Breaking Waves: Ocean News

08/21/2019 - 20:49
Democrat who had built his campaign around tackling climate crisis says it was clear he would not win Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington and a 2020 Democratic hopeful, has dropped out of the presidential race. Inslee, who launched his campaign in March with a singular focus on fighting climate change, announced he was suspending his campaign during an appearance on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on Wednesday. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 20:29
Michael McCormack offers qualified apology after remarks about climate change and seasonal workers caused outrage Michael McCormack has apologised to Pacific Island nations for his comments that they will survive the climate crisis – in part – “because many of their workers come here to pick our fruit”. The deputy prime minister offered a qualified apology at a doorstop in Brisbane, six days after the remarks which further soured a bitter experience at the Pacific Islands Forum, where Australia was roundly criticised for watering down a communique on the climate crisis. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 18:30
Resources minister defends his extraordinary spray accusing engineering firm of being ‘weak as piss’ and giving in to anti-coal ‘bullies’ The resources minister Matt Canavan has defended an extraordinary spray against engineering firm Aurecon over its decision to sever ties with Indian energy company Adani. Canavan had labelled Aurecon’s decision “weak as piss”, and on Thursday rejected claims from the Greens that he is a hypocrite for using public pressure to bully the company while criticising anti-coal activists. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 18:01
Experts find no proof minuscule particles are a threat to health but say more research is needed Microplastics are increasingly found in drinking water, but there is no evidence so far that this poses a risk to humans, according to a new assessment by the World Health Organization. However, the United Nations body warned against complacency because more research is needed to fully understand how plastic spreads into the environment and works its way through human bodies. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 13:00
A sense of futility haunts us all, so I sought to distill in as few words as possible what could be done by us as a people. Writing them, I felt my despair lift Support our independent journalism with a one-off or recurring contribution In 1971, the Liberal Billy McMahon – routinely judged the worst Australian prime minister ever, an achievement not to be underestimated in a nation where the worst routinely rule – created a new portfolio: Environment, Arts and Aboriginal Affairs. Nobody wanted the job: given it, Peter Howson observed that he was responsible for “trees, boongs and poofters.” What’s changed with our conservative rulers over the last half century? On the evidence of the shame the prime minister, Scott Morrison, visited on all Australians last week at the Pacific Islands Forum, not very much. There he tried to pressure Pacific leaders to remove from the final forum communique and climate change statement all references to coal, to limiting warming to less than 1.5C, and to setting out a plan for net zero emissions by 2050. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 13:00
Frank assessment by Aemo says it has been taking ‘reactive action’ to prevent summer blackouts, but that has come at a high cost The energy market operator has used its latest 10-year forecast of reliability in Australia’s power supply to highlight the urgent need for more investment in dispatchable energy and in transmission infrastructure. In a frank assessment, the chief executive of Aemo, Audrey Zibelman, says the energy market operator has been engaged in “reactive action” to ensure the risks of blackouts are reduced during the summer peaks. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 12:11
Brazilian president blames green groups for rise in blazes, but offers no evidence for claim The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has accused environmental groups of setting fires in the Amazon as he tries to deflect growing international criticism of his failure to protect the world’s biggest rainforest. A surge of fires in several Amazonian states this month followed reports that farmers were feeling emboldened to clear land for crop fields and cattle ranches because the new Brazilian government was keen to open up the region to economic activity. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 11:00
198 had an increase in the average number of days each year that felt 90F or hotter and 106 cities had an increase in ‘danger’ days that felt 105F or hotter Nearly 200 US cities have seen an increase in the number of days each year that soar beyond a heat index of 90F (32.2C) or higher, according to an analysis of the last four decades. Related: How US cities are scrambling to protect people from extreme heat Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 10:34
An $87m corridor will extend over Highway 101 to reconnect the ecosystem and possibly save mountain lions from extinction Engineers in southern California are hard at work designing the biggest wildlife corridor in the world, to extend over US Highway 101 to the north-west of Los Angeles. The corridor will connect different parts of the Santa Monica Mountain chain, which is crucial to the future of mountain lions – but it will help other species as well. The $87m bridge has entered its final design phase and is on track to open in 2023. Continue reading...
08/21/2019 - 07:34
UK supermarket guarantees market for unwanted offspring of dairy cows on suppliers’ farms that might otherwise be slaughtered immediately Morrisons is guaranteeing a market for all male calves born on its dairy suppliers’ farms in a bid to stop them being killed at birth.A Guardian investigation last year revealed an estimated 95,000 male dairy calves were being slaughtered on-farm as farmers couldn’t afford to keep them, in a practice known as the dairy industry’s “dirty secret”. The retailer’s new policy – coming into force in October – ensures they are neither shot or exported. Instead farmers will be required to rear the calves to a certain weight until 15–40 days of age, at which point they will be bought by the beef-rearing company Buitelaar. Related: Dairy’s ‘dirty secret’: it's still cheaper to kill male calves than to rear them Continue reading...