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News In Brief

Guardian's fossil fuel divestment pledge allows gas, fracking

The Ecologist

1st April 2015

The Guardian Media Group is to divest from fossil fuels - but the promise does not include natural gas and other unspecified 'hydrocarbons' and could allow continued investment in fracking. Photo: Steven Depolo via Flickr (CC BY). The Guardian Media Group is to divest its £800m fund from fossil fuels over five years. But the promise excludes natural gas and other 'hydrocarbons' - leaving the door open for it to retain controversial investments in fracking. more...

Fishing bandits arrested in Sea Shepherd's 'Operation Icefish'

The Ecologist

31st March 2015

The Sea Shepherd vessel the Bob Barker braving the waves of the Southern Ocean in pursuit of the Japanese whaling ship the Nisshin Maru in 2010. The same boat is now chasing illegal fishing vessels in the same waters. Photo: wietse? via Flickr (CC BY-NS-S The first year of Sea Shepherd's campaign to close down illegal fishing operations in the Southern Ocean, dubbed 'Operation Icefish' has already led to the detention of two 'bandit' fishing vessels while a third is under pursuit. more...

Glyphosate, 2,4-D, dicamba herbicides cause antibiotic resistance

The Ecologist

30th March 2015

Monsanto's Roundup herbicide contains Glyphosate, one of the three herbicides that causes antibiotic resistance on pathogenic bacteria. Photo: via Sustainable Food Trust. Scientists have discovered that exposure to three widely used herbicides including Monsanto's Roundup and Kamba causes pathogenic bacteria to develop resistance to medically important antibiotics. more...

Wikileaks papers reveal TPP's huge corporate giveaway

EurActiv

29th March 2015

Photo: Tori Rector via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0). Leaked papers reveal that the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal would represent a historic transfer of power and money from the US and other governments to corporations. more...

'Heat beater' beans could feed millions in warmer world

Alex Kirby

27th March 2015

Dried beans in Blantyre Market, Malawi. Photo: Michaelphoya via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). Thirty new heat tolerant varieties of bean - a staple food crop around the world's tropical regions - will help people survive in a world as much as 4C warmer that it is now, writes Alex Kirby - and look: no genetic modification! more...

TTIP: MPs demand transparency and 'right to regulate'

Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell

26th March 2015

Beware what lies beneath! Green / EFA MEPs supporting hundreds of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 4th February 2015. Photo: greensefa via Flickr (CC BY 2.0). British MPs have rebuked the government for its secretive and apathetic response to public concerns over the TTIP EU-US trade deal, demanding that nations' 'right to regulate' for health, environment and the wider public interest must stand at the heart of any future agreement. more...

Policy makers warned on UK shale gas - assume there won't be any

The Ecologist

25th March 2015

Local impacts matter too! Fracking fluid and other drilling wastes are dumped into an unlined pit located right up against the Petroleum Highway in Kern County, California. Photo: Faces of Fracking via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). High ranking academics have issued a stark warning to policy makers on the future of Britain's shale gas - your best bet is that we have none that can be recovered consistent with policy objectives. more...

Wildlife conference: Tribes demand: 'recognize our right to hunt!'

Oliver Tickell

24th March 2015

A San 'Bushman' hunter wıth bow and arrow. Photo: Charles Roffey via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). At the 'United for Wildlife' conference in Botswana, backed by princes Charles and William, Indigenous organizations from around the world are calling on world leaders to recognize tribal peoples' right to hunt for subsistence. more...

IARC: Glyphosate 'probably carcinogenic'

Oliver Tickell

23rd March 2015

No, Monsanto's 'Roundup' glyphosate-based herbicide is not safe enough to drink. It's 'probably carcinogenic to humans' - and that's official! Photo: London Permaculture via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) The International Agency for Research on Cancer has labelled the world's biggest herbicide, glyphosate, as 'probably carcinogenic'. Another four widely used organophosphate insecticides may also pose a cancer risk. more...

Amazon carbon sink declines as trees grow fast, die faster

Oliver Phillips & Roel Brienen

21st March 2015

The Amazon forest still looks green and verdant, but over the whole region changes are afoot, with trees maturing faster - and dying younger. Photo: Dams999 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). To date the Amazon has been a huge carbon sink, soaking up billions of tonnes of our emissions from fossil fuels, write Oliver Phillips & Roel Brienen. But now that's changing, as trees grow faster and die younger: the sink appears to be saturating. more...

Wind turbines generating 4.5% of US electricity

Kieran Cooke

20th March 2015

Wind farm at Palm Springs, CA. Photo: Bonita de Boer via Flickr (CC-BY 2.0). Wind generates almost a twentieth of America's power, writes Kieran Cooke - and that's set to double in five years, despite the phase-out of tax credits. Now the main constraint to future expansion is power line capacity. more...

World's greatest marine reserve around Pitcairn Islands

The Ecologist

19th March 2014

Pitcairn, one of four islands in the Pitcairn Islands British Overseas Territory, is to be become the centre of a vast marine protected areas protecting 830,000 sq.km of ocean. Photo: doublecnz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The UK is to create a fully protected marine in the South Pacific more than three times bigger than the UK itself, covering some 830,000 square kilometres. The move may herald further huge designations in the UK's 'overseas territories' which encompass over 6 million square kilometres of ocean. more...

Antarctic warmth brings more snow, reducing sea level rise

Alex Kirby & Oliver Tickell

18th March 2015

Where ice meets ocean - Antarctic coastline by McKay Savage via Flickr (CC BY 2.0). Rising temperatures will result in more snow falling in Antarctica, and the build-up of ice will reduce sea level rise from other sources. But as the extra weight of ice makes Antarctica's glaciers flow faster, the continent will still be a net contributor to sea level rise. more...

DRC Congo wants to develop Virunga's oil

Melanie Gouby / the Guardian Environment

17th March 2015

Hippo and Buffalo on the Semliki River at Lulimbi in Virunga National Park. Photo: virunga.org via Terese Hart / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). The Democratic Republic of Congo is to consult UNESCO, writes Melanie Gouby, over its wish to 'explore judiciously' for oil in Africa's first and most biodiverse National Park and World Heritage Site. more...

Money dries up for Great Barrier Reef coal project

Marina Lou & Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk

16th March 2015

If the Adami mine goes ahead, the Abbot Point port will be in line for a massive upgrade. But the Queensland Government is paying nothing towards the cost. Photo: Greenpeace. Indian coal firm Adani is struggling to finance its proposed mega coal mine in Australia's Galilee Basin, write Marina Lou & Christine Ottery, as promised government support evaporates and a major investor looks set to pull out. more...

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