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Blogs and Comments

In defence of 'In Defence of Life'

Lesley Docksey

21st September 2014

A pike caught in Scotland's Lock Lomond - and safely returned to the water, unharmed. 'We care and must protect this wild nature', writes the photographer. Photo: Nicolas Valentin via Flickr. Can you be a committed nature and animal lover, and enjoy shooting and angling? Only after extraordinary mental contortions, writes Lesley Docksey - who is only mildly surprised to find out that a Facebook critic is a PR man for 'country sports and associated technologies'. more...

The BBC, Friends of the Earth and nuclear power

Neil Crumpton

16th September 2014

Has the BBC forgotten its commitment to impartial journalism? Photo: BBC handbook 1963, by Gordon Joly via Flickr. At first it looked like a journalistic coup, writes Neil Crumpton - the BBC's 'scoop' that FOE was no longer opposed to nuclear power. Except that FOE remains firmly anti-nuclear as it has been for decades. The spotlight must now be turned on the BBC itself, and its little-known but shocking links to the nuclear industry more...

Yes or No, we need democratic and constitutional reform

Rupert Read & Rebecca Johnson

15th September 2014

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. 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...

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

Lawrence Woodward

11th September 2014

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. 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...

Nuclear power - insanity at taxpayers' and consumers' expense

Ralph Nader

12th September 2014

San Onofre Beach State Park, California. In the background, a nuclear power station. Two of the three generating units are now closed. Photo: Luke Jones via Flickr. Nuclear power exists for one reason only, writes Ralph Nader - government support. Without the taxpayer subsidies, accident liability waivers and exploited consumers, nuclear power wouldn't exist. And even with all the above, it can barely hold on. It's time to end the nuclear boondoggle for once and for all. more...

Gaza's revenge: Israelis swim in Palestinian shit

Sam Bahour

11th September 2014

Tel Aviv beach. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Consecutive Israeli military assaults have caused huge damage to Gaza's water and sewage systems, writes Sam Bahour. One result is that almost all Gaza's water is unfit for human consumption. Another is the tide of raw Palestinian sewage lapping on the beaches of Tel Aviv. So who should we feel most sorry for? more...

Badger cull fail - government throws science on the scrapheap

Rosie Woodroffe

9th September 2014

Never mind the questions, never mind the answers, never mind the evidence. The badgers will be culled. Photo: b/flickr, CC BY-NC-SA. 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...

Iceland's whaling and whale meat exports - the IWC must act!

Clare Perry

10th September 2014

Icelandic fin whale meat on sale in Japan. Photo: EIA. Tomorrow the 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission begins in Slovenia, writes Clare Perry. Among the issues: Iceland's slaughter of fin whales in defiance of the IWC moratorium, and its illegal export of their flesh and blubber to Japan - over 2,000 tonnes this year alone. The IWC and its member nations must act. more...

Nature as an 'asset class' - the free market's final frontier?

Alex Scrivener

14th September 2014

Could this ancient woodland be 'offset'? Or better still, transformed into a new asset class for speculative investment? Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire, England in the late autumn. Photo: ukgardenphotos via Flickr. Plans to create a market in nature itself are fraught with danger, writes Alex Scrivener. Biodiversity offsetting could allow the fate of our forests, rivers, meadows and wildlife species, and the people who depend on them, to be determined by the whims of multinational corporations and speculative investors. more...

Abounding life! 4,000 microbes thrive in Antarctic lake beneath the ice

Helen Thompson

15th September 2014

The view down the borehole through half a mile of the Antarctic ice to Lake Whillans. Photo: Reed Scherer / Northern Illinois University. Beneath half a mile of ice scientists have uncovered the first hard evidence of a life in a subglacial lake, writes Helen Thompson. And not just life, but a complex ecosystem comprising thousands of microbial species. Could Jupiter's frozen moon Europa be hiding lakes like this? more...

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

Huw Irranca-Davies

18th September 2014

Badger seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr. 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...

Dairy - the case for greener, healthier, lower performing cows

Mark Eisler, Graeme Martin & Michael Lee

8th September 2014

Contented cows feeding on grass in a field in Cumbria. Photo: Nowerx via Flickr. With supermarket milk cheaper than spring water, it's time to rethink the modern dairy industry. It's not just the milk that's become a throwaway product - the high-octane Holstein cows that produce it are also in the knackers yard after just two or three lactations, the living waste of a loss-making, environment-trashing industry. more...

Blogs

Saving Brazil's Atlantic forest on a shoe string

Cristina Banks-Leite

18th September 2014

'Mata Atlântica' in Brazil's Serra da Gandarela national park. But there are few large forest areas like this one remaining. Mostly the Atlantic forest habitat is fragmented by farms, roads and towns. Photo: Frederico Pereira via Flickr. As Brazil prepares for elections next month, conserving its remaining Atlantic Forest is a hot issue, writes Cristina Banks-Leite. Ecologists want to preserve more native habitat, while farmers want to expand their acreage. But there is one solution that ought to please everyone. more...

Abounding life! 4,000 microbes thrive in Antarctic lake beneath the ice

Helen Thompson

15th September 2014

The view down the borehole through half a mile of the Antarctic ice to Lake Whillans. Photo: Reed Scherer / Northern Illinois University. Beneath half a mile of ice scientists have uncovered the first hard evidence of a life in a subglacial lake, writes Helen Thompson. And not just life, but a complex ecosystem comprising thousands of microbial species. Could Jupiter's frozen moon Europa be hiding lakes like this? more...

Comment

In defence of 'In Defence of Life'

Lesley Docksey

21st September 2014

A pike caught in Scotland's Lock Lomond - and safely returned to the water, unharmed. 'We care and must protect this wild nature', writes the photographer. Photo: Nicolas Valentin via Flickr. Can you be a committed nature and animal lover, and enjoy shooting and angling? Only after extraordinary mental contortions, writes Lesley Docksey - who is only mildly surprised to find out that a Facebook critic is a PR man for 'country sports and associated technologies'. more...

Western sanctions could help Russia's environment - but will they?

Konstantin Rubakhin

19th September 2014

Konstantin Rubakhin is currently in hiding. Photo: Konstantin Rubakhin. Sanctions against Russian natural resource tycoons could be good for the environment, writes eco-campaigner Konstantin Rubakhin - if only they would target the right people. But so far, the EU has been turning a blind eye to powerful Kremlin insiders with an open licence to pollute and destroy. more...

Letters

Letter: water use need not stall desert solar power

Dr Gerry Wolff

25th August, 2010

CSP trough-based system Yes, pioneering concentrating solar power plants are thirsty facilities, but their water use requirements could be made dramatically less more...

Letter - Time to get serious with the EU Emission Trading Scheme

27th May, 2010

Mark Chadwick

Carbon dioxide emissions Mark Chadwick from Carbon Clear argues a full auctioning of ETS permits is needed if the trading scheme is to start working more...

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