Breaking Waves: Ocean News

05/19/2020 - 00:00
Climate breakdown is causing the Gulf of Maine to heat up and that effect – in addition to the pandemic – is being felt across the lobster industry Rocky shorelines and weathered saltbox homes dot the landscape of South Thomaston on the coast of Maine. Lobster traps take up frontyard real estate and lobster shacks, still shuttered for the season, are common sightings. Back from a day of scalloping, lobsterman Bob Baines has docked his boat, the FV Thrasher, at the Spruce Head Fishermans Co-op. His sternman, David McLellan, clad in waterproof overalls like Baines, shucks the last few hauls, tossing the meats into a bucket and the shells overboard. It’s the last week of scallop season, but there is a new venture on the horizon. Baines, 64, steers the Thrasher back out toward Hewett Island on Penobscot Bay to check on the underwater kelp farm that he “planted” in December. It’s a willowy structure made up of moorings, buoys and ropes that hovers 7ft underwater and spans 1,000ft wide, like a monster cat’s cradle. Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 21:30
Energy minister says Coalition’s approach is ‘not to have a target without a plan’ to achieve it Angus Taylor says it is not Australia’s policy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, despite signing up to the Paris agreement, because the Morrison government will not adopt a mid-century target in advance of a plan to achieve it. The energy minister said on Tuesday that signatories to the Paris agreement, including Australia, had agreed to hit net zero “in the second half of the century”. But scientists say in order to meet the central Paris goal of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C – a commitment Australia adopted in 2015 – signatories need to hit net zero by 2050. Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 18:01
Decision to lift blocks on wind and solar projects has boosted ‘attractiveness’ ranking The UK has become more attractive to renewable energy investors following the government’s decision to lift its block on financial support for onshore wind and solar projects. Related: New renewable energy capacity hit record levels in 2019 Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 15:30
Fall in air pollution and abundant sunshine resulting in bumper output The disappearance of aeroplane contrails and a reduction in air pollution has allowed much stronger sunlight to reach the ground and resulted in bumper production of solar power. Falling demand due to the Covid-19 lockdown and the increase in renewable energy means that EDF, the owner of the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, is being paid millions of pounds to run it at 50% capacity to avoid blackouts from oversupply. Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 12:30
Morrison government also plans to allow businesses to bid for carbon capture projects via the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund The Morrison government has promised new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including introducing an incentive scheme to allow big industrial polluters to earn revenue by emitting less than an agreed limit. It also plans to allow businesses to bid for funding from its main climate policy, the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund, for projects that capture emissions and either use them or store them underground. Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 11:51
Climate campaigners issued proceedings for review of rules supporting fossil fuel projects The government faces a legal challenge over a set of “outdated” energy policies which are being used to approve fossil fuel projects even after it vowed to end Britain’s contribution to the climate crisis. Climate campaigners issued proceedings for a judicial review of the energy planning policies on Monday after officials refused to overhaul the rules, which could be used to support major fossil fuel power plants, open cast mines or fracking. Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 10:10
One-off rise not enough to counteract harm caused by budget cuts of £180m since 2009, say critics The government has allocated £15m in additional funding to Natural England for this financial year after a decade of cuts that have left England’s wildlife agency “in crisis”. Natural England’s chairman, Tony Juniper, said the funding marked a “significant change of trend” in the financing of the government body, which has seen its budget slashed by £180m since 2008. Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 10:00
Climate breakdown means conditions that wrought devastation across Great Plains could return to region The agricultural conditions known as a “dust bowl”, which helped propel mass migration among drought-stricken farmers in the US during the great depression of the 1930s, are now more than twice as likely to reoccur in the region, because of climate breakdown, new research has found. Dust bowl conditions in the 1930s wrought devastation across the US agricultural heartlands of the Great Plains, which run through the middle of the continental US stretching from Montana to Texas. The conditions are caused by a combination of heatwaves, drought and farming practices, replacing the native prairie vegetation. Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 09:00
A radical 10-year plan should draw on community crisis responses to fix ‘faultlines in our food system’ ‘A new normal’: how coronavirus will transform transport in Britain’s cities Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage A radical 10-year recovery plan for the UK food system should draw on local and community responses to the Covid-19 crisis to create a more diverse, sustainable and fairer supply chain, say experts. The pandemic exposed fragility in the food supply system: farmers poured away more than a million litres of milk, supermarket shelves were stripped of flour while millers were unable to sell it, and potato farmers were forced to hoard stocks. Meanwhile, food banks faced unprecedented demand as household incomes plummeted. Continue reading...
05/18/2020 - 00:55
Marsh, understood to be working on the Carmichael project, is being hit with online campaign amid coronavirus Sign up for Guardian Australia’s daily coronavirus email Download the free Guardian app to get the most important news notifications Coronavirus Australia maps and cases: live numbers and statistics Anti-Adani activists will bombard the world’s largest insurance broker with calls, emails and social media messages in a virtual protest on Tuesday ahead of its annual general meeting in New York. Campaigners have already managed to speak directly with Marsh executives, who are understood to be considering a new climate policy at this week’s meeting. The company is understood to be working for Adani to find insurance policies for the Carmichael mine. Continue reading...