Sign the petition to free climate change activist arrested without charge in the Maldives


At approximately 6:15pm local time, Shauna Aminath, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Youth Wing President, and Policy Secretary, was arrested in Male and is currently being held in police custody in the Dhoonidhoo detention island. At this time the charges against her are unknown, the government has not yet allowed a lawyer to see her and the world does not know in what condition Shauna is being held.We are deeply worried about this arbitrary arrest.We request that a lawyer be allowed to meet her immediatly and that her basic human rights be respected.

Public Lending Right to close

I’ve just found out that the Public Lending Right is to be closed by the government. For those of you who don’t know the Public Lending Right supports authors by paying us a small fee when our books are borrowed from libraries. Closing the PLR is both pointless and worrying. They’re a very good organisation who distribute funds efficiently. I hold them in the highest regard and I send out my best wishes and support to the people who work there. If you have a chance to support the PLR then please do so. For authors like myself who do not expect to make a deal of money from our writing the PLR provides an essential service which helps us to carry on working.

Great new series from Alys Fowler features permaculture

It’s a great week for alternative gardening ideas on TV. Following on from her forest gardening slots on Gardeners World Alys Fowler has started a new TV series about edible gardening. It’s a real treat – both aspirational and practical – and really pleasing to watch. The first programme features permaculture pioneers Maddy Harland and family. They’ve been running Permanent Publications and the Permaculture magazine for years. The series will be running for several weeks and you can catch up with it on iplayer.

Centre for Alternative Technology needs your help

The Centre for Alternative Technology has been left with an uncertain future following the liquidation of a construction company that owed it £530,000. It is now looking for financial support to finish its WISE building and continue teaching students, professionals and householders about environmental practices and technologies. The organisation – which has a 35 year history of implementing practical environmental change – needs your help right now. If you can help please read on below and visit the CAT WISE appeal website to donate. Any support at this difficult time would be greatly appreciated.

A message from CAT originally posted on their facebook page.

WISE’s original construction company went into liquidation owing CAT Charity £530,000. Please could you help us at this difficult time.

Originally a £5 million project, the building costs for WISE have risen because of a legal dispute between CAT and the main contractor, Frank Galliers Ltd. Formerly a family-run company the partnership we developed sadly deteriorated after the company was bought by a venture capitalist firm.

Following the dismissal of Galliers, after numerous difficulties, several defects were discovered in the building, some structural. Last month, in the High Court, CAT was awarded over £530,000 in costs and our actions in terminating Galliers’ contract were exonerated. Unfortunately, within a week of CAT obtaining judgment, Galliers went into administration and a short time later, liquidation. Given the magnitude of Galliers’ debts (almost £10m), it is unlikely that we will see a penny. This has left CAT as a company in an incredibly difficult position threatens to mar an otherwise amazing year in CAT’s unique history.

Thankfully, our new building firm, C. Sneade Construction, has a good track record in environmental building and is doing a fantastic job of repairing the damage. Unfortunately for us, we now have to meet the cost of this repair bill through no fault of our own.

The amount we need to raise is £530,000 and we have a short and challenging timescale in which to achieve this target. Please could you help us at this critical time.

All donations will be greatly appreciated. To donate please go to

Climate change denial gets dirtier by the day

This cold snap has brought out the climate change deniers in their droves. Unfortunately they happen to work for dangerously misguided national newspaper editors prepared to give a voice to their stupidity. Thankfully The Guardian – as its name suggests – is doing its best to protect us from the consequences of the creation of a climate of denial. Here’s a link to a recent blog post by George Monbiot and Leo Hickman. Useful for anyone who wants to counter arguments that the recent cold snap marks the end of global warming.

Hats off to Gardeners Worlds’ Alys Fowler and Garden Organic’s Bob Sherman for helping to plant an allotment at the proposed site of Heathrow’s new runway.

Check this out. Gardeners World presenter Alys Fowler and Garden Organic Bob Sherman have joined forces to plant an allotment at the site of the proposed 3rd runway at Heathrow Airport. I am so pleased we have a new garden presenter prepared to step out of the gardening arena to comment on wider environmental issues.

Shameful police action against climate camp

The G20 Climate Camp was a peaceful well organised non-violent protest – at least on the side of the protestors. Watch this shameful, unnecessary and unprovoked attack by police and listen to the collected calls of ‘shame on you’ and ‘this is not right’. This is not right. The protestors are holding their hands up in the air and are doing nothing to provoke the police. This really is shameful shocking footage. Why has this not been shown on the BBC?

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