Breaking Waves: Ocean News

12/17/2018 - 00:30
Dew farm, Peasmarsh, East Sussex: Ben Walgate wants to establish a vineyard that echoes the humus- and microbe-rich soil environment in which wild vines thrive In a coppiced corner of Dew farm, deep in the rolling Sussex Weald, grows a wild grapevine: ancient, gnarled and bountiful. When Ben Walgate moved here last year, he wild-fermented grapes from the vine and found he had made a wine that, as he put it, “tasted of the place”. Now Walgate, who comes from a long line of farmers, is creating a vineyard – Tillingham Wines – using that vine as inspiration. Instead of the intensive and chemical-dependent practices of traditional viticulture, Walgate, with the collaboration of the owner of the estate, the conservationist Lord Devonport, wants to establish a vineyard that echoes as closely as possible the natural, biodiverse, humus- and microbe-rich soil environment in which wild vines thrive. Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 19:01
Researchers warn rising temperatures will cause plants to flower later and die sooner Milder winters driven by climate change will hit blackcurrant crops, with plants producing fewer and lower quality fruit, according to a new study. Like many other fruit and woody plants, blackcurrants need a period of chilling before they start to grow in spring. This reduces the risk of frost damage to new buds and makes sure they burst rapidly in the spring and flower together when there are plenty of pollinators such as bees around. Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 12:37
Trillions of dollars of investments are being taken out of carbon-intensive companies. Governments must now take notice I remember well the first institution to announce it was divesting from fossil fuel. It was 2012 and I was on the second week of a gruelling tour across the US trying to spark a movement. Our roadshow had been playing to packed houses down the west coast, and we’d crossed the continent to Portland, Maine. As a raucous crowd jammed the biggest theatre in town, a physicist named Stephen Mulkey took the mic. He was at the time president of the tiny Unity College in the state’s rural interior, and he announced that over the weekend its trustees had voted to sell their shares in coal, oil and gas companies. “The time is long overdue for all investors to take a hard look at the consequences of supporting an industry that persists in destructive practices,” he said. Related: The Guardian view on global warming: time is running out | Editorial Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 12:17
Extinction Rebellion group call on BBC to tell ‘full truth about ecological emergency’ Climate campaigners are calling on the BBC to declare a climate emergency and make the issue its top editorial priority. In a letter published in the Guardian, the new civil disobedience group Extinction Rebellion (XR) says the BBC, “as a respected media voice in the UK, needs to play a key role in enabling the transformative change needed”. Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 10:25
Agreement will fail to halt devastating rise in global temperature, say scientists The world has been put on notice that its best efforts so far will fail to halt the devastation of climate change, as countries came to a partial agreement at UN talks that failed to match up to the challenges faced. Leading figures in climate science and economics said much more must be done, and quickly, to stave off the prospect of dangerous levels of global warming. Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 09:54
Friends of the Earth granted judicial review it hopes will help alter planning rules Ministers face a pair of legal challenges to their planning rules on fracking this week, from a national environmental group and the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. The government used its revamped planning rulebook to tell local authorities in July that they should recognise the benefits of shale gas and facilitate its extraction. Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 07:52
David Bernhardt’s new job means top two US environmental agencies will be helmed by people once paid by industry Ryan Zinke’s exit as interior secretary elevates a former lobbyist to the job, meaning the top two US environmental agencies will now be run by people previously paid by industry. The deputy secretary, David Bernhardt, will take over at least temporarily when Zinke steps down at the end of the year. He also could be in the running to head the department permanently. And at the Environmental Protection Agency, the acting administrator, Andrew Wheeler, who was a coal lobbyist, will be nominated to keep the post. Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 07:04
Fractious UN climate change talks ended with a deal on putting the Paris agreement into practice – but much else left unresolved ‘We can move forward now’: climate talks take significant step Countries settled on most of the tricky elements of the “rulebook” for putting the 2015 Paris agreement into practice. This includes how governments will measure, report on and verify their emissions-cutting efforts, a key element because it ensures all countries are held to proper standards and will find it harder to wriggle out of their commitments. Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 06:00
Hopes were high for the interior secretary’s tenure. But profiteers and climate deniers quickly changed that When President Trump’s new secretary of the interior Ryan Zinke rode a horse across the National Mall to the steps of his new office, there was cautious optimism, as a western congressman who professed to idolize Teddy Roosevelt seemed like a solid choice to govern 20% of the land base of the United States. In the unforgiving milieu of Washington DC, Zinke and the “horse he rode in on” were subjected to withering ridicule. As the 18th director of the National Park Service (NPS), where I oversaw over 400 national parks and the equestrian patrol of the National Mall who accompanied the new secretary, I chalked it up to a publicity stunt. Continue reading...
12/16/2018 - 04:00
Falling revenues from waste reprocessing have led to a financial black hole for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority The government body given the job of cleaning up Britain’s old nuclear power stations has warned that taxpayers will have to help plug a looming multimillion-pound gap in its finances left by shrinking revenues. David Peattie, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, said revenues would fall more than 10% annually in coming years due to the end of an era of nuclear waste reprocessing. One plant ceased operations in November and another will stop in two years. Continue reading...