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Britain's EU exit would devastate nation's farmers, says study

Only the top 10% of farmers would be able to survive due to severe drops in EU subsidies

A British exit from the European Union would have a devastating effect on the nation’s farmers, leaving only the most efficient 10% able to survive without the multi-billion pound subsidies currently handed out by Brussels, says a new report.

The study, titled Preparing for Brexit by the independent London-based analysts Agra Europe – who track EU and UK policy, also warns that leaving the EU could damage UK food exports, cause large multinational food companies to relocate away from the UK, and choke off the supply of much-needed seasonal labour from eastern Europe.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Leaked map reveals Big Gas eyeing most biodiverse place on earth

Manu National Park in Peru’s Amazon targeted by Pluspetrol, according to map of planned geological fieldwork

Look at the map below. What it shows is a gas company’s interest in doing “geological fieldwork” at two UTM-referenced points in the far west of the Manu National Park in Peru’s Amazon:

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Source: Guardian Environment

‘I was kidnapped, chained and blindfolded. They’d kill me if I went back to Colombia’

Trade union activist Gilberto Torres talks about his country’s oil wars
and why he is bringing a case against BP

While peace edges closer in Colombia – ending a 40-year war between the government and leftwing Farc guerillas – so another war rages unabated: the appalling violence that surrounds mining and drilling for oil.

A remarkable survivor of these atrocities visited Britain this month for a tour of public meetings about his kidnap and torture, warning of the ravages of “extraction industries” in Latin America, and to consult his lawyers over a suit he has filed against BP for its alleged connections to the kidnappers.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Giant squid writ small: juvenile monsters of the deep captured off Japan

Three young squid caught by marine biologists are the spitting image of their gigantic parents – if nearly 1,000lbs and 50ft smaller

Marine biologists have captured three young giant squid, Japanese researchers reported, in what would be the first confirmed catch of very young juveniles of the elusive creature.

The young squid, caught off south-western Japan, are replicas of their gigantic parents who live in the deep. Two were caught together; all three weighed less than 1lb and spanned 5-13ins. Adults can reach 50ft and 1,000lbs.

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Source: Guardian Environment

US steams ahead with new rules to curb pollution by superyachts

Despite protests from Russia, America takes unilateral action forcing bling boats to cut toxic emissions

No self-respecting oligarch these days can afford to be without a superyacht. Ownership of a bling boat is as obligatory as the Ferrari in the triple garage and the private jet on standby.

However, within months any billionaire wanting to sail their marine home into US waters will have to comply with stringent new environmental regulations to curb their hulking vessel’s polluting effects. The regulations, which stipulate that certain types of vessel built after 2016 have to be fitted with bulky equipment that converts nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and water, were presented to the International Maritime Organisation, the UN body responsible for reducing shipping pollution, but were resisted by trade bodies representing superyacht manufacturers. They protested that the proposed rules threatened their industry because the engine rooms of some superyachts were too small to accommodate the new equipment, meaning they would have to lose a guest cabin to make room for the technology.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Hurricane Patricia: drone footage shows flooding in Texas – video

Drone footage shows flooding on the streets of Dallas and Navarro County as heavy rains lash Texas on Friday. The state has been placed on a flood watch now that Hurricane Patricia has made landfall along the pacific coast of Mexico. Rains are expected to intensify over the weekend when moisture from the storm meets with other weather systems over the US mainland

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Source: Guardian Environment

Dolphins and gannets make a big splash

Chanonry Point, Highlands Bottlenose dolphins can regularly be seen breaching the waters here – particularly if there is a run of salmon on the making tide

This spit of land extending into the Moray Firth about 18 kilometres northeast of Inverness is one of the best places in Britain to see bottlenose dolphins without going to sea. They can regularly be seen breaching the waters here – particularly if there is a run of salmon on the making tide. Birdwatchers, photographers and onlookers of all ages gather by the Chanonry lighthouse to see the display.

On my most recent visit, the dolphins were scything through the water with just their large fins showing. Experts say they can identify individuals by the variation in colour and markings, including nicks and clefts, on the fins, but, apart from one specimen with a large fin cleft, I doubt I would have been able to identify any of them again.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Chipotle's silence on sustainability practices make it a target for CSR advocates

Chipotle is copping flack on all sides for refusing to demonstrate that its claims regarding GMOs and other sustainable practices are supported by fact and action

Sometimes life does imitate art. Last year, Chipotle Mexican Grill, the fast-growing burrito and taco chain, produced an internet comedy series called Farmed and Dangerous to satirize industrial agriculture. The villain, a sneering character named Buck Marshall, who runs a fictional outfit called the Industrial Food Image Bureau, was inspired by real-life PR operative Rick Berman.

Last month, Berman struck back. In a number of brutal ads and on a website dubbed Chubby Chipotle (“Food with hypocrisy”), Berman charged that Chipotle engages in deceptive marketing and sells unhealthy food. Berman runs the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, an industry-backed group that opposes what it calls “a growing cabal of activists” including the “self-anointed ‘food police’, health campaigners, trial lawyers, personal-finance do-gooders, animal-rights misanthropes and meddling bureaucrats”.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Plenty to worry about regarding Britain’s close relationship with China | Letters

Did I hear Sajid Javid say in the Commons that no government can control the market price of steel? Of course they can. The Chinese government has just dramatically reduced the price by dumping. The Saudi government in the past raised the price of oil by restricting supply. It is called power, or monopoly, and you get more power by destroying competitors’ industries. I once thought Sajid Javid must be knowledgeable about business. I now doubt it.
Ernie Kirkbride
Whitby, North Yorkshire

• Nils Pratley’s analysis of Hinkley Point was good (22 October) but he failed to appreciate the full impact of using CPI to determine the future price of electricity generated. If the price of oil were to rise to $150 per barrel, inflation goes up and so does the price Hinkley Points can charge. A win-win situation if you are Chinese. Poor value for the rest of us.
Rob Wilson
Chorley, Lancashire

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Source: Guardian Environment