Breaking Waves: Ocean News

02/29/2024 - 12:00
Group claims oil firms transferred depleted wells to another company which then conspired to avoid clean-up through fraud Cindy McCormick and her husband bought a new property in Hudson, Colorado, in 2020. It was expansive, close to friends and had a stunning mountain view. There was just one problem: an aging, abandoned oil well sat on one far edge of the land. The couple was a bit concerned, but the realtor and the well’s owner, Painted Pegasus Petroleum, assured them that it would be cleaned up. Continue reading...
02/29/2024 - 11:00
Coastal areas facing ‘enormous and urgent climate crisis’ as event supercharges human-caused global heating, scientists say The current climate event known as El Niño is likely to supercharge global heating and deliver record-breaking temperatures from the Amazon to Alaska in 2024, analysis has found. Coastal areas of India by the Bay of Bengal and by the South China Sea, as well as the Philippines and the Caribbean, are also likely to experience unprecedented heat in the period to June, the scientists said, after which El Niño may weaken. Continue reading...
02/29/2024 - 10:35
Campaigners say Ineos project in Antwerp will turbocharge plastic production on a scale not seen before in Europe The UK government is providing a €700m (£600m) guarantee for the billionaire Jim Ratcliffe to build the biggest petrochemical plant in Europe in 30 years that will turbocharge plastic production. The huge petrochemical plant has been described as a “carbon bomb” by campaigners. Being constructed in the Belgian city of Antwerp by Ratcliffe’s company Ineos, it will bring plastic production to Europe on a scale not seen before, just as countries are trying to negotiate a binding global treaty to tackle the growing problem of plastic pollution. Continue reading...
02/29/2024 - 08:45
State accuses Brazilian company of misleading customers with claims it can reduce carbon footprint despite growth plans The state of New York is suing the US arm of JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker, accusing the Brazilian company of misleading customers over its climate goals, including a plan to reach net zero carbon neutral standards by 2040. Letitia James, the New York attorney general, filed the suit alleging that JBS USA had repeatedly assured the public and consumers with sustainability claims that could, in effect, “provide environmentally conscious consumers with a license to eat beef”. Continue reading...
02/29/2024 - 07:00
New analysis finds money from Biden’s $1.2tn infrastructure bill has overwhelmingly been spent on widening highways for cars Roads, roads and more roads. The US is continuing to spend billions of dollars on expanding enormous highways rather than fund public transport, with a landmark infrastructure bill lauded by Joe Biden only further accelerating the dominance of cars at the expense, critics say, of communities and the climate. Since the passage of the enormous $1.2tn bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021, hailed by Biden as a generational effort to upgrade the US’s crumbling bridges, roads, ports and public transit, money has overwhelmingly poured into the maintenance and widening of roads rather than improving the threadbare network of bus, rail and cycling options available to Americans, a new analysis has found. Continue reading...
02/29/2024 - 06:15
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hear how climate is driving forced migration across the Americas Communities under imminent threat from rising sea level, floods and other extreme weather will testify in Washington on Thursday, as the region’s foremost human rights body holds a first-of-its-kind hearing on how climate catastrophe is driving forced migration across the Americas. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hear from people on the frontline of the climate emergency in Mexico, Honduras, the Bahamas and Colombia, as part of a special hearing sought by human rights groups in Latin America, the US and the Caribbean. Continue reading...
02/29/2024 - 04:00
Royal Society of Edinburgh says money should be spent on longer-living native forests with greater biodiversity benefits A report has called on ministers to scrap the huge subsidies and tax breaks given to conifer forests because they do too little to combat the climate crisis. The report from the Royal Society of Edinburgh said the tens of millions of pounds in subsidies given to the timber industry should instead be spent on longer-living native forests, which have greater and clearer climate and biodiversity benefits. In Scotland, ministers have subsidised forestry by more than £390m over the last decade, with roughly 80% of that spent on commercial conifer plantations, as well as extra subsidies for haulage. Timber companies and landowners pay no corporation tax on their income from forests; profits from timber sales are tax-free; there is no capital gains tax on the value of the trees, and 100% inheritance tax relief on the forestry property. Forest owners were also able to sell carbon credits, adding to the attractiveness of forestry as an investment. These grants, tax breaks and carbon credits had helped to substantially drive up land prices in Scotland, up by 73% in a single year, greatly distorting the land market and pricing people out. Government agencies are not properly enforcing policies which require environmental impact assessments on new forest projects; their approach is “inadequate” and “passive”. Continue reading...
02/29/2024 - 02:33
Liberal leader’s plan criticised by political opponents, environmentalists and industry representatives Follow our Australia news live blog for latest updates Get our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcast The Tasmanian Liberal party has promised to open 40,000 hectares of protected native forests to logging if re-elected next month, prompting accusations it is playing politics with forestry workers’ jobs and planning to accelerate damage to the environment. The premier, Jeremy Rockliff, said the Liberals would allow logging in 27 areas that had been protected since a 2012 “forest peace deal” struck by the timber industry, conservation groups and unions. The areas are in the state’s north-east and north-west. Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup Continue reading...
02/29/2024 - 00:00
After drought devastated prized arborio and carnaroli harvests in the Po valley, new rice varieties offer a glimmer of hope. But none are yet suitable for use in the traditional recipe Photographs by Marco Massa and Haakon Sand For most of winter and spring in 2022, Luigi Ferraris, a 58-year-old rice farmer from Mortara, a town in the Po valley, remained hopeful. Rainfall had been down 40% in the first six months of the year, and snow had accumulated thinly in the Alps, prompting an 88% drop in the amount of water coming to the Po River from snow-melt; flow in the river and its connected canals was at a historic low. But Ferraris believed things would soon return to normal. “I thought the lack of water would be temporary,” he says. The River Po with rice fields stretching across the valley. All Photographs: Marco Massa and Haakon Sand/the Guardian Continue reading...
02/28/2024 - 22:06
There are now three Queensland schools, a dog park, as well as 16 businesses that may have received soil with friable asbestos Follow our Australia news live blog for latest updates Get our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcast Two more schools have been added to the list of Queensland locations that have received soil potentially contaminated with friable asbestos. Calamvale Special School and Walloon State School on Thursday joined St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and the Everleigh dog park as public places supplied with soil that may have been tainted with the dangerous material. Continue reading...