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  • Adam Hardy 11:05 am on June 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: politics   

    One referendum was not enough – stupid, explosive and wrong question! #eureferendum 

    Just posted a petition on demanding more referenda.

    They tried to bottle up this immigration genie for 25 years and suddenly it’s out. The “bottling-up” should never have happened in the first place.

    And it didn’t have to – if there had been regular referenda which bind the politicians to doing exactly what the citizens of the land are voting for.

    Please sign or comment: swiss-referendum

    • Kate Calvert 7:21 pm on June 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Considerable support for another try – this time after the Brexit campaign has admitted everything they didn’t really mean.

      • Adam Hardy 9:11 pm on June 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        It would have to be made compulsory. I can’t see the same sort of turn-out occuring again, which would end up solving nothing.

  • Adam Hardy 9:18 am on June 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    EU smashes 2020 emissions target 6 years early #climatechange 

    EU smashes 2020 emissions target six years early

    Executive summary: lack of ambition. The targets should have been stronger, 2030 targets must be stronger.

  • susan640 10:38 pm on June 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Archway Bridge, Biodiversity, GIGL, LondonOwls   


    Thrilled to hear a male tawny owl hooting this evening just to the north of the Archway Bridge, probably in the Archway Cuttings North West, where there is tree cover. Have reported the hearing to GIGL, the Greenspace Information for Greater London records centre. They collect and keep all wildlife sightings which they are told about, from members of the public as well as wildlife professionals, and this data helps to protect our wildlife from the depredation of developers by supplying evidence when planning decisions are made.. Gigl’s website is here: Please remember about Gigl when you see or hear some interesting wildlife.

    • Adam Hardy 5:09 pm on June 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      fantastic! I still have it on my list of things to do to work out an easy way of connecting up with websites like

  • Kate Calvert 1:51 pm on June 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Emailing Government about GM 

    The Letter from America offers the opportunity to write to your MP about GM crops with an easy click through link.

    The Letter from America itself is a referenced report on the hazard of GM crops with the issue summarised as:

    ‘Through our experience we have come to understand that the genetic engineering of food has never really been about public good, or feeding the hungry, or supporting our farmers. Nor is it about consumer choice. Instead it is about private, corporate control of the food system.

    ‘The control extends into areas of life that deeply affect our day-to-day well-being, including food security, science, and democracy. It undermines the development of genuinely sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture and prevents the creation of a transparent, healthy food supply for all.’

    • Adam Hardy 9:39 pm on June 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      GMO crops are doubly damaging because of the way they are designed for use in large monocultures and then saturated in potent herbicides and pesticides. (e.g. glyphosate)

  • Adam Hardy 12:51 pm on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Community controlled renewable energy production and sales with blockchain in New York 

    I wonder what Good Energy and Ecotricity make of this article:

    ny-solar-panelsClick image or here to go to article.

    • Kate Calvert 3:04 pm on June 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      There was a proposal to start a local generation project in Tufnell Park/Kentish Town but have not heard any more of it. It should be integral to any new development.

  • Kate Calvert 12:01 pm on June 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fracking   

    The Downsides of Fracking 

    A useful leaflet from Jojo Mehta

  • Kate Calvert 9:24 am on June 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beyond GM, , GMOs   

    The GMO Debate Starts to Hot Up Again 

    Beyond GM is a new independent initiative working to raise the level of debate on genetically modified organisms.

    They describe their background as being the two decades of the idea of GMOs being sold to the public as a way to fix the food system and feed the hungry. In practice, they say, after 20 years only four main GM crops – cotton, maize, soya and canola – have emerged. Around half of those are used to make biofuels, a large proportion goes to feed livestock, and the rest is used to create fats, sugars and fillers for processed foods.

    Costs for the farmer are found to be between three and six times higher than conventional growing, with very variable results, a result, says Beyond GM, of a time when many still believed industrial farming was the way to provide enough food.

    They add that GM foods are not cheaper, and not more nutritious. They may even be harmful. Indeed, 300 scientists from around the world have signed an open letter to say there is no scientific consensus on GMO safety and the weight of the evidence otherwise is cause for concern. For example, farmers are beginning to report that their animals get ill when they eat GM feed. Impaired immunity, gut and reproductive abnormalities have all bee reported. As a result the farmers have to spend yet more on medicines and vet bills.

    Even so, biotech companies are lobbying for government regulators to agree more GM crops and foods and although the majority of the public oppose this, they are slipping through under the radar.

    Beyond GM reports that the UK government plans to allow more open air trials and to encourage farmers to ‘go GM’ from 2017. In the EU the coalition that blocked the planting of GM crops has broken up and the European Parliament voted to allow individual member states to make their own decisions about whether to grow GM crops.

    The UK government does not plan any post-marketing monitoring or co-existence measures to protect organic and non GMO farmers. And of course the crops require high levels of pesticides such as glyphosates, which remain as residues in foods. And because they become dispersed they affect more than the GMO crops. In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, declared glyphosate a ‘probably human carcinogen’. Beyond GM says there is continuing research showing adverse effects on kidneys, liver, and reproductive organs, and that glyphosate is a hormone disrupter.

    After the rejection of GM some years ago, supermarkets are now apparently beginning to stock food with GM ingredients as well as meat milk and eggs from animals fed on GM feed. Beyond GM plans to increase public awareness of the issues.



  • Kate Calvert 9:58 am on June 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Fossil Fuel Tax Breaks – ie subsidies 

    Good piece re-posted by the New Economics Foundation on how the government is happily promoting more fossil fuels.

  • Kate Calvert 3:14 pm on June 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: per capita emissions, Worldwatch Institute   

    Independent research organisation Worldwatch reports that 228 cities around the world… 

    Independent research organisation Worldwatch reports that 228 cities around the world are taking the lead on climate action, setting greenhouse gas reduction goals or targets. Worldwatch says that action in these cities, which represent a combined population of 439 million people, could mean countries meet their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) the national greenhouse gas reduction pledges in the Paris Agreement.

    According to Can a City Be Sustainable?, the latest edition of the annual State of the World series from the Worldwatch Institute, cities and their inhabitants are playing a lead role in achieving global climate action goals (


    The Institute reports that the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group has expanded to more than 80 cities and the Compact of Mayors, launched at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit, is the largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability works with more than 1,000 cities around the world.

    It reports that cities collectively account for a large share of greenhouse gas emissions, because they concentrate economic activity. But cities vary widely in their per capita emissions. Rotterdam in the Netherlands, for example, emitted 29.8 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent per capita in 2005, while Paris emitted just 5.2 tons per capita. Variables, such as climate, urban form, and primary energy source, affect a city’s level of emissions and economic factors, such as the wealth and income of residents, and the level and structure of economic activity, also play a major role.



  • Kate Calvert 1:25 pm on June 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bayer, EU, , Monsanto   

    A Big Win on Glyphosphates – but no let up 

    Campaign group Avaaz has just announced that the European Union just refused to grant Monsanto a new licence for its flagship product – the pesticide glyphosate. Avaaz reports that glyphosate accounts for up to a third of all Monsanto’s revenue but there was opposition to approval from countries including Germany, France and Italy. Avaaz is now asking for independent verification of the safety of glyphosate and lobbying for 18 months to be set aside for this work.

    However, closer to home it seems that London boroughs have happily been spraying glyphosate on their parks, where residents duly breath it in. There’s a 38degrees petition against its use by Camden and it seems likely others will follow given the World Health Organisation’s view that glyphosates probably cause cancer.

    At the same time the Swiss-based chemicals group Bayer is proposing to buy Monsanto. It’s a move which SumofUs reckons, ‘could spell disaster for our food supply and farmers, ushering in a new era of sterile crops soaked in dangerous pesticides. If the deal is successful, it’ll make the new corporation the biggest seed maker and pesticide company in the world — and it will have almost total control of the most important aspects of our food supply’.

    And for added anti Monsanto feeling listen to the new album by Neil Young – The Monsanto Years – offering old-fashioned protest songs from an old rocker – review by  Rolling Stone.

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