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Blogs and Comments

There's no place for nuclear in the 'Clean Power Plan'

Tim Judson / NIRS

28th November 2014

Nuclear power station 1 at Three Mile Island, still in operation now long after the partial meltdown in the TMI-2 reactor in 1979. Photo: joelsp via Flickr. The EPA's plan for 'clean power' are welcome, writes Tim Judson - except for its inclusion of nuclear, and economic distortions and serious omissions that favour the technology. In this open letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, he and co-signatories call on her to ditch the 'false and irrational assumptions' used to justify both new and existing nuclear power. more...

The UK's farms can generate as much power as Hinkley C by 2020 - renewably!

Jonathon Porritt

26th November 2014

Sheep enjoying the shade created by solar panels at Conergy Solar Park at Fohren in Germany. Photo: Conergy. A new report shows that the UK's farms can easily generate as much power as the proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant, writes Jonathan Porritt. Not only would it all be renewable, but if could all be in place by 2020. Here he offers some friendly - but strictly confidential - advice for Energy Secretary Ed Davey. more...

Antarctic sea ice expands to record extent - and it's deeper than we thought

Edward Hanna

28th November 2014

The cartographic submarine at work. Photo: WHOI. While the Arctic melts, Antarctica's ice has spread to record extents in three consecutive years, writes Edward Hanna. But is the news as good as it looks? Yes, if indications from a robot submarine that the ice is thicker than expected are supported by further evidence. It may just be that Antarctica's ice is more resilient than scientists dared to hope. more...

Human rights vs sustainability? EU must not attack Maldives 'green' fishery

Tony Juniper

27th November 2014

Rod and line fishing for tuna on a Maldivian fishing boat. Photo: Canopus Maldives / '...your local connection' via Flickr. The Maldives, a vast republic of scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, has worked hard to make its fisheries among the world's most sustainable, writes Tony Juniper. But now the EU has slapped a 20% levy on its fish exports due to human rights concerns - a move that mainly hits poor fisherfolk innocent of any wrongdoing. more...

The para-judicial persecution of Julian Assange

John Pilger

24th November 2014

Julian Assange at New Media Days 2009: newmediadays.dk/julian-assange. Photo: New Media Days via Flickr. It's easy to forget that Julian Assange - reviled by mainstream media, hounded by Sweden's judiciary, 'red-listed' by Interpol, publicly attacked by the US defense secretary - remains an innocent man, 'wanted' for nothing more than questioning, writes John Pilger. His disgraceful treatment dishonours only his persecutors. more...

Fracking is safe. Radiation is harmless. And pigs have wings

Dr David Lowry

21st November 2014

Never mind the drinking water aquifers and the national park - the South Downs is one of England's most cherished landscapes that could be opened up for fracking. Photo: Jaydee! via Flickr. Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos, Environment Secretary Liz Truss, the Environment Agency and its ex-boss Lord Smith all suffer from a blind spot, writes David Lowry - the dangers of fracking, its radioactive emissions and the toxic chemicals that threaten to pollute our aquifers. As for official advice that 'regulation needs to be strongly and robustly applied' - pass the Tippex! more...

Hinkley C hit by surprise treble whammy - is it all over for EDF?

Doug Parr /

20th November 2014

'So can you build this bloody power station or can't you?' Cameron gets tough with EDF workers on a visit to the Hinkley Point C site. Photo: Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr. EDF has already moved heavy earth moving gear onto the Hinkley C nuclear power station construction site, writes Doug Parr - but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. On the contrary, a host of intractable problems are coming home to roost, and the increasingly troubled project is looking shakier than ever. more...

Mystery drones are buzzing around French nuclear plants - should we be worried?

Daniel Salisbury & Christopher Hobbs

20th November 2014

At 7.40 am on 2nd May 2012 a Greenpeace activist flew over the Bugey power station on a yellow paraglider. But this time, it's something different! Photo: Greenpeace video / Youtube. With unidentified drones regularly overflying French nuclear power plants, Daniel Salisbury and Christopher Hobbs warn that despite the dismissive responses of nuclear operators, they have cause for concern: the drones may be unable to cause serious damage in themselves, but they compromise site security and open the way to future attacks. more...

ECJ affirms UK's right to clean air - the Government must act!

Keith Taylor MEP

19th November 2014

Air Pollution Level 5, London, April 30 2014. Photo: David Holt via Flickr. A landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice compels the UK Government to act as soon as possible to reduce air pollution in British cities, writes Keith Taylor - and a good thing too for our health, safety and wellbeing. But it's not just the UK that benefits: every EU country must also comply with the ruling. more...

New technologies can help poor farmers - just not the ones you're thinking of

Tony Juniper

18th November 2014

Digital Green records a discussion on best agronomic practice with an Ethiopian farmer for dissemination among his peers. Photo: Digital Green. Modern technology has a lot to offer small farmers in poor countries, writes Tony Juniper - just not the GMOs and pesticides that are widely touted. But how about film, digital communications and smart phones? These new media can empower farmers and allow them to share knowledge and experience of how to produce more, from less. more...

Want to double world food production? Return the land to small farmers!

GRAIN

22nd November 2014

A typical small farm in Russia of the kind that provides much of the nation's food. Photo: Vmenkov CC. All over the world, small farmers are being forced off their land to make way for corporate agriculture, writes GRAIN - and it's justified by the need to 'feed the world'. But it's the small farmers that are the most productive, and the more their land is grabbed, the more global hunger increases. We must give them their land back! more...

We shall defend our island - if the cost-benefit analysis stacks up

Guy Shrubsole

16th November 2014

ITV interviews a victim of the flooded Severn in 2007. Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Open Democracy. Such is the Government's neglect of our flood defences, revealed by a National Audit Office report, that they are failing to even keep pace with climate change, writes Guy Shrubsole. That alone is a national disgrace - but most shameful is that current expenditures mostly benefit the wealthy, while poor communities are neglected. more...

Antarctic sea ice expands to record extent - and it's deeper than we thought

Edward Hanna

28th November 2014

The cartographic submarine at work. Photo: WHOI. While the Arctic melts, Antarctica's ice has spread to record extents in three consecutive years, writes Edward Hanna. But is the news as good as it looks? Yes, if indications from a robot submarine that the ice is thicker than expected are supported by further evidence. It may just be that Antarctica's ice is more resilient than scientists dared to hope. more...

Hurricane Sandy: only communities can build climate resilience

Michael Premo

26th November 2014

A house being demolished in Union Beach, NJ, on October 19, 2012. A year later the former residents are still living in a trailer in the driveway, waiting to rebuild. Photo: Sandy Storyline / anonymous. Two years after Hurricane Sandy, 'official' responses have failed, writes Michael Premo. Promises have been broken, money remains in limbo, and families are still not back in their homes. With climate change due to bring further disasters, we must build a new kind of resilience that's democratic, participative and rooted in local communities. more...

There's no place for nuclear in the 'Clean Power Plan'

Tim Judson / NIRS

28th November 2014

Nuclear power station 1 at Three Mile Island, still in operation now long after the partial meltdown in the TMI-2 reactor in 1979. Photo: joelsp via Flickr. The EPA's plan for 'clean power' are welcome, writes Tim Judson - except for its inclusion of nuclear, and economic distortions and serious omissions that favour the technology. In this open letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, he and co-signatories call on her to ditch the 'false and irrational assumptions' used to justify both new and existing nuclear power. more...

Human rights vs sustainability? EU must not attack Maldives 'green' fishery

Tony Juniper

27th November 2014

Rod and line fishing for tuna on a Maldivian fishing boat. Photo: Canopus Maldives / '...your local connection' via Flickr. The Maldives, a vast republic of scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, has worked hard to make its fisheries among the world's most sustainable, writes Tony Juniper. But now the EU has slapped a 20% levy on its fish exports due to human rights concerns - a move that mainly hits poor fisherfolk innocent of any wrongdoing. more...

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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