Breaking Waves: Ocean News

08/10/2020 - 01:45
Growing oil spill from MV Wakashio threatens ecological and economic disaster A ship that ran aground off Mauritius leaking tonnes of oil into the ocean is cracking up, the country’s prime minister has said, threatening an even greater ecological and economic disaster for the island nation. More than 1,000 tonnes of fuel has seeped from the bulk carrier MV Wakashio into the sea off south-east Mauritius, polluting the coral reefs, white-sand beaches and pristine lagoons that lure tourists from around the globe. Continue reading...
08/09/2020 - 21:02
Exclusive: Taneti Maamau says Kiribati will seek support from China and other allies to elevate islands from the sea, partly through dredging Kiribati will raise its islands above the ocean as part of its fight against sea-level rise, seeking help from its new diplomatic partner China to secure the archipelagic nation’s future, the country’s newly re-elected president has said. In his first in-depth interview since his resounding election win in June, Taneti Maamau told the Guardian international co-operation would be on Kiribati’s terms: he said he would not accept large loans “from any country”, and would not allow China to build a base on Kiribati’s strategically significant Christmas Island, south of Hawaii. Continue reading...
08/09/2020 - 04:00
Donations to support the president’s re-election have flooded in from a fossil fuel industry that has enjoyed three years of energy deregulation and tax cuts In mid-June the oil pipeline billionaire Kelcy Warren hosted a fundraising bash at his palatial Dallas, Texas, home that drew the presence of Donald Trump and raised $10m for the US president’s campaign coffers. Warren’s fundraising gusher for Trump occurred after he and his wife had donated a hefty $1.7m since 2019 to Trump Victory, a fundraising vehicle for Trump’s re-election and the Republican National Committee, according to the non-partisan Open Secrets group. Continue reading...
08/09/2020 - 02:00
Thousands turn to rivers and canals for exercise, fresh air and easy social distancing To celebrate his 40th birthday last week, Adam Partington and his partner, Gemma Cann, took to the River Cam on new paddleboards with a goodies hamper strapped to the front. After gliding past Cambridge’s ancient colleges, the couple stopped at Grantchester Meadows at the edge of the city for a picnic and celebratory glass of bubbly before paddling back to their starting point. Continue reading...
08/09/2020 - 01:00
Two prominent ‘lukewarmers’ take climate science denial to another level, offering tepid manifestos at best It is no longer credible to deny that the average temperature around the world is rising and that other phenomena, such as extreme weather events, are also shifting. People can now see with their own eyes that the climate is changing around them. Nor is it tenable to deny that the Earth’s warming is driven by increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, resulting from human activities, such as the production and burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Such denial is only now promoted by cranks and conspiracy theorists who also think, for instance, that the Covid-19 pandemic is linked to the development of the 5G network. Continue reading...
08/09/2020 - 00:31
As the black stuff burnt in the UK plummets to a level not seen since the early steam age, we trace its long, deep history and the problems left in its wake Britain achieved an unlikely status as a power provider last year. Its annual consumption of coal plunged to the lowest level in 250 years. According to figures released last week, a mere 8 million tonnes were incinerated in UK factories and power plants. That is roughly the same amount that was burned nationally in 1769, when James Watt was patenting his modified steam engine. That invention helped to spark the Industrial Revolution and triggered a massive rise in annual coal use in Britain, which soared to well over 200 million tonnes by the mid-20th century. Now levels have plummeted back to their original pre-revolution state. King coal – once the undisputed ruler of British industry – has finally been dethroned. Continue reading...
08/08/2020 - 15:00
Review recommends ‘trailing liability’, where owners remain liable for decommissioning sites after selling them Energy giant Woodside Petroleum is facing calls to pay more than $200m to clean up a moribund oil production site in the Timor Sea, after a government review recommended past owners of offshore facilities should be made liable for remediation costs. Woodside operated the Northern Endeavour oil production ship, permanently moored about 550 kilometres north-west of Darwin, from 1999 until 2016. It announced the site would close, but then paid the newly incorporated group Northern Oil and Gas Australia (Noga) $24m to take it over. Continue reading...
08/08/2020 - 15:00
The information commissioner says release of material previously redacted by the scientific agency is a matter of public interest An important freedom of information ruling from the information commissioner involving the CSIRO has set a new bar on when the public service can withhold documents detailing internal deliberations if they concern matters of public importance. South Australian senator Rex Patrick has been trying to gain access to CSIRO documents that touch on how the scientific agency dealt with criticisms from the SA royal commission into the Murray-Darling Basin plan. Continue reading...
08/08/2020 - 04:00
President’s eldest son opposes controversial Pebble mine at headwaters of Bristol Bay, home to world’s largest wild salmon run A surprise intervention from Donald Trump Jr has breathed life into efforts to protect the biggest remaining wild salmon run on the planet. Earlier this week, Trump Jr expressed his opposition to the controversial Pebble mine at the headwaters of Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The move breaks with the Trump administration’s efforts to advance the mine’s development. Continue reading...
08/08/2020 - 02:00
Narendra Modi’s dream of a ‘self-reliant India’ comes at a terrible price for its indigenous population Over the past decade, Umeshwar Singh Amra has witnessed his homeland descend into a battleground. The war being waged in Hasdeo Arand, a rich and biodiverse Indian forest, has pitted indigenous people, ancient trees, elephants and sloths against the might of bulldozers, trucks and hydraulic jacks, fighting with a single purpose: the extraction of coal. Yet under a new “self-reliant India” plan by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, to boost the economy post-Covid-19 and reduce costly imports, 40 new coalfields in some of India’s most ecologically sensitive forests are to be opened up for commercial mining. Continue reading...