News Analysis

A child leans against a wall made of USAID food aid containers in the flood-destroyed area of Bahere Tsege in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Photo: Liz Lucas / Oxfam America.

Obama food aid ravages Third World farmers
27th July 2014

The US taxpayers who finance foreign food aid surely believe they are feeding starving people, writes James Bovard. But the truth is the reverse - it is undermining indigenous agriculture in recipient countries - creating famine and chronic malnutrition, while sabotaging self-sufficiency.

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Artisanal fishing nets at the Cobb, Lyme Regis, Lyme Bay. Photo: geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons.

Simplifying the sea - ecocide in the English Channel
25th July 2014

A new report on the Channel's fisheries is a timely reminder of the ecological trend to 'simplification' as whole trophic levels are stripped away by over-exploitation, writes Horatio Morpurgo. Yet the government's profit-focused vision of 'sustainability' is missing the essential element - allowing the recovery of marine ecosystems.

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Black smoke billows from the UNWRA compound set ablaze by Israel in Operation Cast Lead, 15th January 2009. The compound was burned to the ground. Photo: Al Jazeera English via Flickr.

Armed robbery in Gaza - Israel, US, UK carve up the spoils of Palestine's stolen gas
24th July 2014

Israel desperately covets Gaza's gas as a 'cheap stop-gap' yielding revenues of $6-7 billion a year, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The UK's BG and the US's Noble Energy are lined up to do the dirty work - but first Hamas must be 'uprooted' from Gaza, and Fatah bullied into cutting off its talks with Russia's Gazprom.

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Syncrude refinery, Alberta. Photo from the 2014 Tar Sands Healing Walk (www.healingwalk.org) by Rainforest Action Network.

Ignore tar sands emissions! EU buckles under US, Canada pressure in TTIP talks
23rd July 2014

The EU's Fuel Quality Directive is set to be the first casualty of the TTIP trade talks, writes Derek Leahy. Canada and the US have threatened to pull out unless the EU ignores the massive emissions of oil from tar sands - and the EU is collapsing under the pressure.

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A tobacco farmer in Marondera District, Zimbabwe. Photo: Zimbabwe Ministry of Agriculture.

Tobacco - Zimbabwe's forests are going up in smoke
22nd July 2014

A flood of smallholders that have benefited from Zimbabwe's land reform are turning to tobacco as their crop of choice, reports Ray Mwareya. But the economic gains are coming at a terrible cost - the accelerating destruction of the country's forests.

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Green Living

Bread, peace and work! A 'speaking wall' in Marinaleda. Photo: Comisión de Audiovisuales Acampada Zaragoza via Flickr.

Catch your dreams - utopia is possible!
26th July 2014

Amid Spain's general depression, Marinaleda - an Andalucian town sometimes dubbed the 'communist utopia' - is bucking the moribund trend with a heady mixture of direct action, community-level democracy, cooperation and mutual aid.

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A Palestinian woman hugs an olive tree to protect it from destruction by the Israeli army. Photo: via Frank M. Rafik / Flickr.

Bethlehem: 'No matter how many olive trees they destroy, will will plant more!'
18th July 2014

Since 1967, Israeli soldiers and 'settlers' in occupied Palestine have destroyed 800,000 olive trees in an attempt to force Palestinian farmers from their land, writes Megan Perry. 'Our response to this injustice will never be with violence, and we will never give up and leave.'

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Luke Marion, installer Chris Jardine and Barbara Hammond connect the 140kW scheme's last panel, completing Oxford's biggest solar installation.

Pioneering community renewables in Oxford
11th July 2014

A partnership between an Oxford-based social enterprise and the local Council provides a blueprint for financing community energy projects, writes Wendy Twist. And with £2.3 million in the bank, things are really starting to move ...

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Campaigning

An unguided Grad rocket hit the house of Valentina Fedorovna, 77, in the Kuibyshivskyi district in Donetsk on July 19, 2014. The rocket struck the second floor, penetrated the floor and went through her kitchen and bathroom. Photo: Human Rights Watch.

Ukraine's use of unguided rockets in civilian areas of Donetsk 'may be war crimes'
27th July 2014

Human Rights Watch has gathered evidence in the war zones of Eastern Ukraine which show that Ukrainian government forces have violated the laws of war by using 'notoriously imprecise' rockets in civilian areas, destroying homes, killing and injuring non-combatants.

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As a boy, the author pulls a big's tail on the family farm - around the time that Parliament, in 1953, allowed farmers to add antibiotics to animal feed.

Antibiotics saved me - now help me save them
24th July 2014

As a youngster on a small farm, antibiotics saved Richard Young's life after a scratch on barbed wire led to septicemia. Now, he's campaigning to stop the routine, mass use of antibiotics on intensive farms, so that they can carry on saving human lives for many years to come ...

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Anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss - but as far as the Government is concerned, dissent is unimportant. Photo: Manchester Friends of the Earth via Flickr.

Fracking Britain: without debate, the Government imposes its 'right to rule'
21st July 2014

The UK Government's policy is to frack at all costs, against public opinion and compelling evidence of environmental damage and poor returns, writes Paul Mobbs - a timely reminder that as far as the Government is concerned, it has a God-given right to rule over us, no matter what we think or want.

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Interviews

Image: 'Gaia's surrender' by Jef Sadi via Flickr.

Gaia Theory - an Arctic warning
2nd July 2014

As composer Jonathan Dove prepares for the premiere of his 'Gaia Theory' at the BBC Proms this month, he explains to Laurence Rose how his recent work has been inspired by a wake-up call - right from the very top of the world.

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Otero Agamemnon speaking at the Renewable Energy conference, 2013.

Agamemnon Otero, renewable dynamo
23rd June 2014

Repowering London is an energising force - not just making renewable energy projects happen, but engaging communities to finance them, training young people to install them, and ensuring the benefits stay local. Lucy Anna Scott meets the dynamic Agamemnon Otero ...

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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

Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

World Future Council going global with 100% renewable energy
23rd May 2014

A new global campaign that advocates 100% renewable energy aims to change the political mindset and make renewable energy 'the new normal'.

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Comment

A common sight in Germany - a solar parking shelter with a generation capacity of approx 0.3MW. Photo: Tim Fuller via Flickr.

Germany's renewable revolution shows the way
26th July 2014

How did Germany do it? No, not its World Cup victory - how did Germany engineer Europe's highest penetration of renewable energy, plus fast-dropping electricity prices? Keith Barnham explains - and says the UK could do the same, and better!

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Israelis protest in Tel Aviv:

Gaza: an end to the war - 'Once And For All'
25th July 2014

In this war, both sides have declared the same aim - to put an end to the situation that existed before it started. Remarkably, writes Uri Avnery, they can both have their way: an end to the rockets, bombs and shells; an end to the blockade and the occupation. In short, peace. But first they must talk to each other ...

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Zac Goldsmith opens the new milking parlour at Pierrepont Farm in Frensham, Surrey.

Antibiotics: British lives must come before factory farm profits
24th July 2014

The UK's massive use of antibiotics on farms is breeding lethal drug resistance into bacteria, writes Zac Goldsmith. Although we use five times more antibiotics per animal than Scandinavian countries, Cameron is mysteriously reluctant to clamp down on abuses.

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Antique furniture like this Ming era Ta couch in the Shanghai Museum has inspired thousands of 'hongmu' copies among China's rich - and the demand is devouring forests across Southeast Asia. Photo: Gisling via Wikimedia Commons.

The rosewood massacre - China must act
23rd July 2014

Surging Chinese demand for rosewood used in 'hongmu' furniture is ruining forests across southern Asia, writes Zuzana Burivalova. As demand surges, China must impose stricter regulations and harsher punishments or the forests may never recover.

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Cattle packed in as far as the eye can see at the Harris Ranch feedlot in California. Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr.

The true cost of your beefburger is much worse than you know
22nd July 2014

US beef carries a heavy environmental cost in water, land, emissions. But few of us know quite how damaging beef is, writes Gidon Eshel, nor that it is more than five times worse than pork, poultry, eggs or cheese. Isn't it time we did something about it?

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Homeless in Gaza after Operation Cast Lead, 2009. Photo: Physicians for Human Rights via Flickr.

Gaza should be the Kuwait of the Levant - but its gas brings only war and poverty
19th July 2014

Operation Protective Edge is the war of a colonial state dedicated to expanding its theft of Palestine's natural resources, writes Tascha Shahriari-Parsa - incarcerating and bombing its people in the world's biggest open air prison, while growing rich at their expense.

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A dragnet that captures too much marine life. Joachim Müllerchen, CC BY-SA.

Protect our inshore seabeds to allow fish stocks to recover!
18th July 2014

The UK's coastal waters are producing little but tiddlers and scallops, writes Jason Hall-Spencer - and to blame is the endless gouging of the seabed by trawlers and dredgers - even in 'marine reserves'. We must allow our marine ecosystems to rebuild!

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Reviews

Front cover of Badgerlands by Patrick Barkham.

The beguiling magic of badgers at dusk
25th July 2014

To live sustainably we must learn to live with wildlife, Patrick Barkham argues in his book Badgerlands. To do this we have much to learn from our ancestors - but we must also discard their barbaric practices and outrageous myths that, even today, some are so keen to perpetuate.

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'The Secret World of Oil' by Ken Silverstein - front cover. Image via Gawker.com.

A descent into Big Oil's inferno
8th July 2014

In Ken Silverstein's 'The Secret World of Oil', Louis Proyect investigates the uber-wealthy middlemen of oil, inhabiting a pampered universe of moral squalor and depravity - one in which Tony Blair found himself completely at home.

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The Most Beautiful Place in the World: IMHO - Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile. This amazing light lasted for only a couple of minutes at sunrise. The rest of the day was cloudy and overcast. Photo: © Peter Essick.

Our beautiful, fragile world
26th June 2014

There is much merit in the cliché that 'a picture is worth a thousand words', writes Edgar Vaid, but 'Our Beautiful, Fragile World' suggests that great photography complemented by explanatory text is worth even more ...

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Blogs

Local currencies, like these Totnes and Stroud 'pounds' are intended to stimulate local economic resilience and keep benefits within communities. But is there a better way to achieve the same ends, everywhere? Photo: London Permaculture via Flickr.

Closing the money loop to build resilient local economies
21st July 2014

Using local currencies to stimulate local economies and revalue local labour over imported products and resources sounds like a great idea - but recent experiences have proved disappointing. Are there other ways to 'close the money loop'?

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It's all very well painting cycle lanes onto roads - but we must do far, far more than that to make cycling a safe and pleasant transport option. Photo: Cian Ginty via Flickr.

To keep cyclists safe will need deep, radical change
19th July 2014

The Commons Transport Committee has advised Government to budget £10 per head to create a safe cycling environment, writes Ian Walker. But that's grossly underestimating the challenge ahead - a major rethink of planning, health and transport policies is needed.

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Some 90 miles off the Sao Paulo coast, Ilha da Queimada Grande looks very pretty from far away. But up close, it's terrifying. Photo: Prefeitura Municipal Itanhaém.

Great snakes! Football fans, explore at your peril
15th July 2014

Brazil's Ilha de Queimada Grande is the only home of one of the world's deadliest, and most endangered, snakes, writes Natasha Geiling. Just the place for Brazil's disgraced football team to escape the wrath of furious fans, if they can only get a permit ...

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Mali elephants by Carlton Ward Jr.  / carltonward.com.

Why do the local people protect the elephants?
14h July 2014

Mali's elephants have lived for millennia in the inhospitable Sahara, writes Susan Canney. But with their survival at risk from a host of modern, 21st century threats, local people are coming together to protect them - and finding that they too are benefiting.

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Ecologist Partners

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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Communications Challenge Award 2014
28th January 2014

Student Unions from across the UK have been performing and filming eco-stunts to spread sustainability ideas, in a quest to win this year Green Impact Communications Challenge Award.

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News in Brief

The beautiful nudibrach Trinchesia caerulea, photographed in Scottish waters by Jim Anderson / savescottishseas.org/ .

Victory - 30 new marine reserves for Scotland
25th July 2014

Scotland's network of marine reserves doubled in area today with the designation of 30 new marine reserves. The move has been welcomed by green groups who have long campaigned on the issue - but they warn: this is where the real work begins.

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The Somali ostrich is now recognised as a separate species, but it's listed as 'vulnerable' owing to hunting, egg collecting and other threats. Photo: Steve Garvie via Flickr, taken in Kenya's Rift Valley.

A quarter of 361 newly-recognised birds are 'threatened'
24th July 2014

A global taxonomic review of birds has 'discovered' 361 new species that were previously considered 'races' of existing bird species - but many of them are endangered, forcing a rethink of conservation priorities.

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A typical indigenous village in up-country Buriram Province, NE Thailand. Photo: Pinyapat Smily Wilaichit via Flickr.

Thailand army forcibly evicts six forest villages
23rd July 2014.

Forest-dwellers in Buriram province involved in a land dispute with the Thai government have been forcibly evicted, intimidated, arrested, held without charge, and dumped on a site unfit for human habitation with no water supply.

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Neurath coal-fired plant, in Germany, is one of Europe’s worst polluters. Photo: Bert Kaufmann via Wikimedia Commons.

Germany and UK top EU's 'Dirty 30' pollution league
22nd July 2014

A new report names the 30 biggest sources of greenhouse gases in the EU, writes Kieran Cooke. Coal-fired power plants are undermining Europe's long-term targets on emissions reductions - and the UK and Germany lead the list of shame.

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The social structure of badger families is perturbed by the loss of a single member, and this can cause the spread of any TB they may be harbouring. Photo: Tim Brookes via Flickr.

Badger Trust's High Court cull challenge
21st July 2014

The Badger Trust will challenge the trial badger culls in the High Court next month, claiming that Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Natural England are acting unlawfully in failing to appoint an expert panel to oversee the experiment.

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At the heart of the US oil industry, 'solar sunflowers' just off the I-35 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Jim Hutchison via Flickr.

California and Texas are mainstreaming renewable energy
20th July 2014

California and Texas continue to break new ground in making electricity generation from renewable sources, writes Mike G. Solar PV in particular has become a vital part of the US' energy mix, accounting for half of new generation capacity.

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Water depth marker in the dried out bed of Lake Albert, South Australia. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

Australia's drought - yes, it's climate change
18th July 2014

Australia's prime minister thinks climate change is 'crap' and has just abolished his country's carbon-pricing system. But scientists say that it's rising levels of CO2 that are leaving the south of the country parched and sweltering - and it's only going to get worse.

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Liz Truss threatens a badger with a garden fork at the Family Action's Escape Allotment in Swaffham. Photo: Matthew Usher / edp24.co.uk/

Truss - the badgers must die!
17th July 2014

The new Environment Secretary Liz Truss flunked her first 'Green test' today as she told Parliament that the badger cull goes on. We run this excerpt from the Parliamentary record in which she states 'We are progressing with our programme!'

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Wild animals photographed at Jolly's Exotics circus. Photo: Animal Defenders International.

Bill launched to ban wild animals in circuses
17th July 2014

A former Defra minister will introduce a new Bill to Parliament in September to ban wild animals in circuses. It reflects Government policy since 2012 and the Prime Minister has promised 'We're going to do it'. But will he keep his word?

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Calendar

Resurgence Summer Camp

A weekend of talks, music, crafts and walks hosted by Satish Kumar at Europe's foremost sustainable conference centre. Off-grid, sustainable living in action.

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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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