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Plantwatch: Mushroom madness – fungi finale?

Harmful foraging? So long as there’s cash in harvesting wild fungi they face being stripped away, so they need protecting

Plenty of rain has brought out lots of mushrooms, including giant puffballs, psychedelic red and white fly agaric, field mushrooms and many more.

One of the most prized edible fungi is the penny bun or cep, the classic mushroom with a brown cap and stumpy beige stalk you expect gnomes to sit on.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Environmental activist David Suzuki on Tony Abbott, solar panels and his book

The Canadian environmental activist, who is in Australia next March for WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks series, speaks to Oliver Milman

Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, who was the subject of a solo Q&A broadcast in 2013, is back in Australia in March to take part in WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks series. Suzuki, a vocal advocate for action on climate change, spoke to Guardian Australia about Tony Abbott, the upcoming Paris climate talks and his new book.

What did you make of Australia’s latest change of prime minister?

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Source: Guardian Environment

Whitechapel High Street cycle superhighway bus stop bypass is a mess

One of the more conspicuous of Boris Johnson’s cycling infrastructure initiatives is doing little for the East End high street it has carved up

Should London’s streets be designed for facilitating traffic movement or enhancing them as attractive places? The right answer is generally some variant of both, and takes different forms according to the type of street and the priorities of the people making the decisions.

Boris Johnson is, of course, such a person thanks to his much vaunted Vision for Cycling and its ongoing, high profile implementation on many of the capital’s roads. The hard part is getting the combination right because that is where the arguments begin. Some of the most fraught are about where cycling should fit in. Here’s a view from the author of the Cycle And Walk Hackney Blog about a major street in his borough:

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Source: Guardian Environment

Kayaker gets close and personal with killer whale school – video

Travel enthusiast Michelle Feis meets a set of more than 20 killer whales while she was out kayaking with a friend at the end of August. The video was uploaded onto social media on September 1 and shows Feis and her friend in their kayaks near the shore when a group of killer whales swim up to them. In the video, Feis can be heard screaming with glee as the whales swim right up to and underneath the kayaks

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Source: Guardian Environment

With Hinkley Point, squandermania has reached dangerous new heights | Simon Jenkins

George Osborne is signing IOUs for megastructure projects on behalf of future British taxpayers – and yet no one dares call him to account

It is the costliest white elephant in history. No power station, perhaps no building, so expensive has ever been built anywhere. In a modest meadow overlooking the Bristol Channel is to rise a structure that will outstrip in extravagance the Three Gorges dam, St Peter’s Basilica, the Taj Mahal and probably the pyramid of Cheops. It is to be built – you guessed it – by the British taxpayer. You can accuse George Osborne of many things but not of austerity. Hinkley Point C marks a new high watermark in public sector extravagance.

Anyone brave enough to inquire into Britain’s proposed £24bn new power station can only reel back in horror. This week every comment on Osborne’s £2bn guarantee for a Chinese share in the project has been baffled. Not a penny of British risk capital is going into it. The finance comes from French and Chinese parastatals, but gold-plated with Treasury price contracts and guarantees. The only two versions of the EDF pressurised water reactor under construction, in Finland and France, are way behind schedule with doubled budgets. For £24bn you can read anything you like. It is the auto-da-fé of Treasury control.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn quits over diesel emissions scandal

Winterkorn, chief executive since 2007, to leave embattled carmaker after company admits ‘we totally screwed up’

Volkswagen has announced the resignation of its chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, and said the fallout from the diesel emissions test scandal would result in further executive scalps and a likely criminal investigation in Germany.

Related: Volkswagen crisis: chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigns – live

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Source: Guardian Environment

India's doctors blame air pollution for sharp rise in respiratory diseases

Cases are up 30% since 2010 in country where decline in air quality is shifting from acute to chronic in more than just Delhi

A sharp rise in cases of chest and throat disease in India is being blamed by doctors on worsening air pollution in the country, which is now home to 13 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world.

According to India’s National Health Profile 2015, there were almost 3.5m reported cases of acute respiratory infection (ARI) last year, a 140,000 increase on the previous year and a 30% increase since 2010.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Watch the moment the Pope urged America to act on climate change

It seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation, Pope Francis tells White House audience

President Obama welcomed Pope Francis to the White House Wednesday morning to loud cheers from thousands gathered to greet the leader of the Catholic church — in a city that has virtually shut down for the historic event. The ceremony marks the first time that Pope Francis has visited the United States and kicks off a much anticipated three-city tour that includes Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York City.

During his first address in the United States, Francis pulled no punches when talking about one of the defining issues of his leadership, calling on Americans to protect our “common home” and act on climate change with a sense of urgency —an issue that many Republicans have criticized.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Pope Francis calls for urgent action on climate change in White House speech

Addressing a crowd of nearly 15,000 on the south lawn, pope invokes Martin Luther King Jr in speaking of the moral need to protect our ‘common home’

Pope Francis enlisted the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr to help bolster his call for urgent action on climate change on Wednesday in a welcoming ceremony at the White House that Barack Obama said would “shake our conscience from slumber”.

Related: Pope Francis calls for climate change action in White House speech – live

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Source: Guardian Environment