Breaking Waves: Ocean News

01/20/2020 - 11:30
Annual CEO survey found 65% of bosses were worried about climate, even before the bushfire crisis peaked Australian company bosses are becoming increasingly concerned about the climate crisis and are expecting tough economic times in the year ahead, a new survey shows. Global accounting firm PwC’s annual survey of CEOs shows bosses are preparing to cut jobs and don’t think Australian business and government is doing enough to deal with global heating – a dismal picture that is set to get worse once the effects of the past month’s deadly bushfires take hold. Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 10:51
Sara Khan calls for clarity after non-violent groups feature in counter-terror material The government’s chief adviser on extremism has called for a clearer official definition of extremism in the light of revelations that Extinction Rebellion and other non-violent groups have featured in counter-terrorism materials. Against a backdrop of increasing political pressure to investigate the error, Sara Khan, who leads the commission for countering extremism (CCE), said police chiefs were right to recall guidance that batched XR alongside violent neo-Nazis and jihadists. Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 06:36
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen Boris Johnson suffers defeat in Lords on Brexit bill NI assembly votes to refuse legislative consent to PM’s Brexit bill EU says talks on trade deal with UK won’t start before end of February Gordon Brown’s speech on case for radical devolution - Summary 5.07pm GMT During the Tory leadership contest the Brexiter Mark Francois said that he had decided to vote for Boris Johnson after Johnson looked him in the eye and said the UK would be leaving the EU on 31 October. The UK did not leave on 31 October. Last week Johnson said in a BBC interview that he was working on a plan to allow people to crowdfund an appeal to cover the cost of Big Ben chiming on 31 January, when the UK does leave the EU. Again Francois seemed to take Johnson at his word and helped to get an appeal going, even pledging £1,000 himself. But Downing Street then ruled out the idea, saying the Commons authorities could not accept money raided in this manner. Tory MP Mark Francois delivers his letter today to Boris Johnson calling for a Commons vote to sanction the bonging of Big Ben for Brexit night, paid by a crowd-funding initiative. pic.twitter.com/xG7s5isajA 4.46pm GMT Angela Smith, the Labour leader in the Lords, has said that the government should not just rely on its majority in the House of Commons to overturn Lords defeats. She said: I hope the prime minister and his colleagues will not think that they can get every detail of every bill right first time, and recognise that the second chamber is useful. A large Commons majority means the government is guaranteed to get its legislation through but it would be supremely arrogant to dismiss all scrutiny. Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 05:30
Americans had the right to know the harms of smoking. They have the right to know the harms of the energy industry, too Greta Thunberg summed up 2019 in five words: “Our house is on fire.” In Australia, this is now literally the case. Wildfires there have been raging for more than a month and now span an area larger than Switzerland. The situation bears all the hallmarks of a hot new world: lives lost, livelihoods ruined and species pushed towards extinction, accompanied by government inaction, industry PR spin, abetting rightwing echo chambers, and taxpayers footing the multibillion-dollar bill. Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 05:00
Environmentalists say incinerating a vast stockpile of firefighting foam containing harmful PFAS is putting communities at risk The Department of Defense is polluting the environment with toxic chemicals by continuing to incinerate a vast stockpile of firefighting foam in a move environmentalists say is in breach of new regulations. In a letter sent last week to the secretary of defense, Mark Esper, several environmental organizations argue the defense department is already out of compliance with new provisions regulating the disposal of the material and insist that it “immediately cease” incineration of the foam – called AFFF – which puts communities at risk. Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 04:00
Sainsbury’s, Lego and H&M feature on list that rewards shift to renewable energy and reducing emissions Sainsbury’s, Lego and H&M are among the businesses to make a prestigious A-list of companies that are deemed to be at the forefront of the charge to tackle the “existential” climate crisis. The list is compiled by non-profit group CDP which scores companies based on the environmental data they voluntarily disclose on its platform. Just 2% of the 8,000 companies it scores made the A-list, with Nestlé, Unilever, BT and Walmart among the 179 to make the cut. A focus on the climate emergency was not at the expense of business success, CDP said, with companies on the A-list also outperforming peers on the stock market by 5.5% a year. Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 02:30
Yorkshire campaigners shine spotlight on water firms’ practice of discharging untreated sewage into rivers Local people in a Yorkshire town are pressing for their river to become the first in the UK to be designated as a bathing area to force the authorities to clean up the water they say is being used as an open sewer. In the spa town of Ilkley a grassroots campaign has uncovered the regular and routine dumping of untreated sewage by Yorkshire Water – with the approval of the Environment Agency – into the River Wharfe. Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 02:00
Ghent’s transformation produced shorter journeys, cleaner air and a cycling explosion Birmingham – once, proudly, the UK’s “motorway city” – has announced plans to entice people out of cars and on to bikes and buses. If officials get their way, the city will be split into zones, and, rather than driving direct, motorists will have to use the ring road for all zone-to-zone journeys. Those travelling by foot and bicycle in the new Brum won’t be inconvenienced: their journeys will be simple and – with fewer cars – safer. With cars out of the way, bus journeys will become swifter and more reliable. Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 02:00
We asked locals in the Belgian city to tell us how things have changed since the shake-up The city has become a pedestrians and cyclists’ joy, especially for people like me who live in the city centre and have no car. As I type, they are busy turning our street into a low-traffic, communal woonerf or ‘living street’. It has become easier and safer to navigate the town on foot or by bike. Having recently returned from the Middle East the changes are even more striking, especially when it comes to my son. We were not ready for him to cycle before but teaching him to cycle on the roads here has been a fun and relatively stress-free experience. The changes have made an enormous difference to people’s quality of life. Khaled Diab, journalist and writer Continue reading...
01/20/2020 - 02:00
Ahead of the World Economic Forum, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema urges governments to take definitive action on climate, deforestation and pollution Humanity will have given up on planet Earth if world leaders cannot reach an agreement this year to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and destruction of life-supporting ecosystems, the United Nation’s new biodiversity chief has warned. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the acting executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, has implored governments to ensure 2020 is not just another “year of conferences” on the ongoing ecological destruction of the planet, urging countries to take definitive action on deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Continue reading...