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John Ashton's enthusiastic audience at the demo outside Parliament, 26th January 2015. Photo: video still via YouTube by Jamie Kelsey.

Dash to frack is an insult to democracy

John Ashton

29th January 2015

The government's relentless drive to frack Britain is an affront to our democratic traditions, John Ashton, the UK's former top climate diplomat, told an enthusiastic audience at an anti-fracking demo outside Parliament this week - and now it's up to us all to make it a core issue in the forthcoming general election. more...
Despite the handshake between Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, no deal was done on Indian emissions reductions. Photo: Government of India Press Information Bureau.

100GW solar support in US-India climate talks, but no emissions cuts

Nivedita Khandekar

27th January 2015

India made no promises to cut its CO2 emissions from coal power stations, writes Nivedita Khandekar, and refused to reveal its ambitions for the Paris climate talks - but Obama promised US support for its plans to roll out 100GW of solar power. more...
Fracking in a Denton residential neighborhood. Photo: Gena Felker / Britt Utsler via Frack Free Denton.

Message to the UK: the fracking 'bridge' is burning!

Naomi Klein

27th January 2015

The lesson of fracking in the US and Canada is a simple one, writes Naomi Klein. The fracking industry is vicious, brutal and will stop at nothing to get its way. British anti-frackers can celebrate yesterday's achievements - but the fight ahead will not be an easy one. more...
The world stood with Yeb Sano and the Philippines in 2013 - but now the Philippines are dumping him and the principled policies he represented. Photo: Handing over 600k solidarity messages to Yeb Sano at the Warsaw COP, by Push Europe (CC BT-NC 2.0).

The Philippines are squandering their moral authority on climate change

Walden Bello

25th January 2015

Yeb Sano, Philippines climate negotiator at the COP19 Warsaw climate talks, spoke for the entire poor and climate vulnerable world as his country was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. But he was mysteriously absent from Lima in 2014 - signalling a major national policy reversal in which the Philippines are giving everything away - and receiving nothing in return. more...
Tagebau Garzweiler strip mine, Germany. Photo: Bert Kaufmann (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Coal's dark cloud hangs over Germany's energy revolution

Henner Weithöner

22nd January 2015

Germany cut emissions and boosted renewables to record levels last year, writes Henner Weithöner. Yet the country's coal burn remains the EU's highest - and ambitious emissions targets can only be met by closing coal-burning power stations. more...
Photo: Scott Wallace / World Bank via Flickr, (CC BY-NC-ND).

Warmer world threatens wheat shortages

Paul Brown

19th January 2015

Just one degree of global warming could cut wheat yields by 42 million tonnes worldwide, around 6% of the crop, writes Paul Brown - causing devastating shortages of this staple food. more...
Aboriginal stories say Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef was connected to the mainland. It was, at least 10,000 years ago. Felix Dziekan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA) / felixtravelblog.de.

Deep time: Aboriginal stories tell of when the Great Barrier Reef was dry land

Nick Reid & Patrick Nunn

29th January 2015

Stories told by Australia's Aboriginal peoples tell of the time, over 10,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age came to an end, and sea levels rose by 120 metres, write Nick Reid & Patrick Nunn. The narratives tally with the findings of contemporary science, raising the question: what is it about Aborigines and their culture than so accurately transmitted their oral traditions across thousands of generations? more...
Smart countries are going for renewables - like Algeria, where these panels are located. Photo: Magharebia via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Only a mug would bet on carbon storage over renewables

John Quiggin

16th January 2015

From Australia to the UK, governments are pinning their hopes on 'carbon capture' technology stuck onto coal power stations, writes John Quiggin. But their choice carries a high risk of failure - the smart money is on renewables, energy storage and responsive power grids. more...
The biggest stitch up since the Bayeux Tapestry? Here Harold Earl of Wessex is shown swearing an oath to deliver the English crown to Duke William of Normandy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Parliament's fracking examination must be inclusive and impartial

Paul Mobbs

13th January 2015

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has just begun to take oral evidence from a very select group of witnesses, writes Paul Mobbs in this open letter. Sadly its choices betray a systematic bias to industry and establishment figures - while community groups are entirely excluded. more...
The coal being mined on Lord Ridley's estate could be earning him £13 million per year - and when burnt, causes about 1% of the UK's carbon emissions. No wonder he is sceptical of climate change. Photo: Herb Kim via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Climate sceptic Lord Ridley - Britain's biggest carbon footprint?

Brendan Montague / DeSmogUK

13th January 2015

Lord Ridley, a card-carrying member of Britain's 1%, led the Northern Rock bank to collapse. Now he's causing another kind of catastrophe: the coal mined off his Northumberland estate is causing 1% of the UK's CO2 emissions. No wonder he's a climate sceptic! more...
The Reclaim Shakespeare Company chant “Art Not Oil” outside the Tate AGM. Photo: Platform London.

Tate must reveal price of BP sponsorship

Richard Heasman / DeSmogUK

16th January 2015

The Information Tribunal has ordered Tate, the charity which runs two of London's biggest art galleries, to release details of financial support from the oil company BP, writes Richard Heasman - and they have until 27th January to comply. more...
Naomi Klein. Photo: Resurgence.

Naomi Klein: A crisis this big changes everything

Oliver Tickell

21st January 2015

The world's collective failure to tackle climate change comes down to one big problem, says Naomi Klein: the clash of climate necessities against corporate power and a triumphant neo-liberal world order. So after decades of government dithering, she told Oliver Tickell, it's time for civil society to unite and build a radical justice-based movement for climate action. more...

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A peatland fire smoulders in the peat of a former swamp forest cleared for commercial agriculture in Indonesia. Photo: Ryan Woo / Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Burnable: peat bogs' 850bn tonnes of carbon

Tim Radford

12th January 2015

Human exploitation of peatlands has led to some of the biggest fires on Earth, including one in Indonesia that released 2.5 Gt of carbon, writes Tim Radford. A new study calculates that the world's peatlands contain almost a trillion tonnes of carbon at growing risk of burning. more...
The Force is with us! Giant carbon bubbles were chased through the streets of London during the People's Climate March in September. Photo: 350.org.

2015 - the fossil fuel endgame begins

Melanie Mattauch

12th January 2015

With 80% of the world's fossil fuel reserves 'unburnable' if the world is to meet its climate targets, writes Melanie Mattauch, the divestment movement is moving from strength to strength. As investor confidence in fossil energy ebbs away, 2015 is where the endgame for a dying industry begins. more...
Russian underground coal mining by SUEK - financed by the British taxpayer. Photo: SUEK via Greenpeace.

UK's soaraway financial support to foreign fossil fuels

Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk

9th January 2015

The UK's financing of fossil fuels abroad increased tenfold in two years to exceed £1 billion in 2013 / 2014, writes Christine Ottery. Incredibly, the fossil fuel funding increase came after a government promise to use the money to support 'innovative and green technologies'. more...
There is now no atmospheric space for any new 'extreme energy' to be developed. The Deepwater Horizon Fire, 21st April 2010. Photo: EPI2oh via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

Leave most fossil fuels in the ground, or fry

Alex Kirby

8th January 2015

For the world to meet its climate goals, a third of the world's oil, half its gas and 80% of its coal must stay underground, writes Alex Kirby. And it's not us saying it - but scientists writing in the journal Nature. more...
The future of farming is green, organic and healthy! Photo: Sandy Lane organic farm, Oxfordshire.

A tale of two farming conferences: the future is 'real' and organic

Peter Melchett

8th January 2015

Lord Krebs, self-appointed spokesman for industrial agriculture, used the Oxford Farming Conference to attack organic systems for causing more climate change - a claim as demonstrably false as it is ludicrous, writes Peter Melchett. But across the city, the upstart 'real farming' conference was showing the way to a cleaner, greener and healthier future. more...
The oil crash has incinerated $100s of billions of investments in extreme energy and stopped hundreds of damaging projects in their tracks. So why aren't environmentalists celebrating? Photo:  s1lang via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Environmentalists' oil price panic reflects their own existential crisis

Paul Mobbs

8th January 2015

Low oil prices are putting a stop to some of the world's most environmentally damaging 'extreme energy' projects, writes Paul Mobbs, and may close down the entire fracking and tar sands industries. So why are so many 'Greens' issuing dire warnings, instead of celebrating the good news? more...
Tar sands equipment just south of Missoula on 'megaload' transporters - whose free passage on rural roads is facing increasing opposition from impacted communities. Photo: Nicholas Brown via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

FBI harassing fossil fuel activists in the Pacific northwest

Alexander Reid Ross

6th January 2015

A grassroots movement of eco-activists is achieving unprecedented success in challenging fossil fuel developments in the Cascadia region of the US's Pacific northwest, writes Alexander Reid Ross. And that has attracted the wrong kind of attention - from local police, FBI and right-wing legislators determined to protect the corporate right to exploit and pollute. more...
Eocene fauna of North America, on a 1964 mural made for the US government-owned Smithsonian Museum. Photo: Jay Matternes / Wikimedia Commons.

Sudden global warming 55m years ago was much like today

David Bond

5th January 2014

The Earth's current warming is looking similar to what took place 55 million years ago, writes David Bond. And if it works out that way, the news is good: we may avoid a mass extinction. On the other hand, the poles will melt away completely, and it will take hundreds of thousands of years for Earth to get back to 'normal'. more...
British Airways Boeing 747 contrail - taken from a Boeing 777 window somewhere over Netherlands. Photo: revedavion.com via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0. See aeroplanedream.blogspot.com.

How much longer can the aviation industry fight off emissions controls?

Valerie Brown

3rd January 2014

Aviation emissions are a major clause of climate change, writes Valerie Brown - yet they remain unregulated. The gap between the best and worst performing airlines demonstrates ample opportunities for improvement - but is the political will there to impose effective regulation? more...
Finland's lakes are freezing later in the autumn, and melting later in the spring. Photo: Dennis Stauffer via Flickr CC-BY.

Rapid Arctic warming is spreading south

Alex Kirby

26th December 2014

Rising temperatures in the Arctic are reaching further south to the lakes and forests of Finland, writes Alex Kirby. But the warming is not affecting summer temperatures - it's concentrated into the colder months, causing a shorter, less severe winter. more...
As CO2 rises, common blue mussels' shells get more brittle on the outside, and softer on the inside. Photo:  Marcel Theisen via Flickr, CC-BY.

Carbon dioxide threat to mussels' shells

The Ecologist

24th December 2014

The world's mussel population could be under threat as rising CO2 levels in atmosphere and oceans makes their shells weaker and more brittle shells - making them more vulnerable to stormy seas, and predation. more...
Peruvian police defend Glencore from a demonstration.

Glencore Xstrata and corporate power in Peru

Aldo Orellana Lopez and Philippa de Boissière

27th December 2014

A new wave of ruthless conquistadors has arrived in Peru, write Aldo Orellana Lopez and Philippa de Boissière - global corporations after minerals, oil, gas, timber, land ... And instead of brandishing the Bible and the sword, they proclaim high sounding policies on environment and human rights, while co-opting police and politicians in their pillage of resources. more...
An iceberg floating in the Amundsen Sea, where glaciers are shedding ice faster than in any other part of Antarctica. Photo: NASA / Jane Peterson via Wikimedia Commons.

Antarctica: warming ocean trebles glacial melt

Tim Radford

17th December 2014

As temperatures rise in the Southern Ocean, warmer currents are eroding the Antarctic ice sheet from below, writes Tim Radford - causing the melting rate to treble in two decades to 83 billion tonnes a year. more...

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