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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Gazprom Finds More Gas than it Produces Each Year

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Russian gas giant Gazprom added another 457.4bn m³ to its reserves last year, while producing 419.1bn m³, it said May 19. This is the 12th year in a row that it has added more than it has subtracted. It leads the world in reserves, with 36.4 trillion m³ at the start of this year, according to the Russian system of measuring reserves and for measuring gas. A Russian cubic metre is measured differently from a standard cubic metre and yields a little less energy.

Gazprom said it makes “consistent efforts to develop the new gas production centre in the Yamal Peninsula. The Bovanenko field (pictured below) is the biggest one, and it produced 67.4bn m³ in 2016, 5.5bn m³ more than in 2015.”

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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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Statoil, Eni and Total wake up to carbon bubble risks

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Could some of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies be on the cusp of a new era of climate disclosure and engagement with climate risks?

That is the question sparked by a number of new studies and interventions from a host of leading green business groups backed by some of the world’s largest investors and multinational firms.

According to “In the Pipeline (PDF),” a new report released by CDP and four international investor networks, some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, including Statoil, Eni and Total, significantly have improved their climate risk disclosure in recent years in response to investor and shareholder lobbying. Yet despite highlighting progress from some oil and gas firms, the report also stresses that several fossil fuel majors, including industry powerhouse ExxonMobil, are still failing to embrace climate risk disclosure, regardless of mounting pressure from their investors.

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Can you identify the UK’s most common trees?

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Only 1% of families recognise the UK’s most common trees, according to new research by Unilever. How many can you identify?

Can you identify the UK’s most common trees?

1Which tree is this?AshElmOak2Which tree is this?SycamoreYewBirch3Which tree is this?Giant redwoodOakElm4Which tree is this?HazelHawthornElder5Which tree is this?OakBeechSycamore6Which tree is this?OakYewSycamore7Which tree is this?HawthornElderBirch8Which tree is this?YewSycamoreHorse chestnut9Which tree is this?ElderBirchBeech10Which tree is this?SycamoreHorse chestnutYew

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Snowy Hydro expansion could cost $1bn more than Turnbull said, senators told

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Company managers tell Senate estimates the $2bn project announced by the PM has not counted a large cost factor

The expansion of the Snowy Hydro Scheme, touted by the prime minister as costing $2bn, will likely blow out to more than $3bn, Senate estimates was told on Tuesday.

The idea of expanding the Snowy Hydro Scheme, adding 2,000MW of capacity and storage, was announced by Malcolm Turnbull in March.

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Tourmalet to tarte aux pommes: savouring the French Pyrenees by bike

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If Tour De France climbs without time pressure or panniers sounds appealing, investigate this bespoke cycling holiday in the French Pyrenees

What kind of cyclist are you? A superfit obsessive with high-end equipment, up for the toughest races? Or a potterer along county lanes, limiting yourself to 20 miles a day, treating cycling as a gentle route to the next pub? If you’re somewhere in between – but fitness can vary considerably, because you are time-poor – then this trip could be for you.

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Trump treading water over climate change deal, says deputy UN chief

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Amina Mohammed says president seems to be avoiding making decision on whether US will renege on historic agreement

The UN’s deputy secretary general has accused President Donald Trump of “treading water” over a decision on the future of the Paris climate change agreement, on which the fate of millions of people depend.

Amina Mohammed told the Guardian she was hopeful the US would not renege on the deal signed last year, but that Trump appeared to be avoiding a public declaration after taking such a hard line during his campaign for the White House.

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