hansen explained that draining those tar sands deposits would be “game over” for the climate system. And so thousands went to jail and millions rallied and eventually Barack Obama bent to that pressure and blocked the pipeline. Donald Trump, days after taking office, reversed that decision, but the pipeline has never been built, both because its builder, TC Energy, has had trouble arranging the financing and permits, and because 30,000 people have trained to do nonviolent civil disobedience to block construction. It’s been widely assumed that, should a Democrat win the White House in November, the project would finally be gone for good. Continue reading...