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6,000 sq.km of California are suitable for this 'concentrating solar power' approach shown here at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in California’s Mojave Desert. Photo: Jan Maguire via Flickr.

Investors pile in as renewables rise to record level

Tim Radford & Oliver Tickell

16th April 2015

The world's smart money is piling into renewable energy, solar power in particular, write Tim Radford & Oliver Tickell, as renewables pull away from fossil fuels in terms of both investment and new generation capacity added each year. more...
Conditions in US factory farms are even worse than those in the EU. Now will MEPs vote to make the higher of EU and US standards apply under TTIP? Or the lower? Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

TTIP: Europe's food, farms and animals at risk from EuroParl backroom deal

Molly Scott Cato MEP

13th April 2015

MEPs vote tomorrow on Green measures to ensure that TTIP 'harmonisation' on food and farming means applying the highest standards, not the lowest, writes Molly Scott Cato. But will MEP's put farmers, food and animals before corporate profit? more...
A wondrous new wave power device? Sadly no: a lot of useful energy going to waste on the sea defences of Brighton Marina. Photo: Barry Goble via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Ocean energy plus cybernetics can supply a quarter of the US's power

Shalinee Kishore

14th April 2015

Wave power has a huge part to play in supplying the US with clean, renewable electricity, writes Shalinee Kishore. But to achieve its full potential, we must harness not just the energy of waves, but their predictability - and so so ensure the smooth integration of wave power into the electricity grid. more...
A 'money-burning' event organised by the Miami Tea Party to oppose a 46,000 acre conservation land purchase - but were the 'protestors' all actors? So it would seem. Photo: from Youtube video by Miami Tea Party.

Tea Party's fake protestors for Big Sugar against Florida Everglades

Oliver Tickell

8rg April 2015

The Tea Party of Miami put up a convincing demo last week to oppose a 'land grab' that would see 46,000 acres of sugar farm land restored for Everglades conservation. Just one problem - the 'protestors' were actors each being paid $75 for the two-hour shift. more...
Greenpeace volunteers on board Shell's 'Polar Explorer' oil rig in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Miriam Friedrich / Greenpeace.

Greenpeace occupies Shell rig after Arctic drilling go-ahead

Christine Ottery & Oliver Tickell

7th April 2015

Days after Shell received US Government backing for its plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea in the Alaskan Arctic, volunteers from Greenpeace have occupied its 'Polar Pioneer' oil rig in the Pacific Ocean to demand a halt to all Arctic oil exploration. more...
Utah's Book Cliffs are no empty wasteland - but that's what the tar sands industry is set to turn them into. Photo:  Loco Steve via Flickr (CC BY).

Wilderness Society's 'Grand Compromise' is a fossil-fuelled sell out

Alexander Reid Ross

7th April 2015

A deal to give up 500,000 acres of public lands in Utah to the tar sands industry in return for 1.5 million acres of industry is a sacrifice too far, writes Alexander Reid Ross, as it disclaims the wider costs of massive water use and contamination in the headwaters of the Colorado River, already seriously stressed by drought. more...
As California's drought bites, its $500 fines for 'water waster' households, but the water's still flowing for the state's powerful agribusiness sector. Photo: Malcolm Carlaw via Flickr (CC BY).

California drought: agribusiness, fracking untouched by water rationing

Evan Blake

5th April 2015

California has responded to the drought by rationing water, with $500 fines for domestic 'water wasters', writes Evan Blake. But agribusiness and water-intensive industries like fracking remain untouched by the restrictions, even though they consume over 90% of the state's water. more...
A helicopter of the San Jose Vector Control Agency spraying an unknown pesticide in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Don McCullough via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

EPA fail: refuses to ban 'brain damage' pesticide

Patti Goldman / Earth Justice

1st April 2015

The US Environmental Protection Agency has just failed farm workers and their families by refusing to ban a neuro-toxic pesticide that causes severe brain damage in utero and to exposed children, writes Patti Goldman - imposing only weak, inadequate restrictions based on flawed science. It must do better! more...
Beware what lies beneath! Green / EFA MEPs supporting hundreds of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 4th February 2015. Photo: greensefa via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

TTIP: MPs demand transparency and 'right to regulate'

Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell

26th March 2015

British MPs have rebuked the government for its secretive and apathetic response to public concerns over the TTIP EU-US trade deal, demanding that nations' 'right to regulate' for health, environment and the wider public interest must stand at the heart of any future agreement. more...
Glen Canyon beneath the dam, 2008. Photo: Jim Trodel via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Lake Powell is dead! Long live Glen Canyon!

Grant A. Mincy

28th March 2015

Drought is returning Lake Powell, impounded behind the Glen Canyon dam on the Colorado river, back to desert, writes Grant A. Mincy - and a fine thing too! As nature turns billions of dollars of infrastructural abomination to junk, this creates the chance to reclaim our commons and recreate ravaged ecosystems. more...
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...
Wind farm at Palm Springs, CA. Photo: Bonita de Boer via Flickr (CC-BY 2.0).

Wind turbines generating 4.5% of US electricity

Kieran Cooke

20th March 2015

Wind generates almost a twentieth of America's power, writes Kieran Cooke - and that's set to double in five years, despite the phase-out of tax credits. Now the main constraint to future expansion is power line capacity. more...

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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...
A swamp forest in Louisiana, of the same kind that's already being clear-felled and chipped to supply fuel to Drax power station in Yorkshire on a fatuous 'low carbon' promise. Photo: J E Theriot via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

UK plans first new coal power station since 1974 - and it burns forests too!

Almuth Ernsting

17th March 2015

A new coal and biomass-fired power station could soon be built at Drax in Yorkshire, already the UK's biggest coal burner, writes Almuth Ernsting. It comes with a weak promise of possible 'carbon capture and storage' - an expensive, inefficient technology shunned elsewhere. As the Government's nuclear dream fades, could this be its equally flawed replacement? more...
Michael Mann on a Tundra Buggy looking for polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba (13th November 2010). Photo: via Michael Mann.

Unlikely hero (or villain): Michael Mann, creator of the hockey stick graph

Brendan Montague / DeSmog UK

16th March 2015

Michael Mann will be remembered as the creator of the 'hockey stick' graph of rising global temperatures, which has put him forever in the crosshairs of climate change sceptics. But as Brendan Montague found, he is a curiously unlikely hero, or villain: rather a dedicated scientist living the American dream, who just happened, to his own surprise, to stumble on something big. more...
The Peoples' Climate March in New York City, 22nd September 2014. Photo: Light Brigading via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

It's here, and it's growing: the self-assembling Coalition of the Radical Left

Alexander Reid Ross

6th March 2015

Naomi Klein famously called for a 'grand coalition' of the progressive left to fight climate change and Earth-destroying capitalism, writes Alexander Reid Ross. And now it's happening, drawing together diverse strands that encompass the fight for social and racial justice, the right to work, health, clean air and fresh water, and our freedom to be alive and thrive on this our one planet. more...
Beaver dam above Lundy Lake, California. Photo: Fred Moore via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Beavers are saving California’s wild salmon

Miria Finn / onEarth

1st March 2015

With California's wild Coho salmon populations down to 1% of their former numbers, there's growing evidence that beavers - long reviled as a pest of the waterways - are essential to restore the species, writes Maria Finn. In the process, they raise water tables, recharge aquifers and improve water quality. What's not to love? more...
Would the US tolerate a hostile military presence in Tijuana? So why do we expect Russia to welcome the advance of NATO to its borders in Ukraine? Photo: Jesus overlooks Tijuana from a hillside above the city; by Nathan Gibbs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Ukraine and the Cuban missile crisis - we must choose peace over annihilation

William R. Polk

28th February 2015

As tensions grow between US-dominated NATO and Russia, former cold warrior William R. Polk hears the echoes of the Cuban missile crisis - only this time, it's Russia that feels forced to fight for its vital strategic interests. We must hear the lessons of 1962 Cuba - and negotiate a just and durable peace, before we sleep-walk into a world-destroying war. more...
'Poison Spring' front cover (cut). Image; Bloomsbury.

Poison Spring - the secret history of the EPA

Carol Van Strum

2nd April 2015

Ever since its creation in 1970 the US-EPA has been a failing organization, writes Carol Van Strum in her review of 'Poison Spring' - serving the corporations it was there to regulate, falsifying data, suppressing the truth about pesticide toxicity, and crushing whistleblowers. more...
Too good to frack? Spogen Lake lies in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Carbon County, Montana. Photo: Troy Smith via Flickr (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0).

Montana's Carbon County farmers sue for protection from fracking

The Ecologist

22nd February 2015

Montana legislators have brushed off the attempts of farmers, ranchers and landowners to effect 'zoning' regulations to protect them, their land, their water and their livestock from the toxic impacts of fracking. Now they say: 'See you in Court!'. more...
A Coral Cod (Cephalopholis miniata) at Lighthouse Bommie, Ribbon Reef #10, Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Richard Ling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

US tax dollars must not finance $1bn Great Barrier Reef destruction!

The Ecologist

20th February 2015

A powerful call has gone out the the US Export-Import Bank not to finance a massive coal mine, railway, port terminal and dredged 'canal' through Australia's Great Barrier Reef with $1 billion in loans and guarantees. more...
Will we go the way of the Ancient Pueblo People? Climate models say we will, this century. Photo: Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, by Lorax via Wikimedia Commons.

Southwest USA faces long term 'megadroughts' this century

Tim Radford & Oliver Tickell

17th February 2015

The same pattern of severe droughts that extinguished the Ancient Pueblo culture of the southwest US in the 13th century will come back with a vengeance later this century as climate warms and dries, writes Tim Radford. And it could have precisely the same effect on the region's modern-day residents. more...
These apples at Eberly's Orchard near North Liberty, Indiana are non-GMO - but look just like the GMO Arctic apple. In future, how will you know? Photo: Tom Gill via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

USDA approves world's first GMO apples

The Ecologist

16th February 2015

Scientists, environmental and consumer groups have decried USDA's approval of two 'Arctic' apple varieties, while major food companies and apple growers have no plans to source or grow them - despite their potential to 'generate consumer excitement in the apple category.' 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...
Mmmm, pizza! But in the US, as much as 20% of the 'cheese' can comprise vegetable oil and starch from GMO crops. Photo: Lynac via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Why does the dairy industry oppose GMO labels?

Alexis Baden-Mayer / Organic Consumers Association.

12th February 2015

Why is the dairy industry joining in the legal action against Vermont's GMO labeling law? Could it be because a fifth of US 'cheese' can be vegetable oil and starch from GMO crops, asks Alexis Baden-Mayer - and even more of a 'frozen dairy snack' or 'processed cheese food'? more...

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