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Blogs and Comments

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...

Gaza should be the Kuwait of the Levant - but its gas brings only war and poverty

Tascha Shahriari-Parsa

19th July 2014

Homeless in Gaza after Operation Cast Lead, 2009. Photo: Physicians for Human Rights via Flickr. Operation Protective Edge is the war of a colonial state dedicated to expanding its theft of Palestine's natural resources, writes Tascha Shahriari-Parsa - incarcerating and bombing its people in the world's biggest open air prison, while growing rich at their expense. more...

To keep cyclists safe will need deep, radical change

Ian Walker

19th July 2014

It's all very well painting cycle lanes onto roads - but we must do far, far more than that to make cycling a safe and pleasant transport option. Photo: Cian Ginty via Flickr. The Commons Transport Committee has advised Government to budget £10 per head to create a safe cycling environment, writes Ian Walker. But that's grossly underestimating the challenge ahead - a major rethink of planning, health and transport policies is needed. more...

Protect our inshore seabeds to allow fish stocks to recover!

Jason Hall-Spencer

18th July 2014

A dragnet that captures too much marine life. Joachim Müllerchen, CC BY-SA. The UK's coastal waters are producing little but tiddlers and scallops, writes Jason Hall-Spencer - and to blame is the endless gouging of the seabed by trawlers and dredgers - even in 'marine reserves'. We must allow our marine ecosystems to rebuild! more...

Avaaz's global 'ebay of seeds' - how did they get it so wrong?

Julian Rose

16th July 2014

Vandana Shiva leads a protest in India against Monsanto's GM seeds. Now she's on the warpath against Avaaz. Photo: Daniel Voglesong via Flickr. Already 56,000 people have pledged to support a global 'internet seed swap' initiative promoted by Avaaz, writes Julian Rose. Trouble is, the plans are deeply flawed, and have been developed without consultation with major seed saving groups worldwide. more...

Great snakes! Football fans, explore at your peril

Natasha Geiling

15th July 2014

Some 90 miles off the Sao Paulo coast, Ilha da Queimada Grande looks very pretty from far away. But up close, it's terrifying. Photo: Prefeitura Municipal Itanhaém. Brazil's Ilha de Queimada Grande is the only home of one of the world's deadliest, and most endangered, snakes, writes Natasha Geiling. Just the place for Brazil's disgraced football team to escape the wrath of furious fans, if they can only get a permit ... more...

Owen Paterson sacked: the end of 'badger bashing'?

Lesley Docksey

15th July 2014

Owen Paterson MP with Joe & Sephs Gourmet Popcorn. The 'Mad Dog' sign refers to a brand of lemonade. Photo: UKTI via Flickr. Owen Paterson's departure from Government could see the end of the hated badger culls and a wider return to environmental sanity, writes Lesley Docksey. Given his disbelief in climate change and his arrogant disregard of science, it's not a moment too soon! more...

Decarbonising the world energy system without nuclear

David Elliott

17th July 2014

The Abengoa solar tower, Spain. Photo: Alex Lang via Flickr. Nuclear power advocates believe the technology is essential to building a fossil fuel free world energy system. In fact it is optional, writes David Elliott - and not even very helpful. Efficiency and the 'new renewables' can do the job faster, and at much lower cost. more...

TTIP: Europe and America do not need business vs. state dispute rules

Cécile Toubeau

14th July 2014

An anti-TTIP Flashmob protesting in Dortmund, Germany. Photo: campact via Flickr. The EU-US TTIP trade agreement would 'protect investors' by giving them the right to sue national government for changes in the law that reduce their returns, writes Cécile Toubeau - putting an end to progress on environment and human development. more...

Hunting for Truth - we respond to the NRA's retraction demand

The Ecologist

11th July 2014

Wildfowl hunting in California, where a state-wide ban on lead will come into force. Photo: Diana via Flickr. The National Rifle Association has demanded that The Ecologist retract important elements of a story we ran about the threat to condors from ingesting spent lead ammunition, and the NRA's opposition to a lead ban. We publish our response. more...

Blogs

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...

To keep cyclists safe will need deep, radical change

Ian Walker

19th July 2014

It's all very well painting cycle lanes onto roads - but we must do far, far more than that to make cycling a safe and pleasant transport option. Photo: Cian Ginty via Flickr. The Commons Transport Committee has advised Government to budget £10 per head to create a safe cycling environment, writes Ian Walker. But that's grossly underestimating the challenge ahead - a major rethink of planning, health and transport policies is needed. more...

Comment

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...

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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