Category: Environment

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Drax power station: it’s not easy being green

Andy Brown

Drax has now decided to move away from its proposals for small gas-fired stations and recognises that these would indeed be incompatible with Britain’s climate change targets. Instead they are putting their faith in wood burning and carbon capture.

Performance poetry sent to councillors in climate plea

Lesley Hatfield

This week, East Riding Council finally declared a climate emergency. It came after almost two years of campaigning from local groups, and after two sets of twins sent a video to the councillors, performing a poem they’d created calling for urgent action on climate change.

Leeds Bradford Airport expansion: the economy or the environment?

Brian McHugh

Brian McHugh asks if now is the time to be expanding the Leeds-Bradford airport: “Net zero emissions needs to be changed to zero emissions. The time is coming for an ethical and legal re-think on fossil fuel expansion plans. No longer can we continue to build for a fossil fuel reliant future.”

A pandemic in waiting: when will we act to prevent the next one?

Andy Brown

The conclusion should be obvious. We need a heavy rethink about how we treat wildlife and how we obtain our food. Not just because this is the morally right thing to do, but because our current consumption models are putting lives at risk. Sooner or later there will be another pandemic. Sooner is more likely than later. Once again it will spread easily across the planet via mass plane travel.

Green grant chaos

Charlie McCarthy

The government’s scheme to provide green grants to home owners and landlords has got off to a shaky start. With 65 percent of homeowners applying in the first 2 months alone, the scheme has already run out of money. To make matters worse, contractors who will carry out the improvement work are reluctant to sign […]

The murky world of Leeds Bradford Airport

Andrew Tait

The owners of Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) are pushing ahead with their planning application that would allow them to almost double their passenger numbers in the next 10 years. Well, that’s the plan, but we all know that Covid-19 has other ideas about the future of aviation. Currently, there’s only one flight a day taking […]

New solar power global opportunity for the UK

Charlie McCarthy

Researchers at Oxford University department of physics have developed a new world-beating solar panel using the semiconductor perovskite. Perovskite is a semiconductor that can transport electric charge when light strikes the material. Oxford PV, an Oxford University spin-off, has spent more than a decade working on improving the efficiency of solar technology.

Global warming: we have no time to lose

Charlie McCarthy

“The human family is standing on the beach watching a tsunami approaching. The big issue is … can we do anything to stop it?” Charlie McCarthy reviews what the evidence is saying on global warming and why we need to listen to the experts and be led by the science.

Alok Sharma steps in to the eye of the Cop26 storm

Juvenal

Alok Sharma’s role as chair of the Cop26 conference – to be held in Glasgow in November – is now a full-time Cabinet position. But his record on climate issues is poor, and he doesn’t have long to turn this around. The world will be watching.

Veganuary: commercialised ethics

James Powell

Enthusiasm for veganism this January must not be perceived as a bad thing, it is a step towards a better world but, this article is a cautionary marker that not consuming meat is not enough. We must be more conscious of the global environmental impact of all the produce we consume. Veganism is not just a diet it is a worldview.

Bees and neonicotinoids: rapid action on the environment

Andy Brown

Instead of encouraging and properly subsidising farmers to move away from industrial production techniques that are ceasing to work, the government has chosen to stick with a failed strategy. It is now encouraging farmers to use the next generation of powerful insecticides and to keep on overdosing fields with chemicals fertilisers that wash off into streams and rivers.

Forget back to normal – 2021 needs a new society

Andy Brown

Andy Brown looks at how the pandemic has already reshaped society, and what we can do to make these changes into beneficial ones. As people move out to the country, and the government steps in to prop up markets, maybe we need to be more imaginative about how we utilise this change for good.

Campaign against Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk gathers pace

Pete Wilkinson

The Sizewell drama has a long way to run yet, with huge issues at stake. This is an excellent opportunity to accept that nuclear power presents us with insurmountable problems of waste, siting and rapidly emerging health issues, and to shine a spotlight, yet again, on the depressing reality that nuclear power generation is inexorably linked to the nuclear weapons industry.

Reasons to be cheerful in 2021

Andy Brown

Way back in the summer of 1979 there was mass unemployment that was heading up towards three million, and the strident divisive politics of Margaret Thatcher were just about to be inflicted on the nation. Instead of staring at the negative, Ian Dury got together with his band the Blockheads and released one of the […]

Peak stupidity and peak oil use

Andy Brown

Andy Brown looks at how humanity’s collective stupidity has peaked at the same time as its oil consumption. “The idea that the world needs to be managed with greater environmental sensitivity has much more traction with the young than the concept that we need to look backward and try to recreate a golden age that never existed.”

Chapel FM Arts Centre leads the way with innovative eco heating system

Yorkshire Bylines

Leeds-based Chapel FM Arts Centre has finished a refurbishment to renovate its heating system to make it greener and more eco-friendly. The new venue, set to open in the spring of 2021 (pending Covid-19 regulations), also features a community café, a large hall that will enable a wide-range of new arts and wellbeing offers, meeting rooms, outdoor seating and other features.

Actions speak louder than words for new MP Alexander Stafford

Juvenal

Juvenal’s latest expose looks at Alexander Stafford, the new MP for Rother Valley. A compliant Conservative backbencher, Stafford has employed the language of culture wars to appeal to his base, while championing environmental reform to the more progressive media.

Can we get ‘back to normal’ when normal was failing so many?

Andy Brown

Andy Brown questions the desire to get ‘back to normal’, looking at how this normal was leading the human race to catastrophe. Looking at our economic and environmental failures before the pandemic and our lack of collaboration and empathy during it, he shows how returning to normal simply isn’t good enough.

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.

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