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Farmers in Ghana marching against the Plant Breeders Bill, now before the country's parliament, September 2014. Photo: Food Sovereignty Ghana.

Ghana's farmers battle ‘Monsanto law' to retain seed freedom

Chris Walker & Oliver Tickell

24th October 2014

Ghana's government is desperate to pass a Plant Breeders Bill that would remove farmers' ancient 'seed freedom' to grow, retain, breed and develop crop varieties - while giving corporate breeders a blanket exemption from seed regulations. Now the farmers are fighting back. more...
Donnachadh McCarthy stands his ground against a repressive police presence at OccupyDemocracy. Photo: Fields of light photography.

OccupyDemocracy suppressed - is Cameron any better than Putin?

Julian Sayarer

23rd October 2014

Donnachadh McCarthy, The Ecologist's correspondent at Occupy Democracy was arrested yesterday when police cleared Parliament Square of protesters. The brutal repression of peaceful protest puts Britain in the same moral camp as China, Russia and others whose human rights record we publicly despise, writes Julian Sayarer. more...
Are there more nasty surprises in store for fossil fuel investors? The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 22nd June 2010. Photo: Oscar Garcia / via John Amos on Flickr.

To hit fossil fuel firms where it hurts, support divestment!

Franklin Ginn

20th October 2014

Fossil fuel companies are a risky investment thanks to the 2.8 trillion tonnes of 'unburnable' carbon in their reserves, writes Franklin Ginn. But there's an even stronger reason to support fossil fuel divestment: to erode their political power, which they use to block progress to a sustainable, low carbon future. more...
Occupy Democracy - the Day 2 kettle of the Head of Boris Johnson's Wardens, selecting who to get the police to arrest. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.

London's 'Tarpaulin Revolution' lives another day

Donnachadh McCarthy

20th October 2014

Last night the police were in full force in London's Parliament Square, writes Donnachadh McCarthy - forcibly removing Occupy Democracy protestors and snatching sleeping bags, cardboard and tarpaulins as illegal 'sleeping equipment', apparently on direct orders from the Mayor, Boris Johnson. Yet the rally keeps on growing .... more...
The Occupy Democracy rally in London's Parliament Square last night. Photo: Nina Tailor / @ninatailor2.

Less freedom in Westminster's Parliament Square than in Hong Kong!!

Donnachadh McCarthy

19th October 2014

Donnachadh McCarthy went to Parliament Square yesterday to address a peaceful rally about the failings of British democracy. The intimidatory, violent and inflammatory police reaction only confirmed everything he had to say - as did the dignified restraint of the Occupy Democracy protestors. more...
Science can’t tell us exactly when the rising oceans will swallow up the Maldives, but it can give us a good idea. Photo: Hiroyuki-H, CC BY-SA.

Climate 'uncertainty' is no excuse for climate inaction

Richard Pancost & Stephan Lewandowsky

18th October 2014

Scientific uncertainties over future climate are widely used by 'sceptics' to justify a policy of no response, write Richard Pancost & Stephan Lewandowsky. But this reflects a deep misunderstanding: outcomes may end up much more severe than expected - and we should prepare for worst case scenarios. more...
An artist's impression of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Image: EDF Energy media library.

NAO investigates Hinkley C nuclear subsidies

Terry Macalister / The Guardian

17th October 2014

Hinkley C's subsidy package may have won European Commission approval - but now it faces a National Audit Office 'value for money' investigation, following a demand from a powerful Parliamentary committee. more...
If you don't recognise Natalie Bennett, the Green Party's leader, it may because she has to fight all the way for media exposure. But in spite of the difficulties, the Greens pushed the Lib Dems into fifth place in the Euro-elections.

Excluding Greens from TV debates would make a mockery of democracy

Josiah Mortimer

16th October 2014

UK broadcasters decision to exclude the Greens from the 2015 General Election debates has triggered a storm of protest, writes Josiah Mortimer. The numbers all show that the Greens deserve to be heard, but it's about more than that - the British people deserve the chance to engage in a new, progressive politics for the 21st century. more...
Never mind the questions, never mind the answers, never mind the evidence. The badgers will be culled. Photo: b/flickr, CC BY-NC-SA.

Unlawful, ineffective, toxic: the badger cull must end - vaccination is the answer

Dominic Dyer

10th October 2014

The Badger Trust' is in the Court of Appeal today, making its case that the 2014 'trial' badger cull is unlawful, writes Dominic Dyer. But beyond that, the entire culling policy is driven by politics, not science, and is doomed to failure. It's time for Cameron to harness his 'big society' to apply a genuine solution: badger vaccination. more...
The Prostitute State

Nuclear power trumps democracy

Donnachadh McCarthy

9th October 2014

The UK's political mainstream has performed a complete U-Turn in policy on nuclear power, culminating yesterday in the European Commission's approval of a £15-20 billion subsidy package for the Hinckley C project. Donnachadh McCarthy delves into the nuclear industry's deep and far-reaching political links. more...
Sweden's Greens celebrate six ministerial positions in the new Social Democrat-led government. Photo: Miljöpartiet de gröna via Flickr.

Greens join Swedish government with radical environmental agenda

Dominic Hinde

8th October 2014

Sweden's Greens are in government for the first time, wriites Dominic Hinde, with six ministerial posts in the new Social Democrat / Green coalition. After eight years of Conservative-led government, the country is determined to resume its former role as a green pioneer, but many challenges lie ahead. more...
The summit of Hawaii's 'sacred mountain', Mauna Kea. Now an even larger telescope is to be built there. Photo: Markus Jöbstl  via Flickr.

Native Hawaiians protest 'sacred mountain' telescope

The Ecologist

7th October 2014

Native Hawaiians and others are gathering today for a peaceful protest at the ground-breaking ceremony for a huge new telescope on the 4,207 meter summit of Hawaii's 'sacred mountain', Mauna Kea. more...

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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...
Greenpeace action at Shell's petrol station in Davos, January 2013. Photo: Greenpeace Switzerland via Flickr.

Arctic madness: oil majors plead for lower safety standards

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

6th October 2014

Oil majors are gearing up to exploit Arctic oil, writes Mike G. But they don't want to carry the costs of all the safety equipment the US Government is demanding to protect the fragile Arctic environment from spills. And they're reluctant to give up the use of toxic chemical dispersants. more...
Miguel Arias Cañete. Photo: La Moncloa Gobierno de España via Flickr.

'Petrolhead' Cañete's top EU climate job in doubt

EuroActiv

3rd October 2014

The appointment of Spain's Miguel Arias Cañete as the EU's Energy and Climate Commissioner is in doubt as MEPs rally against the man dubbed 'petrolhead' by the Sunday Times. Adding to his woes, an Avaaz petition against him has topped 438,000 signatures, and counting. 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...
The environmental movement in Malaysia remains strong, despite judicial repression, as this recent demonstration against Lynas and Bersih shows. Photo: cumi&ciki via Wikimedoa Commons.

Malaysia: eco-activists combat judicial repression

Meena Raman

26th September 2014

Government and corporations are resorting to the judicial repression of environmental activism in Malaysia, writes Meena Raman - deploying public order and defamation laws to suppress criticism and protest. Malaysia must value its peoples health and security above corporate profit. more...
Much of Australia's coal is too high in ash, sulphur, or both, to meet China's new environmental standards. Will it be able to find the new customers it needs? Photo: Stephen Codrington / Wikimedia Commons.

China's war on pollution could leave Australia's dirty coal out in the cold

Shabbir Ahmad

25th September 2014

To tackle its serious air pollution, China is imposing stringent restrictions on dirty coal high in ash or sulphur, writes Shabbir Ahmad. One result: half of Australia's coal exports to China face exclusion, or extra 'washing' costs. But Australia's response is not to raise environmental quality. Instead, it's increasing production. 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...
After a history of accidents at the site, the three ageing reactors at Mihama, Japan, are among those likely never to restart. Photo: Kansai Electric Power Co via IAEA Imagebank / Flickr.

Rocky road ahead for Japan's nuclear restart

Jim Green and Peer de Rijk / Nuclear Monitor

26th September 2014

Japan's government is trying to get its failing nuclear power industry up and running, write Jim Green and Peer de Rijk. But in the post-Fukushima world, it faces formidable obstacles. Experts believe most reactors will never restart - and Japan's stricken utilities may have to find $30 billion or more to finance their decommissioning. more...
A container ship in port, Oakland, CA. Photo: Jim Bahn via Flickr.

For an easy win on carbon emissions - cut global trade!

John Weeks

27th September 2014

If the world's leaders really cared about climate change, there's one easy way to reduce emissions, writes John Weeks - drop the obsession with increasing trade, and all the pollution that goes with it. A world based on local production, consumption and finance will be a better one for people and the environment. more...
The Edmonton waste-to-energy incinerator in North London is the largest in the UK, and produces up to 55MW of power. Photo: Fin Fahey via Flickr.

PFI waste incinerator contracts burn more money than rubbish

David Hall / The Conversation

22nd September 2014

A Parliamentary report reveals that £200 million has been wasted on failed 'public-private' PFI projects for waste management, writes David Hall. The obvious solution: to allow local authorities to build and operate their own, which is cheaper and more flexible. The only problem: under UK government rules, it's PFI or nothing. more...
All tooled up and nowhere to go? HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr.

A Yes vote in Scotland could finish Trident

Paul Ingram

17th September 2014

If the Scots vote yes on Thursday the UK's already tight military budget will be squeezed even harder, writes Paul Ingram, dramatically increasing the chances of nuclear disarmament. Adding to the UK's headache: the only medium term alternative base for its Trident submarine fleet would be ... in Georgia, USA. more...
The poll results showing highly 'climate sceptic' views among Tory MPs. Note that the right-hand column showing LibDem views is barely visible. Image: PR Week / Populus.

Tory MPs: 'climate change is not man made'

Alex Benady & John Owens

15th September 2014

Seven out of ten Tory MP's think there's no proof that climate change is caused by people, and one in five thinks the idea is 'environmentalist propaganda', a new poll shows. Labour and Lib-Dem MPs are far more likely to accept climate science, but Parliament as a whole is remarkably 'climate sceptic'. more...
Blue skies beckon for British democracy, and not only in Scotland. Saltire drawn by vapour trails over the Falls of Foyers, Scotland. Photo: David Sim via Flickr.

Yes or No, we need democratic and constitutional reform

Rupert Read & Rebecca Johnson

15th September 2014

The Scottish referendum must mark an end to 'business as usual' in UK politics - no matter who triumphs in this week. That means no more 'first past the post' parliamentary elections, and a wider democratic rebirth under a new constitutional compact. more...

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