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Blogs and Comments

Reaping the benefits of community energy

Emily Haves

31st July 2014

A solar-powered thatch hut. Photo: Ashden. Donors, NGOs and investors want to help grassroots sustainable energy enterprises grow, so they can bring the myriad benefits of clean and affordable energy to many more people, writes Emily Haves. But just what kind of support is needed? more...

Gaza - is annexation Israel's 'permanent solution'?

Oliver Tickell

31st July 2014

Could his loss be Israel's gain? A destroyed house in Gaza and its distraught owner, 22nd July 2014. Photo: Mohammed Al Baba / Oxfam International via Flickr. As Israel pursues its war on Gaza with ever-increasing ferocity, and with 25% of Gaza's people forced from their homes, what's the final objective? It's unthinkable that Israel's aim is to 'cleanse' the territory of its people, seize its vast gas reserves, and annex some of the Med's hottest real estate. Isn't it? more...

Why freshwater dolphins are among the world’s most endangered mammals

Rachel Nuwer

30th July 2014

An Irawaddy dolphin slips beneath the surface of the Mekong river at Kampie, Cambodia. Photo: Jim Davidson via Flickr Humans are to blame for the drastic declines in river dolphin populations around the world, writes Rachel Nuwer. But what exactly are we doing wrong? Mainly, scientists have found, it's building dams - and so destroying and fragmenting their habitat. more...

Pesticide safety research shouldn't be left to the pesticide companies

Christopher N Connolly

30th July 2014

After the pesticides we spray, who will be left flying? Photo: John Severns via The Conversation. Pesticide companies are responsible for assessing the safety of their products, writes Christopher N Connolly - and this situation cannot continue. The research should be carried out independently, subjected to peer review, and published. more...

Obama's achievement: the US is the world's biggest oil producer, again

Don Lieber

29th July 2014

In Obama's America, oil is no longer a sunset industry. Photo: Sunset in Texas by Reto Fetz via Flickr. The US, long the world's biggest oil consumer, has just surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world's top oil producer, writes Don Lieber. Oil exports to Europe and Asia will begin shortly. Now what was that Obama said about climate change? Oh, forget it ... more...

Carry on Culling - the fiasco continues

Lesley Docksey

28th July 2014

A mother badger with three cubs to feed looks for food in garden in rural Dorset. Photo: Lesley Docksey. 'We need to look at the best scientific evidence' on badgers and bovine TB, says Environment Secretary Liz Truss. But as Lesley Docksey writes, the 'best scientific evidence' appears to mean only that which supports the cull - and there's precious little of it! more...

Organic farming boosts environment and nutrition

Pat Thomas

1st August 2014

These organic courgettes at Sandy Lane Farm in Oxfordshire are good for soil, water, wildlife - and you! Photo: Sandy Lane farm. How we farm matters, writes Pat Thomas - not just for water, insects, birds and the wider environment, which benefit from organic farming, but also the nutritional value of our food. It's time to value the quality of what we eat, instead of prizing quantity above all. more...

Gaza: an end to the war - 'Once And For All'

Uri Avnery

25th July 2014

Israelis protest in Tel Aviv: In this war, both sides have declared the same aim - to put an end to the situation that existed before it started. Remarkably, writes Uri Avnery, they can both have their way: an end to the rockets, bombs and shells; an end to the blockade and the occupation. In short, peace. But first they must talk to each other ... more...

Germany's renewable revolution shows the way

Keith Barnham

26th July 2014

A common sight in Germany - a solar parking shelter with a generation capacity of approx 0.3MW. Photo: Tim Fuller via Flickr. How did Germany do it? No, not its World Cup victory - how did Germany engineer Europe's highest penetration of renewable energy, plus fast-dropping electricity prices? Keith Barnham explains - and says the UK could do the same, and better! more...

The rosewood massacre - China must act

Zuzana Burivalova

23rd July 2014

Antique furniture like this Ming era Ta couch in the Shanghai Museum has inspired thousands of 'hongmu' copies among China's rich - and the demand is devouring forests across Southeast Asia. Photo: Gisling via Wikimedia Commons. Surging Chinese demand for rosewood used in 'hongmu' furniture is ruining forests across southern Asia, writes Zuzana Burivalova. As demand surges, China must impose stricter regulations and harsher punishments or the forests may never recover. more...

The true cost of your beefburger is much worse than you know

Gidon Eshel

22nd July 2014

Cattle packed in as far as the eye can see at the Harris Ranch feedlot in California. Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr. US beef carries a heavy environmental cost in water, land, emissions. But few of us know quite how damaging beef is, writes Gidon Eshel, nor that it is more than five times worse than pork, poultry, eggs or cheese. Isn't it time we did something about it? more...

Closing the money loop to build resilient local economies

Bran Knowles & Michael Hallam

21st July 2014

Local currencies, like these Totnes and Stroud 'pounds' are intended to stimulate local economic resilience and keep benefits within communities. But is there a better way to achieve the same ends, everywhere? Photo: London Permaculture via Flickr. Using local currencies to stimulate local economies and revalue local labour over imported products and resources sounds like a great idea - but recent experiences have proved disappointing. Are there other ways to 'close the money loop'? more...

Blogs

Reaping the benefits of community energy

Emily Haves

31st July 2014

A solar-powered thatch hut. Photo: Ashden. Donors, NGOs and investors want to help grassroots sustainable energy enterprises grow, so they can bring the myriad benefits of clean and affordable energy to many more people, writes Emily Haves. But just what kind of support is needed? more...

Why freshwater dolphins are among the world’s most endangered mammals

Rachel Nuwer

30th July 2014

An Irawaddy dolphin slips beneath the surface of the Mekong river at Kampie, Cambodia. Photo: Jim Davidson via Flickr Humans are to blame for the drastic declines in river dolphin populations around the world, writes Rachel Nuwer. But what exactly are we doing wrong? Mainly, scientists have found, it's building dams - and so destroying and fragmenting their habitat. more...

Comment

Organic farming boosts environment and nutrition

Pat Thomas

1st August 2014

These organic courgettes at Sandy Lane Farm in Oxfordshire are good for soil, water, wildlife - and you! Photo: Sandy Lane farm. How we farm matters, writes Pat Thomas - not just for water, insects, birds and the wider environment, which benefit from organic farming, but also the nutritional value of our food. It's time to value the quality of what we eat, instead of prizing quantity above all. more...

Gaza - is annexation Israel's 'permanent solution'?

Oliver Tickell

31st July 2014

Could his loss be Israel's gain? A destroyed house in Gaza and its distraught owner, 22nd July 2014. Photo: Mohammed Al Baba / Oxfam International via Flickr. As Israel pursues its war on Gaza with ever-increasing ferocity, and with 25% of Gaza's people forced from their homes, what's the final objective? It's unthinkable that Israel's aim is to 'cleanse' the territory of its people, seize its vast gas reserves, and annex some of the Med's hottest real estate. Isn't it? 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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