News Analysis

Flaring of unwanted hydrocarbons at a natural gas refinery in the Piceance Basin of Colorado. Photo: Tim Hurst  via Flickr.

Fracked off - natural gas victims flee Colorado's toxic air
30th August 2014

Natural gas is widely touted as a 'green fuel'. But as Paul Thacker found in Colorado, fracking's national 'ground zero', it's anything but. Lives and health are being ruined by pollution from taxpayer-subsidized gas wells, flaring and refining plants, while property values collapse. Now a mass of environmental refugees are fleeing the ravaged state.

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Drought - what drought? Fountains in Sao Paulo disguise the reality that power and water will soon be running catastrophically low. Photo: collectmoments via Flickr.

Drought hits São Paulo - what drought?
29th August 2014

São Paulo, South America's biggest city, is suffering its worst drought in over a century, writes Jan Rocha, with rivers and reservoirs running dry. But the state's politicians are seeking re-election. And for them, it's as if nothing is happening - never mind that water and power cuts affecting millions are looking inevitable.

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Road map detail - Central Africa. Image: Bill Laurance.

A global plan for road expansion that doesn't cost the earth
28th August 2014

Roads are responsible for massive environmental damage around the world, writes Bill Laurance - yet they also bring huge benefits. His solution? A new atlas that shows where the 'goods' of roads outweigh the 'bads', so that developing countries can harness the prosperity new roads can bring, without the destruction.

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Diablo Canyon in California lies in a seismically active zone totally unsuitable for a nuclear power plant. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr.

Earthquake risk makes California's Diablo Canyon a Fukushima in waiting
27th August 2014

A newly-exposed report by Diablo Canyon's lead nuclear inspector shows that the twin reactors are unsafe, writes Karl Grossman. An earthquake on nearby geological faults could trigger a Fukushima-scale accident causing 10,000 early fatalities. The owner's response? Apply to extend the site's operation for another 20 years.

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Observed and simulated changes in Earth’s heating rate since 1985. Image: Allan et al., Author provided.

Heat accumulating in the deep oceans has put global warming on pause
26th August 2014

Since 2000 global surface temperatures have risen less than expected, a fact seized on by climate change 'sceptics'. But indications are that the surplus heat has been building up all along, writes Richard Allan - in deep oceans where it does not influence observable climate. Not yet, anyway.

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Green Living

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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Children at large in the orchard at the Apricot Centre. Photo: Photo: Martin Large / Biodynamic Land Trust.

Healing and inspiring children with animals, mud and a touch of magic
23rd August 2014

The Apricot Centre in Essex is a unique project that uses organic horticulture and animal husbandry to heal, inspire and educate children from diverse backgrounds, and kindle love for the natural world, writes Martin Large. Now it's expanding to Devon, to establish a second, much larger biodynamic smallholding near Totnes and Dartington.

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The kitchen / dining room of Brickfields, a green development in London. Photo: Living in Space.

Breaking the mould for eco homes
16th August 2014

There is no better time to put the 'green' into building than at the outset of the design phase, writes Ryan Kohn. And to get it there we need to raise awareness of sustainable technologies, and offer incentives, rather than loop-holes, for developers. Buyers too must learn to appreciate the long term value of green ... and demand the highest standards.

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Campaigning

Hazeltine Creek on Quesnel Lake after the tailings dam collapse. Floating on the surface: the stripped off the mountainside by the force of the spill. Out of sight: 14.5 billion litres of toxic mining waste.

Swapping red tape for caution tape: why Canada can expect more mining disasters
27th August 2014

This month a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine in BC breached, writes Carol Linnitt - spilling 14.5 billion litres of toxic mine waste into Quesnel Lake. A major source of freshwater and one of BC's premier fly-fishing destinations, the lake will never be the same again. But it's just the first big victim of Canada's wave of environmental de-regulation ...

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With the 'right to farm' constitutional amendment, this factory-scale hog farm in Missouri may be immune from regulation for environmental impacts, animal welfare and working conditions. Photo: KOMUnews via Flickr.

Missouri's 'Right-to-Farm' - an early win for third wave corporatocracy
22nd August 2014

First corporations gained legal personhood, writes Don Fitz. Next they seized the right to force 'free trade' on unwilling populations. Now they are making sure that 'corporate rights' trump citizen rights - like the right to wholesome food and a healthy environment. That's where the 'Right to Farm' constitutional amendments come in ...

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East Jerusalem: the view over Issawiya from the Hebrew University is lovely - but the realities of life in this tightly walled Palestinian neighborhood are anything but. Photo: Benjamin via Flickr.

Where survival is victory - resisting Occupation in East Jerusalem
20th August 2014

After decades of occupation and dispossession, a culture of sometimes violent resistance has taken root in Issawiya. But it is never fetishized, writes Sam Gilbert - resistance is recognized as the only alternative to slavery, and the only means by which the people will ever achieve the freedom they thirst for.

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Interviews

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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At the time of his rescue, Toto was kept chained by the neck. Photo: ADI.

The animals can't speak up for themselves - so we must do it for them
18th August 2014

The essential first lesson for an animal rescuer: you are unimportant. It's the animals that matter. Sophie Morlin-Yron meets Jan Creamer - effective, courageous and seemingly selfless campaigner against animal cruelty worldwide, from Bolivia to Zambia, from circuses to factory farms.

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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

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

Sister Megan Rice prior to her imprisonment. Photo: via facebook.com/SisterMeganRice

Sister Megan Rice is an inspiration to all humanity
31st August 2014

Campaigners who dared confront the might of the US's nuclear weapons establishment, in the process revealing the chronic insecurity of its facilities, are paying a heavy price, writes Michael Edwards. But their strength, serenity and joy in the face of brutal injustice brings hope to the world for a just and peaceful future.

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Action to shut down Utah tar sands mine - Summer Heat. Photo: 350.org via Flickr.

The liberal climate agenda is doomed to failure
29th August 2014

Liberal environmentalism represents a dangerous delusion, writes Scott Parkin - that 'playing nice' with Earth-destroying corporations and politicians can yield results worth having. Radical change on climate will only result from bold, confrontational direct actions against the fossil fuel industries and their apologists.

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Chile's Lascar volano in eruption. Some geoengineering techniques would imitate the cooling effect of volcanic dust to reduce global warming. Photo: Neil via Flickr.

Geoengineering - the 'declaration' that never was may cause real harm
28th August 2014

It was a great story, writes Andrew Lockley - scientists signing up to a 'Berlin Declaration' imposing an effective 'test ban' on outdoor geoengineering experiments. Except there was no declaration, and scientists never agreed to it. The world's media got it completely wrong, yet the mud will stick - and may cause severe harm in the fight against climate change.

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The bloodied corpse of badger 200, whisked away before it could be retrieved by cullers and subjected to a post-mortem that showed it had been shot in the wrong place and suffered a slow and painful death.

Defying reality - Natural England authorises 'unlawful' cull
27th August 2014

A High Court judgment on the lawfulness of the 2014 badger cull is awaited. A criminal investigation is under way on the dangerous and illegal behaviour of culling contractors. Obviously, writes Lesley Docksey, it's the perfect time for Natural England to authorise another round of culling.

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The Vale of Mordor - or is the Sellafield 'atom factory' in Cumbria, UK? Photo: tim_d via Flickr.

Bombs Ahoy! Why the UK is desperate for nuclear power
26th August 2014

On the face of it, the UK government's obsession with nuclear power defies reason. It's very expensive, inflexible, creates 'existential' threats and imposes enormous 'long tail' liabilities tens of thousands of years into the future. But there is a simple explanation: it's all to maintain the UK's status as a nuclear WMD state.

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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.

The nuclear industry today: declining, but not (yet) dying
25th August 2014

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides an account of an industry in decline, writes Jonathon Porritt - with rising operating costs and an ever-shrinking share of world energy production, while the sector loses the race for investment and new generating capacity to fast growing renewable energy technologies.

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The people who care most about transport emissions are the ones most likely to be causing them - creating a problem for those seeking to regulate them. Photo: USAF.

Political taboos leave trail of rising transport emissions
24th August 2014

Transport emissions are a political hot potato - mobility is often associated with as 'freedom', while the most environmentally aware are also most addicted to high carbon emissions from travel, writes Scott Cohen. To cut transport emissions means tackling four big political taboos.

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Reviews

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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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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Blogs

Western pygmy possums use tree hollows that take decades to develop in mallee ecosystems. Photo: Lauren Brown.

Over-burning could be damaging Australia's wildlife for 100 years
29th August 2014

We know that Australia's dry bush has co-evolved with fire, so that means regular planned burning is a good thing? Up to a point ... some increasingly rare species depend on 'old growth' bush up to 100 years old, and over-frequent burning is putting them under long-term threat.

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The Asian hornet is a voracious predator of bees - as if they were not suffering enough already! Photo:  Danel Solabarrieta, CC BY-SA.

Confronting the threat of invasive 'ecosystem engineers'
26th August 2014

Mussels, crabs, hornets and ... racoons? Future invasive species are not what you might expect, write Jodey Peyton & Helen Roy. In particular, we have to beware of 'ecosystem engineers' that can transform the environment they inhabit, creating ecological havoc for other species.

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A vast monoculture of corn in Iowa, USA - profitable, but not healthy. Photo: Rich Griffith via Flickr.

More calories from fewer sources means less nutrition, more profit
21st August 2014

It's a global phenomenon - we are consuming more calories, and more of those calories are the same, writes David Nally. Just ten crops produce 75% of our food, as factory-farmed meat, sugar, wheat, corn, soybeans and palm oil displace more nutritious and diverse diets. It's not good for us, or the planet - but it's great for corporate food monopolists!

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The Wolfsangel symbol of Adolf Hitler’s SS on a banner in Ukraine.

Ignoring Ukraine's neo-Nazi storm troopers
14th August 2014

Western media have studiously ignored the far-right, violent and often outright Nazi politics of many of Ukraine's Euro-Maidan protestors, writes Robert Parry. But with the thugs now organized into Nazi brigades of the Ukrainian army, and waging war on Russian separatists, an unlikely British paper has dared tell the truth: the conservative Daily Telegraph.

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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 Aedes aegypti mosquito - vector for dengue disease - biting a human. Photo: US Department of Agriculture via Wikimedia Commons.

Europe’s warming brings risk of dengue fever
31st August 2014

As greenhouse gases raise temperatures in Europe, writes Tim Radford, British researchers warn that the risk is increasing of the arrival of dengue fever and other mosquito-borne killer tropical diseases.

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The world's first offshore deployment of two-bladed wind turbines, and Britain's first tidal power array, are both moving forward in Scotland's seas. Images: Crown Estate.

Scotland's double first: tidal array and twin-bladed offshore wind turbines
29th August 2014

Two innovative renewable energy projects are moving forward in Scotland: Britain's first tidal power array, and the world's first deployment of two-bladed wind offshore turbines. The experimental technologies are hoped to achieve significant cost savings and unlock a huge offshore energy resource.

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The familiar and attractive flower of Himalayan balsam could be about to get a whole lot less common in the UK. Photo: CABI.

Parasitic fungus introduced to attack Himalayan balsam
28th August 2014

Even if you love Himalayan balsam, it has surely become too much of a good thing as it takes over Britain's wetlands and riverbanks. But now it's facing a major setback - the deliberate introduction of a parasitic rust fungus from its native range in the mountains of Asia.

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Give it love, not Coke - defaced Coca-Cola poster in Rishikesh, India. Photo: Axel Drainville via Flickr.

Coca-Cola forced out of $25 million factory in India
27th August 2014

After a 15-year battle, local campaigners infuriated by pollution, over-pumping of groundwater and land-grabbing have finally forced the closure of Coca-Cola's $25 million factory near Varanasi.

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The database shows information for the world's 50 major river basins. Map: International Rivers.

Dams versus rivers - the global battle
26th August 2014

A new 'State of the World's Rivers' database shows how the world's rivers have been impoverished by dams and their ecosystems devastated - and provides a valuable resource to help save river basins that remain in good health.

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Herbicide use in Argentina has soared with the introduction of GMO crop varieties. Photo: Santiago Nicolau via Flickr.

Cancer deaths double in Argentina's GMO agribusiness areas
24th August 2014

Sharply increased levels of crop spraying in Argentina's most intensively farmed areas have resulted in a public health disaster, writes Lawrence Woodward, with large increases in cancer incidence. And it's all the result of the widespread use of GMO crops engineered for herbicide resistance.

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Algae on the Trinity River, July 2014. Photo: Klamath Justice Coalition.

Fish before agribusiness! California river tribes demand water
22nd August 2014

Large scale salmon deaths are imminent on the Klamath River and its tributaries in northern California due to low flows and high temperatures. Native American tribes are protesting in the state capital as federal agencies illegally prioritize water for large scale agribusiness over fish and indigenous people.

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Deep concerns: gas wells at a fracking site in the US state of Pennsylvania. Photo: Gerry Dincher via Wikimedia Commons.

Health alert - fracking’s chemical cocktails
21st August 2014

Scientists in the US have established that chemicals used in fracking to extract gas and oil could represent health and environmental hazards, writes Tim Radford. Among the greatest hazards: biocides and corrosion inhibitors.

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William Gibbs and his wife live near the massive coal ash dump in Uniontown, AL. Photo: Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice.

Alabama - a community fights toxic waste, discrimination
20th August 2014

When the US's biggest ever coal ash spill buried 300 acres of waterfront property in a white, middle class suburb, the waste was treated as a toxic hazard. But by the time it reached Uniontown, a black community in Alabama, that was all forgotten. Now they are fighting back.

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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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