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Poachers poison 14 elephants in Zimbabwe national parks

Parks and wildlife authority says cyanide used to kill three animals in Matusadona, and 11 in Hwange, with tusks cut off in some cases

Fourteen elephants have been poisoned by cyanide in Zimbabwe, two years after poachers killed more than 200 elephants by poisoning, the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said.

Three elephants were killed in Matusadona national park in northern Zimbabwe and 11 more were found dead in two different spots in Hwange national park in western Zimbabwe over the past two weeks, the authority announced on Tuesday.

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Source: Guardian Environment

VW scandal: staff told all carmaker's investments are under review

Board member says Volkswagen faces multibillion-euro bill in emissions-rigging scandal and anything not economical will be questioned

The new chief executive of Volkswagen has warned the carmaker’s staff that the fallout from the diesel emissions scandal “won’t be painless” and that the company needs to make “massive savings” as it faces the prospect of a multibillion-euro bill.

Matthias Müller told a gathering of 20,000 workers at VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg that “every euro that stays in the company helps us”.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Shell boss sees signs of oil price recovery but warns of 'spike'

Ben van Beurden points to first mixed signals of a recovery though raises concern that prolonged low prices could lead to a sudden increase

Shell’s chief executive has said there are signs the price of oil could start to recover and warned that prices may spike if they stay low for a long period.

Ben van Beurden told a conference there are four “signposts” for short-term oil prices: demand for oil in the global economy, the behaviour of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), the US shale industry, and the cost of production.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Sustainable classrooms: mud walls, rainwater and visits from lizards

‘It’s learning-by-living rather than chalk-and-talk’ – Matthew Jenkin explores the schools at the cutting edge of sustainability

Nestled among the swaying palms and lush jungle of Bali is an international school where children learn in bamboo pavilions and read from whiteboards made out of recycled car windows. The classrooms, which have no walls, are designed to help pupils feel more connected to their natural surroundings while studying a curriculum with an environmental twist. It has been hailed as the greenest school on Earth, but it is actually one of many adapting to the changing climate.

Green school Bali is the brainchild of John and Cynthia Hardy, who moved from North America to the Indonesian paradise in the 1970s. They sold their successful jewellery business in 2007 and used the profits to start a school that would pioneer sustainability in education. The couple had the idea after searching for a school for their children but being put off by the unimaginatively designed spaces and curriculums on offer.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Russian intelligence accused of silencing Norwegian newspaper editor

Anonymous source says Thomas Nilsen, who had extensively covered oil drilling in the Arctic, was sacked at the behest of the Russian intelligence

A Norwegian Arctic newspaper editor who has extensively covered oil drilling in the region was sacked at the behest of the Russian intelligence service, according to Norway’s public service broadcaster.

Thomas Nilsen told the Guardian he had no reason to disbelieve the report from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), and that it would be awful if it were true that the FSB, Russia’s security agency, was involved.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Afterlife: how hip replacements can end up in jet engines

OrthoMetals is working with more than half of the UK’s crematoriums to melt down and sell on replacement hips and knee joints

Our bodies might not live forever, but the prospect of an afterlife beckons for the metal hips or knees we might be carrying. The recycling of prosthetics such as titanium hip replacements and cobalt chrome knee joints from crematoriums is a growing trend across the UK and in some parts of Europe where cremation rates are high.

Nobody wants their garden of remembrance to be listed as a landfill site.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Business should be backing renewables – fossil fuels don't make economic sense

George Osborne needs to stop pushing 20th-century fuels as the solution for 21st-century energy problems

The Conservative leadership once advocated powering 21st-century Britain with a green industrial revolution based on the smart, internet-linked, decentralised technologies being invested in by Silicon Valley, China, and others.

Now, unified in majority government, they seem intent on the reverse: exploiting shale gas, building new nuclear facilities, and actively undermining clean-energy competition. It is the new Labour leader who offers the vision of a renewable-powered UK economy today, one maximally efficient and optimally wired, allowing avoidance of both shale and new nuclear.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Bill Shorten says Labor's 50% renewable energy goal is a 'declaration of intent'

Labor leader says Australia can have a ‘battle of ideas’ over which party has the best climate change policies, but is yet to detail the ALP’s alternative plans

Bill Shorten says his goal to source 50% of Australia’s power from renewables by 2030 is a “declaration of intent”, to be achieved by Labor’s yet-to-be-detailed policies including an emissions trading scheme, as well as increased consumer demand for clean energy.

Related: ETS would be more cost-effective than higher renewables target, analyst says

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Source: Guardian Environment

How to make your own laundry detergent – and help save the planet

Detergents contain dozens of potentially harmful ingredients but with just three simple ingredients you can make a cheap, environmentally friendly alternative

My daughter just turned three. She loves being naked and disrobes at every opportunity, including in the middle of her recent dinosaur-themed birthday party.

I get it – who doesn’t love to be in the buff? But bar those of us lucky enough to live alone in the woods, pesky social norms dictate that we wear clothing. So we wear fabric. And even if you enjoy the thrill of sleeping nude, you’re still nestled into pillowcases and snuggled up to soft sheets.
The point? You presumably wash these textiles at least occasionally, and it’s worth thinking about the ingredients in your detergents.

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Source: Guardian Environment