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'Committed to Improving the State of the World' - of course they are! Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Mr. Klaus Schwab at WEF16 at Davos, Switzerland, 22nd January. Photo: US Army Sgt. 1st Class Clydell Kinchen / DoD via Flickr (CC BY).

The Davos solution to inequality? Another corporate power grab

David Sogge & Nick Buxton

23rd January 2016

Inequality is on the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year, write David Sogge & Nick Buxton. A good thing, right? But look at the proposed 'solutions': ramp up the neoliberal 'development' model; lighten business regulation; pursue globalisation with greater vigor ... Yes, you got it. They would all accelerate the transfer the world's wealth upwards to corporate elites. more...
Photo: Quincas Moreira via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Flint drinks lead-laden water; Republicans attack Clean Water Act

Farron Cousins / DesmogBlog.com

22nd January 2016

To save a small amount of money residents of Flint, Michigan, have been forced to consume hazardous levels of lead in their drinking water, writes Farron Cousins. Just the moment for the Republican House Speaker to attack the Clean Water Act. more...
You want transgenes with that? Avocado Alfalfa Delight. Photo: Victoria Ristenbatt and Scott Redding via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Feral 'Roundup Ready' GM alfalfa goes wild in US West

Bill Freese / Center for Food Safety

19th January 2016

A USDA study shows that a GM alfalfa has gone wild in alfalfa-growing parts of the West. This may explain GMO contamination incidents that have cost US growers and exporters millions of dollars - and it exposes the failure of USDA's 'coexistence' policy for GMOs and traditional crops. more...
Ducks by their pond on a small farm near Ostróda, Northern Poland. Photo: Leszek Kozlowski via Flickr (CC BY).

Polish government backs small farmers' and food sovereignty

Julian Rose / ICPPC

25th January 2016

Since Poland's new government was elected last October it has moved to protect the country's 1.3 million small farmers, writes Julian Rose. First it freed those arrested for protesting corporate land grabs, now it is seeking to lighten oppressive hygiene regulations, and next it may support a new Food Act that would ban GMOs, and legislate for national food security and food sovereignty. more...
Frozen tuna at the early morning fish auction at the Tokyo Fish Market. Many of the tuna sold here are of endangered species such as bluefin and bigeye. Photo: Scott Lenger via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Oceans running out of fish as undeclared catches add a third to official figures

Christopher Pala

19th January 2016

The global catch of fish and seafood is falling at three times the rate reported by the United Nations and urgently needs to be slowed to avoid a crash, reports Christopher Pala. The finding comes in a new study for Nature which quantifies the huge illegal industrial fish pillaging taking place around the world, together with artisanal catches, which in 2010 added over 50% to UN estimates. more...
Devastating fire last year in the cerrado savanna region, one of Brazil’s most threatened biomes. Photo: José Cruz/ABr via Wikimedia (CC-BY).

Brazil: as forest fires rage, new laws will open gates of hell

Jan Rocha

14th January 2016

Never mind Brazil's COP21 promises to cut its carbon emissions, writes Jan Rocha. New laws passing through Congress will encourage deforestation by removing safeguards and opening up indigenous territories to mega-projects. Serious drought is already contributing to a big increase in forest fires. more...
A survivor of Typhoon Haiyan, Leyte, Philippines, 10th November 2013. Photo: Arlynn Aquino / EU ECHO via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Are fossil fuel giants violating human rights? The Philippines will decide

Ellen Baker / ClientEarth

13th January 2016

The Philippines is taking a huge leap forward in the climate wars, writes Ellen Baker, with the world's 'top 50' energy giants standing accused of violating international human rights law as a result of their fossil fuel production. This is the first such investigation ever to take place anywhere in the world - and it just opened up a whole new front of corporate vulnerability. more...
We're not having it! 2014 XL Dissent in Washington DC in front of the White House, 2nd March 2014. Photo: Stephen Melkisethian via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

We're not having it! $15bn KXL lawsuit shows what's wrong with 'trade deals'

Sam Cossar-Gilbert

8th January 2016

TransCanada has just made a big mistake by bringing its $15 billion lawsuit against the US government for refusing the Keystone XL pipeline, writes Sam Cossar-Gilbert. The move has exposed the real nature of 'trade deals' like TTIP and TPP - and why all democrats must rally to defeat them. more...
Water cannon deployed against a March for Education in Chile, 9th August 2011. Next time, it could be drones armed with incapacitating chemical agents. Photo: Mauricio Ulloa via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

War and police? Drones, chemicals and political repression

Paul Rogers

10th January 2015

A fusion of drone systems and chemical agents is set to transform the landscape of combat for states and non-state actors alike, writes Paul Rogers. These technologies won't just be used for warfare, but for 'public order' ... suppressing riots, protests and political dissent. Forget water cannon - this is the real deal. more...
The US Government finally decided to refuse the KXL pipeline last November after years of protests like this one in 2012. But now US taxpayers may be on the hook for $15 billion under the NAFTA 'free trade' agreement. Photo: 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-S

Trans-Canada sues US for $15 billion over KXL refusal

Guy Taylor

7th January 2015

The US government is being sued for $15 billion for its cancellation of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline last year in order to combat climate change. The legal challenge under NAFTA sends a warning to all countries contemplating similar 'free trade' agreements. more...
These Venezuelan watermelon (sandía) seeds are now protected by law from corporate takeover, while GMOs are banned. Photo: Rufino Uribe via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Venezuela's 'people as legislators' ban GMOs, protect traditional seeds

William Camacaro, Frederick B. Mills & Christina M. Schiavoni

2nd January 2015

A radical new Seed Law drafted by Venezuelan people, farmers and NGOs was signed into law in the closing days of 2015, write William Camacaro, Frederick B. Mills & Christina M. Schiavoni. Striking back against the corporate takeover of seeds and peddling of GMOs, the Seed Law bans transgenic seeds, protects the country's germplasm, and establishes the legal foundation for a participatory, agroecological food and farming system. more...
Climate protest at the Banks coal mine on Matt Ridley's estate. Photo: Brendan Montague.

Matt Ridley coal mine hit with £100,000 climate protest bill

Brendan Montague / DeSmog.uk

20th December 2015

Protestors who closed down the coal mine on climate change denier Matt Ridley's estate faced a claim of £100,000 in losses, writes Brendan Montague. But a judge cut that down by over 90% while declaring the eight defendants of 'impeccable character'. more...

Law: 50/75 of 336
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Blockading Matt Ridley's coal mine. Photo: EndCoalNow.com.

Coal protesters must be Matt Ridley's guilty consience

T / End Coal Now

20th December 2015

The coal profits that fill Matt Ridley's bank account come wet with the blood of those killed and displaced by the climate disaster his mines contribute to, writes T. If hgis consicence is no longer functioning, then others must step into that role to confront him with the evil that he is doing. more...
UNEP scientists investigating an oil-contaminated site in the Niger Delta accompanied by Ogoni community guides. Photo: Victor Temofe Mogbolu / UNEP.

Nigerian farmers' win right to sue Shell in Netherlands courts

The Ecologist

18th December 2015

In a landmark judgment today, four Niger Delta farmers have won the right to sue Dutch oil multinational Shell in the Netherlands courts after oil spills destroyed their farms and fish ponds. The case sets a precedent for other victims of corporate environmental and human rights harms around the world. more...
It's not just the climate: the Belyando River, which drains much of the Galilee Basin, will never be the same again if the water-guzzling coal mining goes ahead. Photo: Lock the Gate Alliance via Flickr (CC BY).

After COP21, Australia's moment in history: will it ban the Carmichael coal mine?

Justine Bell, The University of Queensland

18th December 2015

The Paris Agreement is facing its first big test in Queensland, Australia, writes Justine Bell. After a long process beset by legal challenges, the massive Carmichael coal mine is inching closer to approval - which would open up the entire 250,000 sq.km Galilee basin and its 28 billion tonnes of coal to exploitation. Both state and federal governments have the power to ban it. But will they? more...
Francois Hollande, Barack Obama et Ban Ki-moon at COP21. Photo: Benjamin Géminel / COP PARIS via Flickr (Public Domain).

Obama's Paris climate pledges are legally durable - up to a point

Robert Percival, University of Maryland

17th December 2015

President Obama believes he can keep the promises he made on behalf of the USA at COP21, writes Robert Percival. And he's right - with or without the approval of Congress. But ultimately, it's up to US electors to maintain the political momentum for climate action. A future administration could put all his policies into reverse - no matter how foolish that would be. more...
Sun breaking through the clouds over the Derwent Valley, Peak District, UK with the village of Hatersage in the distance. Photo: Richard Walker via Flickr (CC BY).

Fracking go-ahead in England's national parks, SSSIs, water sources

Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell

16th December 2015

New regulations that will allow fracking under national parks, water sources and nature sites won the approval of MPs today in a Commons vote, write Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell, even though four Tory MP's rebelled against the party whip. But the new rules won't apply in Wales and Scotland. more...
1962 poster for 'Day of the Triffids'. Photo: James Vaughan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Philippines GMO ban is the Precautionary Principle in action

Rupert Read & David Burnham

16th December 2015

The Precautionary Principle must mean, above all, avoiding the risk of ruinous outcomes for people or the wider environment, write Rupert Read & David Burnham. When the Philippines Supreme Court applied that test to GMOs, they found they had to ban them - not as a moral choice but pragmatically, to avoid potentially devastating consequences. more...
Photo: Arath Kuchi via Flickr (BY-SA)

India's top GMO regulator's 'Contempt of Court' over GM mustard trials

Colin Todhunter

15th December

India's Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee stands accused of Contempt of Court for evading Supreme Court orders to carry out full biosafety tests on GM crops and publish its data, writes Colin Todhunter. The immediate issue is a herbicide tolerant GM mustard now approved for large scale trials, while earlier findings remain under an impenetrable veil of official secrecy. more...
Doing the right thing: an old landfill site in Birmingham's Selly Oak Battery Park being dug out prior to development for housing. Photo: Elliott Brown via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Zane: did Cameron order cover-up on landfill cyanide death of 7-year old?

Paul Mobbs

14th December 2015

The apparent conspiracy by the UK government and its agencies to conceal the real cause of death of 7-year old Zane Gbangbola may go right up to Prime Minister David Cameron, writes Paul Mobbs. He was chair of the COBRA emergency committee at the time when it appears to have held back the truth that he was killed by cyanide from the toxic landfill site his home was built over. more...
The ban on GMO crop trials imposed by the Supreme Court is intended to protect native crop biodiversity from contamination - for example, the brinjal (aubergine), widely grown throughout the country. Photo: Judgefloro via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

Philippines Supreme Court bans GMO crop trials

GMWatch

13th December 2015

The Philippines were meant to be the US's sandbox for GMO development and penetration into southeast Asia, but that has all changed with a Supreme Court decision to ban GMO crop trials pending the development of new biosafety protocols. more...
'Hey Monsanto, if you're so proud, why won't you LABEL IT?' Cedar Circle Farm and the Vermont Right To Know Coalition march with hundreds of Vermonters at the March Against Monsanto, 25th May 2013. Photo: Cedar Circle Farm via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The pro-GMO DARK Bill is back - but it cannot survive the light of truth

Steven M. Druker

11th December 2015

Pro-GMO US senators have a dastardly plan to deny states the right to require GMO labeling, writes Steven M. Druker, by attaching their DARK Bill as a rider to the Appropriations Bill next week. Now is the the time to wake up senators to the Bill's true intent, and to the deceit, illegal behaviour and scientific falsification that has kept the dangers of GMO foods a well kept secret - so far. more...
School children from Kembu primary school holding solar lights, Longisa, Bomet county, Kenya. Photo: Corrie Wingate Photography / SolarAid via Flickr (CC BY).

To protect human rights means 100% renewable energy for all by 2050

Greenpeace & Amnesty International

9th December 2015

In this joint statement to COP21 Amnesty International and Greenpeace International call on all governments to protect human rights by including making respect for human rights an explicit purpose of any agreement, while agreeing to phase out fossil fuels and deliver 100% renewables for all by 2050. more...
Portrait of Shuar Indian in Ecuador's Amazon, where gross violations of human and environmental rights have been committed by oil companies. Photo: 00rini hartman via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

COP21: call for international treaty on rights of nature and communities

Hal Rhoades

8th December 2015

A new movement has been launched at COP21 in Paris to give legal effect to the rights of nature and communities, writes Hal Rhoades, providing effective protection against the gross environmental damage and human rights violations that accompany extractive industries from mining to oil development and agri-business projects, and which underlie climate change. more...
When the government breaks the law over air pollution, who will be able to hold it to account? London Air Pollution View from Hackney, 10th April 2015. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

UK Government attacks public right to environmental justice

Paul Mobbs

30th November 2015

Little publicised government plans to 'reform' court costs are intended to foreclose access to environmental justice for all but the wealthiest individuals and communities, writes Paul Mobbs. Meanwhile cuts to agencies and regulators will make it ever harder for them to do their jobs - making public participation in environmental protection all the more important. more...

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