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The work is hard, but the seed is free - for now! Men and women harvest the Ethiopian staple grain teff in a roadside field between Axum and Adwa in Northern Ethiopia. Photo: Alan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Carving up Africa - aid donors and agribusiness plot the great seed privatization

Ian Fitzpatrick & Oliver Tickell

26th March 2015

An elite group of aid donors and agribusiness corporations met in London this week to plan the takeover of Africa's seeds, writes Ian Fitzpatrick, replacing traditional seed breeding and saving by small farmers with a corporate model of privatized, 'improved', patented, genetically uniform and hybrid seeds in a profit-driven market. more...
It's all true, right? Photo: James Vaughan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA); original artist: Earl Norem.

Truth is our country

Paul Craig Roberts

21st March 2015

Journalism in the United States is a dying profession, says Paul Craig Roberts, recipient of the International Award for Excellence in Journalism 2015. Corrupted by corporate wealth and power, and intimidated by a repressive state, the mainstream media have assumed a new role as messengers of fear, hatred and naked aggression that's driving the world to nuclear war. more...
Seed saving in Malawi: farmer Maria Banda's cupped hands holding cowpea seeds. Photo: Stephen Greenberg / ACBIO.

Grabbing Africa's seeds: USAID, EU and Gates Foundation back agribusiness seed takeover

Stephen Greenberg & Oliver Tickell

23rd March 2015

The latest salvo in the battle over Africa's seed systems has been fired, writes Stephen Greenberg, with the Gates Foundation and USAID playing puppet-masters to Africa's governments - now meeting in Addis Ababa - as they drive forward corporation-friendly seed regulations that exclude and marginalize the small farmers whose seeds and labour feed the continent. more...
Swarthmore students ready to join the Peoples Climate March, 21st September 2014 in New York City. Photo: maisa_nyc via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

College fossil fuel divestment - Yes we must!

Cutler J Cleveland

18th March 2015

Univerisities' core mission is one of civilization and enlightenment, and that's incompatible with investing in fossil fuels that pose an existential threat to humanity and the planet, writes Cutler J Cleveland. It's is also financially prudent for for them to avoid sinking capital into future 'stranded assets' of unburnable carbon. more...
A female Eurasian Lynx (Lynx Lynx Lynx) in her summer coat in a Norwegian forest near Liaset, Buskerud Fylke. Photo: Tom Bech via Flickr (CC BY).

Reintroduce lynx? Fine - but we must control the apex predator

Niki Rust

27th April 2015

The return of the lynx to the British Isles could bring many benefits, writes Niki Rust, not least to the ecology of our woodlands, ravaged by too many deer. But we must not forget the human factor: livestock farmers may fear the arrival of a top-level predator, and their support will be essential to the success of any reintroduction. more...
'Altered Genes, Twisted Truth' front cover (cut).

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

Jane Goodall

26th March 2015

The history of genetically modified food has been one of systematic deception and fraud by corporations, scientists, media and regulators, Steven Druker writes in his remarkable new book. Jane Goodall finds the story by turn fascinating, chilling, distressing and ultimately, hope-inspiring. more...
Hamer people in a village near Turmi in the Omo Valley of Southern Ethiopia - now at risk from a huge dam project and sugar plantations. Photo: David Stanley via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Anthropology is so important, all children should learn it

Marc Brightman

10th March 2015

Anthropology, the study of humankind, should be the first of all the sciences our children encounter, writes Marc Brightman, with its singular capacity to inspire the imagination, broaden the mind and open the heart. Moves to downgrade it in the education system by those who know the price of everything, and the value of nothing, must be fought off. more...
An Occupy Democracy protester is arrested by police in Parliament Square on 14th February 2015. Photo: still from RT report.

Banged up for democracy - the UK kleptocracy cannot tolerate dissent.

Donnachadh McCarthy

16th February 2014

Donnachadh McCarthy is facing 14 years in prison for his peaceful demands for democratic reform in Parliament Square, following his arrest on the order of 'Boris Guards' answerable to the London Mayor. In total four 'occupy democracy' protestors were arrested this weekend a stone's throw from the Westminster media pack - but not a word in the mainstream news. more...
Under the NAFTA trade deal, Canada is being sued to open up the St Lawrence River to fracking, or pay to massive damages. TTIP, TPP and CETA promise more of the same. Photo: Bob August via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The corporate coup d'etat: TTIP, TTP, CETA, NAFTA

Joyce Nelson

17th February 2015

The raft of 'free trade' agreements under negotiation represents a massive seizure of power by corporations, writes Joyce Nelson - effectively stripping democratic governments of their power to legislate for health, environment, labour or anything else that could reduce corporate profit. But the mainstream media are mysteriously silent. more...
Sorghum, one of the crops that feeds Africa, is of little interest to profit-oriented corporate agriculture. Photo: Janki via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Land and seed laws under attack as Africa is groomed for corporate recolonization

GRAIN / AFSA / The Ecologist

12th February 2015

Across Africa, laws are being rewritten to open farming up to an agribusiness invasion - displacing the millions of small cultivators that now feed the continent, and replacing them with a new model of profit-oriented agriculture using patented seeds and varieties. The agencies effecting the transformation are legion - but they are all marching to a single drum. more...
A clear-cut in Norrbotten Country, northern Sweden © Frédéric Forsmark.

Swedish wildlife extinction threat as loggers clear-cut 'old growth' forests

Alec Forss

11th February 2015

Sweden's biodiverse ancient forests will be largely wiped out within two decades, writes Alec Forss - and along with it will go thousands of species that depend on mature forest ecosystems. But with powerful logging companies riding roughshod over the law, regulators, politicians and certifiers, who is to stop the destruction before it's too late? more...
The 'sustainable' fishery targets a species known as neothrops or Norwegian lobster. Photo: Chris Grodotzki / The Black Fish.

Illegal Swedish fishery is 'certified sustainable'

The Ecologist

6th February 2015

Trawlers in an MSC-certified 'sustainable' lobster fishery producing have been caught in the act of using illegally modified nets to target valuable cod. The MSC has been notified but considers the evidence insufficient to act, so the lobsters still carry the MSC label. more...

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Ingeborg Löfgren, a pillar of the Solbyn community. Photo: Gillian Thomas.

Green living in Sweden's Ecological Village of Solbyn

Gillian Thomas

23rd February 2015

Solbyn, a sustainable community in southern Sweden, is a cold place to spend the winter, writes Gillian Thomas. But for all the snow outside, the well-insulated homes stay warm in the harshest conditions - and the welcome is warmer still. Come summer, there's an organic farm to nurture, but February is a month for friendship, making plans, and brilliant starry nights. more...
Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett on a 'Stand up to UKIP' demonstration in Doncaster, 27th September 2014. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

'You'll let the Tories in!' - Labour's feeble response to the Green Surge

Ian Sinclair

3rd February 2015

The Green Surge is getting very scary - for Labour Party MPs, candidates and supporters who fear that Green support will undermine 'their' vote, writes Ian Sinclair. So when exactly will it be safe for those desperate for an alternative to neoliberalism and austerity to vote for a genuinely progressive party? more...
Hayes Valley Farm Seed Library. Photo: edibleoffice via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The seed saving rebellion is growing - and banging at the Commission's door

Ben Raskin

29th January 2015

A year ago today, Europe-wide protests defeated an EU regulation that would have outlawed many seed saving activities, writes Ben Raskin. Now growers are taking matters into their own hands, saving and developing open-pollinated seeds - and campaigning for a seed regulation that supports them, not the monopolist seed corporations. more...
Riding high - the Greens are close to level pegging with UKIP and the LibDems, according to an ICM/Guardian poll published on 20th January.

Greens' election debate victory as member surge approaches 60,000

Oliver Tickell

24th January 2015

Greens are celebrating a decision by the main UK broadcasters to include them in the 2015 TV election debates alongside the SNP and Plaid Cymru - as their UK membership exceeds 58,000! more...
Young voters in Athens celebrate Syriza's victory in the 2014 European elections. Photo: via Business Insider Australia, marked for non-commercial re-use.

On election day, young Greeks will be voting for Syriza

Elati Pontikopoulou-Venieri

21st January 2015

As Greece prepares for its election this weekend, the leftist Syriza coalition stands alone as a progressive force committed to rebuild democracy and civil society, writes Elati Pontikopoulou-Venieri - and opposed to the austerity, bigotry, corruption and violence offered by the mainstream parties. Thanks to Greece's young voters, it could just win. more...
Photo: Olivier Girard for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Kathryn Bigelow and the bogus link between ivory and terrorism

Diogo Veríssimo

19th January 2015

Claims that the ivory trade is financing terrorism in Africa are all based on a single unreliable source, writes Diogo Veríssimo, yet the real link between terror groups and the illegal charcoal trade barely gets a mention. Is the 'reality gap' caused by the 'Like, share, donate' cycle that drives social media and fund-raising? more...
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...
Fresh green chickpeas on sale in Varanasi, India. Photo: © Jorge Royan (royan.com.ar) via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Obama - stand up for Seed Freedom and Food Democracy

Vandana Shiva

23rd January 2015

President Obama will shortly be on his way to India. In this Open Letter, Vandana Shiva invites him to join in securing the essential human freedoms to seeds and food - and to set aside any plans to pressure India into changing its laws to allow the corporate domination of life. more...
The opening of the first election debate of the 2010 campaign on ITV, 15th April. Photo: still from ITV.

The Green voice must be heard in Election 2015!

Rupert Read

9th January 2015

Ofcom's 'initial view' that the Greens should not take part in 2015 election debates is irrational and illogical, writes Rupert Read. Worse, it is an insult to democracy, all the more so as the Greens are the only UK party offering a genuine alternative to another five years of 'business as usual' neo-liberalism and austerity. more...
The oil crash has incinerated $100s of billions of investments in extreme energy and stopped hundreds of damaging projects in their tracks. So why aren't environmentalists celebrating? Photo:  s1lang via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Environmentalists' oil price panic reflects their own existential crisis

Paul Mobbs

8th January 2015

Low oil prices are putting a stop to some of the world's most environmentally damaging 'extreme energy' projects, writes Paul Mobbs, and may close down the entire fracking and tar sands industries. So why are so many 'Greens' issuing dire warnings, instead of celebrating the good news? more...
The launch of the South West Seed Savers Coop at Embercombe Farm. Photo: SWSSC.

Farmers join to save the seeds that feed us

Ashley Wheeler

6th January 2015

Farmers and growers in south-west England have united to reclaim the lost skill of seed saving, writes Ashley Wheeler. They are determined to grow, develop, share and disseminate open-pollinated seeds, and oppose EU laws granting commercial plant breeders a legal monopoly on the seeds that sustain our lives. more...
Making mud pies - no instruction manual needed. Photo: Jim Purbrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Learning with Nature and the nature of play

Martin Spray

28th January 2015

A new book aims to get children off their mobile phones and back where they belong: in the great outdoors. It's packed with well thought-out, purposeful activities to get children interacting with nature, but Martin Spray wonders: is it all trying too hard? Has the essential nature of 'play' somehow been forgotten? more...

Telling Stories of the Future

Spring 2015

Schumacher College

To celebrate 25 years at the forefront of environmental education, Schumacher College are launching a new short course programme: Soul, Spirit and Story. more...

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