News Analysis

For Tony Blair, climate change was a core issue. But his successors are leaving it to Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband. Launching the 'Breaking the Climate Deadlock' report in Tokyo, Japan, 27th June 2008. Photo: The Climate Group via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Aspiration versus climate change: can we win back the centre left?
28th August 2015

Commitment to action on climate change was once a banner of modernism adopted by by both Tony Blair and David Cameron, writes Leo Barasi. But no longer. The Tories have abandoned it entirely, while the Labour mainstream, in thrall to the twin narratives of 'austerity' and 'aspiration', looks the other way. So how to put climate change back on the centre-left agenda?

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Women in Zorro village, Burkina Faso, desseding their cotton. But what chance have they got in global commodity markets that are systematically rigged against them? Photo: CIFOR via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

GM cotton: a false promise for Africa's farmers
27th August 2015

The idea that GMO cotton offers hope to Africa's impoverished cotton farmers is facile and fraudulent, writes Arya Tajdin. In fact it only adds to their vulnerability. Their real problems lie in the structural oversupply of subsidized cotton on world markets, and the flood of 'kifua' - dead white man's clothing - that undermines the continent's textile industries.

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On 14th April 2015, a demonstration in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh against a proposed dam on the Kanhar Valley by Adivasi, Dalit protesters was met with police violence and gunfire which injured seven women and one man. Photo: counterview.net.

Legal 'reforms' may make violence the only option for India's eco-defenders
26th August 2015

President Modi is determined to sweep away 'obstacles to growth' including the laws that allow marginalised communities to challenge the confiscation of their lands and forests for dams, mines and other 'development' projects, writes Arpitha Kodiveri. If proposed 'reforms' are enacted, the only remaining avenue of dissent may be one of armed conflict.

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The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Photo: News Muse via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The lesson of Hurricane Katrina: the worst is yet to come
25th August 2015

Climate change shows its true face in extreme events, writes Kerry Emanuel: the storm surge with a 12 inch head start thanks to rising sea levels, propelled by a wind that's 20 mph faster, dropping an extra inch of rain beyond the 'normal' storm. Hurricane Katrina and Typhoon Haiyan are sending us a clear message: the world must get ready for bigger and badder, fast.

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The EFSA headquarters: closed to science and dissent, open to industry 'experts' and lobbyists. Photo: Corporate Europe Observatory via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Naked corruption: the scandal of glyphosate re-assessment in Europe
24th August 2015

The EU's 'rapporteur state' on glyphosate, Germany, has recommended re-approval of the herbicide with its daily intake increased by 67%, write Drs Nancy Swanson and Mae Wan Ho. The verdict is based on a re-assessment carried out by Monsanto and a consortium of chemical companies, based on unpublished industry studies. It should be rejected outright.

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Green Living

A banana packing station in Ecuador. Photo: Andrea Guerra via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

How green are your bananas?
10th August 2015

European retailers have imposed 'ethical' certification processes on their banana suppliers, writes Rachel Smith. But reports from Ecuadorian plantations reveal serious weaknesses in the schemes that leave workers poisoned and abused. To get to the truth, inspectors must dig deeper, and make surprise visits.

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'We are people who no longer hope salmon survive, but will do whatever it takes to stop their extinction.' Coho Spawning on the Salmon River. Photo: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington via Flickr (CC BY).

We are those who are on the side of the living. And we are going to win
23rd July 2015

Who are we? We are the people who are ready to fight back, writes Derrick Jensen. The people who no longer live in hope that the Earth will be saved, but in the certainty that we will save her. We are activists, survivors, lovers and fighters. And we say: the destruction will stop.

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Where is the Love? That'll be at the Earth First Gathering in the Peak District, 19th-24th August. And much more besides ... Photo: Vertigogen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Earth First! summer gathering - the resurgence
17th July 2015

Next month is the time for green activists to get together in the glorious Peak District, coordinate future actions on everything from fracking to road-building and climate change ... and of course, share the love, writes Indra donFrancesco, Yes, it's the Earth First! summer gathering, and there's never been stronger reasons to go.

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Campaigning

Artists impression of 'Garden Bridge' by Heatherwick Studio. Not immediately obvious is that it will block views from Southbank along the river to St Pauls Cathedral.

London's Garden Bridge: a damaging folly at public expense
26th August 2015

It sounded wonderful: a futuristic 'garden bridge' across the Thames dripping with flowers and foliage, writes Will Jennings. But really it's a private enclosure of valuable public space, mature trees and views, backed by £60m of taxpayers money, that delivers no benefits to London's wildlife, environment or transport needs.

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Bovine TB is above all, about cattle and their biosecurity. Happy cows in England's beautiful Peak District. Photo: Rick Harrison via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The NFU's dishonesty over badger culling
22nd August 2015

As they argue for an extended and intensified badger cull, some farmers have been making extravagant and improbable claims about giant badgers frolicking with their cattle in the sunshine, write Jay Tiernan & Lesley Docksey. But despite holding office in the NFU, they display astonishing negligence by failing to adopt the most elementary bio-security measures advised by Defra to keep their cattle TB free.

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'No Coal - the 'Ende Gelände' action, 15th August 2015. Photo: Ruben Neugebauer / 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Into the heart of the beast - occupying Germany's open cast coal nightmare
21st August 2015

Last weekend Toni Belly was occupying Germany's biggest open cast coal mine in the once lovely Rhineland area, one of thousands of protestors from 350.org and other groups determined to shut the operation down. Nursing his bruises and eyes still sore from pepper spray, he set down his account of an unforgettable day of action.

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Interviews

Jeremy Corbyn attends the People's Assembly Against Austerity, 8th July 2015, where DPAC, Friends of the Earth, Green Party and other organisations gathered in Parliament Square to protest Chancellor George Osborne's 'emergency' budget. Photo: Jasn via

Jeremy Corbyn: Big Six under public control, a solar panel on every roof and no new nukes
24th August 2015

Despite Labour's 'great purge' of left-leaning voters in the leadership election, Jeremy Corbyn remains the odds-on bookies favourite. So if he comes to power, what policies can we expect in energy and climate change? Damian Kahya asks the questions ... and is astounded at the range and scope of his ambitions. But how much could he really deliver?

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Jairo Restrepo among the wild flowers of Spain. Photo: JuanFran Lopez.

Defending life! Jairo Restrepo, organic revolutionary
27th July 2015

Jairo Restrepo is a leading champion of organic farming in Brazil, writes JuanFran Lopez, and now his influence has spread across the world. His mission too has expanded to include campaigning for the rights of small scale farmers, and an even wider project of economic, technological and societal transformation to put people at the centre of political power.

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WATCH and SHARE

Manta care - two divers free a huge Manta ray from a barnacled fishing line cutting deep into its wing.

Ecologist Film Unit

Champa from Dibulganj Village, is suffering from Tuberculosis. Photo: Sarah Stirk.

Ecologist Film Unit Coughing up coal
19th May, 2014

The Ecologist & Link TV investigate India's growing addiction to coal.

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EFU Film Fracking Hell – the environmental costs of the new US gas drilling boom
Jim Wickens

The gas stored in the Marcellus Shale formation is the subject of desperate drilling to secure US domestic energy supplies. But the process involved - hydraulic fracturing - is the focus of a bitter dispute over environmental damage and community rights

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WATCH and SHARE

Crawberry Hill Castle Eviction, 2nd August 2014, by Frack Free Crawberry Hill.

Right of Reply

A nursery of loblolly pine – approx. 500,000 in view, all waiting to be dispatched and planted (c. 1,000 acres). Photo: Drax Group.

Biomass for energy is the common sense option
5th June 2015

Today UK campaigners against burning biomass for power will deliver a 110,000 signature petition to DECC to protest at government subsidies for the practice. But in this 'Right of Reply' article Matthew Rivers, chairman of Drax Biomass, argues that biomass combustion is sustainable, benign, and helps to conserve forests worldwide.

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Bryony Worthington gives her reaction to Ed Davey's keynote speech at a Green Alliance meeting. Photo: Green Alliance via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Why we really do need nuclear power
9th June 2015

Faced with the task of decarbonising our electricity supply, it would be foolish to rule nuclear power out of the mix, writes Baroness Worthington, in her reply to Dr Becky Martin, whose open letter was published in The Ecologist.

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Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

Framing the Climate Talks
28 August 2015

Laurence and Alison Matthews explain how the framework for the Paris Climate Change talks are set to skew the debate and distract us from the real agenda which should be to find a global solution to a global emergency.

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Comment

The Earthship at Stanmer Park, just outside Brighton, East Sussex, UK. Photo: Esa Ruoho via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Repowering renewables - a silver lining amid the gloom?
28th August 2015

The Tories' decision to scrap the UK's renewable energy sector deserves condemnation, writes Oliver Tickell. But there is a silver lining: it creates the space in which to design better, cheaper, more cost effective support mechanisms to drive the clean energy revolution forward.

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It may not be to your taste, but the trade in mammoth tusk carvings, like this one on show at the Treasure Island Hotel, Las Vegas, is depressing the price of elephant ivory and helping to preserve the species. Photo: Cheryl Q via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To save our elephants, don't ban mammoth ivory - encourage it!
27th August 2015

There is widely held belief that there' only one way to protect rhinos, elephants and other endangered species poached for the international wildlife trade, writes Douglas MacMillan: a complete trade ban. But it's a dangerous misconception. By raising prices and engaging criminal networks, bans speed up extinction rather than preventing it.

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Surfing at Noosa Beach, Australia. To avoid shark attack, keep out of the water at dawn and dusk, and avoid turbid estuaries. Even sharks can make mistakes. Photo: m.maddo via Flickr (CC BY).

Culling sharks doesn't work - here's what we can do instead
26th August 2015

Following six shark attacks this year on the beaches of New South Wales, Australia, the press are demanding a shark cull as a 'permanent solution' to the problem, writes Jane Williamson. Trouble is, culling is indiscriminate, ineffective, disrupts ocean ecosystems, and diverts resources from more effective responses.

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It will take more than PR puff to restore Coca-Cola's reputation in India. Wall-painted sign in Bangalore, India. Photo: Syed Nabil Aljunid via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Never mind the greenwash - Coca Cola can never be 'water neutral'
25th August 2015

Following a series of disastrous failures in India, one of Coca-Cola's most important markets, the company is desperate to rebuild its reputation by claiming 'water neutrality'. But the idea is absurd, writes Amit Srivastava, and does nothing to benefit the communities that suffer from the depleted aquifers it pumps from.

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A legally questionable logging corridor built by Asia Pulp and Paper inside the traditional home of the Orang Rimba, one of Indonesia's last nomadic cultures. Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Act now, or tropical forests will be a sorry sight in 2100
24th August 2015

Based on current performance tropical forests, the world's most biodiverse ecosystems, are set to be reduced to species-impoverished fragments by the end of the century, writes Simon Lewis. But it's not inevitable. Decisive action by the world's governments in Paris in December could secure desperately needed change.

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Radioactive warning signs at a Czech processing plant storage facility where 'yellowcake' uranium ore is processed. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

#COP21: don't nuke the climate!
22nd August 2015

Nuclear energy is a failed technology that's never been safe, affordable or effective at reducing carbon emissions, writes Peer de Rijk. But that won't stop the world's nuclear lobbyists from thronging to COP21 in Paris determined to secure a place for nuclear power among the 'solutions' to climate change. We must make sure they fail.

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Badger at dusk, British Wildlife Centre. Photo: Helen Haden via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

English Nature - no more badger cull licences!
21st August 2015

English Nature's decision to licence England's badger cull has no scientific basis, write Iain McGill and 26 other distinguished vets in this Open Letter to EN's Chief Scientist. Science Advisory Committee and Board. The body must urgently re-examine the entire issue before issuing any more licences to kill badgers.

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Reviews

Professor 'Jim' al'Khalili presenting BBC4's 'Inside Sellafield' from beside one of the facility's infamous open storage pond.

'Inside Sellafield' and military plutonium - the BBC's nuclear lies of omission
12th August 2015

Professor 'Jim' Al'Khalili's 'Inside Sellafield' programme was a tour de force of pro-nuclear propaganda, writes David Lowry - understating the severity of accidents, concealing the role of the UK's nuclear power stations in breeding military plutonium, and giving false reassurance over the unsolved problems of high level nuclear waste.

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Aiko Ikemoto on 6th October 1945, as an outpatient at Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital. Shielded from the blast by brick walls, she survived the explosion a few miles from its epicentre, but died of cancer on 21st January 1965 at the age of 29 shortly after g

Hiroshima: the 'blinding flash' that changed the world forever
6th August 2015

This day in 1945, the explosion of a nuclear bomb over Hiroshima, Japan, changed the world forever, writes Daniel Cordle. A remarkable article in the New Yorker by John Hersey has shaped the way the world perceives the event, and nuclear weapons generally, by illuminating the humanity of its victims in clear, simple prose.

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'Landmarks' by Robert MacFarlane from cover (cut).

Words of wonder: openings to the natural world
28th July 2015

All too often language is used to objectify nature, writes Caspar Henderson. But there's another, older vocabulary - introduced in this 'counter-desecration phrasebook' - that achieves the reverse: connecting us with the wonders of life and arousing delight in the natural world.

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Blogs

The pine marten may look cuddly - but it's no such thing, specially if you're a grey squirrel. But lighter, more agile reds fare rather better. Photo: Thomas Broxton Jr via Flickr (CC BY).

Pine martens' return could bring a red squirrel resurgence
28th August 2015

The return of pine martens to central Ireland has been followed by a resurgence of red squirrels, writes Emma Sheehy. Now that the predatory mammal is being seen south of the Scottish border, the same could happen in England. The heavier grey squirrel is easy prey for pine martens, and their demise could open up ecological space for the native red to recolonise.

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Children whose development was impaired by their mother's use of thalidomide in a swimming pool. Photo: via Luciana Christiante / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Dr Frances Kelsey: thalidomide and the precautionary principle
25th August 2015

We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Dr Frances Kelsey, write Helena Paul & Philip Bereano. In 1960, she defied her bosses at the FDA to prevent the licensing of thalidomide in the USA, saving thousands from being born with serious deformities. Her tough approach to minimising the risk from new drugs contains lessons we ignore at our peril.

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A beetle on a male corn flower. Photo: Flávio Jota de Paula via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Biodiversity is the best defence against corn pests
14th August 2015

Farmers' first line of defence against pests is the ecosystem in and around their fields, write Jonathan Lundgren & Scott Fausti. With widespread or indiscriminate use of pesticides essential biodiversity is lost - and the result is more frequent and serious infestations, and a decline in food security.

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Green is where the new. high quality, sustainable jobs are. But some governments just don't see it. Photo: Salvatore Barbera via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Green jobs: the potential is there, but where's the political will?
11th August 2015

There is huge untapped potential in the green economy to create millions of decent jobs, writes Jean Lambert - but only if lessons are learned from the Government's flawed, now scrapped, Green Deal. Lesson one: we desperately need a well-funded, ambitious replacement.

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Ecologist Partners

Women in India preparing to dry their farm produce using Sunbest equipment. Photo: Ashden.

Solar heat - transforming rural enterprises around the tropics
4th June 2015

Solar energy is not just about electricity, writes Anne Wheldon. It's also about heat - and three innovative projects highlighted by the Ashden Awards are showing how solar heat can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of food processing and farming, while helping agricultural businesses increase profits.

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Angeles Parra at BioCultura 2014. Photo. EcoArchivo.

BioCultura - celebrating Spain's organic revolution
27th February 2015

Europe's biggest organic fair kicks off today in Valencia, writes Pedro Burruezo - 30 years after the first ever BioCultura event in Madrid in 1985 kicked off Spain's organic revolution. Since then Spain has become Europe's biggest organic producer, and the sector is growing at a dizzying rate of over 10% a year.

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News in Brief

The South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant (SUNPP), where faulty reactors are being operated beyond their design lifetime. But ciriticise, and you'll get sued. Photo: Вальдимар via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

Ukraine sues anti-nuclear campaigners
28th August 2015

Ukraine's state-owned nuclear generator is suing anti-nuclear activists in its latest attempt to stifle public debate over the country's ageing fleet of 15 nuclear reactors, while refusing to release information in breach of international obligations.

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An end to the UK's solar industry? Solar panels on a house near the Northfield bypass, England. Photo: Elliott Brown via Flickr (CC BY).

Government kills off UK solar industry
27th August 2015

The UK government is to cut support for domestic rooftop solar to 13% of current levels, with similar cuts for bigger systems, and end all support for small scale renewables by 2019. The likely result, and surely the intention, is to kill off the UK's solar industry altogether.

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The 'plonkable heliostats'. doing their job. Photo: helio100.sun.ac.za/.

'Plonkable' mirrors promise cheaper solar energy
26th August 2015

The 'other' solar technology, CSP, which uses mirrors to concentrate the sun's rays, is about to get a lot cheaper, writes Jeffrey Barbee. A South African team has developed a low cost design suitable for mass production that can be 'plonked' on site straight from the factory.

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Neonic insecticides in seed treatments damage bees and other pollinators as the toxic chemicals are expressed in their pollen and nectar. Photo: Claus Rebler via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

FoE mounts legal challenge to bee-killer pesticide permits
24th August 2015

A month after warning the government of legal action over its decision to allow farmers to use bee-killing pesticides banned under EU law, Friends of the Earth has filed a High Court legal challenge to have the 'derogations' declared unlawful.

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Do wild boar eat in the woods? Photo:  bzd1 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Warmer winters boost Europe's wild boar
23rd August 2015

Increasingly mild winters have caused an abundance of acorns and beech nuts in Europe's woodlands, writes Paul Brown, triggering a wild boar population explosion - just one of the effects of warming climate on wildlife populations.

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Roundup by Monsanto, photographed in February 2015 by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia. Via Flickr (CC BY).

Roundup may cause potentially fatal 'adrenal insufficiency'
21st August 2015

A new study finds that the Roundup herbicide disrupts the hormonal system of rats at low levels at which it's meant to produce no adverse effects. By the same mechanism It may be causing the potentially fatal condition of 'adrenal insufficiency' in humans.

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The NK cement plant near Manpo, From across the Yalu River, Ji'an. Cement making is a major source of emissions in China due to the breakneck pace of construction. Photo: Caitriana Nicholson via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

China's emissions 14% lower than IPCC thought
20th August 2015

The IPCC has over-estimated China's emissions since 2000 by 14%, almost 3 gigatonnes of carbon since 2000, while its energy consumption has been 10% higher than realised, writes Eliza Berlage. The country is far more carbon-efficient than we ever knew.

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Do not disturb: sleeping badgers in their sett at the British Wildlife Centre. Photo: John Morris via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Do not disturb! Persecuting badgers may perpetuate TB hotspots
17th August 2015

A scientific paper published today says badger persecution may be one of the reasons for the persistence of bovine TB hotspots, writes Oliver Tickell. A further finding is that the main risk factors for bTB are all to do with cattle - not badgers at all.

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One way to use up China's surplus solar panels is with large domestic installations - like this one on the roofs of the Hongqiao Passenger Rail Terminal in Shanghai. Photo: Jiri Rezac / Climate Group via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

China's solar industry hits downturn
16th August 2015

China is by far the world's biggest producer of solar panels, writes Kieran Cooke. But the industry is suffering from over-capacity, razor thin profits and a failure to innovate.

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Calendar

The Festival of Wellbeing: from economic growth to growth in wellbeing
28th August 2015

Resurgence & Ecologist presents the annual Festival of Wellbeing, 10th and 11th October. A weekend of talks and workshops designed to explore wellbeing, happiness and sustainability.

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Courses

Telling Stories of the Future
Schumacher College

To celebrate 25 years at the forefront of environmental education, Schumacher College are launching a new short course programme: Soul, Spirit and Story.

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