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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...

Kazakhstan's nuclear power plans - the mysteries only deepen

Komila Nabiyeva

19th August 2014

Sign for the Inkay uranium mining operation in southern Kazakhstan. Photo: Mheidegger via Wikimedia Commons. Russia has announced that it will build the first thermal nuclear power station in Kazakhstan, the world's largest uranium producer, writes Komila Nabiyeva. But where in that vast country will it be located? Who will own and operate it? How many reactors are planned? Who will get the power? And will it ever actually happen? more...

Airports' global bird slaughter - 100,000s gassed, shot, poisoned

Rose Bridger

18th August 2014

Birds and airplanes are a poor mix - but do we need to slaughter quite so many? Photo: Eugene Zemlyanskiy via Flickr. Airports around the world are waging a war on birds, writes Rose Bridger. It's meant to prevent aircraft bird strikes. But in fact, fatal (for people) collisions are rare - and even killing thousands of birds does little to reduce the number of strikes. Best fly less, and keep airports away from birds! more...

The Nicaragua Canal - a disaster in waiting?

Nathan Wood

15th August 2014

Lake Nicaragua, ecological jewel of Central America, will never be the same if the canal project goes ahead. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr. A second canal joining the Pacific and Atlantic oceans is planned for Nicaragua, writes Nathan Wood. But the gigantic project is raising growing fears due to a grossly unfair contract, glaring failures of process, close links to the Chinese government, and its enormous - but uncosted - ecological impacts. more...

Whistle-blowing monitor reveals: how not to run a badger cull

Lesley Docksey

14th August 2014

At least this badger at the British Wildlife Centre is safe from culling. Photo: Helen Haden via Flickr. New revelations show that the rifle-wielding badger cullers were often acting criminally, writes Lesley Docksey - pursuing badgers with loaded weapons on both private and public land outside licenced areas, with impunity, while the IEP was apparently kept in the dark. Strict controls are essential - or just an end to the cull. more...

Gambia - recycling for women's wealth and independence

Louise Hunt

13th August 2014

Women at Isatou Ceesay's workshop for upcycled products. Photo: author supplied. Plastic waste, often burning, is a constant companion in Gambia, a poor country where few enjoy formal rubbish collection, writes Louise Hunt. Now a pioneering project to upcycle waste plastic is beginning to tackle the problem - and in the process enhancing women's social and economic status. more...

Solar power to the fore in India's energy revolution

Michael Jacob

12th August 2014

Dhursar 40 megawatt solar power plant with First Solar modules in the Thar desert, Rajasthan, India. Photo: Reliance Power. India's economy is hindered by the lack of sustainable and reliable electricity, writes Michael Jacob. But the new government has a plan to bring 24/7 power to every citizen, based on grid renewal, subsidy cuts, and a big rollout of ever-cheaper solar power generation. more...

Community self-defense against mining mega-projects

Raul Zibechi

8th August 2014

Would you like this to happen to your land? The 'revegetated area' of the Yanacocha mine in Maqui Maqui, Peru, after 10 years of gold mining. Photo: Abramovich / Wikimedia Commons. If the state does not defend citizens against the violence and destruction of mining, people and communities must defend themselves, writes Raul Zibechi. And in Peru and Colombia that's exactly what they are doing, re-asserting indigenous control of the land and its resources. more...

Can 'Public Interest' protect Britain's wildlife?

Lesley Docksey

8th August 2014

Photo: Jared Rodriguez / truthout.org via Flickr. Last week the Upper Tribunal of the Royal Courts of Justice ordered Defra to release key information about the badger cull based on a 'public interest' argument, writes Lesley Docksey. Could this judgment open a new era of transparent and accountable government? more...

E-waste in Ghana: where death is the price of living another day

Nele Goutier

7th August 2014

Aglogbloshie - burning off plastic to get to valuable metals. Photo: qamp.net via Flickr. Attempts to recycle E-waste and donations of old electronic devices are harming poor people's health and devastating the environment, writes Nele Goutier. Agbogbloshie, once an idyllic landscape of wetlands and small farms, is now the most toxic place in the world ... more...

Missouri: corporate agriculture wins 'Right to Farm'

Ben Whitford

6th August 2014

Local Farmers Speak Out Against Missouri voters have narrowly passed a 'right to farm' amendment to the state constitution. But small farmers already enjoy such rights, writes Ben Whitford. The beneficiaries will be industrial-scale corporate producers who now have a legal shield against regulation on GMOs, pollution, animal welfare and health standards - and, of course, the lawyers. more...

Russia's small farmers are the latest 'health and safety' victims

Georgy Borodyansky

5th August 2014

Cattle in a paddock on a small farm in Russia. Photo: Vmenkov CC. New regulations on animal slaughter are in force across Russia, writes Georgy Borodyansky, with devastating effects on small farmers and consumers, who face a three-fold hike in the price of meat. Will the 'health and safety' madness destroy Russia's main producers of wholesome food? more...

The children of Gaza and the profit being made from their genocide

Heathcote Williams

5th August 2014

Children in fear, Gaza. Source: unknown. As Israel violates its own 'ceasefire' to murder yet another child in Gaza City, the poet Heathcote Williams delves into aspects of Israel, Palestine and the lethal war now under way that rarely surface in the mainstream discourse - and amid the horror, cruelty and rising tide of fascism, finds grounds for long term hope. more...

Nuclear industry prepares for global boom - or is that doom?

Paul Brown

2nd August 2014

Mirror, mirror, on the wall ... Solar panels near Dukovany nuclear power station, Czech Republic. Photo: Jiří Sedláček (Frettie) via Wikimedia Commons. The nuclear industry remains remarkably optimistic about its future, wrties Paul Brown - despite evidence that it is a shrinking source of power as renewables, in particular solar and wind power, compete with increasing success to fill the energy gap. more...

Government hostility to renewables and Scottish independence may put the lights out

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

1st August 2014

England needs Scotland's wind power to keep the lights on. Photo: wind farm at Ardrossan by Gordon Cowan via Flickr. As the UK's electricity supply margins drop to new lows, the government's punitive approach to renewables will only make matters worse, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. Likewise its threats to boycott Scotland's wind power is utterly irrational - we will need it to keep our lights on. more...

Gaza: water crisis grows as Israel targets essential infrastructure

Luisa Gandolfo

31st July 2014

Children in Rafah collect water from one of the working public taps, 13th July 2014. But with the bombing of water infrastructure and Gaza's only power station, it's unlikely to be working today. Photo: Oxfam International via Flickr. Israel's war on Gaza has seen the systematic and widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure essential for human survival, writes Luisa Gandolfo. This represents an apparently deliberate 'cutting off of life support' to those that survive the bombardment now under way. more...

Rio Tinto's 'sustainable mining' claims exposed

Kemal Özkan

30th July 2014

Unionists protest at RT's labour practices in Cape Town, South Africa, February 2014. Photo: IndustriALL. Global mining giant Rio Tinto markets itself as a 'sustainable company', writes Kemal Özkan. But serious failures in its reporting, and its attempt to hold an Australian indigenous group to ransom, reveal a very different truth: the company is driven by a reckless pursuit of profit at any cost. more...

To save blue whales, move California shipping lanes

Luke Rendell

29th July 2014

Few whales survive a close shave with a ship’s propeller. This is one of the lucky ones. Photo: Alisa Schulman-Janiger, CC BY. Long after Blue whales have ceased to be hunted, their numbers have failed to record substantial increases, writes Luke Rendell. Are ship strikes to blame? A 15-year scientific study says the answer may be yes - and advises moving California shipping lanes. more...

Cambodia: indigenous protests repel dam builders - so far

Rod Harbinson

28th July 2014

Chong boys playing up a tree by the Areng river. Photo: Rod Harbinson. Since the 1980s Cambodia has lost 84% of its primary forests, and the remote Cardamom mountains are the country's last great natural treasure, writes Rod Harbinson. Just the place for grandiose dam projects? 'No way!" say indigenous people and young eco-activists. more...

Obama food aid ravages Third World farmers

James Bovard

27th July 2014

A child leans against a wall made of USAID food aid containers in the flood-destroyed area of Bahere Tsege in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America. The US taxpayers who finance foreign food aid surely believe they are feeding starving people, writes James Bovard. But the truth is the reverse - it is undermining indigenous agriculture in recipient countries - creating famine and chronic malnutrition, while sabotaging self-sufficiency. more...

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