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Radical roots ... radishes in a Boston farmers' market. Photo: WBUR Boston's NPR News Station via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Brexit and the future of farming: threat or opportunity?

Molly Scott Cato MEP

21st February 2017

With most of our food exports going to the EU, and most of our food imports coming from the EU, Molly Scott Cato wondered what plans the government had for the sector after Brexit. The answer? None! Two reports published today map out a positive future of sustainable farming, local food, thriving rural economies and abundant biodiversity. But is the government on the same page? more...
A legal fox kill before the 1994 ban. But in truth, little has changed since. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

The Hunting Act 12 years on - time to crack down on the fox-killing criminals!

Jordi Casamitjana / League Against Cruel Sports

21st February 2017

Since February 18, 2005 roughly 200,000 illegal hunting events undertaken by registered hunts may have taken place in the UK, writes Jordi Casamitjana. By engaging in fictitious 'trail hunting', they can chase foxes as before, and when they are killed, well, it was all a shocking 'accident'. It's high time to strengthen the law to ensure the spirit in which it was passed is fulfilled. more...

New protection of Canada's ‘Sea of Glass' bans fishing near the reefs

Ecologist Reporter

20th February, 2017

The last living remains of an ancient European species - the 9,000-year-old fragile glass sponge reefs off the coast of Canada - will now be offered further protection more...
Photo: Somerset Badger Patrol Group via Facebook.

'You'll never walk alone': highs and lows of badger patrolling against the cull

Lesley Docksey

17th February 2017

If you love wildlife and enjoy country walks, you've got the makings of a badger patroller, writes Lesley Docksey. You can walk at night if you want to, but daytime observation on country lanes and footpaths is no less important, watching out for the signs of cullers at work. And with the trust and warm friendship that builds among badger patrollers, you'll never be without congenial company. more...
Nov 16: Coalition strike destroys 116 ISIL fuel trucks near Abu Kamal. Photo: from video (see embed).

Why did the US need toxic uranium munitions to destroy fuel tankers in Syria?

Doug Weir

20th February 2017

Depleted uranium (DU) munitions may not be regulated but their severe long term health impacts mean they should be, writes Doug Weir. So why did 'Coalition' forces fire 5,265 armour-piercing DU rounds on IS fuel convoys in Syria? When non-DU munitions would have done the job just as well? Just because they knew they would never be held to account? All the more reason to act now! more...
Imposing, moi? Photo of the Sellafield nuclear complex by Dafydd Waters via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Copeland by-election: opposing nuclear power, and voting Green, is the only rational choice

Jack Lenox / Green Party

17th February 2017

All but one of the candidates in next week's Copeland by-election are backing a massive new nuclear power station in the constituency that would cost us tens of billions of pounds. Only the Green Party's Jack Lenox is resisting the spin, hypocrisy and outright lies that his rivals have swallowed whole. Here he explains why this risky, unaffordable white elephant must be scrapped. more...
Cage in a 500-puppy puppy mill, raided by voluntary organisations on 8th July 2009. Photo: Josh Henderson via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

And then he came for the animals - is Donald Trump trying to make puppy mills great again?

JP Sottile

15th February 2017

Whatever people were voting for when they elected President Donald Trump, very few were seeking to remove the already scant protections afforded to dogs and puppies kept in unregulated 'factory farm' breeding sheds, writes JP Sottile. But that's the effect of the deregulatory whirlwind that's hit USDA: more profit for the animal abusers, and more suffering for the animals. more...
The Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria, next to which the 3-reactor Moorside nuclear project is planned. Photo: Bellona Foundation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Keep UK taxpayers off the hook for Moorside nuclear black hole!

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

14th February 2017

The main company due to build UK's 'flagship' nuclear power project at Moorside in Cumbria is on the ropes, writes Doug Parr, thanks to its multi-billion dollar nuclear losses on in the US. The obvious solution, (almost) all our politicians insist, is to ignore cheaper, faster, cleaner renewables, and make the taxpayer pick up the cost of yet another nuclear white elephant. more...
Monarch butterfly sipping nectar from milkweed. Photo: Sherri VandenAkker via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Monarch butterflies down over a quarter in one year

The Ecologist

10th February 2017

It's been another disastrous year for North America's Monarch butterflies, with the insect's population down 27% in a single year. The sudden decline is blamed on severe winter storms in Mexico, and the impacts of GMO crops, herbicides and insecticides on US farms. more...

Animal Campaigners launch petition to stop horrific dog torture in Romania

Ecologist Reporter

9th February, 2017

Animal campaigners who have returned from investigating the torture of street dogs in Romania are calling for new legislation that will prosecute those responsible more...

Re-Purposing Air Pollution to make Air Inks

Laura Briggs

7th February, 2017

LAURA BRIGGS reports on an innovative project that turns city-centre air pollution from vehicle exhausts into Air-Inks for artists more...
Pesticide spraying taking place just over the garden fence of a British home. Photo: UK Pesticides Campaign.

Pesticide deregulation - the real reason for Myron Ebell's Number 10 meeting?

Georgina Downs

3rd February 2017

If it wasn't climate change, was the real purpose of the Number 10 meeting of Theresa May's advisors and President Trump's environmental transition supremo Myron Ebell to plan the post-Brexit deregulation of UK farming, including pesticides? That's how it looks, writes Georgina Downs - and we had better begin now to fight for our health, wildlife and environment. more...

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One option for Moorside would be to ditch the Toshiba AP1000 and go for Korean APR1400 reactors. Photo: NRC officials inspect a KEPCO APR1400 simulator. Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr (CC BY).

Endgame for Cumbria's nuclear nightmare - Moorside or Doomrise?

Martin Forwood / CORE

3rd February 2017

The 'biggest nuclear construction project in Europe' next to Sellafield in Cumbria is now hanging in the balance, writes Martin Forwood. With Toshiba fast sinking due to failed nuclear projects, and other members of the Nugen consortium getting cold feet, the project is facing collapse. The only alternatives are a Korean rescue - or making British taxpayers pick up the bill upfront. more...
Artist's impression of the Moorside nuclear complex, built on a green field site next to the Sellafield nuclear complex. Image: Nugen.

Not just Toshiba - the global nuclear industry is in crisis everywhere

Jim Green

3rd February 2017

Global nuclear power capacity grew slightly in 2016, writes Jim Green, but it was more a dead cat bounce than the promised 'nuclear renaissance'. The collapse of Toshiba, the direct result of its failing nuclear ventures, is indicative of the crisis faced by nuclear contractors and utilities worldwide. Another sign of the industry's poor outlook: no major commodity had a worse 2016 than uranium. more...
EU countries don't want British pollution blowing their way! London air pollution - view from Hackney 10th April 2015. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY).

MEPs may veto 'dirty Britain' Brexit deal

Charlotte Burns, University of York

2nd February 2017

MEPs have signalled that any Brexit deal that allows Britain to scrap the environmental laws it has signed up to as an EU member faces veto, writes Charlotte Burns. They are not prepared to countenance a bad neighbour 'dirty Britain' just off the EU's shores, nor to see the EU's environmental progress undermined by unfair competition. more...
Somalian farmer Aden Jama takes one of his few remaining goats out to look for pasture.

Trump's war on humanity - which side are we on?

Donnachadh McCarthy

1st February 2017

As President Trump gets on with dismantling and defunding environmental regulation in the US and withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, his top environmental advisor has branded the Green movement as 'the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world.' We must resist now, writes Donnachadh McCarthy - while we still can! more...
Can the UK's countryside and those who farm it survive the twin assaults of Brexit and a trade deal with the USA? Photo: KayYen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Brexit and Trump trade deal spell doom for our 'Green and Pleasant Land'

Kate Parminter

31st January 2017

Leaving the European Union and reaching a trade deal with President Trump's US would create a perfect storm for UK farmers, writes Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Kate Parminter, with new EU tariffs, reduced subsidies and drastically lower standards. The changes would also pose a serious threat to our natural environment, food quality and public health. more...
Trumpopaclyse? Photo: IoSonoUnaFotoCamera via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Trumpocalypse now! But can we believe the Doomsday Clock?

Chris Busby

6th February 2017

The election of President Trump is driving the planet towards oblivion - according to the elite scientific body behind the Doomsday Clock, writes Chris Busby. But isn't Trump's commitment to reduce East-West antagonism and ally with Russia's President Putin against terrorism reducing the risk of nuclear war? So far, Trump is sticking to his promises. Let this one be no exception! more...

The ARTS Interview: Botanical Artist, Jess Shepherd

Gary Cook

1st February, 2017

Ecologist Arts Editor, GARY COOK meets an artist determined to put plants centre stage with her new Leafscape project which includes a new exhibition this month and a crowd-funded book more...

Governing Marine Protected Areas: Lyme Bay

Horatio Morpurgo

2nd February 2017

The scientific case for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is now overwhelming. The bigger question is how can they be managed more effectively? HORATIO MORPURGO reports more...
Some of the 17,000 poultry at an intensive chicken farm in Pennsylvania, USA, which produces 2.5 million chicks each year. Photo: Lance Cheung / US Department of Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY).

Deadly bird flu strains created by industrial poultry farms

Robert G. Wallace

30th January 2017

As deadly H5Nx bird flu strains diversify in giant, fast-rotation flocks and and adapt to poultry that tens of thousands of human handlers care for and process every day, the emergence of a deadly human-specific flu becomes ever more likely, writes Robert G. Wallace. The industry can no longer blame wild birds for the problems it is creating - and must urgently reform its own practices. more...
Could your household gas come from wildflower rich meadows, like this Culm Grassland at Knowstone Moor, Devon? Photo: Col Ford and Natasha de Vere via Flickr (CC BY).

It beats fracking - but can we believe Ecotricity's vision of 'green gas from grass'?

Almuth Ernsting

27th January 2017

Just imagine: gas for your cooking and heating made by composting home-grown British grass, writes Almuth Ernsting. What's not to like? Well, it would need almost all the UK's grassland to match our gas demand, leaving cows and sheep to starve or forcing them into sheds to eat foreign-grown feeds. And methane leakage could easily wipe out any climate benefit. more...

Decarbonising the UK economy

Joe Ware

26th January, 2017

Ultimately the UK Government's new industrial strategy has the potential to use government investment to shift the country in the right direction for the environment. But we need more than just ‘public money,' we need the public's money too writes JOE WARE more...
Site of a proposed palm oil plantation in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Dr Ward Berenschot, Author provided.

The new colonialism: 'developing' superpowers join the global land grab

Nikita Sud, University of Oxford

31st January 2017

Land grabbing has been going on since the mists of time, writes Nikita Sud, and took off like never before under European colonialism. But now 'developing' countries are also getting in on the act - notably China, an economic superpower in its own right, as it ruthlessly, and often corruptly, expands its global land holdings at the expense of nature and small scale farmers. more...
Rally to support GMO food labeling at the Connecticut State Senate, 21st May 2013. Photo: CT Senate Democrats via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Nothing 'parochial' about GMO food labeling!

Jonathan Latham, PhD

24th January 2017

With USDA proposing to redefine GMOs for the purposes of food labeling, the issue is more important than ever, writes Jonathan Latham. It's not just to give consumers' the 'right to know' when they buy GM food, it's also a vital means to empower citizens to fight back against the industrialisation of food and farming, and the monopolies of agribusiness corporations. more...

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