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Author Archives: bobhollis

Save us from tree-less asphalt deserts | Letters

Phil Allen on Northern Ireland’s priceless natural assets, Paul Townsend on Pope Francis’s plea for the environment, and Philip Bisatt on the absence of trees from British town planning

Re your editorial on the Great Barrier Reef and “the values that money can’t measure” (29 June), Dieter Helm’s “natural capital” approach recognises that some assets are literally priceless and must be maintained.

As an example, the drainage path of the river Bann is being degraded at a great and almost irreversible rate. Lough Neagh, which is in its course, has been losing its characteristic fenland vegetation through nitrification from slurry runoff. The once vast flocks of overwintering wildfowl are long gone.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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The new west: why Republicans blocked public land management

As ‘permanent tourists’ move to the western US, the oil and gas-captured Republican party is fighting to keep locals out of managing public lands

A year ago, residents of Yucca Valley, California, along with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Forest Service officials, filled the town’s community center for a public meeting about the Sand to Snow National Monument. Designated early in 2016 by Barack Obama – and now under review for resizing by the Trump administration – the monument spans from the desert near Yucca Valley to the San Bernardino mountains about an hour east of Los Angeles.

Residents wanted to know what would change once their back-yard BLM land was converted into a national monument. Would the monument prohibit public access? Would it mean an end for hunting? What would it do for protecting area wildlife? Even those who had opposed Obama’s creation of Sand to Snow and the nearby Mojave Trails national monument came to the meeting, asking how they could have their voices heard in planning processes.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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UK will ban foreign fishing after leaving EU, says Gove – video

Michael Gove says the UK will be ‘taking back control’ of its waters and will ‘decide the terms of access’ for foreign fishing after leaving the EU. Speaking on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show, the environment secretary announces foreign fishing will be banned upon the withdrawal from the London fisheries convention, an arrangement that allows other countries to fish in British waters

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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UK to 'take back control' of waters after exiting fishing convention

Michael Gove announces withdrawal from London fisheries convention and claims leaving EU fisheries policy will be good for environment

The government has announced its withdrawal from an arrangement that allows other countries to fish in British waters. The environment secretary, Michael Gove, claimed the UK was “taking back control”.

On Monday ministers will trigger withdrawal from the London fisheries convention, signed in 1964 before the UK joined the European Union, to start the two-year process to leave the agreement. The convention allows vessels from the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands to fish within six and 12 nautical miles of each other’s coastlines.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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Russia begins cleaning up the Soviets' top-secret nuclear waste dump

When the Soviet Union collapsed a vast store of spent nuclear fuel was abandoned in the Russian Arctic – an environmental disaster waiting to happen. Decades later an international clean-up has finally begun

As the Rossita pulled away from the pier at Andreyeva Bay, sounding a long boom of its horn, a military band struck up a jaunty march. On board the ship were nine sealed metal casks, each four metres high and weighing 45 tonnes, containing canisters of spent nuclear fuel. Dozens of Russian and foreign nuclear specialists looked on applauding, as the chilly rain of a northern summer fell on the bay deep inside the Russian Arctic.

The ceremony, held on Tuesday afternoon, marks the culmination of a long international project to begin removing nuclear fuel from the site, formerly a top-secret Soviet installation. Nuclear specialists say Andreyeva Bay contains the largest reserves of spent nuclear fuel in the world, in fragile conditions that have disturbed the international community for years.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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The eco guide to the repair economy

Taking possessions to be repaired – bicycles, clothes, shoes, anything – instead of throwing them out and replacing them is green gold

An unassuming repair shop might not look like a major disruptive force. But extending the lifespan of your possessions by getting them fixed is one of the most effective green direct actions available.

The cycling community is at the forefront of the repair economy

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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Boy, 11, shoots charging bear to save fishing party in Alaska

Elliot Clark was walking through woods with three family members and three dogs when the bear charged them

Quick action from an 11-year-old boy saved a fishing party from a charging brown bear, Alaska state troopers said.

Elliot Clark was walking through the woods near Game Creek with three family members and three dogs when the bear came out and charged them, the Juneau Empire reported.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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Nightingales flourish but why is ‘rewilding’ the countryside controversial?

Conservationists admit the word is divisive, particularly among farmers

Just down the road from Gatwick, the neatly hedged English countryside gives way to an exuberant, utterly alien-looking landscape. Arable fields are obliterated by dense thickets of sallow. Eight metre-wide blackthorn hedges spill into flowery meadows. Wild pigs and red deer run rampant through ragwort, thistles and other weeds. The air is alive with birdsong rarely heard in Britain today – spectacular bursts of nightingale and the purring of turtle doves.

In barely a decade, rewilded nature has conquered Knepp Castle in West Sussex. Rewilding appears to be conquering conservation too. As Brexit and the savaging of agricultural subsidies loom, farming may also be engulfed by this new wild. But as rewilding blossoms, so do controversies. Scientists recently warned that wild boar illegally released into Scotland could carry the CC398 strain of the MRSA superbug that is resistant to antibiotics.

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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Exotic and colourful – but should parakeets be culled, ask scientists

A four-year research project has found the flocks are a major threat to British birds, farms and vineyards

It is not what you would expect to hear in the Conservative suburban heartlands of Beckenham, Bromley and Boreham Wood in south-east England – homeowners voicing their approval for a wave of immigrants from Asia.

As one of the senior researchers studying the flocks of Afro-Asians said: “Many people say they bring an enormous sense of wellbeing. They say they are charismatic, beautiful, exotic. They absolutely love having them around.”

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Source: Guardian Climate Change

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