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$6 billion Gaza reconstruction aid will be ‘made in Israel’

EuroActiv

15th September 2014

How did we miss that one? Destruction in Gaza, July 2014. Photo: Oxfam International via Flickr. As the world gears up to finance Gaza's $6bn reconstruction after Operation Protective Edge, an EU source has revealed that Israel will earn billions of euros by making sure that all the steel, concrete and other materials and other aid are sourced in Israel and benefit Israeli companies. more...

Toxic glyphosate herbicides fly under the EU's regulatory radar

Pete Farrer & Marianne Falck

12th September 2014

Glyphosate herbicides are often sprayed on potato crops prior to harvest to 'dessicate' the plants' green leaves. Photo: David Wright via Flickr. The widely used herbicide glyphosate has been judged 'safe', write Pete Farrer & Marianne Falck. But by the time it's used, it's in a 'formulation' with toxic surfactants, which escape EU regulation despite their known dangers. Germany alone has forbidden the use of the most dangerous surfactant - but is keeping its evidence secret. more...

Ukraine opens up for Monsanto, land grabs and GMOs

Joyce Nelson

11th September 2014

Dying for GMOs? One of 35 members of the neo-nazi Aidar Battalion killed in an ambush by rebels in East Ukraine, 6 September 2014. Photo: Colonel Cassad. Hidden from mainstream media exposure, the World Bank and IMF loan has opened up Ukraine to major corporate inroads, writes Joyce Nelson. Loan conditions are forcing the deeply indebted country to open up to GMO crops, and lift the ban on private sector land ownership. US corporations are jubilant at the 'goldmine' that awaits them. more...

One more heave! Ministers' pre-election fracking drive

Alex Stevenson

9th September 2014

Green MP Caroline Lucas is a lone Parliamentary voice against fracking. But democratic pressure in constituencies could force others to join her camp. Photo: This account has been discontinued via Flickr. Ministers are determined to get fracking under way in the UK as fast as possible, so it's a 'fait accompli' in time for the election, writes Alex Stevenson. With a firm pro-fracking concensus in Parliament, only one thing can frustrate their plans - strong local campaigns to turn around MPs desperate for re-election in 2015. It even has a name: democracy. more...

Philippines: farmers call to stop 'Golden Rice' trials

Oliver Tickell

8th September 2014

The rice harvest in Bicol Region, Philippines. Photo: α is for äpΩL † via Flickr. Farmers in the Bicol region of the Philippines have gathered to renew their fight against field trials of Golden Rice and halt moves towards its commercialization. But with last year's 'advanced' Golden Rice trials showing low yields, the prospect of a GR release is fast receding. more...

While governments back fossil fuels and nuclear, popular renewables boom

Paul Brown

6th September 2014

Westmill Solar Park, Oxfordshire, is the world's largest community owned solar installation. Rated at 5MW, it covers 30 acres. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr. Consumers around the world want their electricity to come from renewable sources, writes Paul Brown. Yet governments from the UK to Australia are defying the popular will as they push for fossil fuels and nuclear power. The good news? Renewable energy is surging ahead regardless. more...

New Orleans: oil & gas evading $50bn coastal restoration obligations

Julie Dermansky

5th September 2014

The whole region is carved up by canals with well heads like these at the ends. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr. Thanks to damage to coastal wetlands by the oil & gas industry, Louisiana is losing two acres to the sea an hour, writes Julie Dermansky. The companies are legally obliged to repair their damage - but they haven't and the cost has reached $50 billion. The answer? A Bill backed by the state governor to make them immune from lawsuits. more...

Botswana government lies exposed as $5bn diamond mine opens on Bushman land

Oliver Tickell

4th September 2014

This $4.9bn diamond mine opens tomorrow in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Photo: Gem Diamonds. Ten years after promises of 'no mining' in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a $5 billion diamond mine opens a few miles from a Bushman village. Elsewhere in the Reserve, fracking is under way. And President Ian Khama, a director of Conservation International, denounces the Bushmen as 'poachers' and evicts them from their land. more...

Drills away in Canada's Arctic - 1.35 million hectares of wilderness open to fracking

Ed Struzik /

3rdt September 2014

The Canada's Northwest Territories' first fracking project, carried out by ConocoPhillips over the winter in the NWT's Sahtu region, was approved last summer with no public review. Photo: ConocoPhillips. Hydraulic fracturing is roaring ahead in the Canadian Arctic, writes Ed Struzik. Companies are competing to exploit the Northwest Territories' 2-3 billion barrels of shale oil, as the NWT government ignores calls from indigenous nations and scientists for a moratorium on fracking pending an open review of its impacts. more...

On trial today - Thailand's food workers' rights

Andy Hall

2nd September 2014

Andy Hall (3rd from right) and colleagues at the Migrant Worker Rights Network. Photo: MWRN. Thanks to Andy Hall's investigations of abuses of migrant workers in Thailand's fish and pineapple industries, a criminal trial begins today in Bangkok - his own. He faces eight years in prison and a $10 million fine for exposing their crimes in a devastating report that has inspired international action against the companies involved. more...

Florida's sugar barons grow fat on subsidies, diabetes and Everglades destruction

Alan Farago

1st September 2014

Who drank all the water? Dried out 'swamp' just NE of the Everglades National Park, Miami County, Florida. Photo: A Duarte via Flickr. Big Sugar is the new Big Tobacco, writes Alan Farago - lethal to human health, wreaking environmental devastation, gouging huge public subsidies, and with the political clout to stop First Lady Michelle Obama from breathing a word against it. Only an alliance of 'green', health and taxpayer campaigners can kill the beast. more...

Fracked off - natural gas victims flee Colorado's toxic air

Paul Thacker / Oil Change International

30th August 2014

Flaring of unwanted hydrocarbons at a natural gas refinery in the Piceance Basin of Colorado. Photo: Tim Hurst  via Flickr. Natural gas is widely touted as a 'green fuel'. But as Paul Thacker found in Colorado, fracking's national 'ground zero', it's anything but. Lives and health are being ruined by pollution from taxpayer-subsidized gas wells, flaring and refining plants, while property values collapse. Now a mass of environmental refugees are fleeing the ravaged state. more...

Drought hits São Paulo - what drought?

Jan Rocha

29th August 2014

Drought - what drought? Fountains in Sao Paulo disguise the reality that power and water will soon be running catastrophically low. Photo: collectmoments via Flickr. São Paulo, South America's biggest city, is suffering its worst drought in over a century, writes Jan Rocha, with rivers and reservoirs running dry. But the state's politicians are seeking re-election. And for them, it's as if nothing is happening - never mind that water and power cuts affecting millions are looking inevitable. more...

A global plan for road expansion that doesn't cost the earth

Bill Laurance

28th August 2014

Road map detail - Central Africa. Image: Bill Laurance. Roads are responsible for massive environmental damage around the world, writes Bill Laurance - yet they also bring huge benefits. His solution? A new atlas that shows where the 'goods' of roads outweigh the 'bads', so that developing countries can harness the prosperity new roads can bring, without the destruction. more...

Earthquake risk makes California's Diablo Canyon a Fukushima in waiting

Karl Grossman

27th August 2014

Diablo Canyon in California lies in a seismically active zone totally unsuitable for a nuclear power plant. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr. A newly-exposed report by Diablo Canyon's lead nuclear inspector shows that the twin reactors are unsafe, writes Karl Grossman. An earthquake on nearby geological faults could trigger a Fukushima-scale accident causing 10,000 early fatalities. The owner's response? Apply to extend the site's operation for another 20 years. more...

Heat accumulating in the deep oceans has put global warming on pause

Richard Allan

26th August 2014

Observed and simulated changes in Earth’s heating rate since 1985. Image: Allan et al., Author provided. Since 2000 global surface temperatures have risen less than expected, a fact seized on by climate change 'sceptics'. But indications are that the surplus heat has been building up all along, writes Richard Allan - in deep oceans where it does not influence observable climate. Not yet, anyway. more...

Keystone XL - who needs it? We got a railroad!

Justin Mikulka / DeSmogBlog

25th August 2014

A Fairbanks to Anchorage oil train on the Alaska Railroad. Photo: Renaud CHODKOWSKI via Flickr. Climate change and tar sands activists opposing Keystone XL need to wake up to a new reality - the pipeline has already been eclipsed by rail transport which is both cheaper and more flexible, writes Justin Mikulka. The expanded production and export of tar sands oil just got a whole lot more likely. more...

Nuclear power stations cause childhood leukemia - and here's the proof

Ian Fairlie

23rd August 2014

The Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness, Scotland, is one of those that have provoked an increase in childhood leukemia. Photo: Paul Wordingham via Flickr. Controversy has been raging for decades over the link between nuclear power stations and childhood leukemia. But as with tobacco and lung cancer, it's all about hiding the truth, writes Ian Fairlie. Combining data from four countries shows, with high statistical significance, that radioactive releases from nuclear plants are the cause of the excess leukemia cases. more...

Peru: uncontacted tribe flees massacre in the Amazon

Alice Bayer / Survival International

22nd August 2014

Uncontacted Indians making contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border, June 2014. Photos: © FUNAI. Survivors of a previously unknown Amazon tribe have escaped gunmen in Peru, seeking refuge with settled indigenous communities in Brazil. But as Alice Bayer reports, their problems are far from over. Many remain under threat in Peru, and even the refugees are at risk of common but potentially lethal infections. more...

The dark side of Hawaii's aquarium trade

Elizabeth Claire Alberts

20th August 2014

The Hawaiian cleaner wrasse works full time, keeping reefs from parasite loading. They die in 30 days of captivity but ship out daily - as many as the aquarium collectors can catch. Photo: Rober Wintner. Hawaii's salt-water aquarium trade is lucrative - but depends on the constant, scarcely regulated collection of wild fish, writes Elizabeth Claire Alberts. With 98% of fish in the trade taken from the wild, and high mortality rates from the moment of collection, Hawaii's coral reefs are experiencing a daily massacre. more...

World Bank and UN carbon offset scheme 'complicit' in genocidal land grabs

Nafeez Ahmed

20th August 2014

Torched Senger home. Photo: Justin Kenrick. The plight of Kenya's Sengwer people shows that carbon offsets generated by 'sustainable' forest management are empowering a corporate recolonisation of the South backed by the World Bank against its own guidelines, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Indigenous forest peoples are at risk of genocide while corporations let rip. more...

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