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The Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo: Elias Schewel via Flickr.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss

Gregory McGann

27th November 2014

The exploitation of Canada's tar sands is more than just an environmental catastrophe, writes Gregory McGann. It's also an turning into an economic disaster, with massive investments at risk as falling oil prices leave the tar sands stranded. more...
Keystone XL Pipeline Protest at the White House, Washington DC, November 2011. Photo: tarsandsaction via Flickr.

Keystone XL - we won! But the real battle lies ahead

Alexander Reid Ross

19th November 2014

The enabling bill for Keystone XL failed yesterday in the US Senate. Supported by all 45 Republican senators, it fell one vote short of the required 60-vote threshold. But the victory will be a temporary one, writes Alexander Reid Ross. The final battle can only be won by massive grassroots engagement and protest in communities across North America. more...
'Don't shoot me - I'm only the Senate Leader!' US Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

China leads the world in green energy - despite US Senate Leader 'do nothing' claims

John Mathews and Hao Tan

18th November 2014

The Leader of the US Senate says that under the China-US climate deal, China can 'do nothing at all for 16 years'. John Mathews and Hao Tan examine the claim - and find it's the very reverse of the truth. China is leading the world in greening its energy supply, and has committed to add a massive 1.3GW of renewable power capacity every week for 15 years. Now Mitch - beat that! more...
Paid for by taxpayers? Oil rigs moored in Cromarty Firth. Invergordon, Scotland, UK. Photo: Berardo62 via Flickr.

Breach of promise: G20 spending $88 bn a year on fossil fuel subsidies

Alex Kirby

13th November 2014

Despite promises to phase out subsidies to the coal, oil and gas industries, a new report G20 governments are still providing them with massive financial help, writes Alex Kirby. The UK alone is spending over £1.2 billion per year to support fossil fuel exploration and production at home and abroad. more...
In 2011 Philip Morris Asia 'sued' Australia for 'losses' suffered due to the country's anti-smoking policies, including severely off-putting cigarette packaging. Under TTIP, US corporations could do the same to European governments. Photo: Eli Duke / Flic

TTIP threatens EU nations with corporate weapons of mass destruction

Kevin Albertson

10th November 2014

Far from creating a 'level playing field' for business, TTIP favours foreign corporations over domestic ones - while undermining governments' right to legislate for public health, safety and wellbeing. Australia got the message in 2011 after being sued for its anti-smoking policies - now Europe must catch up! more...
To help artisanal miners stop poisoning themselves and the environment around them with mercury, only ever buy Fairtrade stamped gold jewellery. Photo: Fairgold.org.

Fairtrade Gold - helping miners take the mercury out of gold jewellery

Greg Valerio

12th November 2014

The unregulated 'artisanal' gold mining sector is a massive source of mercury pollution and other environmental damage, writes Greg Valerio. But now the Fairtrade Gold initiative is helping miners to reform their practices with equipment, training and a hefty gold price premium. All it needs now is for consumers to demand Fairtrade Gold in all their jewellery purchases. more...
781 tusks from Tanzania seized in Malawi in transit to China, May 2013. Photo: EIA.

Chinese Presidency implicated in Tanzania's elephant massacre

The Ecologist

6th November 2014

A new report reveals that Chinese-led criminal gangs are conspiring with corrupt Tanzanian officials and senior politicians to traffic huge amounts of ivory. The corruption even extends into the Chinese navy, diplomatic missions and Presidential entourage - all involved in the lucrative but illegal trade. more...
The B30 pond showing a full loading with fuel rods. Photo: unknown.

Leaked Sellafield photos reveal 'massive radioactive release' threat

Oliver Tickell

27th October 2014

Dilapidated nuclear waste storage ponds abandoned 40 years ago containing hundreds of tonnes of fuel rods pose an immediate danger to public safety, photographs sent to The Ecologist reveal. The fuel and sludge in the ponds could spontaneously ignite if exposed to air, spreading intense radiation over a wide area. more...
The Balbina Dam reservoir. Photo: via Greenpeace.

Brazil's giant dam programme is a climate disaster

Helle Abelvik-Lawson / Greenpeace

28th October 2014

Brazil's newly elected Dilma Rousseff is committed to completing the disastrous Belo Monte dam, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson. Worse, she looks certain to press ahead with the industrialisation of the Amazon, with 61 hydroprojects in the pipeline. And new scientific findings about the massive climate impacts of tropical forest dams are not about to stop her. more...
Indigenous land-owners living comfortably in a land of fire in Arnhem Land. Photo: John Woinarski.

Australia's outback is globally important for its biodiversity - and its people

John Woinarski

20th October 2014

Almost three quarters of Australia's landmass is 'outback', writes John Woinarski, making it one of our planet's greatest natural areas. Yet it has many of the hallmarks of a 'failed state': its native peoples live on the margins, and its biodiversity is under threat. Now a new conservation model shows a way forward for both: Indigenous Protected Areas. more...
Protestors against the TTIP in Smith Square, London, 12th July 2014. Photo: World Developement Movment via Flickr.

Help us reach the TTIP tipping point!

Morten Thaysen

11th October 2014

The TTIP - a massive trade and investment deal under negotiation between the US and the EU - could be the end of democracy as we know it, writes Morton Thaysen, as corporate rights will supplant those of ciizens and elected governments. Join a global day of action today! more...

Extreme Inequality

Mark Goldring

6th October 2014

The massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of a few people presents a significant threat to democracy and wellbeing. Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, calls for a more progressive agenda for the redistribution of wealth. more...

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Commercial agriculture is creating an uncertain future for tribes like the ancient Hamer. Photo: Matthew Newsome.

Ethiopian tribes' ancient ways threatened by UK-backed sugar project

Matthew Newsome

10th October 2014

A massive sugar plantation and up to 700,000 migrant workers will occupy almost 2,000 sq.km of Ethiopia's Omo Valley, with the help of British aid finance. But the valley's native inhabitants have been given no choice in the matter, and are being forced to abandon their homes, lands, cattle, and entire way of life, or go to jail. more...
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...
Badger seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr.

Labour will tackle bovine TB - without the mass killing of badgers

Huw Irranca-Davies

18th September 2014

Speaking in Stroud this week, Huw Irrancas-Davies MP delivered a withering attack on the Government's badger cull policy - and firmly committed a future Labour government to ending the badger cull, using measures to control bovine TB that are safe, effective, and humane. more...
Three arrested protestors are forced to kneel before being loaded into a Danish Royal Navy helicopter. Photo: Sea Shepherd.

Denmark's support of the Faroese whale slaughter - the EU must act

Captain Paul Watson / Sea Shepherd

2nd September 2014

Denmark's unlawful support of the Faroese 'grind' whale hunt is now open and obvious for all to see, writes Captain Paul Watson, as the supposedly 'civilized' Scandinavian nation turns its military might against protestors seeking to save whales and small cetaceans from cruel and barbaric massacre. more...
From tiny acorns ... a pair of solar panels powering a desalination unit in the West Bank, installed in May 2013 with USAID finance. Photo: USAID via Flickr.

Gaza - renewable energy for a just a durable peace

Keith Barnham

4th September 2014

The war in Gaza is over - but with the territory in ruins, it's essential to build a just and durable peace, and restore essential public services: health, water, sewerage and above all electric power. Keith Barnham presents his plan for Gaza, based on a massive deployment of solar and wind power generation. more...
Flaring of unwanted hydrocarbons at a natural gas refinery in the Piceance Basin of Colorado. Photo: Tim Hurst  via Flickr.

Fracked off - natural gas victims flee Colorado's toxic air

Paul Thacker / Oil Change International

30th August 2014

Natural gas is widely touted as a 'green fuel'. But as Paul Thacker found in Colorado, fracking's national 'ground zero', it's anything but. Lives and health are being ruined by pollution from taxpayer-subsidized gas wells, flaring and refining plants, while property values collapse. Now a mass of environmental refugees are fleeing the ravaged state. 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...
Uncontacted Indians making contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border, June 2014. Photos: © FUNAI.

Peru: uncontacted tribe flees massacre in the Amazon

Alice Bayer / Survival International

22nd August 2014

Survivors of a previously unknown Amazon tribe have escaped gunmen in Peru, seeking refuge with settled indigenous communities in Brazil. But as Alice Bayer reports, their problems are far from over. Many remain under threat in Peru, and even the refugees are at risk of common but potentially lethal infections. more...
A May 2014 rally in Washington DC to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership. Photo: AFGE via Flickr.

Defeating TTP - a Pandora's Box of corporate power

Mickey Z

25th August 2014

Adam Weissman spills the beans on the Trans Pacific Partnership, which threatens to undermine democracy in the US and other countries at its roots. If passed it will represent a massive handover of power from nations to corporations - but as Mickey Z writes, there is still time to organize and defeat Obama's TTP campaign. more...
The Hawaiian cleaner wrasse works full time, keeping reefs from parasite loading. They die in 30 days of captivity but ship out daily - as many as the aquarium collectors can catch. Photo: Rober Wintner.

The dark side of Hawaii's aquarium trade

Elizabeth Claire Alberts

20th August 2014

Hawaii's salt-water aquarium trade is lucrative - but depends on the constant, scarcely regulated collection of wild fish, writes Elizabeth Claire Alberts. With 98% of fish in the trade taken from the wild, and high mortality rates from the moment of collection, Hawaii's coral reefs are experiencing a daily massacre. more...
IAEA Experts at Unit 4 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 17th April 2013, as part of a mission to review Japan's plans to decommission the facility. Photo: IAEA Imagebank.

Fukushima - we need health studies now!

Joseph Mangano & Janette Sherman

2nd August 2014

A massive health crisis is following the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima, write Joseph Mangano & Janette Sherman - not just in Japan but around the world. But the health impacts remains woefully under-studied. Scientists must wake up and undertake serious research without delay. more...
A massive open pit coal mine in the US's Powder River Basin. Photo: Greenpeace.

Huge US coal leasing program releasing tens of Gigatonnes of carbon

The Ecologist

29th July 2014

A massive expansion of coal leasing by the US's Bureau of Land Management will release tens of billions of tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere, a new Greenpeace report reveals - completely at odds with President Obama's stated climate objectives. more...
Antique furniture like this Ming era Ta couch in the Shanghai Museum has inspired thousands of 'hongmu' copies among China's rich - and the demand is devouring forests across Southeast Asia. Photo: Gisling via Wikimedia Commons.

The rosewood massacre - China must act

Zuzana Burivalova

23rd July 2014

Surging Chinese demand for rosewood used in 'hongmu' furniture is ruining forests across southern Asia, writes Zuzana Burivalova. As demand surges, China must impose stricter regulations and harsher punishments or the forests may never recover. more...

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