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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...

Time and money run out for nuclear revival

Paul Brown

17th January 2017

The disastrous Okiluoto 3 EPR reactor under construction in Finland. The project is taking twice as long to complete, and costing twice as much, as promised. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr (CC BY-NC). The nuclear industry faces an uncertain future as the reactor building boom is struck by unexpected costs, serious technical problems, and long, expensive delays, writes Paul Brown. Meanwhile renewables like wind and solar are offering investors an enviable combination of falling cost, low risk, fast build times, predictable returns and minimal long term liabilities. more...

Scientists highlight the critical role of birds in forest regeneration

Laura Briggs

16th January, 2017

The loss of birds could significantly impact efforts to combat deforestation, according to research from scientists looking at species across the Brazilian Amazon. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...

Devon Wildlife Trust is crowdfunding for the reintroduction of beavers

Laura Briggs

13th January, 2017

In 2020 the fate of Devon's River Otter wild beavers will be decided. With Chris Packham backing the campaign to save the species and the protection of beavers into Scotland recently getting the go-ahead, the outlook is bright for the species.LAURA BRIGGS reports more...

Ecologist Special Report: Impending vote on the Canada trade deal which forced tar sands on Europe

Mark Dearn

11th January 2017

EU-Canada trade deal CETA, like its more well-known ‘evil twin' deal, TTIP, is a new form of trade deal which targets the removal of social, health and environmental regulations, locks in privatisation of public services and introduces a ‘corporate court' system so big business across North America can sue European governments in a private justice system. Worse still, CETA will worsen runaway climate change warns MARK DEARN more...

Krakow's bold step to curb electromagnetic pollution reflects growing evidence of harm

Lynne Wycherley

12th January 2017

Krakow is fighting back against the rising tide of electromagnetic smog amid increasing evidence of its harmful effects. Photo: when i was a bird via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). As Kraków, Poland's second city, takes steps to protect its citizens from rising electromagnetic 'smog' from mobile phones, wifi, Bluetooth, smart meters and other devices, Lynne Wycherley summarises 2016's news highlights on the emerging bio-risks of rising exposure to non-ionisiong radiation. For how much longer can governments continue to ignore the growing evidence of harm? more...

Escaped GMO 'Triffid grass' defies eradication

Jeff Manning / The Oregonian

10th January 2017

Scotts initially developed its Roundup-resistant GM creeping bentgrass to capitalise on the golf course market. But even though the seed has never been approved or marketed, escapes from test plantings are now spreading across Oregon and beyond. Photo: Se Back in the 1990s Scotts Miracle-Gro worked out a cunning plan, writes Jeff Manning: to make a fortune from a GMO grass seed for golf courses that survived the Roundup herbicide. But after investing $100 million in the project, it has never sold a single seed. And now the GMO is spreading from test plantings in Idaho, and threatening Oregon's $1 billion hay and grass seed industry. more...

Roundup residues in food cause fatty liver disease

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

9th January 2017

Fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes and 'metabolic syndrome' may be among the human health consequences of eating glyphosate residues in food, if a new study on rats is anything to go by. Photo: Tony Alter via Flickr (CC BY). Cutting-edge molecular profiling analyses reveal that the popular weedkiller Roundup causes serious liver damage to rats at low doses permitted by regulators, reports Claire Robinson. The findings suggest that residues of glyphosate-based herbicides in food could be linked to rises in the incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes and 'metabolic syndrome'. more...

Real Farming Report - Whose seeds are they anyway?

Kathryn Hindess

6th January, 2016

The new People Need Nature report - published to coincide with this week's annual Oxford Real Farming Conference - warns that modern farming practices are not good for wildlife. But they're not good for humans either. And with predictions that we will need to produce 70 per cent more food to feed a third more mouths by 2050 the question of seed ownership and diversity cannot be ignored. KATHRYN HINDESS reports more...

"Small really is beautiful", claims new report on England's farming

Kathryn Hindess

4th January, 2016


When it comes to farming, size matters. Currently, subsidies - received under the EU Common Agricultural Policy - are available only to farmers with more than five hectares of eligible land. Now, a new report by the charity People Need Nature published to coincide with the Oxford Real Farming Conferene (which starts today) claims that this "excludes the producers it should be supporting." KATHRYN HINDESS reports
more...

Brexit offers a "rare opportunity" to change UK farming practices says the charity People Need Nature

Kathryn Hindess

3rd January, 2017

Leaving the EU provides a "once in a lifetime opportunity" for England to change the way its land is managed so that nature, the environment, and society are better off according to a new report by the UK charity People Need Nature which is published to coincide with this week's Oxford Real Farming Conference. KATHRYN HINDESS reports more...

Trump's coming ‘climate moment': and why we should be careful what we wish for...

Rupert Read

21st December, 2016

On the day Obama bans Artic Offshore Drilling, RUPERT READ predicts a 'volte face' by the climate-change-denying President Elect, Donald Trump. But if this were to happen, would it make things better or worse? more...

Ecologist Special Report - Protecting the Masaai Pastoralists

Thembi Mutch & Ebe Daems

20th December, 2016

The proposed Bio-Cultural and Nagoya Protocols should help better protect the livelihoods and inherent value of Tanzania's pastoralists but only if they are ratified and actually incorporated into Tanzanian law. THEMBI MUTCH & EBE DAEMS report more...

Coral Not Coal - Australian Activists Fight To Save the Great Barrier Reef

Maxine Newlands

15th December, 2016

Australian politicians are putting the Great Barrier Reef at risk by approving one of the world's largest coal mines, say activists and marine scientists. MAXINE NEWLANDS reports more...

ECB's 'quantitative easing' funds fossil fuels, arms, cars and climate change

Corporate Europe Observatory

14th December 2016

The European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Photo: Gideon Benari / www.solvencyiiwire.com via Flickr (CC BY). What kind of companies is the European Central Bank supporting by buying €46 billion of their bonds under its QE programme? Research by Corporate Europe Observatory reveals a strong preference for oil, gas, tar sands, dirty power generation, armaments, aviation, airports, car makers, motorways, luxury goods and gambling. Our sustainable be future be damned! more...

Nuclear plundering of the public purse - the Sellafield and Moorside billions

Martin Forwood

13th December 2016

The £740 million box: the 27 metre high Evaporator D module being lifted vertically into place from the horizontal, transportation position. Photo: Sallafield Sites. While the government is cutting vital public expenditure across the board there's one industry for which no costs are too great, writes Martin Forwood. The price of an 'evaporator' at the Sellafield nuclear complex is escalating towards £1 billion, while billions more of taxpayer finance are being lined up to finance cooling systems, power lines and transport links for the adjacent Moorside new-build nuclear power plant. more...

Ecology Research Report: How noise pollution impacts marine ecology

Laura Briggs

12th December, 2016

Marine ecologists have shown how noise pollution is changing the behaviour of marine animals - and how its elimination will significantly help build their resilience. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...

Civil liberties of indigenous people illegally suppressed at Standing Rock

Colin Samson & Øyvind Ravna

9th December 2016

Tensions on the bridge at Standing Rock. Photo: Colin Samson, Author provided. The US is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, write Colin Samson & Øyvind Ravna. Both require free, prior and informed consent for any intrusions on indigenous lands and stipulate that indigenous peoples shall own and control their traditional lands. The US is violating both at Standing Rock. more...

French taxpayers face huge nuclear bill as EDF financial crisis deepens

Paul Brown

8th December 2016

EDF's Cruas nuclear complex in  Rhône-Alpes, France, where two reactors have been out of action this autumn due to safety concerns. Photo: jan buchholtz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Nuclear giant EDF could be heading towards bankruptcy, writes Paul Brown, as it faces a perfect storm of under-estimated costs for decommissioning, waste disposal and Hinkley C. Meanwhile income from power sales is lagging behind costs, and 17 of its reactors are off-line for safety tests. Yet French and UK governments are turning a blind eye to the looming financial crisis. more...

The Big Shift: Why the banks need to stop investing OUR money in fossil fuels

Joe Ware

7th December, 2016

The world's poorest and most vulnerable countries are doing their bit to promote the expansion of renewable energy. The least we can do in the developed world is to ensure the money in our bank account helps rather than hinders their efforts, writes JOE WARE more...

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