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Labour's choice: neoliberalism, more neoliberalism - or Jeremy Corbyn?

Ben Whitham

3rd July 2015

Jeremy Corbyn speaking out against austerity outside Parliament, 27th May 2015. Photo: Sleeves Rolled Up via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Within minutes of Labour's election defeat its MPs were denouncing Miliband for failing to 'embrace aspiration' and alienating 'wealth creators', writes Ben Whitham. But the real problem was that he never expressed a coherent alternative to neoliberalism and austerity, presenting at best a 'Tory lite' agenda that failed to inspire. And who are the real wealth creators anyway? more...

Greece’s anti-solar, coal-based energy policies underlie its economic collapse

Takis Grigoriou / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

3rd July 2015

A lignite-burning power station in Greece. Photo: Greenpeace-Greece. As Greece prepares for its referendum, Takis Grigoriou takes Greece to task for its highly polluting lignite power sector, its ditching of a successful solar program in favour of more coal, the minimal insulation in its buildings that locks in high fuel bills, and Syriza's failure to tackle these issues. The good news? Greece's latest €1.4bn coal project looks like going unfunded. more...

Honduras under Occupation - murders, land grabs, and Hillary Clinton's 'hard choices'

Eric Draitser & Ramiro S. Fúnez

2nd July 2015

Police line up at a 2012 demo against the Lobo regime in Tegucigalpa. Photo:  hondurasdelegation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Honduras has endured six years of violence and land grabs after the 2009 US-backed military coup made the country a playground for Hillary Clinton's billionaire friends, write Eric Draitser & Ramiro S. Fúnez - and a hell for the country's indigenous and small scale farming communities, whose leaders are routinely murdered with impunity by US-trained forces. more...

California is the 'canary in the coalmine' of global drought

Maude Barlow

1st July 2015

Whose water is it anyway? Photo: ricardo / zone41.net via Flickr (CC BY-ND). California's drought is a harbinger of things to come around the world, writes Maude Barlow. Because of global warming, yes - but also because the Golden State is an exemplar of the 'water as property for corporate profit' neoliberal paradigm that's taking over the world. It's now essential to assert water as a Commons - to be both justly shared, and fiercely protected! more...

Will the Hinkley C fiasco rouse Labour from its nuclear dream?

Dr Ian Fairlie

30th June 2015

The Hinkley Point nuclear site from the boundary fence near Stolford. Photo: Mark Robinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Will Labour turn against nuclear power? As Chancellor, Ed Balls would have cancelled Hinkley C due to its massive cost, writes Ian Fairlie. But he never got the chance, and now the party remains muted even though the Government's nuclear enthusiasm is completely out of kilter with reality. To end nuclear's grip on Labour there's only one choice of leader: Jeremy Corbyn. more...

Seed Freedom! A last chance to thwart the great African seed grab

Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah

29th June 2015

A handful of seeds, Porto-Novo, Oueme, Benin. Photo: Adam Cohn via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Nineteen African nations meet today in Arusha, Tanzania, to finalise a 'plant protection' protocol that would open up the continent's seeds to corporate interests, taking away farmers' rights to grow, improve, sell and exchange their traditional seeds, while allowing commercial breeders to make free use of the biodiversity they embody, to sell them back to farmers in 'improved' form. more...

Cuba's warming relations with the US may undermine its agroecological city farms

Julia Wright & Emily Morris

27th June 2015

Lettuce on an Organic Farm in Havana, Cuba. Photo: David Schroeder via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Cuba is a global exemplar of organic, agroecological farming, taking place on broad swathes of land in and around its cities, write Julia Wright & Emily Morris. These farms cover 14% of the country's agricultural land, employ 350,000 people, and produce half the country's fruit and vegetables. But can they survive exposure to US agribusiness? more...

All at sea? Government's strong talk on offshore wind masks feeble ambition

Ian Broadbent & Peter Strachan

26th June 2015

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm. Photo: Harald Pettersen / Statoil via Flickr / NHD-INFO (CC BY). Following premature cutbacks to onshore wind farms the UK's energy security will increasingly depend on large scale offshore wind power, write Ian Broadbent & Peter Strachan. But while energy secretary Amber Rudd talked the sector up in her speech yesterday, she revealed feeble ambition, and said nothing to overcome investors' fears of being left out in the cold. more...

Galápagos rebellion against foreign investment in hotels, golf courses, luxury tourism

Jane Shaw

25th June 2015

Ex-congressman Eduardo Veliz (white hair) leads a protest at San Cristobál airport, Galapagos, against excessive development, prior to his arrest. Photo: El Colono (Galapagos newspaper). Residents of Ecuador's Galápagos islands are mounting angry protests against government plans to open the World Heritage Site to foreign investment in luxury tourism and hotels, writes Jane Shaw. They fear for the fragile ecology of the islands, for water shortages caused by golf courses and swimming pools, and for their livelihoods which depend on current 'low intensity' tourism. more...

Radiation in court: landmark success for Australia's nuclear veterans

Chris Busby

24th June 2015

A rainy night in Hiroshima, March 2012. After the US's nuclear strike on 6th August 1945, 'back rain' carried out uranium nanoparticles that caused cancer among those ingesting them. Photo: Freedom II Andres via Flickr (CC BY). A legal judgment in Australia has fatally damaged the 'official' ICRP model of health damage by nuclear radiation, writes Chris Busby - reflecting the fact that cancer originates through the mutation of individual cells, not whole organs or organisms. The ruling is good news for Britain's bomb test veterans whose day in court is coming up; and for all who suffer radiation induced cancers. more...

A 'poll tax' for English justice - subjecting the poor to 'trial by ordeal'

Paul Mobbs

23rd June 2015

In case you didn't know, her scales are weighted. And government 'reforms' are only making them more so. The statue of Lady Justice atop England's Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey. Photo: Ronnie Macdonald via Flickr (CC BY). As Michael Gove gives his first speech as Justice Secretary, promising to update our 'creaking and outdated' courts, Paul Mobbs writes that 'reforms' to date have only deepened the injustice that afflicts poor defendants: penalising the innocent, burdening those who plead 'not guilty' with heavy charges regardless of ability to pay, cutting legal aid, and halving the number of duty solicitors. more...

The greenest government ever? By no stretch of the imagination

Jonathon Porritt

22nd June 2015

A bleak outlook for Britain's environment: Cairn Toul from the Pools of Dee, Lairig Ghru, Cairngorms. The sub-Arctic biodiversity of the mountains is at risk from warming climate. Photo: Ted and Jen via Flickr (CC BY). The previous government came in on a bold promise to be the 'greenest ever', writes Jonathon Porritt. But what we got was a shameful record of ideologically driven policies that promoted fossil fuels, undermined action on climate, obsessed over nuclear power, did nothing to arrest the decline in the nation's wildlife and biodiversity - and suggest even worse to come. more...

Kidnapped fox cubs explode the myth that hunting is ‘wildlife management'

Dr Toni Shephard

21st June 2015

Captive foxes held in a 'fox farm' barn as discovered by investigators. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports. The discovery of a secret 'fox farm' apparently linked to the Middleton Hunt exposes the lie that is used to justify fox hunting, writes, Dr Toni Shephard: that it's a legitimate means of wildlife control. On the contrary, foxes are deliberately fattened up for the kill, also indicating possible violations of the 2004 Hunting Act, which prohibits the hunting of wild animals, including foxes, with dogs. more...

MRSA superbug found in pork meat and sausages - it's time for action

Peter Melchett

19th June 2015

Low welfare pigs in an unhygienic intensive unit of the kind that can generate antibiotic resistant bacteria. Photo: Compassion in World Farming via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pork products in UK supermarkets is a call to action, writes Peter Melchett. We must end the unhygienic farming practices that only work with constant antibiotic use, and reserve the most valuable antibiotics for human use only - or face a world in which routine surgery and infections bring serious risk of death. more...

Pope Francis's climate letter is a radical attack on the logic of the market

Steffen Böhm, University of Essex

18th June 2015

The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis, 19th march 2013. Photo: Catholic Church England and Wales via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The Encyclical published today by Pope Francis represents a profound religious and philosophical challenge to the mainstream narratives of our times, writes Steffen Böhm, and a major confrontation with the great corporate, economic and political powers, as it spells out the potential of a new world order rooted in love, compassion, and care for the natural world. more...

Paris must remember: climate solutions are small, local, green, and begin at home

Marc Brightman

17th June 2015

The Bois Dormoy is a unique green oasis in the heart of metropolitan Paris and its multicultural community. It should be treasured, not destroyed! Photo; via Bois Dormoy on Facebook. As Paris prepares for COP21 in Paris, Marc Brightman finds that the city is in the grip of a benign but ignorant authoritarianism that is ready to trample on much-loved green spaces like the Bois Dormoy, reclaimed from dereliction by the multicultural local community, which represent real solutions to the global problems of food, climate, the future of our cities, and our place in nature. more...

To stop using fossil fuels any time soon, Japan must follow Germany's lead

Peter Matanle, University of Sheffield

15th June 2015

The massive 5-reactor Hamaoka nuclear site, 200km SW of Tokyo, is built directly over the subduction zone near the junction of two tectonic plates. It was closed in 2011 to avoid a second Fukushima scale disaster. Photo: Cesar Ogasawara via Flickr (CC BY- Japan and Germany have much in common: both are major industrial countries that have gone nuclear-free, writes Peter Matanle - Germany by choice, Japan by necessity. But while Germany is actively pursuing its renewable energy revolution, or Energiewende, Japan, possessed of the richest renewable energy resources in East Asia, is stuck in a fossil fuel pit. more...

Government reduced to lies, misinformation and bullying to spin fast-track fracking

Paul Mobbs

15th June 2015

Fracking - it's happening! Get informed / Frack Off. Street sign in Brixton, South London. Photo: Matt Brown via Flickr (CC BY). The Government is struggling to spin its policy to fast track fracking, writes Paul Mobbs. So as it cuts the public out of the regulatory process, exempts exploratory wells from controls, and forces the Environment Agency to issue permits with 1-2 weeks, its spin machine has resorted to outright lies and misinformation to conceal the scale of the attack on our environmental rights. more...

Australia prepares tax penalty attack on environmental advocacy groups

Susan Laurance & Bill Laurance

13th June 2014

Australian charities that advocate for the environment could lose their tax privileges under proposed federal measures. Photo: protest rally for Great Barrier Reef, August 2013, Brisbane, by Stephen Hass via Flickr (CC BY). It's fine for 'green' groups to plant trees, or rescue baby flying foxes, write Susan & Bill Laurance. But when they campaign for the environment, right wing politicians see red, Moves are now afoot to strip advocacy groups of their charitable status, reflecting a broader clamp down on eco-activism across the Asia Pacific region in China, Cambodia, Lao and India. more...

Endgame for glyphosate? The global fallout of WHO's 'probable carcinogen' classification

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

12th June 2015

'Reykjavik' by Bob Whitehead via Flickr (CC BY). WHO's official recognition of the health damage caused by glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide, is having ramifications around the world, writes Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji. National governments are moving to restrict the chemical, campaigns to ban it are intensifying, and now 'Roundup Ready' GMO crops are coming under the regulatory spotlight. more...

Behind the Magna Carta spin, Britain's 'dictatorship of the 1%' is taking shape

Paul Mobbs

11th June 2015

Today, the PR is a whole lot slicker. Charlie Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel in 'The Great Dictator', 1940. Photo: via Insomnia Cured Here / Flickr (CC BY-SA). A consistent pattern is emerging in the UK government's plans and policies, writes Paul Mobbs: the stripping away of human rights and freedoms; the detachment of public institutions from democratic accountability; an increase of the powers of the state; and the empowerment of corporations at the expense of people. We must act to preserve our liberties, while we still can. more...

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