Breaking Waves: Ocean News

12/14/2018 - 13:27
At the COP24 conference, leaders lack the urgency felt by communities on the frontlines of a global threat As wildfires burn, as temperatures rise, as the last remaining old-growth forests in Poland are logged, world leaders are in Katowice to negotiate the implementation of the Paris climate agreement. To outsiders, UN climate talks may seem like a positive step. Unfortunately, this is COP24. For 24 years, world leaders have annually talked at each other instead of to one another in hopes of reaching an agreement on how to mitigate the climate crisis. In all that time, they have barely scratched the surface of an issue that the world’s top climate scientists say we now have 12 years to stop – and that is an optimistic estimate. Continue reading...
12/14/2018 - 10:35
Bird battles, snoozing seals and mischievous macaques in this week’s gallery Continue reading...
12/14/2018 - 09:38
Retailer says it will find other ways to make products sparkle in effort to stem plastic waste Waitrose has joined the crackdown on glitter by pledging to ban it from all own-brand products by 2020. The supermarket chain said its own-label cards, wraps, crackers, tags, flowers and plants will either be glitter-free or use an environmentally friendly alternative. Continue reading...
12/14/2018 - 09:10
Stores selling stubby sprouts and curvy carrots in attempt to reduce festive food waste Supermarkets have increased their efforts to reduce the national food waste mountain at Christmas by offering shoppers edible produce nearing the end of its shelf life, as well as “wonky” sprouts, carrots and parsnips. The wonky or “ugly” lines were being offered at cheaper prices in an effort to stop the rejection or waste of fruit and veg that was misshapen, had growth cracks or was much smaller or larger than average. Continue reading...
12/14/2018 - 08:21
Coal, known as ‘black gold’ in Poland, has helped the country achieve energy independence. However, the high-polluting fuel has been linked to serious diseases and premature death. With COP24 climate talks under way in Katowice, pressure grows on Poland to reduce its reliance on the fossil fuel. But with 100,000 coal-dependent jobs in the country, switching to alternative sources of energy carries great economic risk. Here, Violeta Santos Moura explores the problem in her essay Dark Clouds Can Poland wean itself off coal? Continue reading...
12/14/2018 - 08:21
Climate experts say the renaissance can be stopped but change must happen now – and the main obstacle is at the top Poland’s deadly addiction to coal – in pictures Displays of coal jewellery and coal soap, coal in a glass walkway beneath your feet, coal in the air that you breathe … the Polish hosts of this week’s UN climate talks have been anything but subtle in reminding delegates that we still live in a fossil-fuelled world despite the urgent necessity to move to a cleaner path. The conference centre is near the mineshaft of the colliery museum in Katowice, the heartland of Silesia’s vast coal industry. The sponsors include JSW, the EU’s largest coking coal producer, and PGE, which runs the world’s second-largest fossil-fuel power plant. Continue reading...
12/14/2018 - 07:14
Nascent industry aims to reduce environmental impact of beef production The first steak grown from cells in the lab and not requiring the slaughter of a cow has been produced in Israel. The meat is not the finished article: the prototype costs $50 for a small strip, and the taste needs perfecting, according to its makers. But it is the first meat grown outside an animal that has a muscle-like texture similar to conventional meat. Continue reading...
12/14/2018 - 06:00
Comments by science review board chairman add weight to fears that Trump administration is aiming to discredit research to justify scrapping regulations A conservative science adviser to the Trump administration is casting doubt on longstanding research linking fossil fuel pollution to early deaths and health problems, worrying environmental experts. At a meeting to review air pollution science compiled by staffers at the Environmental Protection Agency this week the advisory board chairman, Tony Cox – a consultant and statistician who has worked for the industry and criticized EPA standards – questioned whether soot from coal plants and cars can be directly blamed for asthma and cardiopulmonary problems. Continue reading...
12/13/2018 - 20:36
Annastacia Palaszczuk says state has done all it can to prepare for severe category-four storm Cyclone Owen will “wreak havoc” across Queensland, with remote communities braced for 280km/h winds and much of the state on flood alert, the premier has said. Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state had done all it can to be ready for Owen, which is expected to hit as a severe category-four storm late on Friday or early on Saturday. Continue reading...
12/13/2018 - 18:06
Frustrated leaders appeal to ‘all OECD countries’ to phase out use as Australia signals support for new plants Pacific countries vulnerable to climate change have urged Australia to abandon coal power generation within 12 years, and to prohibit new coal plants or expansion of existing plants. The call from 15 small Pacific island states came one day after the Australian government called for expressions of interest in new power generation projects, indicating it would be prepared to use taxpayer money to underwrite new coal plants. Continue reading...