News Analysis

A radioactive emissions spike taking place during refueling from fugitive noble gas release at the Gundremmigen nuclear plant, Bavaria, Germany. Measured as kBq/m3 against time, in half-hourly intervals. Graph: Alfred Korblein.

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants - a likely cause of childhood leukemia
29th September 2014

When nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation, writes Ian Fairlie. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants - but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures.

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View of the Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Photo: Ben Holt - National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) via Wikimedia Commons.

Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come
28th September 2014

A study of 120 ice sheet collapses shows that 68% went from initial change to maximum retreat within 400 years - and that once triggered, the process and the associated sea level rise kept accelerating for hundreds of years. We may face a 1m sea level rise by 2100, writes Eelco Rohling - and much more in centuries to come.

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After a history of accidents at the site, the three ageing reactors at Mihama, Japan, are among those likely never to restart. Photo: Kansai Electric Power Co via IAEA Imagebank / Flickr.

Rocky road ahead for Japan's nuclear restart
26th September 2014

Japan's government is trying to get its failing nuclear power industry up and running, write Jim Green and Peer de Rijk. But in the post-Fukushima world, it faces formidable obstacles. Experts believe most reactors will never restart - and Japan's stricken utilities may have to find $30 billion or more to finance their decommissioning.

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Much of Australia's coal is too high in ash, sulphur, or both, to meet China's new environmental standards. Will it be able to find the new customers it needs? Photo: Stephen Codrington / Wikimedia Commons.

China's war on pollution could leave Australia's dirty coal out in the cold
25th September 2014

To tackle its serious air pollution, China is imposing stringent restrictions on dirty coal high in ash or sulphur, writes Shabbir Ahmad. One result: half of Australia's coal exports to China face exclusion, or extra 'washing' costs. But Australia's response is not to raise environmental quality. Instead, it's increasing production.

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Mulan wind farm, 170km NE of Harbin City in Heilongiang, is one of the first wind farms to be built in China. Photo: Land Rover Our Planet via Flickr.com.

China's top leaders skip the Climate Summit - but actions speak louder than words
24th September 2014

The world's biggest CO2 emitter, China, had a low key presence at the UN Climate Summit yesterday, writes Alex Loy, giving a strong hint that its leaders have lost faith in the ailing UN climate process. But the country is pushing hard on climate solutions at home, including a national emissions cap and effective carbon pricing.

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Green Living

A New Zealand lamb in the spring. Is it more important that the lamb is 'tayyib' (good, wholesome, ethically and humanely produced) or halal (slaughtered iin accordance with Muslim ritual)? Photo: Tim Pokorny via Flickr.

Eating your ethics: Halal meat
22nd September 2014

Halal ritual slaughter has raised huge controversy in the UK press, writes Alicia Miller. But the far greater issue is farm animals' entire quality of life - as reflected in the Qu'ranic principle that meat must be 'tayyib' - good, wholesome and from well-treated, healthy animals. Is this something we can all agree on?

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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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Campaigning

Ranching on BLM lands is a taxpayer-subsidised environmental degradation. Photo: Cattle near the Bruneau River in Elko County, Nevada. Photo: Famartin / Wkimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wild West Welfare - how ranching made US public lands private property
26th September 2014

Livestock ranching on US public lands underlies a vast range of environmental problems - so should we welcome 'conservation buyouts' of ranches that own grazing leases? No way, writes William Williers, because the lands are already ours, and to 'buy' them is to support and perpetuate a $1 billion per year fraud against the American people.

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An intensive feedlot for beef cattle - a key stage in the US's amazingly high emissions from beef production. Photo: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project via Flickr.

The Carbon Underground: reversing global warming
21st September 2014

As millions join in climate marches and other actions around the world, writes Ronnie Cummins, the 'mainstream' focus on energy is missing the 55% of emissions that come from mismanaged land and destroyed forests. The key is to replace industrial agriculture worldwide with productive, regenerative organic farming that puts carbon back in the soil.

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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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Interviews

George Marshall wins a giant cockroach on the Climate Change Wheel of Misfortune. Photo: Annie Levy.

George Marshall: Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change
25th September 2014

Is our inability to tackle climate change the fault of politicians? Corporations? Governments? Or is it because that's the way our brains have evolved, able to hold six contradictory ideas at once, and believe them all? Carol Linnitt met climate campaigner George Marshall, who thinks he is finally asking the right questions.

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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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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

Cacao seedlings in the nursery - raised in biochar-enriched soil. Photo: Carbon Gold.

Corporate-smart greenwash: the Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture
30th September 2014

The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture made its high-profile launch at the New York Climate Summit. But for a huge coalition of civil society organizations, it's a 'greenwash' initiative designed to promote intensive profit-driven industrial agriculture at the expense of small farmers, environment, and the real solutions.

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Amsterdam harbour: pollution like this costs lives and imposes health care costs of €900 bn per year across Europe. But is Juncker bothered? Photo: Erwyn van der Meer via Flickr.

EU Parliament must reject Juncker's anti-environment Commission
29th September 2014

The proposed structure of Juncker's new European Commission sidelines sustainability issues and risks undoing years of environmental legislation. The European Parliament must now block his deregulatory assault on the EU’s climate, energy, biodiversity, pollution, chemicals and environmental health policies.

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A container ship in port, Oakland, CA. Photo: Jim Bahn via Flickr.

For an easy win on carbon emissions - cut global trade!
27th September 2014

If the world's leaders really cared about climate change, there's one easy way to reduce emissions, writes John Weeks - drop the obsession with increasing trade, and all the pollution that goes with it. A world based on local production, consumption and finance will be a better one for people and the environment.

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The environmental movement in Malaysia remains strong, despite judicial repression, as this recent demonstration against Lynas and Bersih shows. Photo: cumi&ciki via Wikimedoa Commons.

Malaysia: eco-activists combat judicial repression
26th September 2014

Government and corporations are resorting to the judicial repression of environmental activism in Malaysia, writes Meena Raman - deploying public order and defamation laws to suppress criticism and protest. Malaysia must value its peoples health and security above corporate profit.

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A beaver in Scotland, where they are being re-introduced. Photo: Paul Stevenson via Flickr.com.

Save the free beavers of England!
25th September 2014

Deep in rural Devon, the word is that the Government intends to trap the wild-living beaver family on the River Otter next month, and consign them to captivity. But as Alasdair Cameron writes, this is not only unnecessary and unpopular, but probably illegal as well.

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The challenge is to ensure that her voice, and those of millions of other indigenous people, does not get drowned out by economic and political power. A woman from the Ndebele tribe in Kwadlaulale Market, South Africa. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flic

Indigenous women versus men of power: the real dispute at the UN
24th September 2014

Both the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Climate Summit have taken place at the UN this week, writes Lisa VeneKlasen - each producing their lofty declarations. But what really matters is whose voices are being heard, and will be acted on, in a profound clash of worldviews.

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The RFA Argus, a 100 bed hospital ship operated by the Royal Navy. Photo: ozz13x via Flickr.

Britain's hospital ship to Gaza!
23rd September 2014

Thousands of wounded Gazans are awaiting medical treatment, writes Veronica Vickery, with many of Gaza's hospitals damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile a health crisis looms with the coming winter, amid a failing water and sewage system. One way the UK can help: send our hospital ship RFA Argus to provide essential medical aid.

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Reviews

The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change - front cover. Image: Island Press.

Laughing all the way to the greenhouse - 'The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change'
28th September 2014

A new book on climate change brings a refreshing, visual, gag-filled view of a complex topic, writes Edgar Vaid - while including some surprisingly advanced science. The relentless jokiness may be a bit much for adult readers, but will be a hit with the young ones. And that is, after all, what it's all about.

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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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Blogs

This handsome tower was built from bricks made with farm and forestry waste bound together by fungal myceliae. Now, it's being composted. Photo: Sophie Morlin-Yron.

Farm waste and mushrooms challenge plastic, concrete, steel
29th September 2014

Isn't it daft it is to use plastics that last for centuries to make short-life packaging? Now there's an alternative, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron - using fungi to bind farm and forestry waste into strong, non-toxic, complex forms. When the job is done, the material can be safely burnt or composted - and it even works for buildings ...

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Green and pleasant - GPT head office, Sydney. Photo: Woods Bagot.

Putting people at the heart of climate-friendly buildings
24th September 2014

Energy efficiency in office buildings struggles to gain the attention of top management, writes John Alker - because energy is too cheap to really matter. But with 90% of operating costs spent on staff, show that green building design makes employees happier and more productive, and you're really onto something ...

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We did it for the ozone layer. Noe it's the climate's turn. Photo: ozone conditions over Antarctica, 7th September 2014. NASA.

The UN saved the ozone layer - now it's the climate's turn
23rd September 2014

Thirty years after the UN took action to save the ozone layer, we can count the benefits - which only begin with 2 million fewer cases of skin cancer a year, writes Nigel Paul. With world leaders taking on the much greater climate challenge today, we should take cheer, and inspiration, from that historic success.

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'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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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

Gray Wolf. Photo: Digimist via Flickr.

Wyoming's Gray Wolves win back federal protection - for now
29th September 2014

In a rare 'summary judgment' a federal court has ruled that the devolution of gray wolf protection to the state of Wyoming was unlawful because it was based on non-binding assurances. Federal protection is restored - for now. But an even bigger battle lies ahead.

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Many investors are already convinced: the Fllod Wall Street demo, 22nd September 2014. Photo: Resa Sunshine via Flickr.

Billionnaires against fossil fuels
27th September 2014

The movement to divest from fossil fuels is gaining strength, writes Ruth Lumley, with $50 billion of institutional investment behind it. This week's news that almost $1 billion of Rockefeller money is moving from fossil fuels to clean energy shows that the world is changing faster than most ever imagined.

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The Indigenous Peoples of Russia's Siberian region are among those opposed to oil development in the Arctic. Is that why officials blocked their representatives from attending the indigenous summit in New York? Photo: Irina Kazanskaya via Flickr.

Russia: officials block indigenous leaders from UN Assembly
26th September 2014

Why so few Russian representatives at the UN's World Conference on Indigenous Peoples? Officials prevented activists - some opposing Arctic oil development - from leaving the country, damaging passports and detaining them so they missed their planes.

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Marcellus Shale rig and gas well operation on Ridge Road in Jackson Township, Butler County, PA operated by Rex Energy. Photo: WCN 24/7 via Flickr.

Skin, respiratory symptoms increase near gas wells
25th September 2014

A health study in Pennsylvania, USA, shows that people living near fracking and other natural gas wells are more likely to suffer from skin conditions and upper respiratory symptoms. It calls for further study of the associations, including the role of specific air and water exposures.

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Less of this ... Liberia is one of the countries to sign the Declaration, and will aim to end deforestation by 2020. Photo: Global Witness.

UN: deforestation to halve by 2020, end by 2030
24th September 2014

At the New York Climate Summit, an international agreement has been struck to halve, then end deforestation around the world. It has the support of major forest countries, multinational corporations, forest campaign groups and indigenous peoples.

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Falling costs make renewables such as solar energy competitive in the US without subsidy. Photo: US Bureau of Land Management via Wikimedia Commons.

Investor heavyweights call for climate action
23rd September 2014

At the UN climate summit in New York today, institutional investors managing $24 trillion of assets are demanding stronger, more ambitious policies on climate change, writes Kieran Cooke. These include an effective carbon price and an end to fossil fuel subsidies.

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The Abengoa solar tower, Spain. Photo: Alex Lang via Flickr.

'Political will is only barrier to 100% renewables'
22nd September 2014

A report published ahead of tomorrow's UN Climate Summit shows that we can meet all our energy needs from renewables, writes Paul Brown - poor nations and prosperous, tiny islands and great cities, in any part of the globe. And some are doing it already ....

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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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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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