Green

1 October 2021Review

Pluto, 2021; 256pp; £16.99

Permaculture was launched by the book Permaculture One (1978), written by Terry Leahy’s fellow Australians David Holmgren and Bill Mollison. It began as a system of agriculture and horticulture that emphasised the growing of perennial tree crops as opposed to annuals, drawing on the practices of indigenous peoples with the use of ecological and agricultural sciences.

Permaculture then evolved to become ‘sustainable agriculture and settlement design informed by three…

1 April 2019Review

Zed Books, 2018; 400pp; £12.99

In 2014, captain Peter Hammarstedt and his crew, from the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd, set off from Tasmania on ‘Operation Icefish’. Their mission was to search the Southern Ocean for six illegal fishing vessels, wanted by Interpol. These ships were accused of poaching endangered Patagonian toothfish. Against the odds, the activists were able to locate one of the wanted vessels, Thunder, stop it fishing and set it to flight.

The book is a thrilling roller-…

1 April 2019Review

Corporate Watch, 2019; 52pp; £4.50 or download / view for free online at: www.tinyurl.com/peacenews3221

Worlds End is a new 52-page graphic novel exploring climate change, capitalism, and the links between the two.

A recurring theme is tipping points – in the climate system and in societies. Both ecological and social changes can happen quickly. Despite the enormity of the challenges facing our generation, the authors’ message is optimistic, without being sugar-coated: ‘The future is uncertain, it’s also unwritten’.

For anyone who aspires to reject societal norms…

1 December 2018News

Appeal court suspends ‘manifestly excessive’

On 17 October, three anti-fracking protesters were released after spending three weeks in Preston prison. Roscoe Blevins, 26, and Richard Roberts, 36, had been sentenced to 16 months in prison; Richard Loizou, 31, had been given 15 months inside.

The court of appeal replaced the prison sentences with two-year conditional discharges (no punishment unless you commit another offence within two years, in which case you will be sentenced for both crimes).

Lord chief justice…

1 December 2018News

'Historic victory' for anti-coal campaign

Local residents and campaigners were jubilant on 20 September when the Planning Inspectorate upheld Caerphilly county borough council’s 2015 ruling and rejected developer Miller Argent’s appeal for an opencast coal mine at Nant Llesg.

The United Valleys Action Group (UVAG), local activists and residents worked with Friends of the Earth (FOE) to oppose the opencast mine. Haf Elgar, director of FOE Cymru, said it was a ‘historic victory’ for people power.

UVAG’s Alyson…

1 August 2018News in Brief

In June, protesters in County Durham prevented construction of an access road to a planned opencast coal mine near Dipton. The Campaign to Protect Pont Valley argued that this meant the Bradley mine could not go ahead. The council said the access road was not a condition of planning permission, but a separate agreement.

Despite huge efforts, including lock-on blockades in Newcastle and Bradley, campaigners did not succeed in preventing contractor Banks Mining from breaking ground…

1 August 2018News in Brief

In June, protesters in County Durham prevented construction of an access road to a planned opencast coal mine near Dipton. The Campaign to Protect Pont Valley argued that this meant the Bradley mine could not go ahead. The council said the access road was not a condition of planning permission, but a separate agreement.

Despite huge efforts, including lock-on blockades in Newcastle and Bradley, campaigners did not succeed in preventing contractor Banks Mining from breaking ground…

1 April 2018News in Brief

In late February, hundreds of French police in riot gear, equipped with bulldozers, helicopters and drones, evicted dozens of occupiers from a proposed burial site for France’s civil and military nuclear waste. The protest camp in the Bois Lejuc, north-eastern France, had been set up 18 months ago on the spot planned for ventilation shafts.

Police also surrounded and forced their way into ‘the House of Resistance’ in nearby Bure, where local opposition to the planned waste dump…

1 April 2018News

Well capped after government calls for financial review of Third Energy

On 13 March, two anti-fracking campaigners were found guilty of highway obstruction at a site near Kirby Misperton village, North Yorkshire. Dr Julia Collings and Ronnie Hollarand were each given six months’ conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £220. In October 2017, the pair had occupyied a three-sided tower in the middle of the road, blocking access to the proposed fracking site, as part of a long-running campaign of nonviolent direct action.

This verdict followed a…

1 December 2017Feature

Gabriel Carlyle reviews Lucas Foglia's stunning book of photographs, Human Nature


Evan Sleeping at Camp 18, Juneau Icefield Research Program, Alaska. Photograph courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery, London.

Lucas Foglia, Human Nature
Nazraeli Press, 2017; 92pp; £50

In one of his most famous rants, the comedian George Carlin claimed that: ‘there is nothing wrong with the planet .… The planet is fine. The people are fucked.… The…

1 December 2017News

Prosecution failed to rebut activists defence, says judge

On 3 November, 10 Greenpeace anti-fracking activists were acquitted of highway obstruction by Blackpool magistrates court. The 10 had locked themselves together for eight hours, blockading the entrance to the Cuadrilla shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road near Blackpool in May.

In his judgement, the district judge said: ‘I have to consider location, duration, interference with the rights of others and overall reasonableness. If the crown cannot show that these defendants…

1 June 2017Review

Verso, 2016; 160pp; £8.99

Echoing the opening lines of The Communist Manifesto, Peter Frase opens this book with the claim that ‘two spectres are haunting the Earth’: ecological catastrophe and automation.

The first is a crisis of scarcity – of fresh water (think melting glaciers), fish (think ocean acidification and overfishing), habitable places to live (think rising sea levels and rising temperatures) and so on. The second is a crisis of abundance – the prospect that our technology could soon…

1 April 2017Comment

Air pollution is personal and political, writes Claire Poyner

Green London Assembly member Caroline Russell fits a diffusion tube to a lamppost in London.

In 1972, the Staple Singers sang ‘Respect Yourself’, indicating that instead of (or as well as) complaining that ‘the president won’t stop air pollution’, we could, should, take personal responsibility.

It’s a song that always pops into my head whenever I read or hear the words ‘air pollution’. Of course, covering your mouth when you cough won’t lower the current high levels of…

1 December 2016News in Brief

Combe Haven Defenders (CHD) have exhausted legal action against the Queensway Gateway road which will wipe out the Hollington Valley wildlife site in Hastings, East Sussex.

On 9 November, the court of appeal refused to allow a judicial review of the planning permission for the road.

Preliminary results from CHD’s monitoring show that NO2 pollution levels are already above the legal limit, even before the new road brings 10,000 more vehicles a day.

‘Hastings…

1 October 2016News

Black-led action sparks debates

The climate crisis is a racist crisis. That was the message of a Black Lives Matter UK protest at London City Airport on 6 September, when nine activists used a tripod and chains to close down a runway for over six hours, grounding over 130 flights.

The action sparked two debates. One was about the relevance of climate change, aviation and pollution to the anti-racist struggle.

Black Lives Matter UK (BLM) said: ‘Black people are the first to die, not the first to fly,…