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Hothouse earth image

The UK has recently been experiencing the type of prolonged hot spell that hasn’t been seen since the summer of 1976.  In that year the government of the day introduced a Drought Act and even appointed a Minister for Drought, Denis Howell, whose job was to encourage the public to use less water. While a very wet (and cold) Spring and Winters saved us from serious water shortages, 1976 was

UK faces plastic recycling problem as China bans waste imports

UK faces major problems with plastic recycling as China has just introduced a ban on the import of plastic waste. The ban came with little warning, which means that the UK will have to find alternative solutions for dealing with up to 500,000 tonnes of plastic that it ships to China for recycling every year. At the moment the UK cannot deal with much of that waste, says the UK

Pollution in developing nations

A landmark report in The Lancet has found that pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths (Lancet report on pollution and death) We have long known that air pollution, for example, can cause premature death with the figure of 40 000 in the UK alone (Source: Royal College of Physicians Every breath we take –

Hurrican Harvey

At the time of writing (September 2017) US city Houston is struggling to cope with unprecedented flooding and damage from wind that has displaced many 1000s from their home, killed and injured people and damaged property. The facts are startling: Since Aug. 25, Harvey has flooded the Houston area with almost 52 inches of rain, a single-storm record for the contiguous U.S. So far, close to 94,000 homes have been damaged or

Greenhouse gas emissions underestimated

An investigation has found potent, climate-warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official data. Air monitors in Switzerland have detected large quantities of one gas coming from a location in Italy. However, the Italian submission to the UN records just a tiny amount of the substance being emitted. Levels of some emissions from India and China are so uncertain that experts say their

Ingredients lists with polyethylene microbeads

You’ll find microbeads in toothpaste, cosmetic creams and cleaning products, but also sadly in the guts of sea life and polluting the oceans. That’s why the UK government has just announced plans to ban microbeads used in cosmetics and cleaning products by 2017. What are microbeads and why are they damaging Microbeads are very small pieces of plastic in products such as facial scrubs, toothpaste and makeup. Some are visible

landfill

Most people want to recycle. Whatever hue of green you may be, however sceptical or in denial, the principle of reusing, reducing and recycling household waste is something most right thinking can get behind. Unfortunately contamination rates rising by 84 per cent over the last four years has led to councils rejecting 338,000 tonnes of waste last year. This recyclable waste represents material lost to the system and needs extra

energy monitoring

Knowing the running costs of your electrical appliances is one of the first steps in making your home energy efficient. The bill payer may end up annoying everyone by going round the house turning things off. However knowing how much power your appliances are using and the typical costs helps you prioritise where you can save and what to invest for in the future. There are many different options available:

Nuclear reactor

The decision no one was expecting was that the project being parked until Autumn 2016 pending a further Government review. Greg Clark, the business, energy and industrial strategy secretary, said: “The UK needs a reliable and secure energy supply and the government believes that nuclear energy is an important part of the mix. “The government will now consider carefully all the component parts of this project and make its decision

UK government axes the Climate Change department

The government has axed the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) in a major shake-up. The brief will be folded into an expanded Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under Greg Clark. In his statement, Mr Clark appeared keen to calm concerns about the priority given to tackling global warming. He said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a