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Suzano's eucalyptus plantations in Urbano Santos, Brazil, specifically planted to satisfy the EU's projected future biofuel demand.

EU biofuel demand is driving land grabs in the Global South

Oliver Munnion

11th September 2014

With the EU projected to source most of its 'renewable' energy by burning biomass, its policies are leading to widespread land-grabbing and forest destruction, writes Oliver Munnion. And because many of the biomass projects are purely speculative, 'sustainability standards' will do little or nothing to improve practice on the ground. more...
Greenpeace action for an Arctic Sanctuary in front of the melting mouth of Austria's Goldbergkees glacier. The banner reads

Global support for a sanctuary to protect the Arctic

The Ecologist

4th September 2014

International polling today revealed strong public support for a formally protected area in the High Arctic for mammals and other marine life. The weakest support came from Japan, where opinion was evenly split over the industrialization of the Arctic. more...
CIAT cassava specialist Dr. Tin Maung Aye studies cassava crops in NE Thailand, affected by pest and disease outbreaks. Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT) / Wikimedia Commons.

Farm pests' global advance threatens food security

2nd September 2014

Tim Radford

Agricultural pests - viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpillars - are spreading thanks to trade, travel and global warming, writes Tim Radford. The world faces a dire future of increased crop losses and growing insecurity. more...
A forest of giant bamboo near Kyoto, Japan. Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr.

Steel and concrete, give over to the new kid - bamboo

Dirk Hebel

4th September 2014

The global construction industry is dominated by steel and concrete, writes Dirk Hebel - but it doesn't have to be that way. There's a strong, fast-growing, climate-friendly, sustainable material ready and waiting. Bamboo could be the basis of a whole new 'green' building industry, that also provides abundant rural livelihoods. more...
Road map detail - Central Africa. Image: Bill Laurance.

A global plan for road expansion that doesn't cost the earth

Bill Laurance

28th August 2014

Roads are responsible for massive environmental damage around the world, writes Bill Laurance - yet they also bring huge benefits. His solution? A new atlas that shows where the 'goods' of roads outweigh the 'bads', so that developing countries can harness the prosperity new roads can bring, without the destruction. more...
Time for climate solutions! Protest on the Dufourspitze. Photo: Greenpeace Switzerland via Flickr.

We can win on climate change - but without the UN

Assaad W. Razzouk

5th September 2014

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...
The database shows information for the world's 50 major river basins. Map: International Rivers.

Dams versus rivers - the global battle

The Ecologist

26th August 2014

A new 'State of the World's Rivers' database shows how the world's rivers have been impoverished by dams and their ecosystems devastated - and provides a valuable resource to help save river basins that remain in good health. more...
Observed and simulated changes in Earth’s heating rate since 1985. Image: Allan et al., Author provided.

Heat accumulating in the deep oceans has put global warming on pause

Richard Allan

26th August 2014

Since 2000 global surface temperatures have risen less than expected, a fact seized on by climate change 'sceptics'. But indications are that the surplus heat has been building up all along, writes Richard Allan - in deep oceans where it does not influence observable climate. Not yet, anyway. more...
A vast monoculture of corn in Iowa, USA - profitable, but not healthy. Photo: Rich Griffith via Flickr.

More calories from fewer sources means less nutrition, more profit

David Nally

21st August 2014

It's a global phenomenon - we are consuming more calories, and more of those calories are the same, writes David Nally. Just ten crops produce 75% of our food, as factory-farmed meat, sugar, wheat, corn, soybeans and palm oil displace more nutritious and diverse diets. It's not good for us, or the planet - but it's great for corporate food monopolists! more...
Birds and airplanes are a poor mix - but do we need to slaughter quite so many? Photo: Eugene Zemlyanskiy via Flickr.

Airports' global bird slaughter - 100,000s gassed, shot, poisoned

Rose Bridger

18th August 2014

Airports around the world are waging a war on birds, writes Rose Bridger. It's meant to prevent aircraft bird strikes. But in fact, fatal (for people) collisions are rare - and even killing thousands of birds does little to reduce the number of strikes. Best fly less, and keep airports away from birds! more...
Changing climates ... the polar vortex played havoc with Niagara Falls (and much of the rest of North America too). Photo: Rick Warne / EPA.

The 'pre-Holocene' climate is returning - and it won't be fun

Peter Fisher

16th August 2014

A string of events earlier this year provided a sobering snapshot of a global climate system out of whack, writes Peter Fisher. Could it represent the end of a rare 10,000 year island of stability in global climate? If so, we had better get used to it. The Earth may never be so comfortable again ... 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...

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Unionists protest at RT's labour practices in Cape Town, South Africa, February 2014. Photo: IndustriALL.

Rio Tinto's 'sustainable mining' claims exposed

Kemal Özkan

30th July 2014

Global mining giant Rio Tinto markets itself as a 'sustainable company', writes Kemal Özkan. But serious failures in its reporting, and its attempt to hold an Australian indigenous group to ransom, reveal a very different truth: the company is driven by a reckless pursuit of profit at any cost. more...
The Somali ostrich is now recognised as a separate species, but it's listed as 'vulnerable' owing to hunting, egg collecting and other threats. Photo: Steve Garvie via Flickr, taken in Kenya's Rift Valley.

A quarter of 361 newly-recognised birds are 'threatened'

The Ecologist

24th July 2014

A global taxonomic review of birds has 'discovered' 361 new species that were previously considered 'races' of existing bird species - but many of them are endangered, forcing a rethink of conservation priorities. more...
Colorful Heirloom Potatoes - 'Carola', 'All Red', 'All Blue', and 'Purple Viking' - collection  from Seed Savers. Photo: Susy Morris via Flickr.

Building an International Seed Savers Exchange

Andrew Kimbrell / Center for Food Safety

19th July 2014

Recent decades have seen a hardening global clampdown on the rights of farmers to use, save, develop, share, swap and distribute the seeds that produce the food we all eat, writes Andrew Kimbrell - and which constitute an essential common heritage of mankind. Here's his plan to fight back against the seed monopolists ... more...
Vandana Shiva leads a protest in India against Monsanto's GM seeds. Now she's on the warpath against Avaaz. Photo: Daniel Voglesong via Flickr.

Avaaz's global 'ebay of seeds' - how did they get it so wrong?

Julian Rose

16th July 2014

Already 56,000 people have pledged to support a global 'internet seed swap' initiative promoted by Avaaz, writes Julian Rose. Trouble is, the plans are deeply flawed, and have been developed without consultation with major seed saving groups worldwide. more...
Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr.

Nuclear power is no answer to global warming

Ian Fairlie

10th July 2014

If we're serious about cutting CO2 emissions, there's no place for nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie - because it's the least cost-effective way to do it. By far the best way is to improve energy efficiency. But tell the Government the truth, and it'll close you down. more...
Divest from Fossil Fuels! Photo: Light Brigading via Flickr.

BMA votes for fossil fuel divestment

Tierney Smith / TckTckTck

26th June 2014

Britain's doctors have voted for their representative body, the British Medical Association, to divest from fossil fuels, writes Tierney Smith - adding valuable momentum to the fast growing global divestment campaign. more...
Improving public transport is one of the key measures that could cut GHG emissions, increase 'gross world product' by $2.6 trillion and save a million lives. Photo: Mumbai bus by Patrik M. Loeff via Flickr.

World Bank: tackle global warming and add $2 trillion to global economy, save a million lives

Chris Rose

30th June 2014

Tackling global warming with better public transport, increased energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean cookstoves, better waste management could increase global GDP by $2.6 trillion. The alternative is growing risk from harshening climates ... more...
A palm oil plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network.

The Big Ten food companies must join the climate fight

Julia Wright

20th June 2014

Oxfam's report 'Standing on the Sidelines' lays down a challenge to the 'Big 10' of the global food industry, writes Julia Wright. They must cut their huge carbon emissions, campaign to protect global climate, and rethink their entire mission to encompass health and wellbeing. more...
Shell's experimental in situ shale oil facility, Piceance Basin, Colorado, United States. Photo: Wikipedia.

Fracking the US - Monterey Shale's 96% downgrade blows the scam

Dylan Murphy & Jo Muphy

19th June 2014

The US's drive to become a top global oil and gas exporter by fracking has been blown wide open by a 96% write-down of California's Monterey Shale - meant to hold two thirds of the US's shale oil. How long before the whole enterprise is exposed as a monstrous Ponzi scheme? more...
Will this coal on a Chinese barge on the Yangtze River end up being 'consumed' in the US and Europe? Photo: Marshall Segal via Flickr.

Tax carbon consumers for real action on climate change

Laura Nielsen & Henrik Palmer Olsen

12th June 2014

Climate negotiators in Bonn are hammering out the basis of a new global agreement - but have they got it all wrong? Taxing carbon consumption, rather than trying to regulate emissions, could stimulate the low carbon revolution the world needs. more...
Power to the People! - delegates voice their demand at the UNFCCC meeting in Bonn. Photo: Volveremos.

Negotiating a global climate agreement - Power to the People!

Maruska Mileta & Jamie Gorman

7th June 2014

At last year's climate talks in Warsaw the corporate fossil fuel lobby was firmly in charge - and the result was catastrophic failure. At the talks now under way in Bonn, it's our turn to set the agenda - the billions of people crying out for positive action on climate and energy. more...
Beware wolves in sheep's clothing! Photo: public domain.

Beware environmental wolves in sheep's clothing!

William Laurance

9th June 2014

What do the Australian Environment Foundation, the Renewable Energy Foundation and the Global Warming Policy Foundation have in common? They are all fiercely anti-environment, writes William Laurance - and we must beware their 'eco-doublespeak'. more...
Cabo Pulmo, in its current, concrete-free incarnation. Alan Harper, CC BY-NC.

Mexico: 22,000 room mega-hotel threatens 'biodiversity hotspot'

Sula Vanderplank & Benjamin Wilder

28th May 2014

The Baja California peninsula is rich in history and natural beauty, with thousands of unique plants and animals making up its globally unique ecosystems, write Sula Vanderplank & Benjamin Wilder. Just the place for a new giant hotel resort? more...

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