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News In Brief

Texas court awards family $3 million for fracking health damage

The Ecologist

24th April 2014

Emma Parr and her father Bob began having nosebleeds after moving in to a home surrounded by gas wells. Photo: Earthworks / www.earthworksaction.org/ . In 2011 Bob and Lisa Parr filed a lawsuit in the Texas courts against Aruba Petroleum after they suffered health damage which they attributed to pollution from fracking wells. They have now been awarded $3m damages. more...

WWF: UK oil company must quit Virunga Park

The Ecologist

23rd April 2014

Virunga National Park’s Chief Warden, Emmanuel de Merode, was shot last week in an ambush on the road from Goma to Rumangabo. Photo: Brent Stirton / Getty Images. Following the shooting of Virunga's chief warden last week, WWF is calling on UK oil company Soco International PLC to pull out of the Park and respond to allegations made in a new documentary premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival. more...

Large dams are uneconomic

The Ecologist

22nd April 2014

The Malaysian Bakun Dam is one of Asia's largest dams and had high cost and time overruns. Photo: Bruno Manser Fund. A study of 245 large dams carried out at Oxford University shows that big hydropower is uneconomic. Actual costs are typically double pre-construction estimates - and have not improved over 70 years. ASEAN energy ministers take note! more...

Caroline Lucas 'not guilty'

The Ecologist

17th April 2014

Caroline Lucas MP. Photo: underclassrising.net via Flickr.com. The Green MP for Brighton, Caroline Lucas, and four other protestors have been found 'not guilty' by Brighton magistrates on charges of obstructing the highway and other public order offences at a 2013 anti-fracking protest. 'The fight goes on!' more...

USA: Government gives in to illegal rancher's armed militia

The Ecologist

16th April 2014

Threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). Photo: Roy C. Averill-Murray / USFWS Endangered Species via Flickr.com. Federal Agencies have capitulated to an armed militia protecting a Nevada rancher running his cattle on 100s of 1,000s of acres of public land reserved for 'threatened' Desert tortoises - despite multiple court orders and over $1 million in unpaid fines. more...

Electric car numbers double in one year

The Ecologist

15th April 2014

Where this Renault Dauphine electric car led in 1975, hundreds of thousands are now following every year. Auto World Museum, Fulton, Missouri. Photo: JeromeG111 via Flickr.com. There are now more than 400,000 electric cars on the world's roads - twice as many as a year ago, and on current trends there will be a million by 2016. Leading the market are the USA, Japan and China - while Europe trails behind. more...

IPCC's shale gas error

Alex Kirby

14th April 2014

Frack off! Photo: Bill Baker via Flickr.com. The latest IPCC report urges a dash for gas to allow us to reduce the burning of coal, including shale gas from fracking. But as Alex Kirby reports, their calculations appear to be based on an arithmetical flaw. more...

Lawsuit demands 50,000 square mile Atlantic whale sanctuary

The Ecologist

11th April 2014

North Atlantic Right whale three miles off Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on February 21, 2013. Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via Flickr.com. The US Fisheries Service has repeatedly failed to give highly endangered Right whales adequate protection. Now wildlife groups are suing the Agency to demand a more than tenfold expansion of 'critical habitat' to protect the species along the US's Atlantic coast. more...

New EU rules hammer UK's nuclear ambitions

The Ecologist

10th April 2014

Hinkley Point. Photo: Crowcombe Al via Flickr.com. The UK tried to make the EU relax its rules on State Aid to allow subsidies to nuclear power. Now we know - it failed. The chances that the Hinkley C power station will ever be built have fallen another notch. more...

P&G promises 'deforestation free' palm oil

The Ecologist

9th April 2014

P&G commits to deforestation-free palm oil. Procter & Gamble has committed to use only 'no deforestation' palm oil by 2020. Greenpeace claims success for its campaign, focused on Head & Shoulders shampoo. more...

Bushman to Prince Charles - 'Save our People'

Oliver Tickell

8th April 2014

Jumanda Gakelebone outside Clarence House in London today to deliver his letter to Prince Charles. Photo: Survival International. A Bushman from the Central Kalahari travelled 5,000 miles from his home in Botswana today to tell the Prince of Wales, ‘We're not poachers - we hunt to survive. Persuade Botswana to change its policies, or the Bushmen will soon be finished.' more...

Biochar doubles plant growth

Oliver Tickell

7th April 2014

Locally produced biochar. Photo: Carbon Gold. New research shows that biochar in soil strongly stimulates plant growth, more than doubling yields. However the extra growth may come at the cost of reduced plant defences against pests. more...

Brazil - drugs gang 'disappears' isolated Amazon tribe

Joel Zinn

5th April 2014

A 2008 aerial survey shows the Amazon tribe near the group now dispersed by drug traffickers. Photo: Gleison Miranda / FUNAI. Members of a Brazilian tribe isolated from outside contact have been scattered by drug traffickers armed with sub-machine guns, writes Joel Zinn, following an armed takeover of a nearby government post. more...

World's two biggest clothiers go deforestation-free

The Ecologist

4th April 2014

H&M - now its clothes are forest-friendly. Photo: Elvert Barnes via Flickr.com. The world's two largest clothing brands are among those that have just commited to eliminate pulp from ancient and endangered forests from all of their rayon and viscose clothing. more...

Badger cull will resume - but no new areas

Owen Paterson

3rd April 2014

Owen Paterson. Photo: Jamie Grey via Flickr.com. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told Parliament today that the badger cull will continue - and with no independent scientific oversight. However it will not move to new areas. Here we reproduce his full statement to the House of Commons. more...

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