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Flaring of unwanted hydrocarbons at a natural gas refinery in the Piceance Basin of Colorado. Photo: Tim Hurst  via Flickr.

Fracked off - natural gas victims flee Colorado's toxic air

Paul Thacker / Oil Change International

30th August 2014

Natural gas is widely touted as a 'green fuel'. But as Paul Thacker found in Colorado, fracking's national 'ground zero', it's anything but. Lives and health are being ruined by pollution from taxpayer-subsidized gas wells, flaring and refining plants, while property values collapse. Now a mass of environmental refugees are fleeing the ravaged state. more...
Action to shut down Utah tar sands mine - Summer Heat. Photo: 350.org via Flickr.

The liberal climate agenda is doomed to failure

Scott Parkin

29th August 2014

Liberal environmentalism represents a dangerous delusion, writes Scott Parkin - that 'playing nice' with Earth-destroying corporations and politicians can yield results worth having. Radical change on climate will only result from bold, confrontational direct actions against the fossil fuel industries and their apologists. more...
Road map detail - Central Africa. Image: Bill Laurance.

A global plan for road expansion that doesn't cost the earth

Bill Laurance

28th August 2014

Roads are responsible for massive environmental damage around the world, writes Bill Laurance - yet they also bring huge benefits. His solution? A new atlas that shows where the 'goods' of roads outweigh the 'bads', so that developing countries can harness the prosperity new roads can bring, without the destruction. more...
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...
Uncontacted Indians making contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border, June 2014. Photos: © FUNAI.

Peru: uncontacted tribe flees massacre in the Amazon

Alice Bayer / Survival International

22nd August 2014

Survivors of a previously unknown Amazon tribe have escaped gunmen in Peru, seeking refuge with settled indigenous communities in Brazil. But as Alice Bayer reports, their problems are far from over. Many remain under threat in Peru, and even the refugees are at risk of common but potentially lethal infections. 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...
Torched Senger home. Photo: Justin Kenrick.

World Bank and UN carbon offset scheme 'complicit' in genocidal land grabs

Nafeez Ahmed

20th August 2014

The plight of Kenya's Sengwer people shows that carbon offsets generated by 'sustainable' forest management are empowering a corporate recolonisation of the South backed by the World Bank against its own guidelines, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Indigenous forest peoples are at risk of genocide while corporations let rip. more...
Letting the seeds grow free on a vegetable garden in BC, Canada. Photo: Christopher Porter via Flickr.

Free the seeds to feed the world!

Jack Kloppenburg & Irwin Goldman

20th August 2014

Patented and 'indentured' seeds are fast taking over the world's food supply, write Jack Kloppenburg & Irwin Goldman, terminating farmers' and gardeners' ancient right to develop new varieties, and forcing them to buy seed anew for every crop. Enter the Open Source Seed Initiative ... more...
A vast monoculture of corn in Iowa, USA - profitable, but not healthy. Photo: Rich Griffith via Flickr.

More calories from fewer sources means less nutrition, more profit

David Nally

21st August 2014

It's a global phenomenon - we are consuming more calories, and more of those calories are the same, writes David Nally. Just ten crops produce 75% of our food, as factory-farmed meat, sugar, wheat, corn, soybeans and palm oil displace more nutritious and diverse diets. It's not good for us, or the planet - but it's great for corporate food monopolists! more...
Lake Nicaragua, ecological jewel of Central America, will never be the same if the canal project goes ahead. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr.

The Nicaragua Canal - a disaster in waiting?

Nathan Wood

15th August 2014

A second canal joining the Pacific and Atlantic oceans is planned for Nicaragua, writes Nathan Wood. But the gigantic project is raising growing fears due to a grossly unfair contract, glaring failures of process, close links to the Chinese government, and its enormous - but uncosted - ecological impacts. more...
It's the RoundUp, stupid! Photo: London Permaculture via Flickr.

GMOs and RoundUp - junking down our food supply

Dr Thierry Vrain

18th April 2014

The introduction of GMO crops has caused a huge increase in the use of the herbicide glyphosate, writes Dr Thierry Vrain. In turn we are eating ever more of it in our food, depriving us of vital mineral nutrients and damaging the symbiotic bacteria we all depend on for life and health. 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...

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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...
Yes I'm a full blown tree hugger now! Photo: John Mosbaugh via Flickr.

Hug a tree, save your life

Pat Thomas

9th August 2014

Trees in cities make us feel happier and more relaxed, writes Pat Thomas, but that's only the beginning of the benefits they confer. They also reduce air pollution, levels of asthma and other respiratory problems, and lower healthcare costs by $7 billion in the US alone. more...
As far as REDD is concerned, this eucalyptus plantation in South Africa is as good as - or even better than - a natural forest of native species. Photo: Chris Lang via Flickr.

REDD - destroy the forests, seize the profits, blame the victims

Chris Lang

7th August 2014

The World Bank's 'Tropical Forest Action Plan' was an abject failure, writes Chris Lang. Now the same mistakes are being repeated under a new acronym. TFAP is out, REDD is in - but it's still all about corporate control of forests, and blaming deforestation on its victims. more...
Deforestation in the high mountains has devastating effects downstream. The Forest of Aliabad, near Hajipir, district Bagh, Azad Kashmir. Photo: Muzaffar Bukhari via Flickr.

Pakistan - no response to flood, drought, deforestation crisis

Saleem Shaikh

6th August 2014

Pakistan is already experiencing a pattern of devastating flood and drought brought on by climate change and deforestation, say the country's top climate scientists. Yet the government has failed to either tackle the problems, or prepare for future disasters. more...
Local Farmers Speak Out Against

Missouri: corporate agriculture wins 'Right to Farm'

Ben Whitford

6th August 2014

Missouri voters have narrowly passed a 'right to farm' amendment to the state constitution. But small farmers already enjoy such rights, writes Ben Whitford. The beneficiaries will be industrial-scale corporate producers who now have a legal shield against regulation on GMOs, pollution, animal welfare and health standards - and, of course, the lawyers. 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...
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...
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...
Cattle in a paddock on a small farm in Russia. Photo: Vmenkov CC.

Russia's small farmers are the latest 'health and safety' victims

Georgy Borodyansky

5th August 2014

New regulations on animal slaughter are in force across Russia, writes Georgy Borodyansky, with devastating effects on small farmers and consumers, who face a three-fold hike in the price of meat. Will the 'health and safety' madness destroy Russia's main producers of wholesome food? more...
Protestors gather in Delhi today in the lead-up to mining giant Vedanta's AGM which takes place tomorrow. Photo: Krantikari Yuva Sangathan.

India - 'Foil Vedanta' protests erupt in Delhi

The Ecologist

31st July 2014

Students, workers and civil rights activists gathered in their hundreds today in Delhi to protest at the mining company Vedanta, and the Indian government's support of highly destructive mining projects in forests and on indigenous peoples' lands. 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...
Davi Koponawa outside the Palace of Westminster, London. Photo: Survival International.

Brazil: death threats stalk Amazon shaman Davi Kopenawa

The Ecologist

30th July 2014

As gold miners face eviction from Yanomami territory in the Brazilian Amazon, a rising tempo of death threats have been directed against the shaman Davi Kopenawa following his successful campaign. more...

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