News Analysis

Cycling in Beijing. Photo: Thembi Mutch.

Chinese environmentalism: driven by a deep desire for healthy living and wholesome food
24th April 2015

China's growing 'bling' culture has taken off big time, writes Thembi Mutch - yet it is widely reviled among ordinary people who in the face of China's industrial boom hold resolutely to traditional values of economy and frugality, quietly yearning for the old days of clean air and safe, wholesome food to fill their stomachs.

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India's human rights and environment are going up in smoke - sacrificed to an aggressive coal-fired development path. Photo: coal power plant outside Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, by Reuben Stanton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Indian government sanctions Greenpeace to send a menacing message
23rd April 2015

Prime Minister Modi's government has frozen the bank accounts of Greenpeace India, writes Praful Bidwai - provoking widespread protest from the environment and civil rights community. It's all part of a wider campaign against 'anti-national' movements that challenge India's development policies based on the aggressive exploitation of coal, minerals, big hydro and nuclear power.

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Arctic aurora at Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Photo: Kyle Marquardt via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Our year of opportunity for a green, just and sustainable future
22nd April 2015

We are alive in a pivotal year, writes the Earth League. 2015 offers the opportunity to build a sustainable and prosperous future for people and planet. But if we fail to act on climate change, safeguard crucial ecosystems and biodiversity, and secure a just and equitable world order for all, grave and irreversible perils await Earth and all who dwell on her.

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The Monarch butterfly has become an icon of the anti-GMO movement following the species' population collapse in North America - poisoned by 'Bt' GMO crops and starved out by the the destruction of its food plants by massive application of glyphosate on 'r

The existential crisis facing GMOs - they don't work and we don't want them
21st April 2015

The GMO industry has legitimised itself via a vast network of lobbyists and the assiduous capture of the politicians, regulators and scientists that should be holding it to account, writes Colin Todhunter. But as the failure of the GM revolution and its disastrous impacts become ever more evident, the industry's legitimacy is fast eroding away.

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What lies over the rainbow is not a 100 billion barrels of oil, but a green and prosperous future of decentralised renewable energy. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY).

The mirage of fossil fuel wealth - our energy future is green, renewable, decentralised
20th April 2015

Hopes of strengthening Britain’s energy security are often pinned on the fossil fuel industry says Vicente López-Ibor Mayor, as exemplified by the hysteria over the claimed 'discovery' of 100 billion barrels of oil beneath Gatwick airport. But the real long-term solution lies with abundant and ever cheaper decentralised renewables.

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Green Living

Performers at the Green Gathering. Photo: Green Gathering.

The Green Gathering - a festival for fun, frolics and fundamental change
15th April 2015

The Green Gathering is a festival with a rich history that's not afraid to encompass hedonism, writes Emma Fordham - but also goes way beyond it. A showcase of real life alternatives with a mission to have fun and change the world, it's coming back this summer - so prepare for an unforgettable experience (and £10 off the ticket price).

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'We can repair it!' Photo: club125.greenbelt via Flickr (CC BY).

'Repair cafés' are about fixing things - including communities
7th April 2015

Some people like fixing things - others have things to fix. Repair cafés are a new global phenomenon that brings the two together, writes Jade Herriman - giving satisfaction to both, sharing skills, keeping stuff out of landfill, fighting 'designed obsolescence', and building communities sustained by mutual help.

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Sustainable living does not mean choosing a more efficient tumble drier - but washing clothes less often, and hanging them out to dry! Photo:  JW Capture via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Crossing a chasm slowly, in ten small steps? Sustainable living demands big changes
29th March 2015

A new government website to promote more sustainable lifestyles is hopelessly lacking in ambition, write Kirstie O'Neill, Adrian Friday & Adrian K. Clear. We need to be re-engineering our infrastructure, re-imagining society and re-thinking the ways we live for disruptive, transformative change - not tinkering ineffectually at the margins of 'normality'.

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Campaigning

A truck pulls into the Enviva Ahoskie wood pellet plant that supplies Drax power station, loaded with whole trees. Photo: Dogwood Alliance.

End support for Drax: stop subsidies for biomass power and phase out coal!
22nd April 2015

Hundreds of millions of pounds meant to be spent on green energy will soon be lavished on Britain's biggest coal fired power station to reward it for burning 7 million tonnes of wood pellets a year - meant to be 'renewable' but actually driving biodiversity loss and even worse for climate change than coal. DECC must stop this madness!

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Howard Wood and colleagues in COAST, with the Lamlash Bay 'no take zone' in the background. Photo: COAST.

Saving Lamlash Bay - and over-exploited seas everywhere
20th April 2015

A coveted award has put the campaign to protect and recover marine life in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, into the international limelight. Goldman Prize winner Howard Wood explains how Arran Islanders' efforts to keep scallop dredgers out of Lamlash Bay has brought life, and fish, back to the sea.

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Free range, grass fed cattle in the Derbyshire uplands. Photo: John Bennett via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)

The scientific case for badger culling - an organic farmer writes
9th April 2015

Organic farmer Charles Mann, aroused by The Ecologist's anti-cull stance, makes an evidence-based case for culling badgers in areas of high TB incidence - together with other measures including enhanced testing in apparently 'low risk' areas that present a high risk of disease spread.

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Interviews

Phyllis Omido, 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for Africa, galvanized the community in Mombasa to shut down a smelter that was causing lead poisoning among its workers and local residents. (Photo: Goldman Environmental Prize)

Lead poisoning - fighting industrial pollution in Kenya is a dangerous business
Monday 20 April 2015

Lead poisoning from industrial pollution has imposed a terrible toll on Kenyans, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron, and single mother Phyllis Omido is no exception - lead from a nearby metal refinery badly damaged her own son's health. But it was when she decided to fight back against the polluters that a whole new realm of threats and dangers opened up.

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Rajendra Singh believes conservation is vital to combat future 'water wars' and climate change. Photo: Deccan Chronicle.

'Water man of India' makes rivers flow again
8th April 2015

The revival of traditional rainwater harvesting has restored flow to rivers in India's driest state, Rajasthan - thanks to the tireless efforts of Rajendra Singh, recent winner of a Stockholm water prize. And as Pramila Krishnan discovered in a fascinating meeting, Singh's techniques, and his philosophy, are of truly global significance.

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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

Photo: Alice Popkorn via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

Charlie Hebdo
8th January 2015

The Ecologist offers its support and condolences to the colleagues and families of all those who suffered in the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

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Comment

Mirror Lake, Milford Sound, New Zealand. Photo: Chris Ford via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Living beings as our kith and kin - we need a new pronoun for nature
25th April 2015

Calling the natural world 'it' absolves us of moral responsibility and opens the door to exploitation, writes Robin Wall Kimmerer. To make our kinship with all life on Earth a life-affirming daily reality, we need a new pronoun for our fellow beings.

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Achta and her family fled drought in Northern Chad after drought killed all their animals: goats, sheep, camels and cattle. Photo: © World Food Programme / Chris Terry, supported by the EU, via Flickr (CC NY-NC-ND).

Don't mention climate change! Europe's response to the refugee crisis is doomed to fail
24th April 2015

The more EU politicians try to look in control of the Mediterranean refugee emergency, the more it's obvious they aren't, writes Assaad W. Razzouk. A key driver of the crisis is climate change, which is causing drought across North Africa. Europe must now tackle the root causes of the crisis, and admit its own culpability in precipitating it.

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View from the Goodnoe Hills near the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. A small settlement with a school once existed below the abandoned farm house. Photo: gary via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Agroecology and the people's struggle for land and freedom
23rd April 2015

Everyone in this society is caught up in the battle between two models of agriculture, writes Blain Snipsta - industrial agribusiness for profit, control and domination; and small-scale agroecological farming for good food, health, people and planet.

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Ringhals nuclear power plant in Sweden by Vattenfall via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No way nukes! Challenging the mainstream 'concensus' for nuclear power
22nd April 2015

All the 'main' political parties are backing nuclear power in bold defiance of all the evidence that it's expensive, dangerous and not even low-carbon, writes David Lowry. Even George Osborne just admitted that Hinkley C is 'unaffordable' - but supports it anyway. For a rational nuclear policy, the way is Green.

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A fox caught in a snare set on a fence. The overwhelming majority of snares are used, not to protect farm animals or catch rabbits for the pot, but to kill predators around 'game' birds like pheasants and grouse. Photo: Leage Against Cruel Sports.

Making our votes count for wildlife and animals!
21st April 2015

If you care about the wildlife in our countryside and the welfare of animals, then make your vote count in the general election, writes Joe Duckworth. Backed by Cameron himself, 'country sports' enthusiasts are getting organised to support pro-killing candidates. We must be even more effective in opposing them.

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Recovering marine life within the Lamlash Bay 'no take zone'. Photo: Howard Wood / COAST.

Strong marine protection works for fisheries and wildlife!
20th April 2015

The strongly protected marine reserve in Lamlash Bay, Arran, has been a huge success, write Bryce Stewart & Leigh Howarth, with abandant life returning to the once denuded waters. The government's refusal to expand such protections represents a huge wasted opportunity for both fishing and the marine environment.

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A farmer and cattle herder in Lawra village, Ghana - the kind of person the World Bank claims to be working for, while promoting a corporate model of agriculture that leaves them landless and destitute. Photo: Photo: P. Casier /CGIAR via Flickr (CC BY-NC-

The battle for the future of farming - why is the World Bank on the wrong side?
18th April 2015

The World Bank exists to fight poverty. So why does it promote a profit-driven model of agriculture that enriches corporations at the expense of the small farmers who provide most of the world's food, creating poverty by stealing their land and water, depleting resources and undermining sustainable livelihoods?

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Reviews

Front cover image from of 'In Defence of Life' by Sir Julian Rose, published by Earth Books.

In Defence of Life: essays on a radical reworking of green wisdom
23rd April 2015

Julian Rose's diverse collection of essays is engaging, enlightening and life affirming, writes Philip Lymbery - conveying an organic farmer's revulsion at the increasing horrors of industrial agriculture, while setting out his vision of the green and sustainable future he is working to bring about.

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Cowslips (Primula veris). Photo: Donna JW via Flickr (CC BY).

The joys and sufferings of plants as sentient beings
10th April 2015

Is it 'morally reprehensible' to arbitrarily decapitate roadside flowers? Yes it is, writes Martin Spray - at least in Switzerland. And now we know that plants have both senses and physiology, why not awareness and emotions too? Even legal standing to have their rights defended in court - at least if they are trees?

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'Poison Spring' front cover (cut). Image; Bloomsbury.

Poison Spring - the secret history of the EPA
2nd April 2015

Ever since its creation in 1970 the US-EPA has been a failing organization, writes Carol Van Strum in her review of 'Poison Spring' - serving the corporations it was there to regulate, falsifying data, suppressing the truth about pesticide toxicity, and crushing whistleblowers.

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Blogs

Devil's Springs in the Florida Everglades, where a deep crevice leads to submerged caverns. Photo: Phil's 1stPix via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Earth Day on the River of Grass
25th April 2015

President Obama Earth Day appearance on the Florida Everglades' failed to disguise the truth, writes Grant A. Mincy - that governmental and corporate domination of ecosystems brings their all too predictable destruction. It's not national parks that will save our nature, but restoration of the commons and their management by local communities.

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A large hammerhead shark in the officially protected waters off Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Photo: Barry Peters via Flickr (CC BY).

Shark-counting divers off Costa Rica show marine reserves need active protection
24th April 2014

A Pacific island paradise 340 miles from Costa Rica's coast should be the ideal place for marine conservation, write Julia Baum & Easton R. White. But while its waters are indeed teeming with life, steep population declines in key shark and ray species show that stronger protection is badly needed.

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By learning skills like composting, crop diversification, organic pesticide production, seed multiplication and agro-forestry farmers in Malawi are increasing their ability to feed their families over the long term. Photo: Find Your Feet via Flickr (CC BY

Sustainable agriculture in Malawi: a desperate struggle
17th April 2015

Malawi, one of the Earth's poorest nations, faces a desperate struggle to feed its people without destroying the ecosystems it relies on, writes Marc Crouch. Poor agricultural practice has left the country with low crop yields and rampant food shortages, however the government and charities are fighting back.

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A wondrous new wave power device? Sadly no: a lot of useful energy going to waste on the sea defences of Brighton Marina. Photo: Barry Goble via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Ocean energy plus cybernetics can supply a quarter of the US's power
14th April 2015

Wave power has a huge part to play in supplying the US with clean, renewable electricity, writes Shalinee Kishore. But to achieve its full potential, we must harness not just the energy of waves, but their predictability - and so so ensure the smooth integration of wave power into the electricity grid.

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Ecologist Partners

Angeles Parra at BioCultura 2014. Photo. EcoArchivo.

BioCultura - celebrating Spain's organic revolution
27th February 2015

Europe's biggest organic fair kicks off today in Valencia, writes Pedro Burruezo - 30 years after the first ever BioCultura event in Madrid in 1985 kicked off Spain's organic revolution. Since then Spain has become Europe's biggest organic producer, and the sector is growing at a dizzying rate of over 10% a year.

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'The kingdom of God belongs to such as these'. Children in Tacloban City, Leyte Province, Philippines, amid the wreckage of Super Typhoon Yolanda / Hiyan, 21st December 2013. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Rediscovering the moral dimension of climate change
9th February 2015

Pope Francis's forthcoming statement on climate change could just revitalise progress towards significant emissions cuts, writes Jonathon Porritt. But more than that, it will open up the space for a wider spirituality to guide our thinking, and campaigning, on climate and other key global challenges.

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News in Brief

A polar bear keeps close to her young along the Beaufort Sea coast in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Susanne Miller / USFWS via Flickr (CC BY).

Polar bears at risk from pollution as well as warmth
24th April 2015

As if melting ice in Polar bears' Arctic habitat was not enough, Norwegian scientists have found that organic pollutants such as pesticide residues are disrupting their thyroid and endocrine systems, adding a further threat to the species' survival.

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Now these Norwegian protestors against Monsanto are more likely to get their way, following the GMO 'national opt-out' proposals set out by EuroComm. Photo: Caroline Hargreaves via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

EuroComm proposes EU country opt-outs on GMO foods
23rd April 2015

The European Commission has proposed new rules on foods derived from GMOs that would allow EU countries to opt out from the Europe-wide approval system - a move that has attracted strong criticism from all parties in the GMO debate.

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A protest in Kafr ad Dik village in February 2012 against the theft of land by nearby 'settlers'. Now it's the village's soil that is being stolen. Photo: KafrAdDeek via Wikimedia Commons (CC Public Domain).

Israelis steal fertile soil from Palestinian farms
22nd April 2015

Not satisfied with seizing Palestinian land and water, Israeli settlers in the West Bank have found a new way to enrich themselves at their neighbors' expense - by stealing their fertile soil and transporting it to their own farms and gardens.

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Protest at Coca Cola's bottling plant at Plachmada, Kerala. The plant has since been closed for rampant pollution. Photo: kasuga sho via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Campaigners defeat Coca-Cola plant in South India
21st April 2015

Local campaigners fearful of water shortages and industrial pollution have forced state authorities to cancel an unpopular plan to allocate land for a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Tamil Nadu, India.

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A truck carries palm fruit for processing from a rainforest plantation in Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Banks raising $400m for palm oil expansion 'must examine high risks'
20th April 2015

Banks preparing to launch a $400m bond issue for a global palm oil giant with a history of legal violations and broken standards have been warned of their 'high risk client' and the 'extreme and outstanding' social and environmental conflicts in the palm oil agribusiness sector.

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Lake Baikal at Irkutskiy Raion, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Photo: Fedor Stroganov via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Lake Baikal: World Heritage ecosystems at risk from Mongolian dam
19th April 2015

Russia's Lake Baikal is under threat by a massive dam and pipeline on the main river that feeds into it, that would supply mines with power and water, writes Anson Mackay. In line to fund the project? The World Bank.

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6,000 sq.km of California are suitable for this 'concentrating solar power' approach shown here at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) in California’s Mojave Desert. Photo: Jan Maguire via Flickr.

Investors pile in as renewables rise to record level
16th April 2015

The world's smart money is piling into renewable energy, solar power in particular, write Tim Radford & Oliver Tickell, as renewables pull away from fossil fuels in terms of both investment and new generation capacity added each year.

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A peaceful protest by the indigenous people fighting the flooding of their land and villages by the Kanhar dam. Photo: Vindhya Bacao (vindhyabachao.org/kanhar).

India: police shoot eight indigenous protestors against illegal dam
15th April 2015

Police in India's Uttar Pradesh state yesterday opened fire on a 'sit in' by tribal protestors at the construction site of the Kanhar dam, now under construction in open contempt of court orders. Tribal leader Akku Kharwar and eight others were seriously injured by the gun fire.

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The Flamanville nuclear plant in Normandy, France, was already years late and billions of budget - before news emerged that its steel reactor vessel contains serious metallurgical faults. Photo: schoella via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Nuclear reactor flaws raise Hinkley C safety fears
14th April 2015

A serious flaw in the steel reactor vessel of a nuclear plant under construction in France raises safety fears for the EPR design, write Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell - and casts a dark shadow over the UK's troubled Hinkley C nuclear project.

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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

Telling Stories of the Future
Schumacher College

To celebrate 25 years at the forefront of environmental education, Schumacher College are launching a new short course programme: Soul, Spirit and Story.

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