News Analysis

Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

US shale oil drillers flaring and venting billions of dollars in natural gas
20th September 2014

Gas flaring of natural at shale oil wells is carried out on such a scale in North Dakota and Texas that 'phantom cities' show up at night in satellite photos, writes Sharon Kelly. Billions of dollars worth of gas are going up in smoke, adding to CO2 emissions - but far worse for the climate is when the gas is 'vented'. Regulators are doing too little, too late.

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Scheduled for completion in 2009, the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant is still under construction, and Areva is no longer projecting a completion date. Costs are running at roughly triple initial estimates. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr.

Three in every four nuclear power builds worldwide are running late
19th September 2014

A review of the 66 nuclear reactors 'under construction' worldwide shows that 49 are running behind schedule, including all five in the US and most in China. The long and unpredictable build times of nuclear plants, and the extra costs that ensue, are a compelling reason not to depend on the technology for either power or to mitigate climate change.

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A deformed pig suffering, Ib Borup Pedersen believes, from the ill effects of glyphosate. Photo: Ib Borup Pedersen.

Changing to non-GMO soy transformed the health of my pigs
18th September 2014

From the day that Danish pig farmer Ib Borup Pederson switched away from GM soy, his animals became healthier and more productive. Birth deformities reduced, sows became more fertile, medicine costs fell, and profits went up. The changes were linked to the reduction in the levels of the herbicide glyphosate in their feed.

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All tooled up and nowhere to go? HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr.

A Yes vote in Scotland could finish Trident
17th September 2014

If the Scots vote yes on Thursday the UK's already tight military budget will be squeezed even harder, writes Paul Ingram, dramatically increasing the chances of nuclear disarmament. Adding to the UK's headache: the only medium term alternative base for its Trident submarine fleet would be ... in Georgia, USA.

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A group of Dayaks photographed on Borneo in 1910. The Indonesian government no longer recognises the People as 'indigenous', which may rob modern day Dayaks of protection against World Bank financed development projects.

World Bank to roll back safeguards for indigenous people
16th September 2014

The World Bank is considering 'reforms' to its policies to protect indigenous peoples from the impacts of projects it finances that would devolve key decisions to national governments - such as whether an ethnic group is 'indigenous' at all. If passed by the Bank's Board, the changes would strip away a raft of essential human rights protections..

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Green Living

Copenhagen Harbour Bath designed by JDS Architects. Photo: Lucy Reynell.

Urban Plunge - open swimming in the heart of the city
13th September 2014

With the growing trend for natural swimming in cities new opportunities are opening for architects and designers to create dramatic, inspiring, enjoyable new public spaces in urban waterways, writes Jane Withers. And it's the subject of a new exhibition at London's Roca London Gallery ...

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A well deserved rest-stop on the trail. Photo: Tanja Geis.

Wildfjords - an Icelandic exploration of the natural world
7th September 2014

Daniel Crockett guided a 300km walk along ancient horse routes through the Westfjords, a remote, depopulating region of Iceland rich in nature, myth and magic. The wild, non-human environment enters our beings, he writes - and thus infected, the onus is on us to spread the message far and wide.

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Spring Feast, with Julia Ponsonby (right). Photo: Joanna Brown.

Green meals for 85? No problem for Schumacher College's Head Cook
30th August 2014

Good food is an essential ingredient at Schumacher College, writes Julia Ponsonby, made with love using fresh, wholesome ingredients many of which have traveled no further than the vegetable garden. No less important, the sense of companionship, learning, fun and frequent hilarity that permeates the building - and the kitchen in particular.

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Campaigning

Tulips - springtime on the 'Golden Steppe'. Photo: Stephanie Ward / Geoff Welch.

Conserving Kazakhstan's golden treasures on a breathtaking scale
19th September 2014

Kazakhstan offers the opportunity for conservation on a grand scale, write Stephanie Ward & Geoff Welch. They recently visited the Golden Steppe, where they helped to secure an area of wildlife-rich grassland bigger than Wales for conservation. But that's just a fraction of the long term plan - a nature reserve the size of France.

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Mighty Thor - arrested by police on the say-so of a British Museum security guard, later released without charge. Photo: BP or not BP?

British Museum - is BP driving your heavy-handed approach?
17th September 2014

Amid ongoing creative protests over BP's sponsorship of the British Museum, Danny Chivers wants to know - why the harsh security tactics? Why the searches, exclusions and arrests, all for a paltry 1% or less of the Museum's funding? Is this their policy, or is it BP that's calling the shots?

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A good day in the countyside? Seven brace of pheasant. Photo: Mark Seton via Flickr.

In Defence of Life - standing up against the lust for culling wildlife
14th Septmber 2014

British officialdom and those they serve are obsessed with the killing of wildlife, writes Lesley Docksey. It seems that whatever the 'problem', from bovine TB to the serendipitous arrival of beavers in Devon, the reflex is the same - to kill wild animals. But increasingly, the British people aren't having it. And our fightback is making waves ....

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Interviews

Hunter Lovins. Photo: Joi Ito via Flickr.

Wild horses, Hunter Lovins, and the way to a better world
10th September 2014

Hunter Lovins is on a mission, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron: to put the transformational technologies we already have to work for the benefit of people and business - and to re-create the economy so it's no longer a machine for polluting the planet and devouring natural resources, but a mechanism for building and sustaining natural and human capital.

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A May 2014 rally in Washington DC to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership. Photo: AFGE via Flickr.

Defeating TTP - a Pandora's Box of corporate power
25th August 2014

Adam Weissman spills the beans on the Trans Pacific Partnership, which threatens to undermine democracy in the US and other countries at its roots. If passed it will represent a massive handover of power from nations to corporations - but as Mickey Z writes, there is still time to organize and defeat Obama's TTP campaign.

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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

A Solar Revolution
5 September 2014

The advance of solar power around the world is bringing instant, dramatic improvements to people's lives, so why aren’t more governments overhauling their dysfunctional energy policies?

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Comment

Konstantin Rubakhin is currently in hiding. Photo: Konstantin Rubakhin.

Western sanctions could help Russia's environment - but will they?
19th September 2014

Sanctions against Russian natural resource tycoons could be good for the environment, writes eco-campaigner Konstantin Rubakhin - if only they would target the right people. But so far, the EU has been turning a blind eye to powerful Kremlin insiders with an open licence to pollute and destroy.

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Badger seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr.

Labour will tackle bovine TB - without the mass killing of badgers
18th September 2014

Speaking in Stroud this week, Huw Irrancas-Davies MP delivered a withering attack on the Government's badger cull policy - and firmly committed a future Labour government to ending the badger cull, using measures to control bovine TB that are safe, effective, and humane.

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The end of fossil fuel emissions is not the end of global warming! Florida Power & Light's smokestacks come down at Riviera Beach. Photo: Kim Seng via Flickr.

The end of fossil fuels is not the end of global warming
17th September 2014

Of course we must quit burning fossil fuels and welcome a renewable future, writes Andrew Lockley. But that's not going to stop the Earth from warming, indeed the reverse. So ... we need some tricks up our sleeve to deal with it - in a word, geoengineering. Because it will save our lives, and our planet.

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Has the BBC forgotten its commitment to impartial journalism? Photo: BBC handbook 1963, by Gordon Joly via Flickr.

The BBC, Friends of the Earth and nuclear power
16th September 2014

At first it looked like a journalistic coup, writes Neil Crumpton - the BBC's 'scoop' that FOE was no longer opposed to nuclear power. Except that FOE remains firmly anti-nuclear as it has been for decades. The spotlight must now be turned on the BBC itself, and its little-known but shocking links to the nuclear industry

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Blue skies beckon for British democracy, and not only in Scotland. Saltire drawn by vapour trails over the Falls of Foyers, Scotland. Photo: David Sim via Flickr.

Yes or No, we need democratic and constitutional reform
15th September 2014

The Scottish referendum must mark an end to 'business as usual' in UK politics - no matter who triumphs in this week. That means no more 'first past the post' parliamentary elections, and a wider democratic rebirth under a new constitutional compact.

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Could this ancient woodland be 'offset'? Or better still, transformed into a new asset class for speculative investment? Ashridge Forest, Hertfordshire, England in the late autumn. Photo: ukgardenphotos via Flickr.

Nature as an 'asset class' - the free market's final frontier?
14th September 2014

Plans to create a market in nature itself are fraught with danger, writes Alex Scrivener. Biodiversity offsetting could allow the fate of our forests, rivers, meadows and wildlife species, and the people who depend on them, to be determined by the whims of multinational corporations and speculative investors.

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San Onofre Beach State Park, California. In the background, a nuclear power station. Two of the three generating units are now closed. Photo: Luke Jones via Flickr.

Nuclear power - insanity at taxpayers' and consumers' expense
12th September 2014

Nuclear power exists for one reason only, writes Ralph Nader - government support. Without the taxpayer subsidies, accident liability waivers and exploited consumers, nuclear power wouldn't exist. And even with all the above, it can barely hold on. It's time to end the nuclear boondoggle for once and for all.

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Reviews

Front cover of 'Art and Ecology Now'. Image: Thames & Hudson.

Art and Ecology Now
16th September 2014

This intriguing new book is a bold attempt to strike a new direction for ecological art, writes Martin Spray - not to communicate environmental issues, but to create new connections with the world around us and imbue our lives with 'artfulness'.

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Angie Zelter - changing the world with music at Ofog's mass action at NEAT, 26th July 2011. Photo: Ofog direktaktion för fred via Flickr.

Here We Stand - women changing the world
28th August 2014

Every now and then I am sent a book to review that is an absolute pleasure to read from cover to cover, writes Virginia Moffatt. This marvellous collection of interviews and essays by world-changing women activists is precisely one such book.

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The front cover of Poisoned Planet by Julian Cribb, published by Allen & Unwin.

Poisoned Planet - the chemical attack on our Earth
15th August 2014

An invisible cloud of man-made chemical toxins is sweeping the globe, writes Tony McMichael - disrupting ecosystems, damaging human health and shortening our lives. Our response so far has been utterly inadequate, as Julian Cribb reveals in his new book. But there are solutions - and it's up to us to get them implemented.

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Blogs

'Mata Atlântica' in Brazil's Serra da Gandarela national park. But there are few large forest areas like this one remaining. Mostly the Atlantic forest habitat is fragmented by farms, roads and towns. Photo: Frederico Pereira via Flickr.

Saving Brazil's Atlantic forest on a shoe string
18th September 2014

As Brazil prepares for elections next month, conserving its remaining Atlantic Forest is a hot issue, writes Cristina Banks-Leite. Ecologists want to preserve more native habitat, while farmers want to expand their acreage. But there is one solution that ought to please everyone.

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The view down the borehole through half a mile of the Antarctic ice to Lake Whillans. Photo: Reed Scherer / Northern Illinois University.

Abounding life! 4,000 microbes thrive in Antarctic lake beneath the ice
15th September 2014

Beneath half a mile of ice scientists have uncovered the first hard evidence of a life in a subglacial lake, writes Helen Thompson. And not just life, but a complex ecosystem comprising thousands of microbial species. Could Jupiter's frozen moon Europa be hiding lakes like this?

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Jean-Claude Juncker in a moment of satisfaction following his election by the European Parliament as President of the Commission. But now, will his Commissioners implement his vision? Photo: European Parliament.

How will the new EU team line up on GMOs, TTIP and energy?
11th September 2014

We have a new European Commission - so what does it mean for the environment, GMOs and trade negotiations? Lawrence Woodward can't help feeling that the best part of the package is Commission President Juncker himself. Now, will his 'team' pull together and work to deliver his vision? We can't quite count on it.

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Camels in the Gurvan Saikhan national park, Gobi desert, Mongolia. Photo: Stephane L via Flickr.

China and Mongolia clash over how to exploit the Gobi desert
9th September 2014

Mongolia and China are separated by world views as well as by a border across the Gobi desert, writes Troy Sternberg. In Mongolia the idea that nature has intrinsic value is readily accepted, while China is more interested in resources for trade, industry and profit. Can a clash of interests be avoided?

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Ecologist Partners

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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Celestine Akpobari, from World on Want's Nigerian partner Social Action. Photo: WoW.

The new frontlines of war
20th March 2014

This Saturday War on Want holds its Frontlines conference in London on the global conflict between communities and corporations, writes Paul Collins. Featuring a host of inspiring speakers, it will forge new alliances and new strategies of resistance.

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News in Brief

The 'flying rivers' of the Amazon are at risk from deforestation, fires and climate change. Without them, forest and farmland could turn to desert. Photo: Eli Duke via Flickr.

Drought bites as the Amazon's 'flying rivers' fail
20th September 2014

The Amazon forest both depends on, and sustains, vast 'flying rivers' that carry humid air and clouds deep into the continental interior, writes Jan Rocha. But scientists fear the flying rivers are failing due to deforestation, fire and climate change.

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Sea Shepherd crew of the Spitfire: Celine Le Diouron and Marion Selighini, both from France, and Jessie Treverton of the UK. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Barbara Veiga.

Danish Navy arrests three - for saving 'protected' dolphins
19th September 2014

Three Sea Shepherd volunteers have been arrested for 'harrassing dolphins' and deported from the Faroe Islands. But their real crime was to save hundreds of Atlantic white-sided dolphins from slaughter.

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After the Fujushima catastrophe, this rice was grown nearby by IAEA to test methods of soil decontamination. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr.

Fukushima radiation damages rice genome
18th September 2014

Research on the biological effects of radiation near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site finds a powerful response in rice seedlings, writes Gregory McCann. The discovery will do nothing to boost consumer confidence in resumed rice exports from the Fukushima region.

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Protestors at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. Photo: Dima Konsewitch via Flickr.

Climate March and Summit: world leaders' 'flimsy pledges' denounced
17th September 2014

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide will join the Peoples' Climate March on Sunday - but will leaders at the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday be listening? Probably not, but all the more reason to act, and build a broad-based, global, popular movement for climate action.

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Fin whale landed at Miòsandur whaling station Hvalfjördur, Iceland, in August 2014. Photo: EIA.

EU leads diplomatic protest against Iceland's whaling
16th September 2014

As the IWC meeting begins today in Slovenia, the EU, its 28 member states and the United States, Australia, Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico and Monaco, have expressed their opposition to Iceland's commercial whaling in a powerful diplomatic broadside.

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The poll results showing highly 'climate sceptic' views among Tory MPs. Note that the right-hand column showing LibDem views is barely visible. Image: PR Week / Populus.

Tory MPs: 'climate change is not man made'
15th September 2014

Seven out of ten Tory MP's think there's no proof that climate change is caused by people, and one in five thinks the idea is 'environmentalist propaganda', a new poll shows. Labour and Lib-Dem MPs are far more likely to accept climate science, but Parliament as a whole is remarkably 'climate sceptic'.

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Kagoshima solar power plant: are 'solar islands' the future? Photo: Kyocera.

Japan: 'solar islands' replace nuclear power
13th September 2014

As Japan seeks to end reliance on nuclear power, one of the answers is floating 'solar islands', writes Jon Major. A 70MW solar island opened last year, and two additional plants have just been announced.

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A coal-fired power station at Yangzhou in China’s central Jiangsu province. Photo: Vmenkov via Wikimedia Commons.

China - is it kicking its coal habit?
12th September 2014

There are hopeful signs that China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, is becoming less reliant on the polluting coal that powered its rapid economic rise, writes Kieran Cooke. Great news for China, and the planet - but worrying for coal exporters!

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Ashaninka traveling by boat from eastern Peru to visit neighbors in Acre state, Brazil. Photo: © Mike Goldwater / Survival.

Assassination in the Amazon
11th September 2014

Four Indian leaders who have opposed illegal logging in their forests have been shot dead in eastern Peru as they traveled by boat to an indigenous meeting in Brazil. The murders followed pleas to Peruvian authorities for protection, and warnings by Brazilian officials that the Indians were in extreme danger.

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Calendar

Resurgence & Ecologist Festival of Wellbeing
Satish Kumar

Annual festival of wellbeing to explore ideas and action. With inspiring speakers and entertainment, plus a day of co-creating solutions, connecting the community and allowing new ideas to emerge.

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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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