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The roadless areas map developed by Roadfree.org and partners. The map referred to in this article is behind Science's paywall!

New map shows way to reducing roads' destruction of nature

Tim Radford

18th January 2017

Scientists are calling for the urgent protection of ecologically valuable roadless areas, writes Tim Radford, as a new global map shows that roads lead to loss of biodiversity and damage to ecosystems by fragmenting habitat and providing access to exploiters. more...
Photo: World Economic Forum via Fliclr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Cuckoos in the nest: clipping the wings of corporate capitalism

George Feiger, Aston University

17th January 2017

Global corporations and their lofty princes have outgrown the control of regulators, politicians and society, writes George Feiger. Such is their power that they can extract an ever-growing share of global income, block any moves to limit their freedoms, and loot our future wealth for immediate profit. The first step to regaining control is to keep private money firmly out of politics. more...
Submerged valley near Foel, Wales. Should farmers consider switching to growing rice in their flooded fields? Photo: Jonathan Pagel via Flickr (CC BY).

Climate change and farming: let's be part of the solution!

Anna Bowen

9th January 2017

What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution. more...
CDC's development model in microcosm? Girl begging outside McDonalds outlet, India. Photo: Jon Ardern via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

UK's 'development for profit' private equity arm set to grab £6 billion of aid funds

Global Justice Now

10th January 2017

A bill to quadruple the UK's aid funding to a profit-driven 'private equity' company owned by the government comes before MPs today for its third reading, writes Global Justice Now. Trouble is the investments do little or nothing for the poor, and instead entrench corporate power in health, education and infrastructure. Parliament should seize this last chance to reject the new law. more...
Is this a 'cultural relic'? Carved ivory on sale in Hong Kong, a global centre for the ivory trade and ivory carving. Photo: vince42 via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Chinese ivory ban is a big win for elephants - but the loopholes must be closed

Aron White / EIA

6th January 2017

China's domestic ivory trade ban, which comes into force this year, is a major cause for optimism, writes Aron White. There are still loopholes, such as a partial exemption for 'cultural relics', that need clarifying and closing. Yet the new law sends a strong and timely signal that the global ivory market is progressively shutting up shop. more...
Blazing a trail? The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System - a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert SW of Las Vegas - has a capacity of 392 MW. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Never mind Trump - the global energy transition is racing forward

Jeremy Leggett

3rd January 2017

As the new year begins, the global clean energy transition is progressing much faster than most people realise, and is probably irreversible, writes Jeremy Leggett. President-elect Trump's prospects of revitalising the US coal industry, and giving the oil and gas industry the expansionist dream ticket it wants, are very low. more...
A closeup of the fireball and mushroom cloud from the Upshot-Knothole Grable atomic bomb test in Nevada, 25th May 1953. The 1950's and '60's bomb tests, we can now calculate, caused uncounted millions of cancer deaths. Photo: Federal Government of the Uni

The 'Genetics' letter, the Euratom suicide clause, and the death of the nuclear industry

Chris Busby

15th December 2016

The Lifetime Study of Japanese A-bomb survivors is a monumental fraud which deliberately excludes controls for being 'too healthy', writes Chris Busby. Put them back in, and you find that low levels of radiation cause over 100 times more cancer than they are 'meant' to, creating a silent global massacre of the innocent. Under the Euratom treaty, the entire nuclear industry must now be 'rejustified'. more...

"NATURAL CAPITAL" - A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Victor Anderson

14th December, 2016

It is easy in a country like the UK to imagine that science and economics command the whole debate about nature's value. But step back and look at the bigger picture internationally, and it all looks rather different writes VICTOR ANDERSON more...
Google's not playing about: its commitment to run its data centres around the world on 100% renewable energy represents a systemic shift. Photo: Google's London offices by Marcin Wichary via Flickr (CC BY).

Trump, carbon neutrality and the next phase of business sustainability

Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan

14th December 2016

The President-elect may be determined to lead America down an environmentally damaging path, writes Andrew J. Hoffman. But he may find few in the corporate world, where a growing number of major players are committed to eliminating CO2 emissions and making sustainability a core element of their business systems and supply chains, leading to global green transformation. more...
Gene drives could be used, for example, to attack fast-breeding pest species like aphids. But with what consequences on other species and wider ecosystems? Photo: Nigel Jones via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Biodiversity Convention call to block new 'genetic extinction' GMOs

GMWatch & The Ecologist

6th December 2016

160 global groups have called for a moratorium on new 'genetic extinction' technology at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Gene drive technology, they say, poses serious and irreversible threats to biodiversity, national sovereignty, peace and food security. more...
Post Brexit, expect a more assertive use of UK military assets to promote UK trade and financial interests. Nuclear missile equipped HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: Defence Images via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Post-Brexit dreams of empire: arms, free trade and corporate conquest

Mark Curtis / Global Justice Now

5th December 2016

It's now clear what place government ministers and senior officials want for the UK in a post-Brexit world, writes Mark Curtis - and it's not pretty! A new era of corporate 'free trade' colonialism looms, spearheaded by aid spending, with ramped-up arms exports to the world's most corrupt and repressive regimes, all backed up by military force to project the Britain's global financial interests. more...
Woman preparing herbs for winter at Tso Moriri, Ladakh, India. Photo: sandeepachetan.com travel photography via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

After Brexit and Trump: don't demonise; localise!

Helena Norberg-Hodge & Rupert Read

22nd November 2016

Both Trump and Brexit can be explained by the failure of mainstream political elites to address the pain inflicted on ordinary citizens in the neoliberal era, write Helena Norberg-Hodge & Rupert Read. In the US and the UK, working class voters rightly rejected the corporate globalisation that has created so much poverty and insecurity. But the real solutions lie not in hatred, but relocalisation. more...

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China is already the world's leading manufacturer and installer of solar PV. Installation of solar panels on the Hongqiao Passenger Rail Terminal in Shanghai, China. Photo: Jiri Rezac / The Climate Group via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Letter from Marrakesh: is China the world's new climate leader?

Natalie Bennett

15th November 2016

With European climate policy in post-Brexit lockdown, and US delegates gripped by uncertainty (even for their own jobs) following Trump's election, a new global climate leader is emerging, writes Natalie Bennett. China is stepping up as the country with the finance, technology and industrial might to take forward the Paris Agreement - and for its companies to reap the benefits. more...
A raging wildfire 24 km south of Fort McMurray 7th May 2016 - part of a 1,500 square kilometre inferno that prompted the evacuation of nearly 90,000 people from the northern Alberta city. Photo: Chris Schwarz / Government of Alberta via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

WMO: 2015 / 2016 temperature records creating surge of climate refugees

The Ecologist

14th November 2016

Record global temperatures in 2015 and 2016 are causing a humanitarian crisis that is more than double that of conflict as a cause of displacement and migration, the WMO stated today. Heatwaves, flood, drought and fires are all contributing to the declining food and water security affecting over 60 million people worldwide. more...
Solar farm on Bali, Indonesia. Renewables are a key part of the fight against climate change, but they can't do it on their own! Photo: Selamat Made via Flickr (CC BY).

It will take much more than renewable energy to stop global warming

Steffen Böhm, University of Exeter

7th November 2016

Renewable energy may play a huge part in helping to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, now in force and under discussion at COP22 climate talks in Marrakesh, writes Steffen Böhm. But it can never be the whole story, and nor does it relieve the need for deeper changes in how the world works. more...
Once a rainforest ... land cleared for a palm oil plantation, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Privatizing nature, outsourcing governance: the economics of extinction

Margi Prideaux

7th November 2016

The 'Global Redesign Initiative', a project of the World Economic Forum, aims to replace UN-based intergovernmental decision-making with unaccountable 'multi-stakeholder governance' run by and for corporations, writes Margi Prideaux. What future for nature and people in this brave new world? Generate profits for investors, or face extinction or exclusion to the margins of existence. more...
Delegates from Mozambique in Geneva last week celebrating their achievements in progressing the new human rights treaty. Photo: Victor Barro / FOEI.

Controlling corporate power: advance of a people-centred UN human rights treaty

Amelia Collins

1st November 2016

People power was at the forefront of UN talks on an global treaty for transnational corporations and human rights last week in Geneva, writes Amelia Collins. The fact that so many countries - led by South Africa and Ecuador - voiced their unequivocal support for legally binding rules, sets exactly the right tone for an ambitious and far-reaching negotiation. more...
Rainbow-decorated fence at Greenham Common US military base near Newbury, England, 17th March 2007. Photo: Your Greenham via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Historic UN vote to negotiate a global nuclear weapons ban

Rebecca Johnson

31st October 2016

Last week the UN General Assembly's Disarmament and Security Committee voted for negotiations to begin next year on a new international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, writes Rebecca Johnson, bypassing the stalled Non Proliferation Treaty. One immediate consequence is to make the UK's plans to replace its Trident nuclear missile system 'completely untenable'. more...

Hallowe'en Surprise - CETA back from the dead!

Global Justice Now

28th October, 2016

This morning (28 October) in London, protesters dressed as Hallowe'en Zombies posed outside the European Commission office in London with a banner saying "Stop CETA rising from the dead - Toxic trade deals belong in the grave." more...
Meg Montgoris using free Wi-Fi on the red stairs on Duffy Square. Photo: Adam Pantozzi / Times Alliance / Yahoo via Flickr (CC BY).

Wireless pollution 'out of control' as corporate race for 5G gears up

Lynne Wycherley

27th October 2016

With the UK's Digital Economy Bill set to be finalised today, new 5G microwave spectra are about to be released across the planet without adequate safety testing, writes Lynne Wycherley. Global neglect of the Precautionary Principle is opening the way to corporate profit but placing humans and ecosystems at risk, and delaying a paradigm shift towards safer connectivity. more...
Up, up, up ... the access road to the observatories near the summit of Mauna Loa, the Hawai'ian volcano on which official measurements of global CO2 concentrations are taken. Photo: Dave Strom via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

WMO: the world's new 400ppm climate reality

Alex Kirby

25th October 2016

Global CO2 concentrations have reached a historic new base of 400 parts per million, writes Alex Kirby, and are unlikely to fall below that level - 40% higher than the pre-industrial era - for many centuries to come. The WMO released the news just as the UK commits to a new London runway. more...

Arctic warming: Greenland's ‘abnormal' Manhattan-sized ice shelf breakaway

Nick Breeze

5th October, 2016

Professor Jason Box, glaciologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, tells NICK BREEZE how the largest ice shelf in Greenland has just lost an area of ice shelf the size of Manhattan Island. Its recent breaking away was a 'spectacular' event - but also a highly abnormal one that raises deep concerns about the future of the Arctic and prospective global sea level rise. more...
These yurts on Mongolia's 'sea of grass' are powered through a miniature solar microgrid that is both compact and lightweight for easy carriage on to the next site. Photo: Shutterstock.

Off-grid renewables: the sustainable route to 100% global electricity access

Adnan Z. Amin / IRENA

4th October 2016

Off-grid renewable energy is key to achieving the global goal of 100% electricity access by 2030, writes Adnan Z. Amin, and to achieving the emissions reductions enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Thankfully, a confluence of factors - including rapid cost declines and impressive technology innovations - are making this goal more achievable than ever, and investment in the sector is taking off. more...
Clouds cast their fast moving shadows across the rolling arable farmlands of South Africa's Western Cape region, where production will become increasingly stretched with warming climate. Photo: Christopher Griner via Flickr (CC BY).

Climate food crunch demands sustainable food system

Tim Radford

27th September 2016

Global food production may need to double over the next century to feed a growing world population, writes Tim Radford - just as yields crops in major crop-growing areas fall due to higher temperatures. But there is another way: to build sustainability into our food production and consumption. more...
Permaculture 'inventor' Bill Mollison, who died this weekend. Photo: Permaculture Association / Magazine.

Peaceful warrior: Permaculture visionary Bill Mollison

Permaculture Association / Magazine

26th September 2016

Australian educator, author and co-inventor of Permaculture, Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison, died on the 24 September 2016 in Sisters Creek, Tasmania. He has been praised across the world for his visionary work, and left behind a global network of 'peaceful warriors' in over 100 countries working tirelessly to fulfill his ambition to build harmony between humanity and Mother Earth. more...

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