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False promise ... Wylfa 2 nuclear power station glowing in the dark on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

False promise: nuclear power: past, present and (no) future

David Elliott

12th April 2017

Nuclear power was originally sold on a lie, writes Dave Elliott. While we were being told it would make electricity 'too cheap to meter', insiders knew it cost at least 50% more than conventional generation. Since then nuclear costs have only risen, while renewable energy prices are on a steep decline. And now the nuclear behemoths are crumbling ... not a moment too soon. more...
Chinese-built road under construction through rainforest in Mouloundou Department, Ogooue-Lolo, Gabon. Photo: jbdodane via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The dark legacy of China's drive for global resources

William Laurance

11th April 2017

As China pursues a startling array of energy, mining, logging, agricultural, transport and other infrastructure projects on virtually every continent, it is having an unprecedented impact on the planet, writes William Laurance. It's not that China is any worse than historic colonial powers - the difference is in the sheer scale and pace of environmental destruction, and the total lack of oversight under which Chinese mega-corporations operate. more...
Where Toshiba's $10bn nuclear debt came from: the Vogtle AP1000 construction site in Georgia, under inspection by NRC Commissioner Svinicki. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr (CC BY).

Toshiba's nuclear flagship goes bust after $10 billion losses

Jim Green

30th March 2017

News that one of the world's biggest nuclear power constructors, Westinghouse, has filed for bankruptcy in with debts of over $10 billion has put the entire sector on notice and issued a dire warning to nuclear investors everywhere, writes Jim Green. Among the likely casualties: the UK's Moorside nuclear complex in Cumbria. more...
Aviation or ice shelves? Thje choice is ours. Photo: NASA’s DC-8 flies over the crack forming across the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, 26th October 2011; by Jefferson Beck / NASA via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

Heathrow 2.0: a 'sustainable airport'? Or alternative facts on planes and pollution?

David Howarth, University of Essex & Steven Griggs, De Montfort University

17th March 2017

The facts are simple: a new London runway means more planes, more noise, more pollution and more global warming, write David Howarth & Steven Griggs. The 'Heathrow 2.0' initiative's conflation of 'sustainability' and 'sustainable growth' and its avoidance of climate change reek of Trumpian 'alternative facts'. more...
EDF's 4x900MW Nuclear power plant at Dampierre-en-Burly, commissioned in 1980, will soon turn from a money machine into a monstrous financial drain. Photo: Pymouss via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

EDF facing bankruptcy as decommissioning time for France's ageing nuclear fleet nears

Paul Dorfman

16th March 2017

Soon EDF will have to start the biggest, most complex and costliest nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management programme on earth, writes Paul Dorfman. But whereas Germany has set aside €38 billion to decommission 17 nuclear reactors, France has set aside only €23 billion to decommission its 58 reactors. When the real costs come in, they could easily bankrupt the company. more...
Officially designated as a 'rural road': the M25 Dartford Crossing on the QE2 Bridge. Photo: highwaysengland via Flickr (CC BY).

Britain's eight-lane 'rural road' evades air quality reporting

Keith Taylor

7th March 2017

The government's 'misclassification' of an eight-lane M25 road bridge over the river Thames East of London as a 'rural road' meant they did not have to report the illegal levels of pollution found there, writes Keith Taylor - getting off the UK off the hook for a 17th breach of EU air quality standards. What an unfortunate error! more...
Last November 17, 2,000 police rushed onto farmland to enforce land measurement for Kertajati Airport. Photo: Walhi Jawa Barat.

Indonesia: Villagers resist eviction for 50 sq.km airport city on their land

Rose Bridger

5th April 2017

Ten villages and surrounding farmland have already been wiped from the map for a 50 sq.km airport and surrounding 'aeropolis' or airport city in West Java, Indonesia, writes Rose Bridger. And while investors are offered an 'attractive incentives plan', villagers are subject to fierce state repression and brutality. Now only a single village remains standing, but residents continue to resist eviction and demand an end to the project. more...
Photo: takomabibelot via Flickr (Public Domain).

Trump's multi-trillion dollar fraud on America: 'public-private' infrastructure partnerships

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

23rd February 2017

Donald Trump's scheme to rebuild US infrastructure could be among the world's greatest ever financial heists, writes Pete Dolack. He has chosen the most expensive, anti-democratic way to do the job, through the mass privatization of priceless public assets - sticking users and taxpayers for exorbitant charges for decades to come, while banks and speculators reap the profits. more...
The blockaded tunnel to Heathrow airport this morning, 21st February 2017. Photo: Rising Up!

Rising Up! protest blockades Heathrow airport

The Ecologist

21st February 2017

A direct action protest by Rising Up! today blocked access to three Heathrow terminals to press their demand for no third runway at the UK's biggest airport. The activists included both climate campaigners and local people fearful of increased pollution, loss of homes and green space and entire villages destroyed. more...
Be there! Saturday 11th February 2017.

Stop the UK Treasury's transport carnage!

Donnachadh McCarthy

10th February 2017

It's not just that the government does not seem to care about the millions of Britons that have died prematurely from traffic pollution, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. It's that every policy intervention they have made is making the problem worse! Join us this Saturday to demand a sane transport policy that will make our roads safe for people, and our air fit to breathe. more...
Coming in to land at Heathrow Airport. Photo: Roy via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Heathrow: Government may ignore its own climate advisors

Damian Kahya / Greenpeace Enerrgydesk

30th January 2017

Newly published letters show that the UK Government may ignore the Committee on Climate Change, its official advisor on climate, and allow emissions from aviation to soar at an expanded Heathrow airport, writes Damian Kahya. Instead it would rely on buying widely condemned 'carbon offsets'. more...
The roadless areas map developed by Roadfree.org and partners. The map referred to in this article is behind Science's paywall!

New map shows way to reducing roads' destruction of nature

Tim Radford

18th January 2017

Scientists are calling for the urgent protection of ecologically valuable roadless areas, writes Tim Radford, as a new global map shows that roads lead to loss of biodiversity and damage to ecosystems by fragmenting habitat and providing access to exploiters. more...

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Solar-powered electric buses ‒ a UK first

Jan Goodey

10th January, 2017

With the UK capital struggling to get commuters to work on time following strike action by tube and train drivers this week, JAN GOODEY reports on a project that will bring the first solar-powered electric buses to the public in the Spring more...
The Brixton Road in South London, already in breach of its NO2 pollution limits for 2017 on the 6th January. Photo: Nico Hogg via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

London breaches air pollution limit for all 2017

Oliver Tickell

6th January 2017

Days into the 2017 pollution limits on the Brixton Road in Lambeth, South London, has already breached EU pollution limits for NO2 for the entire year. Meanwhile UK sales of diesel cars - one of the main causes of NO2 pollution - reached record levels in 2016, reflecting the government's failure to tackle the problem in spite of numerous court orders. more...
VC Summer Nuclear Station Unit 1 in South Carolina, showing the Reactor and Turbine Buildings. An AP1000 Toshiba / Westinghouse reactor is under construction, much delayed, on the same site. Photo: SCE&G via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Long-promised nuclear revival has run out of steam

Paul Brown

4th January 2017

A legacy of lies and covered-up accidents has left nuclear energy with a serious credibility gap, writes Paul Brown. But poor safety is only the beginning of the industry's problems. With 'new improved' reactor designs all running late and way over budget, any nuclear revival can only be sustained at massive, unaffordable taxpayer cost. more...
The European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Photo: Gideon Benari / www.solvencyiiwire.com via Flickr (CC BY).

ECB's 'quantitative easing' funds fossil fuels, arms, cars and climate change

Corporate Europe Observatory

14th December 2016

What kind of companies is the European Central Bank supporting by buying €46 billion of their bonds under its QE programme? Research by Corporate Europe Observatory reveals a strong preference for oil, gas, tar sands, dirty power generation, armaments, aviation, airports, car makers, motorways, luxury goods and gambling. Our sustainable be future be damned! more...
EDF's Cruas nuclear complex in  Rhône-Alpes, France, where two reactors have been out of action this autumn due to safety concerns. Photo: jan buchholtz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

French taxpayers face huge nuclear bill as EDF financial crisis deepens

Paul Brown

8th December 2016

Nuclear giant EDF could be heading towards bankruptcy, writes Paul Brown, as it faces a perfect storm of under-estimated costs for decommissioning, waste disposal and Hinkley C. Meanwhile income from power sales is lagging behind costs, and 17 of its reactors are off-line for safety tests. Yet French and UK governments are turning a blind eye to the looming financial crisis. more...
'Entry forbidden - Law number 26834 - Law number 28736 - Zone of restricted access owing to the presence of indigenous peoples living in isolation'. Sign in the Manu National Park, Peru. Photo: oarranzli via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Amazon: rainforest road threatens Peru's last isolated tribes

Oliver Tickell

1st December 2016

Peru's Congress may soon approve a road through remote rainforest which is home to the country's last uncontacted tribes. The link to the Inter-Oceanic highway would open the area up to land grabs, wood cutting and gold mining, and expose vulnerable indigenous people to diseases to which they have no immunity. more...
'Some day, son, all this (nuclear waste) will be yours!' Cartoon: Katauskes via Greens MPs on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Why worry about nuclear waste? What has the future ever done for us?

Andrew Blowers

16th November 2016

The long term problems of what to do with nuclear waste remain entirely unsolved, writes Andrew Blowers. Yet governments and the nuclear industry continue to peddle their untenable 'bury and forget' policy of deep geological disposal, which only unloads the toxic legacy of modern day nuclear power and weapons onto uncountable future generations. more...
Container ship MOL GRANEUR off the Japan coast, 18th October 2015. Photo: ARTS_fox1fire via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Shipping to go 'beyond Paris Agreement' without offsets

Oliver Tickell

8th November 2016

The International Chamber of Shipping has committed the industry to legally binding emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement. Unlike the aviation industry, it will make no use of carbon 'offsets', but will reach its targets by increasing efficiency and moving to lower carbon fuels. more...
Solar farm on Bali, Indonesia. Renewables are a key part of the fight against climate change, but they can't do it on their own! Photo: Selamat Made via Flickr (CC BY).

It will take much more than renewable energy to stop global warming

Steffen Böhm, University of Exeter

7th November 2016

Renewable energy may play a huge part in helping to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, now in force and under discussion at COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh, writes Steffen Böhm. But it can never be the whole story, and nor does it relieve the need for deeper changes in how the world works. more...
Don't worry, It's normal. Photo: loa bacon via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Hypernormalised? Heathrow plan is proof we exist in a catastrophic fantasyland

Matthew Adams, University of Brighton

26th October 2016

In one reality, the government recognises climate change, signs the Paris agreement, and commits to its 1.5C target, writes Matthew Adams. In another, it promises a new London runway that's predicated on sending aviation emissions soaring for decades to come. Now repeat after me: 'Everything will be fine!' more...
Heathrow scenery. Photo: stephen h via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

With Heathrow approval, aviation could use two thirds of UK's 1.5C carbon budget

Simon Evans / Carbon Brief

25th October 2016

The UK government today announced that Heathrow, already the UK's busiest airport, is its 'preferred option' for a new runway in southeast England, writes Simon Evans. It's just too bad about the climate: the airport expansion implies that aviation emissions alone could take up half to two thirds of the UK's 'carbon budget' for the country to comply with its 1.5C Paris Agreement target. more...
Sunset over Heathrow. Photo: Malcolm via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No new runways! Not at Heathrow, not at Gatwick!

Keith Taylor MEP

24th October 2016

Should it be Heathrow or Gatwick? The answer, writes Keith Taylor, is neither. For climate and pollution reasons alone the UK should be scaling back on aviation, and in any case projections of future demand have been monstrously exaggerated. Step 1: a 'frequent flyer' tax on the 15% of people who take 70% of flights. more...
If mainstream car makers fail to keep up with fresh, nimble competitors like Tesla, they could go the way of the horse & cart. Photo: Windell Oskay via Flickr (CC BY).

$24 trillion tells car industry: it's time to act on climate!

Terry Macalister

12th Octobver 2016

International investors worth a collective $24 trillion have warned car manufacturers that they must 'get with the beat' on climate change, writes Terry Macalister. If car makers fail to shift to low emission models, they will face a large-scale sell-off of their shares. more...
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