Section: Environment

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A climate referendum – the battle for truth

Jim Funnell

“First, we need to change the debate. This debate needs more clarity, not more emotion. The test should be: do we have the fairest credible path to reach Net Zero by 2050, in a way that brings people with us?” Rishi Sunak, Sept 20, 2023 Shhhhhhh! Don’t blow the choreography. Sunak’s speech on Wednesday September […]

Climate conversation in Cornwall – if only Rishi Sunak had been listening

Tom Scott

The day before Rishi Sunak’s outstandingly dishonest Downing Street press conference on Wednesday, at which the Prime Minister announced his decision to junk key parts of the UK’s emission reduction efforts, a meeting of a very different kind took place in Cornwall Council’s main chamber in Truro. Convened by Climate & Ecological Emergency Cornwall, a […]

The global fight to end fossil fuels comes to Bournemouth

Daniel Glennon

The Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels has registered over 400 actions, marches, rallies, and events around the world. These mobilisations against fossil fuels are coordinated by more than 780 endorsing organisations. They are expected to draw millions of participants between September 15 and 17, 2023. This includes a Pier-to-Pier march and rally in Bournemouth […]

Poo protest at Wessex Water’s Ringwood site – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor On September 10,2023, activists from Extinction Rebellion Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (XR BCP) held a protest against the illegal dumping of sewage into Dorset’s waterways by Wessex Water at their Ringwood water recycling centre. In the week that a BBC report revealed that in 2022 Wessex Water was responsible for 215 dry spills […]

Campaigners defy wild swimming ban on Dartmoor

Lewis Winks

Signs were put up across the 4,000 acre Spitchwick Estate on Dartmoor this summer forbidding swimming along 17km of the River Dart, including at popular beauty spots. Forty right to roam campaigners held a ‘protest swim’ at Spitchwick on Sunday 10 September in defiance of the ban. Groups included Right to Roam, The Stars Are […]

Human poo chain

Joanna Bury

We have had enough! Our rivers are full of poo because water companies haven’t updated ageing sewage systems. They prefer to pay millions to shareholders and in bonuses to directors. The government says water companies must reduce the dumping of raw sewage, and of course customers must pay, so our bills could go up by […]

The campaign against Perenco continues – letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

On Friday September 1, activists from Extinction Rebellion Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (XR BCP) travelled to Hanover Square in London. Why? To continue our campaign against Perenco, following the spill of reservoir fluid into Poole Quay in March 2023. The spillage occurred just days after it emerged that Perenco were warned in June 2022 by […]

Introducing M I Birtwhistle, special adviser on burning boats…

M I Birtwhistle

Hello South-westerners, My name is M I Birtwhistle, retired secret service officer, and I live in a small Somerset village where I’ve kept my neighbours up to date on government thinking almost every month for the last fifteen years.  By a strange quirk of family history I recently found I was entitled to a place […]

The 60/50 campaign: a reader responds

Anthea Simmons

Madam, While Dr Richard Lawson is right to call for a voluntary movement to cut speeds on our roads, the 50/60 Campaign, might I ask why there isn’t a campaign to get government to cut UK speed limits as this is without a doubt one of the simplest actions that could be taken both to […]

March for a wild Dartmoor! 30 September, Princetown, Devon

Editor-in-chief

What follows is information from event organisers, Wild Card. There are details of a zoom to explore the strategy and plans for the day at the end of the article. Ed Dartmoor is dying, its wildlife is declining and disappearing, and the time to do something is now. Will you be a voice for nature? […]

Revolutionising travel in Exeter: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor, As a campaigner who has been arrested eight times for obstructing roads, gluing myself to paintings, blocking Rupert Murdoch’s printing press and smashing his headquarters’ windows, I can’t throw the people protesting at the Heavitree & Whipton Active Travel trial under the bus. Their bold actions – ripping out bollards, blocking the bus […]

Dirty Water protest at Dawlish

Editor-in-chief

On Sunday 13 August, Extinction Rebellion held a ‘Dirty Water’ protest at Dawlish seafront in Devon. [What follows is an edited version of their press release.] This is part of ‘Wave Four’ of an ongoing Extinction Rebellion campaign running throughout 2023. Through a combination of theatrics and public engagement, protestors yet again peacefully highlighted the fact […]

Gaslighting on climate change: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor Thank you for your great article on gaslighting. It made me wonder if there’s a ‘how to spot a climate change denier’ type exercise or set of questions anywhere? There seem to be various myths which are trotted out in meetings or conversations as excuses for inaction – not just fear of change […]

How many trainers have sneaked into your wardrobe?

Jo Thomas

Trainers. Comfortable, ageless and fashionable, whether you’re a committed runner or a sofa-based Olympics’ fan! We probably all own at least one pair, and for some people they’re an obsession, but the facts around their production and its effect on the environment are pretty stark. Approximately 25 billion pairs are made every year, most from […]

Are you glued to your gum?

Plastic Free Axminster -

We’ve all trodden on it and got it lodged on the sole of our shoes; we’ve found it lurking under the rim of a table at a cafe or stuck to our clothes! The original chewing gum was made from chicle, a natural product from the sap of trees native to Mexico. Now it is […]

Right to roam: quashing the scaremongering

Jonathan Moses

Where to start with the recent Farmers Weekly piece on the right to roam (RTR)? It seems to have no idea what is being proposed and bemoans the loss of opportunities to “monetise partnerships with healthcare providers as solutions to the UK’s health and wellbeing crisis”. Firstly, the RTR proposals are not an “all-access approach”. […]

Bournemouth mass bike ride and rally, demanding sustainable transport

Editor-in-chief

Bournemouth residents today joined Extinction Rebellion Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (XR BCP), who gathered at Horseshoe Common while chanting and ringing bells. The group cycled around Bournemouth in a mass bike ride, in support of better sustainable transport infrastructure. Cars were slowed by the procession cycling around Bournemouth centre, while protesters carried placards and flags […]

Traffic reduction in coastal towns – a suggestion

Dr Richard Lawson

As a young man I took a holiday in the West Country in my van, carrying a small home-built sailing boat, looking for beaches and slipways from which to access the endless ocean. The map showed a slipway in one small town on a beautiful Cornish estuary, so I headed off the main road and […]

A new purpose for Dartmoor National Park?

Tony Whitehead

Nature in Dartmoor National Park is in a poor state. A new piece of legislation being debated this week in the House of Lords could help change that – and put nature’s recovery at the heart of the purpose of all our National Parks and AONBs.  But will the Government do the right thing?  Dartmoor […]

Are you wiped out?

Plastic Free Axminster -

We’re well into Plastic Free July and here’s another area where you can cut your plastic usage and help stop the blockages in our sewers and the pollution in our waterways. Wet wipes – why are we so addicted to them?  Surface wipes, face cleansing wipes, floor wipes, make-up remover wipes, baby wipes, personal hygiene […]

The future is brighter than you think

James Miller

Renewable energy specialist James Miller finds reasons to be cheerful as the demise of the fossil fuel industry looms into view. We’re bombarded daily with doom-laden stories about climate breakdown and natural disasters that threaten our very existence on this planet, and many devastating aspects of climate change are already inevitable. But emerging from the […]

Climate campaigners take oil drilling case to the Supreme Court

Sarah Finch

Two women from the South West were among a group of campaigners at the Supreme Court last month fighting to ensure that fossil fuel developments are not given planning permission without a proper assessment of their climate impacts. Sarah Finch, from Exeter, fronted the case on behalf of a network of campaigners called the Weald […]

Dartmoor – what does the future hold for the national park?

Anthea Simmons

On Friday 14 July at 19:15, we will be hosting a panel event to be live-streamed from the Byline Festival, which is being held for the first time at Dartington Hall. The theme? Dartmoor’s future from political, agricultural, societal and environmental perspectives. Your panel for the evening: Caroline Voaden: the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for […]