society

"Climate turning point is necessary, advisable and achievable" @CFigueres at launch of Mission2020 #2020DontBeLate. Photo: @EmmaHowardBoyd via Twitter.

We can do it! 'Mission 2020' bid to get emissions falling in three years

Joe Ware
| 13th April 2017
Never mind the climate idiocy that has gripped the USA! Global emissions are already flatlining, writes Joe Ware, and a new initiative just launched in London aims to start pulling them down by 2020. Sure it's ambitious, but it's possible - because the future is unlike the past, and it's already happening, right now. Are you up for the challenge?

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'That Roundhouse' near Newport in Wales, built by Tony Wrench and Jane Faith and helpers as part of the secret Brithdir Mawr intentional community. In the UK this kind of eco-living is strongly linked to 'progressive' politics and values, but that's not a

Green nationalism? How the far right could learn to love the environment

Peter Paul Catterall
University of Westminster
| 12th April 2017
Myths of a pagan past in harmony with nature have been a feature of green nationalism, writes Peter Paul Catterall, from its beginnings through to the Anastasia ecovillages in contemporary Russia where - unlike their equivalent hippy communes found in the West - sustainable living is combined with a 'reactionary eco-nationalism'. Could it happen here too?

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Bacon with nipple: Still from 'Carnage' by Simon Amstell / BBC iPlayer.

'Carnage' imagines a vegan utopia where animals live as equals - could it happen?

Matthew Adams
University of Brighton
| 28th March 2017
In the year 2067, the eating of meat - carnism - will be seen as crime similar to cannibalism today, writes Matthew Adams. That is, in the fertile imagination of Simon Amstell, expressed in his BBC iPlayer film 'Carnage'. With 55 billion animals slaughtered every year for their meat, the vision looks remote. But the world will be a far better place if we begin the transition to plant-based diets - for our health, that of the planet, and not least, the animals themselves.

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Photo: VIVA & Allen Hanford Ltd.

Human rights are animal rights!

Peter Tatchell
| 28th March 2017
Abusing animals is no more justifiable than abusing people, writes Peter Tatchell. The moral touchstone is sentience, not species, and the 'humans first' ideology of speciesism is analogous to homophobia, racism & misogyny. Cruelty is barbarism, whether inflicted on humans or on other species. We need to recognise and accept our common animal nature.

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The future is hard to foretell. So instead, why not create the future you want? Photo: Aurora Borealis in Iceland by Victor Montol via Flickr (CC BY) with Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.

Sixteen Big Ideas to change the world and create a better future

Mike Childs
| 17th March 2017
In the fight for a better, cleaner, more just and sustainable world, it's not enough just to oppose all all the 'bads' that crowd in from all sides, writes Mike Childs. We also have to build our own vision of the future, and map out the changes we must make to get there. And that's what Friends of the Earth is setting out to do in its transformational 'Big Ideas Change the World' project.

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Who says nature is not worth valuing in economic measurements? Sadly, most mainstream economists. Photo: Golden Pond on the University of Victoria campus, BC, Canada, by Nick Kenrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Measures of poverty and well-being still ignore the environment - this must change

Judith Schleicher
Bhaskar Vira
University of Cambridge
| 15th March 2017
Orthodox economic measures like Gross Domestic product fail to measure the things that matter most, write Judith Schleicher & Bhaskar Vira: like human wellbeing and ecological health. This creates a systematic bias in 'development' policies that must urgently be addressed if we are to build an inclusive, equitable and sustainable society

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Artwork: Shea Huening via Flickr (CC BY-ND). See also full version with this article.

Appropriate civilization versus 'new despotism': one month into the Trump Presidency

Jeremy Leggett
| 22nd February 2017
Believers in the possibility of a better civilization, one rooted in increasing co-operation and harmony, find ourselves in a world where demagogues are empowered to bring about the polar opposite, writes Jeremy Leggett. A new despotism rooted in isolationist nationalism and conflict is gaining strength. The battle is not lost: but first we must understand the dangers.

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How the Daily Mail greeted Theresa May's sharp turn to the extreme right this week. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.

Wake up Britain! A far right coup is under way!

Donnachadh McCarthy
| 20th January 2017
An extreme right-wing coup is unfolding day by day, writes Donnachadh McCarthy, as the government exploits Brexit to justify more huge cuts to public services, extreme deregulation and massive corporate empowerment. A new political leadership must step up to defend our hard-won rights and our children's futures.

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With most luxury apartments in central London sold off-plan to overseas investors who often leave them empty or use them for a few weeks a year, the UK's social fabric is suffering from unrestricted capital inflows. Photo: Andrea Kirkby via Flickr (CC BY-

Progressive protectionism - the Green case for controlling our borders

Colin Hines
| 13th January 2017
The green movement's squeamish social liberalism has left it to the political right to exploit public concerns about population and immigration, writes Colin Hines. We must make the progressive case for controlling our borders, and restricting not just migration but the free movement of goods, services and capital where it threatens environment, wellbeing and social cohesion.

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Woman preparing herbs for winter at Tso Moriri, Ladakh, India. Photo: sandeepachetan.com travel photography via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

After Brexit and Trump: don't demonise; localise!

Helena Norberg-Hodge
Rupert Read
| 22nd November 2016
Both Trump and Brexit can be explained by the failure of mainstream political elites to address the pain inflicted on ordinary citizens in the neoliberal era, write Helena Norberg-Hodge & Rupert Read. In the US and the UK, working class voters rightly rejected the corporate globalisation that has created so much poverty and insecurity. But the real solutions lie not in hatred, but relocalisation.

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'Some day, son, all this (nuclear waste) will be yours!' Cartoon: Katauskes via Greens MPs on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Why worry about nuclear waste? What has the future ever done for us?

Andrew Blowers
| 16th November 2016
The long term problems of what to do with nuclear waste remain entirely unsolved, writes Andrew Blowers. Yet governments and the nuclear industry continue to peddle their untenable 'bury and forget' policy of deep geological disposal, which only unloads the toxic legacy of modern day nuclear power and weapons onto uncountable future generations.

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Flyer for the Lucas Plan conference in Birmingham on 26th November 2016.

The Lucas Plan: how Greens and trade unionists can unite in common cause

David King
Breaking the Frame
| 2nd November 2016
Forty years ago workers at Lucas Aerospace created a detailed plan to transition out of the arms industry and into green, sustainable products and technologies, writes David King. it never happened, yet the Lucas Plan provides a blueprint for similar initiatives today to build a deep-rooted, broad-based movement for social, economic and ecological progress.

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Sunset over Heathrow. Photo: Malcolm via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No new runways! Not at Heathrow, not at Gatwick!

Keith Taylor MEP
| 24th October 2016
Should it be Heathrow or Gatwick? The answer, writes Keith Taylor, is neither. For climate and pollution reasons alone the UK should be scaling back on aviation, and in any case projections of future demand have been monstrously exaggerated. Step 1: a 'frequent flyer' tax on the 15% of people who take 70% of flights.

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Fresh organic 'Heirloom' garlic from New Roots Farm in Newmarket NH, at the Portsmouth, NH farmer's market. Photo: ilovebutter via Flickr (CC BY).

Why the sustainable food movement is unstoppable: it's the philosophy!

Jonathan Latham
| 3rd October 2016
Members of the food movement share an infectious vision, writes Jonathan Latham - one which is constructive, convivial, classless, raceless, international, and embraces the whole world. Unled yet inspirational, it rests on a novel, harmonious philosophy that combines science, recognition of planetary boundaries, and the universal need for wholesome sustenance.

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Solar panels and wind turbine at Westmill Farm, Oxfordshire, which hosts several community financed renewable energy cooperatives. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Massive support for community renewable energy

Oliver Tickell
| 6th September 2016
A new opinion poll of 2,000 adults reveals more than two thirds of the public support renewable energy schemes where projects are undertaken at a community level and local people receive financial benefit. The support even extends to wind and solar farms close to people's homes.

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Natalie Bennett campaigning in Cambridge during the general election of 2015. Photo: Rama via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

It's time to take back REAL control!

Natalie Bennett
| 5th September 2016
It's time for UK citizens to #takebackREALcontrol by challenging the anti-democratic powers that control our country, our economy and our lives, retiring Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett told her party conference this weekend in this barnstorming speech. And that's a challenge only the Greens are prepared to take on.

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How the US saw the Japanese people in 1942. Photo: James Vaughan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Why Japan? The racism of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

Linda Pentz Gunter
| 17th August 2016
As we remember the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this month 71 years ago, we have largely forgotten the racist propaganda that made it possible, writes LINDA PENZ GUNTER. We have likewise sanitised history to exclude the voices of African Americans who loudly protested the use of nuclear weapons, connecting them to American colonialism abroad and racism at home.

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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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Photo: Roderick Eime via Flickr (CC BY).

Hugh's 'War on Waste' is great - but we need to grasp the bigger picture

Sam Earle
| 3rd August 2016
Last week's 'War on Waste' - throwaway coffee cups were the deserving target - was an exemplar of effective single-issue campaigning by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. But the answers to our waste problems go way beyond recycling. We must begin to plan a societal transition to a post-consumer culture of caring, sharing, and knowing when we have enough.

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Multicultural Britain: exemplified through this London shopfront on Seven Sisters Road. Photo: Gwydion M Williams via Flickr (CC BY).

Greens must not jump on anti-immigration bandwagon!

Alex Randall
| 21st July 2016
The UK's Brexit vote probably did reflect widespread anti-immigration sentiment, writes Alex Randall. And that may persuade environmental groups to tap into the xenophobic zeitgeist to win support and appear 'relevant'. But that's a temptation they must resist, because it's wrong - for factual, logical and ethical reasons.

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The Comida Conscience mobile restaurant. Photo: Fabrizio Uscamayta.

Abundance for everybody - 'conscious food' supports a thriving urban activist community in Bolivia

Sian Cowman
| 20th July 2016
Rooted in the Andean principles of sharing, resilience and 'Vivir Bien' (Living Well), Bolivian activists in the world's highest capital city are building cooperative, grassroots alternatives to the profit-oriented economy, writes Sian Cowman. Their weekly lunch party is just the most visible way in which they are challenging the injustice of capitalism and the fragmentation it inflicts on communities.

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Most rice-eating peoples like their rice white - and will avoid yellow rice as the colour is an indicator of the deadly mould that causes beri-beri disease. Photo: rice and curry on banana leaf in Riau, Indonesia, by John Walker via Flickr (CC BY).

Beri-beri disease and resistance to GM 'Golden Rice'

Ted Greiner
| 13th July 2016
Rice-eating peoples are very particular about the rice their diets are based on, writes Ted Greiner. And they have a strong aversion to yellow grains, the tell-tale sign of the deadly mould that causes beri-beri disease. That alone makes GMO 'Golden Rice' a non starter; 107 Nobel Laureates had better start eating their words.

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