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Appropriate civilization versus 'new despotism': one month into the Trump Presidency

Jeremy Leggett

22nd February 2017

Artwork: Shea Huening via Flickr (CC BY-ND). See also full version with this article. Believers in the possibility of a better civilization, one rooted in increasing co-operation and harmony, find ourselves in a world where demagogues are empowered to bring about the polar opposite, writes Jeremy Leggett. A new despotism rooted in isolationist nationalism and conflict is gaining strength. The battle is not lost: but first we must understand the dangers. more...

Why did the US need toxic uranium munitions to destroy fuel tankers in Syria?

Doug Weir

20th February 2017

Nov 16: Coalition strike destroys 116 ISIL fuel trucks near Abu Kamal. Photo: from video (see embed). Depleted uranium (DU) munitions may not be regulated but their severe long term health impacts mean they should be, writes Doug Weir. So why did 'Coalition' forces fire 5,265 armour-piercing DU rounds on IS fuel convoys in Syria? When non-DU munitions would have done the job just as well? Just because they knew they would never be held to account? All the more reason to act now! more...

Copeland by-election: opposing nuclear power, and voting Green, is the only rational choice

Jack Lenox / Green Party

17th February 2017

Imposing, moi? Photo of the Sellafield nuclear complex by Dafydd Waters via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). All but one of the candidates in next week's Copeland by-election are backing a massive new nuclear power station in the constituency that would cost us tens of billions of pounds. Only the Green Party's Jack Lenox is resisting the spin, hypocrisy and outright lies that his rivals have swallowed whole. Here he explains why this risky, unaffordable white elephant must be scrapped. more...

And then he came for the animals - is Donald Trump trying to make puppy mills great again?

JP Sottile

15th February 2017

Cage in a 500-puppy puppy mill, raided by voluntary organisations on 8th July 2009. Photo: Josh Henderson via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Whatever people were voting for when they elected President Donald Trump, very few were seeking to remove the already scant protections afforded to dogs and puppies kept in unregulated 'factory farm' breeding sheds, writes JP Sottile. But that's the effect of the deregulatory whirlwind that's hit USDA: more profit for the animal abusers, and more suffering for the animals. more...

Indigenous land rights could halt Australia's largest coal mining project

Maxine Newlands

16th February, 2017

Indigenous elders from the Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people have put mining company Adani - and Australia's governments - on notice to quit the Carmichael mine project over native title claims. MAXINE NEWLANDS reports more...

Suppressed EPA toxicologist: 'it is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer'

Carey Gillam

14th February 2017

Herbicide spraying in Arkansas, USA. Photo: Kevin Wood via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Letters from an EPA toxicologist to the EPA official in charge of assessing whether glyphosate, the active ingredient of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, causes cancer, reveal accusations of 'staff intimidation' and 'political conniving games with the science' to favour pesticide corporations, writes Carey Gillam. Could this be a game-changer for cancer-suffering plaintiffs? more...

New report shows just how climate change is striking at the heart of the places we hold most dear

Joe Ware

14th February, 2017

Where are the places you hold most dear? According to a new report from the Climate Coalition - published to coincide with Valentine's Day - they may already be under threat from climate change which is closer to home than you might think. JOE WARE reports more...

Gene drives: the scientific case for a complete and perpetual ban

Jonathan Latham, PhD

13th February 2017

When we can't even properly regulate fairly simple things like the chemicals coming from this plant in Sarnia, Ontario, what chance have we got with truly 'wicked' problems like genes engineered to spread through populations? Photo: Jon Lin Photography vi At what point are technologies so complex, uncertain, or unmanageable as to be beyond regulation? The question is key to human and ecological health, writes Jonatham Latham. But instead of learning from successful approaches, such as aviation safety, we are throwing the lessons away when faced with truly complex problems - like chemicals, GMOs, and now 'gene drives'. more...

Ecologist Special Report: Ecological Conservation in Post-Conflict Colombia

Forest Ray

10th February, 2017

Colombia is now closer than ever to finding a peaceful resolution to generations of violence. With so much to gain in a post-conflict world - as much for the Colombian people as for their environment - the sudden prospect of losing it all will make for tense months ahead writes FOREST RAY more...

TPP and TTIP are not dead: now they're called the Trade In Services Agreement

Pete Dolack

9th February 2017

Opposing TISA: Global Trade in Services Strategy Meeting, October 2014. Photo: Public Services International via Flickr (CC BY-NC). If there's one good thing about Trump, it's that he has put an end to the TPP and TTIP trade deals, right? Don't celebrate yet, writes Pete Dolack. There's another 'trade deal' waiting in the wings, TISA, and negotiators have been busy expanding its remit to include huge parts of TPP and TTIP, while giving free rein to the global behemoths of internet and finance to expand their monopolies. more...

Vaccines, mercury and thimerosal: let the science speak!

Robert F. Kennedy Jr

7th February 2017

What's lurking in these vaccines? Photo: Carlos Reusser Monsalvez via Flickr (Public Domain). I am pro-vaccine, writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. I had all of my six children vaccinated. I believe that vaccines save millions of lives. So let me explain why I edited the book 'Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak', which exposes the dangerous and avoidable use of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal in vaccines given to millions of children and pregnant women here and around the world. more...

Trumpocalypse now! But can we believe the Doomsday Clock?

Chris Busby

6th February 2017

Trumpopaclyse? Photo: IoSonoUnaFotoCamera via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The election of President Trump is driving the planet towards oblivion - according to the elite scientific body behind the Doomsday Clock, writes Chris Busby. But isn't Trump's commitment to reduce East-West antagonism and ally with Russia's President Putin against terrorism reducing the risk of nuclear war? So far, Trump is sticking to his promises. Let this one be no exception! more...

Not just Toshiba - the global nuclear industry is in crisis everywhere

Jim Green

3rd February 2017

Artist's impression of the Moorside nuclear complex, built on a green field site next to the Sellafield nuclear complex. Image: Nugen. Global nuclear power capacity grew slightly in 2016, writes Jim Green, but it was more a dead cat bounce than the promised 'nuclear renaissance'. The collapse of Toshiba, the direct result of its failing nuclear ventures, is indicative of the crisis faced by nuclear contractors and utilities worldwide. Another sign of the industry's poor outlook: no major commodity had a worse 2016 than uranium. more...

Exposed: Coca Cola's big 'fight back' against tackling plastic waste

Maeve McClenaghan / Greenpeace Energydesk

2nd February 2017

Photo: FromSandToGlass via Flickr (CC BY). A Greenpeace investigation has exposed the massive efforts of global food and drink giant Coca Cola to defeat popular proposals to require deposits on single-use plastic bottles, writes Maeve McClenaghan. In fact, deposit schemes are working fine in many countries in which the company operates - it's a simple case of corporate profit before environment, oceans and wildlife. more...

New study shows habitat loss as the reason for the UK's 'Disappearing Dormice'

Laura Briggs

1st February, 2017

Removing the natural habitat of Hazel Dormice - one of the UK's most endangered species - is further threatening their existence says a new report from Manchester Metropolitan University. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...

On trial: Monsanto's 'alternative facts' about glyphosate

Carey Gillam / USRTK

1st February 2017

Bottles of Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller relabeled by Global Justice Now activists, April 2016. Roundup contains glyphosate, a chemical that the WHO classifies as 'probably carcinogenic'. Photo: Global Justice Now via Flickr (CC BY). Reeling from California's decision to ban glyphosate, fearful of 're-evaluation' by EU and US regulators, and facing ruinous cancer claims in federal courts, the US chemical industry are fighting back, writes Carey Gillam. Their key argument: don't trust independent doctors and scientists - trust us! And as they just told a California court, profit must come before people. more...

The new colonialism: 'developing' superpowers join the global land grab

Nikita Sud, University of Oxford

31st January 2017

Site of a proposed palm oil plantation in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Dr Ward Berenschot, Author provided. Land grabbing has been going on since the mists of time, writes Nikita Sud, and took off like never before under European colonialism. But now 'developing' countries are also getting in on the act - notably China, an economic superpower in its own right, as it ruthlessly, and often corruptly, expands its global land holdings at the expense of nature and small scale farmers. more...

Deadly bird flu strains created by industrial poultry farms

Robert G. Wallace

30th January 2017

Some of the 17,000 poultry at an intensive chicken farm in Pennsylvania, USA, which produces 2.5 million chicks each year. Photo: Lance Cheung / US Department of Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY). As deadly H5Nx bird flu strains diversify in giant, fast-rotation flocks and and adapt to poultry that tens of thousands of human handlers care for and process every day, the emergence of a deadly human-specific flu becomes ever more likely, writes Robert G. Wallace. The industry can no longer blame wild birds for the problems it is creating - and must urgently reform its own practices. more...

Decarbonising the UK economy

Joe Ware

26th January, 2017

Ultimately the UK Government's new industrial strategy has the potential to use government investment to shift the country in the right direction for the environment. But we need more than just ‘public money,' we need the public's money too writes JOE WARE more...

Obama's clean energy legacy - how long can it last?

Mark Barteau, University of Michigan

20th January 2017

Will Obama's clean energy legacy outlast this Alaskan glacier? Chances are it may. President Obama stops for a break in Kenai Fjords National Park with Exit Glacier in the background. Photo: Pete Souza / The White House (Public Domain). President Trump comes into office determined to discard huge swathes of his predecessor's legacy on day one, writes Mark Barteau. But he will struggle to undo Obama's clean energy regulations. It's not just that they are legally robust, it's also that energy markets in the US and the wider world have shifted firmly, and irreversibly, towards efficiency and renewables. Sorry, Mr Trump. more...

Neighbouring countries concerned about the risk of a Belgian Nuclear meltdown

Nick Meynen

19th January, 2017

On 10 January 2017 a new emergency plan was presented in a commission in Belgium's Parliament. The evacuation perimeter was conveniently halved to 10km to avoid an evacuation of Belgium's second and third cities in case of a meltdown. The plan has been called totally inadequate. NICK MEYNEN reports more...

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