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'Light'em all up!' From video footage from a US Apache helicopter attack on civilians and children in 2007 posted by Wikileaks.

Lies about Assange and UN human rights jurists imperil us all

Jonathan Cook

6th February 2016

The defence secretary, 'comedians' on BBC Radio's News Quiz, and the entire media commentariat have ganged up this weekend up to pour mockery and poisonous lies over Julian Assange and the UN's human rights jurists, writes Jonathan Cook. As they attempt to fight off the UN's 'guilty' verdict against the British state, they are putting dissidents at risk everywhere. more...
Earth and Moon. Photo: NASA ESA via Wikimedia (Public Domain).

A sustainable UK needs a 'one planet' Budget

Alan Simpson

5th February 2016

When Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget next month, we can be sure that climate and environment won't take a high priority, writes Alan Simpson. All the more reason for the Labour leadership to develop a new 'one planet' economics for the 21st century that delivers social justice and respects ecological limits. more...
There's the pollution you can see, and the even more dangerous pollution that's invisible: the high levels of nitrogen oxides produced by many modern diesel cars. Photo: Adrian Midgley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

MEPs vote for killer car pollution at double the legal limit

EurActiv

3rd February 2016

Right wing MEPs in the European Parliament including UK conservatives today voted car makers a 'get out of jail free' card over air pollution that's killing tens of thousands of citizens a year, allowing their vehicles to emit double the legal limit for nitrogen oxides. more...
Cyclist wearing face mask to protect against polluted air. Photo: Hamish Irvine via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Time to crack down on car pollution - the silent killer with powerful friends

Jean Lambert, Molly Scott Cato & Keith Taylor

3rd February 2016

Air pollution from vehicles is killing tens of thousands of people every year in the UK alone, write Jean Lambert, Molly Scott Cato & Keith Taylor, an outrage set into stark focus by VW's 'test cheating'. The EU's response? To relax tests and allow cars to be more polluting - with the full support of the UK government. more...
'Grandmother Google, what big teeth you have got!' 'All the better to eat you up with.' Larry Page and Sergey Brin urgently require dental treatment. Image: Duncan Hull / Gizmodo via Flickr (CC BY).

UK Tax Dodgers PLC - Google outrage is the tip of an iceberg

Donnachadh McCarthy

31st January 2016

Why are we so surprised at the Google tax heist? It's not because there's anything new about it, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. It's because our own political class have long their noses in the trough, and the tax-dodging billionaires that own our mainstream media are anxious to hide the swindle that's keeping them rich, and us poor. more...
Another Chernobyl? The Centrale Nucléaire de Tihange in Belgium was closed down a year ago after the discovery of 16,000 cracks in its reactor vessel. Now the government wants to start it up again. Photo: grotevriendelijkereus via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Nuclear renaissance? Failing industry is running flat out to stand still

Dr Jim Green

30th January 2016

Despite the endless rhetoric about a 'nuclear renaissance', there are fewer power reactors today than there were a decade ago, writes Jim Green. The one country with a really big nuclear build program is China, but no one expects it to meet its targets. And with over 200 reactor shut-downs due by 2040, the industry will have to run very hard indeed just to stay put. more...
Hinkley C as it would look, if ever built: 'like building a cathedral inside a cathedral', says one nuclear engineer. Artwork: EDF.

Unable to raise Hinkley C nuclear cash, EDF turns to French government

Oliver Tickell

26th January 2016

Just as EDF was due to make its 'final investment decision' on Hinkley C, writes Oliver Tickell, another delay. In spite of incredibly generous subsidies, the company is unable to finance it. Its last hope is to persuade the French state to take a 10% stake in the doomed project. more...
Now many members of EDF's board and most employees are agreed with this protestor in wanting EDF to drop its doomed Hinkley C project. Site blockade in October 2012. Photo: GLOBAL 2000 via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

EDF's Hinkley C decision 'on a knife edge' as problems crowd in

Oliver Tickell

26th January 2016

The EDF board is meeting tomorrow to reach its 'final investment decision' on Hinkley C. It was meant to be a rubber stamp but now it's anything but, as EDF's share price sinks to a new low, unions and employee directors harden their opposition to the project, and projects in France, Finland and China run way over time and cost with severe technical problems and safety concerns. more...
Wind power in Copenhagen, Denmark - representing everything the UK's Euro-sceptic right most hates. Photo: Johan Wessman / News Øresund via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Why are the UK's climate change deniers so desperate to get us out of the EU?

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog.uk

25th January 2016

Anti-EU sentiment and climate change denialism go hand in hand, writes Kyla Mandel. But why? Partly it's down to a belief in unconstrained national sovereignty and economic freedom - threatened by the EU and climate change alike. But it's also because out of the EU, the UK could advance the anti-environment agenda the deniers so passionately believe in, with no one to get in the way. more...
As a result of EU environmental law, the UK is being forced to clean up its severe urban air pollution. Air Pollution Level 5 as seen in London, 30th April 2014. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Outside the EU, the UK could again be the ‘dirty man of Europe'

Craig Bennett / Friends of the Earth

25th January 2016

When the UK joined the EU in 1973, it was dubbed the 'dirty man of Europe' thanks to its out of control pollution, writes Craig Bennett. Since then EU laws have forced us to clean up our act. But if we leave, all that may go into the reverse, with terrible impacts on our air, water, health, and wildlife. more...
The Pacific Egret, with its small naval cannon visible, left and right, on its rear deck. Left, its companioin vessel, the Pacific Heron. Photo: Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment via Facebook.

Too much of a bad thing? World awash with waste plutonium

Paul Brown

24th January 2016

As worldwide stocks of plutonium increase, lightly-armed British ships are about to carry an initial 330kg of the nuclear bomb metal for 'safekeeping' in the US, writes Paul Brown. But it's only the tip of a global 'plutonium mountain' of hundreds of tonnes nuclear power's most hazardous waste product. more...
The Heygate Estate, London, in March 2010. Cheerless, but providing a lot of affordable housing. Now demolished, its communities have been broken up and dispersed. Photo: Thomas Bryans via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Cameron's 'sink estate' strategy - social cleansing by another name?

Loretta Lees

24th January 2016

Demolishing 'sink' council estates is no way to solve social problems, writes Loretta Lees. All it does is force low income communities out of affordable housing, and open valuable urban sites up for profitable redevelopment. But then, maybe that's the point? more...

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The Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, which supplies coal to UK power statins including Drax in Yorkshire. Photo: Hour.poing.

Ditch coal now! The global destruction caused by the UK's coal power generation

Anne Harris

28th January 2016

The UK's coal burn is not just having a huge impact on climate, writes Anne Harris. It's also devastating communities in the UK, Russia, Colombia and other nations that supply our coal power stations. Those impacted are doing their best to resist the mining companies that are destroying their land, stealing their homes and polluting their air and water. But they need our help! more...
Alice Hooker-Stroud, leader of the Wales Green Party, on a hill overlooking her home town of Machynlleth in West Mid-Wales. Photo: Alex Randall via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Communities at the heart of a Green Wales

Alice Hooker-Stroud

21st January 2016

This May the Greens are hoping to win their first seats in the Welsh Assembly, and become a strong force for social and ecological progress, writes Alice Hooker-Stroud, newly elected leader of the Wales Green Party. At the heart of the vision: sustainable, prosperous, empowered communities. more...
A nice box of mackerel brought in from the seas off Newhaven, July 2012. Photo: Rachel Clarke via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The EU is helping, not harming, UK fisheries

Griffin Carpenter

19th January 2016

With the EU referendum on the horizon, the Common Fisheries Policy is likely to figure in the debate as an exemplar of EU policy failure, writes Griffin Carpenter. But the much maligned and misunderstood CFP is doing a good job: stocks are recovering, bycatch-dumping is banned, and it may even force the UK to give more quota to small-scale fishers. more...
Chart 1: Electrical power by source, June 2015. Image: Grant Wilson / energy-charts.org.

2015: Renewable power breaks British records

Grant Wilson, University of Sheffield

18th January 2016

Wind, solar and hydro together generated 14.6% of Britain's electrical energy in 2015, the highest ever, writes Grant Wilson. They also peaked at 22% of electricity over the week of Christmas - another British record. more...
Mums say 'No' to GMOS!

Mums - let's use our consumer power to keep GMOs and deadly herbicides out of food

Sally Beare

21st January 2016

No matter how concerned we are about the quality of food we and our families eat, we can be sure governments are putting corporate profit first, writes Sally Beare. But we - Mums in particular - still have our power as consumers to push supermarkets and other retailers into going GM-free and keeping toxic agrochemicals out of the food chain. Let's use it! more...
We enjoy farming! Photo: Alto vicky via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

Who's telling the truth about the New Alliance and farmers in African countries?

Aisha Dodwell / Global Justice Now.

15th January 2016

The 'New Alliance', backed by £600m of UK aid, is meant to improve food security, reduce malnutrition and lift people out of poverty, writes Aisha Dodwell. But it's all a huge con - delivering corporate welfare, attacking small farmers, enabling land grabs - and leaving a trail of poverty and human devastation. It draws praise from only a single review of its activities: its own. more...
Photo: Weiderinder.de.vu via Wikimedia (Public domain).

Disgraceful 'Honour' for failing to protect people from poisons

Georgina Downs

18th January 2016

Easy to miss in the New Year Honours list: a little-known civil servant for 'services to pesticides regulation'. But none the less shocking for that, writes Georgina Downs. Paul Hamey MBE is the very man who has been responsible for ensuring that rural residents receive no proper protection from repeated exposure to toxic mixtures of pesticides on nearby farms. Go figure. more...
The Trident missile bearing nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: Defence Images via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Trident, nuclear submarines and the UK's nuclear power imperative

Andy Stirling & Phil Johnstone

15th January 2016

The UK's nuclear power programme is driven by military demands, write Andy Stirling & Phil Johnstone - but not in the way you might think. The most essential need is not for plutonium or tritium, but for a nuclear industrial sector to design, build and maintain the reactors that power nuclear submarines. Without them, the Trident missile system would have no military credibility. more...
Flooded, embanked tributary of the River Eden in Cumbria. Image from a small unmanned aerial vehicle. Photo: Neil Entwistle @salfordhydro .

Changes to our rivers and floodplains have exacerbated flooding

Neil Entwistle & George Heritage

12th January 2016

Changes to natural drainage processes in headwaters, rivers, floodplains and river channels has increased the UK's vulnerability to heavy rainfall, write Neil Entwistle & George Heritage. And to put things right, we must first gather the detailed evidence of what took place in recent floods. The Environment Agency must publish all its data, maps and images - now! more...
EPR nuclear plant under construction at Olkiluoto in Finland in 2009 - the year it was due for completion. It may finally be ready in 2018 - or then, it may not. Photo: kallerna via Wkimedia (Public Domain).

EDF may sell €3bn stake in UK nuclear to fund Hinkley C

Terry Macalister / the Guardian & Oliver Tickell

8th January 2016

The cash-strapped French energy giant EDF may sell off profitable stakes in its in its eight existing UK nuclear reactors to raise money for the Hinkley Point C project. But with no example of the EPR design planned for Hinkley even near completion, it may all prove a risk too far. 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...
Original illustration for The Rural Manifesto by Clifford Harper.

Equality in the countryside

Land Workers Alliance & The Land

7th January 2016

At a time when the Labour Party is discovering its egalitarian roots, inequality is as much of an issue in the countryside as in the city, states this 'Rural Manifesto' from the Land Workers Alliance and The Land. The neglect and exclusion of Britain's rural poor and landless farmers must end. more...

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