Breaking Waves: Ocean News

08/16/2019 - 15:00
Things are not under control when it comes to Australia meeting our Paris target, even if Scott Morrison wants us to believe that We’ll get to climate, and the rumble in the Pacific, but I want to begin closer to home. It’s been a busy news week, so you might have missed an excellent story from my colleague Adam Morton on Tuesday revealing that a coalmine in Queensland has nearly doubled its greenhouse gas emissions in two years without penalty under a Morrison government mechanism that is supposed to impose limits on industrial pollution. According to documents released under freedom of information laws, mining company Anglo American was given the green light under the safeguards mechanism to increase its emissions by about 1m tonnes at its Moranbah North mine, in central Queensland. The case study matters, because it helps us separate spin from substance. Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 12:29
Activists vow to keep on after council votes to authorise only one day’s school absence Young activists have vowed to keep protesting in Edinburgh despite the city council saying it will only authorise pupils to miss school once a year to attend climate strikes. Pupils have been attending protests on Fridays outside the Scottish parliament on an ad hoc basis after the council granted permission in March. Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 12:29
Owners urged to take care near waterways as climate crisis leads to more toxic blooms In Cheshire, a King Charles spaniel called Kendall collapsed and died minutes after paddling in a lake. In Craigavon, Co Armagh, Bella the labrador puppy died four days after splashing through waterways. A cygnet died in a park in Southampton. Two dogs fell ill after swimming in a reservoir in Cornwall. In Rutland, a beach and aqua park were closed. Across the UK, from Aberdeen to Hampshire, Edinburgh to Lincolnshire, there have been warnings to stay out of lakes, reservoirs and other waterways after blooms of an organism were discovered. Many people are unaware of the algae which produces one of the most potent biological toxins in the natural world – and to which there is no known antidote. Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 12:00
London’s Smithfield Market part of next wave of Extinction Rebellion climate protests Thousands of animal rights and environment activists are planning to blockade Smithfield Market – the largest wholesale meat market in the UK – in the next wave of Extinction Rebellion climate protests. A new group calling itself Animal Rebellion says it has almost 2,000 volunteers signed up to take part in a two-week blockade of the central London market from 7 October. Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 08:30
Endangered bonobo, migrating storks and one of the world’s biggest raptors Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 06:53
Electric bin lorries and solar-powered charging points are aimed at making city cleanest in UK “They’re marvellous. I just love them.” After nearly 26 years driving a diesel-powered taxi around the streets of Dundee, James Leaburn has switched to an all-electric car, in the bold yellow livery of a classic New York cab. “They’re quiet, comfortable and the kids just love it because it’s like a New York cab,” said Leaburn as he plugged in at a council-run charging hub. “There’s no servicing, no broken fanbelts, no oil to change and no flat batteries. Just the press of a button and they’re away.” Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 06:08
International concerns grow over deforestation surge since Jair Bolsonaro took power Norway has followed Germany in suspending donations to the Brazilian government’s Amazon Fund after a surge in deforestation in the South American rainforest. The move has triggered a caustic attack from the country’s rightwing president. Related: Bolsonaro rejects 'Captain Chainsaw' label as data shows deforestation 'exploded' Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 03:24
Exclusive: Michael McCormack says island nations want Australia to shut down industry ‘so they can survive’ Pacific island nations affected by the climate crisis will continue to survive “because many of their workers come here to pick our fruit”, Australia’s deputy prime minister has said. Michael McCormack’s comments were made after critical talks at the Pacific Islands Forum that almost collapsed over Australia’s positions on coal and climate change. Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 02:00
Compostable bowls are considered eco-friendly, but they are covered in chemicals that persist indefinitely and are linked to troubling health effects For years, disposable bowls have been a stalwart ally of the fast-casual restaurant. Beige, earthy-looking and made from molded plant fibers, these receptacles appear less wasteful than single-use plastic, lending an aura of social responsibility to the eateries that use them. Some varieties are even certified compostable, which means they’re guaranteed to break down in commercial composting facilities, if not the backyard leaf pile. And while only a few chains actually run composting programs, these bowls still feel lighter-touch somehow – even when they’re simply shipped to the landfill. They suggest a higher-minded way of eating, one based on a form of packaging that’s almost as ephemeral as our encounters with it. But fast-casual bowls have a troubling secret: virtually all of them contain worrisome chemicals that never biodegrade, polluting soil, water and our bodies in the process. The truth is that, though you might only handle your salad bowl for five minutes, traces of it will stick around in the environment for ever. Continue reading...
08/16/2019 - 01:25
Australia’s regional and global influence will not grow unless we are fair dinkum about acting on climate change As the Pacific Islands Forum comes to an end, Australia has yet again been shamed on a global stage for our inaction on climate change. The forum was held in Tuvalu, one of the lowest lying islands on Earth, where the effects of sea level rise are already being seen. For Tuvalu, a global commitment to limiting climate change to 1.5C is literally a question of survival. By doing everything he could to water down the forum communique’s climate language, the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, refused to listen to the words of Tuvalu’s prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, when he urged leaders to focus on “survival, not saving the economies of countries”. Continue reading...