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Sizewell B and 27 other EDF nuclear plants 'at risk of catastrophic failure'

Oliver Tickell

29th September 2016

Among the 28 EDF nuclear power stations at risk: Sizewell B in Suffolk, England. Photo: Simon James via Flickr (CC BY-SA). A new report finds that 28 nuclear reactors, 18 of them EDF plants in France and one at Sizewell in the UK, are at risk of failure 'including core meltdown' due to flaws in safety-critical components in reactor vessels and steam generators, writes Oliver Tickell. The news comes as EDF credit is downgraded due to a growing cash flow crisis and its decision to press on with Hinkley C. more...

Nuclear and fracking: the economic and moral bankruptcy of UK energy policy

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

27th September 2016

Aerial view of the completed Hinkley C project. Artists impression by EDF Energy. With its choice of Hinkley Point C - a £100 billion nuclear boondoggle - its enthusiastic support for expensive and environmentally harmful fracking, and its relentless attack on renewable energy, the UK government's energy policy is both morally and economically bankrupt, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. It must urgently reconsider this folly and embrace the renewable energy transition. more...

Leaked: ‘new TTIP' TISA deal could prevent global action on climate change

Zachary Davies Boren / Energydesk

22nd September 2016

Global action day against TTIP, CETA & TiSA, 18th April 2015 in Berlin. Photo: Cornelia Reetz / Mehr Demokratie via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The Trade in Services Agreement is a multilateral deal like TPP, TTIP and CETA, writes Zachary Davies Boren. But while the 50-nation negotiations are even more secretive, its impacts could be even greater: undermining national sovereignty; allowing only corporate regulation deemed 'necessary' by a panel of WTO lawyers; and allowing no rollback on trade liberalisation. more...

Tackling the knotty issue of non native invasive weeds: what impact will Brexit have?

Laura Briggs

21st September, 2016


As leading figures from the world of law, ecology and technology prepare to come together and discuss how best to deal with non-native invasive plants in the UK, more research is still needed on how best to manage these species taking over the countryside writes LAURA BRIGGS
more...

Standing Rock and the long struggle for Indigenous freedom

Stanley L. Cohen

21st September 2016

Native youth and supporters protest in New York against Dakota Access Pipeline, 7th August 2016. Photo: Joe Catron via Flickr (CC BY-NC). While the confrontation at Standing Rock has galvanized Indians and non-native supporters from across the continent, writes Stanley L. Cohen, it's but a symptom of a much deeper crises facing several million Indians holding on to endangered traditions and cultures that predate 'our' arrival by several thousand years. We may call Indian people sovereign. But it's all a grand, perverse lie. more...

WIPP nuclear waste accident will cost US taxpayers $2 billion

Dr Jim Green

20th September 2016

During April 14 - 23, 2014, WIPP recovery teams made multiple trips into the WIPP underground, eventually reaching Panel 7, Room 7 - the suspected location of the radiological event. Photo: WIPP. The clean-up after the February 2014 explosion at the world's only deep underground repository for nuclear waste in New Mexico, USA, is massively over budget, writes Jim Green - and full operations won't resume until at least 2021. The fundamental cause of the problems: high level radioactive waste, poor regulation, rigid deadlines and corporate profit make a dangerous mix. more...

Bayer-Monsanto merger - corporate madness or a moment of possibility?

Pat Thomas

19th September 2016

Monsanto Graph' in Abode of Chaos by Thierry Ehrmann, Saint Romain en Mont d'Or, France. Photo: Urban Scraper via Flickr (CC BY-NC). With the Wall Street Journal warning that the GMO crop boom may be over in the face of superweeds, higher seed prices, falling yields and farmer antipathy, writes Pat Thomas, the Monsanto-Bayer merger is a sign of weakness as both companies struggle to deliver growth and profits to match shareholder expectations. We had better be ready to press home our advantage! more...

Hinkley C nuclear go-ahead: May caves in to pressure from France and China

Oliver Tickell

15th September 2016

Hinkley C - it now looks as if the UK may not be saddled with this monstrous white elephant after all. Image: EDF. The French and the Chinese may be celebrating the UK's decision to press ahead with the Hinkley C 'nuclear white elephant', writes Oliver Tickell. But the deal is a disaster for the UK, committing us to overpriced power for decades to come, and to a dirty, dangerous, insecure dead end technology. Just one silver lining: major economic, legal and technical hurdles mean it still may never be built. more...

Monsanto and Bayer: food and agriculture just took a turn for the worse

Colin Todhunter

16th September 2016

'Resistance is Fertile - Compost Capitalism !' Banner at Occupy Oakland protest against GMOs, 10th December 2011. Photo: Lily Rhoads via Flickr (CC BY). Bayer's $66 billion takeover of Monsanto represents another big click on the ratchet of corporate power over farming and food, writes Colin Todhunter. With the 'big six' of global agribusiness now set to turn into the 'even bigger three', farmers and consumers are facing more GMOs and pesticides, less choice, and deeper price gouging. Agroecology has never looked more attractive. more...

'State of Nature' 2016 report shows continued loss of Britain's biodiversity

Susan Clark

14th September 2016

Who ate all the pies? Robin redbreast on an English farm. Photo: John Bennett via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The 2016 'State of Nature' report, published today, offers many small victories to celebrate, writes SUSAN CLARK, but overall it's not good news: 15% of our native species are under threat of extinction, while 53% are in decline. With intensive farming the main cause of the damage, and climate change a serious long term problem, turning the tide of wildlife attrition will be a long and challenging task. more...

World Conservation Congress votes to protect indigenous sacred lands

Hal Rhoades

13th September 2016

Chief Caleen Sisk holding an exchange with Hawai'ian sacred site custodians at the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawai'i. Photo: Sacred Land Film Project. As the global assault on indigenous lands intensifies, the world's largest conservation group, the IUCN, has just voted at its World Conservation Congress for the sacred natural sites and territories of indigenous peoples to be recognised as 'No-Go Areas' for destructive industrial scale activities, writes Hal Rhoades - and for corporations to permanently withdraw from such areas. more...

Nannalution Gathers Pace: Australia's Knitting Nannas Activists and the Anti-Fracking Movement

Maxine Newlands

9th September, 2016

Knitting Nannas Against Gas (KNAG), an anti-fracking group held their national gathering in the heart of Australia's Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry where the ‘Nannas' workshopped ways of evading arrest, media strategies, avoiding defaming energy companies, lawful protest, successful campaigns, protest songs and nanna naps. MAXINE NEWLANDS joined them for the gathering more...

Vast remote ‘marine protected areas’ - a diversion from the real job?

Peter J S Jones & Elizabeth De Santo

8th September 2016

Milletseed butterflyfishes and snorkeler near surface, taken in 2009 in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument - which has just quadrupled in size. Photo: Greg McFall / NOAA's National Ocean Service via Flickr (CC BY). There's quite a fashion now for creating enormous ocean nature reserves, write Peter J S Jones & Elizabeth De Santo. The UK kicked off the trend last year at Pitcairn Island, and now the US has followed up with a 1.5m sq.km reserve around Hawaii. But while these look like big conservation gains, the more serious task is to manage sustainably the intensely exploited seas close to home. more...

Will UK follow the lead of New South Wales and ban greyhound racing?

Laura Briggs

7th September

Last month, an outright ban on greyhound racing was announced in the Australian state of New South Wales following an inquiry which uncovered overwhelming evidence of systematic animal cruelty. Will the UK do the same asks LAURA BRIGGS more...

Zane: the lethal conspiracy of silence over contaminated land must end

Paul Mobbs

6th September 2016

Old landfill site at Cow Lane, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire. Photo: Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The shocking death of Zane Gbangbola, killed by toxic gas from a 'forgotten' landfill under his home, exposes the UK's dangerous legacy of contaminated land, writes Paul Mobbs. Without action, these polluted sites will damage health and even kill for centuries to come. But governments, local authorities, landowners and developers are united in a shameful policy of silence and denial. more...

Back to school? Schools that have installed solar panels threatened with an unfair tax bill

Ecologist reporter

5th September, 2015

How comes doing 'the right thing' comes with hidden costs? For state schools planning to go solar this year the business rate hike would reduce the lifetime return of the panels to zero or even negative, while those that have have already installed solar panels face an unexpected tax bill in excess of £800 a year. more...

Why the degrowth debate is gaining momentum

Nick Meynen

2nd September, 2016

Reporting from The 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest - which continues today and tomorrow - NICK MEYNEN explores the new narrative of ‘sufficiency' being discussed and and asks will it catch on before it's too late? more...

Facing the challenge of toxic wastewater produced by oil and gas companies

LAURA BRIGGS

1st September, 2016

Disposing of wastewater from uncoventional gas and oil techniques - including fracking - is one of the big challenges facing the UK.
LAURA BRIGGS reports
more...

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

Andrew Wasley and Josh Robbins

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. more...

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

Ian Fairlie

30th August 2016

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). 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. more...

If you're saying 'it' with flowers this UK Bank Holiday weekend make sure they're locally grown

Laura Briggs

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 more...

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