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Luke Marion, installer Chris Jardine and Barbara Hammond connect the 140kW scheme's last panel, completing Oxford's biggest solar installation.

Pioneering community renewables in Oxford

Wendy Twist

11th July 2014

A partnership between an Oxford-based social enterprise and the local Council provides a blueprint for financing community energy projects, writes Wendy Twist. And with £2.3 million in the bank, things are really starting to move ... more...
Family walking past a blast crater in Kandrashevka, where 9 civilians died during an aerial attack by alleged Ukranian forces on July 2, 2014. ©2014 Human Rights Watch.

A day in Luhansk: war's crimes, horrors, and uncertainties

Tanya Lokshina / HRW

11th July 2014

Amid the chaos and stench of war in East Ukraine, Tanya Lokshina investigates a litany of atrocities - including abductions of non-combatants and air strikes that have left entire villages in ruins and killed many civilians including children. It's all part of HRW's campaign to secure justice for the victims of war crimes. more...
Air Pollution Level 5, London, April 30 2014. Photo: David Holt via Flickr.

London, B'ham, Leeds will not get clean air until after 2030

The Ecologist

10th July 2014

The UK will break nitrogen dioxide limits until after 2030, EU judges were told today. And now the 'secret' information is public - accidentally published on a Government website, while lawyers were asking judges to keep it secret. more...
Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr.

Nuclear power is no answer to global warming

Ian Fairlie

10th July 2014

If we're serious about cutting CO2 emissions, there's no place for nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie - because it's the least cost-effective way to do it. By far the best way is to improve energy efficiency. But tell the Government the truth, and it'll close you down. more...
The Ukraine army cuts off main road to Sloviansk in a 'war zone without front lines'. Photo: Sasha Maksymenko via Flickr.

Ukraine - it's the gas, gas, gas

Mike Whitney

10th July 2014

in Ukraine, as in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, and Syria, US policy is all about dominating the world's fossil fuel supplies, writes Mike Whitney - in this case, the gas pipelines from Russia to Europe. But the 'great aggressor', Vladimir Putin, is refusing to play his part. So what next? more...
For Sale - the Co-op's Stoughton Farm.

Community bids excluded from Coop farm sale

The Ecologist

9th July 2014

The sale process of the UK's Co-op Group of its entire 70,000 acre farm estate systematically blocked community and cooperative bidders. Not a single such bid was received by the deadline. 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...
Toyota UK Solar Panel Array at its vehicle plant in Derbyshire. Photo: Toyota UK via Flickr.

Why do Ed and Greg hate solar energy?

Jonathon Porritt

8th July 2014

With the Government wilfully undermining the UK's small but fast-growing solar power sector for the second time, Jonathon Porritt wonders ... why the attacks on what is our second lowest cost source of renewable energy, and getting cheaper all the time? more...
Lots more of this under Donald Tusk's proposals. A coal burning power station at Belchatow, Poland. Photo: Petr Štefek / Wikimedia Commons.

Poland's 'EU energy union' plan: an attempt to revive Europe's filthiest fuels

Mark Siddi

9th July 2014

Polish PM Donald Tusk is using the Ukraine crisis as a pretext to revive the EU's fossil fuel industries. His proposals spell disaster for EU emissions targets and the wider environment, writes Mark Siddi. Europe's energy future must be efficient and renewable! 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...
If this water was money ... Photo: loopzilla / CC BY-SA.

Soaking the customer - Thames Water's £4 billion sewage money grab

John Allen & Michael Pryke

4th July 2014

Using sophisticated financial engineering, Thames Water is making its customers pay almost the whole cost of its £4.2 billion London sewage tunnel. Is it time England ditched corporate ownership of its utilities and adopted Wales's 'non-profit' model? 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...

UK: 1/25 of 387
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Model's prediction vs recorded data of (a) reactor (infected) cattle, shaded region shows 95% credibility from 5,000 simulations, and (b) distribution density of infected cattle. Image: Brooks-Pollock, Roberts, Keeling / Nature.

Culling badgers is no way to stop the spread of bovine TB

Matt Keeling

3rd July 2014

Published in Nature today, a new cattle herd model shows how bTB infects cattle and how to halt its spread, writes Matt Keeling. Most effective is the slaughter of entire herds with even a single TB infection detected. Culling badgers has very little impact. more...
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson faces a High Court appearance when his 'irrational' decision to hold the 2014 badger cull with no independent expert scrutiny is subjected to Judicial Review.

Badger cull High Court challenge goes ahead

The Ecologist

2nd July 2014

The Badger Trust has been granted leave for a Judicial Review of Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and Natural England over their 'irrational' decision to conduct the 2013 badger cull with no independent expert scrutiny. more...
Image: 'Gaia's surrender' by Jef Sadi via Flickr.

Gaia Theory - an Arctic warning

Laurence Rose

2nd July 2014

As composer Jonathan Dove prepares for the premiere of his 'Gaia Theory' at the BBC Proms this month, he explains to Laurence Rose how his recent work has been inspired by a wake-up call - right from the very top of the world. more...
Wild beavers caught on film in the River Otter, Devon, by Tom Buckley. Photo via BBC News and Youtube.

Let England's wild beavers be!

Oliver Tickell

1st July 2014

A family of wild of beavers has established on an English river for the first time since Henry VIII. But now the Government has decided to trap them and consign them to captivity in a zoo or wildlife centre. Defenders of wilderness are now demanding: keep our wild beavers free! more...
Could high speed railways transform the economy of England's ailing North? Photo: trains at Manchester Piccadilly station by Roger Marks.

Put high speed rail where it can really help - in the North of England

Ian Wray

30th June 2014

High speed railways connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield and Sheffield could transform the economy of the north of England, writes Ian Wray - creating a new mega-city that could challenge London's over-dominance. more...
Looking good ... the Challenger space shuttle take-off on 28th January 1986. But 73 seconds later, it was all over.

Fracking safe? In national parks? What is Lord Smith smoking?

Dr David Lowry

28th June 2014

Lord Smith's views on fracking betray an total ignorance of a large body of published, peer reviewed science that contradicts his conclusions, writes David Lowry - not to mention those of his political masters. Is 'groupthink' leading the UK astray? more...
Hauling sweet chestnut roundwood up the steep include. Photo: Moulsecoomb Forest Garden.

A green building in a green forest shade

Jan Goodey

28th June 2014

A Sussex-based forest gardening project has overcome adversity to celebrate its 20th anniversary, writes Jan Goodey. And now it features one of the most eco of eco-builds in Britain, using all local timber, clay, straw ... and wine bottles. more...
Lambrigg Wind Farm near Kendal in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK. Photo: Steve Oliver via Flickr.

Eric Pickles' war on wind farms could blow UK renewable energy targets

David Elliott

27th June 2014

The UK Government's self-declared war on onshore wind farms will make it very difficult for the UK to meet its EU renewable energy targets, writes David Elliott - especially as it cuts support for solar PV. Is the UK's energy policy being written by UKIP? more...
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) in Russia's Altai Mountains. Photo: Sergey Yeliseev via Flickr.

The grouse shooting industry is out of control - it must be regulated

Martin Harper / RSPB

27th June 2014

Intensive grouse shooting on England's uplands is doing huge damage to fragile ecosystems, writes Martin Harper - and to the 'protected' hen harrier. It's high time to bring this industry under control with a new licencing system. more...
Did Green campaigners carry out this pipeline bombing in Ukraine on June 17th 2014? Of course not - so how come they are under fire by NATO and Russia? Photo: from YouTube / http://youtu.be/oAVJ3udesF8 .

GreenScare 2.0 - campaigners under fire in the new Cold War

Alexander Reid Ross

28th June 2014

Superpower confrontations and growing tensions in Ukraine, the Middle East and the Arctic are all part of a new Cold War, writes Alexander Reid Ross - and this time Green campaigners are under attack by both Russian authorities and NATO ... more...
The solar scheme is planned for Ellough airfield, near this g-kart circuit and next to an industrial estate. Photo: Blue Square Thing via Flickr.

Solar farm go ahead after High Court quashes Pickles's unlawful refusal

The Ecologist

26th June 2014

The High Court has overturned a 'fatally flawed' decision by Eric Pickles MP to refuse planning permission for a locally popular 24MW solar farm on former WW2 airfield in Suffolk, England, close to an industrial estate and go-kart circuit. more...
Hands Off Our Forest protest in the Forest of Dean, 2011. Photograph by John F French.

Save our public lands and forests

Owen Adams

23rd June 2014

First the Government failed to include a Forests Bill in its legislative programme, writes Owen Adams. Next, campaigners spotted that the Infrastructure Bill enables a wholesale selloff of public lands. Just how safe are Britain's public lands and forests? more...
Otero Agamemnon speaking at the Renewable Energy conference, 2013.

Agamemnon Otero, renewable dynamo

Lucy Anna Scott

23rd June 2014

Repowering London is an energising force - not just making renewable energy projects happen, but engaging communities to finance them, training young people to install them, and ensuring the benefits stay local. Lucy Anna Scott meets the dynamic Agamemnon Otero ... more...

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