Dutch council forces playground to close over noise complaints

More than 4,000 sign petition to overturn decision, which aimed to appease neighbours A national debate has been sparked in the Netherlands after a council ordered a primary school playground to be shut for being too noisy. Questions have been raised in the Dutch parliament and a campaign has been launched to save the playground in the wake of the decision by Nijmegen council. Residents in apartments near De Buut primary school had complained that its pupils regularly exceeded a 70-decibel limit, which applies across the country for residential areas and is enforced by local councils. Official readings reached 88 decibels. The schools director, Janneke Colsen, said the school had been told to close the playground by the end of …

Oregon set to join California with market-based plan to cut emissions

Clean energy job bill would allow cap and trade of emissions and Governor Kate Brown says: Oregon can be the log that breaks the jam Oregon is poised to becomethe second US state after California to impose a cap and trade program aimed at reducing industrial carbon emissions. If passed into law, the energy statement. Redirecting the cost of climate change California in 2013 became the first US state to establish its cap and trade program. The biggest share of those revenues so far has gone to high speed rail construction. Oregons carbon market would join Californias in the Western Climate Initiative, which also includes Quebec carbon credits could be auctioned across borders. Carbon pricing essentially redirects the costs of …

Human society under urgent threat from loss of Earth’s natural life

Scientists reveal one million species at risk of extinction in damning UN report Human society is in jeopardy from the accelerating decline of the Earths natural life-support systems, the worlds leading scientists have warned, as they announced the results of the most thorough planetary health check ever undertaken. From coral reefs rainforests desiccating into savannahs, nature is being destroyed at a rate tens to hundreds of times higher than the average over the past 10m years, according to the UN global assessment report. The biomass of wild mammals has fallen by 82%, natural ecosystems have lost about half their area and a million species are at risk of extinction all largely as a result of human actions, said the study, …

The media is failing on climate change here’s how they can do better ahead of 2020

We spoke to climate change experts for advice on how news outlets can cover the environment in ways that make voters listen America elected Donald Trump at the end of the hottest year Democratic National Committee to host a debate solely focused on climate. Bernie Sanders raised the issue during his town hall on Fox News earlier this month and even town halls last week. In the run-up to 2020, as newsroom leaders grapple with their mistakes in the 2016 election from reliance on inaccurate polls to underestimating the impact of fake news the failure to press candidates on climate change is emerging as an area of self-examination. In 2016 there were almost no questions asked , which is insane, …

Marker Wadden, the manmade Dutch archipelago where wild birds reign supreme

A silted-up lake has been transformed into the latest addition to the map of the Netherlands and an eco-haven teeming with wildlife It takes about an hour on the ferry, across often choppy waters, to reach the newest bit of the Europe muddied by swirling silt. Visitors on the main island. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images Over the decades, the population of freshwater mussels vital for filtering the silt collapsed, along with the numbers of smelt fish, a favourite of local birdlife, including the common tern. It was a worrying sign of things to come. In 2011 Posthoorn, from the Natuurmonumenten, an NGO whose role combines that of the National Trust and the RSPB, tried to find a way through the political …