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Obama in Hiroshima: time to say 'sorry', and Ban the Bomb!

Linda Pentz Gunter

24th May 2016

President Barack Obama and other world leaders at the Nulcear Security Summit in Washington DC, 1st April 2016. His visit to Hiroshima this wekk will show whether he's really taking it seriously. Photo: Presidencia de la República Mexicana via Flickr (CC President Obama should overcome political constraints in Hiroshima this week to say 'sorry' for the nuclear bombs, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. Even more important, he must change his stance on nuclear weapons - abandoning the US's $1 trillion WMD modernization program and lifting the threat of world-destroying nuclear conflict. more...

World must end slavery - for the environment as well as human rights

Kevin Bales, University of Hull

18th May 2016

Once a mangrove forest full of life, now a sterile shrimp farm. The hard labour of destroying mangrove forests and building and operating shrimp farms is often performed by slaves. Photo: Tracy Hunter via Flickr (CC BY). Slavery is a terrible thing for the world's estimated 36 million slaves, writes Kevin Bales. But it's also an environmental disaster. Many slaves are forced to work in destructive activities like clearing forests for mines, farms and plantations - making slave labour the world's third biggest 'country' in terms of CO2 emissions. It really is time to end slavery! more...

To keep the lights on, pay people to use less electricity

Chris Goodall

17th May 2016

Paying coal power stations like this one at Ratcliffe-on-Soar near Junction 24 of the M1 to stay open is not the answer. Photo: UniversityBlogSpot via Flickr (CC BY). Government plans to pay coal and diesel generators to stay open the winter after next to 'keep the lights on' betray dangerously old-fashioned thinking, writes Chris Goodall. Not only would it subsidise our dirtiest electricity - it's also incredibly costly. Why not just pay people to reduce their demand when power supplies are stretched? more...

From one disaster to the next - Hinkley C's last days?

Oliver Tickell

13th May 2016

Will it all come to nothing? Artist's impression of the planned Hinkley C nuclear power station. Image: EDF Energy. Another week, another series of disasters for EDF and it's Hinkley C nuclear power project, writes Oliver Tickell, with the company's credit rating downgraded partly due to its exposure to the project, and its Chinese partner CGN ruling out a takeover of the site. How much longer can the tragicomedy continue before the curtain falls? more...

ALERT: Critically Endangered Species: Homo sapiens

Willemijn Heideman

11th May 2016

Sunset at Papeete, French Polynesia. Photo: Pilottage via Flickr (CC BY). The IUCN has mysteriously placed Homo sapiens outside its systems of thinking when defining the criteria for Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable Species, writes Willemijn Heideman: our collective inability to tackle our existential crises makes our survival on this planet a highly uncertain prospect. more...

Snares - a barbaric relic whose time is up

Bill Oddie OBE

10th May 2016

At the Cleggan Lodge Estate, 8th April 2016, a snare covered with hare fur. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports. Snares are one of humankind's earliest inventions, writes Bill Oddie, once essential to our survival as hunters. But their modern use by gamekeepers seeking to protect game birds on shooting estates from predators is a cruel and barbaric practice, with most of the victims non-target species like hares, badgers and deer. more...

Pesticide-free cities are possible! But there's more to it than vinegar

Harriet Williams

9th May 2016

Staff at a Bristol primary school, a member of the Pesticide Safe Bristol Alliance, campaigning to keep glyphosate out of their school and other places where children play. Photo: via Harriet Williams. Bristol's decision to trial vinegar as a weedkiller in place of glyphosate certainly grabbed headline-writers' imaginations, writes Harriet Williams. But with a wide choice of proven chemical-free weed control strategies available, might this experiment be 'set up to fail'? more...

Scientists must challenge poor media reporting on climate change

John Krebs, University of Oxford

5th May 2016

Overheating? 2015 was actually the hottest year on record, and since then the heat has continued to rise. Image: Met Office (CC BY-NC-SA). The deliberate misrepresentation of climate science in our media deserves an urgent corrective, writes John Krebs. Recent misreporting by The Times - passing off partisan, unscientific, non-peer reviewed, ill-informed climate change-sceptic opinion as 'science' - deserves particular opprobrium. more...

TTIP is on the rocks. Let's defeat these toxic trade deals!

Guy Taylor & Nick Dearden

4th May 2016

The TTIP Trojan Horse joins Green / EFA MEPs and hundreds of citizens from across Europe protesting against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), February 2015. Photo: greensefa via Flickr (CC BY). The TTIP EU-US trade deal has finally hit the rocks with massive popular opposition on both sides of the Atlantic gaining serious political traction, write Guy Taylor & Nick Dearden. There's now a good chance that TTIP will be defeated - but first we must make sure that CETA, the equally toxic EU-Canada 'Trojan Horse' deal, bites the dust. more...

The 'war on drugs' is a war on culture and human diversity

Benjamin Ramm

28th April 2016

The war on drugs under way near Tumaco, Colombia, June 2008. But how come nothing like this happens in Colorado or Amsterdam? Photo: William Fernando Martinez / AP Photo via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The 'war on drugs' is presented as a necessary battle against social evils, writes Benjamin Ramm. But from the Andes to the Caribbean, prohibition has criminalised both religious and cultural expression. And it's a war that is strictly for the global poor: people in Colorado can grow pot - so why not Colombians? more...

At Chernobyl and Fukushima, radioactivity has seriously harmed wildlife

Timothy A. Mousseau, University of South Carolina

27th April 2016

White storks on road near Chernobyl, Ukraine. Many parts of the Chernobyl region have low radioactivity levels and serve as refuges for plants and animals. But other areas are acutely radiotoxic. Birds tend to be especially susceptible to radiation impact Field studies show that the intense radioactivity released by the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters is seriously and unequivocally damaging to wildlife, writes Timothy A. Mousseau - in stark contrast to theoretical studies that show little or no impact on plant and animal health and populations. more...

It's not over yet! 40,000 more cancer deaths predicted in Chernobyl aftermath

Dr Ian Fairlie

26th April 2016

Abandoned children's toys at Chernobyl - Pripyat, 17th May 2008. Photo: Fi Dot via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Thirty years since the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl the impacts are still being felt, writes Ian Fairlie, and they will persist long into the future. Some 40,000 cancer deaths can be expected across Europe over the next 50 years, and 5 million people still living in areas highly contaminated with radiation. Yet the nuclear madness continues, with even Belarus building new nuclear reactors. more...

CRISPR and the three myths of precise genome editing

Jonathan Latham, PhD / Independent Science News

25th April 2016

How CRISPR works: what could possibly go wrong? In fact, an awful lot, as it turns out. Image: James atmos via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA). The very term 'genetic engineering' implies high precision in the alterations made to genes and deep understanding of their consequences, writes Jonathan Latham. In fact, we have never had either. And even with the arrival of CRISPR and other 'gene editing' systems, that remains the case: technologists are thrashing about in a perilous sea of unfathomable complexities and unknowable outcomes. more...

Saving the Earth? I think there's an App for that

Paul Jepson, University of Oxford

21st April 2016

So cute! Two month old snow leopard cubs at the Cat Survival Trust in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, UK. Photo: dingopup via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Consumer environmentalism aligns conservation with modern consumer culture, writes Paul Jepson, offering NGOs the means to reach new people and generate new funding streams. But it risks ever more shallow public engagement and digital activism where masses of people back 'solutions' that only make themselves feel good. more...

Remain in the EU to protect our environment

Caroline Lucas

20th April 2016

The protection of our coastal waters, management of our fishers, cleanliness of our air and the protection of our widlife are all mandated by European law. Outside the EU, this iconic view of the Seven Sisters could be sadly tarnished. Photo: weesam2010 v Remember when the UK was the 'dirty man of Europe'? What has changed since then, writes Caroline Lucas, is our membership of the EU - which has made us raise our environmental performance on everything from fisheries to air pollution, nature conservation, clean bathing waters and renewable energy. Leave, and it could all go into reverse. more...

Young Americans' legal victory could force climate change action

Sophie Marjanac / ClientEarth

19th April 2016

Sunday School children of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade at St. John's Episcopal Church learn about 350 and urge politicians to pass clean energy policies, Ellicott City, Maryland, USA, 10th October 2010. Photo: 350.org. American NGO advocating for young people's future environmental rights has won a first key legal battle in its fight to force the United States to avoid dangerous climate change by cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, writes Sophie Marjanac. If upheld on appeal in higher courts, the ruling has huge implications for us all. more...

UK must not let shipping sink the Paris Agreement!

Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden

18th April 2016

Container ship MOL GRANEUR. Photo: ARTS_fox1fire via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). This week, the International Maritime Organisation could act to curb fast-rising emissions from shipping under the Paris Agreement, write Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden. But there are growing fears that the UK government may seek to delay and obstruct vital progress. more...

BBC's GMO coverage 'fair and accurate'? You decide

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

14th April 2016

Failed Bt Brinjal crop in Bangladesh, afflicted by the bacterial wilt to which the variety is highly prone, resulting in near total crop loss for many farmers in 2015. Photo: UBINIG. There's absolutely no evidence for BBC Panorama's claim of 90% success for Bt brinjal in Bangladesh, writes Claire Robinson. But that has not stopped the BBC Trust from dismissing all complaints against its monstrously dishonest report. Nor has it diminished the jubilation of GMO cheerleaders. more...

The beginning of the end for glyphosate?

Peter Melchett / Soil Association

15th April 2016

Chafer Sentry applying glyphosate to stubbles in North Yorkshire on a sunny December day. Photo: Chafer Machinery via Flickr (CC BY). The European Parliament just voted to re-authorise glyphosate, writes Peter Melchett - but with significant restrictions on its use. So what does the vote mean for the world's biggest selling herbicide? And how come the UK's National Farmers' Union welcomed the decision as an unqualified victory? more...

Under EU Trade Secrets Directive, no more Panama Papers!

Corporate Europe Observatory & Co-signatories

13th April 2016

If the EU's Trade Secrets Directive passes, public interest whistleblowers face jail and a minimum €350,000 fine: no more #PanamaPapers! Photo: Moscow Live via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The proposed Directive on Trade Secrets Protection is meant to repress industrial espionage, write Corporate Europe Observatory & Co-signatories. But under its Draconian provisions, punitive lawsuits, jail sentences and €350,000 fines await journalists, campaigners and whistle-blowers. The European Parliament must reject this wicked law tomorrow! more...

Richard Heinberg

Is it time to change 20th century economic paradigms?

Richard Heinberg

5th February, 2009

Clueless_Economists_MAIN.jpg A hundred years ago, markets ruled: fortunes were made, workers abused, bubbles blown. The Austrian School of economists, led by Ludwig von Mises, said this was fine: despite temporary messiness, the market knows best. more...

Goodbye to growth

Richard Heinberg

7th January, 2009

Goodbye_Growth_MAIN.jpg The contraction of the global economic system bodes nothing but good for global ecosystems. Growth is dead – long live sustainability more...

Jim Thomas

High-altitude windpower: pie-in-the-sky or sound science?

Jim Thomas

1st May 2009

Jim_Thomas Since we don’t have enough land for the renewable technologies we need let’s go stratospheric instead, with a high-altitude solution… more...

What technologies for solving environmental problems will we see in 2009?

Jim Thomas

23rd April, 2009

Big_Fix_MAIN.jpg Somebody somewhere has to have a cunning plan to fix our environmental problems and save the world – right? Jim Thomas sorts through the big tech ideas you’ll be reading about this year more...

Joss Garman

Miliband's leadership on climate is tested

Joss Garman

19th June 2009

Joss Garman The climate secretary has been lauded for his coal-fired proposals, but beyond the smokescreen it’s business as usual says Joss Garman more...

European elections - will Brussels go Green?

Joss Garman

3rd June, 2009

BallotBoxing_MAIN.jpg It probably isn’t too much of an exaggeration to suggest that most people are hard pushed to name a politician they really admire. In Britain, however, one name will come up time and again. more...

Molly Scott Cato

Forget the 'big society'; we just need a co-operative one

Molly Scott Cato

16th August, 2010

Molly Scott Cato Claims that we need a 'big society' to fix our 'broken' one are just Victorian throwbacks - we have the business tools to survive; we just need a co-operative attitude to go with them more...

We scare people off by talking about 'degrowth'

Molly Scott Cato

14th July, 2010

Molly Scott Cato The French have a much better word for it: 'decroissance'. Using ugly and frightening terms like 'degrowth' won't help pave the way for a new and exciting economics more...

Tom Hodgkinson

Tom Hodgkinson: spare a moment for the bang bang men of Chongquing...

29th October, 2010

Tom Hodgkinson Although the rise of mega-cities raises disturbing questions about living standards and livelihoods, the spread of city living is not all bad, says Tom Hodgkinson more...

Starting a business has never been so liberating...

Tom Hodgkinson

25 August 2010

Tom Hodgkinson Find the hidden entrepreneur in you to free yourself from slavery to corporate and state authority, says Tom Hodgkinson more...

Other Comments

Mr Cameron: will it be heating or eating this winter?

John Sinfield

12th November 2013

John Sinfield The MD of Britain's largest insulation company demands: back warm, efficient homes now, or condemn millions to cold, damp and sky-rocketting fuel bills. more...

Peak soil: act now or the very ground beneath us will die

8th November, 2013

Helen Browning

plant and soil The health of our soils is more important now than ever, says the Soil Association’s Helen Browning - especially with the challenges that climate change will bring ... more...

Dan Box

When will Australia 'get' climate change? And will it be too late?

Dan Box

19th July, 2010

Dan Box The upcoming Australian elections will see yet another tussle between industry-supporting climate sceptics, and politicians trying to nudge their electorate towards the real world more...

Will putting a price on nature put environmentalists out of a job?

Dan Box

5th July, 2010

Dan Box The launch of the massive economic ecosystem assessment, TEEB, will help force the natural world onto the corporate balance sheet. It's a step forward. But how will protesters react to the ground shifting under their feet? more...

Bibi van der Zee

Bibi van der Zee: Government 'no more in touch with the countryside than Labour'

Bibi van der Zee

10th March, 2011

Continuing her exclusive series - Coalition Green Watch - Bibi van der Zee further assesses David Cameron's pledge to head the 'greenest government in history' and, whilst the jury may still be out, finds alarming cause for concern... more...

Climate Week is trying to galvanise the green movement – but it is splitting it

Bibi van der Zee

3rd March, 2011

Climate Week The backing of Cameron, Clegg and Kofi Annan isn't enough, say Climate Week's critics, it is blinkered – and RBS-sponsored. Bibi van der Zee reports more...

Deepak Chopra

Keeping Up America’s Reputation in the World

by Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra asks whether the American dream is tainted by current day trends in U.S. politics and society....... more...

Satish Kumar

A New Year Message - Be The Change ...

January 3rd, 2012

Satish Kumar

Don’t look at a society and think it is so big, so complex, that nothing can change. Don’t think: “I am one single person, what can I do?” That, says Satish Kumar, is despondency; that is pessimism. Instead, whatever you can do, do it. Step by step. more...

Soil, Soul and Society

December 7th, 2012

by Satish Kumar

Environmentalist and Humanitarian, Satish Kumar introduces the new trinity that he believes captures the essence of his ecophilosophy - one that cares about and for all life more...

Vandana Shiva

Safety as Freedom

February 21st, 2013

by Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva challenges the violence against people and Nature in the name of progress more...

A Student Writes

Intellectual Rigidity

March 28th, 2013

by The Interdisciplinary Research Society UEA

Would changes to academic structures help towards solving complex societal problems? more...

Global Extinction Within One Lifetime?

Michael Brown

July 16th, 2012

Environmental chemistry student Michael Brown evaluates how seriously recent claims that global extinction could occur within our lifetime should be taken.... more...

Tony Juniper

Counting the Consequences

January 14th, 2013

by Tony Juniper

We need ideas as compelling as those that embarked the world on its current competition-driven ‘free’ markets spree. We need to ignite a revolution that big, but one based on sustainability, writes Tony Juniper more...

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