Greenpeace Blog

Counting the cost of GM contamination

Posted by jamie — 9 November 2007 at 3:13pm - Comments

Indian farmers campaigning against GM rice

Indian farmers campaigning against GM rice near Lucknow earlier this week © Greenpeace

A couple of GM stories have popped up recently over on our international site, one of which requires your help.

Heathrow Voices - the tour begins

Posted by Emily — 8 November 2007 at 4:53pm - Comments

See all Heathrow Voices tour updates - and add your voice!


Emily with local MP John MacDonald and of course, our shiny airstream

Emily with local MP John MacDonald at Sipson, one of the villages which will be lost if the third runway goes ahead

Yesterday, after months of hard work, we launched our Stop Heathrow Expansion tour. We're going to be travelling round London in a stylish airstream caravan, specially renovated to be our campaign HQ, to gather the voices of Londoners opposed to airport expansion.

We were due to set off yesterday morning at 7.30am; by 8.30, we still hadn't got out of the gates. We hadn't factored in the vintage (1971) of our tour vehicle, and some rusted up screws almost got the better of us. But with the help of some burly men with hammers, we finally got the airstream moving and rolled out of Greenpeace’s gates en route to Heathrow to meet press and activists.

British Energy melts down; British taxpayer cleans up

Posted by ben — 8 November 2007 at 12:03pm - Comments

More bad news for British Energy (BE), the UK's biggest nuclear electricity generator (when their creaking fleet of reactors actually happen to produce any power, that is). They've discovered that faults unearthed at two of their reactors pose more of a "complex issue" than previously thought and so the reactors are going to be offline for the foreseeable future. This news sent BE's shares tumbling by 10 per cent. Or as The Independent put it shares "went into meltdown".

A few weeks back BE announced that during a routine inspection "an issue related to a wire winding" was found in the boiler of the reactor unit at Hartlepool nuclear power station. This was rather unexpected and BE, as a Daniel come to judgement, took what it described as "a conservative decision" and shut the reactor at Hartlepool, as well as its sister unit at Heysham 1. Just as a precaution. Things were expected to be ship shape and bristol fashion very soon, so don't panic Mr Mainwaring. Indeed.

Palm oil: once you pop, you can't stop

Posted by jamie — 8 November 2007 at 10:55am - Comments

Vast oil palm plantations are destroying rainforests and peatlands in South East Asia

KitKat, Flora and Pringles are among the brands linked to destruction of forests and peatlands for palm oil © Greenpeace/Oka Budhi

If, as you read this, you're tucking into a KitKat or dipping into a tube of Pringles, you might be interested to know that they feature in our new report about the impact of the palm oil industry on tropical rainforests and climate change. Along with Flora margarine, these products contain palm oil which is linked to the destruction of forests and peatlands in Indonesia. As the report shows, it's a recipe for disaster.

Government's nuclear ambitions suffer another body blow

Posted by nathan — 5 November 2007 at 1:18pm - Comments

It looks like the government's nuclear ambitions have been dealt yet another major body blow. This time it's all about the thorny, intractable issue of nuclear waste.

Just as yet another nuclear-related consultation comes to an end, this time on where to store the UK's highly toxic atomic legacy, the government has been warned that it would be "wrong", and possibly even illegal, to use Sellafield in West Cumbria as a site for long term nuclear waste disposal. David Smythe, emeritus professor of geophysics at the University of Glasgow and a nuclear waste expert, said ministers should have ruled out Sellafield - home to the nation's most enthusiastic nuclear partisans and the long-assumed front runner in the race to house a waste dump – years ago after spending hundreds of millions of pounds on research that proved the area was geologically unsuitable to be a store for radioactive waste. Professor Smythe said, "there is clear evidence, after the expenditure of some £400m, mostly directed to the Sellafield area, that West Cumbria possesses no suitable rocks in which to site such a repository".

10 reasons to stop Heathrow expansion

Posted by jossc — 2 November 2007 at 11:09am - Comments
  1. Heathrow is already Europe's largest airport [i]: adding a third runway will mean a 70 per cent[ii] increase in flight numbers and resulting rises in climate change pollution. It's crazy to be paving the way for such big increases in greenhouse gases when we should be doing all we can to reduce emissions.

Behind the green rhetoric it's still business as usual

Posted by benet — 1 November 2007 at 6:25pm - Comments

Every industry has its own trade association: from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the British Air Transport Association, through to the British Association of Fair Trade Shops and the Solar Trade Association. These bodies are set up by companies with a common purpose to help them lobby for their interests.

SOS Sumatra: saving the swamp forest from palm oil plantations

Posted by bex — 30 October 2007 at 1:25pm - Comments

Last week, Jamie wrote about our Forest Defenders Camp in Sumatra, Indonesia: the frontline of where peatland forest is being cleared for palm oil plantations.

Well, this week our volunteers out there are busy trying to stop the destruction of an area of swamp forest. Working with local communities, they're building dams across the canals that are used in logging and draining peatland.

From our international site:


Thick layers of peat underlie most of Indonesia's swamp forest. Over time, the peat layer has locked up millions of tonnes of carbon. Once forests are cleared, peat swamps are drained and decompose to release the stored carbon as carbon dioxide. Forests are often also burned, prior to the planting of palm oil saplings, further compounding the climate problem.

France ups the stakes with a green "revolution"

Posted by bex — 30 October 2007 at 11:49am - Comments

A tad belated but I just couldn't let this one pass. Last week, these words emerged from France's environmental policymaking forum:

"From now on, every major public project, every public decision will be judged on its effect on climate, and on its carbon cost. Each public decision will be judged on how it affects bio-diversity. The onus won't be on ecological decisions to prove their merit, but on non-ecological projects to prove they can't be done any other way. Non-ecological decisions must be taken as a last resort. It's a total revolution in the way we govern our country."

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