Category: Environment

Johnson’s climate plan needs less talk, more action

Andy Brown

Andy Brown analyses the PM’s new climate plan, which sounds good, but needs action to back it up. Sadly this action has so far been missing. There is a big difference between ambitions and reality. It remains very easy to criticise.

Global warming: the point of no return?

Andy Brown

These days almost every politician in Britain likes to claim that they are green. They want us to believe blue is the new green. Which is progress. Now all we have to do is to get their actions to line up with their words. It hasn’t been a good year for the environment. Covid is, […]

Interview with: Councillor Andrew Cooper – Green candidate for West Yorkshire mayor

Alex Toal

The appearance of being ‘relatable’ has always been important in politics. The pub trip photo-op has become a staple of electoral campaigning, and candidates can be savaged for their apparent detachment from reality. Long after their disappearance from frontline politics, people still remember Ed Miliband as the sandwich-mangler, and Theresa May as the wheat-field sprinter. […]

Government turning a blind eye to wildlife crime

Natalie Bennett

The UK is known as a nation of animal-lovers, yet it’s a terrible place to be a wild animal (or plant or fungus). For ours is one of the most nature-deprived countries on the planet, the “green and pleasant land” a pure fiction. Chief responsibility for that lies with the supermarket and multinational-dictated food system […]

Will climate migration pressure get governments to save the planet?

Beanna Olding

“By 2050 – if no action is taken – there will be more than 143 million internal climate migrants.” The World Bank’s Groundswell project has provided even more reasons to reduce your carbon footprint – as if there weren’t enough already. The impact of climate change on humans is an increasingly better known area of […]

Algorithms for housing: a formula for failure?

Andy Brown

Algorithms don’t have a great reputation after the exams fiasco of the summer. So, you might think that the UK government would have become just a touch nervous about relying on them quite so naively in the future. In a reasonable world, ministers might have learned that that computer programmers can’t write mathematical formulae that […]

The upland moors: conflicting roles and values

Robert Francis

In the café of a Harrogate garden centre, one of the items on the menu in August 2020 was grouse in a bun, priced at £12.50, the birds probably acquired from a shoot on the upland moors of a Yorkshire estate. The ‘Glorious Twelfth’ and subsequent August days will have seen plenty of action, as […]

Food for thought

Andy Brown
sliced fruits on tray

Last week I went into Morrisons in Skipton to do my weekly shopping. That’s not exactly the most exciting opening line I have ever written, but stick with me. They were selling organic broccoli (all credit to them). But they had wrapped it in plastic that couldn’t be recycled (no credit at all to them). […]

Join the debate: ‘Meat Free Mondays’ in schools or not?

Lesley Hatfield

How do you feel about your little ones being given a meat free school dinner one day a week? Research suggests that the one single thing we can all do to help solve the climate crisis and prevent future pandemics is to move away from eating meat, fish and dairy products every day. As a […]

Don’t bee fooled again

Andy Brown

Almost everyone loves bees and in Yorkshire we have the opportunity to observe an amazing variety of different species. There is one species of honeybee, several of the 27 different varieties of recorded UK bumblebees, and a whole series of fascinating solitary bees like the bilberry mining bees that leave tiny volcanos on moorland paths […]

Our future: countryside and the environment

Hugh Goulbourne

Last week’s Extinction Rebellion protests once again saw images in the media of climate campaigners protesting in city centres while people tried to do their work around them, look after children or find somewhere peaceful to have a sandwich in their lunch break. The protests shone a spotlight on the increasing divisions in our society. […]

Charity funds sustainable drainage plan for Mytholmroyd Community Centre

Warren Goodall

When the trustees of Mytholmroyd Community Centre in the Calder Valley were considering how best to improve their car park, they wanted a robust and sustainable solution. So they contacted local charity Slow the Flow – educators in natural flood management and sustainable drainage solutions. Slow the Flow was set up after the Christmas and […]

Local Harrogate environmental groups take on international food group Danone

Hannah Corlett

Harrogate Spa Water, now owned by conglomerate Danone, applied last year to increase its Harlow development into two acres of public woods. This means public green space will be lost without compensation. Local environmental groups, Harrogate & District Green Party, Harlow Greens, Harrogate XR, and Pinewoods Conservation Group as well as residents are fighting the […]

Hen Harrier Day highlights the lifelessness of our landscape

Natalie Bennett

I’ve never been lucky enough to see a hen harrier. The closest I came was on Hen Harrier Day 2017 at the Rainham Marshes in Essex, when a marsh harrier came to patrol the wetlands, where hundreds of fans were listening to Chris Packham, Mark Avery and many other wildlife luminaries. The bird was, of […]

“The GMO lobbyist will see you now, minister”

Martin Brooks

The UK is under immense pressure to sign up to US demands on the regulations applying to GMO (genetically modified organisms), as part of the US-UK trade deal. One look at the USA’s commercial commitment to GMO tells you why. GMO technology, often developed by US companies, is embedded in US farming practices and hence […]

Three emergencies at once

Andy Brown

Many people think that we have a major environmental emergency on our hands called climate change. That is, of course, quite wrong. We have at least three major environmental emergencies going on and none of them is remotely under control. One of the worst of those crises is the proliferation of plastic waste. If, repeat […]

Lords call for government food strategy to protect food security

Natalie Bennett
assorted sliced fruits in white ceramic bowl

Last night after 8pm, some 16 hours into the debate of the 321 amendments to the agriculture bill, with Lords huddled over their laptops in remote parts of the country, you’d have to be a keen political wonk to have still been attached to Parliament TV. But Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick described this part of […]

Tasty chemicals: is your food safe?

Andy Brown

There aren’t many companies in the world that would pay out ten billion dollars in compensation if there wasn’t a problem. Yet that is how much the giant German drug company Bayer is reported to have agreed in order to settle claims made by users of products containing glyphosate in the USA who believed it […]

Innovation and outdoor education

Yorkshire Bylines

An inner-city school in Bradford has been making the most of its outdoor space for over a year now, slowly integrating the natural environment, recycling and traditional outdoor-learning skills into its whole school curriculum. This has been part of its drive to create new and innovative world-class learning opportunities for its children. Bowling Park Primary […]

Tea politics

Andy Brown

At a time when good news is in short supply, I was heartened this week to see Yorkshire Tea tell a customer who made racist remarks that they didn’t want them to buy their product. I was even more heartened when that customer announced that that was fine because they’d just switch to PG tips […]

After Covid-19, the economy needs to turn green

Jack Walker

Across the globe, society is beginning to wonder what the world might look like when Covid-19 is under control. One of the key questions is how to kick-start the economy once we come out of lockdown. Many companies are already looking at how to get thousands of people back into work; many people are also […]