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Gray Wolf. Photo: Digimist via Flickr.

Wyoming's Gray Wolves win back federal protection - for now

The Ecologist

29th September 2014

In a rare 'summary judgment' a federal court has ruled that the devolution of gray wolf protection to the state of Wyoming was unlawful because it was based on non-binding assurances. Federal protection is restored - for now. But an even bigger battle lies ahead. more...
Storks are a protected species under the EU's Birds Directive. But that affords them little protection against hunters in Malta, which lies on a key migration route across the Mediterranean. Photo: Tambako The Jaguar via Flickr.

We must defend the Birds Directive against Malta's hunting lobby

Steve Micklewright, Birdlife Malta

2nd October 2014

Shocking events have taken place in Malta as hunters - angered by a temporary closure of the bird-shooting season - attacked bird watchers, writes Steve Micklewright. But with a Maltese politician taking on the role of Environment Commissioner, the real battle lies ahead: the survival of the Birds Directive. more...
Amsterdam harbour: pollution like this costs lives and imposes health care costs of €900 bn per year across Europe. But is Juncker bothered? Photo: Erwyn van der Meer via Flickr.

EU Parliament must reject Juncker's anti-environment Commission

Green10

29th September 2014

The proposed structure of Juncker's new European Commission sidelines sustainability issues and risks undoing years of environmental legislation. The European Parliament must now block his deregulatory assault on the EU’s climate, energy, biodiversity, pollution, chemicals and environmental health policies. more...
A radioactive emissions spike taking place during refueling from fugitive noble gas release at the Gundremmigen nuclear plant, Bavaria, Germany. Measured as kBq/m3 against time, in half-hourly intervals. Graph: Alfred Korblein.

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants - a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Dr Ian Fairlie

29th September 2014

When nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation, writes Ian Fairlie. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants - but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures. more...
We did it for the ozone layer. Noe it's the climate's turn. Photo: ozone conditions over Antarctica, 7th September 2014. NASA.

The UN saved the ozone layer - now it's the climate's turn

Nigel Paul

23rd September 2014

Thirty years after the UN took action to save the ozone layer, we can count the benefits - which only begin with 2 million fewer cases of skin cancer a year, writes Nigel Paul. With world leaders taking on the much greater climate challenge today, we should take cheer, and inspiration, from that historic success. more...
Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

US shale oil drillers flaring and venting billions of dollars in natural gas

Sharon Kelly / DesmogBlog

20th September 2014

Gas flaring of natural at shale oil wells is carried out on such a scale in North Dakota and Texas that 'phantom cities' show up at night in satellite photos, writes Sharon Kelly. Billions of dollars worth of gas are going up in smoke, adding to CO2 emissions - but far worse for the climate is when the gas is 'vented'. Regulators are doing too little, too late. more...
Glyphosate herbicides are often sprayed on potato crops prior to harvest to 'dessicate' the plants' green leaves. Photo: David Wright via Flickr.

Toxic glyphosate herbicides fly under the EU's regulatory radar

Pete Farrer & Marianne Falck

12th September 2014

The widely used herbicide glyphosate has been judged 'safe', write Pete Farrer & Marianne Falck. But by the time it's used, it's in a 'formulation' with toxic surfactants, which escape EU regulation despite their known dangers. Germany alone has forbidden the use of the most dangerous surfactant - but is keeping its evidence secret. more...
Nightingale singing in a hawthorn tree. Photo: John Bridges / rspb-images.com.

Housing against nightingales - no way!

Martin Harper / RSPB

8th September 2014

A 5,000-house development has just won planning permission on a SSSI nature area in Kent which is home to over 1% of the UK's nightingales. It violates government planning policies, and ministers have the power to stop it. But will they? Yes they will, writes Martin Harper - provided enough people show they care! more...
Diablo Canyon in California lies in a seismically active zone totally unsuitable for a nuclear power plant. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr.

Earthquake risk makes California's Diablo Canyon a Fukushima in waiting

Karl Grossman

27th August 2014

A newly-exposed report by Diablo Canyon's lead nuclear inspector shows that the twin reactors are unsafe, writes Karl Grossman. An earthquake on nearby geological faults could trigger a Fukushima-scale accident causing 10,000 early fatalities. The owner's response? Apply to extend the site's operation for another 20 years. more...
Hazeltine Creek on Quesnel Lake after the tailings dam collapse. Floating on the surface: the stripped off the mountainside by the force of the spill. Out of sight: 14.5 billion litres of toxic mining waste.

Swapping red tape for caution tape: why Canada can expect more mining disasters

Carol Linnitt / DeSmog.ca

27th August 2014

This month a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine in BC breached, writes Carol Linnitt - spilling 14.5 billion litres of toxic mine waste into Quesnel Lake. A major source of freshwater and one of BC's premier fly-fishing destinations, the lake will never be the same again. But it's just the first big victim of Canada's wave of environmental de-regulation ... more...
The Hawaiian cleaner wrasse works full time, keeping reefs from parasite loading. They die in 30 days of captivity but ship out daily - as many as the aquarium collectors can catch. Photo: Rober Wintner.

The dark side of Hawaii's aquarium trade

Elizabeth Claire Alberts

20th August 2014

Hawaii's salt-water aquarium trade is lucrative - but depends on the constant, scarcely regulated collection of wild fish, writes Elizabeth Claire Alberts. With 98% of fish in the trade taken from the wild, and high mortality rates from the moment of collection, Hawaii's coral reefs are experiencing a daily massacre. more...

regulation: 1/25 of 64
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Crop-spraying in the USA. Photo: CFS.

Last chance to stop USDA approval of 2,4-D GMO crops

The Ecologist

14th August 2014

The US is poised to 'deregulate' GMO corn, soybean and cotton varieties resistant to the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. The result will be a big increase in the use of those herbicides, as high as 600%. Only a huge public outcry can now stop the GMO-herbicide juggernaut. more...
Does this seed library look to you like 'agri-terrorism'? Photo: via Sharable.net.

Agri-terrorists accuse seed bank of 'agri-terrorism'

Kevin Carson

13th August 2014

A Pennsylvania seed library stands accused of 'agri-terrorism' over alleged breaches of the Seed Act 2004, reports a bemused Kevin Carson. Have USDA and state agriculture departments become the enforcement branch of the agribusiness crime syndicate? more...
Local Farmers Speak Out Against

Missouri: corporate agriculture wins 'Right to Farm'

Ben Whitford

6th August 2014

Missouri voters have narrowly passed a 'right to farm' amendment to the state constitution. But small farmers already enjoy such rights, writes Ben Whitford. The beneficiaries will be industrial-scale corporate producers who now have a legal shield against regulation on GMOs, pollution, animal welfare and health standards - and, of course, the lawyers. more...
Aerial view of the Jonah gas field in western Wyoming's upper Green River valley. Photo: Bruce Gordon / EcoFlight via John Amos / Flickr.

Fracking - US companies and regulators must disclose environmental data

Kimberly Terrell, Morgan Tingley & Sara Souther

4th August 2014

Among the risks of fracking are fragmentation of wildlife habitats, groundwater depletion, surface water pollution. The risks are compounded by a failure among companies and regulators to record or disclose essential information - from the chemicals used, to the time and place of toxic spills. more...
Cattle in a paddock on a small farm in Russia. Photo: Vmenkov CC.

Russia's small farmers are the latest 'health and safety' victims

Georgy Borodyansky

5th August 2014

New regulations on animal slaughter are in force across Russia, writes Georgy Borodyansky, with devastating effects on small farmers and consumers, who face a three-fold hike in the price of meat. Will the 'health and safety' madness destroy Russia's main producers of wholesome food? more...
Under the new guidance, even Stonehenge could by destroyed by fracking if it would 'achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss.'

Fracking go-ahead on UK's National Parks, World Heritage Sites, nature reserves

Oliver Tickell

28th July 2014

The UK has just opened a bidding round for fracking licences. But the rules contain only weak protections against fracking in National Parks and AONBs - and none at all for even the most important wildlife sites and drinking water aquifers. more...
The beautiful nudibrach Trinchesia caerulea, photographed in Scottish waters by Jim Anderson / savescottishseas.org/ .

Victory - 30 new marine reserves for Scotland

The Ecologist

25th July 2014

Scotland's network of marine reserves doubled in area today with the designation of 30 new marine reserves. The move has been welcomed by green groups who have long campaigned on the issue - but they warn: this is where the real work begins. more...
Artisanal fishing nets at the Cobb, Lyme Regis, Lyme Bay. Photo: geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons.

Simplifying the sea - ecocide in the English Channel

Horatio Morpurgo

25th July 2014

A new report on the Channel's fisheries is a timely reminder of the ecological trend to 'simplification' as whole trophic levels are stripped away by over-exploitation, writes Horatio Morpurgo. Yet the government's profit-focused vision of 'sustainability' is missing the essential element - allowing the recovery of marine ecosystems. more...
An anti-TTIP Flashmob protesting in Dortmund, Germany. Photo: campact via Flickr.

TTIP: Europe and America do not need business vs. state dispute rules

Cécile Toubeau

14th July 2014

The EU-US TTIP trade agreement would 'protect investors' by giving them the right to sue national government for changes in the law that reduce their returns, writes Cécile Toubeau - putting an end to progress on environment and human development. more...
Some springs on Ikaria, Greece, carry high levels of natural radioactivity - but that does not mean the radiation is good for you! Photo: Eleni Ikanou via Flickr.

An abuse of science - concealing fracking's radioactive footprint

Paul Mobbs

8th July 2014

A new scientific paper presents the radiation produced by fracking as 'natural' and harmless. But it's based on sketchy data, hyperbolic statistics and questionable assumptions, writes Paul Mobbs. Is it an attempt to stifle an essential public debate? more...
French dairy farmers Sandrine Lizaga milking her organic ewes.

EU outlaws animal use of herbal remedies on organic farms

Sandra Saadi

11th July 2014

New EU regulations forbid the use of herbal remedies and plant essences to maintain animal health instead of antibiotics, reports Sandra Saadi. An organic ewe breeder in France has already been threatened with the loss of EU farm support payments. more...
Bee gathering nectar. Photo: Jack Wolf via Flickr.

Victory! Syngenta pulls 'bee-killer' pesticide application

The Ecologist

4th July 2014

Blaming 'lack of time', Syngenta withdraws its emergency application to use a seed treatment blamed for killing bees. Friends of the Earth and 38 Degrees claim victory - but Syngenta warns: we'll be back! more...
Left: Potential shale gas / oil source rocks in England and Wales. Right: principal aquifers in England and Wales (dark blue), aquifers shallower than 400 m (pale blue). Image: BGS.

Fracking - 95% of oil and gas shales underlie drinking water aquifers

The Ecologist

3rd July 2014

A study by the British Geological Survey and the Environment Agency reveals that almost all the the oil and gas bearing shales in England and Wales underlie drinking water aquifers, raising fears that widespread water contamination could occur. more...

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