News Analysis

Shocking cruelty and welfare breaches to livestock on their way to and at British abbatoirs

Thousands of British farm animals are subjected to needless pain and distress - six times a day on average - as they are slaughtered according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

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If the unions were so bothered about jobs, they should be supporting renewables, not nuclear. But could it be that those are the 'wrong kind of jobs' - not unionised ones? Photo: Centre for Alternative Technology (www.cat.org.uk) via Flickr (CC BY).

If it's jobs they want, Labour and the unions must back renewables, not Hinkley C!
30th August 2016

Four of Britain's major unions are big supporters of nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie - all because of the jobs. Now Labour's shadow energy minister has joined them in backing Hinkley C - even though renewable energy is a far better job-creator than nuclear, and already employs three times more people.

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If you're saying 'it' with flowers this UK Bank Holiday weekend make sure they're locally grown
26th August, 2016

A gap in the market and the digital age has seen the British organic cut flower industry flourish over the last couple of years - with chemical-free, low air-mile blooms finally seeing their day in the sun. LAURA BRIGGS reports on the homegrown market that offers a bigger variety of flowers and without the environmental costs of imported ones

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Hydrogen produced from renewable energy is already finding a market as a 'green' fuel for cars. But its future potential goes way beyond that, as a vital storage mechanism for surplus wind / solar electricity on the grid, to provide power on demand. Photo

The hydrogen economy is much nearer than we think
26th August 2016

Hydrogen made from renewable electricity is already fuelling vehicles at affordable prices, writes DAVID THORPE. But now the 'green' fuel is set to go from niche to mainstream - powering not just cars, trucks and buses, but storing surplus renewable energy on sunny and windy days, then to be burnt in gas turbines or fuel cells to supply the grid with reliable power on demand.

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Suffolk farmland at dusk. Photo: Jimmy - S via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Dark days ahead for British agriculture? Or green shoots of a brighter future?
25th August 2016

With Brexit the UK will have to chose between two visions of our farming future, writes Keith Tyrell. Will it be heavily subsidised corporate agribusiness that ravages both nature and small, high quality farmers. Or will we seize the chance to build a sustainable food and farming system that supports wildlife, landscape, family farms, organic production and diverse rural economies?

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Green Living

The Comida Conscience mobile restaurant. Photo: Fabrizio Uscamayta.

Abundance for everybody - 'conscious food' supports a thriving urban activist community in Bolivia
July 2016

Rooted in the Andean principles of sharing, resilience and 'Vivir Bien' (Living Well), Bolivian activists in the world's highest capital city are building cooperative, grassroots alternatives to the profit-oriented economy, writes Sian Cowman. Their weekly lunch party is just the most visible way in which they are challenging the injustice of capitalism and the fragmentation it inflicts on communities.

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Ruth & Alex at the Steepholding, Greenham Reach. Photo: Walter Lewis.

Feeding body and soul - an exploration of Britain's new age landworkers
12th May 2016

For most of 2015 Walter Lewis travelled around England and Wales meeting and photographing people producing food outside the confines of mainstream agriculture - working out of a passion for the earth and the Earth rather than for commercial gain. He completed his exploration inspired, and determined to spread word of quiet revolution under way across the fields of Britain.

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Longji terraces in Longsheng county, Guilin, China, January 2009. Photo: Anna Frodesiak via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Creating sustainability? Join the Re-Generation!
25th April 2016

Faced with multiple converging crises humanity is challenged to redesign the human presence on Earth within the lifetime of present generations, writes Daniel Christian Wahl, and so transform our impact from degeneration to regeneration. We are capable of creating diverse creative cultures elegantly adapted to the uniqueness of place.

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Campaigning

How the US saw the Japanese people in 1942. Photo: James Vaughan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Why Japan? The racism of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings
17th August 2016

As we remember the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this month 71 years ago, we have largely forgotten the racist propaganda that made it possible, writes LINDA PENZ GUNTER. We have likewise sanitised history to exclude the voices of African Americans who loudly protested the use of nuclear weapons, connecting them to American colonialism abroad and racism at home.

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New Whale Heritage Sites (WHS) signal a new era in responsible whale watching
16th August, 2016



As whale watching grows in popularity, so too do concerns about marine habitats and the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises. DYLAN WALKER of the World Cetacean Alliance explains why we must all take responsibility for ethical interactions with these intriguing animals

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The Greenpeace ship James Bay was widely used in Greenpeace's iconic 'Save the Whale' campaign of the mid-1970s to obstruct the activities of killer boats intent on taking the last great whales. Photo: still from 'How to Change the World' (film by Greenpe

Changing the world with creative non-violence
12th August 2016

The Green movement is above all about leading social change, writes Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler. While facts and arguments are important, the main task is to replace mainstream justifications of the status quo with new, compelling narratives of a higher moral order. And the most powerful means of achieving this is by symbolic, non-violent direct action.

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Interviews

Activist ‘Pati' Ruiz Corzo: The Singing Conservationist
25th August, 2016

TADZIO MAC GREGOR meets a former school teacher-turned-conservation-activist who uses singing to inspire her followers and who has taken on both the Mexican Government and big corporations to stop the exploitation of the biodiverse Sierra Gorda region for profit

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Jo Ruxton, co-producer of 'A Plastic Ocean'. Photo: via plasticoceans.net

Plastic Ocean - why the world should declare plastic 'hazardous waste'
8th June 2016

Plastic is ubiquitous around the world's oceans, writes Lesley Henderson, but although it's visible from space, it can be surprisingly elusive in the water - as she heard from Jo Ruxton, producer of the investigative documentary 'A Plastic Ocean'. Solutions to this growing hazard have also proved elusive to date, hence the film's strong focus on action: educational, cultural and legal.

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Essays

Brazil's Zo'é tribe are starting to recover from epidemics in the 1980s and '90s now that their land is protected. Photo: Survival International.

Brazil's Olympic triumph - don't mention the genocide!
25th August 2016

In the thick of the Olympic frenzy, one voice that was systematically excluded from mainstream narratives is that of Brazil's Indigenous Peoples, writes Lewis Evans, who have fought to survive through centuries of dehumanisation, theft and genocide. And now they face a fresh attack as a proposed constitutional change, PEC 215, threatens a new round of indigenous land theft.

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Before and after: natural wetland forest dominated by Swamp cypress, and an industrial plantation of Lolbolly pine. Both photos via Wikimedia Commons (see details on individual photos); amalgamation by The Ecologist (no rights claimed).

Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?
18th August 2016

This month wood pellet mills in the southern US that supply the UK's Drax power station were awarded 'sustainability' certificates under a voluntary scheme governed entirely by energy companies. The certificates provide no credible guarantee that the fuel does not come from ecologically valuable natural forests and wetlands, clear-cut and replaced by industrial plantations.

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How will the promoters of GMO golden rice ensure that malnourished children receive it in the first place? Will they also ensure they get the dietary fat they need to actually assimilate the carotene once they have eaten it? Photo of children playing in M

Millions spent, no one served: who is to blame for the failure of GMO Golden Rice?
15th August 2016

The real reason why 'golden rice' remains uncultivated after a 20 year effort is its poor agronomic performance, write Angelika Hilbeck & Hans Herren. But beyond that, the very idea of golden rice as a 'solution' to Vitamin A deficiency fails to recognise the real causes of malnutrition - poverty, hunger and poor diet. How will golden rice reach poor children in the first place? And will they ever get the rich, oily diet they need to assimilate its fat-soluble nutrients?

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Temporary streams are set to become an increasingly common landscape feature in the UK. The River Manifold (Staffordshire, UK) already experiences annual drying due to features of the underlying bedrock. Photo: Tory Milner.

Dry rivers are living rivers - with our care and protection
25th July 2016

Although flowing water is fundamental to river ecosystems, temporary streams are distinctive landscape features that support surprisingly diverse communities, writes Rachel Stubbington. However, the biodiversity of these dynamic ecosystems needs greater recognition and protection.

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Tank destroyed by depleted uranium (DU) munitions on Iraq's 'Highway of Death' in the first Gulf War, February 2003. Photo: Christiaan Briggs via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Chilcot: UK insists it has 'no long-term legal responsibility to clean up DU from Iraq'
11th July 2016

The Chilcot report reveals that the UK has disclaimed any duty to decontaminate the toxic, radioactive ash left behind by its DU munitions, or even monitor the impacts on human health, writes Doug Weir. But Iraq and other countries are working towards a UN Resolution this October that would hold contaminating governments like the UK and the US legally accountable for DU pollution.

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Blogs

Waves break over the sandbars (1), feeder currents form moving parallel to the shore (2), until meeting and flowing offshore as a rip current (3). Image: Tim Scott, Author provided.

How to spot hazardous 'rip currents' at the beach - before you get in the water
25th August 2016

Five men tragically died this week at Camber Sands in East Sussex, making holiday makers are increasingly fearful of the dangers of sea bathing. One of the biggest dangers comes from so-called 'rip tides' which carry swimmers out to sea on fast-moving 'rivers' of water, writes MARTIN AUSTIN. So here's how to recognise the dangers - before you even get in the water.

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The Ethical Foodie: Pack up and ship more ethically out?
24th August, 2016


If you want to make a difference to waste and the environment then you need to think about what you will eat when you're travelling - both for business and for pleasure. It won't be easy, it'll take some planning but the difference you make will be huge writes, TIM MADDAMS our New Voices Ethical Foodie columnist

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How can we act in time to prevent ecosystem collapse in eutrophic waters? The answer is in the ecology. Photo: Dr. Jennifer L. Graham | US Geological Survey / eutrophication&hypoxia on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

How to avoid system collapse? It's the ecology, stupid!
22nd August 2016

Ecosystems don't collapse a little at a time, writes JAMES DYKE, but all of a sudden. So how can we see the danger signs and act in time to save them? A new study of eutrophic lakes shows that the answer lies, not in easily-measured nutrient levels, but from a more subtle understanding of the lakes' shifting ecology and types of species: keystones, weeds and canaries.

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Imposing Cliffs of Ice Are Like Something Out of TV's Game of Thrones
16th August, 2016

Travel blogger ROBBIE TREVELYAN is by turns awe-inspired and intimidating by the melting ice giant that is New Zealand's Tasman Glacier. Here's his first-person account of a recent visit

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Could the British countryside look like this one day? Gaur, a species of wild cattle, in the forest at the Kabini Wildlife Santuary, Kerala, India. Photo: rahul rekapalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

What if Britain really did abandon its farms and leave them to nature?
16th August 2016

The National Farmers Union has been issuing dire warnings that if UK taxpayers do not keep on paying landowners billions of pounds of annual subsidies after Brexit, many will simply give up farming altogether. So, asks CHRISTOPHER SANDOM, how would our countryside change if they followed through on that threat? (Or was it a promise?)

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Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

SCHUMACHER COLLEGE CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF ECOLOGICAL TEACHING
22nd August, 2016

They said it would never work but time has proved those critics wrong.
As the inspirational and pioneering Devon centre that combines ecology and spiritual learning celebrates its 25th anniversary, founder and Editor Emeritus of Resurgence & Ecologist, SATISH KUMAR, describes the flourishing of this remarkable and pioneering place of learning

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Comment

To get rid of conservative governments opposition parties must build a 'Progressive Alliance'. Photo: Maurice via Flickr (CC BY).

'Progressive Alliance' is now the only alternative to the Tories
30th August 2016

Thanks to the UK's crazy 'first past the post' electoral system, there's only way the UK can end austerity and neoliberal government in the next general election, writes Rupert Read: if centre and left parties join in a Progressive Alliance that represents the majority of voters.

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Dry casks for storing irradiated nuclear fuel at the Diablo Canyon plant in Avila, California. The plant is scheduled to close within a decade, but taxpayers will pay to keep spent fuel stored on-site until a federal repository is ready to take it. Photo:

No more taxpayer subsidies for our failing nuclear reactors!
25th August 2016

New York state recently set a terrible example by approving a $7.6 billion bailout of failing nuclear power plants, writes PETER BRADFORD. But other states aren't following. including California and Nebraska, where a host of highly competitive clean energy technologies are filling in the power shortfall left by nuclear closures, at much lower cost. It's time to let old nuclear reactors die.

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Shishmaref Climate Refugees Relocation - A sociological tipping point in Arctic Alaska
23rd August, 2016

When the 600 residents of the Shishmaref Alaskan village decided last week to relocate due to the impact of Climate Change we moved beyond the 'wakeup call' stage to a serious tipping point, writes Dr CARA AUGUSTENBORG

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Soon the world will be producing its liquid fuels for vehicles from the sun - at a lower cost than mineral petrol / gasoline. Photo: Nick Blackmer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Artificial photosynthesis - how renewable fuels will make oil obsolete
22nd August 2016

New technologies are coming on stream that can turn sunlight and wind into liquid fuels for vehicles, homes or power plants, writes Chris Goodall. And by powering the process using 'free' renewable energy on sunny or windy days, the fuel will be as green as can be, and cost less than petroleum.

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Shooting grouse in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Photo: Richard Woffenden via Flickr (CC BY).

Time to close down Britain's devastating grouse-shooting industry
18th August 2016

The disappearance of a satellite-tagged hen harrier on a Scottish grouse moor and the loss of eight Golden eagles in five years provide the latest evidence for a ban on driven grouse-shooting, writes EDUARDO GONCALVES. But birds of prey are only the most high-profile victims of a cruel and ecologically destructive industry.

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Education for meaningful sustainability and regeneration
17th August, 2016

Building a new more sustainable future is surely best done by creating inspiring alternatives rather than criticising the old. DANIEL CHRISTIAN WAHL celebrates the work of Gaia Education - an educational NGO that is at the forefront of locally focused sustainability education on six continents

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Bushmen have hunted at subsistence levels in the Kalahari for millennia. Photo: Survival International.

Botswana: shooting Bushmen from helicopters is wrong!
16th August 2016

Botswana's war on its indigenous population, the Bushmen of the Kalahari, has reached a new pitch, writes LEWIS EVANS. No longer content to arrest and intimidate them as they engage in subsistence hunting on their own land, the state has begun to shoot them from aircraft. These illegal, genocidal acts must stop!

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Reviews

Front cover of 'Badgered to Death' by Dominic Dyer (exerpt), published by Canbury Press.

Why are our badgers ‘Badgered to Death'?
23rd August 2016

With today's news that badger culling will continue in Gloucester, Somerset and Dorset, and take place in three other counties, writes LESLEY DOCKSEY, there could be no more opportune moment for Dominic Dyer's new book 'Badgered to Death' to appear - expertly exposing the total absence of scientific evidence that badgers transmit bovine TB to cattle.

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'The most perfect thing - inside (and outside ) a bird's egg' - from front cover.

The most perfect thing - inside (and outside) a bird's egg
7th June 2016

Birds eggs are wonderful, as Tim Birkhead makes clear in his new book. But they are also enigmatic, mysterious, their secrets not lightly surrendered. Every kind of egg is perfect in its own way, writes Martin Spray, but the logic that underlies their characteristic designs, colours and shapes eludes the most assiduous of oologists.

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From front cover of 'Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming' by Andreas Malm (Verso Books).

Fossil Capital: the rise of steam power and the roots of global warming
27th April 2016

We all know that coal and steam vanquished over water power in Britain's - and the world's - industrial revolution, writes Irma Allen. But as Andreas Malm sets out in his fascinating new book, the deciding factors in that victory were the unconstrained mastery over people and nature that coal provided mill owners. And so the model was set for the fossil age that may only now be coming to an end.

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Right of Reply

Artists impression of the Garden Bridge planned for the Thames in London. Photo: Garden Bridge Trust.

Everything in the Garden Bridge is lovely!
3rd September 2015.

The Garden Bridge will offer a new kind of green space in the heart of the city, strengthening London's status as the greenest capital in Europe, writes Bee Emmott. It will benefit the health and wellbeing of local communities and visitors alike.

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Cattle grazing near Swanage, Dorset, July 2015. Photo: Claire Cox via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

The case for the Dorset badger cull
31st August 2015

The government is right to extend the badger cull into Dorset, writes Mel Squires in this 'right of reply' article. While culling badgers is only part of the solution of bovine TB, along with annual TB testing of cattle and badger vaccination, it is a necessary measure in areas of high risk.

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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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Ecologist Partners

Water vole in Arundel, England. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr (CC BY).

Citizens' science to save our water voles - volunteers needed!
28th April 2016

UK water voles face an uncertain future after widespread habitat loss and predation by American mink, write Emily Thomas and Nida Al-Fulaij. But you can help by joining a UK-wide monitoring scheme run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species that's recruiting nature-loving volunteers to survey local lakes, rivers, ditches and streams for signs of these lovable but elusive creatures.

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Patrick Holden with his dairy herd. Photo: Steph French (www.stephfrench.com) / SFT.

Patrick Holden: 'cheap' food is costing the Earth, and our health
7th April 2016

Food has never been more affordable for middle class families in rich countries. But it comes at a high cost: the impact of industrial food production on health, environment and society has never been greater as Patrick Holden explained to Emily Lewis-Brown. Now the real cost of food US production will be examined in a ground-breaking conference in San Francisco.

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Calendar

One Earth, One Humanity, One Future

Resurgence magazine (now Resurgence & Ecologist) celebrates 50 years of independent publishing with a landmark event hosted by Worcester College, Oxford, 22-25 September 2016.

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Upcoming Schumacher Courses - Including Right Livelihood with Satish Kumar

Environmental campaigner Satish Kumar is one of the co-hosts of the popular year-long Right Livelihood programme which will run again this year

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Courses

The 'Daisyworld' model is integral to Gaia theory, developed by Dr James Lovelock, which proposes that organisms interact with their surroundings to form a complex, self-regulating system. Photo: Gordon Robertson via Flickr (CC BY).

Educating for Gaia: a wholistic approach to Earth science
28th April 2016

As a society, we are strangely disconnected from the Earth, writes Stephan Harding. It's as if we were aliens placed here to prod and poke with our scientific instruments whilst feeling no sense of meaning, belonging or closeness to her ancient crumpled surface or rich, teeming biodiversity - a state of mind that a forthcoming course at Schumacher College aims to reverse.

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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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News in Brief

UK public overwhelmingly backs EU rules to protect bees and nature
25th August, 2016

They may have wanted to leave Europe behind but Brexiteers still want the same - if not higher levels of environmental protection - for the UK's wild bee populations and natural wild places says a new report commissioned by Friends of the Earth and published today

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New study suggests pro-nuclear countries are making much slower progress on climate targets
24th August, 2016

With the UK's Hinkley Point deal hanging in the balance, a new study casts fresh doubts over future of nuclear energy in Europe, writes JAMES HAKNER

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English badger. Photo: Kentish Plumber via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

England's £100m badger cull extensions condemned
23rd August 2016

England is about to extend its badger cull policy to five new areas of the country, proving that only that science is a dead letter to May's conservative government as it was to Cameron's. While bovine TB infections in cattle rise in the existing cull areas, Wales has just achieved a cull-free 14% reduction.

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France bans all ivory and rhino horn trade


BRUSSELS - The French Environment Minister Ségolène Royal has signed a decree banning the trade in ivory and rhino horn in France and all overseas French territories.This follows an earlier French governmental move to suspend re-exports of elephant ivory

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Coca-Cola's second largest bottling plant in India has been shut down

New Delhi: Coca-Cola's second largest bottling plant in India has shut production due to pollution violations, the India Resource Center has confirmed after a visit to the plant yesterday.

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In 2012 Natural England pulled its legal inquiry into the burning of blanket bog in the Pennines - one of several factors damaging the rare and vulnerable habitat. Photo: Peer Lawther via Flickr (CC BY).

England's nature watchdog to rely on 'consultancy' income from developers
16th August 2016

Leaked documents show that Natural England, the official wildlife agency, is to increase its income from 'discretionary chargeable advice' to developers and landowners, writes EMMA HOWARD - while also failing to prosecute wildlife crime or challenge damaging developments.

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EDF's corporate HQ in La Defense, Paris, France. Photo: Olivier Durand via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Hinkley C: government's 'revolving door' to EDF execs
12th August 2016

Ten advisers and civil servants working in DECC, the former UK energy department, were seconded from EDF or had other links to the company, writes Joe Sandler Clarke. This may help to explain the 'preferential treatment' EDF has received over the 3.2GW nuclear power station it wants to build at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

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R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant near Ontario, NY - one of those to get the Governor Cuomo 'clean energy' subsidy. Photo courtesy of ©Exelon Nuclear via Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

$7.6 billion 'clean energy' bailout for New York nuclear plants
3rd August 2016

New York has approved a massive $7.6 billion subsidy to keep four ageing upstate plants open on the false promise that they provide 'clean and renewable energy', writes Karl Grossman. Campaigners for genuine clean energy fear that other pro-nuclear states may follow NY Governor Cuomo's dubious lead.

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Professor Smythe provided expert evidence in 2014 at a Public Inquiry into coalbed methane extraction in Falkirk - to the delight of these protestors for a frack-free Scotland, seen here on 7th December 2014. Photo: Ric Lander via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Exposed: Glasgow Uni's plot to cut off anti-fracking Professor
2nd August 2016

Internal Glasgow University emails show that it terminated geophysics professor David Smythe's email account and access to scientific papers because his concerns about the impacts of fracking were upsetting its 'industrial research partners', writes Kyla Mandel - not as part of a 'routine review' as previously stated.

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Munduruku indigenous people set up a sign to demarcate their land. Photo: Greenpeace.

Brazil's indigenous peoples fight Amazon dams threat
1st August 2016

Brazil's new neoliberal government is intent on building a massive new dam deep in the Amazon rainforest on the on the Tapajós river, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson, obliterating the indigenous territory of the Munduruku people in defiance of their constitutional rights.

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Quarry in Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. Photo: Thomas Nemeskeri via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Plunder of Earth's natural resources up 200% in 40 years
26th July 2016

A new UN report warns of a threefold increase in extraction of the Earth's primary materials between 1970 and 2010, writes Alex Kirby. The boom in the production of minerals, ores, fossil fuels, timber and biomass and will be to intensify climate change, increase air pollution and reduce biodiversity.

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Will it all come to nothing? Artist's impression of the planned Hinkley C nuclear power station. Image: EDF Energy.

EDF to postpone Hinkley C start until 2019 or beyond
22nd July 2016

EDF's 'final investment decision' on the Hinkley C nuclear power station next week will be pure theatre, writes David Toke. The truth is that no concrete is to be poured until 2019 at the earliest. Meanwhile post-Brexit UK is running out of money to pay for it, and EDF is under investigation by the Financial Markets Authority for concealing information on Hinkley from investors.

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