News Analysis

Nuclear fail: Entergy's 'Vermont Yankee' nuclear plant shut last year because it was running at a loss even with all its capital costs sunk. It now faces a $1.24 billion decommission - of which only $670 million is funded.

Running in reverse: the world's 'nuclear power renaissance'
29th January 2015

The global rebirth of nuclear power was meant to be well under way by now, writes Jim Green. But in fact, nuclear's share of world power generation is on a steady long term decline, and new reactors are getting ever harder to build, and finance. The only real growth area is decommissioning, but that too has a problem: where's the money to pay for it?

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Lands of the Gassol community allocated to Dominion Farms, showing the link road constructed by UBRBDA and the community's use of the lands for grazing. Photo: Centre for Environmental Education and Development.

Nigerian farmers face destitution from 300 sq.km land grab backed by UK aid
28th January 2015

Development secretary Justine Greening is facing questions over UK involvement in a massive land-grab in Nigeria that is evicting local farmers from 300 square kilometres of fertile farmland to clear the way for a rice farm owned and controlled from the US and Canada. A 45,000-strong community faces landlessness and destitution.

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Bali, Indonesia: US Secretary of State John Kerry participates in a meeting with nations' leaders discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, 8th October 2013. Photo: William Ng / State Department (Public Domain).

TTIP is sputtering, but other 'trade' deals threaten our sovereignty
25th January 2015

Even as the controversial TTIP 'trade' deal runs into sand, writes Glyn Moody, a spate of similar deals to empower corporations over national governments and democratic forces are being negotiated even more secretively - like CETA, TPP, TISA - and could become cemented into binding treaties before civil society even knows of their existence.

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The 'circular economy' package could have added billions to Europe's economy - but now it's on the scrapheap. Photo: Eddie McHugh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Europe's 'circular economy' waste laws binned despite MEPs' fury
26th January 2015

The European Commission has confirmed that it will drop its 'circular economy' package, writes James Crisp, in the face of protest by MEPs and environment ministers. The EC's insistence that a future version would be 'improved' - but in in unspecified ways - only raised suspicions of a deregulatory coup by Europe's dirtiest businesses.

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The world stood with Yeb Sano and the Philippines in 2013 - but now the Philippines are dumping him and the principled policies he represented. Photo: Handing over 600k solidarity messages to Yeb Sano at the Warsaw COP, by Push Europe (CC BT-NC 2.0).

The Philippines are squandering their moral authority on climate change
25th January 2015

Yeb Sano, Philippines climate negotiator at the COP19 Warsaw climate talks, spoke for the entire poor and climate vulnerable world as his country was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. But he was mysteriously absent from Lima in 2014 - signalling a major national policy reversal in which the Philippines are giving everything away - and receiving nothing in return.

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Green Living

Palau sunrise. Photo: by Y A B via Flickr.

Trust can fix our future: lessons from the simplicity of island life on Palau
24th January 2015

After spending twelve days on a small island in Palau without the ample resources of modern life in developed cities, Andrew Broadbent ponders the crucial role trust will - and must - play in restoring our communities.

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The Sotrami company office. Photo: John Crabtree.

Fair Trade gold mining in the highlands of Peru
14th January 2015

Most gold mining in Peru causes serious environmental damage, write John Crabtree & Judith Condor-Vidal, but there is one exception - a Fair Trade certified mine close to the world-famous Nazca Lines. Now it's up to us to demand Fair Trade gold from the jewellery trade, rewarding responsible producers and expanding the market for new Fair Trade gold miners.

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Tiny houses at Hatteras, North Carolina. Photo: Bill Dickinson via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Sick to death of consumerism and debt? Find freedom in a tiny house
10th January 2015

There is a simple solution to the problems of rampant consumerism, debt and a lifetime of servitude, writes Samuel Alexander - radical down-sizing to a truly tiny house. For a start, it's only big enough for the things you really need. And it's so cheap to build, that it's paid for from a month or two's salary. Just one question - what will you do with your freedom?

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Campaigning

Old Bighorn ram on the banks of the North Fork of the Shoshone River after eating some of the first green grass of spring. Photo: Yellowstone Gate via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Who are the real 'eco-terrorists' on America's public lands?
27th January 2015

Ranchers can deliberately abuse public land and the wildlife that lives on it at will, writes George Wuerthner, confident that any breaches of the law are likely to be overlooked. But it's another thing altogether if you're trying to protect that land from destructive exploitation. Why the double standard?

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A new landfill site opens for business, Scotland. Photo: London Permaculture via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Toxic landfills, fracking and the lethal threat of Environment Agency neglect
19th January 2015

Nearly a year ago at the height of the UK floods, tragedy struck an ordinary family in Surrey as toxic gas from a nearby landfill site killed a 7-year old boy, Zane. Now the authorities appear determined to exculpate the source of the poison - an old landfill site - even as they prepare for a massive increase in hazardous waste from fracking.

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The coal being mined on Lord Ridley's estate could be earning him £13 million per year - and when burnt, causes about 1% of the UK's carbon emissions. No wonder he is sceptical of climate change. Photo: Herb Kim via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Climate sceptic Lord Ridley - Britain's biggest carbon footprint?
13th January 2015

Lord Ridley, a card-carrying member of Britain's 1%, led the Northern Rock bank to collapse. Now he's causing another kind of catastrophe: the coal mined off his Northumberland estate is causing 1% of the UK's CO2 emissions. No wonder he's a climate sceptic!

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Interviews

Naomi Klein. Photo: Resurgence.

Naomi Klein: A crisis this big changes everything
21st January 2015

The world's collective failure to tackle climate change comes down to one big problem, says Naomi Klein: the clash of climate necessities against corporate power and a triumphant neo-liberal world order. So after decades of government dithering, she told Oliver Tickell, it's time for civil society to unite and build a radical justice-based movement for climate action.

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Alana Husby with local Kuna indigenous women.

Logging the flooded forests of Panama: Alana Husby
9th January 2015

Alana Husby has sawdust in her blood. A fifth generation log and lumber person from Canada, she was ‘flipping wood' as a teenager, and now she's in Panama running the region's biggest underwater logging company, employing local Kuna Indians to fish tree trunks out of flooded forests. Kate Monson met Alana in Oxford while negotiating a 'green' timber deal ...

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WATCH and SHARE

Manta care - two divers free a huge Manta ray from a barnacled fishing line cutting deep into its wing.

Ecologist Film Unit

Champa from Dibulganj Village, is suffering from Tuberculosis. Photo: Sarah Stirk.

Ecologist Film Unit Coughing up coal
19th May, 2014

The Ecologist & Link TV investigate India's growing addiction to coal.

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EFU Film Fracking Hell – the environmental costs of the new US gas drilling boom
Jim Wickens

The gas stored in the Marcellus Shale formation is the subject of desperate drilling to secure US domestic energy supplies. But the process involved - hydraulic fracturing - is the focus of a bitter dispute over environmental damage and community rights

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WATCH and SHARE

Crawberry Hill Castle Eviction, 2nd August 2014, by Frack Free Crawberry Hill.

Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

Photo: Alice Popkorn via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

Charlie Hebdo
8th January 2015

The Ecologist offers its support and condolences to the colleagues and families of all those who suffered in the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

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Comment

John Ashton's enthusiastic audience at the demo outside Parliament, 26th January 2015. Photo: video still via YouTube by Jamie Kelsey.

Dash to frack is an insult to democracy
29th January 2015

The government's relentless drive to frack Britain is an affront to our democratic traditions, John Ashton, the UK's former top climate diplomat, told an enthusiastic audience at an anti-fracking demo outside Parliament this week - and now it's up to us all to make it a core issue in the forthcoming general election.

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Mountain Gorilla in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Ebola is killing chimps and gorillas too - now we must save them!
29th January 2015

Ebola has wiped out a third of chimps and gorillas since the 1990s, writes Meera Inglis, and together with hunting and deforestation is pushing them towards extinction. So why haven't we even used a safe, effective Ebola vaccine developed for chimps and gorillas?

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Fracking in a Denton residential neighborhood. Photo: Gena Felker / Britt Utsler via Frack Free Denton.

Message to the UK: the fracking 'bridge' is burning!
27th January 2015

The lesson of fracking in the US and Canada is a simple one, writes Naomi Klein. The fracking industry is vicious, brutal and will stop at nothing to get its way. British anti-frackers can celebrate yesterday's achievements - but the fight ahead will not be an easy one.

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Undergound coal gasification explained. Image: Bretwood Higman, GroundTruthTrekking.org (CC BY-NC 3.0).

The EAC's plan for a 'fracking moratorium' in Britain doesn't go far enough
26th January 2015

The Environmental Audit Committee today calls for shale fracking in the UK to be 'put on hold', writes Paul Mobbs. But the EAC is missing an even more dangerous technology that the Infrastructure Bill would support - underground coal gasification.

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HMS Victorious on the Clyde. Photo: Photo: Will Haigh for UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Election 2015: finally, our chance to ditch Trident
24th January 2015

Campaigners against nuclear weapons on a 'Wrap up Trident' demo at the Ministry of Defence in London today have a new spring in their step, writes Paul Ingram. Thanks to the new electoral geometry of the 2015 general election, they could finally get to close down Britain's £100 billion nuclear weapons programme - and not a moment too soon!

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Fresh green chickpeas on sale in Varanasi, India. Photo: © Jorge Royan (royan.com.ar) via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Obama - stand up for Seed Freedom and Food Democracy
23rd January 2015

President Obama will shortly be on his way to India. In this Open Letter, Vandana Shiva invites him to join in securing the essential human freedoms to seeds and food - and to set aside any plans to pressure India into changing its laws to allow the corporate domination of life.

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Grass-fed British cows - to keep them in our fields, we must pay dairy farmers a fair price for their milk. Photo: Steph French.

Save our farmers with fair trade milk!
22nd January 2015

As hundreds of British dairy farmers are forced out of business by milk prices well below production cost, writes Patrick Holden, it's time for a 'fair trade' British milk label that guarantees a fair price to smaller scale farmers operating to good environmental and animal welfare standards.

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Reviews

Making mud pies - no instruction manual needed. Photo: Jim Purbrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Learning with Nature and the nature of play
28th January 2015

A new book aims to get children off their mobile phones and back where they belong: in the great outdoors. It's packed with well thought-out, purposeful activities to get children interacting with nature, but Martin Spray wonders: is it all trying too hard? Has the essential nature of 'play' somehow been forgotten?

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Carbon Black by Declan Milling, front cover.

Carbon Black: A conspiracy thriller about REDD in Papua New Guinea
16th January 2015

The carbon market has certainly seen its fair share of skullduggery, writes Chris Lang, with massive frauds perpetrated on an unsuspecting public. This new thriller captures the essence of the wheeler-dealer carbon business to produce a compulsive work of fiction that is, sadly, all too believable.

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A young Aboriginal Australian in Arnhem Land. Photo: Rusty Stewart via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Utopia - breaking the Great Australian Silence
8th January 2015

Australia must acknowledge the horrors lurking in its own history, writes Fiona Broom, and admit to its continuing Aboriginal genocide. It's made harder by the deliberate ignorance of Australia's mainstream culture, politics and media. But with John Pilger's outstanding film, 'Utopia', the excuses are fast running out.

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Blogs

Mind who you call stupid ... Palaeolithic men and tiger, Africa, 100,000 - 2,000,000 years ago. Image: via cantabriatotal.com.

Dear Carl, it's time to rethink Homo 'sapiens'
26th January 2015

In this imaginary letter to the father of modern taxonomy and ecology, Carl Linnaeus, about the current status of life on Earth, Gianluca Serra suggests renaming the human species from the self-satisfied 'wise' to 'obtuse' - if only to spare us from the ridicule we so richly deserve for our collective insanity.

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This PV farm near Sevilla, Spain, includes sun-tracking devices that double the daily output from the panels. Photo: Alejandro Flores via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

WEF: Big energy CEOs don't get the renewable revolution
23rd January 2015

Launched at Davos this week, a WEF report on electricity generation predicts that solar power will cost twice as much in 2030, as the lowest cost sources today, writes Chris Goodall. It's sources? WEF isn't telling. But if 'facts' like these are driving the decisions of big energy CEOs, heaven help their companies in years to come.

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If only badgers could read. Photo: jayneandd (CC BY 4.0).

Fail - 2014 badger cull didn't kill enough badgers to be effective
20th January 2015

Sneaked out just before Christmas, Defra's assessment of the 2014 badger cull inspired NFU leaders to claim 'success', writes Rosie Woodroffe. But the figures indicate the precise reverse: that too few badgers were killed to be effective against bovine TB, indeed the cull may even help to spread the disease.

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Soon smartphones could work as mobile air quality sensors - but probably best avoided by smokers! Photo: Ed Yourdon via Flickr, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Information to the people! The coming air quality revolution
15th January 2015

Air quality across the UK is currently monitored by just a few hundred fixed stations, writes Prashant Kumar. That leaves most of us ignorant about the pollution we are breathing. But tiny air quality sensors in our mobile phones could soon create a network of millions of data points - and spur much needed official action to clean our air.

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Ecologist Partners

Ask not for whom the bells of mindfulness ring ... they ring for us. Photo: Bell Rock, Arizona by Alan English CPA via Flickr.

Spiritual ecology: hearing the cry of the Earth
28th October 2014

The bells of mindfulness are calling out to us, writes Thich Nhat Hanh, trying to awake us and remind us to reduce our impact on the planet. But more than that, to avert environmental catastrophe we must awake others too, and create a revolution in our collective human consciousness.

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Westmill Solar Park, Oxfordshire, is the world's largest community owned solar installation. Rated at 5MW, it covers 30 acres. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr.

Community Energy Fortnight - happening somewhere near you
16th September 2014

Community energy presents a real solution to Britain's energy trap, writes Hugh Bowring. And here's the perfect opportunity to find out more: Community Energy Fortnight is now under way, with over 80 events across the UK - from visits to wind farms and hydro stations, to DIY solar panel workshops and a community share offer festival.

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News in Brief

A beaver in the River Otter, Devon, feeds on an overhanging willow branch. Photo: David Land via Devon Wildlife Trust.

Devon's beavers will stay wild and free
28th January 2015

Natural England announced today that the wild beavers living on Devon's River Otter will be allowed to remain free under a 're-introduction' licence granted to Devon Wildlife Trust.

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Despite the handshake between Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, no deal was done on Indian emissions reductions. Photo: Government of India Press Information Bureau.

100GW solar support in US-India climate talks, but no emissions cuts
27th January 2015

India made no promises to cut its CO2 emissions from coal power stations, writes Nivedita Khandekar, and refused to reveal its ambitions for the Paris climate talks - but Obama promised US support for its plans to roll out 100GW of solar power.

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Tate's 'Walk through British art' - 'BP Displays, supported by BP, celebrating 25 years of the BP & Tate partnership'. From tate.org.uk.

BP's logo all over Tate for under half percent of income
26th January 2015

Tate, the leading London art gallery owner, has revealed the price of the BP logos that plaster its exhibitions: under 0.5% of its income - but only after a court order forced it to do so.

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Riding high - the Greens are close to level pegging with UKIP and the LibDems, according to an ICM/Guardian poll published on 20th January.

Greens' election debate victory as member surge approaches 60,000
24th January 2015

Greens are celebrating a decision by the main UK broadcasters to include them in the 2015 TV election debates alongside the SNP and Plaid Cymru - as their UK membership exceeds 58,000!

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Tagebau Garzweiler strip mine, Germany. Photo: Bert Kaufmann (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Coal's dark cloud hangs over Germany's energy revolution
22nd January 2015

Germany cut emissions and boosted renewables to record levels last year, writes Henner Weithöner. Yet the country's coal burn remains the EU's highest - and ambitious emissions targets can only be met by closing coal-burning power stations.

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Coal mine, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Photo: Stephen Codrington via Wikimedia Commons.

Legal challenge puts coal mining's climate blame on trial
21st January 2015

A legal challenge has been launched against what would be Australia's biggest coal mine, writes Samantha Hepburn. If it succeeds, all future coal mine assessments will have to include the impacts of the resulting CO2 emissions on Australia's most important nature sites, such as the Great Barrier Reef.

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Photo: Scott Wallace / World Bank via Flickr, (CC BY-NC-ND).

Warmer world threatens wheat shortages
19th January 2015

Just one degree of global warming could cut wheat yields by 42 million tonnes worldwide, around 6% of the crop, writes Paul Brown - causing devastating shortages of this staple food.

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The Reclaim Shakespeare Company chant “Art Not Oil” outside the Tate AGM. Photo: Platform London.

Tate must reveal price of BP sponsorship
16th January 2015

The Information Tribunal has ordered Tate, the charity which runs two of London's biggest art galleries, to release details of financial support from the oil company BP, writes Richard Heasman - and they have until 27th January to comply.

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Vote Green! Photo: Leo Reynolds via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Greens overtake UKIP and Libdems - over 4,000 new members in 2 days!
15th January 2015

The Green party today overtook both UKIP and the LibDems the on number of paid-up members. After a surge of 4,000 new members in two days, the Greens UK-wide now have 44,713 members, 4,000 more than UKIP, and 1,500 more than the LibDems.

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Calendar

Future NOW
Will Gethin

Taking place in the run up to Bristol's year as Green Capital 2015, this groundbreaking spiritual ecology conference calls for Consciousness Revolution.

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Courses

Telling Stories of the Future
Schumacher College

To celebrate 25 years at the forefront of environmental education, Schumacher College are launching a new short course programme: Soul, Spirit and Story.

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