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Pioneer's PR39F58 maize at Werktuigendagen, Belgium 2009. Photo: Bdk via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

EuroParl votes in new era of GMO farming

13 January 2015

Oliver Tickell

Following a disgraceful EU stitch-up, the European Parliament today passed a law permitting EU-wide GMO crop cultivation. With regulation and safeguards devolved to member states, and only limited 'opt-out' rights, it is a recipe for chaos that GM corporations will ruthlessly exploit. more...
Log yard operated by plantation company PT Kahayan, October 2014. Photo: EIA.

Indonesia: palm oil expansion drives massive illegal logging

Environmental Investigation Agency / Oliver Tickell

14th January 2015

Indonesia appears to brought rainforest logging under control - but it's all a huge illusion, according to a new EIA report. Traditional logging has been replaced by the mass clearance of rainforest for oil palm plantations, creating massive supplies of hugely profitable but often illegal timber. And lurking beneath the surface is a pervasive network of criminality and corruption. more...
A dead Irrawaddy dolphin floats on the Harintana-Tembulbunia channel of the Sela River on 6th January 2015. Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain for the Dhaka Tribune.

As rivers re-open to shipping, oil threat to Bangladesh's Sundarbans forest continues

ASMG Kibria

9th January 2015

Bangladesh's Sundarbans forest, home of incredibly rich biodiversity, is under unprecedented threat, writes ASMG Kibria. The recent oil tanker capsize on the Shela river puts the forest at risk of widespread biodiversity loss, but just this week, the authorities re-opened the Shela river to shipping with no restrictions on hazardous cargoes. more...
Coming to EU soon - unless the Parliament blocks it. Photo: Dawn One / © Linda and Mikael Hammond / IndyFoto.com via Flickr.

UK ministers prepare for 2017 GM crop rollout

Lawrence Woodward & Oliver Tickell

5th January 2015

The Government is preparing 'rules' that will enable the planting of GM crops in the UK as soon as 2017, writes Lawrence Woodward. A ministerial letter also signals a significant weakening of GMO safeguards compared to the Tories' 2010 manifesto. Now is the time to exert maximum pressure and fight off a planned GMO invasion. more...
England's nightingales have suffered a 90% population crash in 40 years, but Medway Council has decided that its 'protected' SSSI sanctuary is fair game for development. Photo: John Bridges / RSPB.

Nightingales at risk as housebuilding threatens 'protected' SSSI breeding site

Robin McKie, the Guardian Environment

1st January 2015

Disaster threatens England's nightingales, already down 90% in 40 years, if ministers fail to block a plan to build 5,000 homes on SSSI breeding site in Kent. But as Robin McKie writes, the government is showing no sign of intervening, as campaigners warn of an 'open season' for development on our most important wildlife sites. more...
British Airways Boeing 747 contrail - taken from a Boeing 777 window somewhere over Netherlands. Photo: revedavion.com via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0. See aeroplanedream.blogspot.com.

How much longer can the aviation industry fight off emissions controls?

Valerie Brown

3rd January 2014

Aviation emissions are a major clause of climate change, writes Valerie Brown - yet they remain unregulated. The gap between the best and worst performing airlines demonstrates ample opportunities for improvement - but is the political will there to impose effective regulation? more...
Contaminated land in West Yorkshire, England - the site of a former chemicals factory. Photo: Engineering at Cambridge via Flickr.

Death by landfill - cutting 'green tape' costs lives

Paul Mobbs

22nd December 2014

As Cameron 'cuts the green crap' Paul Mobbs remembers how the decisions of a Conservative government 20 years ago to go easy on the owners of contaminated land and old waste dumps have led to present day blight, ill-health and death. Now brow-beaten regulators and politicians in hock to party funders are doing it all over again. more...
Stop TTIP protest in Germany. Photo: Stop TTIP.

Closing the gate on GMO and the criminal transatlantic trade agreement

Julian Rose

17th December 2014

A key element of the TTIP is the deregulation genetically modified seeds and plants for cultivating in European soils, writes Julian Rose. This alone is reason enough for us to reject it - but it's only the beginning of a huge power grab that would make our governments more accountable to corporations, than to people. more...
Spaying agro-chemicals on a windy day. Photo: Graham Rawlings via Flickr.

Negligent and unlawful: EFSA's latest guidance on pesticide use and exposure

Georgina Downs

4th December 2014

After an apparent cave-in to Europe's pesticide industry, the European Food Safety Authority's latest guidance on pesticides conflicts with European law, writes Georgina Downs - by ignoring the real-life agrochemical exposure of rural residents. Commission President Juncker must step in and demand the withdrawal of this disgraceful document. more...
The wind turbine at the end of the rainbow. Photo: geogrpah.org.uk / Wikimedia Commons.

Community renewable energy in the UK needs co-ops!

Tammy Calvert / Energy4All

26th November 2014

The UK's community energy sector was badly hit by the financial regulator's sudden decision this summer to disallow renewable energy co-operatives, writes Tammy Calvert. A consultation on the topic ends tomorrow, Friday - so get your views in quickly while you can! more...
WIPP / Los Alamos National Laboratory celebrates its 1000th transuranic waste shipment. Photo: energy.gov / Wikimedia Commons.

New Mexico nuclear waste accident a 'horrific comedy of errors' that exposes deeper problems

Jim Green / Nuclear Monitor

27th November 2014

Last February's explosion at the WIPP dump for long-lived intermediate-level nuclear waste from the US's nuclear weapons program remains unexplained, writes Jim Green. But with the site's history of ignored warnings, 'missing' safety culture, lack of supervision and dubious contractor appointments, it surely came as no surprise - and further accidents appear inevitable. more...
Lorsban is sprayed on a soccer pitch to control grubs, 1987. Photo: srv007 via Flickr.

Chlorpyrifos - cause of birth defects, mental impairment - sprayed on farms across the US

Janette D. Sherman

15th November 2014

Dow's teratogenic pesticide chlorpyrifos is a human and environmental disaster, writes Janette D. Sherman. It causes serious, irreversible damage to the human foetus even at low concentrations that may be harmless to the mother, resulting in severely and permanently disabled and mentally damaged children. But it's still sprayed in vast quantities on America's farms. more...

regulation: 1/25 of 83
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Yucca Mountain, the site of the US's 'cancelled' repository for high level nuclear waste. Photo: White House via Wikimedia Commons.

Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump is all too 'undead'

John LaForge

1st November 2014

The Yucca Mountain radioactive dump may have been officially 'cancelled', writes John LaForge, and with very good reason. But like all those zombies out for Hallowe'en last night, it's not dead yet, as US nuclear regulators declare that the site perfectly meets nuclear waste storage requirements. more...
With milkweed and other 'weeds' now facing the dual chemical assault of glyphosate and 2,4-D, what hope for the Monarch butterfly?

New seeds, old pesticides - 2,4-D and 'next generation' GMOs

Jim Goodman

27th October 2014

The US EPA has approved new GMO corn and soybean varieties resistant to both glyphosate and 2,4-D, writes Jim Goodman - and the highly toxic herbicide mix itself. In this latest escalation of the chemical war against nature there is one clear winner - Dow AgroSciences. But everyone else loses - farmers, consumers and our increasingly endangered wildlife. more...
What’s for dinner? Crocodile and antelope. CIFOR, CC BY-NC-ND.

Take bushmeat off the menu before humans are served another ebola

Robert Young

14th October 2014

Ebola and many other diseases have their origin in wild animals, writes Robert Young. The biggest opportunities for infection arises when people hunt and eat diseased animals, exposing themselves to their viruses and bacteria. To keep 'other ebolas' at bay, we must put an end to the bushmeat trade. more...
Hinkley Point B. Photo: Ken Grainger / geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons.

Hinkley C gets the go-ahead - but will it prove a dodgy nuclear deal too far?

Paul Dorfman

8th October 2014

The outgoing European Commission has just given the UK's controversial Hinkley C nuclear project the go-ahead, writes Paul Dorfman - approving a deal that will cost the UK public tens of billions of pounds. But now the deal faces a legal challenge in the European Court of Justice. more...
Would TTIP force the privatization of the NHS? No - but it could make it impossible to roll back any privatisation once it had taken place. Photo: 38 Degrees' members in Sheffield Hallam hand in a massive NHS petition to their MP, Nick Clegg. By 38 Degree

Make no mistake - the TTIP is a move in the wrong direction

Gabriel Siles-Brügge

6th October 2014

A huge EU-US trade and investment deal may not be quite so dangerous as its opponents portray it, writes Gabriel Siles-Brügge - but it still represents a serious threat to governments' ability to regulate for the benefit of citizens and environment, and would entrench 'competitive' markets in public service provision. more...
Hi-power halogen spotlights at the dumpling deli. Photo: Kay via Flickr.

Ban halogen bulbs to cut costs, pollution, and 'keep the lights on'

Chris Goodall

7th October 2014

There's a simple thing we can do to cut everybody's electricity bills, reduce pollution and 'keep the lights on' when demand peaks on dark winter evenings, writes Chris Goodall - phase out power-guzzling halogen bulbs and replace them with LEDs that use a fraction of the power. So let's do it! more...
Ripe poppies awaiting harvest near Winchester in Hampshire. Photo: Neil Howard via Flickr.

Celebrate the seeds that feed us!

Rowan Phillimore

3rd October 2014

Seeds are essential to our food and our entire lives, writes Rowan Phillimore. So join in celebrating and sharing them at a series of events this month in London, Bristol, Devon, Oxford, Lancaster, Herts - and begin the fightback against corporate domination of seeds and oppressive government regulation. more...
Gray Wolf. Photo: Digimist via Flickr.

Wyoming's Gray Wolves win back federal protection - for now

The Ecologist

29th September 2014

In a rare 'summary judgment' a federal court has ruled that the devolution of gray wolf protection to the state of Wyoming was unlawful because it was based on non-binding assurances. Federal protection is restored - for now. But an even bigger battle lies ahead. more...
Storks are a protected species under the EU's Birds Directive. But that affords them little protection against hunters in Malta, which lies on a key migration route across the Mediterranean. Photo: Tambako The Jaguar via Flickr.

We must defend the Birds Directive against Malta's hunting lobby

Steve Micklewright, Birdlife Malta

2nd October 2014

Shocking events have taken place in Malta as hunters - angered by a temporary closure of the bird-shooting season - attacked bird watchers, writes Steve Micklewright. But with a Maltese politician taking on the role of Environment Commissioner, the real battle lies ahead: the survival of the Birds Directive. more...
Amsterdam harbour: pollution like this costs lives and imposes health care costs of €900 bn per year across Europe. But is Juncker bothered? Photo: Erwyn van der Meer via Flickr.

EU Parliament must reject Juncker's anti-environment Commission

Green10

29th September 2014

The proposed structure of Juncker's new European Commission sidelines sustainability issues and risks undoing years of environmental legislation. The European Parliament must now block his deregulatory assault on the EU’s climate, energy, biodiversity, pollution, chemicals and environmental health policies. more...
A radioactive emissions spike taking place during refueling from fugitive noble gas release at the Gundremmigen nuclear plant, Bavaria, Germany. Measured as kBq/m3 against time, in half-hourly intervals. Graph: Alfred Korblein.

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants - a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Dr Ian Fairlie

29th September 2014

When nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation, writes Ian Fairlie. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants - but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures. more...
We did it for the ozone layer. Noe it's the climate's turn. Photo: ozone conditions over Antarctica, 7th September 2014. NASA.

The UN saved the ozone layer - now it's the climate's turn

Nigel Paul

23rd September 2014

Thirty years after the UN took action to save the ozone layer, we can count the benefits - which only begin with 2 million fewer cases of skin cancer a year, writes Nigel Paul. With world leaders taking on the much greater climate challenge today, we should take cheer, and inspiration, from that historic success. more...
Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

US shale oil drillers flaring and venting billions of dollars in natural gas

Sharon Kelly / DesmogBlog

20th September 2014

Gas flaring of natural at shale oil wells is carried out on such a scale in North Dakota and Texas that 'phantom cities' show up at night in satellite photos, writes Sharon Kelly. Billions of dollars worth of gas are going up in smoke, adding to CO2 emissions - but far worse for the climate is when the gas is 'vented'. Regulators are doing too little, too late. more...

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