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Solar roof at Moor Hall Primary School, Sutton Coldfield, completed on 1st November 2012. But with government policy changes and now a new 'solar tax' on commercial property installations including schools, there's no longer much to celebrate. Photo: Birm

Chancellor - stop the solar tax hike!

Solar Trade Association

5th December 2016

Next April the UK government proposes to increase taxes on self-consumed solar electricity installations on schools, offices, warehouses and factories by a whopping 6-8 times, write the STA and undersigned. This inexplicable move, which threatens a once thriving solar industry already on its knees, must be abandoned. more...
Flaring at the Scott Township fracking well, Pennsylvania. Photo: WCN 24/7 via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Climate? What climate? IEA backs fossil-fuelled future

Oliver Tickell

30th November 2016

The International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Outlook is calling for increased investment in new oil and gas, writes Oliver Tickell, while minimising the fast-growing and ever lower-cost contribution to world energy supply of renewables like wind and solar. more...
Children near an oil fire at Qayyarah, where ISIS blew up 16 well heads, 26th October 2016. Photo: Benedetta Argentieri / Oxfam.

Iraq's oil inferno - government inaction in the face of eco-terrorism

Doug Weir

30th November 2016

Hundreds of square kilometres of Iraq are eclipsed by dense clouds of toxic smoke from fires at oil facilities and a sulphur factory blown up by 'Islamic State' terrorists, writes Doug Weir. With the fires left to burn for months on end, entire towns are suffering a public health catastrophe. But the Iraqi government is slow to act, or even collect vital health and environmental data. more...

Cold Winter, Cosy Home

Mukti Mitchell

30th November, 2016

Mukti Mitchell, period home insulation expert, who last week won the 2016 ‘Devon Environmental Champion' award for his work insulating the heritage village of Clovelly, says now is the time to make your old home cosy for winter more...
A recent demonstration in the British Museum to denounce BP's sponsorship. Photo: Kristian Buus / Art Not Oil.

In the age of Trump, Big Art must cut off Big Oil!

Chris Garrard

29th November 2016

With Trump denying climate change and threatening to reject the Paris Agreement, it's more important than ever for society to hold a firm ethical line, writes Chris Garrard. The last thing we need is our most revered museums and galleries muddying the water by courting the sponsorship of leading climate criminals. more...
Hunger: a street-dweller in New Delhi, India. Photo: johnjodeery via Flickr (CC BY).

India's 'economic miracle' is built on debt, dispossession and now, monetary destruction

Colin Todhunter

30th November 2016

After two decades of neoliberalism, India's magnates and corporations are profiting as never before, writes Colin Todhunter. But the entire economic edifice is built on the dispossession of the poor, locked into debt servitude, and ever rising income inequality. Prime Minister Modi's latest move, 'demonetization', is yet another example of the state stealing from the poor to give to the obscenely rich. more...
Hvalba beach, Faroe Islands, during a Grindadráp. Photo: Erik Christensen via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Sea Shepherd captain 'guilty' of causing suffering to dolphins

Oliver Tickell

28th November 2016

The captain of a Sea Shepherd speedboat who was attempting to guide a pod of over 200 Atlantic white-sided dolphins from slaughter on a Faroe Islands 'killing beach' has been convicted by a Danish court on animal cruelty charges. more...

The Arts Interview - The 'real' Lesley Hilling

Gary Cook, Arts Editor

28th November, 2016

Lesley Hilling is a core member of Human Nature - a group of 30 like-minded artists aiming to change the way people think and act about the natural environment through their work. GARY COOK visits her London home and studio to learn more more...

How Solar power is bringing food security to Africa

Joe Ware

25th November, 2016

Malawi is a country on the front line of climate change. Unlike nations ravaged by a typhoon or rich western cities swamped with floodwater, the kind of impacts Malawians face barely raise a flicker of interest in the media. Compared to a hurricane, a few degrees of temperature rise and shifting rainfall patterns sound mild, but in reality they have the potential to be far more devastating writes JOE WARE more...
Scottish beaver seen in 2008. Photo: Paul Stevenson via Flickr (CC BY).

Scotland's wild beavers win legal protection

Oliver Tickell

24th November 2016

The Scottish government has announced that its wild beaver populations will be given the full protection of both UK and EU law. The decision has been welcomed by campaigners who point out all the benefits of beavers to biodiversity, water management and flood control. Now, they say, England and Wales should follow suit. more...
No place for dumping radioactive waste: mud flats near Maldon, Essex on the Blackwater Estuary. Photo: Mark Seton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No to Bradwell's 'secret' radioactive discharges to the sea

Chris Busby

2nd December 2016

Magnox has applied to dissolve spent nuclear fuel canisters and release the liquid into the sea near Bradwell nuclear power station in Essex, writes Chris Busby. This will wash radioactivity onto mudflats in a populated area already suffering from excess cancers, however the publicly available documents ignore this key fact. We must make sure this dangerous application is refused. more...
To stop any more of these, we must attack the scientific deception that underlies the industry. Nuclear power station, Wylfa, Wales. Photo: Jeremy WILLIAMS via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Stopping Europe's nuclear industry in its tracks: here's how

Christopher Busby

28th November 2016

Article 6 of the Euratom Treaty provides for nuclear industry practices to be rejustified in the light of new scientific evidence of harm to health, writes Chris Busby. We now have that evidence, in particular that radiation exposure even at very low levels causes severe and heritable genetic damage to people and entire families. Now, we must use the law to protect our health from radiation! more...

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'Make Climate Great Again' - COP22 in Marrakech presented a strong, united front against President-elect Trump's climate change denialism. Photo: Alex Pfeiffer.

Only 'we the people' can rise above the false promise of COP22

Alexander Pfeiffer, Elizabeth Dirth & Alex Clark

23rd November 2016

The COP22 climate conference in Marrakech was given an impossible mandate: to make the Paris Agreement happen, write Alexander Pfeiffer, Elizabeth Dirth & Alex Clark. But it failed. The task now falls to civil society - and to succeed we must move beyond the alienating discourse of science and diplomacy, and show marginalised communities that climate solutions can also deliver for them. more...
Bt GMO crops are designed to combat pests like the Helicoverpa armigera moth, which causes A$25 million of damage a year in Australia alone to crops such as cotton, legumes and vegetables. But there is a cost: damage to beneficial soil fungi. Photo: CSIRO

Vital soil fungi damaged by GMO Bt cotton

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

24th November 2016

A study of GMO cotton varieties shows they disrupt an important beneficial soil fungus, writes Eva Sirinathsinghji, apparently due to the Bt insecticide they are engineered to express. Disruption caused by the transgenic cotton to mycorrhizal fungi, and the wider soil ecosystem, may underlie the low yields and poor pest resistance now endemic among Bt GM crops. more...

Scientists call for the protection of the little-known and disappearing ecosystem: seagrass ‘meadows'

LAURA BRIGGS

21st November, 2016

A unified scientific approach has been called for to help protect one of the most threatened ecosystems on earth. LAURA BRIGGS learns more about the unique ecosystem known as seagrass beds more...
The Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, UK, seen from Drigg Beach. Photo: Ashley Coates via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

AP1000 reactor design is dangerous and not fit for purpose

Peter Roche

21st November 2016

Three new reactors are planned for the Moorside site next to Europe's biggest nuclear complex at Sellafield, writes Peter Roche, with a combined capacity of 3.8GW. But a new report for Radiation Free Lakeland shows that the chosen AP1000 reactor design, for all its claimed 'advanced passive' safety features, is not fit for purpose - and should be rejected as unsafe by UK regulators. more...
Local communities in Pitas are monitoring the area in order to prevent the project from expanding into the remaining 1,000 acres of mangrove forest. The sign reads: Future for indigenous peoples. Photo: Camilla Capasso / FPP.

'Poverty alleviation' shrimp farms destroy mangrove forest, grab indigenous land

Camilla Capasso

17th November 2016

A government-led shrimp farming project meant to tackle extreme poverty in northern Sabah, Malaysian, won local support in 2010 by promising job opportunities for impoverished indigenous communities. Six years on, mangrove forests local people depend on for food, materials and income are closed off and being cleared - but the jobs have yet to materialise. more...
Aboriginal Traditional Owners protest against nuclear waste, Australia. Photo: Friends of the Earth International via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No means no! South Australia must dump the nuclear dump

Ian Lowe, Griffith University

16th November 2016

A 350-member Citizens' Jury convened to decide on whether a massive nuclear waste dump would benefit South Australia just gave the plans a big 'No!', writes Ian Lowe. SA Premier Weatherill must drop his attempt to reverse that decision with a referendum, and accept the jury's well informed, democratic verdict. more...
'Some day, son, all this (nuclear waste) will be yours!' Cartoon: Katauskes via Greens MPs on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Why worry about nuclear waste? What has the future ever done for us?

Andrew Blowers

16th November 2016

The long term problems of what to do with nuclear waste remain entirely unsolved, writes Andrew Blowers. Yet governments and the nuclear industry continue to peddle their untenable 'bury and forget' policy of deep geological disposal, which only unloads the toxic legacy of modern day nuclear power and weapons onto uncountable future generations. more...
The wheels of justice may grind exceedingly slow, but also exceedingly fine. Clock at the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand, London. Photo: Andy Sedg via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Nuclear bomb test veterans' long wait for justice: the last battle

Chris Busby

11th November 2016

This summer families of atom bomb test veterans who have died of cancer took the UK government to the High Court for its failure to compensate them, writes Chris Busby. Also on trial was the 'official' radiation risk model, which understates the true health hazards of internal exposures by a factor of 1,000. But 17 weeks after the case, litigants and veterans are still awaiting judgment. more...
John Letts harvesting his biodiverse crop of heritage wheat on an organic farm in Buckinghamshire. Photo: Adrian Arbib for Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine.

Farming with the grain - John Letts and his evolutionary 'made for organic' heritage seeds

Oliver Tickell

10th November 2016

To feed the world we must abandon not just GMOs but all diversity-destroying selective crop breeding, organic farmer John Letts told Oliver Tickell. Only by using biodiverse local seed mixtures that evolve in the field can food production adapt to climate change without ever-increasing chemical inputs, and meet human needs for wholesome nourishment. more...
Up Coal Creek without a solar panel? UP C45ACCTE 7507 leads coal buckets through the s-curve near Coal Creek Junction, on the Orin Sub, Powder River Basin. Photo: Jerry Huddleston via Flickr (CC BY).

President Trump: up Coal Creek without a (solar) panel?

Mark Barteau, University of Michigan

10th November 2016

Trump has pledged to ditch the Paris Agreement, scrap Obama's clean power plan, get coal miners back to work, and 'make America great again' on the back of a huge expansion of fossil fuel production, writes Mark Barteau. But he will run into serious difficulties, not least states going their own renewable ways, cheap natural gas, and weak international demand for coal. more...
Container ship MOL GRANEUR off the Japan coast, 18th October 2015. Photo: ARTS_fox1fire via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Shipping to go 'beyond Paris Agreement' without offsets

Oliver Tickell

8th November 2016

The International Chamber of Shipping has committed the industry to legally binding emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement. Unlike the aviation industry, it will make no use of carbon 'offsets', but will reach its targets by increasing efficiency and moving to lower carbon fuels. more...
Four generations of Aboriginal Elder Yami Lester's family, united in their opposition to any nuclear waste dump on their land. Photo: author provided.

No way! South Australians reject international nuclear waste dump

Jim Green

9th November 2016

An officially convened 350-strong Citizens' Jury has decisively rejected South Australia's plans to import over half a million tonnes of high and intermediate level nuclear waste for long term storage, writes Jim Green. This has dealt a powerful blow against the project from which it is unlikely to ever recover, and represents a major victory for campaigners, indigenous Australians and economic sanity. more...
Solar farm on Bali, Indonesia. Renewables are a key part of the fight against climate change, but they can't do it on their own! Photo: Selamat Made via Flickr (CC BY).

It will take much more than renewable energy to stop global warming

Steffen Böhm, University of Exeter

7th November 2016

Renewable energy may play a huge part in helping to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, now in force and under discussion at COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh, writes Steffen Böhm. But it can never be the whole story, and nor does it relieve the need for deeper changes in how the world works. more...

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