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Fierce flames creep across moorland near Heriot, Scotland. Photo: Snipps Whispers (CC BY-NC-ND).

Britain's 'protected' moorlands go up in flames

The Ecologist

21st July 2015

A new study led by RSPB shows that more than half of Britain's most precious upland moors are suffering from burning - widely used to increase the numbers of red grouse available for recreational shooting. more...
You want weedkiller with that? Photo: Peggy Greb, USDA ARS vis Wkimedia (Public Domain).

Keep health-damaging weed killer out of our bread!

Natasha Collins-Daniel / Soil Association

23rd July 2015

Soon UK farmers will begin to spray their fields of wheat, barley, oats and peas with weed killer to make crops easier to harvest, writes Natasha Collins-Daniel. But the chemicals - including glyphosate, a probable carcinogen - can end up in our bread and other food. Let's put a stop to it now! more...
Roofscape: the 'BedZED' (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK's largest and first carbon-neutral eco-community, was completed in 2002. Photo: Tom Chance from Peckham via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Scrapping 'zero carbon' homes is policy vandalism

Gordon Walker

20th July 2015

The UK Government has ditched the requirement for new homes to be 'zero carbon' from April 2016, writes Gordon Walker. With builders already geared up to meet the challenge, this needless reversal will raise energy bills and carbon emissions for a century or more to come, and send out all the wrong signals for the Paris climate talks. more...
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd at the launch of Kingspan Energy’s latest solar PV project on their warehouse roof in Selby, 7th October 2014. The array spans 30,000 sq.m, making it largest rooftop solar renovation project in UK. Photo: DECC via Flickr (CC

Government turns fire on solar power

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog.uk

20th July 2015

Energy secretary Amber Rudd promised 'a new solar revolution' for the UK, writes Kyla Mandel. But now the industry is braced for a massive round of cuts that could kill off the sector, just as it's on course to be the UK's first subsidy-free renewable power source in 2020. more...
Demonstration outside the Downing Street Gates last week, 15th July, to protest David Cameron's plan to fatally amend the Hunting Act. Photo: Luke Dray (www.lukedray.com).

Fox hunting is political poison for David Cameron and the Tory Party

Dominic Dyer

20th July 2015

Last week David Cameron backed down over his plans to bring back fox hunting by 'fatally amending' the Hunting Act, writes Dominic Dyer. The way he spun it, it was all about SNP interference in English law, but the real problem was opposition within the Conservative Party, which increasingly sees blood sports as a barbaric relic that alienates voters of all persuasions. more...
The Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia, where two AP1000 reactors are under construction, and subject to long delays and cost overruns. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Nugen's AP1000 nuclear reactor - is it any better than the EPR?

Chris Goodall

17th July 2015

As nuclear projects using the EPR design run into long delays and huge costs overruns, industry hopes are pinned on the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, writes Chris Goodall. But with eight AP1000 projects around the world going the way of the EPR, is it really a wise choice for the UK's Moorside nuclear site? more...
Now it could be fracked: North Meadow, a traditional uncultivated water meadow of 110 acres, contains 80% of the UK population of the Snakeshead Fritillary. Photo: Nick Warner via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Fracking go-ahead in SSSI wildlife sites, groundwater sources

Adam Vaughan / Guardian Environment

17th July 2015

Breaking a clear pre-election promise, the government will allow fracking to take place in the UK's most precious wildlife sites and in vital groundwater source areas, writes Adam Vaughan. more...
Young Mursi cattle herders. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

US, UK, World Bank among aid donors complicit in Ethiopia's war on indigenous tribes

Will Hurd

22nd July 2015

USAID, the UK's DFID and the World Bank are among those covering up for severe human rights abuses against indigenous peoples in Ethiopia's Omo Valley, inflicted during forced evictions to make way for huge plantations, writes Will Hurd. Their complicity in these crimes appears to be rooted in US and UK partnership with Ethiopia in the 'war on terror'. more...
The very picture of a statesman: David Cameron at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, 28th January 2011. Photo: WEF via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

David Cameron is losing the plot on climate change

Doug Parr / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

16th July 2015

David Cameron is gunning for a strong climate agreement in Paris this December, writes Dr Doug Parr. Meanwhile his government is doing all it can to undermine renewable energy and energy efficiency in the UK, and lock us into a high carbon, fossil-fuelled future. Can he really have it both ways? more...
GMB would better serve its members by promoting our renewable future, not the nuclear past. Photo: Walnet offshore wind farm by David Dixon via Wikimedia / Geograph (CC BY-SA).

GMB - as Hinkley C collapses, it's time to get over nuclear!

David Elliott, Ian Fairlie, Jonathon Porritt et al

15th July 2015

The GMB trade union has called on the UK government to press ahead with the Hinkley Point C power station despite legal challenges and serious technical failures. In this Open Letter, David Elliott, Ian Fairlie, Jonathon Porritt and colleagues tell the union that its members' interests lie in our renewable future, not the nuclear past. more...
He won't be pleased: UK Prime Minister David Cameron addressing Hinkley B workers as part of his visit to the Hinkley Point C site on 21st October 2013. Photo: Number 10 / DECC via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Green energy suppliers launch Hinkley C nuclear challenge

The Ecologist

15th July 2015

A second legal challenge to the UK's proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant in Somerset was launched this morning by ten renewable and municipal power suppliers in Germany and Austria, citing grave distortions to European energy markets. more...
Repower Balcombe members launch their solar coop in April 2014. Photo: RePower Balcombe via Facebook.

Beyond fracking: Balcombe's renewable future

Joe Nixon / RePowerBalcombe

13th July 2015

When fracking came to Balcombe in West Sussex in 2013, it divided village opinion, writes Joe Nixon. But the community is now united in its commitment to locally owned renewable energy, with solar projects on schools and farm buildings, and plans just in for a new 5MW solar farm. more...

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Tax breaks for oil and gas, cuts for renewables. Oil rigs moored in Cromarty Firth. Invergordon, Scotland, UK. Photo: Berardo62 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Whatever happened to the 'greenest ever' Conservative Party?

Steffen Böhm

11th July 2015

Just when the UK's government might want to be boosting its green credentials it has chosen to do the precise opposite, writes Steffen Böhm: giving tax breaks and subsidies to oil and gas, while attacking renewables and energy efficiency. We must unite to oppose these destructive and short-sighted policies more...
The man himself - John Shaw on the Link Road site.

Defending Hollington Valley? Don't even think of talking to the man who's destroying it

Emily Johns / Combe Haven Defenders

20th July 2015

A polite knock on the door of a Mr John Shaw of Hastings got Emily Johns a visit from the police. How so? He's the CEO of a secretive 'non-profit company' that's using tens of millions of pounds of public funds to build white elephant business parks and destroy valuable nature sites. And avoiding accountability looks like a major point of the exercise. more...
The South Shropshire hunt out on a public road. Photo: League Agaisnt Cruel Sports.

Hunting Act 'amendment' is repeal in disguise

Robbie Marsland

10th July 2015

Next Tuesday MPs will be voting on an 'amendment' to the Hunting Act that outlaws fox hunting and other cruel sports, writes Robbie Marsland. But its effect would be to make the law a dead letter - so full of holes as to permit the return of full-blown hunting with dogs. MPs must vote down this 'repeal by stealth'. more...
What doesn't he like about renewables? Photo of George Osborne by altogetherfool via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Osborne's £3.9bn stealth attack on renewables

Oliver Tickell

9th July 2015

The UK government kicked away one of the main financial supports for renewable energy in yesterday's budget. The surprise move will cost the sector £3.9 billion over the next five years and undermines any prospect of the country meeting its EU renewable energy targets. more...
No, not a fracking rig: a biogas purification plant in Lund, Sweden. Photo: Petter Duvander via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Safe, low carbon, inexpensive: the renewable alternatives to fracking

Keith Barnham

8th July 2015

In its haste to get fracking, the UK Government is neglecting safe, clean alternatives that could be providing low-carbon gas and heat energy, writes Keith Barnham. The technologies are already well established in other European countries and are picking up fast here too - so why the insistence that only fossil fuels can deliver the UK's energy needs? more...
Solitary Leaf-cutter bee (Megachile centuncularis) nectaring on Small Scabious in Jo's wild flower meadow, Photo: © 2015 Jo Cartmell.

Sowing wildflower meadows, and leaving Nature in charge

Jo Cartmell

10th July 2015

When Oxeye daises looked like taking over her mini-meadow, Jo Cartmell was tempted to intervene. But instead, she held back and let nature take its course. Now, a few seasons later, the floral diversity has only increased, taking in some unexpected but welcome arrivals - along with their insect companions, all making their home on what used to be an unloved patch of lawn. more...
If Hinkley C is allowed, then other will follow in Poland, Czech, Hungary and UK. The Dukovany nuclear complex, Vysocina Region, Czech Republic. Photo: Zruda via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Austria files Hinkley Point C legal challenge in European Court

Oliver Tickell

6th July 2015

Austria today filed its legal challenge to the UK's €108 billion support package for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, writes Oliver Tickell. A second such challenge at the European Court is due from green energy suppliers in Germany and Austria who fear unfair competition from subsidised nuclear power in Poland, Czech and Hungary if the Hinkley C precedent stands. more...
'After all, we are betting the planet!' Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD. Photo: OECD via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

OECD chief: World must ditch coal, go renewable

Alex Kirby

5th July 2015

The secretary general of the OECD group of the world's 34 richest nations has issued a dramatic plea to its members to act now to end 'unabated coal' burning, writes Alex Kirby, and invest in renewables around the world to prevent climate disaster. more...
There's more to health and wellbeing than the NHS! Out cycling on the Folkestone to Hythe Coastpath last summer. Photo: Gareth Williams via Flickr (CC BY).

Health and wellbeing are at the heart of our Green future

Natalie Bennett

3rd July 2015

The NHS is one of our greatest institutions and we must defend it to the hilt, writes Natalie Bennett. But to build the healthy society we all want and deserve, we need joined up policies across the policy spectrum, valuing human wellbeing above crude economic growth. more...
Frack off! Photo: JustinWoolford via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Secret report: fracking could hurt house prices, health and environment

Adam Vaughan & Rowena Mason / Guardian Environment

2nd July 2015

House prices could fall 7% near fracking rigs, according to the 'secret' Defra report on fracking in rural areas, only published in full after a legal battle, while leakage of waste water could damage human health and contaminate food. more...
Holidays are associated with happiness - who knew? But that does not mean we have to build a new London runway, as these pleasure seekers on the beach at Lyme Regis demonstrate. Photo: Clive A Brown via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

London needs a new runway because holidays 'make you happy'. Really?

Chris Goodall

2nd July 2015

With the UK's business air travel falling, the Airport Commission says we need a new London runway to make us happy! But all their data really shows is that people who go on holiday lead happier lives than those who don't, writes Chris Goodall, and that people enjoy holidays: a flimsy basis on which to expand airport capacity, and blow the UK's emissions targets out of the water. more...
Coming to an end - renewables in the UK. Soon there will be no money to finance solar farms like this one at Haslingfield. Photo: BELECTRIC UK / Solar Trade Association via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Treasury to axe UK renewables, low carbon transition

David Toke & The Ecologist

6th July 2015

Britain's renewable energy surge will hit the buffers as funding dries up, writes David Toke - while cuts to the energy department's budget will wipe out its ability to guide the UK's low carbon energy transition. more...
The Hinkley Point nuclear site from the boundary fence near Stolford. Photo: Mark Robinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Will the Hinkley C fiasco rouse Labour from its nuclear dream?

Dr Ian Fairlie

30th June 2015

Will Labour turn against nuclear power? As Chancellor, Ed Balls would have cancelled Hinkley C due to its massive cost, writes Ian Fairlie. But he never got the chance, and now the party remains muted even though the Government's nuclear enthusiasm is completely out of kilter with reality. To end nuclear's grip on Labour there's only one choice of leader: Jeremy Corbyn. more...

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