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Anti-fracking campaigners threaten to set up protest camps

Activists consider ‘more confrontational’ action to prevent energy firms drilling for shale gas in Yorkshire and Lancashire

Anti-fracking campaigners are threatening to set up protest camps in Yorkshire and Lancashire to prevent energy companies drilling for shale gas. Fracking firm Third Energy was given permission on Monday to carry out test drilling at a site in Kirby Misperton in Rydale, North Yorkshire, even after 99% of locals voiced their opposition to the application.

The decision prompted fears around the country that other fracking sites would be given the green light. Those fears are particularly acute in Lancashire, seen as the “next frontier” in the fight against the extreme form of energy extraction. Ian Roberts, the chair of Residents Action on Fylde Fracking, which opposes fracking on the Fylde coast in Lancashire, said his group was ready to start “more confrontational” action.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Drink pea milk and save the world? Not if the peas are flown in from France

Ripple claims its non-dairy milk made from yellow split peas is more eco-friendly than its competitors – despite the main ingredient being shipped from overseas

On a recent Thursday night at trendy West Hollywood vegan outpost Gracias Madres, bartenders served up cocktails, including George Clooney’s Casamigos tequila, cocoa and … pea milk.

Yes, pea milk, a liquid derived from yellow split peas, is the latest non-dairy milk to hit grocery store shelves. It joins hemp milk, brown rice milk and cashew drinks on the growing list of other alternatives in the now booming business of dairy alternatives. Non-dairy milk sales rose 9% in 2015 to $1.9bn, while dairy milk sales fell 7% in 2015 to $17.8bn and are expected to drop another 11% through 2020, according to a study released in April by market research firm Mintel.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Indonesia refuses palm oil permits in anti-haze push

Officials reject applications from 61 companies for new palm oil operations in a crackdown on the industry blamed for fuelling haze-belching forest fires

Indonesia has rejected applications from scores of companies for new palm oil operations, an official said on Wednesday, as it cracks down on an industry whose expansion has been blamed for fuelling haze-belching forest fires.

Almost 1m hectares (2.5m acres) of land were spared from conversion to palm oil plantations due to the decision, said San Afri Awang, a senior official from the environment and forestry ministry.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Anti-fracking camps planned in Yorkshire and Lancashire

Campaigners fear more sites will get green light after decision to let Third Energy carry out test drilling in Kirby Misperton

Anti-fracking campaigners are threatening to set up protest camps in Yorkshire and Lancashire to prevent energy companies drilling for shale gas.

The fracking firm Third Energy was given permission on Monday to carry out test drilling at a site in Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, despite 99% of locals opposing its application.

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Source: Guardian Environment

UN expert calls for tax on meat production

People could be deterred from eating meat by increasing its price further up the supply chain, stemming rise in consumption and environmental damage

Governments should tax meat production in order to stem the global rise in consumption and the environmental damage that goes with it, according to a UN expert.

The world faces serious environmental problems if emerging economies such as China emulate Americans and Europeans in the amount of meat they eat, Prof Maarten Hajer, the lead author of a report into the impact of food production and the environment, told the UN environment assembly in Nairobi.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Why do you so rarely see dead birds?

Readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific concepts

Why is it that you never see bird corpses (except those the cat brings in) when the countryside should be littered with them? Where do they go to die?

John Parke, London SW14

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Source: Guardian Environment

The hidden risks of climbing Mount Everest – video

Three climbers have died on Mount Everest in the past week, all succumbing to altitude sickness after reaching the summit. The increasing number of deaths on the world’s tallest mountain is raising fresh fears about overcrowding and the ethics of commercial mountaineering on Everest

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Source: Guardian Environment

Why dinosaur extinction is only half the story of killer asteroid's impact | Susannah Lydon

We tend to focus on the extinction of the dinosaurs, but the plant fossil record holds different parts of the story of life – and death – at the end of the Cretaceous

The extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous Period, 66 million years ago, is the most well-known of the “Big Five” mass extinctions in the fossil record, even if it wasn’t the biggest. That accolade goes to the Great Dying at the end of the Permian Period, about 250 million years ago, when up to 96% of species became extinct. But since the dinosaurs weren’t around for that mass extinction, it hasn’t entered the popular consciousness in quite the same way.

Like most things to do with mass extinctions, even the naming of the Cretaceous event is not without controversy. Many researchers still refer to it as the K-T extinction, where K refers, confusingly, to the Cretaceous (Kreide in German) and T stands for Tertiary (the old name for the subsequent geological period, which has since been split in two). More correctly it is now referred to as the Cretaceous-Palaeogene, or K-Pg, mass extinction.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Global clean energy employment rose 5% in 2015, figures show

More than 8 million people were employed worldwide in the renewable energy sector last year as rapidly falling costs drove growth in the industry

A boom in solar and wind power jobs in the US led the way to a global increase in renewable energy employment to more than 8 million people in 2015, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

More than 769,000 people were employed in renewable energy in the US in 2015, dwarfing the 187,000 employed in the oil and gas sector and the 68,000 in coal mining. The gap is set to grow further, with jobs in solar and wind growing by more than 20% in 2015, while oil and gas jobs fell by 18% as the fossil fuel industry struggled with low prices.

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Source: Guardian Environment