News In Brief

Daily climate change,eco & environment news

Your chance to whale-watch in Scotland!

Brendan Montague
| 18th July 2017
For over 40 years, Sea Watch Foundation scientists as well as volunteer observers all around the UK’s coast have been reporting on whales, dolphins and porpoises –collectively known as cetaceans – to inform Sea Watch’s huge database of records.

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The 14th 'Free Terra' Camp in Praç;a dos Ipês, Brasília, during April 24-28 2017. Over 4,000 representatives from 200 indigenous peoples from all regions of the country were present in a large demonstration of strength of the indigenous movement. Photo:

Brazil: Increase in land killings as political crisis threatens Amazon

Joe Sandler Clarke
Sam Cowie
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 7th June 2017
Impunity reigns in the Amazon, write Joe Sandler Clarke & Sam Cowie, and the indigenous peoples of the forest are the big losers as they suffer repeated killings and land grabs. Big cuts to Funai, the agency meant to protect Brazil's indigenous tribes, have encouraged land barons to expand their land holdings into indigenous territories and murder any who resist.

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Ecuador's 'free trade' agreement with the US only undermined their ability to get justice for Texaco's toxic legacy of oil pollution, and did little to attract investment. Now it has been dumped along with 15 others. Photo of Lago Agrio by Caroline Bennet

Ecuador rips up 16 toxic trade treaties

Nick Dearden
Global Justice Now
| 31st May 2017
Ecuador is the latest country to tear up 'free trade' agreements that have so far cost the country $21 billion in damages awarded to foreign companies by 'corporate courts', and yielded next to nothing in return, writes Nick Dearden. So the outgoing President Correa did the only sensible thing: in one of his final executive acts this month, he scrapped 16 toxic trade and investment treaties.

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Prime Minister Theresa May signed her Article 50 setting out the UK's intention to withdraw from the European Union, 28th March 2017. Photo: Jay Allen / Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Revealed: May's secret EU mission to weaken climate and energy targets

Zachary Davies Boren
Greenpeace Energydesk
| 30th May 2017
When Prime Minister Theresa May went to Brussels to hand in her 'Article 50' Brexit notice, she was also pursuing a separate, covert objective, writes Zachary Davies Boren. Leaked papers show that the UK was lobbying to gut new EU rules and targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency - even though they will only come into force after Brexit.

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No, that's not Theresa May leading this 'police against fracking' demo, it's veteran anti-fracking campaigner Tina Rothery. Photo: Rev'd Peter Doodes via Fracking Hell (UK) on Facebook

Only Conservatives and UKIP back fracking in GE2017

Mat Hope
DeSmog.uk
| 18th May 2017
With the major party manifestos all published it's not just the Greens that oppose fracking, writes Mat Hope. It's also Labour and the Libdems. So who's left? The Tories of course, who are holding fast to the fracking faith, and even want to create a new special purpose regulator for the industry. Oh yes, and UKIP, which is also committed to abolishing the Climate Change Act.

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Who needs research into climate change adaptation? Flooding in Brisbane, Queensland, 11th January 2011. Photo: Angus Veitch via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia axes climate change adaptation research

Tayanah O'Donnel
Josephine Mummery
University of Canberra
| 16th May 2017
Natural disasters like flood and drought have cost the Australian government more than A$12 billion since 2009, write Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, with even harsher weather events predicted for coming decades. Clearly, it's just the time for Australia to eliminate funding for research on adapting to climate change.

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Sunset years ... power plant and Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Joliet, Illinois. Photo: Greg Wass via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Oil industry's sunset years: low prices, weak demand, poor outlook

Paul Brown
| 15th May 2017
With oil prices remaining low, the world's oil industry is facing bleak years ahead, writes Paul Brown. The global push to decarbonise the economy, combined with surging renewable energy and the trend to more efficient and electric vehicles, is denting investor confidence and pointing to the shrinking away of a once mighty and profitable industry.

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Jeremy Corbyn at a political rally in North London, 15th August 2016. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Corbyn's green vision wins: leaked manifesto promises huge environmental gains

Oliver Tickell
| 11th May 2017
A huge raft of environmental reforms is promised in the Labour Party's draft manifesto, writes Oliver Tickell. Among the highlights: a ban on fracking; a clean energy policy based on renewables and efficiency; no commitment to new nuclear power; to meet our Paris Agreement obligations on climate; to give companies a legal obligation to protect the environment; to retain all EU environment laws post-Brexit; and multilateral nuclear disarmament.

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Mural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in celebration of indigenous culture by the artist Eduardo Kobra. Photo: Stefano Ravalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil: Amazon's Indians, rainforest under attack

Jan Rocha
Climate News Network
| 10th May 2017
Attacks on Amazon Indians and on their land rights are threatening vital areas of rainforest, writes Jan Rocha. Meanwhile FUNAI, the agency responsible for safeguarding indigenous tribes is being forced to withdraw from key conflict zones due to underfunding, while Indians' attempts to assert their rights are met with state violence.

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Spot the difference: Monsanto's new 'Glyphosate-free' Roundup product, now on sale in Germany, and a bottle of vinegar. Photo: Dr Helmut Burtscher / GMWatch.

Monsanto's new 'glyphosate-free' Roundup is vinegar!

Claire Robinson
GMWatch
| 8th May 2017
Has Monsanto, dubbed the 'world's most evil corporation', turned a new leaf? It has taken the 'probably carcinogenic' glyphosate out of a new version of its market leading 'Roundup' herbicide, and replaced it with vinegar. The bad news is it's only available in Austria. That, and it may still contain toxic 'adjuvants' to increase its effectiveness.

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Seen here in 2008, this uncontacted indigenous community in Brazil's Amazon may be fierce in defence of its lands. But they don't stand a chance in the face of bulldozers, chainsaws, automatic weapons, and the new diseases brought by loggers, miners and f

Brazil: Government to abandon tribes to 'genocide' by loggers and ranchers

Oliver Tickell
| 26th April 2017
Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.'

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Judy Eckert holding water contaminated with arsenic drawn from her private well 450ft from a fracking rig in Pennsylvania, which she believes contaminated her water supply. Photo: Public Herald via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking kills newborn babies - polluted water likely cause

Oliver Tickell
| 25th April 2017
A new study in Pennsylvania, USA shows that fracking is strongly related to increased mortality in young babies. The effect is most pronounced in counties with many drinking water wells indicating that contamination by 'produced water' from fracking is a likely cause. Radioactive pollution with uranium, thorium and radium is a 'plausible explanation' for the excess deaths.

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"Climate turning point is necessary, advisable and achievable" @CFigueres at launch of Mission2020 #2020DontBeLate. Photo: @EmmaHowardBoyd via Twitter.

We can do it! 'Mission 2020' bid to get emissions falling in three years

Joe Ware
| 13th April 2017
Never mind the climate idiocy that has gripped the USA! Global emissions are already flatlining, writes Joe Ware, and a new initiative just launched in London aims to start pulling them down by 2020. Sure it's ambitious, but it's possible - because the future is unlike the past, and it's already happening, right now. Are you up for the challenge?

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There's carbon in the world's permafrost soils, like these at Summit Lake, Mount Evans/ Mount Spalding, Colorado - more than in the entire atmosphere!  Photo: Wally Gobetz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Permafrost thaw threatens flood of carbon, methane emissions

Alex Kirby
| 12th April 2017
Permafrost is much more sensitive to warmer temperatures than previously known, writes Alex Kirby. A new study shows that every 1C of warming could melt 4 million sq.km of frozen soil, releasing huge amounts of methane and carbon dioxide to add to the warming. It's time to start meeting those Paris targets!

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Total tax received from the North Sea oil and gas sector 1968-2017, not adjusted for inflation. Includes petroleum revenue tax, ringfence corporation tax, supplementary charge, royalty and gas levy. Figure for 2016-17 covers 11 months to February 2017. So

North Sea oil industry cost UK taxpayers £400m last year, and counting

Simon Evans
Carbon Brief
| 5th April 2017
The whole idea of North Sea oil was to make Britain rich, writes Simon Evans. At least that's how it all began. But now ... it cost UK taxpayers a massive £396 million a year in tax breaks and subsidies to keep the industry alive last year. And there's no reason to think that's going to turn around any time soon.

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Where Toshiba's $10bn nuclear debt came from: the Vogtle AP1000 construction site in Georgia, under inspection by NRC Commissioner Svinicki. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr (CC BY).

Toshiba's nuclear flagship goes bust after $10 billion losses

Jim Green
| 30th March 2017
News that one of the world's biggest nuclear power constructors, Westinghouse, has filed for bankruptcy in with debts of over $10 billion has put the entire sector on notice and issued a dire warning to nuclear investors everywhere, writes Jim Green. Among the likely casualties: the UK's Moorside nuclear complex in Cumbria.

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Cattle grazing in Maharashtra, India. With global warming, their forage will get tougher, and their methane emissions higher. Photo: Vijay Sonar via Flickr (CC BY).

Spiral of doom: hotter world increases cattle methane emissions

Oliver Tickell
| 27th March 2017
A vicious cycle of climate change, cattle diet and rising methane has been revealed in a new scientific study: as temperatures rise, forage plants get tougher and harder to digest, and cause more methane to be produced in bovine stomachs. And with cattle numbers rising and methane 85 times more powerful a greenhouse gas over 20 years, that spells trouble.

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Coyote Springs Natural Gas Plant, Oregon, USA. Photo: Portland General Electric via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Natural gas leaks from power plants, refineries, 100 times greater than thought

Steve Horn
DeSmogBlog
| 22nd March 2017
Natural gas is meant to be a far lower carbon fuel than coal, writes Steve Horn. But a new study shows that methane leaks from gas power plants and oil refineries are 20-120 times higher than thought. And with methane a greenhouse gas almost 100 times stronger than CO2 over 20 years, the leaks are equivalent to about a tenth of the US's CO2 emissions.

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