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From front cover of 'The man who ate the zoo' by Richard Girling, published by Chatto & Windus.

Frank Buckland: 'the man who ate the zoo'

Martin Spray
| 8th November 2016
As Victorian eccentrics go, Frank Buckland was a prime specimen, writes Martin Spray. But this new book about his rich and remarkable life is much more than a collection of anecdotes about his extraordinary doings, his inordinate curiosity about the natural world, and the animals he kept - and ate: a stimulating companion for wet days, cold evenings and wakeful nights.

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Breath of a Woodwose. Original drawing by Bill Rogers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Beast of Beckermet against the nuclear menace? a Lakeland story for All Hallow's Eve

Marianne Birkby
| 31st October 2016
As the nuclear juggernaut drives the destruction of the Cumbria coast at Sellafield with nuclear waste dumps, boreholes, dredged-out rivers and a massive new nuclear power station, Marianne Birkby recalls ancient legends of the Woodwose, the Green Man, and the Beast of Beckermet. Can these forces of untamed nature be called upon to combat the growing nuclear menace?

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The Greenpeace ship James Bay was widely used in Greenpeace's iconic 'Save the Whale' campaign of the mid-1970s to obstruct the activities of killer boats intent on taking the last great whales. Photo: still from 'How to Change the World' (film by Greenpe

Changing the world with creative non-violence

Rex Weyler
| 12th August 2016
The Green movement is above all about leading social change, writes Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler. While facts and arguments are important, the main task is to replace mainstream justifications of the status quo with new, compelling narratives of a higher moral order. And the most powerful means of achieving this is by symbolic, non-violent direct action.

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From front cover of 'Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming' by Andreas Malm (Verso Books).

Fossil Capital: the rise of steam power and the roots of global warming

Irma Allen
| 27th April 2016
We all know that coal and steam vanquished over water power in Britain's - and the world's - industrial revolution, writes Irma Allen. But as Andreas Malm sets out in his fascinating new book, the deciding factors in that victory were the unconstrained mastery over people and nature that coal provided mill owners. And so the model was set for the fossil age that may only now be coming to an end.

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Kurdish Peshmerga soldier on guard at the Mosul Dam, 31st December 2014. Photo: Claus Weinberg via Flickr (CC BY).

Iraq's greatest danger yet: collapse of 'world's most dangerous dam'

Felicity Arbuthnot
| 7th March 2016
As if Iraq has not suffered enough under Saddam Hussein, the vicious UN sanctions regime, the US-UK occupation and the depradations of Daesh, a new threat looms that could kill a million people or more, and destroy Baghdad and a string of other cities along the Tigris river. The porous rocks beneath the Mosul dam are dissolving away and the entire edifice could collapse at any moment, releasing 11 cubic kilometres of water.

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A US Air Force Fairchild UC-123B Provider C-123 Ranch Hand aircraft sprays defoliant over the target area of Operation Pink Rose in January 1967. Photo: US Air Force via Wikimedia (Public Domain).

'Crimes against the environment' should be punishable by the International Criminal Court

Steven Freeland
Western Sydney University
| 17th February 2016
There is nothing new in the environmental damage brought by war, writes Steven Freeland. Nor is there anything new about deliberate environmental damage as a instrument of warfare. But what is new is the scale of damage that can be inflicted by modern weapons of mass destruction. It's time for an international law against intentional environmental destruction.

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Mahatma Gandhi remains a potent symbol of freedom from the oppression of colonialism and overweening corporate power. Photo: wall in Berlin by Marius Watz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

From salt to GMOs - resistance is fertile

Colin Todhunter
| 1st February 2016
How can progressive movements rise above merely being right, to mount effective mass opposition to corporate rule and the dictatorship of the super-wealthy? By learning from Gandhi, writes Colin Todhunter, and devising new campaigns that engage with people's everyday concerns - like access to safe, wholesome, affordable, 'open source' food.

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Lonesome George, the last of the pure-bred Pinta Island tortoises, photographed before his death in 2012 at the age of about 100. Photo: putneymark via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Second life for 'extinct' giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands

Luciano Beheregaray
Adalgisa 'Gisella' Caccone
| 14th January 2016
The endemic giant tortoises discovered by Charles Darwin on Floreana and Pinta islands in the Galápagos are extinct, write Luciano Beheregaray & Adalgisa 'Gisella' Caccone. But scientists have found that their genes live on in newly discovered hybrids on other islands. A selective breeding programme now aims to recreate the originals, and return them to their native islands.

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Skater girl portrait (Abigail Tarttelin, author of 'Golden Boy'), Atlantic City, NJ. Photo: Chris Goldberg via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The law of the forest and the freedom of the streets

Ken Worpole
| 19th April 2015
Forests are the traditional refuge of rebels, dissidents and all who seek freedom from the strictures of civilization, writes Ken Worpole. But for all the idea lives on in our hearts and minds, that role has now been usurped by our cities. Now, just as our forests have been enclosed and subdued, so our cities face a similar fate - one we must resist to preserve our liberty.

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Gigatonnes of carbon rising from the frigid Southern Ocean put an end to the last ice age. Photo: Natalie Tapson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Carbon stored deep in Antarctic waters ended the last ice age

Miguel Martinez-Boti
Gianluca Marino
| 12th February 2015
The last ice age came to an end following the massive release of carbon dioxide from the Southern Ocean, write Miguel Martinez-Boti and Gianluca Marino, and the signature of that event is written in planktonic shells. It's a timely reminder that the oceans contain 60 times more carbon than the atmosphere - and we want to keep it there.

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Aboriginal stories say Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef was connected to the mainland. It was, at least 10,000 years ago. Felix Dziekan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA) / felixtravelblog.de.

Deep time: Aboriginal stories tell of when the Great Barrier Reef was dry land

Nick Reid
Patrick Nunn
| 29th January 2015
Stories told by Australia's Aboriginal peoples tell of the time, over 10,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age came to an end, and sea levels rose by 120 metres, write Nick Reid & Patrick Nunn. The narratives tally with the findings of contemporary science, raising the question: what is it about Aborigines and their culture than so accurately transmitted their oral traditions across thousands of generations?

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Stonehenge itself may benefit from the tunneling - but at the expense of the its wider landscape in the 27 sq.km World Heritage Site. Photo: Todd via Flickr.

Stonehenge World Heritage Site at risk from A303 tunnel plans

Kate Fielden
| 13th December 2014
The government's plans to tunnel the A303 under the Stonehenge World Heritage Site has one grievous flaw, writes Kate Fielden. The tunnel is too short, so huge portals and graded junctions at both ends would lie entirely within the WHS causing huge damage to landscape and wipe out archaeological remains.

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Amaranth amongst the the corn plants. It is traditional in Oaxaca, to grow crops in the same field. This is called the ‘milpa system'. Photo: Anna Bruce.

Amaranth revival - Mexican farmers rediscover an ancient superfood

Anna Bruce
| 25th October 2014
Mexico's conquistadors outlawed amaranth - a highly nutritious seed farmed by the indigenous peoples for millennia - due to its use in religious rituals. But it's now being hailed as a 'superfood', writes Anna Bruce, and a growing number of Mexican campesinos are once again cultivating the 'noble plant' among their corn, squash and beans.

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Krak des Chevaliers, the greatest of all the crusader castles, located in modern day Syria. Gavin Bannerman via Flickr.

Crusaders and Zionists

Uri Avnery
| 12th October 2014
The words 'Crusaders' and 'Zionists' are appearing ever more often as twins, writes Uri Avnery - and there are astonishing historical resonances between the two. If Israel wants to avoid the fate of the medieval Crusaders, it had better start accentuating the differences, and become a true Middle Eastern state, rooted in the region's native soil and culture.

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The Mosul dam spillway. Photo: United States Army Corps of Engineers / Wikimedia Commons.

The battle for Mosul Dam: a new age of water wars beckons

Jonathan Bridge
| 2nd September 2014
Conflict continues to rage in Iraq over control of the Mosul dam, which impounds 11 cubic kilometres of water and controls water levels and supplies across the country, writes Jonathan Bridge. It's not the first battle fought over control of water - and it's certainly not the last in a drying Middle East with fast-growing populations.

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The Wolfsangel symbol of Adolf Hitler’s SS on a banner in Ukraine.

Ignoring Ukraine's neo-Nazi storm troopers

Robert Parry
| 14th August 2014
Western media have studiously ignored the far-right, violent and often outright Nazi politics of many of Ukraine's Euro-Maidan protestors, writes Robert Parry. But with the thugs now organized into Nazi brigades of the Ukrainian army, and waging war on Russian separatists, an unlikely British paper has dared tell the truth: the conservative Daily Telegraph.

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Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, July 2014. Photo: Oxfam via Flickr.

Who will silence the Guns of August, 2014?

Guy Horton
| 6th August 2014
One hundred years ago this August, guns rang out as a Europe made unstable by hatred, nationalism and a complex web of treaties went to war. Now the entire world appears poised for conflagration, writes Guy Horton. But where are the leaders to pull us from the brink?

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Artisanal fishing nets at the Cobb, Lyme Regis, Lyme Bay. Photo: geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons.

Simplifying the sea - ecocide in the English Channel

Horatio Morpurgo
| 25th July 2014
A new report on the Channel's fisheries is a timely reminder of the ecological trend to 'simplification' as whole trophic levels are stripped away by over-exploitation, writes Horatio Morpurgo. Yet the government's profit-focused vision of 'sustainability' is missing the essential element - allowing the recovery of marine ecosystems.

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