‘My worst nightmares are coming true’: Europe’s last primeval forest on ‘brink of collapse’

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Polish government is accused of pushing Białowieża forest ecosystem to point of no return with state-sanctioned logging in Unesco world heritage site

Scientists and environmental campaigners have accused the Polish government of bringing the ecosystem of the Białowieża forest in north-eastern Poland to the “brink of collapse”, one year after a revised forest management plan permitted the trebling of state logging activity and removed a ban on logging in old growth areas.

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¿Por qué la obsesión de Latinoamérica por las represas?

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Son símbolos de orgullo nacional, pero dado el aumento en las protestas y los costos medioambientales ahora se cuestiona el futuro de las mega represas

Durante abril de 2014, las lluvias fueron monumentales. Para principios de mayo, los operadores de la represa de 219 MW Cachoeira Caldeirão, que estaba construyéndose en el remoto estado de Amapá en Brasil, sabían que los niveles del río Araguari se encontraban peligrosamente altos. Si no se retiraba algo de agua de inmediato, la represa entera podría colapsarse. No habría ningún peligro para la población porque toda la escorrentía sería absorbida por otras dos represas río abajo, pensaba la compañía de energía hidráulica.

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The missed opportunity of a tiny, tidy life

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Meet your neighbors” should be a rather benign request. You share many trappings of your life with them, after all: A street, a building stairwell, a bodega where you see each other buying the exact same flavor of taquitos at two in the morning. See! You have so much in common.

Recent reader responses to this very suggestion revealed its perceived outrageousness. They covered a remarkable variety of objections: claims of being too shy, accusations that yours truly is a “Cheeto follower,” and the colorful declaration that “my neighbor can go pound sand” (which I had to Google).

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Dakota Access pipeline and a feeder line leaked more than 100 gallons in March

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There were two leaks – one because of a leaky part, the other after an above-ground valve failed – as crews prepared disputed $3.8bn pipeline for operation

The Dakota Access pipeline and a feeder line leaked more than 100 gallons of oil in North Dakota in separate incidents in March as crews prepared the disputed $3.8bn pipeline for operation.

Related: Dakota Access pipeline has first leak before it’s fully operational

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Too fast, too soon: how China’s growth led to the Tianjin disaster

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The 2015 warehouse explosion in Tianjin was one of the worst manmade disasters in Chinese history – and exposed the darker side of rapid urbanisation

It was almost midnight on a summer Wednesday in 2015 when Hu Xiumin was jolted awake by a loud noise. Her apartment building in the affluent Harbour City development was shaking violently. She ran from the bedroom to find her husband standing in the study, looking out of the window.

From here they could see out over the port of Tianjin; one of the warehouses was on fire. They backed away from the window just moments before the warehouse exploded in one of the worst manmade disasters in China’s history.

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UK bathing water ranks next from last in EU beach table

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20 sites fail safe bathing criteria stoking fears UK will once more be ‘dirty man of Europe’ after Brexit

The UK is second bottom in a league table ranking EU countries on the quality of their bathing water, stoking fears that the “dirty man of Europe” could be on his way home after Brexit.

96.4% of British beaches were found safe to swim in last year, but 20 sites failed the assessment in the annual survey by the European Environmental Agency (EEA) released on Tuesday. Only Ireland had a higher percentage of poor quality bathing waters at 4%.

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10 minutes with Aaron Stash, United Airlines

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This column is about the people of sustainable business. What makes them tick? What have they learned? What do they do for fun? Next up in this series is Aaron Stash, manager of environmental strategy and sustainability at United Airlines.

Bob Langert: What made you switch from your 16-year career and education in marketing? Sustainability is a long way from being a brand manager of the MileagePlus Program.

Aaron Stash: It started with building a LEED Platinum Certified Home for my family. We were looking to save money on our bills. We were also looking to increase our indoor air quality. Both my daughter and I have a lot of allergies. My allergist told me I was born on the wrong planet.

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The science of preparing cities for natural disasters

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As Robert Muir-Wood sees it, there’s a basic flaw in how cities perceive disaster risk.

City leaders tend to look back at recent history to understand how well prepared they are for big storms, earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions. Instead, they need to get better at predicting, planning and managing around what’s likely to happen in the future.

Applying this sort of catastrophe modeling is Muir-Wood’s specialty. He’s the chief research officer for Risk Management Solutions, a company that develops catastrophe-risk software models for the insurance industry, and advises other businesses and governments on managing disaster risks. He’s also recently published a book that explores the science of disasters and how humans do and don’t prepare for them: “The Cure for Catastrophe: How We Can Stop Manufacturing Natural Disasters.”

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How to break the political logjam on climate change

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When the Trump Administration blocked federal climate action by undercutting the Clean Power Plan, the outlook was bleak. But climate protection has won new allies from an interesting direction: the right.

“Conservation” and “conservative” share the root “conserve,” and four key sectors have made the connection with climate change. Religious conservatives cite an obligation of stewardship over unbridled exploitation of God-given resources. Hunters and anglers see disrupted breeding, migration and other threats to wildlife. The military sees national security imperiled by flooded coastal installations and disrupted worldwide food and water supplies. Business faces extreme weather-related damage and costlier insurance. These sectors are bridging partisan gaps to inform lawmakers.

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Australian Conservation Foundation vows to pursue all avenues to stop Adani loan

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Environmental group warns it will take legal action against Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility directors if funding granted for rail line

The Australian Conservation Foundation has warned it will pursue all avenues, including possible legal action, to stop a concessional loan being granted to a rail line associated with the controversial Adani coalmine.

The ACF’s president, prominent businessman Geoff Cousins, told Guardian Australia on Tuesday the environmental group would “pursue [directors of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Naif)] through whatever means possible” in the event the Naif granted the rail project a loan.

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