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Parched aricultural land in California’s drought-hit San Joaquin Valley. Photo: Pete Souza / White House via Wikimedia Commons.

California drought: rains bring scant relief

Kieran Cooke

29th January 2015

California's worst drought on record is far from over, writes Kieran Cooke. But while residents are getting used to dusty cars and parched lawns, the state's massive agricultural sector is still growing water-intensive crops like rice. How crazy is that? more...
Art Tanderup and wife at Harvest the Hope. Photo: © HearNebraska.org via Flickr.

Art Tanderup: How Nebraskans are winning the fight against Keystone XL

Kate Aronoff / Waging Nonviolence

30th January 2015

Nebraska has become ground zero for the fight against Keystone XL, and Art Tanderup - farmer and retired schoolteacher - has become a leading voice in the struggle. He spoke to Kate Aronoff about the divisive impact of the pipeline on the local community, threats to the Ogallala Aquifer, and the urgent need to shift to clean, renewable energy sources. more...
Nebraska landscape with wind turbines. Photo: Rich via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Red state, red power: Nebraska's publicly-owned electricity system

Thomas M. Hanna

31st January 2015

Republican Nebraska's energy is all publicly owned or cooperative, writes Thomas M. Hanna, and prices are among America's lowest, with great service standards and a strong commitment to renewables. Decentralised and locally accountable, this could be the model that replaces inefficient, unresponsive monopolies - both nationalised and corporate. more...
A beaver in the River Otter, Devon, feeds on an overhanging willow branch. Photo: David Land via Devon Wildlife Trust.

Devon's beavers will stay wild and free

Oliver Tickell

28th January 2015

Natural England announced today that the wild beavers living on Devon's River Otter will be allowed to remain free under a 're-introduction' licence granted to Devon Wildlife Trust. more...
Lands of the Gassol community allocated to Dominion Farms, showing the link road constructed by UBRBDA and the community's use of the lands for grazing. Photo: Centre for Environmental Education and Development.

Nigerian farmers face destitution from 300 sq.km land grab backed by UK aid

Oliver Tickell

28th January 2015

Development secretary Justine Greening is facing questions over UK involvement in a massive land-grab in Nigeria that is evicting local farmers from 300 square kilometres of fertile farmland to clear the way for a rice farm owned and controlled from the US and Canada. A 45,000-strong community faces landlessness and destitution. more...
Tate's 'Walk through British art' - 'BP Displays, supported by BP, celebrating 25 years of the BP & Tate partnership'. From tate.org.uk.

BP's logo all over Tate for under half percent of income

The Ecologist

26th January 2015

Tate, the leading London art gallery owner, has revealed the price of the BP logos that plaster its exhibitions: under 0.5% of its income - but only after a court order forced it to do so. more...
This PV farm near Sevilla, Spain, includes sun-tracking devices that double the daily output from the panels. Photo: Alejandro Flores via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

WEF: Big energy CEOs don't get the renewable revolution

Chris Goodall

23rd January 2015

Launched at Davos this week, a WEF report on electricity generation predicts that solar power will cost twice as much in 2030, as the lowest cost sources today, writes Chris Goodall. It's sources? WEF isn't telling. But if 'facts' like these are driving the decisions of big energy CEOs, heaven help their companies in years to come. more...
Grass-fed British cows - to keep them in our fields, we must pay dairy farmers a fair price for their milk. Photo: Steph French.

Save our farmers with fair trade milk!

Patrick Holden

22nd January 2015

As hundreds of British dairy farmers are forced out of business by milk prices well below production cost, writes Patrick Holden, it's time for a 'fair trade' British milk label that guarantees a fair price to smaller scale farmers operating to good environmental and animal welfare standards. more...
'Unemployment Wall' at Calle San Pablo, Zaragoza, Spain. Photo: Luis Colás via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Inequality does matter - and we must fight it!

Global Justice Now

20th January 2015

Peter Mandelson is 'intensely relaxed' about growing inequality, but he shouldn't be. It's the result of a 'trickle up' economy which perpetuates and fosters injustice, violence and ill health, writes Global Justice Now, and corrodes democratic societies at their very foundations. more...
Burning oil field in Kuwait, Gulf War 1. Photo: VA Comm via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Oil prices and the devil's ransom

Alexander Reid Ross

15th January 2015

The global economic shake-down of low oil prices continues apace, writes Alexander Reid Ross, causing environmentalists to celebrate the collapse of dirty energy projects. But the oil price collapse is the manifestation of a multi-layered conflict being fought out on the political, military and ideological battlefields of the Middle East - and it may not last much longer. more...
Aboriginal stories say Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef was connected to the mainland. It was, at least 10,000 years ago. Felix Dziekan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA) / felixtravelblog.de.

Deep time: Aboriginal stories tell of when the Great Barrier Reef was dry land

Nick Reid & Patrick Nunn

29th January 2015

Stories told by Australia's Aboriginal peoples tell of the time, over 10,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age came to an end, and sea levels rose by 120 metres, write Nick Reid & Patrick Nunn. The narratives tally with the findings of contemporary science, raising the question: what is it about Aborigines and their culture than so accurately transmitted their oral traditions across thousands of generations? more...
Smart countries are going for renewables - like Algeria, where these panels are located. Photo: Magharebia via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Only a mug would bet on carbon storage over renewables

John Quiggin

16th January 2015

From Australia to the UK, governments are pinning their hopes on 'carbon capture' technology stuck onto coal power stations, writes John Quiggin. But their choice carries a high risk of failure - the smart money is on renewables, energy storage and responsive power grids. more...

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The biggest stitch up since the Bayeux Tapestry? Here Harold Earl of Wessex is shown swearing an oath to deliver the English crown to Duke William of Normandy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Parliament's fracking examination must be inclusive and impartial

Paul Mobbs

13th January 2015

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has just begun to take oral evidence from a very select group of witnesses, writes Paul Mobbs in this open letter. Sadly its choices betray a systematic bias to industry and establishment figures - while community groups are entirely excluded. more...
The Reclaim Shakespeare Company chant “Art Not Oil” outside the Tate AGM. Photo: Platform London.

Tate must reveal price of BP sponsorship

Richard Heasman / DeSmogUK

16th January 2015

The Information Tribunal has ordered Tate, the charity which runs two of London's biggest art galleries, to release details of financial support from the oil company BP, writes Richard Heasman - and they have until 27th January to comply. more...
Naomi Klein. Photo: Resurgence.

Naomi Klein: A crisis this big changes everything

Oliver Tickell

21st January 2015

The world's collective failure to tackle climate change comes down to one big problem, says Naomi Klein: the clash of climate necessities against corporate power and a triumphant neo-liberal world order. So after decades of government dithering, she told Oliver Tickell, it's time for civil society to unite and build a radical justice-based movement for climate action. more...
The Government displaces small farmers, imposes outsiders, robs our resources, divides our peoples - leave us in peace! Photo: Asoquimbo.

El Quimbo, Colombia: Enel-Endesa's 'low carbon' hydroelectric racket

Philippa de Boissière

13th January 2015

For the world's multinational corporations, the climate crisis is just another business opportunity, writes Philippa de Boissière. One example is Enel-Endesa's 'climate friendly' 217m high El Quimbo dam in Colombia - a huge exercise in expropriation at taxpayer expense, backed by police violence against strong local resistance. more...
The opening of the first election debate of the 2010 campaign on ITV, 15th April. Photo: still from ITV.

The Green voice must be heard in Election 2015!

Rupert Read

9th January 2015

Ofcom's 'initial view' that the Greens should not take part in 2015 election debates is irrational and illogical, writes Rupert Read. Worse, it is an insult to democracy, all the more so as the Greens are the only UK party offering a genuine alternative to another five years of 'business as usual' neo-liberalism and austerity. more...
Western Sahara refugee children in Dakhla Refugee Camp, Algeria. Photo: UN Photo / Evan Schneider via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

After 40 years, still waiting for justice: Western Sahara, Africa's last colony

Oscar Güell

12th January 2015

The Sahrawi people of Western Sahara have been waiting 40 years for a self-determination referendum, writes Oscar Güell. But thanks to the passivity of the EU, the US and the rest of the 'international community' their wait for justice won't end any time soon. Meanwhile, Morocco settles the country with colonists and exploits its natural resources. more...
The oil crash has incinerated $100s of billions of investments in extreme energy and stopped hundreds of damaging projects in their tracks. So why aren't environmentalists celebrating? Photo:  s1lang via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Environmentalists' oil price panic reflects their own existential crisis

Paul Mobbs

8th January 2015

Low oil prices are putting a stop to some of the world's most environmentally damaging 'extreme energy' projects, writes Paul Mobbs, and may close down the entire fracking and tar sands industries. So why are so many 'Greens' issuing dire warnings, instead of celebrating the good news? more...
Burning money? North Dakota flaring of gas out of the Bakken Formation. Photo: Joshua Doubek via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Fracking's future is in doubt as oil price plummets, bonds crash

Kieran Cooke

7th January 2015

Increased production from US fracking operations is a major reason for the drop in oil prices, writes Kieran Cooke. But there are warnings that the industry now faces an existential crisis from which it may never recover, as the financial sector faces the prospect of worthless shares and $100s of billions of defaulted debt. more...
Tar sands equipment just south of Missoula on 'megaload' transporters - whose free passage on rural roads is facing increasing opposition from impacted communities. Photo: Nicholas Brown via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

FBI harassing fossil fuel activists in the Pacific northwest

Alexander Reid Ross

6th January 2015

A grassroots movement of eco-activists is achieving unprecedented success in challenging fossil fuel developments in the Cascadia region of the US's Pacific northwest, writes Alexander Reid Ross. And that has attracted the wrong kind of attention - from local police, FBI and right-wing legislators determined to protect the corporate right to exploit and pollute. more...
There is another way to farm - and the future is bright! Photo: Tony Armstrong via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Oxford Real Farming Conference: power, lies, and agrarian resistance

Colin Tudge

4th January 2014

As thousands rely on food banks to make it through the winter and a milk price crash threatens the survival of Britain's independent dairy farmers, Colin Tudge - co-founder of this week's Oxford Real Farming Conference - examines the growing need for an agrarian renaissance to tackle the increasingly obvious failings of neoliberal agriculture. more...
Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus, in Glendale, CA. Photo:  David Levinson via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Monarchs may win 'endangered species' protection

The Ecologist

6th January 2015

With Monarch butterfly numbers down by 90% in 20 years - largely as a result of GMO crops in key feeding areas - the US Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing the insect's status with a view to granting it legal protection under the Endangered Species Act. more...
Anti-fracking protest at Balcombe, Sussex. Photo: Robin Webster via geograph.org.uk, CC-BY-SA-2.0.

Fracking in the UK: what to expect in 2015

Richard Heasman / DeSmogUK

2nd January 2015

The government appears as determined as ever to push ahead with fracking as a central plank of its energy policy, writes Richard Heasman - ignoring growing evidence of health and environmental harm. But with the economics of fracking undermined by heavy energy price falls, the UK industry may never get off the ground. more...
Falling fuel prices have taken the shine off fossil fuel investments. Photo: © Copyright Walter Baxter, CC BY-SA 2.0 via geograph.org.uk.

Investors falter as fossil fuels face 'perfect storm'

Kieran Cooke

1st January 2015

Higher oil production and falling demand are creating big problems for the fossil fuel industry, writes Kieran Cooke. Risk-averse investors, spooked by drastic oil price falls, are turning away from the sector in search of more secure returns. more...

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