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September 25, 2009

Search for Green Champion begins

by David Masters
Environment

The search is on to find one person to be the voice of ordinary Brits on the environment. TV star Melanie Sykes launched the campaign to find the Green Voice of Great Britain in London on 24 September. The chosen green champion will become an advocate for the people of Great Britain on environmental issues. "We are looking for people who can represent the views of the man on the street and communicate ...





September 23, 2009

Airlines announce “sneaky” greenwash carbon pledge

by David Masters
Transport Environment

The aviation industry has pledged to slash carbon dioxide emissions in half over the next 40 years. The agreement between airlines, airports, and aircraft manufacturers will see emissions cut 50% compared to 2005 levels by 2050. Announcing the plans, Willa Walsh, British Airways chief executive, said the agreement was the chance for airlines to "rectify" their decision to opt out of the Kyoto protocol. Environmental campaigners welcomed the scheme, but pointed to its ...





Europe ditches proposals for humane livestock transport

by David Masters
Environment

Plans to make livestock transport more humane have been scrapped by the European Commission. The proposed regulations had included reduced journey times, lower stock densities, and greater restrictions on the transport of animals bought at market. Farming groups and animal rights campaigners welcomed the commission's decision to drop the proposals. Both groups argued the legislation failed to deal with the key issue of making sure animal welfare laws are adequately enforced. “We have said, ...





September 21, 2009

Activists dump horse dung on Jeremy Clarkson’s doorstep

by David Masters
Transport Environment

Climate change activists this week dumped a cartload of manure outside Jeremy Clarkson's home in protest of his attitude to the environment. The seven protesters from direct action group Climate Rush were dressed as suffragettes and stood by the manure pile with a banner reading "This is what you're landing us in". The activists said they were being as ""blasé" about dumping manure as Top Gear presenter Clarkson is about carbon emissions. "I'm ...





French study shows organic food is healthier

by David Masters
Sustainability Environment

Organic food is better for you, according to a new report from the French food agency. The AFSSA report claimed organic plants product more dry matter, minerals and anti-oxidents. Between 94% and 100% of organic food did not contain any pesticide residues, while organic vegetables were found to contain 50% fewer nitrates. The report contradicts claims earlier this year by Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA) that organic food has no health benefits. Denis Lairon, ...





September 18, 2009

Northern Ireland reveals climate concern

by David Masters
Environment

Floods, damage to wildlife, severe weather, and a more polluted atmosphere are the main worries of people in Northern Ireland when asked about climate change. Unlike the country's former environment minister Sammy Wilson who argued that climate change was not caused by human activity, the majority of people in Northern Ireland believe climate change is caused by a mixture of human activity and natural processes. Edwin Poots, Northern Ireland's new environment minister, ...





Biofuel Britain powered by willow trees and exotic grass

by David Masters
Energy Environment

Fields of coppice willow and exotic grass could help to meet the UK's energy needs and reduce carbon emissions. New research published this week found the traditional practise of coppicing could provide biofuel to cut Britain's carbon emissions and provide a haven for wildlife. The government wants to plant up to a million hectares of coppice willow and miscanthus grass to produce biomass for generating electricity. A team of researchers from the universities ...





September 17, 2009

Public transport key to fighting global warming

by David Masters
Transport

Taking the bus or train is second only to recycling as the most popular way to combat climate change, a YouGov study has found. Around a third of those polled by YouGov said they'd consider using public transport more to help the environment, compared to 80% who said they'd be happy to recycling more. One in five would be willing to cut back on overseas holidays, while a similar number (22%) would ...





Public fed up with “self-righteous” environmentalists

by David Masters
Environment

Britain is bored with hearing about climate change, fed up with "smug" environmentalists, and cynical about green government initiatives, according to a new report. Research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found climate change-related communications cause most people to switch off. Interviews and workshops by IPPR discovered people are tired of hearing about climate change despite its implications. The public either views the government's stance on climate change as an excuse ...





September 15, 2009

Pesticides blamed for bee crisis

by David Masters
Sustainability Environment

Dramatic declines in Britain's bee population are due to the use of pesticides in intensive farming, a new report claimed this week. Neonicotinoids, used on a variety of crops in UK but banned across much of Europe, are a "significant factor" in the drop in Britain's bee numbers, the Soil Association and insect research body Buglife claimed in their joint report. The two groups "brought together a number of peer-reviewed pieces of ...





Queen told to give up land for allotments

by David Masters
Sustainability Environment

The 100,000 people waiting for an allotment could all be given a vegetable patch if local councils converted brownfield sites and the Queen gave up some of her land. A report published this week by the New Local Government Network thinktank said the Government should offer tax incentives to landowners who rent out unused plots as allotments. In some areas of the UK, waiting lists for allotments are up to 40 ...





Carbon traders evict indigenous people

by David Masters
Employment

Carbon trading is forcing indigenous people in Uganda off their land to make way for tree planting projects. Indigenous people living in Mount Elgon national park are being displaced to make way for trees that offset the emissions of a 600MW coal-fired power station in the Netherlands. Park rangers evicted the indigenous people off their land at gunpoint, forcing them to leave their belongings and land behind to become squatters. Indigenous rights groups ...





September 11, 2009

Consumers embrace tinted recycled glass

by David Masters
Sustainability

Consumers are "just as likely" to buy food and drink packaged in tinted recycled glass, according to a government-commissioned study. Research by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in partnership with Sainsbury's found customers are not put off buying products packaged in glass tinted with a green hue. In 90% of cases, customers were equally likely to buy products packaged in mixed-colour recycled glass. Mayonnaise was found to be the only product ...





ASA bans “sustainable” palm oil advert

by David Masters
Sustainability Environment

An advertising campaign claiming that palm oil is sustainable and the "green answer" has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). ASA upheld four complaints against the magazine advert by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC). Palm oil plantations producing the vegetable fat for food, biofuels, and household products are responsible for the destruction of thousands of acres of rainforest in Indonesia and Malaysia. Indigenous tribes have been evicted from land now ...





Is Geo-Engineering climate’s messiah?

by David Masters
Environment

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMECHE) has published a report claiming that geo-engineering could help "clean up the mess" of climate change. Geo-engineering, the artificial manipulation of the earth's environment, could have an important role to play in the fight against global warming, the report claims. IMECHE's 100 year roadmap for fighting climate change includes reflective structure technologies to reflect heat from cities, as well as artificial trees and algae coated buildings ...





September 10, 2009

Save on energy bills by upgrading your fridge

by David Masters
Energy

Comet is offering a 20% discount for customers who part exchange their old fridge, freezer or washing machine for a new model. Customers at the electrical store will be offered up to £200 cashback for their used appliances and white goods. There are currently 15 million fridges, freezers and washing machines over ten years old in UK homes. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) estimates replacing these would cut the UK's carbon emissions 1.3 ...





Boris recruits Kelly Brook to promote London’s Skyride

by David Masters
Transport

Mayor of London Boris Johnson teamed up with actress and model Kelly Brook this week to launch what is expected to be London's biggest ever mass participation cycle day. Skyride will see 10 miles of London's busiest streets closed to motor traffic on 20 September in a bid to get Londoners on their bikes. The route will cover Trafalgar Square, St James's Park, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the Embankment. Festival ...





September 9, 2009

Fish farms threaten marine eco-system

by David Masters
Sustainability

Consumer demand for fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acid means half of all fish consumed worldwide are raised on farms. The health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are well known, but a new study has found that demand for fish with high levels of these oils is stretching the marine system to breaking point. This is because farmed fish are fed large quantities of fishmeal and fish oil made from ...





Recession impedes energy efficient IT

by David Masters
Employment Energy

Businesses are wasting money buying energy-inefficient computing equipment, new research discovered. A study by CDW Corporation for its 2009 Energy Efficiency IT Report found that although firms are doing more to improve IT energy efficiency compared to last year, a new focus on short-term financial gain threatens to undo their efforts. “Under extreme budget pressure in a recessionary economy, the number one IT purchasing concern is the current cost of equipment and ...





September 8, 2009

Tits turn vampire on bats

by Alan Harten
Environment

The tit is often considered a friendly guest in gardens throughout Britain, but it has been discovered that in Hungary the birds have a darker side as they are predators that actively hunt hibernating bats and eat them. They turn to predators that seek flesh is thought to be caused due to a lack of the normal dietary needs that tits seek. Tits were first found to be seeking out bats in ...





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