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Julian Assange. Illustration: Mataparda, on a photo from Espen Moe, via Flickr (CC BY).

Julian Assange: an epic struggle for justice

John Pilger

3rd August 2015

Julian Assange's struggle for freedom is one of law and justice against vengeful state power determined at all costs to darken the light of truth that Wikileaks has cast into the murkiest of places, writes John Pilger. Now, after a long series of moral and legal victories, his release may finally be drawing near. more...
Are we ready for the fight? Photomontage: Tjebbe van Tijen via Flickr (CC BY).

Strange happenings on a small island off Europe

Chris Rose

31st July 2015

The Conservative attack on the environment is being carried out for good reasons, writes Chris Rose: because they can; because it delights their support base; because it heads off UKIP; and because they think it carries no political risk. Now it's up the UK's green movement to prove them wrong. But have our 'herbivorous' NGOs got the stomach for a fight? more...
A bumblebee pauses on an Inula Magnifica. Photo: Tom Blackwell via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Bee-harming pesticide firms took part in key meeting on their ban

Damian Carrington

30th July 2015

Previously suppressed documents show that Bayer and Syngenta, the makers of controversial 'neonic' insecticides subject to an EU ban, took part in and sought to influence a key meeting of pesticide experts to decide whether to lift a ban on their use in the UK. more...
Munnaf's wife Lovely Begum, showing dead Bt brinjal plants. Photo: Faisal Rahman.

GMO propaganda over facts? BBC Panorama and Bt brinjal

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

30th July 2015

A BBC documentary claimed 90% success for a controversial GM crop in Bangladesh, Bt brinjal, writes Claire Robinson. But as journalist Faisal Rahman discovered, there's no evidence to support the claim, the BBC relied on biased sources, and its journalists failed to investigate reports of widespread crop failure. Was it all an exercise in pro-GMO propaganda? more...
Honeybee on oilseed rape flower. Photo: s.ralph2010 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

FoE acts to revoke 'unlawful' bee-killer pesticide permit

Oliver Tickell

28th July 2015

Friends of the Earth has taken the first legal steps towards striking out last week's emergency approval of bee-harming 'neonic' pesticides in England, granted last week despite a Europe-wide ban. more...
To get more people cycling, you have to make it safe and pleasant as on the Bike North Birmingham cycle path. Photo: BBC Birmingham News Room via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

All go for cycling and walking - but where's the money?

Matthew Ford / CPRE

27th July 2015

Before the election David Cameron promised to increase funding for cycling to £10 a head across the UK, up from its current £2 outside London, writes Matthew Ford. But with the national cycling and walking strategy coming into force this week, that promise is looking ever less likely to be delivered. more...
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Cairn Gleamnach in the foreground, Drumderg wind farm behind. Photo: Stuart Anthony via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Who owns the wind?

Adam Ramsay

29th July 2015

The wind is a force of nature over which only someone with extraordinary delusions of grandeur can truly claim ownership, writes Adam Ramsay. But to prevent that, we must assert our belief that wind, sun and other drivers of our renewable future are a common heritage for us all to benefit from. more...
Lancashire protesters make their feelings on Cuadrilla's fracking plans plain, 18th September 2011. Photo: Justin Woolford via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Cuadrilla will appeal Lancashire's fracking refusal

Kyla Mandel & Ben Lucas / DeSmog.uk

24th July 2015

Shale gas company Cuadrilla will appeal Lancashire's decision to refuse permission to frack, write Kyla Mandel & Ben Lucas. The planning battle will last well into 2016, as campaigners prepare to fight all the way. more...
Protest at Cuadrilla's fracking site near Preston, Lancashire, September 2011. Photo: JustinWoolford via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Permanent Peoples' Tribunal puts fracking on trial

Dr Damien Short & Dr Tom Kerns

23rd July 2015

The damage caused by fracking to people, communities and the wider environment will be put under the legal spotlight in public hearings in the US and the UK, write Damien Short & Tom Kerns. While the 'ruling' that emerges will be non-binding, it will provide an authoritative, expert dossier of fact and argument for real legal actions to follow. more...
One of the lucky ones: bumblebee on dandelion at Altenhagen, Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Photo: Jakob Stitz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Bee cause: Germany tightens, UK relaxes neonic regulation

Oliver Tickell

23rd July 2015

An Emergency Ordinance comes into force in Germany today that extends the EU's ban on 'neonic' pesticides to protect bees. But the UK's farming minister Liz Truss has relaxed the ban to allow farmers to use neonics on 30,000 hectares of oilseed rape. more...
Bison are roaming free in Germany - so why not Scotland? Photo: Felix Kaestle.

Rewilding isn't about nostalgia - exciting new worlds are possible

Paul Jepson

22nd July 2015

Rewilding is now firmly on the agenda, writes Paul Jepson, and that brings a huge opportunity to re-invigorate conservation. But we must look to creating new functional ecosystems for the future, rather than trying to recreate a lost and perhaps imagined past. more...
Will all this come to an end now? Photo: Centre for Alternative Technology (www.cat.org.uk) via Flickr (CC BY).

Senseless and damaging: UK's solar cuts

The Ecologist

22nd July 2015

The UK government has announced massive cuts in support for solar roofs and farms that appear designed to undermine investor confidence just as the technology is on track to be subsidy-free by 2020. more...

UK: 1/25 of 719
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Fierce flames creep across moorland near Heriot, Scotland. Photo: Snipps Whispers (CC BY-NC-ND).

Britain's 'protected' moorlands go up in flames

The Ecologist

21st July 2015

A new study led by RSPB shows that more than half of Britain's most precious upland moors are suffering from burning - widely used to increase the numbers of red grouse available for recreational shooting. more...
You want weedkiller with that? Photo: Peggy Greb, USDA ARS vis Wkimedia (Public Domain).

Keep health-damaging weed killer out of our bread!

Natasha Collins-Daniel / Soil Association

23rd July 2015

Soon UK farmers will begin to spray their fields of wheat, barley, oats and peas with weed killer to make crops easier to harvest, writes Natasha Collins-Daniel. But the chemicals - including glyphosate, a probable carcinogen - can end up in our bread and other food. Let's put a stop to it now! more...
Roofscape: the 'BedZED' (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK's largest and first carbon-neutral eco-community, was completed in 2002. Photo: Tom Chance from Peckham via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Scrapping 'zero carbon' homes is policy vandalism

Gordon Walker

20th July 2015

The UK Government has ditched the requirement for new homes to be 'zero carbon' from April 2016, writes Gordon Walker. With builders already geared up to meet the challenge, this needless reversal will raise energy bills and carbon emissions for a century or more to come, and send out all the wrong signals for the Paris climate talks. more...
Energy Secretary Amber Rudd at the launch of Kingspan Energy’s latest solar PV project on their warehouse roof in Selby, 7th October 2014. The array spans 30,000 sq.m, making it largest rooftop solar renovation project in UK. Photo: DECC via Flickr (CC

Government turns fire on solar power

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog.uk

20th July 2015

Energy secretary Amber Rudd promised 'a new solar revolution' for the UK, writes Kyla Mandel. But now the industry is braced for a massive round of cuts that could kill off the sector, just as it's on course to be the UK's first subsidy-free renewable power source in 2020. more...
Demonstration outside the Downing Street Gates last week, 15th July, to protest David Cameron's plan to fatally amend the Hunting Act. Photo: Luke Dray (www.lukedray.com).

Fox hunting is political poison for David Cameron and the Tory Party

Dominic Dyer

20th July 2015

Last week David Cameron backed down over his plans to bring back fox hunting by 'fatally amending' the Hunting Act, writes Dominic Dyer. The way he spun it, it was all about SNP interference in English law, but the real problem was opposition within the Conservative Party, which increasingly sees blood sports as a barbaric relic that alienates voters of all persuasions. more...
The Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia, where two AP1000 reactors are under construction, and subject to long delays and cost overruns. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Nugen's AP1000 nuclear reactor - is it any better than the EPR?

Chris Goodall

17th July 2015

As nuclear projects using the EPR design run into long delays and huge costs overruns, industry hopes are pinned on the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, writes Chris Goodall. But with eight AP1000 projects around the world going the way of the EPR, is it really a wise choice for the UK's Moorside nuclear site? more...
Now it could be fracked: North Meadow, a traditional uncultivated water meadow of 110 acres, contains 80% of the UK population of the Snakeshead Fritillary. Photo: Nick Warner via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Fracking go-ahead in SSSI wildlife sites, groundwater sources

Adam Vaughan / Guardian Environment

17th July 2015

Breaking a clear pre-election promise, the government will allow fracking to take place in the UK's most precious wildlife sites and in vital groundwater source areas, writes Adam Vaughan. more...
Young Mursi cattle herders. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

US, UK, World Bank among aid donors complicit in Ethiopia's war on indigenous tribes

Will Hurd

22nd July 2015

USAID, the UK's DFID and the World Bank are among those covering up for severe human rights abuses against indigenous peoples in Ethiopia's Omo Valley, inflicted during forced evictions to make way for huge plantations, writes Will Hurd. Their complicity in these crimes appears to be rooted in US and UK partnership with Ethiopia in the 'war on terror'. more...
The very picture of a statesman: David Cameron at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, 28th January 2011. Photo: WEF via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

David Cameron is losing the plot on climate change

Doug Parr / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

16th July 2015

David Cameron is gunning for a strong climate agreement in Paris this December, writes Dr Doug Parr. Meanwhile his government is doing all it can to undermine renewable energy and energy efficiency in the UK, and lock us into a high carbon, fossil-fuelled future. Can he really have it both ways? more...
GMB would better serve its members by promoting our renewable future, not the nuclear past. Photo: Walnet offshore wind farm by David Dixon via Wikimedia / Geograph (CC BY-SA).

GMB - as Hinkley C collapses, it's time to get over nuclear!

David Elliott, Ian Fairlie, Jonathon Porritt et al

15th July 2015

The GMB trade union has called on the UK government to press ahead with the Hinkley Point C power station despite legal challenges and serious technical failures. In this Open Letter, David Elliott, Ian Fairlie, Jonathon Porritt and colleagues tell the union that its members' interests lie in our renewable future, not the nuclear past. more...
He won't be pleased: UK Prime Minister David Cameron addressing Hinkley B workers as part of his visit to the Hinkley Point C site on 21st October 2013. Photo: Number 10 / DECC via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Green energy suppliers launch Hinkley C nuclear challenge

The Ecologist

15th July 2015

A second legal challenge to the UK's proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant in Somerset was launched this morning by ten renewable and municipal power suppliers in Germany and Austria, citing grave distortions to European energy markets. more...
Repower Balcombe members launch their solar coop in April 2014. Photo: RePower Balcombe via Facebook.

Beyond fracking: Balcombe's renewable future

Joe Nixon / RePowerBalcombe

13th July 2015

When fracking came to Balcombe in West Sussex in 2013, it divided village opinion, writes Joe Nixon. But the community is now united in its commitment to locally owned renewable energy, with solar projects on schools and farm buildings, and plans just in for a new 5MW solar farm. more...
Tax breaks for oil and gas, cuts for renewables. Oil rigs moored in Cromarty Firth. Invergordon, Scotland, UK. Photo: Berardo62 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Whatever happened to the 'greenest ever' Conservative Party?

Steffen Böhm

11th July 2015

Just when the UK's government might want to be boosting its green credentials it has chosen to do the precise opposite, writes Steffen Böhm: giving tax breaks and subsidies to oil and gas, while attacking renewables and energy efficiency. We must unite to oppose these destructive and short-sighted policies more...

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