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Blogs and Comments

Europe's bears are back!

Jocelyn Timperley

21st December 2014

A female brown bear with three yearlings in Gutulia National Park in SE Norway. Bears and other carnivores do not only live in protected areas - Europe lacks enough true wilderness for that model of conservation. Instead, humans and wildlife must coexist. If you go down to the woods today you're in for a big surprise, writes Jocelyn Timperle - Europe's bears are are on the increase, with 17,000 of them at large, along with 12,000 wolves, 9,000 lynx and 1,250 wolverines. Moreover these carnivore populations are co-existing with people with remarkably few problems. more...

EU Trade Secrets Directive - a threat to health, environment, human rights

Corporate Observatory Europe

19th December 2014

Stronger trade secrets reduce your right to know about the health impacts of drugs, food, pollution. Photo: Paula Bailey via Flickr. The new Commission may have dropped environmental protection from its 2015 work plan - but it's pressing ahead with a new Directive to protect corporate secrecy, threatening consumers, journalists, whistleblowers, researchers and workers. more...

All over the world, renewables are beating nuclear

David Elliott

18th December 2014

In September 2010 Vattenfall opened Thanet Offshore Wind Farm, off England’s south east coast - the largest in the world. Photo: Nuon via Flickr. As flagship nuclear projects run into long delays and huge cost overruns, solar and wind power are falling in price, writes David Elliott. Renewables already supply twice as much power as nuclear. It's just too bad the nuclear-fixated UK government hasn't noticed. more...

I'll talk politics with climate change deniers - but not science

Mark Maslin

17th December 2014

Rising sea level? What rising sea level? Peter, CC BY-SA. The responses that climate change demands of us are collective, writes Mark Maslin, and force us to accept the finite nature of global resources and the need for equitable sharing. So when climate change collides with belief in neoliberalism, free markets, strong property rights and rugged individualism, denial trumps science every time. more...

Rich nations must cough up for past carbon pollution

Chukwumerije Okereke

16th December 2014

Bolivian president Evo Morales referred to industrialised nations that have appropriated more than their own fair share of global atmospheric space as In 2011 the US firmly ruled equity out of climate negotiations, writes Chukwumerije Okereke. But in the Lima climate talks the poor countries put the moral dimension where it belongs - at the heart of any future climate treaty. more...

The UN climate talks just failed - now for the real battle

Assaad W. Razzouk

15th December 2014

BUNDjugend demonstrators take on Shell in Hamburg in early 2014. They may not stop Shell in its tracks - but there's one power that can - international finance. Photo: BUNDjugend via Flickr. COP20 has just laid the foundations for a non-agreement in Paris in 2015, writes Assaad Razzouk - thanks to the pernicious influence of fossil fuels, poisoning debate and subverting serious climate action. Now there's only one earthly power big enough to fight back. more...

Here comes the sun: explosion in solar power beckons

Ralph Gottschalg

12th December 2014

Regular PV solar cells on the Brighton Earthship in the south of England  Dominic Alves, CC BY-SA. Solar power has a sunny future - even without any major breakthroughs, writes Ralph Gottschalg. There are huge gains to be made simply by getting smarter and using existing technologies more effectively. A new report shows that - given political support - solar PV could be competitive in the UK by 2020. more...

Europe on the brink - green future or industrial wasteland?

Oliver Tickell

12th December 2014

Rooms with views ... but where's the vision? European Commission photo by Bruno Coelho via Flickr. The EU faces a choice: a green, democratic future of clean prosperity and social justice? Or a dirty future of corporate domination with resurgent nuclear power, expanding fossil fuels, GMO agriculture and weak human and environmental protection? Junckers' Commission represents the latter. We must assert our own vision - or there will be little worth staying in for. more...

The food-water-energy nexus defeated the Romans. It could defeat us too

Jonathan Bridge

13th December 2014

This roman aqueduct near Haifa in modern-day Israel took water to Caesaria, the civilian and military capital of Judaea. But ultimately, most of the water flowed to Rome itself - if in virtual form. Photo: C. J.™ via Flickr. As well as being masters of water engineering, the Romans also engaged in a long distance trade in water across the Mediterranean - embodied in grain, oil, wine, cloth, metals and other goods. They also discovered the food-water-energy nexus - and not in a good way. We need to heed the warnings from Roman history. more...

Over 268,000 tonnes of ocean plastic - neglect it at our peril

Magnus Johnson & Melanie Coull

11th December 2014

The garbage that builds up incessantly on the Praia de Achados beach presents formidable obstacle to loggerhead turtles seeking nesting sites. Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd. The oceans are awash with plastic, write Magnus Johnson & Melanie Coull, with dire effects on marine wildlife mistaking it for food. But it's not just big animals like basking sharks, turtles and albatrosses that suffer. The very worst damage may be caused by particles too small for the eye to see, and the toxic chemicals that cling to them. more...

Murder most foul - who killed all the porpoises?

Ken Collins

9th December 2014

Murder most foul - a porpoise carcass bearing cruel bite marks. Photo: Johan Krol. Since 2010 porpoise carcasses have been washing up on our shares, writes Ken Collins - displaying horrific wounds and bite marks that many thought a sign of Great White sharks in Britain's coastal waters. But now scientists have identified an improbably cuddly culprit ... more...

Rallying for wildlife - we need a Nature and Wellbeing Act

Martin Harper / RSPB

9th December 2014

Precious nature: Snakeshead fritillaries and dandelions on North Meadow, Cricklade - an uncultivated water meadow of 110 acres that contains 80% of the UK population of the Snakeshead Fritillary. Photo: Nick Warner via Flickr. MPs will be lobbied today by wildlife supporters desperately concerned at the declining state of Britain's nature, writes Martin Harper. Despite clear warnings that both 'protected' sites and threatened species are faring badly, politicians find it all too easy to look the other way. Hence the need for a Nature and Wellbeing Act. more...

Blogs

Europe's bears are back!

Jocelyn Timperley

21st December 2014

A female brown bear with three yearlings in Gutulia National Park in SE Norway. Bears and other carnivores do not only live in protected areas - Europe lacks enough true wilderness for that model of conservation. Instead, humans and wildlife must coexist. If you go down to the woods today you're in for a big surprise, writes Jocelyn Timperle - Europe's bears are are on the increase, with 17,000 of them at large, along with 12,000 wolves, 9,000 lynx and 1,250 wolverines. Moreover these carnivore populations are co-existing with people with remarkably few problems. more...

Seven breakthrough solar technologies - but will they work?

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energy Desk

17th December 2014

Solar panels in space work very efficiently. But how to get them there? And how to get the power down to Earth? Image: John MacNeil via Greenpeace. A bunch of innovations are taking place in the world of solar power, writes Zachary Davies Boren - and one or more of them could just propel the technology from providing just 1% of the world's electricity, to dominating the world's energy supply. Provided they work ... more...

Comment

War by media and the triumph of propaganda

John Pilger

22nd December 2014

Torturing the truth - the mainstream media today. Photo: via johnpilger.com. We live in an age of propaganda by the 'mainstream' media, writes John Pilger. Inconvenient stories, truths and even entire countries are airbrushed away, while dominant narratives are parroted incessantly to bludgeon our minds in acceptance of war, injustice, austerity, all to serve the interests of our ruling elites. more...

EU Trade Secrets Directive - a threat to health, environment, human rights

Corporate Observatory Europe

19th December 2014

Stronger trade secrets reduce your right to know about the health impacts of drugs, food, pollution. Photo: Paula Bailey via Flickr. The new Commission may have dropped environmental protection from its 2015 work plan - but it's pressing ahead with a new Directive to protect corporate secrecy, threatening consumers, journalists, whistleblowers, researchers and workers. 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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