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After the pesticides we spray, who will be left flying? Photo: John Severns via The Conversation.

Pesticide safety research shouldn't be left to the pesticide companies

Christopher N Connolly

30th July 2014

Pesticide companies are responsible for assessing the safety of their products, writes Christopher N Connolly - and this situation cannot continue. The research should be carried out independently, subjected to peer review, and published. more...
An unguided Grad rocket hit the house of Valentina Fedorovna, 77, in the Kuibyshivskyi district in Donetsk on July 19, 2014. The rocket struck the second floor, penetrated the floor and went through her kitchen and bathroom. Photo: Human Rights Watch.

Ukraine's use of unguided rockets in civilian areas of Donetsk 'may be war crimes'

The Ecologist

27th July 2014

Human Rights Watch has gathered evidence in the war zones of Eastern Ukraine which show that Ukrainian government forces have violated the laws of war by using 'notoriously imprecise' rockets in civilian areas, destroying homes, killing and injuring non-combatants. more...
A mother badger with three cubs to feed looks for food in garden in rural Dorset. Photo: Lesley Docksey.

Carry on Culling - the fiasco continues

Lesley Docksey

28th July 2014

'We need to look at the best scientific evidence' on badgers and bovine TB, says Environment Secretary Liz Truss. But as Lesley Docksey writes, the 'best scientific evidence' appears to mean only that which supports the cull - and there's precious little of it! more...
Israelis protest in Tel Aviv:

Gaza: an end to the war - 'Once And For All'

Uri Avnery

25th July 2014

In this war, both sides have declared the same aim - to put an end to the situation that existed before it started. Remarkably, writes Uri Avnery, they can both have their way: an end to the rockets, bombs and shells; an end to the blockade and the occupation. In short, peace. But first they must talk to each other ... more...
Bread, peace and work! A 'speaking wall' in Marinaleda. Photo: Comisión de Audiovisuales Acampada Zaragoza via Flickr.

Catch your dreams - utopia is possible!

Liam Barrington-Bush & Jen Wilton

26th July 2014

Amid Spain's general depression, Marinaleda - an Andalucian town sometimes dubbed the 'communist utopia' - is bucking the moribund trend with a heady mixture of direct action, community-level democracy, cooperation and mutual aid. more...
Black smoke billows from the UNWRA compound set ablaze by Israel in Operation Cast Lead, 15th January 2009. The compound was burned to the ground. Photo: Al Jazeera English via Flickr.

Armed robbery in Gaza - Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine's stolen gas

Nafeez Ahmed

24th July 2014

Israel desperately covets Gaza's gas as a 'cheap stop-gap' yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK's BG and the US's Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work - but first Hamas must be 'uprooted' from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia's Gazprom. more...
A common sight in Germany - a solar parking shelter with a generation capacity of approx 0.3MW. Photo: Tim Fuller via Flickr.

Germany's renewable revolution shows the way

Keith Barnham

26th July 2014

How did Germany do it? No, not its World Cup victory - how did Germany engineer Europe's highest penetration of renewable energy, plus fast-dropping electricity prices? Keith Barnham explains - and says the UK could do the same, and better! more...
Antique furniture like this Ming era Ta couch in the Shanghai Museum has inspired thousands of 'hongmu' copies among China's rich - and the demand is devouring forests across Southeast Asia. Photo: Gisling via Wikimedia Commons.

The rosewood massacre - China must act

Zuzana Burivalova

23rd July 2014

Surging Chinese demand for rosewood used in 'hongmu' furniture is ruining forests across southern Asia, writes Zuzana Burivalova. As demand surges, China must impose stricter regulations and harsher punishments or the forests may never recover. more...
Tatyana Novikova (centre) at Aarhus, Denmark in a delegation from environmental NGO Ecohome to demand access to information about the Ostrovets nuclear power station under the Aarhus Convention. Photo: Ecohome.

Belarus - fighting nuclear power in the shadow of Chernobyl

Chris Garrard

28th July 2014

Tatyana Novikova has been fighting an unsafe nuclear power plant right on the country's border with Lithuania. She spoke to Chris Garrard about her campaign, the official persecution of anti-nuclear activists, and her invocation of the Aarhus Convention to the anti-nuclear cause. more...
Cattle packed in as far as the eye can see at the Harris Ranch feedlot in California. Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr.

The true cost of your beefburger is much worse than you know

Gidon Eshel

22nd July 2014

US beef carries a heavy environmental cost in water, land, emissions. But few of us know quite how damaging beef is, writes Gidon Eshel, nor that it is more than five times worse than pork, poultry, eggs or cheese. Isn't it time we did something about it? more...
The social structure of badger families is perturbed by the loss of a single member, and this can cause the spread of any TB they may be harbouring. Photo: Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust's High Court cull challenge

The Ecologist

21st July 2014

The Badger Trust will challenge the trial badger culls in the High Court next month, claiming that Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Natural England are acting unlawfully in failing to appoint an expert panel to oversee the experiment. more...
Homeless in Gaza after Operation Cast Lead, 2009. Photo: Physicians for Human Rights via Flickr.

Gaza should be the Kuwait of the Levant - but its gas brings only war and poverty

Tascha Shahriari-Parsa

19th July 2014

Operation Protective Edge is the war of a colonial state dedicated to expanding its theft of Palestine's natural resources, writes Tascha Shahriari-Parsa - incarcerating and bombing its people in the world's biggest open air prison, while growing rich at their expense. more...

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As a boy, the author pulls a big's tail on the family farm - around the time that Parliament, in 1953, allowed farmers to add antibiotics to animal feed.

Antibiotics saved me - now help me save them

Richard Young / Sustainable Food Trust

24th July 2014

As a youngster on a small farm, antibiotics saved Richard Young's life after a scratch on barbed wire led to septicemia. Now, he's campaigning to stop the routine, mass use of antibiotics on intensive farms, so that they can carry on saving human lives for many years to come ... more...
At the heart of the US oil industry, 'solar sunflowers' just off the I-35 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jim Hutchison via Flickr.

California and Texas are mainstreaming renewable energy

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

20th July 2014

California and Texas continue to break new ground in making electricity generation from renewable sources, writes Mike G. Solar PV in particular has become a vital part of the US' energy mix, accounting for half of new generation capacity. more...
Water depth marker in the dried out bed of Lake Albert, South Australia. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

Australia's drought - yes, it's climate change

Tim Radford

18th July 2014

Australia's prime minister thinks climate change is 'crap' and has just abolished his country's carbon-pricing system. But scientists say that it's rising levels of CO2 that are leaving the south of the country parched and sweltering - and it's only going to get worse. more...
Israeli tanks massing on the Gaza border ... but do the soldiers know what they're really fighting for? Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi via Flickr.

Gaza: Israel's $4 billion gas grab

Nafeez Ahmed

18th July 2014

Never mind the 'war on terror' rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel's escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory's 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas - and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis. more...
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, March 2013. Photo: D Ramey Logan / Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won't go away

Paul Brown

20th July 2014

The recent closure of five US power stations is forcing the industry to confront big questions about radioactive waste, writes Paul Brown. Who is to pay the mounting costs of managing the wastes and keeping them secure? And precisely where will be their final resting place? more...
Deyeatee and Comfort, JogBahn Clan women leaders, reading the petition. Photo: Jason Taylor for Friends of the Earth, 2014.

Liberia - communities join to fight the palm oil land grab

Jacinta Fay & Silas Kpanan'Ayoung Siakor

18th July 2014

Liberia's Jogbahn Clan is at the forefront of efforts to resist the grab of Indigenous Peoples' land and forests for palm oil plantations. But according to the country's President, they are only 'harrassing and extorting' international investors. more...
Liz Truss threatens a badger with a garden fork at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/

Truss - the badgers must die!

The Ecologist

17th July 2014

The new Environment Secretary Liz Truss flunked her first 'Green test' today as she told Parliament that the badger cull goes on. We run this excerpt from the Parliamentary record in which she states 'We are progressing with our programme!' more...
Barn swallow chicks (Hirundo rustica) at Arrábida (Quinta do Camalhão), Setúbal, Portugal. This insectivorous species is among those impacted by imidacloprid. Photo: Jose Sousa via Flickr.

It's not just the bees! 'Neonic' pesticides linked to bird declines

Helen Thompson

17th July 2014

A study published today in Nature shows a strong correlation between concentrations of a popular neonicotinoid pesticide in water, and bird declines, writes Helen Thompson. Regulators are under pressure to tighten up, but the industry still claims there's 'no substantiated evidence'. more...
A Palestinian woman hugs an olive tree to protect it from destruction by the Israeli army. Photo: via Frank M. Rafik / Flickr.

Bethlehem: 'No matter how many olive trees they destroy, will will plant more!'

Megan Perry / Sustainable Food Trust

18th July 2014

Since 1967, Israeli soldiers and 'settlers' in occupied Palestine have destroyed 800,000 olive trees in an attempt to force Palestinian farmers from their land, writes Megan Perry. 'Our response to this injustice will never be with violence, and we will never give up and leave.' more...
Colorful Heirloom Potatoes - 'Carola', 'All Red', 'All Blue', and 'Purple Viking' - collection  from Seed Savers. Photo: Susy Morris via Flickr.

Building an International Seed Savers Exchange

Andrew Kimbrell / Center for Food Safety

19th July 2014

Recent decades have seen a hardening global clampdown on the rights of farmers to use, save, develop, share, swap and distribute the seeds that produce the food we all eat, writes Andrew Kimbrell - and which constitute an essential common heritage of mankind. Here's his plan to fight back against the seed monopolists ... more...
Zac Goldsmith opens the new milking parlour at Pierrepont Farm in Frensham, Surrey.

Antibiotics: British lives must come before factory farm profits

Zac Goldsmith

24th July 2014

The UK's massive use of antibiotics on farms is breeding lethal drug resistance into bacteria, writes Zac Goldsmith. Although we use five times more antibiotics per animal than Scandinavian countries, Cameron is mysteriously reluctant to clamp down on abuses. more...
Happy days: children of Gaza play on a water slide during UNRWA Summer Fun Weeks, 2013. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flickr.

Gaza: Israel bombs water and sewage systems

Mohammed Omer

16th July 2014

Israel's armed forces have destroyed vital water and sewage infrastructure in their bombing campaign of the besieged territory, writes Mohammed Omer. This constitutes a severe breach of the 1977 Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the part of Israel and all those conceiving, planning, ordering and perpetrating the attacks. more...
Vandana Shiva leads a protest in India against Monsanto's GM seeds. Now she's on the warpath against Avaaz. Photo: Daniel Voglesong via Flickr.

Avaaz's global 'ebay of seeds' - how did they get it so wrong?

Julian Rose

16th July 2014

Already 56,000 people have pledged to support a global 'internet seed swap' initiative promoted by Avaaz, writes Julian Rose. Trouble is, the plans are deeply flawed, and have been developed without consultation with major seed saving groups worldwide. more...

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