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Deep concerns: gas wells at a fracking site in the US state of Pennsylvania. Photo: Gerry Dincher via Wikimedia Commons.

Health alert - fracking’s chemical cocktails

Tim Radford

21st August 2014

Scientists in the US have established that chemicals used in fracking to extract gas and oil could represent health and environmental hazards, writes Tim Radford. Among the greatest hazards: biocides and corrosion inhibitors. more...
William Gibbs and his wife live near the massive coal ash dump in Uniontown, AL. Photo: Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice.

Alabama - a community fights toxic waste, discrimination

Oliver Tickell

20th August 2014

When the US's biggest ever coal ash spill buried 300 acres of waterfront property in a white, middle class suburb, the waste was treated as a toxic hazard. But by the time it reached Uniontown, a black community in Alabama, that was all forgotten. Now they are fighting back. more...
With batteries and a local microgrid, this PV-powered house near Boston, Massachusetts, could eliminate its dependence on grid-supplied power. Photo: Gray Watson (256.com/solar) / Wikimedia Commons.

For the next energy revolution, we must deregulate power grids

Bill Watkins

14th August 2014

How do we spur more microgrids powered by renewable energy? Deregulate, writes Bill Watkins, ending the monopolies enjoyed by centralized energy companies. The alternative is to keep consumers and micro-generators stuck with the energy equivalent of the 'Princess' phone. more...
Mmmm, sushi ... but watch out for rising mercury levels in seafoodin the future, fallout from burning fossil fuels, coal in particular.

Fossil fuels raising mercury levels in oceans, and fish

Chris Rose

13th August 2013

Coal burning in particular is responsible for releasing the toxic heavy metal mercury to the oceans, writes Chris Rose, where it accumulates in fish. In future levels will rise, as processes that carry mercury to deep waters weaken. more...
Aerial view of the Jonah gas field in western Wyoming's upper Green River valley. Photo: Bruce Gordon / EcoFlight via John Amos / Flickr.

Fracking - US companies and regulators must disclose environmental data

Kimberly Terrell, Morgan Tingley & Sara Souther

4th August 2014

Among the risks of fracking are fragmentation of wildlife habitats, groundwater depletion, surface water pollution. The risks are compounded by a failure among companies and regulators to record or disclose essential information - from the chemicals used, to the time and place of toxic spills. more...
Could his loss be Israel's gain? A destroyed house in Gaza and its distraught owner, 22nd July 2014. Photo: Mohammed Al Baba / Oxfam International via Flickr.

Gaza - is annexation Israel's 'permanent solution'?

Oliver Tickell

31st July 2014

As Israel pursues its war on Gaza with ever-increasing ferocity, and with 25% of Gaza's people forced from their homes, what's the final objective? It's unthinkable that Israel's aim is to 'cleanse' the territory of its people, seize its vast gas reserves, and annex some of the Med's hottest real estate. Isn't it? more...
A massive open pit coal mine in the US's Powder River Basin. Photo: Greenpeace.

Huge US coal leasing program releasing tens of Gigatonnes of carbon

The Ecologist

29th July 2014

A massive expansion of coal leasing by the US's Bureau of Land Management will release tens of billions of tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere, a new Greenpeace report reveals - completely at odds with President Obama's stated climate objectives. more...
Under the new guidance, even Stonehenge could by destroyed by fracking if it would 'achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss.'

Fracking go-ahead on UK's National Parks, World Heritage Sites, nature reserves

Oliver Tickell

28th July 2014

The UK has just opened a bidding round for fracking licences. But the rules contain only weak protections against fracking in National Parks and AONBs - and none at all for even the most important wildlife sites and drinking water aquifers. more...
Black smoke billows from the UNWRA compound set ablaze by Israel in Operation Cast Lead, 15th January 2009. The compound was burned to the ground. Photo: Al Jazeera English via Flickr.

Armed robbery in Gaza - Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine's stolen gas

Nafeez Ahmed

24th July 2014

Israel desperately covets Gaza's gas as a 'cheap stop-gap' yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK's BG and the US's Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work - but first Hamas must be 'uprooted' from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia's Gazprom. more...
Syncrude refinery, Alberta. Photo from the 2014 Tar Sands Healing Walk (www.healingwalk.org) by Rainforest Action Network.

Ignore tar sands emissions! EU buckles under US, Canada pressure in TTIP talks

Derek Leahy

23rd July 2014

The EU's Fuel Quality Directive is set to be the first casualty of the TTIP trade talks, writes Derek Leahy. Canada and the US have threatened to pull out unless the EU ignores the massive emissions of oil from tar sands - and the EU is collapsing under the pressure. more...
Neurath coal-fired plant, in Germany, is one of Europe’s worst polluters. Photo: Bert Kaufmann via Wikimedia Commons.

Germany and UK top EU's 'Dirty 30' pollution league

Kieran Cooke

22nd July 2014

A new report names the 30 biggest sources of greenhouse gases in the EU, writes Kieran Cooke. Coal-fired power plants are undermining Europe's long-term targets on emissions reductions - and the UK and Germany lead the list of shame. more...
Homeless in Gaza after Operation Cast Lead, 2009. Photo: Physicians for Human Rights via Flickr.

Gaza should be the Kuwait of the Levant - but its gas brings only war and poverty

Tascha Shahriari-Parsa

19th July 2014

Operation Protective Edge is the war of a colonial state dedicated to expanding its theft of Palestine's natural resources, writes Tascha Shahriari-Parsa - incarcerating and bombing its people in the world's biggest open air prison, while growing rich at their expense. more...

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Israeli tanks massing on the Gaza border ... but do the soldiers know what they're really fighting for? Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi via Flickr.

Gaza: Israel's $4 billion gas grab

Nafeez Ahmed

18th July 2014

Never mind the 'war on terror' rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel's escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory's 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas - and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis. more...
MP Liz Truss with wind turbine at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/.

Britain's new Environment Secretary is a breath of fresh air

Oliver Tickell

15th July 2014

Britain's new Environment Secretary is young (38), female, blonde, believes in climate change, and has floated imaginative policies to deal with it from a carbon tax to 'personal carbon allowances'. As for badgers ... her silence on the topic promises well. more...
Dark clouds gather over a sunset industry - represented by a Chevron oil tanker. Photo: Jamie Grant via Flickr.

Fossil fuels the 'new sub-prime crisis'

Nathan Wood

14th July 2014

The UK's conservative Daily Telegraph warns: investors in fossil fuels are 'throwing good money after bad', reports Nathan Wood, as renewable energy takes off leaving a potential $19 trillion of oil assets 'stranded'. more...
The Ukraine army cuts off main road to Sloviansk in a 'war zone without front lines'. Photo: Sasha Maksymenko via Flickr.

Ukraine - it's the gas, gas, gas

Mike Whitney

10th July 2014

in Ukraine, as in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, and Syria, US policy is all about dominating the world's fossil fuel supplies, writes Mike Whitney - in this case, the gas pipelines from Russia to Europe. But the 'great aggressor', Vladimir Putin, is refusing to play his part. So what next? more...
Some springs on Ikaria, Greece, carry high levels of natural radioactivity - but that does not mean the radiation is good for you! Photo: Eleni Ikanou via Flickr.

An abuse of science - concealing fracking's radioactive footprint

Paul Mobbs

8th July 2014

A new scientific paper presents the radiation produced by fracking as 'natural' and harmless. But it's based on sketchy data, hyperbolic statistics and questionable assumptions, writes Paul Mobbs. Is it an attempt to stifle an essential public debate? more...
Lots more of this under Donald Tusk's proposals. A coal burning power station at Belchatow, Poland. Photo: Petr Štefek / Wikimedia Commons.

Poland's 'EU energy union' plan: an attempt to revive Europe's filthiest fuels

Mark Siddi

9th July 2014

Polish PM Donald Tusk is using the Ukraine crisis as a pretext to revive the EU's fossil fuel industries. His proposals spell disaster for EU emissions targets and the wider environment, writes Mark Siddi. Europe's energy future must be efficient and renewable! more...
Left: Potential shale gas / oil source rocks in England and Wales. Right: principal aquifers in England and Wales (dark blue), aquifers shallower than 400 m (pale blue). Image: BGS.

Fracking - 95% of oil and gas shales underlie drinking water aquifers

The Ecologist

3rd July 2014

A study by the British Geological Survey and the Environment Agency reveals that almost all the the oil and gas bearing shales in England and Wales underlie drinking water aquifers, raising fears that widespread water contamination could occur. more...
A clean energy campaigner shields his face in front of the Kosovo B coal power station, which is doing much to destroy the small nation's health. Photo: Sierra Club.

US and World Bank must stop funding overseas coal

Michael Brune

2nd July 2014

The World Bank is still deciding how to respond to Kosovo's request for funds to build a new 600MW power station burning filthy 'brown coal', writes Michael Brune. It's time for the World Bank, with strong US backing, to give the project a firm 'no way'! more...
Dryden, New York - We did it! Photo: Earthjustice.

New York communities triumph over fracking companies

The Ecologist

1st July 2014

After a five year battle against fracking companies, the New York Court of Appeals has ruled that towns and cities can pass zoning laws that forbid fracking and other industrial land uses. The verdict will inspire other communities across the USA to enact similar measures. more...
Looking good ... the Challenger space shuttle take-off on 28th January 1986. But 73 seconds later, it was all over.

Fracking safe? In national parks? What is Lord Smith smoking?

Dr David Lowry

28th June 2014

Lord Smith's views on fracking betray an total ignorance of a large body of published, peer reviewed science that contradicts his conclusions, writes David Lowry - not to mention those of his political masters. Is 'groupthink' leading the UK astray? more...
Did Green campaigners carry out this pipeline bombing in Ukraine on June 17th 2014? Of course not - so how come they are under fire by NATO and Russia? Photo: from YouTube / http://youtu.be/oAVJ3udesF8 .

GreenScare 2.0 - campaigners under fire in the new Cold War

Alexander Reid Ross

28th June 2014

Superpower confrontations and growing tensions in Ukraine, the Middle East and the Arctic are all part of a new Cold War, writes Alexander Reid Ross - and this time Green campaigners are under attack by both Russian authorities and NATO ... more...
Divest from Fossil Fuels! Photo: Light Brigading via Flickr.

BMA votes for fossil fuel divestment

Tierney Smith / TckTckTck

26th June 2014

Britain's doctors have voted for their representative body, the British Medical Association, to divest from fossil fuels, writes Tierney Smith - adding valuable momentum to the fast growing global divestment campaign. more...
Anne Power surrounded by police at an anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss, December 2013. Photo: Steven Speed / SalfordStar.com.

Fracking - you are not important

Paul Mobbs

24th June 2014

Why does the fracking lobby refuse to engage in open, public debate? Because, writes Paul Mobbs, it has already got its way, with the uncritical support of all the 'mainstream' media and political parties. You and I simply do not matter. So what are we going to do about that? more...

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