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Marine Protected Areas in South Africa - ocean grabbing by another name

Mads Barbesgaard, Carsten Pedersen, Timothé Feodoroff

21st November 2014

Women of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, protesting today. Photo: World Forum of Fisher Peoples - WFFP. Today on World Fisheries Day, fisher peoples and their allies are taking to the streets and beaches to fight against ocean grabbing in all its forms - including Marine Protected Areas imposed without consultation that rob and criminalise local communities and benefit only privileged outsiders. more...

UKIP uncut - acoloytes of America's far-right corporate gunslingers

Alex Stevenson & Oliver Tickell

21st November 2014

UKIP MEP and energy spokesman Roger Helmer poses with Maritsa Noon, chief executive of the pro-fossil fuel, climate change denying Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, at the 7th Heartland Institute Climate Conference in May 2012. Photo: rogerhelm Would UKIP be riding so high if voters knew of the party's links with powerful right-wing US corporate interests promoting fossil fuels, denying climate change, opposing gun control, and supporting big tobacco, teaching creationism in schools, healthcare privatisation and the lifting of nuclear power regulation? An Ecologist investigation exposes the real UKIP. more...

Explaining Burma's missing 9 million people - evaporation, or genocide?

Guy Horton

20th November 2014

Massacre by Burmese army The best way to deal with embarrassing, inconvenient facts is to ignore them, writes Guy Horton. And this is precisely what the international community is doing over Burma's demographic anomaly - 9 million people who ought to be there, but aren't. Their absence is prima facie evidence of genocide - but as we all celebrate the 'brave new Burma', no one wants to know. more...

Keystone XL - we won! But the real battle lies ahead

Alexander Reid Ross

19th November 2014

Keystone XL Pipeline Protest at the White House, Washington DC, November 2011. Photo: tarsandsaction via Flickr. The enabling bill for Keystone XL failed yesterday in the US Senate. Supported by all 45 Republican senators, it fell one vote short of the required 60-vote threshold. But the victory will be a temporary one, writes Alexander Reid Ross. The final battle can only be won by massive grassroots engagement and protest in communities across North America. more...

China leads the world in green energy - despite US Senate Leader 'do nothing' claims

John Mathews and Hao Tan

18th November 2014

'Don't shoot me - I'm only the Senate Leader!' US Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr. The Leader of the US Senate says that under the China-US climate deal, China can 'do nothing at all for 16 years'. John Mathews and Hao Tan examine the claim - and find it's the very reverse of the truth. China is leading the world in greening its energy supply, and has committed to add a massive 1.3GW of renewable power capacity every week for 15 years. Now Mitch - beat that! more...

Britain's 'energy policy' - carried out by Tories, made by UKIP?

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog UK

17th November 2014

Wind turbines in Powys, Wales. Even if you don't like them, would an open-pit coal mine, or landscape dotted with fracking wells, be an improvement? Photo: vicirabi via Flickr. As the governing conservative party lurches ever further to the right, writes Kyla Mandel, it feels like UKIP has already won the election - six months before it's even happened. Tory ministers are already executing UKIP policies, with their ignorant but implacable hatred of renewable energy in all its forms. more...

Israel bans heroic Norwegian doctor from Gaza for life

Ben Norton

16th November 2014

MAP is deeply concerned by the refusal of access to a medical practitioner into Gaza. Following the recent conflict thousands of Palestinians in Gaza require specialised surgical treatment and it is imperative that the right to health is unimpeded. Photo: Mads Gilbert, a renowned 67-year old doctor and human rights activist who has saved innumerable lives in Gaza by working right through Israel's two most recent military attacks, has been banned by Israel from entering the territory for life. His 'crime'? Apart from healing the shattered bodies of Palestinians, he has dared to speak out about the horrors he witnessed. more...

Chlorpyrifos - cause of birth defects, mental impairment - sprayed on farms across the US

Janette D. Sherman

15th November 2014

Lorsban is sprayed on a soccer pitch to control grubs, 1987. Photo: srv007 via Flickr. Dow's teratogenic pesticide chlorpyrifos is a human and environmental disaster, writes Janette D. Sherman. It causes serious, irreversible damage to the human foetus even at low concentrations that may be harmless to the mother, resulting in severely and permanently disabled and mentally damaged children. But it's still sprayed in vast quantities on America's farms. more...

Fukushima 40-year, £11bn cleanup progresses - but the worst is yet to come

Justin McCurry / the Guardian

14th November 2014

IAEA experts examine recovery work on top of Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 17 April 2013. Photo Credit: Greg Webb / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr. The clean up at Fukushima faces enormous challenges, writes Justin McCurry. First, managing 500,000 tonnes of contaminated water stored onsite. Next, removing molten fuel from reactors 1, 2 and 3, a task so hazardous that it's been put off until 2025. Even robots have been unable to enter the reactor buildings - and no one knows where the molten fuel has gone. more...

The world's first 'Nuclear Proliferation Treaty'

David Lowry

13th November 2014

Polaris Nuclear Sub from Honor House advertisement published in the November 1967 issue of Workbasket magazine. Photo: clotho98 via Flickr. Last week Parliament had its first ever chance to debate a shadowy treaty dating back to 1958, under which the UK exported to the USA enough plutonium for over 1,000 nuclear warheads, writes David Lowry. But the core question remains unanswered - how can the treaty be reconciled with our sovereign obligations to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation? more...

Fairtrade Gold - helping miners take the mercury out of gold jewellery

Greg Valerio

12th November 2014

To help artisanal miners stop poisoning themselves and the environment around them with mercury, only ever buy Fairtrade stamped gold jewellery. Photo: Fairgold.org. The unregulated 'artisanal' gold mining sector is a massive source of mercury pollution and other environmental damage, writes Greg Valerio. But now the Fairtrade Gold initiative is helping miners to reform their practices with equipment, training and a hefty gold price premium. All it needs now is for consumers to demand Fairtrade Gold in all their jewellery purchases. more...

US oil boom threatens pristine North-West with crude transport corridors

Valerie Brown / Climate News Network

11th November 2014

The 'Bridge of the Gods' crossing the Columbia River Gorge. Photo: Mark Stevens via Flickr. America's expanding oil production threatens the pristine Pacific Northwest region of the country with a rash of new oil terminals along the coast, writes Valerie Brown, and hugely expanded traffic of freight trains loaded with hundreds of cars of crude oil heading for California refineries. more...

The exotic pet trade is a global evil that must be stopped

Clifford Warwick

10th November 2014

Over 50% of an iguana shipment found dead. Photo: PETA. Behind the relatively sanitized façade of the exotic pet industry resides a vast chronicle of species decline, ecological disruption, animal suffering, mortality, and the global dissemination of pathogens, writes Clifford Warwick. We are in the midst of a profit-fueled frivolous wildlife biocide, as animal traders strive to bring the next curiosity fish, turtle or primate into our homes. more...

'Incapacitating' chemical weapons threaten a new arms race

Michael Crowley & Malcolm Dando

9th November 2014

Ambulances under tear gas attack at Bil'in, Palestine. In future, could it be something worse? Photo: Yossi Gurvitz via Flickr. December's meeting of the Chemical Weapons Convention offers the opportunity to control very dangerous and often fatal chemical agents deemed 'incapacitating', write Michael Crowley & Malcolm Dando. Currently a legal gray area, it's essential to bring the development and use of these substances before a full blown arms race breaks out. more...

Brazil - 10% of national parks and indigenous lands face mining threat

Luke Parry

7th November 2014

The Carajas railroad, almost 900km long, connects the Grande Carajas iron and manganese mine in the heart of the Amazon to coastal port of San Luis. Legislation put forward by Brazil's re-elected President Dilma Rousseff would open up to 10% of protected areas to mining, writes Luke Parry. The effect would be to gut nature conservation in Brazil, already in a perilous state due to underfunding and growing pressure for the development of mines, dams, farms and plantations. more...

Burkina Faso: climate change, land grabs, and revolution

Alexander Reid Ross

6th November 2014

The ordinary people of Burkina Faso have seen little or no benefit from the neo-colonial model of development imposed by outside powers. Photo: market in Ouagadougou by Rita Willaert via Flickr. The revolution taking place in Burkina Faso is far more than an uprising of rebellious youth, writes Alexander Reid Ross. It's a genuine fight for national liberation - from neoliberalism, land grabs, corruption and foreign domination - that evokes the freedom struggle of an earlier generation. more...

Gates Foundation 'feeds the world' with corporate agriculture

GRAIN

5th November 2014

Bill Gates speaking at Stanford University. Photo: Thomas Hawk via Flickr. The Gates Foundation is spending half a billion dollars a year to 'feed the world', most of it aimed at Africa. But as GRAIN discovers, it is imposing a model of high-tech, high-input 'green revolution' farming, complete with GMOs, agro-chemicals and a pro-business neoliberal agenda, all in in alliance with corporate agriculture. more...

The 'forgotten' uranium isotope - secrets of the nuclear bomb tests revealed

Chris Busby

4th November 2014

A welcoming committee at Christmas Island - site of the UK's Grapple X and Grapple Y bomb tests. But do these children, or their parents, know about the long term legacy of uranium pollution? Photo: Philip via Flickr. Papers reluctantly released by the UK Government in the bomb test veterans' legal case for compensation reveal what it has long denied, writes Chris Busby - that bomb fallout is rich in uranium, and that most of its radioactivity is concentrated in the 'forgotten' but highly active isotope U-234, explaining much of the substantial, long term damage to veterans' health. more...

IPCC: rapid emissions cuts vital to stop worst impacts of climate change

Damian Carrington / The Guardian

3rd November 2014

We have the technology - but which? IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri. Photo: IPCC Photo / David Plas, via Flickr, © Belspo / Nevens. The IPCC's most important ever assessment of global warming warns that the world must cut its carbon emissions must be cut sharply and soon, writes Damian Carrington - and the cost is affordable. But in fact, emissions are rising at record levels, and the IPCC's strong support for unproven-at-scale CCS technology will leave many mystified. more...

Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump is all too 'undead'

John LaForge

1st November 2014

Yucca Mountain, the site of the US's 'cancelled' repository for high level nuclear waste. Photo: White House via Wikimedia Commons. The Yucca Mountain radioactive dump may have been officially 'cancelled', writes John LaForge, and with very good reason. But like all those zombies out for Hallowe'en last night, it's not dead yet, as US nuclear regulators declare that the site perfectly meets nuclear waste storage requirements. more...

UK faces serious winter blackout risk - National Grid's rosy nuclear forecast fails reality test

Chris Goodall

31st October 2014

Hurricane Sandy brought this blackout to Lower Manhattan in October 2012. Unless Britain's nuclear power stations perform implausibly well this winter, we could well be sharing the experience. Photo: Reeve Jolliffe via Flickr. The National Grid's forecast for UK power supply this winter relies on overstating the availability of increasingly unreliable nuclear power stations, writes Chris Goodall. Realistic estimates of nuclear, gas and coal power station availability shrink the 'safety margin' to zero. more...

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