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Blogs and Comments

Africa has half as many lions as 20 years ago - but don't blame trophy hunting

Lochran Traill & Norman Owen-Smith

2nd Ausgust 2015

Cecil the lion, photographed in April 2010 in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Photo: Daughter#3 via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The killing of Zimbabwe's Cecil the Lion has put a welcome spotlight on the alarming decline of Africa's lions, write Lochran Traill & Norman Owen-Smith. But to save the species, we should not obsess about trophy hunting, but tackle much more serious problems - like snaring and habitat fragmentation. more...

Whatever our emotions tell us, not all whaling is the same

David Lusseau

30th July 2015

This is what was really doing the damage: industrial whaling by Britain, by ships like the Petrel, now an eerie hulk beached up on South Georgia Island. Photo: Christopher Michel via Flickr (CC BY). The Faroe Islands' annual 'grindadráp', in which hundreds of pilot whales are slaughtered with knives and hooks, is a horrifying spectacle, writes David Lusseau. But unlike industrial whaling it poses no threat to the species. And is it really any worse than the industrial factory farming that we routinely ignore? more...

The $7 trillion solar tsunami in our midst

Assaad W Razzouk

31st July 2015

Behind Juan Tabo Boulevard, Albuquerque, the promise of a solar future: Sandia's solar tower, its mirrors reflecting the New Mexico sunlight. Photo: Randy Montoya / Sandia Labs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Never mind government inaction (or worse) on climate change, writes Assaad W Razzouk. Solar power costs just keep on falling, and it's already providing the lowest cost electricity across much of the world. With $7 trillion of investment piling into the sector, the momentum is now unstoppable. more...

The blood of the whales is on Danish hands

Captain Paul Watson

28th July 2015

Danish Faroese whale hunters in a sea of red. Photo: Eliza Muirhead / Sea Shepherd. Hundreds of pilot whales were slaughtered in Faroes waters last week alone, writes Captain Paul Watson. But in 2011 no whales were killed while Sea Shepherd vessels patrolled. The difference? Since 2014 the Royal Danish Navy has defended the whale hunt. more...

All go for cycling and walking - but where's the money?

Matthew Ford / CPRE

27th July 2015

To get more people cycling, you have to make it safe and pleasant as on the Bike North Birmingham cycle path. Photo: BBC Birmingham News Room via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Before the election David Cameron promised to increase funding for cycling to £10 a head across the UK, up from its current £2 outside London, writes Matthew Ford. But with the national cycling and walking strategy coming into force this week, that promise is looking ever less likely to be delivered. more...

Who owns the wind?

Adam Ramsay

29th July 2015

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Cairn Gleamnach in the foreground, Drumderg wind farm behind. Photo: Stuart Anthony via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The wind is a force of nature over which only someone with extraordinary delusions of grandeur can truly claim ownership, writes Adam Ramsay. But to prevent that, we must assert our belief that wind, sun and other drivers of our renewable future are a common heritage for us all to benefit from. more...

Buy Conservative! No other party washes greener

Oliver Tickell

24th July 2015

See beyond the tie ... David Cameron giving a speech to the Open University. Photo: The Open University via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Are you suffering from cognitive dissonance? You should be, writes Oliver Tickell. After the most ferocious attack a UK government has ever mounted on the environment, David Cameron just claimed that his is the 'greenest government ever', as Amber Rudd proclaims her commitment to climate action. What's going on? more...

Rewilding isn't about nostalgia - exciting new worlds are possible

Paul Jepson

22nd July 2015

Bison are roaming free in Germany - so why not Scotland? Photo: Felix Kaestle. Rewilding is now firmly on the agenda, writes Paul Jepson, and that brings a huge opportunity to re-invigorate conservation. But we must look to creating new functional ecosystems for the future, rather than trying to recreate a lost and perhaps imagined past. more...

Renewable energy sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit

Oliver Tickell

22nd July 2015

The Westmill solar and wind farm near Watchfield, Oxfordshire. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Perplexed by today's sharp cuts in solar power and other attacks on renewable energy in the UK? Don't be, writes Oliver Tickell. Really, it all makes perfect sense. You just have to understand their real purpose: to keep your energy bills high, along with power company profits. And never mind the 'green crap'! more...

Keep health-damaging weed killer out of our bread!

Natasha Collins-Daniel / Soil Association

23rd July 2015

You want weedkiller with that? Photo: Peggy Greb, USDA ARS vis Wkimedia (Public Domain). Soon UK farmers will begin to spray their fields of wheat, barley, oats and peas with weed killer to make crops easier to harvest, writes Natasha Collins-Daniel. But the chemicals - including glyphosate, a probable carcinogen - can end up in our bread and other food. Let's put a stop to it now! more...

Scrapping 'zero carbon' homes is policy vandalism

Gordon Walker

20th July 2015

Roofscape: the 'BedZED' (Beddington Zero Energy Development), the UK's largest and first carbon-neutral eco-community, was completed in 2002. Photo: Tom Chance from Peckham via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA). The UK Government has ditched the requirement for new homes to be 'zero carbon' from April 2016, writes Gordon Walker. With builders already geared up to meet the challenge, this needless reversal will raise energy bills and carbon emissions for a century or more to come, and send out all the wrong signals for the Paris climate talks. more...

Nugen's AP1000 nuclear reactor - is it any better than the EPR?

Chris Goodall

17th July 2015

The Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia, where two AP1000 reactors are under construction, and subject to long delays and cost overruns. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain). As nuclear projects using the EPR design run into long delays and huge costs overruns, industry hopes are pinned on the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, writes Chris Goodall. But with eight AP1000 projects around the world going the way of the EPR, is it really a wise choice for the UK's Moorside nuclear site? more...

Blogs

Could one million smart pool pumps 'store' renewable energy better than giant batteries?

Sean Meyn

28th July 2015

How's that for a battery? Swimming pool at the Roosevelt, Hollywood, La, California. Photo: Bill Keaggy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Batteries may have a big role in balancing future power grids, writes Sean Meyn, enabling more wind and solar generation. But until we go beyond 50% renewables, we don't need them. Instead we can adjust the demand of power hungry appliances to what's available every moment of the day. more...

Green growth or steady state? Rival visions of a green economy

Guy Shrubsole

24th July 2015

Photo: jacinta lluch valero via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Sooner or later, humanity will have to accept the constraints of a finite world, writes Guy Shrubsole. But two rival economic visions offer conflicting paths to sustainability. In fact, it's time to stop arguing and get on with it - going for green growth in the near term, while aiming for a deeper societal transformation. more...

Comment

Happy New World? Human capital and the corruption of happiness

William Davies

3rd August 2015

Image: 'Smiley Refraction' by Lemsipmatt via Flickr (CC BY-SA). A transformative, progressive political agenda focused on human wellbeing has morphed into a new form of behavioral management, writes William Davies. Happiness itself has been packaged, commoditised and put to the service of capital - and if you haven't got it, the Happy New World has no place for you. more...

Africa has half as many lions as 20 years ago - but don't blame trophy hunting

Lochran Traill & Norman Owen-Smith

2nd Ausgust 2015

Cecil the lion, photographed in April 2010 in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Photo: Daughter#3 via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The killing of Zimbabwe's Cecil the Lion has put a welcome spotlight on the alarming decline of Africa's lions, write Lochran Traill & Norman Owen-Smith. But to save the species, we should not obsess about trophy hunting, but tackle much more serious problems - like snaring and habitat fragmentation. 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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