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Anti-fracking protest at Balcombe, Sussex. Photo: Robin Webster via geograph.org.uk, CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Fracking in the UK: what to expect in 2015

Richard Heasman / DeSmogUK

2nd January 2015

The government appears as determined as ever to push ahead with fracking as a central plank of its energy policy, writes Richard Heasman - ignoring growing evidence of health and environmental harm. But with the economics of fracking undermined by heavy energy price falls, the UK industry may never get off the ground. more...
England's nightingales have suffered a 90% population crash in 40 years, but Medway Council has decided that its 'protected' SSSI sanctuary is fair game for development. Photo: John Bridges / RSPB.

Nightingales at risk as housebuilding threatens 'protected' SSSI breeding site

Robin McKie, the Guardian Environment

1st January 2015

Disaster threatens England's nightingales, already down 90% in 40 years, if ministers fail to block a plan to build 5,000 homes on SSSI breeding site in Kent. But as Robin McKie writes, the government is showing no sign of intervening, as campaigners warn of an 'open season' for development on our most important wildlife sites. more...
LED lights. Photo: youngthousands from usa via Wikimedia Commons.

Blinded by the lights? How power companies just stole £1 billion - from us

Alan Simpson

31st December 2014

The UK government celebrated Christmas by donning Santa suits and throwing a £1 billion subsidy down the fuming smoke stacks of the UK's biggest power companies, writes Alan Simpson - a massive payment at the expense of UK energy users, for doing what they should be doing anyway. Have a Brave New Year! more...
Grieving families are unlikely ever to know who really shot down MH17, as geopolitics rules out an open and impartial investigation. Memorials at Schiphol airport, Netherlands. Photo:  Patrick Rasenberg via Flickr CC-BY.

MH17 investigation - geopolitics triumphs over truth and justice

James O'Neill

25th December 2014

The official investigation into the downing of MH17 is without precedent in the history of aviation, writes James O'Neill, as it gives one of the prime suspects, Ukraine, a veto power over publication of the report. Grieving families of the victims may never know know the truth, as geopolitics triumphs over justice. more...
London Mayor Boris Johnson and actress Barbara Windsor enjoy a street party in Tower Hamlets with the Rocky Park Urban Growers - a local project to plant vegetables and transform a neglected space in the community.

Boris progresses 'Greater London National Park'

The Ecologist

23rd December 2014

London Major Boris Johnson has taken a key first step towards a new Greater London National Park to safeguard the city's green spaces, waterways and natural treasures - and open them up for people to enjoy. more...
In 1991 protests against this M3 cutting through Twyford Down galvanised a road protest movement that forced a major government retreat. Can we do the same again? Photo: © Peter Facey via geograph.org.uk/.

'Peak oil' - the wrong argument for the right reasons

Dr Steve Melia

23rd December 2014

Recent falls in oil prices give 'greens' cause to rethink arguments about 'peak oil' and get back to why they are really opposed to fossil fuels, writes Dr Steve Melia. Ultimately, it's not the economic evidence that drives government decisions - it's the politics! more...
Fishing boats on Sasyk Lyman were abandoned following the collapse of its marine fishery. Photo: Dimeter Kenarov.

A failed Soviet irrigation project brings eco-apocalypse to SE Ukraine

Dimiter Kenarov

29th December 2014

In 1976, it looked like a good idea: to divert the waters of the Danube into a salt-water lagoon on Ukraine's Black Sea coast, and irrigate millions of hectares of arid steppe land, writes Dimiter Kenarov. But the result has been human and environmental disaster on an epic scale. more...
What we want: happy free range pigs on the Sandy Lane Organic Farm, Oxfordshire.

Pork at Christmas? Make sure it's from a happy pig!

Giulia Barcaro

22nd December 2014

As families across the country stock up on food for Christmas feasting, Giulia Barcaro urges them to give a thought to animal welfare - read the label to discover whether the meat you're buying comes from high-welfare farms, or has condemned a sentient creature to a life of suffering. more...
Contaminated land in West Yorkshire, England - the site of a former chemicals factory. Photo: Engineering at Cambridge via Flickr.

Death by landfill - cutting 'green tape' costs lives

Paul Mobbs

22nd December 2014

As Cameron 'cuts the green crap' Paul Mobbs remembers how the decisions of a Conservative government 20 years ago to go easy on the owners of contaminated land and old waste dumps have led to present day blight, ill-health and death. Now brow-beaten regulators and politicians in hock to party funders are doing it all over again. more...
Photo: Badgers in the wild by Tim Brookes via Flickr.

2014 badger cull failed - but the cull goes on

Oliver Tickell

18th December 2014

England's 2014 badger cull has failed to meet key targets for effectiveness with such low numbers of animals shot that TB spread is likely to be increased. But Defra boss Liz Truss insists the cull will go on regardless. more...
In September 2010 Vattenfall opened Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, off England’s south east coast - the largest in the world. Photo: Nuon via Flickr.

All over the world, renewables are beating nuclear

David Elliott

18th December 2014

As flagship nuclear projects run into long delays and huge cost overruns, solar and wind power are falling in price, writes David Elliott. Renewables already supply twice as much power as nuclear. It's just too bad the nuclear-fixated UK government hasn't noticed. more...
The mushroom cloud of the USSR's Tsar Bomba nuclear bomb test. With its 60 Mt yield, this was the largest nuclear explosion ever. Photo: via Andy Zeigert / Flickr.

Austria's campaign to 'stigmatise, prohibit and eliminate' nuclear weapons

Rebecca Johnson

27th December 2014

Austria's pledge to strive for the elimination of nuclear WMD kindled fresh energy and hope at this month's Vienna Conference on Nuclear Weapons, writes Rebecca Johnson. Now we must maintain the momentum towards global nuclear disarmament at the May 2015 meeting of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. more...

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Azure damselflies. Photo: Paul Ritchie via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Election 2015 - our chance to campaign for nature and wellbeing

Jenny Jones

3rd January 2015

Despite a raft of legislation to protect our wildlife, 60% of our key species are in decline, writes Jenny Jones. That's why we need a new and positive approach, going beyond protection to rebuilding flourishing, sustainable wildlife populations. And people too will see the benefits - in our own as is our health and wellbeing. more...
The Drake Oil Well, PA, the first ever drilled in the US, in 1859, could still be producing emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane. Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr CC-BY.

Disused oil and gas wells wells a major source of methane

Richard Heasman & Oliver Tickell

28th December 2014

Long-disused oil and gas wells in the US have been found to be a 'significant' source of the super greenhouse gas methane, writes Richard Heasman. The climate impact of oil and gas is underestimated, as this long term impact is not included in existing calculations. more...
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...
Photo: Vladimir Pustovit via Flickr, CC-BY.

Population matters. Women matter more

Biff Vernon

30th December 2014

Of course rising world population matters, writes Biff Vernon, due to its impact on the planet and its resources. But to actually do something about it, don't even mention the 'p' word. Instead let's cut back on our wasteful, high-consumption lifestyles - and empower women everywhere! 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...
Malcolm Kerby, campaigning against a government as intransigent as the rising seas. Photo: Guy Shrubsole.

Meet Malcolm, the man defending his town from the rising seas

Guy Shrubsole

11th February 2015

As the seas rise, the government is doing little to help those whose homes are being engulfed beneath the waves, writes Guy Shrubsole - people like veteran campaigner Malcolm Kerby, who has already seen a whole street of his North Norfolk town lost to the rising waters. 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...

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