Regrowing a tropical forest – is it better to plant trees or leave it to nature?

Regrowing a tropical forest – is it better to plant trees or leave it to nature? Thammanoon Khamchalee / shutterstock The destruction of tropical forest is a major contributor to biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. In response, conservationists and scientists like us are debating how to best catalyse recovery of these forests. How do you take a patch of earth littered with tree stumps, or even a grassy pasture or palm oil plantation, and turn it back into a thriving forest filled with its original species? Foresters have traditionally relied on planting trees, which seems obvious enough. Yet this…

Steel is vital to the green transition – here’s how to scrub out the industry’s emissions

Steel is vital to the green transition – here’s how to scrub out the industry’s emissions Coal generated less than 2% of Britain’s electricity in 2020, despite being the largest single energy source seven years earlier. While the country’s electricity gets cleaner every year, there’s one sector where this carbon-rich fossil fuel remains difficult to replace: steelmaking. If approved, Woodhouse Colliery in Cumbria would be the first deep coal mine to open in the UK for 30 years, and it would produce 2.7 million tonnes of coking coal annually for the steel industry. Steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio and…

A successful Cop26 is essential for Britain and the world. Here's how it can happen | Simon Lewis

Without a clear plan for what he wants to achieve, Boris Johnson risks becoming a bystander at a crucial world summitIn November Boris Johnson will host the most important global meeting ever to take place on UK soil. The outcomes of this UN summit on climate change, known as Cop26, will help shape the fates of billions of people for decades to come. For the UK it is also the first big stress-test of its new role in the world after leaving the EU.Superficially the chances of success appear high. The US, China, EU, UK and 97 other countries have……

Chariots of steel: Barcelona's hidden army of scrap recyclers

Thousands of migrants play a key role in collecting Catalonia’s waste but must live on the marginsThey are everywhere and yet they are almost invisible, living below the social radar as they crisscross the city pushing supermarket trolleys piled with metal tubing, old microwaves and empty beer cans.The chatarreros are Barcelona’s itinerant scrap-metal collectors, and there are thousands of them. Most are undocumented migrants and so there is no official census, but Federico Demaria, a social scientist at the University of Barcelona who is conducting a study of the informal recyclers in Catalonia, believes there are between 50,000 and 100,000……

UK startup raises €8m of funding to convert CO2 into animal feed

Deep Branch aims to create protein that will replace the use of soy, which has been linked to deforestationA UK company that turns carbon dioxide into protein to be used for animal feed has raised €8m (£6.8m) in funding as it seeks to displace the use of deforestation-linked soy by farmers.Carbon and hydrogen are fed to a microorganism in a fermentation process similar to what you would see in a brewery. But rather than alcohol, the output is a high-value protein that can be dried and converted into pellets to feed animals. Continue reading… Source – Full Article https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/22/uk-startup-raises-8m-funding-convert-co2-animal-feed

How the UK’s first lockdown changed water habits – and risked shortages

How the UK’s first lockdown changed water habits – and risked shortages Wild swimmer Fiona Philp from Limekilns, Scotland took a daily dip in her garden pool during lockdown. Iain Masterton/Alamy Stock Photo Though it may have escaped the public’s attention at the time, the three months from late March to June 2020 were exceptionally challenging for water providers all across the UK. The sudden changes in personal routines that greeted the onset of lockdown influenced when people showered, cleaned and looked after their homes and gardens. With offices, restaurants and other public places closed and everyone but essential workers…

Extinction Rebellion UK statement on events in Bristol yesterday

Email: press@extinctionrebellion.ukPhone: +44(0)7756136396Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Media Assets | Donate#ExtinctionRebellion #ActNow #TellTheTruth The tensions of the past week around the Police, Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill have evoked a visceral response around the UK from a public who feel powerless. What we saw in Bristol yesterday was the effect of the Government overplaying its hand and attempting to outlaw the basic right to protest, threatening peaceful protestors with 10 year sentences at a time when we are faced with numerous intersecting crises.  We have to ask why this Bill was being rushed through so fast? Democracy means allowing time for the conversation about how the Police, Crimes,…

How we discovered a hidden world of fungi inside the world’s biggest seed bank

How we discovered a hidden world of fungi inside the world’s biggest seed bank Rowena Hill, Author provided This was the moment of truth. We’d spent countless hours meticulously sterilising seeds (1,710, to be specific), filling the lab with a cacophony of rattling as we shook them in bleach. We’d built a fungus city: great tower-blocks of petri dishes stacked on the lab workbenches, with different colours, textures and shapes of fungi all emerging inside. We’d extracted enough DNA that the freezer, stuffed full of tubes, threatened to revolt. Finally the time had come for me to analyse all the…

Sharks ‘critical’ to restoring damaged ecosystems, finds study

Research in Australian bay shows absence of apex predators can exacerbate extreme climate damageSharks are critical in helping ecosystems recover from extreme climatic events, according to a new study.The conclusions came after scientists were able to determine the importance of the apex predator to a unique ecosystem following an extreme marine heatwave in 2011, which wiped out a quarter of one of the world’s largest and most biodiverse seagrass meadows in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Continue reading… Source – Full Article https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/22/sharks-critical-restoring-climate-damaged-ecosystems-study

UK government's green homes grant in urgent need of rescue, MPs say

Damning assessment of ‘disastrous’ scheme is a blow to plans for reaching net zero emissionsThe UK government’s flagship home insulation scheme, intended to kickstart a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, has been botched, disastrous in administration, devastating in some of its impacts, and stands in urgent need of rescue, an influential committee of MPs has said.Their outspoken criticism is a blow to the government’s plans for reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions, and comes as ministers prepare to host vital UN climate talks – called Cop26 – in Glasgow this November. Continue reading… Source – Full Article https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/22/uk-government-green-homes-grant-disastrous-mps-say

Major climate polluters accused of greenwashing with sports sponsorship

Report reveals more than 250 deals between high-carbon industries and leading sports teamsPolluting industries are pouring hundreds of millions of pounds into sports sponsorship in an attempt to “sports-wash” their role in the climate crisis, according to the authors of a report published on Monday.The study reveals more than 250 advertising and sponsorship deals between some of the biggest corporate polluters and leading sports teams and organisation. Continue reading… Source – Full Article https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/22/major-climate-polluters-accused-of-greenwashing-with-sports-sponsorship

Renewed Highland golf course plan has environmentalists crying 'Fore!'

Scottish government rejected a new links at Coul to protect the complex dune system but investors have revived the schemeIt is an area so tranquil that the notion of bitter dispute is hugely anomalous. The serenity of Coul – in east Sutherland, north of Dornoch – is in fact fundamental to a backdrop of unrest.When the Scottish government rejected a plan for a golf course at Coul early last year, it appeared those with grand plans had nowhere else to turn. This marked a victory for environmentalists who argued one of the most complex dune systems in Scotland and a……

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