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Helen Browning, chief executive of the Soil Association, among her organic cattle. Photo: Soil Association.

The Soil Association's mission is organic - and it always will be!

Helen Browning / Soil Association

2nd December 2014

The Soil Association doesn't need to 'get back to its roots', writes Helen Browning - because it never left them! It remains firmly committed to its founders' original organic mission for health, environment and animal welfare. And that means reaching out to a broader public, ensuring that organic principles are ever more widely understood and applied. more...
Now this is really what it's all about ... harvesting organic leeks at Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire. Photo: facebook.com/sandylanefarm .

Soil Association must get back to its roots

Joanna Blythman, Lynda Brown, Andrew Whitley and Pat Thomas

1st December 2014

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...
Early stages of construction on the Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor in France, which was due to open in 2012, but is running five years late. Photo: Schoella via Wikimedia Commons.

Hinkley C hovers on the brink - Europe's nuclear giants face meltdown

Paul Brown

25th November 2014

Doubts are growing doubts that the Hinkley C nuclear power station, the EU's biggest construction project, will get the final go-ahead from the UK government, writes Paul Brown. And that's leaving the European nuclear industry, already in serious financial difficulties, facing a struggle for survival. more...
A stronger power grid will increase Europe's energy security and give a big boost to renewable energy. Photo: Kenneth Spencer via Flickr.

Supergrid will build EU resilience and boost renewables

Paul Brown

9th September 2014

The EU, nervous about disruption to gas supplies across an increasingly unstable Ukraine, is planning a European 'supergrid' linking all 28 member states to increase resilience, writes Paul Brown. The development will be a boon to renewable energy generation, and cut emissions from fossil fuels. more...
The 'Bridge of the Gods' crossing the Columbia River Gorge. Photo: Mark Stevens via Flickr.

US oil boom threatens pristine North-West with crude transport corridors

Valerie Brown / Climate News Network

11th November 2014

America's expanding oil production threatens the pristine Pacific Northwest region of the country with a rash of new oil terminals along the coast, writes Valerie Brown, and hugely expanded traffic of freight trains loaded with hundreds of cars of crude oil heading for California refineries. more...
Skilful heather burning can enhance biodiversity, according to the Moorland Association. Recently burnt heather at Ramshaw Rocks, Staffordshire. Photo: Paul via Flickr.

England's 'upland Amazon' destroyed for grouse shooting

Paul Brown

9th October 2014

The repeated burning of England's upland moors - carried out so more grouse can be reared for lucrative shooting parties - is seriously damaging a unique and valuable ecosystem, writes Paul Brown - destroying ages-old peat, reducing its capacity to retain water, and releasing megatonnes of carbon to the atmosphere. more...
The Abengoa solar tower, Spain. Photo: Alex Lang via Flickr.

'Political will is only barrier to 100% renewables'

Paul Brown

22nd September 2014

A report published ahead of tomorrow's UN Climate Summit shows that we can meet all our energy needs from renewables, writes Paul Brown - poor nations and prosperous, tiny islands and great cities, in any part of the globe. And some are doing it already .... more...
Westmill Solar Park, Oxfordshire, is the world's largest community owned solar installation. Rated at 5MW, it covers 30 acres. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr.

While governments back fossil fuels and nuclear, popular renewables boom

Paul Brown

6th September 2014

Consumers around the world want their electricity to come from renewable sources, writes Paul Brown. Yet governments from the UK to Australia are defying the popular will as they push for fossil fuels and nuclear power. The good news? Renewable energy is surging ahead regardless. more...
Mirror, mirror, on the wall ... Solar panels near Dukovany nuclear power station, Czech Republic. Photo: Jiří Sedláček (Frettie) via Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear industry prepares for global boom - or is that doom?

Paul Brown

2nd August 2014

The nuclear industry remains remarkably optimistic about its future, wrties Paul Brown - despite evidence that it is a shrinking source of power as renewables, in particular solar and wind power, compete with increasing success to fill the energy gap. more...
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, March 2013. Photo: D Ramey Logan / Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear waste - the unanswered questions that won't go away

Paul Brown

20th July 2014

The recent closure of five US power stations is forcing the industry to confront big questions about radioactive waste, writes Paul Brown. Who is to pay the mounting costs of managing the wastes and keeping them secure? And precisely where will be their final resting place? more...
A clean energy campaigner shields his face in front of the Kosovo B coal power station, which is doing much to destroy the small nation's health. Photo: Sierra Club.

US and World Bank must stop funding overseas coal

Michael Brune

2nd July 2014

The World Bank is still deciding how to respond to Kosovo's request for funds to build a new 600MW power station burning filthy 'brown coal', writes Michael Brune. It's time for the World Bank, with strong US backing, to give the project a firm 'no way'! more...
Mixed messages: a warning sign at a fracking site in Pennsylvania. Photo: Ostroff Law / Wikimedia Commons.

Fracking boom depletes, pollutes US water supplies

Valerie Brown

20th June 2013

The US's 'dash to frack' for oil or gas, which has transformed the country's energy market, is seriously depleting and contaminating aquifers and surface water supplies, writes Valerie Brown. The choice facing America is plain - energy, or water? more...

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Somalis displaced by drought in 2011 queue at a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Image: Cate Turton/DFID via Wikimedia Commons.

Urgent: help needed now for climate refugees

Paul Brown

13th June 2014

Governments worldwide have been warned: draw up plans to help populations who are being forced to move because of climate change, or face a future of growing conflict and insecurity, writes Paul Brown. more...
Are oil company valuations as ephemeral as the smoke rising from this oil refinery? Photo: Horia Varlan via Flickr.

Oil companies' $1.1 trillion gamble

Paul Brown

16th May 2014

Financial experts warn investors that their money is being used by oil companies for high-risk projects, reports Paul Brown, on the assumption that oil prices will go on rising, with little or no regard for climate change. $1.1 trillion could be at risk. more...
Trial at Glyn Farm, Anglesey, 2007: foreground - susceptible; background - Sarpo clone. Photo: Sarvari Trust.

Potato blight - there's no need for GMOs!

Sophie Brown / Sustainable Food Trust

10th June 2014

GM companies are exploiting the launch of a new blight-resistant GMO potato to make their case for an EU-wide relaxation of rules restricting GM crops. But as Sophie Brown discovers, we have all the answers to blight already, without a GMO in sight! more...
The Gemasolar plant near Seville: Pointing the way ahead? Photo: DESERTEC Foundation.

Round-the-clock solar power comes of age

Paul Brown

1st May 2014

With the help of some clever engineering, writes Paul Brown, the power of the Sun can now produce electricity on demand - day and night, bright or cloudy. The key technology has just won a prestigious DESERTEC Award. more...
A giant tree of the Congo basin rainforest. Photo: Corinne Staley via Flickr.com.

Congo rainforest 'browning' as temperatures rise

Tim Radford

30th April 2014

Scientists have found that the world's second greatest rainforest, the Congo, is losing its green, writes Tim Radford. As temperatures rise and rainfall reduces, the forest canopy is taking on a browner hue, and this could be an early signal of worse damage to come. more...
Kayapo Indians on a road block to stop the Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr.com.

Amazon forest loss risks water security across South America

Paul Brown.

30th December 2013

Water, food supplies and energy production are all in jeopardy as the Amazon forest is felled for profit. And as Paul Brown writes, the damage is spreading well beyond Amazonia itself ...
more...

Bob Brown: Australia's first leader of the Greens

Elizabeth Claire Alberts

30th December 2013

It’s a critical time for the Tarkine, the last great wilderness in NW Tasmania, and former Senator Bob Brown is still fighting hard to protect it more...

'Illegal UK state aid' probe hits nuclear plans

Paul Brown

14th December 2013

An EU investigation into the UK's financial support for new nuclear power stations is dividing Europe, with critics saying London is flouting EU rules by offering illegal subsidies to EDF at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Paul Brown reports. more...
Soyabean fields for ever. Photo: Fotokostic / Shutterstock.com.

Monsanto, the TPP and global food dominance

Ellen Brown

7th December 2013

As the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations enter their last few days, Ellen Brown exposes their real purpose - corporate control of the world's food, health, environment and financial systems. Of all these, the greatest is food ... more...
UNFCCC COP19, Warsaw. Photo: pusheurope.org/ .

COP19 - All countries accept emissions targets

Paul Brown in Warsaw

23rd November 2013

Paul Brown, co-editor of the Climate News Network, makes his final despatch from Warsaw on the unscheduled last day of the climate talks. Compromises on all sides have kept hopes alive - just! more...
plant and soil

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

8th November, 2013

Helen Browning

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...

Boycotting organic farms over badger cull is 'counter-productive'

Helen Browning

Buying organic food is an important choice for everyone concerned about animal welfare, wildlife and conservation. It would not make sense for consumers to stop buying organic if they disagree with badger culling, says Helen Browning 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...

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