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“Nurseries ban glitter in pre-Christmas drive for cleaner seas”

A child at Tops Day in Christchurch, Bournemouth, uses lentils and rice to make pictures after the use of glitter was banned.

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Glitter, as anyone who has ever worn it knows, has a habit of turning up in unexpected places days later, even after a good scrub. However, a new peril has emerged from the sparkly substance: it is adding to the plastic pollution in our seas.

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“London buses are being powered by a new fuel: Coffee”

london bus coffee fuel arthur kay bio-bean shell

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/20/technology/coffee-fuel-bus-london-bio-bean/index.html?mc_cid=38a2949b82&mc_eid=eaaa9fef29

British startup bio-bean has partnered with Shell (RDSB) and Argent Energy to create a coffee-based biofuel that will be used in London’s diesel buses.

“World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund proposes ditching oil and gas holdings”

a north sea gas rig

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The Norwegian central bank, which runs the country’s sovereign wealth fund – the world’s biggest – has told its government it should dump its shares in oil and gas companies, in a move that could have significant consequences for the sector.

“UK considers tax on single-use plastics to tackle ocean pollution”

Plastic bottles and other rubbish washed up on a British beach

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The chancellor, Philip Hammond, will announce in next week’s budget a “call for evidence” on how taxes or other charges on single-use plastics such as takeaway cartons and packaging could reduce the impact of discarded waste on marine and bird life, the Treasury has said.

“Antarctica Was Once Covered in Forests. We Just Found One That Fossilized.”

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/ancient-fossil-forest-found-antarctica-gondwana-spd/?mc_cid=b103e6d18c&mc_eid=eaaa9fef29

The researchers found the prehistoric plants could transition rapidly between seasons, perhaps within the span of a month. Whereas modern plants take months to transition and conserve water differently depending on the time of day, the ancient trees could fluctuate quickly between pitch black winters and perpetually sunny summers.

“16,000 scientists sign dire warning to humanity over health of planet”

A gigantic cloud of dust known as "Haboob" advances over Sudan's capital, Khartoum. Moving like a thick wall, it carries sand and dust burying homes, while increasing evaporation in a region that's struggling to preserve water supplies. <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/07/africa/sudan-climate-change/index.html">Experts say</a> that without quick intervention, parts of the African country -- one of the most vulnerable in the world -- could become uninhabitable as a result of climate change.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/14/health/scientists-warn-humanity/index.html

More than 16,000 scientists from 184 countries have published a second warning to humanity advising that we need to change our wicked ways to help the planet.

“A Tiny Island Prepares the World for a Climate Refugee Crisis”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-15/a-tiny-island-prepares-the-world-for-a-climate-refugee-crisis

Climate change is likely to cause global sea levels to rise by one to three feet by the end of the century, a panel of scientists backed by the UN said. While the U.S. and Europe seek to curb inflows of migrants and refugees, Fiji has offered to take in people from the nearby islands of Kiribati and Tuvalu, which are set to disappear because of rising sea levels.

“Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq”

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/11/climate-change-drought-drove-isis-terrorist-recruiting-iraq/

Across rural Iraq and Syria, farmers, officials, and village elders tell similar stories of desperate farmhands swapping backhoes for assault rifles. Already battered by decades of shoddy environmental policies, which had hobbled agriculture and impoverished its dependents, these men were in no state to navigate the extra challenges of climate change. And so when ISIS came along, propelled in large part by sectarian grievances and religious fanaticism, many of the most environmentally damaged Sunni Arab villages quickly emerged as some of the deep-pocketed jihadists’ foremost recruiting grounds.

“UK will back total ban on bee-harming pesticides, Michael Gove reveals”

Oilseed rape is by far the most widely grown UK crop whose seeds have been treated with neonicotinoids. The flowers are visited by bees, and are now widely blamed for killing these bees.

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The decision reverses the government’s previous position and is justified by recent new evidence showing neonicotinoids have contaminated the whole landscape and cause damage to colonies of bees. It also follows the revelation that 75% of all flying insects have disappeared in Germany and probably much further afield, a discovery Gove said had shocked him.

“Hydroelectric Dams Threaten Brazil’s Mysterious Pantanal – One Of The World’s Great Wetlands”

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What we do know is that too many dams on the rivers that feed the Pantanal would disrupt the natural rhythm of the wetland. Large-scale cattle ranchers, soy farmers and city dwellers drive year-round demand for water and energy, which would put the seasonal flood “pulse” at risk. In this scenario, species that have adapted themselves over thousands of years to life in an on-off wetland may find themselves thrown out of sync.