Environmental News

Six sentences of hope: Defining a unifying vision in the face of the climate crisis | Richard Flanagan

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

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.

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Morrisons moves to end killing of male calves at birth

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

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Cooling goo sidewalks and other strange new weapons in the war on urban heat

Los Angeles faces a doubling of its extreme heat days but has fresh ideas to keep residents cool - and tackle the inequality of who suffers

Los Angeles can sometimes feel like a sprawling hellscape of heat: in the northern valleys and the southern city, metal playground equipment, car steering wheels, even the ground itself effectively become weaponized.

The more than 300 days of sunshine a year that for generations have made LA such an attractive place to live and visit are becoming a grave liability due to the climate crisis.

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Why carbon offsetting is not the panacea Harry and Meghan might think it is

Elton John claimed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private jet use was ‘carbon neutral’. The reality is more complicated

Elton John has attacked the criticism of the use of private jets by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – reportedly four journeys in 11 days – by saying he not only paid for the plane, but also paid to offset its giant carbon emissions. “We ensured their flight was carbon neutral,” he tweeted.

The world of carbon offsetting flights – where you can pay to have the equivalent of your emissions “cancelled out” by projects that lower or remove emissions, such as reforestation or renewable energy – is not clearcut. While some argue it is better than doing nothing, others say it allows frequent flyers to assuage their guilt and the aviation industry to grow.

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G7 and fashion houses join forces to make clothes more sustainable

Climate crisis pushes retailers to reduce their impact on the environment

There have been few fashion statements over the years at G7 summits (dress code: world leader suit, sensible shoes).

But this year, G7 leaders will be joined by more than 20 fashion retailers and brands, including the owner of Gucci, Kering, H&M and Zara’s parent company, Inditex, for a key fashion moment – a global pact to fight the climate crisis and protect biodiversity and the oceans.

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