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Walshaw Moor, near Hebden Bridge, after burning to improve grouse yields. Photo: energyroyd.org.uk/ .

Our uplands: a burning desire for action

Martin Harper

12th August 2014

Today, on the 'Glorious 12th', well-heeled folk take to the hills to shoot grouse. And to be sure there's lots of birds to kill, writes Martin Harper, England's moorlands are burnt with dire impacts on their biodiversity and ability to absorb rainfall. It's high time to end this barbaric practice! more...
A still from YouTube video by SputnikTV allegedly shows remains of a shell near the facilities of Gorlovka chemical plant in eastern Ukraine.

Toxic risk as missiles strike Ukraine's biggest chemical plant

The Ecologist

11th August 2014

As the warring parties fight for control for Donetsk, the country's biggest chemical plant has come under fire, with missiles landing close to pipelines and storage tanks. If released, toxic nitrochlorobenzene could cause widespread death. more...
A large-scale solar farm in the UK. Photo: Trillion Fund.

Solar firms to sue Government for ending support

Rosie Murray-West & Ruth Lumley

9th August 2014.

Four large solar firms are suing the British Government over its decision to end support for 'farm scale' solar generators of 5MW or more. The move reflects ministerial concern about the success of the UK's fast growing solar power sector. more...
Photo: Jared Rodriguez / truthout.org via Flickr.

Can 'Public Interest' protect Britain's wildlife?

Lesley Docksey

8th August 2014

Last week the Upper Tribunal of the Royal Courts of Justice ordered Defra to release key information about the badger cull based on a 'public interest' argument, writes Lesley Docksey. Could this judgment open a new era of transparent and accountable government? more...
Spring Feast, with Julia Ponsonby (right). Photo: Joanna Brown.

Green meals for 85? No problem for Schumacher College's Head Cook

Julia Ponsonby

30th August 2014

Good food is an essential ingredient at Schumacher College, writes Julia Ponsonby, made with love using fresh, wholesome ingredients many of which have traveled no further than the vegetable garden. No less important, the sense of companionship, learning, fun and frequent hilarity that permeates the building - and the kitchen in particular. more...
José Manuel Barroso - whatever's on his mind, it's not the environment. Photo: European Parliament via Flickr.

Exposed: Barroso's EU anti-environment crusade

EuroActiv

5th August 2014

Plans to crack down on endocrine disruptors and illegal timber were buried by the outgoing President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso and his secretary-general Catherine Day - while undermining action on climate, renewables and energy efficiency. more...
Children at large in the orchard at the Apricot Centre. Photo: Photo: Martin Large / Biodynamic Land Trust.

Healing and inspiring children with animals, mud and a touch of magic

Martin Large

23rd August 2014

The Apricot Centre in Essex is a unique project that uses organic horticulture and animal husbandry to heal, inspire and educate children from diverse backgrounds, and kindle love for the natural world, writes Martin Large. Now it's expanding to Devon, to establish a second, much larger biodynamic smallholding near Totnes and Dartington. more...
Mirror, mirror, on the wall ... Solar panels near Dukovany nuclear power station, Czech Republic. Photo: Jiří Sedláček (Frettie) via Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear industry prepares for global boom - or is that doom?

Paul Brown

2nd August 2014

The nuclear industry remains remarkably optimistic about its future, wrties Paul Brown - despite evidence that it is a shrinking source of power as renewables, in particular solar and wind power, compete with increasing success to fill the energy gap. more...
Photo: Badgers in the wild by Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust wins 'right to know' about badger cull development

The Ecologist

1st August 2014

The Government must release key documents about its secret development of England's badger cull with the National Farmers Union. The Upper Tribunal ruled that the public interest would be served by a full disclosure. more...
After the pesticides we spray, who will be left flying? Photo: John Severns via The Conversation.

Pesticide safety research shouldn't be left to the pesticide companies

Christopher N Connolly

30th July 2014

Pesticide companies are responsible for assessing the safety of their products, writes Christopher N Connolly - and this situation cannot continue. The research should be carried out independently, subjected to peer review, and published. more...
Westmill Solar Park, Oxfordshire, is the world's largest community owned solar installation. Rated at 5MW, it covers 30 acres. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr.

Will the carbon bubble burst your pension?

Rebecca O'Connor

8th August 2014

What's the biggest threat to your life savings you've never heard of? Rebecca O'Connor shows how the world's exposure to unburnable carbon assets, and competition from clean energy technologies, could hammer your savings, pensions and investments. more...
The kitchen / dining room of Brickfields, a green development in London. Photo: Living in Space.

Breaking the mould for eco homes

Ryan Kohn

16th August 2014

There is no better time to put the 'green' into building than at the outset of the design phase, writes Ryan Kohn. And to get it there we need to raise awareness of sustainable technologies, and offer incentives, rather than loop-holes, for developers. Buyers too must learn to appreciate the long term value of green ... and demand the highest standards. more...

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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...
An unguided Grad rocket hit the house of Valentina Fedorovna, 77, in the Kuibyshivskyi district in Donetsk on July 19, 2014. The rocket struck the second floor, penetrated the floor and went through her kitchen and bathroom. Photo: Human Rights Watch.

Ukraine's use of unguided rockets in civilian areas of Donetsk 'may be war crimes'

The Ecologist

27th July 2014

Human Rights Watch has gathered evidence in the war zones of Eastern Ukraine which show that Ukrainian government forces have violated the laws of war by using 'notoriously imprecise' rockets in civilian areas, destroying homes, killing and injuring non-combatants. more...
The beautiful nudibrach Trinchesia caerulea, photographed in Scottish waters by Jim Anderson / savescottishseas.org/ .

Victory - 30 new marine reserves for Scotland

The Ecologist

25th July 2014

Scotland's network of marine reserves doubled in area today with the designation of 30 new marine reserves. The move has been welcomed by green groups who have long campaigned on the issue - but they warn: this is where the real work begins. more...
A mother badger with three cubs to feed looks for food in garden in rural Dorset. Photo: Lesley Docksey.

Carry on Culling - the fiasco continues

Lesley Docksey

28th July 2014

'We need to look at the best scientific evidence' on badgers and bovine TB, says Environment Secretary Liz Truss. But as Lesley Docksey writes, the 'best scientific evidence' appears to mean only that which supports the cull - and there's precious little of it! 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...
A common sight in Germany - a solar parking shelter with a generation capacity of approx 0.3MW. Photo: Tim Fuller via Flickr.

Germany's renewable revolution shows the way

Keith Barnham

26th July 2014

How did Germany do it? No, not its World Cup victory - how did Germany engineer Europe's highest penetration of renewable energy, plus fast-dropping electricity prices? Keith Barnham explains - and says the UK could do the same, and better! more...
Organic outdoor pigs raised at Eastbrook Farm in Wiltshire. Photo: helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk/

Taking the 'Pig Pledge' for happy, healthy, outdoor farming

Alastair Kenneil

4th August 2014

The factory farming of pigs is organised animal abuse, writes Alastair Kenneil, and it imperils the environment and human health. But in the UK we have the choice to buy meat from pigs raised humanely under the open sky. Will you take the Pig Pledge today? more...
Front cover of Badgerlands by Patrick Barkham.

The beguiling magic of badgers at dusk

Lesley Docksey

25th July 2014

To live sustainably we must learn to live with wildlife, Patrick Barkham argues in his book Badgerlands. To do this we have much to learn from our ancestors - but we must also discard their barbaric practices and outrageous myths that, even today, some are so keen to perpetuate. more...
Artisanal fishing nets at the Cobb, Lyme Regis, Lyme Bay. Photo: geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons.

Simplifying the sea - ecocide in the English Channel

Horatio Morpurgo

25th July 2014

A new report on the Channel's fisheries is a timely reminder of the ecological trend to 'simplification' as whole trophic levels are stripped away by over-exploitation, writes Horatio Morpurgo. Yet the government's profit-focused vision of 'sustainability' is missing the essential element - allowing the recovery of marine ecosystems. 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...
Anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss - but as far as the Government is concerned, dissent is unimportant. Photo: Manchester Friends of the Earth via Flickr.

Fracking Britain: without debate, the Government imposes its 'right to rule'

Paul Mobbs

21st July 2014

The UK Government's policy is to frack at all costs, against public opinion and compelling evidence of environmental damage and poor returns, writes Paul Mobbs - a timely reminder that as far as the Government is concerned, it has a God-given right to rule over us, no matter what we think or want. more...
Local currencies, like these Totnes and Stroud 'pounds' are intended to stimulate local economic resilience and keep benefits within communities. But is there a better way to achieve the same ends, everywhere? Photo: London Permaculture via Flickr.

Closing the money loop to build resilient local economies

Bran Knowles & Michael Hallam

21st July 2014

Using local currencies to stimulate local economies and revalue local labour over imported products and resources sounds like a great idea - but recent experiences have proved disappointing. Are there other ways to 'close the money loop'? more...
Stop the Killing - Safe Roads for People - a recent protest at the notoriously dangerous Elephant & Castle roundabout in South London. Photo: Andrew Reeves Hall via Stopthekilling.

The National Funeral for the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence

Donnachadh McCarthy

29th July 2014

A major demonstration will take place in November to demand an end to the killing on Britain's roads, both direct and indirect, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. And now is the time to sign up, get involved, and build up the momentum for desperately needed change. more...

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