News Analysis

WIPP / Los Alamos National Laboratory celebrates its 1000th transuranic waste shipment. Photo: energy.gov / Wikimedia Commons.

New Mexico nuclear waste accident a 'horrific comedy of errors' that exposes deeper problems
27th November 2014

Last February's explosion at the WIPP dump for long-lived intermediate-level nuclear waste from the US's nuclear weapons program remains unexplained, writes Jim Green. But with the site's history of ignored warnings, 'missing' safety culture, lack of supervision and dubious contractor appointments, it surely came as no surprise - and further accidents appear inevitable.

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Zekiye Ozdemir and Gulseren Caliskan, both 70, maintain their daily vigil directly in front of a large iron police barrier  at the construction site on the edge of Validebag Grove, Istanbul. Photo: Nick Ashdown.

'Fake environmentalists' battle for Istanbul's last forest
26th November 2014

After Gezi Park, another battle for one of Istanbul's increasingly rare green spaces is raging, writes Nick Ashdown - and this time it's on the city's Asian side. Demonstrators are holding a 24-hour vigil on the edge of an 'illegal' construction site at Validebag Grove - despite having been repeatedly detained and attacked by police.

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Early stages of construction on the Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor in France, which was due to open in 2012, but is running five years late. Photo: Schoella via Wikimedia Commons.

Hinkley C hovers on the brink - Europe's nuclear giants face meltdown
25th November 2014

Doubts are growing doubts that the Hinkley C nuclear power station, the EU's biggest construction project, will get the final go-ahead from the UK government, writes Paul Brown. And that's leaving the European nuclear industry, already in serious financial difficulties, facing a struggle for survival.

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Building on existing cooperation to protect the fragile Arctic environment and its wildlife could be the key to forestalling a new Cold War over Arctic resources. Photo: Walrus, by Colin Jagoe via Flickr.

Arctic chill, red hot politics - as the ice melts, a new Cold War can still be avoided
25th November 2014

As the Arctic ice retreats, a fragile but resource-rich landscape replete with oil, minerals, fish and islands is opening up, writes Conn Hallinan. A new land-rush is on, and it could all lead to war. But it can be avoided provided states respect the rule of law and build on existing regimes of cooperation to protect the precious Arctic environment.

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The Red Dacca banana (Musa acuminata) growing on Zanzibar, East Africa - smaller, plumper, softer and sweeter than the yellow Cavendish varieties, with a slight raspberry-banana flavor. Photo: Harvey Barrison / Wikimedia Commons.

Why is Bill Gates backing GMO red banana 'biopiracy'?
24th November 2014

The Gates Foundation has sunk $15 million into developing GMO 'super bananas' with high levels of pre-Vitamin A, writes Adam Breasley. But the project is using 'stolen' genes from a Micronesian banana cultivar. And what exactly is the point, when delicious, popular, nutritious 'red bananas' rich in caroteinoids are already grown around the tropics?

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Green Living

Isobel (Bella) and father Gil Rodrigues. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager.

My conversion - from shearwater hunter to protector of birds and ocean
23rd November 2014

For nearly 30 years, Gil Fortes was a hunter of Cabo Verde's shearwater chicks, helping to drive the bird to the brink of extinction. But following a life-changing rethink, he and his daughter Isabel (Bella), are now at the forefront of efforts to save the shearwater and rebuild its perilously low numbers.

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Mitra Wicks: 'my skin was more luminous and I was left revelling in a self-satisfied haze of leafy liberation'.

Virtuous veganism for health, beauty and pleasure
15th November 2014

Setting aside her fondness for meaty delicacies, Mitra Wicks decided to follow the celebrity vegan trend. Buoyed along by the gastronomic pleasures of London's finest vegan restaurants, she declares the change a success - in terms of health, wellbeing, beauty ... and reducing the exploitation of animals in industrial farming.

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Boston in bloom - sunflower at the Eglestone Community Orchard. Photo: Alvin Kho via Facebook.

Making it happen - a community orchard in downtown Boston
7th November 2014

A orchard garden has taken root on a long-vacant lot in an economically and racially divided neighborhood of Boston, writes Orion Kriegman. In the making it has united a community, helped to heal deep scars of violence, and inspired a wider reclamation of the urban commons.

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Campaigning

The wind turbine at the end of the rainbow. Photo: geogrpah.org.uk / Wikimedia Commons.

Community renewable energy in the UK needs co-ops!
26th November 2014

The UK's community energy sector was badly hit by the financial regulator's sudden decision this summer to disallow renewable energy co-operatives, writes Tammy Calvert. A consultation on the topic ends tomorrow, Friday - so get your views in quickly while you can!

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Vaquitas in the Sea of Cortes. Photo: unknown.

No more cetacean extinctions! It's our last chance to save the vaquita
27th November 2014

The 'vaquita', a small porpoise limited to a small area of Mexico's Gulf of California, is on the brink of extinction, writes Willie Mackenzie - its numbers reduced to around 100. But it's not too late to save it, by expanding a protected area and providing alternative livelihoods for local fishermen.

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The moment when journalist and photographer Adrian Arbib was served with an injunction preventing him from photographing an environmental protest at Radley lakes, 2007. Photo: still from video by Adrian Arbib.

Journalists doing their job are not 'domestic extremists'
22nd November 2014

Six journalists are taking the UK Government to court after discovering that they are listed on its 'domestic extremism' database just for reporting on protests, or undertaking inconvenient investigations into state or corporate misconduct. Adrian Arbib is one of them ...

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Interviews

This record snowfall is what the melting Arctic brought to Cheektowaga, New York yesterday, 20th November 2014. Photo: Anthony Quintano via Flickr.

Global warming - you must be joking! How melting Arctic ice is driving harsh winters
21st November 2014

The very least 'global warming' could do for us is to give us warmer winters, right? Wrong, writes Nick Breeze, who met climate scientist and meteorologist Jennifer Francis in his attempt to understand the complex interactions of jet stream, polar vortex, the melting Arctic, and the extreme snowfall that's hitting the northeast US right now.

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Organic apples from the tree. Photo: Veronica Olivotto via Flickr.

A tale of two apple farms - can big be beautiful for organic growers?
11th November 2014

The organic movement faces a dilemma. Should it hold to its roots and stick with traditional production methods and local distribution? Or embrace technology and supermarkets, and feed as many mouths as possible? Andrew Wasley meets two very different organic apple producers ...

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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

Extreme Inequality
6th October 2014

The massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of a few people presents a significant threat to democracy and wellbeing. Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, calls for a more progressive agenda for the redistribution of wealth.

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Comment

Rod and line fishing for tuna on a Maldivian fishing boat. Photo: Canopus Maldives / '...your local connection' via Flickr.

Human rights vs sustainability? EU must not attack Maldives 'green' fishery
27th November 2014

The Maldives, a vast republic of scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, has worked hard to make its fisheries among the world's most sustainable, writes Tony Juniper. But now the EU has slapped a 20% levy on its fish exports due to human rights concerns - a move that mainly hits poor fisherfolk innocent of any wrongdoing.

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Sheep enjoying the shade created by solar panels at Conergy Solar Park at Fohren in Germany. Photo: Conergy.

The UK's farms can generate as much power as Hinkley C by 2020 - renewably!
26th November 2014

A new report shows that the UK's farms can easily generate as much power as the proposed Hinkley C nuclear plant, writes Jonathan Porritt. Not only would it all be renewable, but if could all be in place by 2020. Here he offers some friendly - but strictly confidential - advice for Energy Secretary Ed Davey.

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Wind turbines like these in Ontario, Canada, are three times more 'annoying' than those on Prince Edward Island - apparently because of Ontario's negative press coverage of wind power. Photo: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Flickr.

Wind turbine noise may be annoying - but it's not making you sick
25th November 2014

A large-scale independent study by Health Canana finds no link between the noise from wind turbines and health, writes Tyler Hamilton. That's not to say wind turbines can't be annoying - but there's a sure way to deal with that: give locals a financial benefit from their operation. Has Britain's wind industry got something to learn?

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Julian Assange at New Media Days 2009: newmediadays.dk/julian-assange. Photo: New Media Days via Flickr.

The para-judicial persecution of Julian Assange
24th November 2014

It's easy to forget that Julian Assange - reviled by mainstream media, hounded by Sweden's judiciary, 'red-listed' by Interpol, publicly attacked by the US defense secretary - remains an innocent man, 'wanted' for nothing more than questioning, writes John Pilger. His disgraceful treatment dishonours only his persecutors.

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A typical small farm in Russia of the kind that provides much of the nation's food. Photo: Vmenkov CC.

Want to double world food production? Return the land to small farmers!
22nd November 2014

All over the world, small farmers are being forced off their land to make way for corporate agriculture, writes GRAIN - and it's justified by the need to 'feed the world'. But it's the small farmers that are the most productive, and the more their land is grabbed, the more global hunger increases. We must give them their land back!

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Never mind the drinking water aquifers and the national park - the South Downs is one of England's most cherished landscapes that could be opened up for fracking. Photo: Jaydee! via Flickr.

Fracking is safe. Radiation is harmless. And pigs have wings
21st November 2014

Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos, Environment Secretary Liz Truss, the Environment Agency and its ex-boss Lord Smith all suffer from a blind spot, writes David Lowry - the dangers of fracking, its radioactive emissions and the toxic chemicals that threaten to pollute our aquifers. As for official advice that 'regulation needs to be strongly and robustly applied' - pass the Tippex!

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'So can you build this bloody power station or can't you?' Cameron gets tough with EDF workers on a visit to the Hinkley Point C site. Photo: Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr.

Hinkley C hit by surprise treble whammy - is it all over for EDF?
20th November 2014

EDF has already moved heavy earth moving gear onto the Hinkley C nuclear power station construction site, writes Doug Parr - but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. On the contrary, a host of intractable problems are coming home to roost, and the increasingly troubled project is looking shakier than ever.

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Reviews

Chris Rapley in '2071' at the Royal Court Theatre. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey.

Five stars! Scientist's dramatic climate change act is a winner
25th November 2014

A spellbinding solo performance by veteran climate scientist Chris Rapley at London's Royal Court puts the climate debate centre stage, writes Tim Radford - and earns the admiration of hard-to-please theatre critics.

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Cover of 'Don't Even Think About It' by George Marshall.

Why isn't climate change sparking climate action?
17th November 2014

Death threats, abuse and torrents of online hatred show how climate change scientists are demonised, writes Tim Radford, in a way without parallel in the history of science. It's all set out in a new book that explores both climate change denialism, and our inaction despite overwhelming evidence: 'Don't Even Think About It'.

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Mickey: 'On the third day I came out of it. There were no withdrawals. I was able to start sleeping straight away and I felt there was no rhyme or reason to take junk.' Photo from Iboga Nights.

Iboga Nights: 'last chance saloon' for desperate addicts
5th November 2014

The West African iboga root is a mind-transforming psychedelic, writes Michael Goldin, capable of cleansing people of even the most serious addictions. Those seeing this film will surely emerge convinced that iboga should be made available, in therapeutic settings, to those seeking to overcome the terrible disease that is drug addiction.

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Blogs

A house being demolished in Union Beach, NJ, on October 19, 2012. A year later the former residents are still living in a trailer in the driveway, waiting to rebuild. Photo: Sandy Storyline / anonymous.

Hurricane Sandy: only communities can build climate resilience
26th November 2014

Two years after Hurricane Sandy, 'official' responses have failed, writes Michael Premo. Promises have been broken, money remains in limbo, and families are still not back in their homes. With climate change due to bring further disasters, we must build a new kind of resilience that's democratic, participative and rooted in local communities.

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At 7.40 am on 2nd May 2012 a Greenpeace activist flew over the Bugey power station on a yellow paraglider. But this time, it's something different! Photo: Greenpeace video / Youtube.

Mystery drones are buzzing around French nuclear plants - should we be worried?
20th November 2014

With unidentified drones regularly overflying French nuclear power plants, Daniel Salisbury and Christopher Hobbs warn that despite the dismissive responses of nuclear operators, they have cause for concern: the drones may be unable to cause serious damage in themselves, but they compromise site security and open the way to future attacks.

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Digital Green records a discussion on best agronomic practice with an Ethiopian farmer for dissemination among his peers. Photo: Digital Green.

New technologies can help poor farmers - just not the ones you're thinking of
18th November 2014

Modern technology has a lot to offer small farmers in poor countries, writes Tony Juniper - just not the GMOs and pesticides that are widely touted. But how about film, digital communications and smart phones? These new media can empower farmers and allow them to share knowledge and experience of how to produce more, from less.

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Group photo of delegates to the Isla Margarita Social Pre-COP. Photo: via facebook.com/socialprecop.

Civil society speaks: only a just world can prevent catastrophic climate change
13th November 2014

A gathering of civil society and social movements in Venezuela concluded last week with a strong demand for climate justice, writes Maruška Mileta. Rich countries must stop passing off their 'false solutions' - from nuclear power to geoengineering - and pay the costs of a rapid transition to low-carbon world that brings renewable energy to all.

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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

The Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo: Elias Schewel via Flickr.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss
27th November 2014

The exploitation of Canada's tar sands is more than just an environmental catastrophe, writes Gregory McGann. It's also an turning into an economic disaster, with massive investments at risk as falling oil prices leave the tar sands stranded.

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Yes on 92! Photo: Alan via Flickr.

A whisker from victory! Oregon GMO vote goes to a recount
26th November 2014

Oregon's 'Yes on 92' GMO labeling supporters are just 809 votes from winning, forcing a recount in which they are confident of prevailing - despite being hugely outspent by a corporate 'no' campaign that received nearly $5 million from Monsanto alone.

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Solar reflectors being cleaned at the Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Combined Cycle Thermo-Solar Power Plant in Morocco. The World Bank provided technical assistance and managed the overall project. Photograph: Dana Smillie / World Bank.

World Bank to focus on 'all forms of renewable energy'
25th November 2014

The president of the World Bank has promised to back out of financing coal developments, and instead target its finance at 'every dimension of renewable energy' under a new climate-friendly strategy.

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Photo: Indian Coastguard via Survival.

Illegal fishermen endanger world's most isolated tribe
20th November 2014

The last completely isolated tribe on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal is at risk from illegal fishing, with Burmese boats entering their waters and fishermen landing on their island home. But they had better watch out - two intruders were shot dead with arrows in 2006.

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Shell's Oloibiri oil well in Nigeria, the first sunk in West Africa, in 1956. Photo: Rhys Thom via Flickr.

Nigeria: Shell's false oil spill claims exposed in court
23rd November 2014

A London court has forced Shell to disclose documents about its pipelines and oils spills in Nigeria, writes Sarah Shoraka - and they reveal that the company has lied about the scale of oil spills in previous legal actions, and concealed the terminally poor condition of its pipelines.

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The Waltons are all for subsidies to large, centralised solar installations like this one by First Solar, in which they have a large shareholding. But they want to penalise small scale solar that challenges the corporate monopoly. Photo: Jumanji Solar via

Walmart, Asda owners using their billions to attack rooftop solar
20th November 2014

The Walton family, owners of Walmart and Asda, project a 'public environmentalism', writes Mike Gaworecki. But their real agenda is to advance a monopolistic corporate economic model that is threatened by decentralised energy solutions like rooftop solar. The answer? Exterminate!

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TTIP - the elephant in the room. Photo: People's NHS.

NHS at risk from TTIP - Friday's key debate
20th November 2011

Tomorrow MPs will debate a bill to halt the ongoing privatisation of the NHS, writes John Hilary. But even if the bill passes into law, it risks being squashed by the TTIP - the increasingly unpopular US-EU trade deal which could hand over the NHS to US health giants.

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Who has the longest nose of them all? Pinocchio from Tony Wolf Pinocchio and other tales 1990. Photo: janwillemsen via Flickr.

Long noses: Shell, GDF Suez, Samsung sweep Pinocchio Awards
19th November 2014

Who has the longest nose of them all? Worthy winners of France's fiercely contested 'Prix Pinocchio' 2014 were selected last night, recognising corporate greed, hypocrisy and malfeasance, based on a record vote since the awards began.

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Denounced to the police for illegal logging, but no action taken - Señor Adeuzo Mapes Rodríguez, aka 'Capelon'.

Peru: indigenous leaders murdered for protecting their forests
18th November 2014

As Peru prepares to host UN climate talks, Global Witness exposes the murder of Peruvian eco-defenders - 57 killed since 2002, including indigenous leaders protecting their forests from illegal logging ignored by police and Government.

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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

Leading for Sustainability Programme

Join Lead's highly experiential programme for experienced, mid to senior professionals and sustainability practitioners who want to increase their ability to make positive change in the world around them.

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