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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

How long can Norway ignore Peru's indigenous rights violations?

Chris Lang

10th December 2014

'And now my friends, my cousins, died for this wood.' Photo: still from 'Our Fight' by Handcrafted Films. The COP20 host, Peru's President Humala, certainly talked the talk on indigenous rights last September when he signed a $300 million deal with Norway. But his violations of indigenous rights, 'hands off' approach to murders of indigenous leaders and recent unguarded comments betray his true sentiments. 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...

More roads, more traffic, more misery - how commuting is killing us

Daniel Newman

8th December 2014

More roads, more traffic, more tailbacks, more misery. The M5 near Bristol. Photo: Paul Townsend via Flickr. George Osborne's announcement last week of £15 billion for English road schemes may have played well with frustrated drivers, writes Daniel Newman. But all the road spending will achieve is to lock us more deeply into an unsustainable, unhealthy and deeply dissatisfying way of life. more...

Palestine: occupied or annexed? Israel must end the ambiguity

Tony Klug

7th December 2014

Palestinian demands for freedom and justice will never be relinquished. The Palestinian flag flying at a demonstration at Bil'in on the West Bank. Photo: Adam Walker Cleaveland. Israel has exploited the legal ambiguity of its military rule of Palestinian territories, writes Tony Klug - cherry-picking Israeli law, Ottoman law and Geneva Conventions to suit its purposes. Israel must now decide - is it an occupation, or an annexation? Only once that decision is made, can Israel's slide towards apartheid be halted. more...

Climate change and the downfall of California's big agriculture

Joshua Frank

5th December 2014

Uvas Dam and Reservoir, California, February 1, 2014. Photo: Ian Abbott via Flickr. Thanks to cheap water and plentiful sunshine, California grows most of the US's fruit, vegetables and nuts, writes Joshua Frank. But with the drought looking ever more permanent, the $40 billion industry is facing a terminal crisis. It's only a matter of time before we have to rely on local produce - so let's make a start now! more...

Shot in the foot? Killing wolves, lynx, cougar increases farm predation

Niki Rust

4th December 2014

Wolves - to reduce farm animal predation, don't shoot them! Photo: USFWS Midwest, CC BY. Farmers who shoot wolves and other predators to save their animals from predation are actually having the opposite effect, writes Niki Rust. The disruption that killing predators has on the stability of their families and packs actually causes more, not less predation. Ultimately, we're better off learning to live with predators. more...

Bhopal 30 years on - justice evaded, but the fight goes on

Vijay Prashad

3rd December 2014

Monument to the 1984 Bhopal disaster. Photo: Luca Frediani via Wikimedia Commons. Thirty years ago today, Union Carbide's pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, released toxic gases that killed 3,787 people and injured over half a million, writes Vijay Prashad. The site is still contaminated, victims remain uncompensated, and the area suffers from a high rate of serious birth defects. Yet UC's CEO evaded justice, to die in a Florida nursing home this year at the age of 92. more...

The Green Party's joined-up policies - the threat of a genuine alternative?

Ian Sinclair

2nd December 2014

Green Party leader Natalia Bennett, Green MEP Keith Taylor and colleagues have a genuine alternative to offer. Photo: Green Party of England and Wales. Today the Green party announced a doubling of its membership since January - 500 this last weekend alone, writes Ian Sinclair. They offer an increasingly attractive alternative to the 'mainstream' parties, who have little to offer but a bleak package of privatisation, neoliberalism and never-ending austerity. more...

Soil Association must get back to its roots

Joanna Blythman, Lynda Brown, Andrew Whitley and Pat Thomas

1st December 2014

Now this is really what it's all about ... harvesting organic leeks at Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire. Photo: facebook.com/sandylanefarm . Four trustees of the Soil Association just resigned, 'more in sorrow than in anger'. Joanna Blythman, Lynda Brown, Andrew Whitley and former Ecologist editor Pat Thomas all decided they were unable to contribute further to the organisation, the UK's leading organic certifier and the 'mother ship' of British organic farming. more...

Labor's election win opens the way to save Victoria's Central Highlands

Emma Burns, David Lindenmayer & Heather Keith

1st December 2014

Gnarled old trees with hollows are a vital habitat for marsupials. Photo: David Blair, Author provided. Australia's Labor scored a big win in Victoria's election this weekend - and with the party's 'green' policies that's potentially good news for the state's exploited forests. Now's the time to keep campaigning for the early creation of a Great Forest National Park. more...

Wake up Australia! Your coal exports are being left stranded

Stephen Bygrave

30th November 2014

Australia’s official forecasts for expanding fossil fuel exports don’t match up with what’s needed to avoid severe climate change. Photo: Jeremy Buckingham/Flickr, CC BY. Australia is betting the farm on huge increases in coal exports, writes Stephen Bygrave - just as key markets in China, India, Korea and Japan are drying up, with rising tariffs and huge renewable energy and efficiency programs. The policy is totally out of touch with reality - and will lead to revenue shortfalls in the AU$100 billions. 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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