Section: Environment

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Time to use our roads to reduce our carbon emissions

Caspar Hughes
light trails on a motorway at night

We’ve seen Insulate Britain emerge onto their M25 stage in the last couple of weeks with their brave and dangerous protests. They are prepared to go to prison as campaigners try to wake the population up to the fact we are careering headlong into the worst crisis humanity has ever faced. The M25 is an […]

Seagrass meadows, carbon capture and the hidden costs of pollution

Sadie Parker

Did you know that seagrass meadows are thirty-five times more effective at carbon capture than the typical tropical rainforest? Seagrass meadows account for only 0.1 per cent of the sea’s bed, but an estimated 10 per cent of its carbon capture. They are great for biodiversity, too. Scientists have found that they provide a habitat […]

COPnes26: what’s on!

Editor-in-chief

COP26 is set to dominate the news over the next two weeks. Where does this leave our region and local communities? Totnes has started its own parallel environmental event to COP called ‘COPnes26’, continuing the town’s now well-established tradition of environmental and sustainability awareness. Here are some highlights: One of COPnes26’s roles is to enable community […]

I don’t want a Metaverse, I want a planet Earth

Clare Knight

I was surely not alone in feeling nausea and dread watching Mark Zuckerberg’s promo video for Facebook’s new incarnation (not to mention disgust at Nick Clegg trotting out insultingly complacent platitudes about regulation and data security). But disgust at the absolute sellout by someone who once seemed half decent is as nothing to the emotions […]

COP26 and the five stages of grief

Rob Hopkins

In a few days I head up to Glasgow for COP26. I have no formal role, indeed I don’t know why I’m going there really, and I can only be there for the first week, but I feel drawn to being there. In 1955, nine months before Rosa Parks did the same thing, the Civil […]

For peat’s sake – restoring Dartmoor’s peatlands

Tony Whitehead

Peat is an accumulation of slowly decaying plant matter formed in cool wet conditions. It is a remarkable substance and one of the most important stores of carbon on the planet. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), globally the remaining area of near-natural peatland (more than three million km²) contains more […]

Looks like a U-bend partially unblocked with a U-turn. UPDATE

Clare Knight

Hmmm! We thought we were celebrating but…whilst all of us who wrote, shared and spoke out against the sewage scandal have had an effect, we aren’t there yet… Flooded with negative press, irate public, powerful memes and fantastic pressure from social media, the government have SEMI-capitulated in an attempt to arrest the political and public […]

Can we afford this government’s blasé attitude to dirty water?

Sadie Parker
Sewage discharge given green light

By now there can be very few people who have not seen the headlines about the astonishing number of Tory MPs who voted down the Lords’ Amendments after clause 78 of the Environment Bill to require sewage companies to make improvements, and to demonstrate progressive reductions in the harm caused by discharges of untreated sewage. […]

The MPs in our region (all Conservatives) who voted to ALLOW raw sewage dumping…and those who voted against

Editor-in-chief

“Lords’ Amendment 45 to the Environment Bill would have placed a legal duty on water companies in England and Wales “to make improvements to their sewerage systems and demonstrate progressive reductions in the harm caused by discharges of untreated sewage.” “Despite the horrendous environmental impact of the disgusting practice, shortly before the vote, the Conservative Environment Secretary George Eustice recommended to his […]

Why I’m clanging for climate on 30 October

Tom Scott

At 6pm on Saturday 30 October, I’ll be standing on my doorstep banging a saucepan more often used for stews. Not because I’ve taken leave of my senses (yet) – it’s part of a big national action called ‘Clang for Climate’ that’s encouraging people in communities across the country to raise the alarm about the […]

Climate of lies

Tom Scott

The BBC’s new docudrama The Trick dramatises events around ‘Climategate’ – the hacking and subsequent false representation of thousands of emails between climate scientists, just before the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit. It’s an episode that can now be seen as a blueprint for a later – and even more devastating – disinformation operation. Writer Owen […]

COPnes26: the parallel COP26 in Totnes keeping us informed, in touch and in action

Jim Funnell

COPnes26: 31 October – 14 November 2021 COPnes26 is a two-week series of planned events across Totnes, an opportunity for the town and wider community across our region to respond to the global climate crisis. Mirroring the international COP26 negotiations held in Glasgow during this same period, the town’s inclusive, conscious community will lead reflection […]

26 Voices for Change

Tom Scott

On Friday I took part in the launch of 26 Voices for Change, a new anthology of work by Cornwall-based writers responding to the climate and ecological emergency. Held in the splendid new performance space at The Cornish Bank in Falmouth as part of the Falmouth Book Festival, the event showcased an incredible diversity of […]

Methane: a threat and an opportunity.

Mick Carter

There have been a lot of letters in the Western Morning News about methane emissions from cattle sparked by a columnist claiming that there was a “spurious and completely unfounded presumption that methane from cows is a problem.” The columnist is a Dartmoor farmer and his response was, in my view, misleading. Methane is a […]