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Regular PV solar cells on the Brighton Earthship in the south of England  Dominic Alves, CC BY-SA.

Here comes the sun: explosion in solar power beckons

Ralph Gottschalg

12th December 2014

Solar power has a sunny future - even without any major breakthroughs, writes Ralph Gottschalg. There are huge gains to be made simply by getting smarter and using existing technologies more effectively. A new report shows that - given political support - solar PV could be competitive in the UK by 2020. more...
Rooms with views ... but where's the vision? European Commission photo by Bruno Coelho via Flickr.

Europe on the brink - green future or industrial wasteland?

Oliver Tickell

12th December 2014

The EU faces a choice: a green, democratic future of clean prosperity and social justice? Or a dirty future of corporate domination with resurgent nuclear power, expanding fossil fuels, GMO agriculture and weak human and environmental protection? Junckers' Commission represents the latter. We must assert our own vision - or there will be little worth staying in for. more...
An artist's impression of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Image: EDF Energy media library.

UK's €46 billion bid for EIB nuclear loan

The Ecologist

11th December 2014

The UK is bidding for a massive €46 billion loan from the European Investment Bank to finance the construction of three new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point, Wylfa and Moorside - while Poland is seeking €8bn for huge new coal mines and power plants and €12bn for new nuclear. more...
An English badger cub, innocent as summer days are long. Photo: Peter Burnage via Flickr.

Badger cubs to be shot in new 'summer cull' plan

Damian Carrington / the Guardian

10th December 2014

England's 2015 trial badger cull will be moved to summer, writes Damian Carrington - when cubs are numerous and easy to shoot. The surprise move follows 2014's failed autumn culls, which missed their minimum kill targets. more...
Stonehenge itself may benefit from the tunneling - but at the expense of the its wider landscape in the 27 sq.km World Heritage Site. Photo: Todd via Flickr.

Stonehenge World Heritage Site at risk from A303 tunnel plans

Kate Fielden

13th December 2014

The government's plans to tunnel the A303 under the Stonehenge World Heritage Site has one grievous flaw, writes Kate Fielden. The tunnel is too short, so huge portals and graded junctions at both ends would lie entirely within the WHS causing huge damage to landscape and wipe out archaeological remains. more...
Murder most foul - a porpoise carcass bearing cruel bite marks. Photo: Johan Krol.

Murder most foul - who killed all the porpoises?

Ken Collins

9th December 2014

Since 2010 porpoise carcasses have been washing up on our shares, writes Ken Collins - displaying horrific wounds and bite marks that many thought a sign of Great White sharks in Britain's coastal waters. But now scientists have identified an improbably cuddly culprit ... more...
Precious nature: Snakeshead fritillaries and dandelions on North Meadow, Cricklade - an uncultivated water meadow of 110 acres that contains 80% of the UK population of the Snakeshead Fritillary. Photo: Nick Warner via Flickr.

Rallying for wildlife - we need a Nature and Wellbeing Act

Martin Harper / RSPB

9th December 2014

MPs will be lobbied today by wildlife supporters desperately concerned at the declining state of Britain's nature, writes Martin Harper. Despite clear warnings that both 'protected' sites and threatened species are faring badly, politicians find it all too easy to look the other way. Hence the need for a Nature and Wellbeing Act. more...
More roads, more traffic, more tailbacks, more misery. The M5 near Bristol. Photo: Paul Townsend via Flickr.

More roads, more traffic, more misery - how commuting is killing us

Daniel Newman

8th December 2014

George Osborne's announcement last week of £15 billion for English road schemes may have played well with frustrated drivers, writes Daniel Newman. But all the road spending will achieve is to lock us more deeply into an unsustainable, unhealthy and deeply dissatisfying way of life. more...
Under the new 'capacity market' regulations, Britain's dirtiest coal-fired plants are set to benefit. Photo: Dom Atreides via Flickr.

UK's 'unlawful' £35 billion support to fossil fuels in ECJ challenge

Oliver Tickell

4th December 2014

The UK Government plans to lock consumers into a 2.5bn a year, 15-year spend to support peak-time fossil power generation - while undermining energy demand savings capable of achieving the same purpose more cleanly and cheaply. But today the 'unlawful' system has been hit by an ECJ lawsuit. more...
Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association, among her organic cattle. Photo: Soil Association.

The Soil Association's mission is organic - and it always will be!

Helen Browning / Soil Association

2nd December 2014

The Soil Association doesn't need to 'get back to its roots', writes Helen Browning - because it never left them! It remains firmly committed to its founders' original organic mission for health, environment and animal welfare. And that means reaching out to a broader public, ensuring that organic principles are ever more widely understood and applied. more...
Now this is really what it's all about ... harvesting organic leeks at Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire. Photo: facebook.com/sandylanefarm .

Soil Association must get back to its roots

Joanna Blythman, Lynda Brown, Andrew Whitley and Pat Thomas

1st December 2014

Four trustees of the Soil Association just resigned, 'more in sorrow than in anger'. Joanna Blythman, Lynda Brown, Andrew Whitley and former Ecologist editor Pat Thomas all decided they were unable to contribute further to the organisation, the UK's leading organic certifier and the 'mother ship' of British organic farming. more...
A 'net zero carbon' development of 780 homes at Graylingwell Park, Chichester, with a centralised gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) system run by an independent energy services company. Photo: Zero Carbon Hub.

Critics denounce latest 'zero carbon homes' exemptions as 'nonsensical'

Alex Stevenson

2nd December 2014

With continuing Coalition in-fighting over the troubled 'zero carbon homes' programme, writes Alex Stevenson, a plan is afoot to allow homes on smaller developments to meet a less demanding energy performance standard - but still carry the 'zero-carbon' label. Critics denounce the plan as 'nonsensical'. more...

UK: 1/25 of 524
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The wind turbine at the end of the rainbow. Photo: geogrpah.org.uk / Wikimedia Commons.

Community renewable energy in the UK needs co-ops!

Tammy Calvert / Energy4All

26th November 2014

The UK's community energy sector was badly hit by the financial regulator's sudden decision this summer to disallow renewable energy co-operatives, writes Tammy Calvert. A consultation on the topic ends tomorrow, Friday - so get your views in quickly while you can! more...
Sheep enjoying the shade created by solar panels at Conergy Solar Park at Fohren in Germany. Photo: Conergy.

The UK's farms can generate as much power as Hinkley C by 2020 - renewably!

Jonathon Porritt

26th November 2014

A new report shows that the UK's farms can easily generate as much power as the proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant, writes Jonathan Porritt. Not only would it all be renewable, but if could all be in place by 2020. Here he offers some friendly - but strictly confidential - advice for Energy Secretary Ed Davey. more...
Early stages of construction on the Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor in France, which was due to open in 2012, but is running five years late. Photo: Schoella via Wikimedia Commons.

Hinkley C hovers on the brink - Europe's nuclear giants face meltdown

Paul Brown

25th November 2014

Doubts are growing doubts that the Hinkley C nuclear power station, the EU's biggest construction project, will get the final go-ahead from the UK government, writes Paul Brown. And that's leaving the European nuclear industry, already in serious financial difficulties, facing a struggle for survival. more...
The moment when journalist and photographer Adrian Arbib was served with an injunction preventing him from photographing an environmental protest at Radley lakes, 2007. Photo: still from video by Adrian Arbib.

Journalists doing their job are not 'domestic extremists'

Adrian Arbib

22nd November 2014

Six journalists are taking the UK Government to court after discovering that they are listed on its 'domestic extremism' database just for reporting on protests, or undertaking inconvenient investigations into state or corporate misconduct. Adrian Arbib is one of them ... more...
Julian Assange at New Media Days 2009: newmediadays.dk/julian-assange. Photo: New Media Days via Flickr.

The para-judicial persecution of Julian Assange

John Pilger

24th November 2014

It's easy to forget that Julian Assange - reviled by mainstream media, hounded by Sweden's judiciary, 'red-listed' by Interpol, publicly attacked by the US defense secretary - remains an innocent man, 'wanted' for nothing more than questioning, writes John Pilger. His disgraceful treatment dishonours only his persecutors. more...
Never mind the drinking water aquifers and the national park - the South Downs is one of England's most cherished landscapes that could be opened up for fracking. Photo: Jaydee! via Flickr.

Fracking is safe. Radiation is harmless. And pigs have wings

Dr David Lowry

21st November 2014

Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos, Environment Secretary Liz Truss, the Environment Agency and its ex-boss Lord Smith all suffer from a blind spot, writes David Lowry - the dangers of fracking, its radioactive emissions and the toxic chemicals that threaten to pollute our aquifers. As for official advice that 'regulation needs to be strongly and robustly applied' - pass the Tippex! more...
UKIP MEP and energy spokesman Roger Helmer poses with Maritsa Noon, chief executive of the pro-fossil fuel, climate change denying Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, at the 7th Heartland Institute Climate Conference in May 2012. Photo: rogerhelm

UKIP uncut - acoloytes of America's far-right corporate gunslingers

Alex Stevenson & Oliver Tickell

21st November 2014

Would UKIP be riding so high if voters knew of the party's links with powerful right-wing US corporate interests promoting fossil fuels, denying climate change, opposing gun control, and supporting big tobacco, teaching creationism in schools, healthcare privatisation and the lifting of nuclear power regulation? An Ecologist investigation exposes the real UKIP. more...
Air Pollution Level 5, London, April 30 2014. Photo: David Holt via Flickr.

ECJ affirms UK's right to clean air - the Government must act!

Keith Taylor MEP

19th November 2014

A landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice compels the UK Government to act as soon as possible to reduce air pollution in British cities, writes Keith Taylor - and a good thing too for our health, safety and wellbeing. But it's not just the UK that benefits: every EU country must also comply with the ruling. more...
TTIP - the elephant in the room. Photo: People's NHS.

NHS at risk from TTIP - Friday's key debate

John Hilary

20th November 2011

Tomorrow MPs will debate a bill to halt the ongoing privatisation of the NHS, writes John Hilary. But even if the bill passes into law, it risks being squashed by the TTIP - the increasingly unpopular US-EU trade deal which could hand over the NHS to US health giants. more...
No neonics here: organic Brussels sprouts from Home Farm, Nacton. Photo: Nick Saltmarsh via Flickr.

Farming for profit? Or for people, nature, health, wellbeing and human survival?

Colin Tudge

19th November 2014

Farming today is well on the way to becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the agro-chemical-biotech industry, writes Colin Tudge. Defra and the European Commission are all too keen to make it so, reflecting the interests of an agro-oligarchy obsessed with profits and growth at all costs. But there is an alternative. Join the 'real farming' agrarian renaissance ... more...
Wind turbines in Powys, Wales. Even if you don't like them, would an open-pit coal mine, or landscape dotted with fracking wells, be an improvement? Photo: vicirabi via Flickr.

Britain's 'energy policy' - carried out by Tories, made by UKIP?

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog UK

17th November 2014

As the governing conservative party lurches ever further to the right, writes Kyla Mandel, it feels like UKIP has already won the election - six months before it's even happened. Tory ministers are already executing UKIP policies, with their ignorant but implacable hatred of renewable energy in all its forms. more...
ITV interviews a victim of the flooded Severn in 2007. Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Open Democracy.

We shall defend our island - if the cost-benefit analysis stacks up

Guy Shrubsole

16th November 2014

Such is the Government's neglect of our flood defences, revealed by a National Audit Office report, that they are failing to even keep pace with climate change, writes Guy Shrubsole. That alone is a national disgrace - but most shameful is that current expenditures mostly benefit the wealthy, while poor communities are neglected. more...
Democratic energy: wind turbines under An Sgurr, Eigg, Scotland. Photo: W. L. Tarbert / Wikimedia Commons.

Reclaim the power! Democratic energy must replace corporate capture

PLATFORM

18th November 2014

Democratising energy would save thousands of lives a year in Britain alone - releasing us from the clutches of corporate utilities, and building an energy commons in which we are all owners and participants, no longer captive, exploited consumers. More than that, it would be a big step forward in saving the planet. more...

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