Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 07:21 • Mat Hope

On an uncharacteristically sunny day in central London, thousands of smiling people in white lab coats holding placards adorned with Einstein’s equations and Neil DeGrasse Tyson quotations marched towards Parliament shouting “science not silence”.

The chant filtered back a half-mile or so down the road, and all of a sudden, thousands of similarly dressed, previously shy people had become vocal. It was a rare moment of activism from a group normally content to go under the radar, bunkering down in labs and libraries across the world.

The chant quickly became the impromptu slogan for London’s March for Science on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 01:41 • Guest
Cuadrilla protest sign
Cuadrilla protest sign

Protesters in Lancashire have finally found out the result of a judicial review into the government's decision to push ahead with shale gas exploration in Lancashire, despite the local council voting against it. Ruth Hayhurst from Drill or Drop has the story.

A community group and an anti-fracking campaigner have lost their legal challenge against the Communities’ Secretary over the way he granted permission for fracking at a site in Lancashire.

Sir Ian Dove, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning dismissed the case by Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackmanng.

This clears the way for Cuadrilla to drill, frack and test up to four wells at its Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton near Blackpool.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 10:06 • Guest
model showing global water vapor in the atmosphere
model showing global water vapor in the atmosphere

By Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research and Reto Knutti, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich

Increasingly in the current U.S. administration and Congress, questions have been raised about the use of proper scientific methods and accusations have been made about using flawed approaches. The Conversation

This is especially the case with regard to climate science, as evidenced by the hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Lamar Smith, on March 29, 2017.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 08:55 • Mat Hope
A drilling  rig with a boat nearby
A drilling  rig with a boat nearby

Shell has failed to properly assess all options for plugging and abandoning its North Sea wells in the famous Brent oilfield, a group of NGOs has argued.

Eight green groups including WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Scottish Wildlife Trust have criticised Shell’s plan to leave parts of its drilling rigs in the North Sea, saying the company has failed to be transparent about its recommendations.

There was a significant “lack of quantitative data” in the proposal, with the plans relying on “subjective qualitative judgements by experts, including Shell’s own engineers,” the groups’ 20-page response said.

Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 00:00 • Chloe Farand
Power cables running through the UK's countryside
Power cables running through the UK's countryside

Consumers are likely to pay the price for the UK leaving the EU’s internal energy market, experts warned on Wednesday.

Brexit has opened the door to huge uncertainties over the security of the UK’s energy supply, with details of a final deal dependent on political will on both sides of the divide, they said.

Theresa May triggered Article 50 to officially start the UK’s divorce from the EU at the end of last month, yet the future of key policy areas seems as hazy now as it was before the referendum took place.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 04:36 • Guest
Mega pipeline route running through Europe
Mega pipeline route running through Europe

After months of protests by indigenous communities, oil is finally flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline in the United States. Now Italy looks set to witness similar scenes as local communites fight to prevent environmental damage from a new mega pipeline running through most of Eastern Europe to the Caspian sea, Oil Change International's Andy Rowell reports.

There is increasing outrage in Italy against what campaigners are calling “Europe’s DAPL”, with thousands of people taking to the streets to campaign against the 3,500 kilometre, $45 billion, Euro-Caspian Mega Pipeline (ECMP).

The vast ECMP will stretch all the way from the polluted oilfields of Azerbaijan through six countries to Italy. In so doing it will transport gas to Europe, locking the continent into decades of fossil fuel use.

Monday, April 3, 2017 - 07:36 • Mat Hope
North Sea oil rig
North Sea oil rig

UK taxpayers handed big oil companies more than £500 million in 2015, according to new government data.

Analysts say about two-thirds of known fossil fuel resources must remain in the ground if the world is going to hit its climate targets. But the UK government has a generous subsidy system to encourage companies to “maximise economic recovery” in the North Sea.

This is despite falling oil prices and the growth of alternative energy sources, which means the industry contributes increasingly little to the UK economy.

According to new data from the government’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative report, BP made around £221 million from taxpayers in 2015.

Monday, April 3, 2017 - 00:00 • Guest
Wind turbine
Wind turbine

By Michael Howes, associate professor in environmental studies, Griffith University.

In 1992, more than 170 countries came together at the Rio Earth Summit and agreed to pursue sustainable developmentprotect biological diversityprevent dangerous interference with climate systems, and conserve forests. But, 25 years later, the natural systems on which humanity relies continue to be degraded.

So why hasn’t the world become much more environmentally sustainable despite decades of international agreements, national policies, state laws and local plans? This is the question that a team of researchers and I have tried to answer in a recent article.

We reviewed 94 studies of how sustainability policies had failed across every continent. These included case studies from both developed and developing countries, and ranged in scope from international to local initiatives.