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Can $15m worth of toilets finally clean up the Ganges?

More than 60% of the world’s open defecation takes place in India, but a donation from the spiritual leader known as Amma could help revive a flagging campaign

A Hindu spiritual leader has donated $15m to build thousands of toilets in villages along the Ganges in an effort to cleanse India’s holy river from the pollution caused by the country’s open defecation crisis.

Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī, known as Amma (“mother”) to her followers, made the donation to prime minister Narendra Modi’s stuttering push to ensure all Indians are using toilets by 2019, saying it was “one of the most important tasks of the hour”.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Tories reject Navitus Bay offshore windfarm

Government refuses planning permission for £3.5bn windfarm due to visual impact, in further blow to UK green energy industry

The government has turned down an application to build a £3.5bn windfarm off the south coast of England in another major blow to the green energy industry under the Conservatives.

The decision on the Navitus Bay project off Dorset was unveiled by Lord Bourne, the energy minister, even as 13 leading financial investors urged the chancellor to adopt a more positive stance on renewables.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Is a fracking revolution the way to cut UK carbon emissions?

Labour shadow energy minister, Bryony Worthington has said that environmentalists should not take a blanket position against shale gas

This week, Labour shadow energy minister and environmentalist Bryony Worthington dismayed green groups by backing fracking as a way to reduce carbon emissions.

Following a speech on the Energy Bill in the House of Lords on Wednesday, Baroness Worthington told the Today Programme: “There are legitimate concerns, absolutely correct, that we need to do this safely, but we shouldn’t take an in-principle objection to the technology and nor should we do that for any other of the low carbon technologies. Because [climate change] is the big challenge we face.” She said that the “common enemy” is very cheap coal which entails much higher carbon emissions.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Vivienne Westwood drives tank to David Cameron's house in anti-fracking protest – video

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood drives a white tank through David Cameron’s Witney constituency in Oxfordshire to his home in Chadlington in a protest against fracking. The 74-year-old is demonstrating against new fracking licenses being pushed through parts of northern England

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Source: Guardian Environment

Move to Denver: it won't be underwater when sea levels rise… and pot is totally legal – video

Some scientists are predicting a huge sea level rise even if we limit climate change. If that happens, will elevated cities such as Denver end up being the capitals of the world? The Hunger Games predicted that could be the case, and so does this fake promotional video. The changes could become reality if we don’t take action now.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Republicans leaders should take their own advice, listen to climate scientists | Dana Nuccitelli

Republican presidential candidates Santorum, Kasich, and Cruz reject the expert consensus and data on human-caused global warming

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently said we should “leave science to the scientists.” That’s good advice; especially since Republican Party leaders’ response when asked about climate change is inevitably “I’m not a scientist.” When it comes to questions of science, listening to scientific experts is always a good idea.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Threat to oceans from climate change must be key to Paris talks, say scientists

Major study of plankton shows warmer seas could have a huge impact on the marine food chain

The dangers posed by global warming to the world’s oceans must be a key part of any future international climate change agreement, a group of marine research scientists are insisting, as up to now the role of the planet’s biggest ecosystem has been largely ignored at the long-running UN climate talks.

The scientists are attached to the French research vessel Tara, which is completing a three-and-a-half year trip gathering information from across the globe for the world’s largest ever study of plankton. They plan to make their appeal at the crunch UN climate change conference in Paris this December.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Mountain gorillas thriving – but a new threat is looming

Although numbers are up, plans for oil exploitation could seriously affect them

Mountain gorillas could be in for a boost this month: a census is set to reveal how many are left in the Virunga massif – an area that spans Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Only 380 mountain gorillas appeared to be left in the Virunga Massif according to a survey from 2003, but conservation efforts are taking effect – their population was estimated at 480 after a census in 2010. A second population of around 400 mountain gorillas live in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable national park.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Farmers' federation opposes changes to environmental laws, Senate hears

National body does not accept Coalition assurances that farmers would be able to challenge government approval of major projects

The National Farmers’ Federation has added its voice to the chorus of opposition to the government’s so-called “lawfare” amendments, rejecting the Coalition’s claims that farmers would not be caught by the new restrictions on who can take court cases to test government approval of major projects.

Tony Abbott announced the changes after the federal court overturned approval for Adani’s proposed $16bn Carmichael coal mine in Queensland because the environment minister, Greg Hunt, had not properly considered its impact on two endangered species – delaying the project for a few weeks. The government said the changes were necessary to stop green “vigilantists” from undertaking “economic sabotage” or “lawfare”.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Circulate on Fridays: Blockchain growing, IoT supporting renewables and more…

Every Friday, Circulate rounds up a collection of interesting circular economy related stories and articles. In this edition, we’re recommending articles on biomimicry, the impact of the Internet of Things on renewable energy and the growing applications of Bitcoin’s blockchain technology.

Curt McNamara describes the inseparable link between biomimicry design and taking a systems lens view in a blog for the Biomimicry Institute. The approach, which he outlines as: “stop to look up, down and sideways”, is about exploring boundaries, patterns and connections.

We’re always interested in looking beyond “cool tech” when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), and in exploring valuable applications. Have a look at this Quora post where different authors have contributed seven connections between the growth of renewables and IoT. There’s a number of examples including energy startups utilising IoT and using solar panels as data transmitters as well as energy transmitters.

Finally, we’re recommending this short video, which appears on the Wall Street Journal, on the new applications for Bitcoin’s blockchain technology. The underlying tech behind the digital currency is now even being adopted by many of the world’s largest banks!

The post Circulate on Fridays: Blockchain growing, IoT supporting renewables and more… appeared first on Circulate.

Source: Circulate News RSS