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News In Brief

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...

Ecocide in Brazil: new laws threaten Amazon devastation

Jan Rocha

12th May 2016

If laws currently being debated by Brazilian lawmakers are passed, we can expect huge tracts of the Amazon to go up in flames in coming years, like these 2011 fires along the Rio Xingu. Photo: NASA's Earth Observatory via Flickr (CC BY). Amidst the turmoil of the presidential impeachment, writes Jan Rocha, right wing members of Brazil's Congress are set to pass new laws that would build new roads across the Amazon, open up indigenous reserves to industrial exploitation, and create a surge in carbon emissions from burning forests. more...

Locals battle fracking company drilling near drinking water reservoir

Oliver Tickell

11th May 2016

At the protest last Monday 9th May 2016. Photo: Don't Drill Antrim Water via Facebook. Local people are furiously trying to stop a fracking company from drilling near a drinking water reservoir serving tens of thousands of homes, after Northern Ireland planners failed to block Infrastrata's claim for 'permitted development' rights. more...

Monsanto's Roundup toxic to soil fungus at ultra-low doses

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

5th May 2016

The soil fungus Aspergillus nidulans on lactophenol cotton blue wet preparation. Photo: Iqbal Osman via Flickr (CC BY). A new study shows that the market-leading Roundup herbicide kills soil microbiota at concentrations 50 times lower than used in agriculture, writes Claire Robinson. The findings raise serious new concerns about the environmental impacts of glyphosate herbicides. more...

Leaked TTIP papers reveal 100% corporate sellout

Oliver Tickell

3rd May 2016

Podiumsdiskussion #TTIPLEAKS by Greenpeace with J├╝rgen Knirsch, Stefan Krug and Volker Gassner, 2nd May 2016, Berlin. Photo: re:publica / Jan Zappner via Flickr (CC BY). Secret documents leaked to Greenpeace from the EU-US TTIP negotiations show that environmental protection, climate change mitigation, consumer protection, public health and sustainability are sacrificed throughout to corporate profit and commercial interests. more...

Analysts slate GM mosquito firm, shares plummet

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

28th April 2016

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito filled up on human blood. Photo: Stephen Ausmus / USDA via Flickr (CC BY). Investment analysts say Oxitec's GM mosquito technology 'won't work, is way too expensive, and is many years from generating even minuscule revenue', writes Claire Robinson. As shares in its owner, Intrexon, slump, three law firms have announced they are investigating. more...

Thirty years after Chernobyl, Belarus goes nuclear

Kieran Cooke

25th April 2016

Impression of the double VVER-1200/392M (AES-2006) reactors for at Russia's Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant II, almost identical to the reactors planned for Ostrovets, Belarus. Photo: Rosenergoatom via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY). Belarus may have taken the brunt of the fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, writes Kieran Cooke. But now it's pushing ahead with its own nuclear power station at Ostrovets - just 50km from Lithuania's capital, Vilnius, where the project is causing widespread public concern. more...

Australian river on fire with fracked coal seam gas

The Ecologist

22nd April 2016

Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham by the burning Condamine River in Queensland, Australia. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham. So much methane is bubbling into a river surrounded by hundreds of fracking wells that it's a fire hazard! Local campaigners blame the coal seam gas industry for the gas releases which are spreading along Queensland's river Condamine and gaining in intensity. more...

Amid Paris Agreement fanfare world fails shipping emissions test

Stephen Buranyi / DeSmog.uk & Oliver Tickell

22nd April 2016

Obama spoke out at the COP21 climate conference. But his officials helped to thwart limits on emissions from international shipping at the IMP this week. Photo: Conexi├│nCOP Agencia de noticias via Flickr (CC BY). World leaders are meeting in New York today to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, write Stephen Buranyi & Oliver Tickell. But the world just failed a big test of its commitment to the Paris targets by deadlocking on IMO proposals to limit emissions from international shipping. more...

Almost all climate scientists agree: climate change is real!

Tim Radford

19th April 2016

Climate scientists are agreed: climate change is real, and humans are responsible. Photo: worldmetorg via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). New analysis of the vast body of research shows 97% of climate scientists agree that human activities are fuelling climate change, writes Tim Radford. But thanks to aggressive attempts to convince us otherwise, only 12% of people in the US are aware of this high level of agreement. more...

New GMOs are 'not GM' - EU folds under US pressure

Oliver Tickell

21st April 2016

Image of CRISPR / Cas9. Image: NHGRI. via ja.wikimedia.org (Public Domain). The EU Commission has caved in to US pressure in TTIP trade talks by deciding to consider organisms modified by new 'gene editing' techniques as non-GM - in violation of the EU's own laws. The move could make the 'new GMOs' exempt from labeling and from health and environmental testing. more...

World Bank doubles fossil fuel funding in four years

Victoria Seabrook / DeSmog.uk

18th April 2016

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on fossil fuels: 'Do as I say, not as I do'. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). World Bank President Jim Kim talks a good talk on cutting support to fossil fuels. But what the bank does, writes Victoria Seabrook, is a whole other story. Not only is the WB Group still pouring money into the sector, but its funding doubled between 2011 and 2015. more...

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