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Politics: 1/25 of 927
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The Occupy Democracy rally in London's Parliament Square last night. Photo: Nina Tailor / @ninatailor2.

Less freedom in Westminster's Parliament Square than in Hong Kong!!

Donnachadh McCarthy

19th October 2014

Donnachadh McCarthy went to Parliament Square yesterday to address a peaceful rally about the failings of British democracy. The intimidatory, violent and inflammatory police reaction only confirmed everything he had to say - as did the dignified restraint of the Occupy Democracy protestors. more...
Science can’t tell us exactly when the rising oceans will swallow up the Maldives, but it can give us a good idea. Photo: Hiroyuki-H, CC BY-SA.

Climate 'uncertainty' is no excuse for climate inaction

Richard Pancost & Stephan Lewandowsky

18th October 2014

Scientific uncertainties over future climate are widely used by 'sceptics' to justify a policy of no response, write Richard Pancost & Stephan Lewandowsky. But this reflects a deep misunderstanding: outcomes may end up much more severe than expected - and we should prepare for worst case scenarios. more...
An artist's impression of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Image: EDF Energy media library.

NAO investigates Hinkley C nuclear subsidies

Terry Macalister / The Guardian

17th October 2014

Hinkley C's subsidy package may have won European Commission approval - but now it faces a National Audit Office 'value for money' investigation, following a demand from a powerful Parliamentary committee. more...
If you don't recognise Natalie Bennett, the Green Party's leader, it may because she has to fight all the way for media exposure. But in spite of the difficulties, the Greens pushed the Lib Dems into fifth place in the Euro-elections.

Excluding Greens from TV debates would make a mockery of democracy

Josiah Mortimer

16th October 2014

UK broadcasters decision to exclude the Greens from the 2015 General Election debates has triggered a storm of protest, writes Josiah Mortimer. The numbers all show that the Greens deserve to be heard, but it's about more than that - the British people deserve the chance to engage in a new, progressive politics for the 21st century. more...
Never mind the questions, never mind the answers, never mind the evidence. The badgers will be culled. Photo: b/flickr, CC BY-NC-SA.

Unlawful, ineffective, toxic: the badger cull must end - vaccination is the answer

Dominic Dyer

10th October 2014

The Badger Trust' is in the Court of Appeal today, making its case that the 2014 'trial' badger cull is unlawful, writes Dominic Dyer. But beyond that, the entire culling policy is driven by politics, not science, and is doomed to failure. It's time for Cameron to harness his 'big society' to apply a genuine solution: badger vaccination. more...
The Prostitute State

Nuclear power trumps democracy

Donnachadh McCarthy

9th October 2014

The UK's political mainstream has performed a complete U-Turn in policy on nuclear power, culminating yesterday in the European Commission's approval of a £15-20 billion subsidy package for the Hinckley C project. Donnachadh McCarthy delves into the nuclear industry's deep and far-reaching political links. more...
Sweden's Greens celebrate six ministerial positions in the new Social Democrat-led government. Photo: Miljöpartiet de gröna via Flickr.

Greens join Swedish government with radical environmental agenda

Dominic Hinde

8th October 2014

Sweden's Greens are in government for the first time, wriites Dominic Hinde, with six ministerial posts in the new Social Democrat / Green coalition. After eight years of Conservative-led government, the country is determined to resume its former role as a green pioneer, but many challenges lie ahead. more...
Miguel Arias Cañete. Photo: La Moncloa Gobierno de España via Flickr.

'Petrolhead' Cañete's top EU climate job in doubt

EuroActiv

3rd October 2014

The appointment of Spain's Miguel Arias Cañete as the EU's Energy and Climate Commissioner is in doubt as MEPs rally against the man dubbed 'petrolhead' by the Sunday Times. Adding to his woes, an Avaaz petition against him has topped 438,000 signatures, and counting. more...
After a history of accidents at the site, the three ageing reactors at Mihama, Japan, are among those likely never to restart. Photo: Kansai Electric Power Co via IAEA Imagebank / Flickr.

Rocky road ahead for Japan's nuclear restart

Jim Green and Peer de Rijk / Nuclear Monitor

26th September 2014

Japan's government is trying to get its failing nuclear power industry up and running, write Jim Green and Peer de Rijk. But in the post-Fukushima world, it faces formidable obstacles. Experts believe most reactors will never restart - and Japan's stricken utilities may have to find $30 billion or more to finance their decommissioning. more...
The Edmonton waste-to-energy incinerator in North London is the largest in the UK, and produces up to 55MW of power. Photo: Fin Fahey via Flickr.

PFI waste incinerator contracts burn more money than rubbish

David Hall / The Conversation

22nd September 2014

A Parliamentary report reveals that £200 million has been wasted on failed 'public-private' PFI projects for waste management, writes David Hall. The obvious solution: to allow local authorities to build and operate their own, which is cheaper and more flexible. The only problem: under UK government rules, it's PFI or nothing. more...
All tooled up and nowhere to go? HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr.

A Yes vote in Scotland could finish Trident

Paul Ingram

17th September 2014

If the Scots vote yes on Thursday the UK's already tight military budget will be squeezed even harder, writes Paul Ingram, dramatically increasing the chances of nuclear disarmament. Adding to the UK's headache: the only medium term alternative base for its Trident submarine fleet would be ... in Georgia, USA. more...
The poll results showing highly 'climate sceptic' views among Tory MPs. Note that the right-hand column showing LibDem views is barely visible. Image: PR Week / Populus.

Tory MPs: 'climate change is not man made'

Alex Benady & John Owens

15th September 2014

Seven out of ten Tory MP's think there's no proof that climate change is caused by people, and one in five thinks the idea is 'environmentalist propaganda', a new poll shows. Labour and Lib-Dem MPs are far more likely to accept climate science, but Parliament as a whole is remarkably 'climate sceptic'. more...

Politics: 1/25 of 927
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Blue skies beckon for British democracy, and not only in Scotland. Saltire drawn by vapour trails over the Falls of Foyers, Scotland. Photo: David Sim via Flickr.

Yes or No, we need democratic and constitutional reform

Rupert Read & Rebecca Johnson

15th September 2014

The Scottish referendum must mark an end to 'business as usual' in UK politics - no matter who triumphs in this week. That means no more 'first past the post' parliamentary elections, and a wider democratic rebirth under a new constitutional compact. more...
Jean-Claude Juncker in a moment of satisfaction following his election by the European Parliament as President of the Commission. But now, will his Commissioners implement his vision? Photo: European Parliament.

How will the new EU team line up on GMOs, TTIP and energy?

Lawrence Woodward

11th September 2014

We have a new European Commission - so what does it mean for the environment, GMOs and trade negotiations? Lawrence Woodward can't help feeling that the best part of the package is Commission President Juncker himself. Now, will his 'team' pull together and work to deliver his vision? We can't quite count on it. more...
Green MP Caroline Lucas is a lone Parliamentary voice against fracking. But democratic pressure in constituencies could force others to join her camp. Photo: This account has been discontinued via Flickr.

One more heave! Ministers' pre-election fracking drive

Alex Stevenson

9th September 2014

Ministers are determined to get fracking under way in the UK as fast as possible, so it's a 'fait accompli' in time for the election, writes Alex Stevenson. With a firm pro-fracking concensus in Parliament, only one thing can frustrate their plans - strong local campaigns to turn around MPs desperate for re-election in 2015. It even has a name: democracy. more...
Never mind the questions, never mind the answers, never mind the evidence. The badgers will be culled. Photo: b/flickr, CC BY-NC-SA.

Badger cull fail - government throws science on the scrapheap

Rosie Woodroffe

9th September 2014

England's 2014 trial badger cull starts today - with no independent oversight, and no gathering of essential scientific data. The government's 'science-led' policy consists of asking scientists for help, writes Rosie Woodroffe - then completely ignore everything they said, and order them off the premises. more...
Badger seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr.

Labour will tackle bovine TB - without the mass killing of badgers

Huw Irranca-Davies

18th September 2014

Speaking in Stroud this week, Huw Irrancas-Davies MP delivered a withering attack on the Government's badger cull policy - and firmly committed a future Labour government to ending the badger cull, using measures to control bovine TB that are safe, effective, and humane. more...
Nightingale singing in a hawthorn tree. Photo: John Bridges / rspb-images.com.

Housing against nightingales - no way!

Martin Harper / RSPB

8th September 2014

A 5,000-house development has just won planning permission on a SSSI nature area in Kent which is home to over 1% of the UK's nightingales. It violates government planning policies, and ministers have the power to stop it. But will they? Yes they will, writes Martin Harper - provided enough people show they care! more...
Still from the Mercy for Animals video of Bettencourt Dairy, Idaho.

Success for challenge to Idaho 'ag-gag' law

Oliver Tickell

5th September 2014

A legal challenge to a draconian Idaho law that outlaws free speech about animal abuses on factory farms has survived a 'motion to dismiss' in a federal court. The challenge, mounted by free speech, animal welfare, food and environment groups, claims the 'ag gag' law is unconstitutional. more...
Oxford: the buildings are beyond compare. So is the politics. Photo of the Radcliffe Camera by Chris chabot via Flickr.

With 4% support, Labour robs Green seat in 'rotten borough' election

Adam Ramsay

5th September 2014

A 'rotten borough' election in Oxford has won Labour a councillor on the lowest turnout in British electoral history - robbing the Greens of a winnable seat. The by-election in a mainly student ward was timed for the summer vacation - disenfranchising 60% of voters. more...
Frackers' promises don't add up to a row of beans. Gas fracking on the Haynesville Shale near Shreveport, Louisiana. Photo: Daniel Foster via Flickr.

'Misleading' fracking ad 'must not appear again'

Oliver Tickell

3rd September 2014

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ordered the withdrawal of an ad extolling the virtues of fracking, ruling that it is misleading, exaggerating, and lacks substantiation. In the process it has undermined the Government's entire case for fracking in the UK. more...
Drought under a torrid sky in Santa Fe, Argentina. Photo: Claudio.Ar via Flickr.

Britain's real 'terror threat': eco-sceptic politicians

Paul Mobbs

3rd September 2014

Politicians are forever citing 'terror' as a reason to expand the security state and restrict civil liberties, writes Paul Mobbs. But when it comes to the real threats that face the world - ecological breakdown, climate disruption, resource crises, and an unjust and rapacious world order ... well, that's all 'green crap'. Isn't it? more...
The whole region is carved up by canals with well heads like these at the ends. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr.

New Orleans: oil & gas evading $50bn coastal restoration obligations

Julie Dermansky

5th September 2014

Thanks to damage to coastal wetlands by the oil & gas industry, Louisiana is losing two acres to the sea an hour, writes Julie Dermansky. The companies are legally obliged to repair their damage - but they haven't and the cost has reached $50 billion. The answer? A Bill backed by the state governor to make them immune from lawsuits. more...
Ferguson - Hands Up Don't Shoot! Photo: via PFLP.

Liberation is our birthright! Palestine stands with Ferguson

Khaled Barakat

1st September 2014

Blacks, Indigenous peoples and Palestinians are all engaged in a single struggle against a racist empire that systematically robs, colonises, impoverishes, terrorises, enslaves, imprisons, tortures and murders its subject populations. Their struggle for liberation is one, and will ultimately vanquish as the empire collapses from within.
more...
Action to shut down Utah tar sands mine - Summer Heat. Photo: 350.org via Flickr.

The liberal climate agenda is doomed to failure

Scott Parkin

29th August 2014

Liberal environmentalism represents a dangerous delusion, writes Scott Parkin - that 'playing nice' with Earth-destroying corporations and politicians can yield results worth having. Radical change on climate will only result from bold, confrontational direct actions against the fossil fuel industries and their apologists. more...

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