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Yes or No, we need democratic and constitutional reform

Rupert Read & Rebecca Johnson

15th September 2014

Blue skies beckon for British democracy, and not only in Scotland. Saltire drawn by vapour trails over the Falls of Foyers, Scotland. Photo: David Sim via Flickr. The Scottish referendum must mark an end to 'business as usual' in UK politics - no matter who triumphs in this week. That means no more 'first past the post' parliamentary elections, and a wider democratic rebirth under a new constitutional compact. more...

Nature as an 'asset class' - the free market's final frontier?

Alex Scrivener

14th September 2014

Could this ancient woodland be 'offset'? Or better still, transformed into a new asset class for speculative investment? Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire, England in the late autumn. Photo: ukgardenphotos via Flickr. Plans to create a market in nature itself are fraught with danger, writes Alex Scrivener. Biodiversity offsetting could allow the fate of our forests, rivers, meadows and wildlife species, and the people who depend on them, to be determined by the whims of multinational corporations and speculative investors. more...

Nuclear power - insanity at taxpayers' and consumers' expense

Ralph Nader

12th September 2014

San Onofre Beach State Park, California. In the background, a nuclear power station. Two of the three generating units are now closed. Photo: Luke Jones via Flickr. Nuclear power exists for one reason only, writes Ralph Nader - government support. Without the taxpayer subsidies, accident liability waivers and exploited consumers, nuclear power wouldn't exist. And even with all the above, it can barely hold on. It's time to end the nuclear boondoggle for once and for all. more...

Gaza's revenge: Israelis swim in Palestinian shit

Sam Bahour

11th September 2014

Tel Aviv beach. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Consecutive Israeli military assaults have caused huge damage to Gaza's water and sewage systems, writes Sam Bahour. One result is that almost all Gaza's water is unfit for human consumption. Another is the tide of raw Palestinian sewage lapping on the beaches of Tel Aviv. So who should we feel most sorry for? more...

Iceland's whaling and whale meat exports - the IWC must act!

Clare Perry

10th September 2014

Icelandic fin whale meat on sale in Japan. Photo: EIA. Tomorrow the 65th meeting of the International Whaling Commission begins in Slovenia, writes Clare Perry. Among the issues: Iceland's slaughter of fin whales in defiance of the IWC moratorium, and its illegal export of their flesh and blubber to Japan - over 2,000 tonnes this year alone. The IWC and its member nations must act. more...

Badger cull fail - government throws science on the scrapheap

Rosie Woodroffe

9th September 2014

Never mind the questions, never mind the answers, never mind the evidence. The badgers will be culled. Photo: b/flickr, CC BY-NC-SA. England's 2014 trial badger cull starts today - with no independent oversight, and no gathering of essential scientific data. The government's 'science-led' policy consists of asking scientists for help, writes Rosie Woodroffe - then completely ignore everything they said, and order them off the premises. more...

Dairy - the case for greener, healthier, lower performing cows

Mark Eisler, Graeme Martin & Michael Lee

8th September 2014

Contented cows feeding on grass in a field in Cumbria. Photo: Nowerx via Flickr. With supermarket milk cheaper than spring water, it's time to rethink the modern dairy industry. It's not just the milk that's become a throwaway product - the high-octane Holstein cows that produce it are also in the knackers yard after just two or three lactations, the living waste of a loss-making, environment-trashing industry. more...

SeaWorld - save your money on super-size tanks. Orcas need the ocean!

Sea Shepherd

7th September 2014

Shamu show with Orcas in San Diego's Sea World Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Seaworld San Diego is about to build the world's biggest tank for its captive orcas. Fifty foot deep and covering 1.5 acres, it's almost twice as big as current tanks and will represent an improvement in living conditions when complete in 2018. But for Sea Shepherd, that's missing the point. For these wild and majestic sea mammals, only the ocean will do. more...

We can win on climate change - but without the UN

Assaad W. Razzouk

5th September 2014

Time for climate solutions! Protest on the Dufourspitze. Photo: Greenpeace Switzerland via Flickr. Prospects for a global climate deal under the UN are receding fast, writes Assaad Razzouk, as the Green Climate Fund is short-changed by donor nations. But there's still plenty to hope for with a private sector that's stepping up to the mark, and fast-growing decentralised climate action. more...

Gaza - renewable energy for a just a durable peace

Keith Barnham

4th September 2014

From tiny acorns ... a pair of solar panels powering a desalination unit in the West Bank, installed in May 2013 with USAID finance. Photo: USAID via Flickr. The war in Gaza is over - but with the territory in ruins, it's essential to build a just and durable peace, and restore essential public services: health, water, sewerage and above all electric power. Keith Barnham presents his plan for Gaza, based on a massive deployment of solar and wind power generation. more...

Britain's real 'terror threat': eco-sceptic politicians

Paul Mobbs

3rd September 2014

Drought under a torrid sky in Santa Fe, Argentina. Photo: Claudio.Ar via Flickr. Politicians are forever citing 'terror' as a reason to expand the security state and restrict civil liberties, writes Paul Mobbs. But when it comes to the real threats that face the world - ecological breakdown, climate disruption, resource crises, and an unjust and rapacious world order ... well, that's all 'green crap'. Isn't it? more...

Denmark's support of the Faroese whale slaughter - the EU must act

Captain Paul Watson / Sea Shepherd

2nd September 2014

Three arrested protestors are forced to kneel before being loaded into a Danish Royal Navy helicopter. Photo: Sea Shepherd. Denmark's unlawful support of the Faroese 'grind' whale hunt is now open and obvious for all to see, writes Captain Paul Watson, as the supposedly 'civilized' Scandinavian nation turns its military might against protestors seeking to save whales and small cetaceans from cruel and barbaric massacre. more...

We must protect our seas!

Lewis Pugh

30th August 2014

The Black Sea was awash with jellyfish - and very little else. Photo: Lewis Pugh. Lewis Pugh has completed long-distance swims in the 'seven seas' to promote his dream of a peaceful world of well-managed Marine Protected Areas, abundant oceans teeming with fish, turtles, whales, sea-birds and sharks. His shocking experiences in the water make that dream more urgent and compelling than ever. more...

Sister Megan Rice is an inspiration to all humanity

Michael Edwards

31st August 2014

Sister Megan Rice prior to her imprisonment. Photo: via facebook.com/SisterMeganRice Campaigners who dared confront the might of the US's nuclear weapons establishment, in the process revealing the chronic insecurity of its facilities, are paying a heavy price, writes Michael Edwards. But their strength, serenity and joy in the face of brutal injustice brings hope to the world for a just and peaceful future. more...

The liberal climate agenda is doomed to failure

Scott Parkin

29th August 2014

Action to shut down Utah tar sands mine - Summer Heat. Photo: 350.org via Flickr. Liberal environmentalism represents a dangerous delusion, writes Scott Parkin - that 'playing nice' with Earth-destroying corporations and politicians can yield results worth having. Radical change on climate will only result from bold, confrontational direct actions against the fossil fuel industries and their apologists. more...

Geoengineering - the 'declaration' that never was may cause real harm

Andrew Lockley

28th August 2014

Chile's Lascar volano in eruption. Some geoengineering techniques would imitate the cooling effect of volcanic dust to reduce global warming. Photo: Neil via Flickr. It was a great story, writes Andrew Lockley - scientists signing up to a 'Berlin Declaration' imposing an effective 'test ban' on outdoor geoengineering experiments. Except there was no declaration, and scientists never agreed to it. The world's media got it completely wrong, yet the mud will stick - and may cause severe harm in the fight against climate change. more...

Defying reality - Natural England authorises 'unlawful' cull

Lesley Docksey

27th August 2014

The bloodied corpse of badger 200, whisked away before it could be retrieved by cullers and subjected to a post-mortem that showed it had been shot in the wrong place and suffered a slow and painful death. A High Court judgment on the lawfulness of the 2014 badger cull is awaited. A criminal investigation is under way on the dangerous and illegal behaviour of culling contractors. Obviously, writes Lesley Docksey, it's the perfect time for Natural England to authorise another round of culling. more...

Bombs Ahoy! Why the UK is desperate for nuclear power

Oliver Tickell

26th August 2014

The Vale of Mordor - or is the Sellafield 'atom factory' in Cumbria, UK? Photo: tim_d via Flickr. On the face of it, the UK government's obsession with nuclear power defies reason. It's very expensive, inflexible, creates 'existential' threats and imposes enormous 'long tail' liabilities tens of thousands of years into the future. But there is a simple explanation: it's all to maintain the UK's status as a nuclear WMD state. more...

The nuclear industry today: declining, but not (yet) dying

Jonathon Porritt

25th August 2014

Scheduled for completion in 2009, the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant is still under construction, and Areva is no longer projecting a completion date. Costs are running at roughly triple initial estimates. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides an account of an industry in decline, writes Jonathon Porritt - with rising operating costs and an ever-shrinking share of world energy production, while the sector loses the race for investment and new generating capacity to fast growing renewable energy technologies. more...

Political taboos leave trail of rising transport emissions

Scott Cohen

24th August 2014

The people who care most about transport emissions are the ones most likely to be causing them - creating a problem for those seeking to regulate them. Photo: USAF. Transport emissions are a political hot potato - mobility is often associated with as 'freedom', while the most environmentally aware are also most addicted to high carbon emissions from travel, writes Scott Cohen. To cut transport emissions means tackling four big political taboos. 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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