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If you want one of these, best put a good distance between you and the nearest fracking well. Photo: Adriano Aurelio Araujo via Flickr.

Miscarriage and stillbirth linked to fracking chemical exposure

Tamsin Paternoster

15th December 2014

Fracking for oil and gas uses a wide range of chemicals that disrupt reproductive function in both sexes, writes Tamsin Paternoster. Now an academic study has found a powerful correlation between stillbirth, miscarriage, low sperm count, and exposure to fracking chemicals. more...
The August 2013 petcoke storm over the southeast side of Chicago. Photo: Anthony Martinez.

Petcoke: the toxic black dust coming to a community near you

Ben Whitford

9th December 2014

It's the fossil fuel industry's latest stroke of genius - a coal substitute that's cheaper, dirtier and more toxic than coal itself, writes Ben Whitford. The waste product of refining heavy oil from Canada's tar sands, petcoke is stored in open mountains around Chicago's 'Slag Valley', sending plumes of sticky black dust over poor neighborhoods every time the wind blows. more...
At COP20 in Lima, Indigenous protestors from Saweto in the Peruvian Amazon protest at ongoing land grabs and murder of their leadeat the COP20 in Lima, Peru. Photo: Luka Tomacrs / Friends of the Earth International.

COP20 and corporate power - destroying the edifice of false climate solutions

Alexander Reid Ross

10th December 2014

Peru, notorious for its brutal exploitation of forests, oil and minerals, theft of indigenous lands and murder of eco-defenders, is an unlikely host for the COP20 climate talks, writes Alexander Reid Ross. Except that Peru's actions reflect the corporate land-grabbing agenda manifest in the false solutions on offer in Lima this week. It's a time for resistance, not compromise! more...
Coal trains near North Antelope Rochelle Mine in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. Photo: Kimon Berlin via Flickr.

BLM sued - no environmental review of coal leasing since 1979

Mike Gaworecki

8th December 2014

Coal leases on public lands operated by the US Bureau of Land Management are responsible for 40% of US coal production and 14% of total US CO2 emissions, writes Mike Gaworecki - yet their environmental impacts have not been reviewed in 35 years. more...
Downtown East Liverpool. Photo: Caitlin Johnson.

Appalachia: a small city's fight against toxic waste incineration

Caitlin Johnson

5th December 2014

East Liverpool, a small city by the Ohio river, is a cancer-ridden dumping ground for the detritus of the global economy, writes Caitlin Johnson. With its filthy power station, coal ash lake, 1,300 fracking wells, silica sand mountains and a huge toxic waste incinerator, the city's people need your help in their fight for environmental justice. more...
Uvas Dam and Reservoir, California, February 1, 2014. Photo: Ian Abbott via Flickr.

Climate change and the downfall of California's big agriculture

Joshua Frank

5th December 2014

Thanks to cheap water and plentiful sunshine, California grows most of the US's fruit, vegetables and nuts, writes Joshua Frank. But with the drought looking ever more permanent, the $40 billion industry is facing a terminal crisis. It's only a matter of time before we have to rely on local produce - so let's make a start now! more...
One of many anti-fracking protest posters. Nieu Bethesda, Karoo. Photo: Jose Gil Paris, Stichting Schaliegasvrij.

'Fracking frenzy' - how the shale gas industry is threatening the planet

Friends of the Earth Europe

11th December 2014

The world is in the grip of a 'fracking frenzy that threatens us for centuries to come with polluted aquifers, runaway climate change, destruction of biodiversity and worthless 'sub-prime' investments. Just as the world must make the transition to a sustainable future, our 'leaders' are determined to make this last losing throw of the fossil fuel dice. more...
Nuclear power station 1 at Three Mile Island, still in operation now long after the partial meltdown in the TMI-2 reactor in 1979. Photo: joelsp via Flickr.

There's no place for nuclear in the 'Clean Power Plan'

Tim Judson / NIRS

28th November 2014

The EPA's plan for 'clean power' are welcome, writes Tim Judson - except for its inclusion of nuclear, and economic distortions and serious omissions that favour the technology. In this open letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, he and co-signatories call on her to ditch the 'false and irrational assumptions' used to justify both new and existing nuclear power. more...
Yes on 92! Photo: Alan via Flickr.

A whisker from victory! Oregon GMO vote goes to a recount

The Ecologist

26th November 2014

Oregon's 'Yes on 92' GMO labeling supporters are just 809 votes from winning, forcing a recount in which they are confident of prevailing - despite being hugely outspent by a corporate 'no' campaign that received nearly $5 million from Monsanto alone. 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...
The Waltons are all for subsidies to large, centralised solar installations like this one by First Solar, in which they have a large shareholding. But they want to penalise small scale solar that challenges the corporate monopoly. Photo: Jumanji Solar via

Walmart, Asda owners using their billions to attack rooftop solar

Mike Gaworecki / DeSmogBlog

20th November 2014

The Walton family, owners of Walmart and Asda, project a 'public environmentalism', writes Mike Gaworecki. But their real agenda is to advance a monopolistic corporate economic model that is threatened by decentralised energy solutions like rooftop solar. The answer? Exterminate! 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...

USA: 1/25 of 227
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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...
WIPP / Los Alamos National Laboratory celebrates its 1000th transuranic waste shipment. Photo: energy.gov / Wikimedia Commons.

New Mexico nuclear waste accident a 'horrific comedy of errors' that exposes deeper problems

Jim Green / Nuclear Monitor

27th November 2014

Last February's explosion at the WIPP dump for long-lived intermediate-level nuclear waste from the US's nuclear weapons program remains unexplained, writes Jim Green. But with the site's history of ignored warnings, 'missing' safety culture, lack of supervision and dubious contractor appointments, it surely came as no surprise - and further accidents appear inevitable. more...
Keystone XL Pipeline Protest at the White House, Washington DC, November 2011. Photo: tarsandsaction via Flickr.

Keystone XL - we won! But the real battle lies ahead

Alexander Reid Ross

19th November 2014

The enabling bill for Keystone XL failed yesterday in the US Senate. Supported by all 45 Republican senators, it fell one vote short of the required 60-vote threshold. But the victory will be a temporary one, writes Alexander Reid Ross. The final battle can only be won by massive grassroots engagement and protest in communities across North America. 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...
At risk from climate change: a turtle on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Marc Füeg via Flickr.

Obama 'shirtfronts' Abbott: protect Barrier Reef from climate change

Michelle Grattan

17th November 2014

In a blunt rebuke to Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott, US President Obama stated that 'every nation has the responsibility to do its part' on climate change, writes Michelle Grattan - in a clear reference to the G20 host's backsliding on climate promises. more...
Waist-high in opium poppies, US Marines patrol west of Nahr-e Saraj canal. Photo:  DVIDSHUB via Flickr.

Flower power? Afghan opium production hits all-time high

Mike Whitney

30th November 2014

The explosive growth of Afghanistan's heroin production after the Taliban brought the trade to a halt should be no surprise, writes Mike Whitney. It's all part of a lucrative plan whose real objective is to create global instability, disrupt social movements, facilitate resource colonialism, and justify the US's perpetual military presence in far flung corners of the world. more...
Stop this and we might just save the world. Photo: EPA, CC BY.

US-China climate deal: at last the big players are talking the right language

Mike Berners-Lee

14th November 2014

Efforts to tackle climate change have failed to make the slightest difference to the exponential increase in CO2 emissions, writes Mike Berners-Lee. The US-China deal at last offers hope that things could change - but to make it work other countries must come on board, and promises must transform into binding commitments. more...
A house being demolished in Union Beach, NJ, on October 19, 2012. A year later the former residents are still living in a trailer in the driveway, waiting to rebuild. Photo: Sandy Storyline / anonymous.

Hurricane Sandy: only communities can build climate resilience

Michael Premo

26th November 2014

Two years after Hurricane Sandy, 'official' responses have failed, writes Michael Premo. Promises have been broken, money remains in limbo, and families are still not back in their homes. With climate change due to bring further disasters, we must build a new kind of resilience that's democratic, participative and rooted in local communities. more...
Plenty more of these on the way: Mulan wind farm, 170km NE of Harbin City in Heilongiang, is one of the first wind farms to be built in China. Photo: Land Rover Our Planet via Flickr.com.

US-China climate deal raises hopes of agreement in 2015

Oliver Tickell

12th November 2014

China and the US have jointly pledged to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, as the Presidents of the two countries met for talks today in Beijing. The move is boosting hopes for the UN climate summit in Paris in 2015 - but is it really enough to restrain temperature rises? more...
With GMO agriculture, a walk in the countryside could be like this in the future. Photo: Liam Wilde via Flickr.

Living with GMOs - a letter from America

The Undersigned

12th November 2014

NGOs, scientists, anti-GM groups, celebrities, food manufacturers, and others representing 57 million Americans today publish an Open Letter to the UK and the entire EU warning of the serious and manifold hazards of GMO crops - and promising their support in our fight against them. more...
Stop TTIP logo. Image: Stop TTIP via Flickr.

TTIP - challenging the European Commission's unlawful intransigence

Mary Fitzgerald & Michael Efler

10th November 2014

The Commission's refusal to 'register' a European Citizens Initiative demanding an end to negotiations over the TTIP trade deal is more than just an affront to the 'democratic values' that Europe is meant to represent, write Mary Fitzgerald & Michael Efler. It is also unlawful, and the legal challenge filed today at the ECJ is richly deserved. more...
Stop TTIP demo in Berlin, October 2014. Photo: Jakob Huber / ECI via Stop TTIP! /  Flickr.

Lawsuit served on Commission for blocking TTIP challenge

The Ecologist

10th November 2014

A 300-strong coalition of civil society groups is taking the European Commission to the European Court of Justice, claiming that its refusal to register a official 'Citizens Initiative' opposing the EU-US TTIP trade deal was unlawful. more...
Lorsban is sprayed on a soccer pitch to control grubs, 1987. Photo: srv007 via Flickr.

Chlorpyrifos - cause of birth defects, mental impairment - sprayed on farms across the US

Janette D. Sherman

15th November 2014

Dow's teratogenic pesticide chlorpyrifos is a human and environmental disaster, writes Janette D. Sherman. It causes serious, irreversible damage to the human foetus even at low concentrations that may be harmless to the mother, resulting in severely and permanently disabled and mentally damaged children. But it's still sprayed in vast quantities on America's farms. more...

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