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News In Brief

Brexit curse hits nuclear power, new London runway

Paul Brown

29th June 2016

Was it all a beautiful dream? View of the Hinkley Point C site as visualised by EDF. Following the vote to leave the EU, the UK's energy and climate change policy faces major challenges, writes Paul Brown, with new nuclear power and a third London runway at Heathrow runway looking like the first casualties. more...

Rare dormice return to Yorkshire Dales National Park

Susan Clark

27th June, 2016

There's the Referendum vote and then there's what else happened on Brexit day. This, for instance... more...

Glyphosate disrupts rats' uterine development

GMWatch

21st June 2016

Are we the real lab rats? If glyphosate herbicides can mess up rats uterine development, what's it doing to humans? Photo: Tatiana Bulyonkova via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). As the EU prepares to vote on whether to re-authorise glyphosate this week, a new study finds that commercial formulations of the herbicide alter the development of rats' uteruses, potentially causing cancer and affecting fertility. more...

Join the Great Stag Hunt - Stag Beetle that is

Susan Clark

15th June 2016

It's National Insect Week in the UK and the conservation charity, People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), is looking for Citizen Scientists to take part in its annual survey to record sightings of the stag beetle. Here's how to take part. more...

Judge rules: no right to know hazardous pesticide ingredients

Oliver Tickell

14th June 2016

Pesticides - what's actually in them? If this judgment from a US federal court stands, you will never find out any but the 'active' ingredients. Photo: Gail Langellotto via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). A federal judge has ruled that the US Environmental Protection Agency is under no obligation to force pesticide makers to disclose supposedly 'inert' ingredients in their products - even where those ingredients are seriously hazardous to health or environment. more...

UK first as a rare orchid suddenly appears growing on an Islington Council rooftop

13th June, 2016

13th June, 2016

A rare orchid has made botanical history by taking root on the green roof of an Islington Council building - a UK first and the closest the species has ever been seen to central London. more...

Arctic ice recedes to record low for May

Tim Radford

10th June 2016

Last month's record low sea ice in the Arctic is bad news for the global climate, and for the polar bears who depend on the ice for their hunting. Photo: Patrick Kelley / US Coast Guard via Flickr (Public Domain). After 12 successive months of record high global temperatures, yet another record has been broken, writes Tim Radford: the lowest May sea ice extent ever observed in the Arctic - over half a million square kilometers under the previous low, set in 2004. more...

EU Parliament: stop 'aid' funding billions to agribusiness in Africa

Oliver Tickell

7th June 2016

Farmers like Madame Fatu Kanu, near Freetown in Sierra Leone, have nothing to gain from the kind of corporate agricultural development offered by the 'New Alliance', and everything to lose. Photo: kenny lynch via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The European Parliament today called on the Commission and member states like the UK to stop funding the 'New Alliance' plan to force export-oriented agribusiness onto Africa. Instead they want support for small-scale family farms and agroecology. more...

EDF, CGN press ahead with 'unsafe' Chinese nuclear plant

Oliver Tickell

3rd June 2016

The twin EPR reactor complex at Taishan, China, showing the completed concrete domes sealing in the reactor vessels and heads. Photo: from drone video footage by China Free Press, HK. Twin nuclear reactors at Taishan in China have been sealed into their concrete domes despite fears that the reactor vessels have serious metallurgical defects. No safety test data has been released by the two companies in charge, EDF and CGN, to show that the reactors will not crack in operation, releasing radioactivity. more...

Renewable Energy Closes ‘The Gap'

2nd June, 2016

The REN 21 Renewables Global Status Report

Wind farms such as these in Palm Springs, California could be the answer to low-cost energy throughout the US. Photo: Prayitno Hadinata via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0) The Renewables 2016 Global Status Report just published by REN21 - The Renewables Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century - shows that renewables are now firmly established as competitive, mainstream sources of energy in many countries around the world, closing the gap between the energy haves- and have-nots more...

Brazil: rules protecting Amazon under threat

Helle Abelvik-Lawson

27th May 2016

Greenpeace activists and Munduruku Indians protest on a sandy beach on the banks of the Tapajos river, near Itaituba, Pará, where the government plans to build the first of a series of five dams. Photo: Greenpeace Brazil via Flickr (CC BY). A constitutional amendment that would allow 'strategic' public works including dams, roads, mines and other mega-projects to go ahead following the mere completion of an environmental impact assessment is being considered by a Committee of the Brazilian Senate, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson. more...

Return of the Frack

Victoria Seabrook / DeSmog.uk

24th May 2016

Demonstration against granting planning permission for fracking in Ryedale. Photo: Guy Shrubsole. Conservative councillors have passed an application to frack in the Yorkshire Dales by Third Energy, signalling the return of shale gas exploitation in the UK after a five year break, writes Victoria Seabrook. Campaigners vow: 'We will fight on!' more...

Searing heat may spark Middle East, North Africa climate exodus

Tim Radford

17th May 2016

Could all of North Africa and the Middle East end up like this? Berber people in the Sahara Desert in Morrocco, close to the Algerian border, August 2009. Photo: 16:9clue via Flickr (CC BY). Temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa could reach unbearably high levels by mid-century, writes Tim Radford - and then keep on rising. The intolerable heat would render large areas uninhabitable and give rise to a wave of 'climate refugees' seeking escape to more temperate regions. more...

UK Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett will step down this summer

Susan Clark

May 16th, 20016

She's the leader who's taken the UK Green Party into the mainstream but Natalie Bennett has announced she will not stand for a third term and will be stepping down from the 'top job' this summer more...

Defra stands up for bees: 'No' to NFU's neonic application

Oliver Tickell

13th May 2015

Bee on oilseed rape flower. Photo: ejausberg via Pixabay (Public Domain). A damning expert critique of the National Farmers Union's application to use banned bee-toxic neonicotinoid pesticide seed treatment on a third of England's oilseed rape crop this autumn has forced the UK government to refuse the NFU's demand. more...

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