News Analysis

Anne Power surrounded by police at an anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss, December 2013. Photo: Steven Speed / SalfordStar.com.

Fracking is driving UK civil and political rights violations
30th October 2014

Extreme energy in the UK is arousing extreme reactions, write Jess Elliot & Damien Short. On the one side stand citizens committed to preserving the quality of the local and global environment. And against them, a government determined to let fracking rip, and police forces prepared to ignore legal norms to suppress the growing popular resistance.

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An enormous plantation cut from the Liberian rainforest. Photo: Chulius Caesar via Flickr.

Oil palm explosion driving West Africa's Ebola outbreak
29th October 2014

The medical response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been monstrously inadequate, writes Richard Kock. But so has been recognition of the underlying causes - in particular the explosive spread of industrial oil palm, which disrupts the ecology of forests and farms, and undermines local economy and traditional governance, leading to a 'perfect storm' of disease.

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The Balbina Dam reservoir. Photo: via Greenpeace.

Brazil's giant dam programme is a climate disaster
28th October 2014

Brazil's newly elected Dilma Roussef is committed to completing the disastrous Belo Monte dam, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson. Worse, she looks certain to press ahead with the industrialisation of the Amazon, with 61 hydroprojects in the pipeline. And new scientific findings about the massive climate impacts of tropical forest dams are not about to stop her.

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The B30 pond showing a full loading with fuel rods. Photo: unknown.

Leaked Sellafield photos reveal 'massive radioactive release' threat
27th October 2014

Dilapidated nuclear waste storage ponds abandoned 40 years ago containing hundreds of tonnes of fuel rods pose an immediate danger to public safety, photographs sent to The Ecologist reveal. The fuel and sludge in the ponds could spontaneously ignite if exposed to air, spreading intense radiation over a wide area.

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Texaco's signature, written in oil, at Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Latin American progressives and environmental duplicity
26th October 2014

Left wing governments across the Americas are faced with a dilemma, writes Daniel Macmillen - high social spending programs financed by income from destructive mining and hydrocarbon extraction - or a slower but sustainable development path that puts ecology, equity and justice first. Their answer - a constant pushing back of the resource frontier.

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Green Living

Glowing pumpkins of the night, our to eat, not just to fright. Photo: Andrea Verganic via Flickr.

The great Hallowe'en pumpkin rescue
31st October 2014

Every Hallowe'en the UK throws away enough pumpkin to make 360 million portions of pumpkin pie, soup, or cake, writes Gavin Ellis - a shocking waste in these hungry times. Hence a bold new initiative to rescue all those pumpkins from landfill, and turn them into delicious food we can all enjoy as part of our seasonal festivities.

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Inspecting a tomato at the wonderful Evergreen Brick Works' greenhouse in Toronto. Photo: Joseph Morris via Flickr.

Vertical farming - viable agriculture or urban pipedream?
27th October 2014

If you don't want industrial agriculture ravaging the world to feed cities nutrient-deprived, genetically modified, chemical-drenched pap, here's an alternative, writes Matt Bevington: let cities grow their own fresh produce on 'vertical farms' in disused industrial buildings, restoring sustainability and accountability to the food chain.

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A Raso Island shearwater chick looks out from its nest - a ball of grey fur, but mind the sharp beak! Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd.

Raso Island, Cape Verde - a jewel in the crown of Africa's wildlife
22nd October 2014

Shearwater chicks are cute grey furballs with beaks, writes Simon Ager, and they are all too ready to use them on pesky wildlife researchers. But Cape Verde offers abundant compensations to nature lovers - so many that its future surely lies in conserving, not exploiting its biological riches.

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Campaigning

Children in the town of Gueckedou, the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. Photo: ©afreecom / Idrissa Soumaré / European Commission DG ECHO via Flickr.

Love in the time of Ebola
26th October 2014

The human family must come together now to stop Ebola in West Africa or risk a global pandemic that could potentially kill billions, writes Glen Barry. And that will mean solving, with equity and justice, the disease's root causes: rainforest loss, poverty, war and overpopulation.

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A Bottlenose Dolphin does a backflip off of Kilauea Point, Hawaii. Photo: Byron Chin via Flickr.

San Francisco declares: every whale and dolphin has the right to be free
23rd October 2014

If SeaWorld is looking to build a new park in California, it will be steering well clear of San Francisco, writes Laura Bridgeman. Following a campaign backed by scientists and hundreds of high school students, the City has declared cetaceans' right to be free and 'unrestricted in their natural environment'.

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'Small holder farming traditions run through my blood; there was no other way I would choose to farm, I would never run a farm that was cruel.' Tom, Bellair Haye Farm. Photo: Pig Pledge.

The future of family farming is in our hands
19th October 2014

Everyone loves family farming! And so they should, writes Holly Creighton-Hird, as family farms produce most of the world's food. But the UK Government has a funny way of showing it - favouring corporate agriculture and eliminating farm payments for small land holdings. It's up to us, the public, to support small, high welfare producers.

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Interviews

Mariana Goméz Soto. Photo: Mariana Goméz Soto.

Gold is joy for one day - Mariana Goméz Soto
21st October 2014

Doima, a small town in the Colombian highlands, is on the front line of battle against a giant government-backed gold mine that would fill a nearby valley hundreds of metres deep in over a billion tonnes of mine waste. Hal Rhoades met Mariana Goméz Soto, an activist in Doima's campaign to defeat the mine project.

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Daniel Raven-Ellison. Photo: Darren Moore.

'He is bonkers?' Daniel Raven-Ellison on a Greater London National Park
7th October 2014

Daniel Raven-Ellison is a man with a big idea - making London the world's first 'National Park City' to safeguard, and promote the enjoyment of London's myriad natural treasures, writes Lucy Anna Scott. Is he bonkers? Probably. But with a growing band of backers getting behind his bold vision, who cares?

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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

Fracking can violate the right to health, even life. Photo from the Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford: Government fails, public health suffers and industry profits from the shale oil boom. Via Earthworks / Flickr.

Fracking - human rights must not be ignored!
30th October 2014

Just as the UK Government is stirring up public anger against human rights, writes Anna Grear, its fast-track development of shale gas and oil shows that we need these legal protections more than ever. A new report shows how the 'dash to frack' is endangering our most cherished rights - to health, water, security and life.

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Protestors against the TTIP in Smith Square, London, 12th July 2014. Photo: World Developement Movment via Flickr.

TTIP: Cameron begs Brussels to give away more British sovereignty
29th October 2014

The UK and 13 other EU trade ministers have written to the European Commission's new head imploring him to include secret, much criticised investor protections in the controversial TTIP, the EU-US trade and investment deal, writes Jurgen Maier. Is this a democratic snub too far?

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Families swimming in the Thames at Long Bridges, Oxford earlier this month. Photo: Zoe Broughton.

Climate deniers lost for words: 2014 set for hottest year on record
28th October 2014

Just as 2014 is looking like going down as the hottest year since records began, motor-mouthed climate change deniers are shrinking into the shadows, writes Richard Heasman.

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With milkweed and other 'weeds' now facing the dual chemical assault of glyphosate and 2,4-D, what hope for the Monarch butterfly?

New seeds, old pesticides - 2,4-D and 'next generation' GMOs
27th October 2014

The US EPA has approved new GMO corn and soybean varieties resistant to both glyphosate and 2,4-D, writes Jim Goodman - and the highly toxic herbicide mix itself. In this latest escalation of the chemical war against nature there is one clear winner - Dow AgroSciences. But everyone else loses - farmers, consumers and our increasingly endangered wildlife.

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Nothing but the best for Uruguay's pot-smokers when the state monopoly comes into force in 2015. Photo: Katheirne Hitt via Flickr.

Uruguay's legalization of marijuana leads the world
25th October 2014

Next year Uruguay will create a state marijuana monopoly, writes Benjamin Dangl. Supplying high quality product in limited per person quantities, and at controlled prices that undercut the black market, the initiative will safeguard public health, cut off funds from criminals, and finance social programs. So why don't we all do it?

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Indigenous land-owners living comfortably in a land of fire in Arnhem Land. Photo: John Woinarski.

Australia's outback is globally important for its biodiversity - and its people
20th October 2014

Almost three quarters of Australia's landmass is 'outback', writes John Woinarski, making it one of our planet's greatest natural areas. Yet it has many of the hallmarks of a 'failed state': its native peoples live on the margins, and its biodiversity is under threat. Now a new conservation model shows a way forward for both: Indigenous Protected Areas.

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Donnachadh McCarthy stands his ground against a repressive police presence at OccupyDemocracy. Photo: Fields of light photography.

OccupyDemocracy suppressed - is Cameron any better than Putin?
23rd October 2014

Donnachadh McCarthy, The Ecologist's correspondent at Occupy Democracy was arrested yesterday when police cleared Parliament Square of protesters. The brutal repression of peaceful protest puts Britain in the same moral camp as China, Russia and others whose human rights record we publicly despise, writes Julian Sayarer.

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Reviews

The answer to Earth's energy needs is floating in the skies above. Photo: Conceptual Image Lab, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Earth photo courtesy of NASA/ISS Expedition 13 crew.

The Burning Answer to our energy needs
29th October 2014

Keith Barnham's new book reveals the giddying and glorious plethora of the solar technologies that lie at the heart of the all-renewable energy system that awaits us, writes Jonathan Porritt - making it 'one of the most exciting and genuinely hopeful books' that I've read in a long time'.

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Front cover design from 'The GMO Deception', edited by Sheldon Krimsky and Jeremy Gruber.

The GMO Deception
24th October 2014

Science is to corporate science as Hyperion to a satyr, writes Ralph Nader. And there is no better example of this than Monsanto's realm of GMOs, biocides, super-aggressive lawyers and tame regulators - brilliantly exposed in this new book of essays, edited by Sheldon Krimsky and Jeremy Gruber.

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Naomi Klein. Photo: Morpheu5 via Flickr.

This Changes Everything!
13th October 2014

Naomi Klein finds kernels of hope amid the closely linked perils of climate change and untamed capitalism, writes Mike Berners-Lee. Ultimately it's down to us, the people, to come together and force the changes we need - but Klein's new book provides some valuable and timely inspiration.

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Blogs

Hinkley C is 'unconstructable', says a distinguished nuclear engineer - 'like building a cathedral within a cathedral'. Artist's impression of the completed nuclear power station by EDF.

'Unconstructable' Hinkley C could end UK's nuclear dream
30th October 2014

Opponents of nuclear power hold up the planned Hinkley C as an examplar of waste and idiocy that could cost the UK over £30 billion in subsidies. Chris Goodall agrees - and fears that an impending fiasco with the 'unconstructable' and commercially disastrous EPR design may kill off the UK's nuclear aspirations for a generation.

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Amaranth amongst the the corn plants. It is traditional in Oaxaca, to grow crops in the same field. This is called the ‘milpa system'. Photo: Anna Bruce.

Amaranth revival - Mexican farmers rediscover an ancient superfood
25th October 2014

Mexico's conquistadors outlawed amaranth - a highly nutritious seed farmed by the indigenous peoples for millennia - due to its use in religious rituals. But it's now being hailed as a 'superfood', writes Anna Bruce, and a growing number of Mexican campesinos are once again cultivating the 'noble plant' among their corn, squash and beans.

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Occupy Democracy - the Day 2 kettle of the Head of Boris Johnson's Wardens, selecting who to get the police to arrest. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.

London's 'Tarpaulin Revolution' lives another day
20th October 2014

Last night the police were in full force in London's Parliament Square, writes Donnachadh McCarthy - forcibly removing Occupy Democracy protestors and snatching sleeping bags, cardboard and tarpaulins as illegal 'sleeping equipment', apparently on direct orders from the Mayor, Boris Johnson. Yet the rally keeps on growing ....

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Japanese knotweed makes short work of concrete and tarmac. In its native habitat, it has learnt to crack up volcanic rock. Photo: Rob Tanner.

Japanese knotweed - could a tiny insect tame the monster?
17th October 2014

Since Japanese knotweed won a gold medal in 1847 as 'interesting new ornamental of the year', it has become far too much of a good thing, writes Kate Constantine. But could the oriental triffid be tamed following the UK introduction of a specialist pest from Japan's volcanic uplands?

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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

Hunting for lugworms for fishing bait at Brighton beach. Photo: Martin Thomas via Flickr.

Lugworms suffer toxic impact of acidifying oceans
30th October 2014

A common marine worm key to the richness of many coastal ecosystems is being damaged by the increasing ocean acidification that was thought to imperil mainly shellfish and coral, writes Alex Kirby. It's an unwelcome sign of more unexpected ecological changes to come.

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A worker at the Natural Fruit factory. Photo from naturalfruit.co.th.

Thailand: migrant labour investigator 'not guilty'
29th October 2014

A charge of 'criminal defamation' against Andy Hall, the Finnwatch migrant labour researcher who revealed the plight of migrant food sector workers in Thailand, was dismissed today. But with another three civil and criminal cases pending, he's back in court tomorrow.

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A typical riverside indigenous village in the Peruvian Amazon near Loreto. Photo: Thomas Stromberg via Flickr.

Peru: Amazon Indians sue government to title indigenous lands
28th October 2014

Peruvian law requires the government to recognise indigenous peoples's ownership of their lands. Yet 594 communities with claims to 20 million hectares of land remain with no secure title - leaving their forests open to illegal logging, plantations and settlement. Now one village is taking its demands to the courts.

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An artist's impression of the Searaser at work. Photo: DWE Ltd.

New wave generator brightens ocean power prospects
27th October 2014

A new wave power generator has moved closer to reality after successful testing in simulated marine conditions. An array of the 1.5MW 'Searaser' devices could be deployed on Britain's coast within a few years.

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Eurasian Beaver Castor fiber in a Swedish lake. Photo: Tim Ellis via Flickr.

FoE sues to keep Devon's wild beavers free
24th October 2014

Friends of the Earth has filed a lawsuit to challenge Natural England's secretive grant of a licence allowing the Government to trap wild beavers on the River Otter in Devon.

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Getting warmer far faster than thought - the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Cross, Namibia. Photo: jbdodane via Flickr.

Experts 'stunned' at how fast oceans are warming
23rd October 2014

Southern hemisphere oceans are warming at double the expected rate, a new study has found. This may explain why surface warming has slowed over the last decade - the oceans have absorbed the 'missing' heat.

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Melting point: researchers study Arctic sea ice and melt ponds on the Chuckchi Sea. Photo: Kathryn Hansen / NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Arctic ice loss sends Alaskan temperatures soaring
22nd October 2014

Scientists analysing more than three decades of weather data for the northern Alaska outpost of Barrow have recorded an astonishing 7°C temperature rise, writes Alex Kirby - and the likely cause is the decline in Arctic sea ice.

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A soldier speaks to villagers in 2012 as they are being evicted from Kratie province’s Chhlong district. Photo: Heng Chivoan / Phnom Penh Post.

ICC told: Cambodia land-grabbing is 'crime against humanity'
21st October 2014

A British lawyer has filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court, writes Kevin Ponniah, alleging that a wave of violent land-grabbing that has displaced 770,000 people has been carried out by Cambodia's ruling elite, and that it amounts to a crime against humanity.

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Cattle are still driving deforestation in the Amazon - but a new wave of cash crop agriculture for palm oil and other commodities is on its way. Photo: Kate Evans for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr.

Palm oil - the new threat to the Amazon
20th October 2014

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been sharply reduced in recent years, writes Alex Kirby. But analysts say that palm oil and other cash crops are set for a major expansion, while high demand for beef, and administrative chaos, may undermine efforts to reform the ranching sector.

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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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