Increasing levels of ozone gas are killing people and destroying crop yields, The Times reported. Ozone is a greenhouse gas which is encouraged in our atmosphere by exhaust fumes.
It is estimated that ozone removed £5b of the value of arable crops in Europe in 2000. It is known to reduce the nutritional value of wheat, rice and soya.
• Struggling village pubs can now apply for grants if they qualify as ‘community meeting places.’ Six pubs are closing a day in Britain, but landlords could receive benefits for providing post offices, shops or toddler groups.
As pubs benefit, the final death knoll has been sounded for post offices, bemoans The Daily Telegraph.
Protesters have until midnight tonight to protest the proposed closure of 2500 post offices. The government will also review the Post Office’s exclusive contract to provide benefits and pensions in 2010.
• GM technology is driving Indian farmers to suicide, Prince Charles has said in a speech delivered by video-link to Navdanya at the Sir Albert Howard Memorial Lecture. The Indian villagers were bullied into buying expensive GM seeds which failed, the Prince claimed.
• The Environment Agency issued 23 flood warnings in the midlands and the south east on Sunday. Continuing wet and cold weather is forecasted in the south west.
Natural England is receiving £5.5m funding to protect natterjack toads, sharks and birds, reported the Independent. The money will go to conservation groups to maintain orchards and hedgerows.
Labour shortages have cost the UK fresh produce industry almost £13m this season, The Grocer reported. The NFU is campaigning to protect the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS), which could be phased out in 2010.