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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...
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...
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...

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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...
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...
Owen Paterson MP with Joe & Sephs Gourmet Popcorn. The 'Mad Dog' sign refers to a brand of lemonade. Photo: UKTI via Flickr.

Owen Paterson sacked: the end of 'badger bashing'?

Lesley Docksey

15th July 2014

Owen Paterson's departure from Government could see the end of the hated badger culls and a wider return to environmental sanity, writes Lesley Docksey. Given his disbelief in climate change and his arrogant disregard of science, it's not a moment too soon! more...
MP Liz Truss with wind turbine at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/.

Britain's new Environment Secretary is a breath of fresh air

Oliver Tickell

15th July 2014

Britain's new Environment Secretary is young (38), female, blonde, believes in climate change, and has floated imaginative policies to deal with it from a carbon tax to 'personal carbon allowances'. As for badgers ... her silence on the topic promises well. more...
The Abengoa solar tower, Spain. Photo: Alex Lang via Flickr.

Decarbonising the world energy system without nuclear

David Elliott

17th July 2014

Nuclear power advocates believe the technology is essential to building a fossil fuel free world energy system. In fact it is optional, writes David Elliott - and not even very helpful. Efficiency and the 'new renewables' can do the job faster, and at much lower cost. more...
Muckaty traditional owners Doris Kelly, Gladys Brown and Elaine Peckham celebrate victory in their battle to stop the imposition of a nuclear waste dump. Photo via Friends of the Earth Australia.

The nuclear war against Australia's Aboriginal people

Jim Green

14th July 2014

Australia's nuclear industry has a shameful history of 'radioactive racism' that dates from the British bomb tests in the 1950s, writes Jim Green. The same attitudes have been evident in recent debates over uranium mines and nuclear waste, but Aboriginal peoples are fighting back! more...
A tobacco farmer in Marondera District, Zimbabwe. Photo: Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture.

Tobacco - Zimbabwe's forests are going up in smoke

Ray Mwareya

22nd July 2014

A flood of smallholders that have benefited from Zimbabwe's land reform are turning to tobacco as their crop of choice, reports Ray Mwareya. But the economic gains are coming at a terrible cost - the accelerating destruction of the country's forests. more...
Even if they survive the war, these children in Homs face a toxic future for many years to come from the release of industrial toxins and residues from munitions, propellants and explosives. Photo: Freedom House via Flickr.

Syria - the toxic footprint of war

Pieter Both & Wim Zwijnenburg

13th July 2014

The devastating human impact of Syria's civil war may persist for decades to come as heavy metals and carcinogens in munitions end up in the environment, along with chemicals from destroyed industrial plants and stores. A long-term public health crisis is in the making. more...
Family walking past a blast crater in Kandrashevka, where 9 civilians died during an aerial attack by alleged Ukranian forces on July 2, 2014. ©2014 Human Rights Watch.

A day in Luhansk: war's crimes, horrors, and uncertainties

Tanya Lokshina / HRW

11th July 2014

Amid the chaos and stench of war in East Ukraine, Tanya Lokshina investigates a litany of atrocities - including abductions of non-combatants and air strikes that have left entire villages in ruins and killed many civilians including children. It's all part of HRW's campaign to secure justice for the victims of war crimes. more...
Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr.

Nuclear power is no answer to global warming

Ian Fairlie

10th July 2014

If we're serious about cutting CO2 emissions, there's no place for nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie - because it's the least cost-effective way to do it. By far the best way is to improve energy efficiency. But tell the Government the truth, and it'll close you down. more...
The Ukraine army cuts off main road to Sloviansk in a 'war zone without front lines'. Photo: Sasha Maksymenko via Flickr.

Ukraine - it's the gas, gas, gas

Mike Whitney

10th July 2014

in Ukraine, as in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, and Syria, US policy is all about dominating the world's fossil fuel supplies, writes Mike Whitney - in this case, the gas pipelines from Russia to Europe. But the 'great aggressor', Vladimir Putin, is refusing to play his part. So what next? more...
Oil painting by John Wood (1798-1849) of British whalers circa 1840. Photo: Lee and Juliet Fulger Fund  / Wikimedia Commons.

Whalers' log books confirm - Arctic sea ice is retreating

Tim Radford

9th July 2014

Log books from British whaling ships more than 200 years ago have given new insights into the history of the Arctic sea ice, reports Tim Radford. A new study reveals that the scale of ice melt in the Arctic over the last few decades is new and unprecedented. more...

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