News Analysis

Meg Montgoris using free Wi-Fi on the red stairs on Duffy Square. Photo: Adam Pantozzi / Times Alliance / Yahoo via Flickr (CC BY).

Wireless pollution 'out of control' as corporate race for 5G gears up
27th October 2016

With the UK's Digital Economy Bill set to be finalised today, new 5G microwave spectra are about to be released across the planet without adequate safety testing, writes Lynne Wycherley. Global neglect of the Precautionary Principle is opening the way to corporate profit but placing humans and ecosystems at risk, and delaying a paradigm shift towards safer connectivity.

Pools of liquid still present outside the perimeter of the Aurobindo drug manufacturing plant near Hyderabad this month. Photo: Ecostorm.

Dirty production of NHS antibiotics in India helping to create superbugs
26th October 2016

The NHS is buying drugs from pharmaceutical companies in India whose dirty production methods are fuelling the rise of superbugs, write Andrew Wasley & Madlen Davies. There are no checks or regulations in place to stop this happening - even though the rapid growth in antibiotic resistant bacteria in India is spreading across the world, including to the UK and NHS hospitals.

Heathrow scenery. Photo: stephen h via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

With Heathrow approval, aviation could use two thirds of UK's 1.5C carbon budget
25th October 2016

The UK government today announced that Heathrow, already the UK's busiest airport, is its 'preferred option' for a new runway in southeast England, writes Simon Evans. It's just too bad about the climate: the airport expansion implies that aviation emissions alone could take up half to two thirds of the UK's 'carbon budget' for the country to comply with its 1.5C Paris Agreement target.

Ineos gas tanker at port. Photo:

Challenging the delusion of cheap, safe shale gas extraction
20th October 2016

The UK government's insistence of pursuing fracking is based on a flawed and utterly misinformed vision of our future, write Alex Russell and Peter Strachan. Rather than delivering the prosperity they promise, large scale fracking would cause massive pollution of air and water, undermine vital export industries, and leave us with an irretrievably damaged economy and natural environment.


Fracking industry advances with phase one exploratory applications in South Africa
20th October, 2017

Hydraulic fracturing is still a ‘known unknown' in South Africa's ongoing energy debate. And whilst two weeks ago communities in the KwaZulu-Natal province made it clear they don't want fracking, President Jacob Zuma does. Jasper Finkeldey reports


Green Living

Plastic Pollution of the Oceans has reached crisis point
27th October, 2016

An estimated 12 million tonnes of plastic flows into our oceans each year so no wonder we're facing one of the biggest litter crises our planet has ever seen. LAURA BRIGGS reports


Biofuels from seaweed?
12th October, 2016

Seaweed is known for its culinary uses and has seen a renaissance in past years thanks to its health claims and a distinctive taste - but there are more ecological benefits to seaweed that currently remain untapped.


The 'Green Creates' exhibition invites Green 'artist' voices to shout about their concerns
8th October, 2016

The Green Party's new 'Green Creates' exhibition runs from 19 to 24 October at Hoxton Arches, London showcasing the work of the likes of Ralph Steadman, Grayson Perry, Gavin Turk, Andy Goldsworthy, Lesley Hilling and Craig Jones. Their donated pieces on the theme of 'Green Voices' will be auctioned to raise funds for the party. GARY COOK takes a preview



The Drax coal and biomass fired power station in North Yorkshire, one the UK's biggest point source emitters of greenhouse gases. Photo: Andrew Davidson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

#AxeDrax: campaigners unite for climate justice against coal and biofueled deforestation
18th October 2016

The Drax power station in North Yorkshire is among Britain's greatest greenhouse gas emitters, writes Almuth Ernsting. Not only is it burning some 6 million tonnes of coal every year, it is also burning its way through forests in the USA and other countries as it converts to biomass-fired units, rewarded by £1.3 million a day in subsidies. Join the #AxeDrax protest this weekend!

Front page of the Daily Wail - a project of the  Advertising Action on Climate Project (AACP). Photo: AACP.

Responsible advertisers must boycott climate-sceptic Mail, Sun, Times, Telegraph, Express
19th September 2016

A handful of right wing media billionnaires have been using their newspapers as propaganda rags to attack climate science and oppose climate action, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. Yet even 'climate leader' companies like M&S are fuelling their profits by advertising with them. Now a new #Deadvertisment campaign is demanding them to stop, right now.

G4S provides security systems for prisons which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel, in contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Photo: Anti-G4S demo in London, June 2016 by Darren Joh

Corporations rule the world? Not quite. But we must stop them while we still can!
13th September 2016

Gigantic global corporations are seizing ever more power, writes Aisha Dodwell, as they reshape the world to serve their quest for profit: corrupting politicians, subverting governments, and breaking international law on labour, environment and human rights with impunity. We need a new UN Treaty to force corporations to act within international law - wherever they may be.



28th October, 2016

British impressionist, comedian, actor and musician Alistair McGowan is also a staunch environmentalist - he doesn't even drive a car. He tells TIM SAUNDERS we should all be doing more to help save the planet and that the environmental costs of the proposed new runway at Heathrow are not worth the promised economic benefits

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, at the 14th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - 27 April 2015, New York. Photo: via

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz: 'The better protected areas are those where indigenous peoples live!'
19th October 2016

Indigenous Peoples are often the victims of nature conservation, according to a new report by Vicky Tauli-Corpuz presented to the UN this week, as they are expelled from lands they have inhabited for millennia. One reason, she told Joe Eisen, is that indigenous territories are precisely the places where biodiversity is best preserved - thanks to the protective, nurturing presence of their traditional owners.



'Love Planet' by emily792872 via Flickr (CC BY).

Gaia lives! Overcoming our fear of a living planet
21st October 2016

To embrace the Earth as truly alive is a step too far even for many committed environmentalists, writes Charles Eisenstein: worried that others may perceive us as unscientific, childish, woolly-headed and ridiculous. But it's a step we must take: in refusing to recognise the living Gaia that is both our creator and our home, we accept and perpetuate the philosophy of her destroyers.

Fresh organic 'Heirloom' garlic from New Roots Farm in Newmarket NH, at the Portsmouth, NH farmer's market. Photo: ilovebutter via Flickr (CC BY).

Why the sustainable food movement is unstoppable: it's the philosophy!
3rd October 2016

Members of the food movement share an infectious vision, writes Jonathan Latham - one which is constructive, convivial, classless, raceless, international, and embraces the whole world. Unled yet inspirational, it rests on a novel, harmonious philosophy that combines science, recognition of planetary boundaries, and the universal need for wholesome sustenance.

Jerusalem artichoke harvest at Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire. Photo: Sandy lane Farm via Facebook.

Good nutrition begins in healthy soils
7th September 2016

There's no such thing as 'healthy food' if it's not produced by sustainable farming systems on living soils, Patrick Holden told the recent 'Food: The Forgotten Medicine' conference. But after 70 years of industrial farming, there's a huge job to be done to restore our depleted soils and the impoverished genetic diversity of our seeds and crops.

The Baka have lived sustainably in their rainforest home for generations. Photo: Selcen Kucukustel / Atlas / Survival International.

Corporate capture: Big Conservation must break out of its Stockholm syndrome
2nd September 2016

Big conservation NGOs increasingly resemble the nature-destroying corporations they should be opposing, writes Margi Prideaux. This ideological capture is reflected in their vapid marketing to conservation 'consumers'; the serious abuse of indigenous communities they should be engaging as partners; and their willing sacrifice of core objectives to money and influence.

Can we secure the future of our countryside - like this landscape in the Yorkshire Dales - with markets in 'ecosystem services'? Robert J Heath via Flickr (CC BY).

Can markets in 'ecosystem services' secure the future of the English countryside?
1st September 2016

The EU is already paying farmers and landowners for creating and maintaining valuable habitats, write Dominic Hogg & Luke Dale-Harris. But could the UK do better by creating markets in 'ecosystem services' that would put financial value on clean water, key wildlife habitats, endangered species and precious landscapes?



WITNESS: Cleaning up the iconic but highly polluted Jukskei River

Efforts to clean up the Jukskei River are to be applauded but fall far short of what's really needed to return it to the former glory so many Johannesburg residents still remember writes LELYZAVETA IVANOVA


20th October, 2016

We refer to them as kitchen basics - milk and eggs - but how often do we stop to think about the true cost of their production? Not often enough writes TIM MADDAMS


WITNESS: Colombia's indigenous Wayuu suffer the effects of climate change, drought and rising...
17th October, 2016

La Guajira, a dusty but spartanly beautiful region in Colombia's desert north is in the grips of a crisis. Climate change, desertification and water shortages have combined to create a perfect storm for the local rural community: a drought so severe some places did not feel a drop of rain for three years writes LAURA DIXON


WITNESS: Bob Dylan - The Times They Are a-Changin'
14th October, 2016

In becoming the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Bob Dylan is in esteemed company; many previous recipients have also been voices for social protest and change, all of whom have borne witness to their life and times writes HARRIET GRIFFEY


WITNESS: Obesity, Ecology and the Confines of the Government Strategy
13th October, 2016

In the first of our new WITNESS series of blogs, food anthropology researcher YVONNE ADEBOLA suggests a 'One Health' approach to childhood obesity which recognises the ecological impact of modern food systems on the environment and on our collective health and wellbeing


Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

Challenging Rising Inequality
17 September 2016

Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, reports on growing inequality arising from the current economic model that benefits the privileged minority.
Extreme inequality across the globe spells disaster for millions.



The population merry-go-round has to stop somewhere. Photo: Marcelo deOliveira via Flickr (CC BY).

A Living Planet? Or endless population growth? We can't have both
27th October 2016

Today's Living Planet Report details the ongoing destruction of our natural environment, writes Alistair Currie. One solution that is necessary, realistic, ethical and ultimately unavoidable is to reduce the pressure on our planet caused by population growth.

Don't worry, It's normal. Photo: loa bacon via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Hypernormalised? Heathrow plan is proof we exist in a catastrophic fantasyland
26th October 2016

In one reality, the government recognises climate change, signs the Paris agreement, and commits to its 1.5C target, writes Matthew Adams. In another, it promises a new London runway that's predicated on sending aviation emissions soaring for decades to come. Now repeat after me: 'Everything will be fine!'

Sunset over Heathrow. Photo: Malcolm via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No new runways! Not at Heathrow, not at Gatwick!
24th October 2016

Should it be Heathrow or Gatwick? The answer, writes Keith Taylor, is neither. For climate and pollution reasons alone the UK should be scaling back on aviation, and in any case projections of future demand have been monstrously exaggerated. Step 1: a 'frequent flyer' tax on the 15% of people who take 70% of flights.

Welsh Badgers at Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo. Photo: Neil Schofield via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Wales demands 'objective evidence' before killing badgers. Whatever next?
21st October 2016

Wales has achieved enviable success in reducing bovine TB in its cattle herds without killing badgers, writes Lesley Docksey. The farming lobby is still demanding an England-style cull, but the Welsh government's 'refreshed' policy on bTB remains firmly science-based and no badgers will be killed without 'objective evidence' of infection.

Well cared-for animals are crucial to food security and sustainable farming systems around the world. Photo: Paul Woods via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The future of our food depends on small farmers and well cared-for livestock
19th October 2016

Abusive farming of animals in factory farms is one of the great cruelties of the modern age, writes Philip Lymbery. While some may justify it as necessary to 'feed the world', it is no such thing. The answer lies in supporting small scale traditional farmers, and respecting the livestock that are intrinsic to sustainable agriculture across the planet.

Global action day against TTIP, CETA & TiSA, 18th April 2015 in Berlin. Photo: Cornelia Reetz / Mehr Demokratie via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Canada-EU 'TTIP' trade deal, CETA, down - but not out
18th October 2016

The EU Council today blocked the progress of CETA, the Canada-EU trade deal, writes Nick Dearden. It's a dramatic reversal for the transatlantic 'free trade' agenda, with the unpopular TTIP US-EU agreement already close to death. But negotiators aren't giving up on their aim to push CETA through, no matter what. Our fight goes on!

The HFC gases that run most of the world's heat pumps and air conditioners, like these ones in Singapore, are very powerful greenhouse gases. But now the world has agreed to solve the problem. Photo: Rym DeCoster via Flickr (CC BY).

Paris talks, Montreal delivers! Kigali's massive climate victory
17th October 2016

The 'Kigali Amendment' agreed this weekend to control HFC gases thousands of times more powerful than CO2 is the first major step in delivering the goals of the Paris agreement, writes Nigel Paul - and a second huge success for the Montreal Protocol, originally agreed to save the ozone layer from destruction by CFCs.



Cover shot of trapped badger used for the new edition of 'The Fate of the Badger' by Richard Meyer, published by Fire-raven Writing.

'The Fate of the Badger': the great badger scapegoating conspiracy
11th October 2016

Thirty years ago, there was no evidence that badgers spread bovine TB among cattle, writes Lesley Docksey. Nor is there now. Yet badgers are still being slaughtered in a futile attempt to control the disease. This timely republication of Richard Meyer's 1986 book reveals the belligerent ignorance of the officials, politicians and farmers driving the failed policy.

The derelict B30 pond at Sellafield, used for the storage of intensely radioactive waste, in 2006. Photo: unknown / Public Domain.

Sellafield exposed: the nonsense of nuclear fuel reprocessing
6th September 2016

Last night's BBC Panorama programme did a good job at lifting the lid on Britain's ongoing nuclear disaster that is Sellafield, writes Ian Fairlie. But it failed to expose the full scandal of the UK's 'reprocessing' of spent fuel into 140 tonnes of plutonium, enough to build 20,000 nuclear bombs - while leaving £100s of billions of maintenance and cleanup costs to future generations.

Front cover of 'Badgered to Death' by Dominic Dyer (exerpt), published by Canbury Press.

Why are our badgers ‘Badgered to Death'?
23rd August 2016

With today's news that badger culling will continue in Gloucester, Somerset and Dorset, and take place in three other counties, writes LESLEY DOCKSEY, there could be no more opportune moment for Dominic Dyer's new book 'Badgered to Death' to appear - expertly exposing the total absence of scientific evidence that badgers transmit bovine TB to cattle.


Right of Reply

Longleaf Pine Regeneration in South Carolina. Photo: Justin Meissen via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

UK biomass power industry is a vital part of the renewable energy mix
27th October 2016

Contrary to arguments advanced in a recent Ecologist article, the biomass industry supplying the Drax power station in North Yorkshire is a model of sustainability, writes Nina Skorupska, and delivers genuine, substantial emissions reductions compared to coal.


SBP certification scheme: debunking the myths
7th September, 2016

In a second response to a recent article published in the Ecologist, "Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?", SBP Chief Executive Officer Carstem Huljus debunks the myths in a right of reply


SCS Global Services Correction to its rebuttal of misleading and inaccurate statements in...

In response to a recent article published in the Ecologist, "Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?", SCS has prepared this point-by-point rebuttal to several misleading and inaccurate statements, and invites readers with additional questions to contact us directly.


Ecologist Partners

Lancashire: a local demonstration against fracking - 'Nanas to the front. Advance!' Photo: Victoria Buchan-Dyer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking trumps climate change, pollution, health - and democracy
13th October 2016

Last week the EU ratified the Paris Agreement to limit climate change, writes Tony Bosworth. So how did Communities Secretary Sajid Javid mark the occasion? By overturning Lancashire's democratic rejection of fracking, so giving a whole new fossil fuel industry the green light to let rip. Hypocrisy? The word hardly does justice to our government's mendacity.

Permaculture 'inventor' Bill Mollison, who died this weekend. Photo: Permaculture Association / Magazine.

Peaceful warrior: Permaculture visionary Bill Mollison
26th September 2016

Australian educator, author and co-inventor of Permaculture, Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison, died on the 24 September 2016 in Sisters Creek, Tasmania. He has been praised across the world for his visionary work, and left behind a global network of 'peaceful warriors' in over 100 countries working tirelessly to fulfill his ambition to build harmony between humanity and Mother Earth.



Feeding the Insatiable
7th October 2016

An international summit exploring real and imagined narratives of art, energy and consumption for a troubled planet, taking place at Schumacher College, Dartington, on 11th November 2016


One Earth, One Humanity, One Future

Resurgence magazine (now Resurgence & Ecologist) celebrates 50 years of independent publishing with a landmark event hosted by Worcester College, Oxford, 22-25 September 2016.



Yale University Launches Online Specialization Classes Open to the Public
9th September, 2016

If you've got the 'Back to School' bug this week then check out these brand new online courses from the prestigious Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental studies - the courses are based on the award-winning Journey of the Universe film and book


Educating for Gaia: a wholistic approach to Earth science
28th April 2016

As a society, we are strangely disconnected from the Earth, writes Stephan Harding. It's as if we were aliens placed here to prod and poke with our scientific instruments whilst feeling no sense of meaning, belonging or closeness to her ancient crumpled surface or rich, teeming biodiversity - a state of mind that a forthcoming course at Schumacher College aims to reverse.



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News in Brief

Hallowe'en Surprise - CETA back from the dead!
28th October, 2016

This morning (28 October) in London, protesters dressed as Hallowe'en Zombies posed outside the European Commission office in London with a banner saying "Stop CETA rising from the dead - Toxic trade deals belong in the grave."

Up, up, up ... the access road to the observatories near the summit of Mauna Loa, the Hawai'ian volcano on which official measurements of global CO2 concentrations are taken. Photo: Dave Strom via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

WMO: the world's new 400ppm climate reality
25th October 2016

Global CO2 concentrations have reached a historic new base of 400 parts per million, writes Alex Kirby, and are unlikely to fall below that level - 40% higher than the pre-industrial era - for many centuries to come. The WMO released the news just as the UK commits to a new London runway.

EU policy was made today, not by the Commission or Parliament, but by the Brussels regional government officially based at the medieval town hall on the city's Grande Place. Photo: Frank Friedrichs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Brussels defeats toxic EU-Canada trade deal, CETA
24th October 2016

The city of Brussels, capital of Europe, has joined with other Belgian regions to defeat the CETA 'free trade' deal between the EU and Canada, in an unprecedented victory for civil society and campaigners against the EU's 'by the corporations, for the corporations' trade agenda.


ClientEarth against UK government in High Court over illegal air pollution
18th October, 2016

Environmental Lawyers group ClientEarth is in court today to bring a case against the Government for failing to tackle illegal levels of air pollution in the UK

If mainstream car makers fail to keep up with fresh, nimble competitors like Tesla, they could go the way of the horse & cart. Photo: Windell Oskay via Flickr (CC BY).

$24 trillion tells car industry: it's time to act on climate!
12th Octobver 2016

International investors worth a collective $24 trillion have warned car manufacturers that they must 'get with the beat' on climate change, writes Terry Macalister. If car makers fail to shift to low emission models, they will face a large-scale sell-off of their shares.

No place for oil drilling: lonely Mountain in the Sierra del Divisor national park, Peru. Photo: Diego Pérez / El Taller / Ministerio del Ambiente via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Peru: national park 'Master Plan' opens uncontacted tribe's land to oil drilling
7th October 2016

Full credit to Peru for creating the Sierra del Divisor national park in one of the most precious areas of the Amazon, write Lewis Evans & Sarina Kidd. But not for leaving it open to oil drilling, risking the future of uncontacted indigenous tribes that depend on their pristine rainforest environment to survive.

A Common toad colony migrating across a road near Ipswich.

Toad's 30-year decline shows 'large-scale deterioration of environmental quality'
6th October 2016

A 30-year decline in toad populations recorded by volunteers, shows the need to rebuild vital 'green infrastructure' across both the wider countryside and urban areas, writes Oliver Tickell: reversing habitat fragmentation, digging out ponds and ditches, and leaving ample unkempt areas for cover and hibernation.

Wall to wall solar panels on industrial buildings in Birmingham, UK, where the Aurora report was published this week. Photo: h080 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Cheap as chips! 'Negligible' cost of integrating big solar into UK grid
4th October 2016

A new study shows that the cost of 'integrating' the variable power output of large scale solar PV is surprisingly affordable, writes Oliver Tickell, at just a few pence per unit. Costs will fall further as more wind power, batteries and ever-cheaper solar drive the transition to a 100% renewable power system.


Proposal for a ban on international trade in elephant ivory is defeated at the CITES conference
3rd October

Desperate not to offend the host country, the EU delegates at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ignored a million-strong petition, a resolution from the European Parliament and the views of a large majority of African Range states and failed to give elephants greater protection

Sunrise over the Mystic River in Medford-Somerville-Boston, Massachusetts - the area that ExxonMobil is accused of endangering by its climate change deceit. Photo:  Paul via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

ExxonMobil sued over climate cover-up
30th September 2016

The Conservation Law Foundation has just filed the first lawsuit against ExxonMobil for violations under the Clean Water Act and other laws, committed in its deliberate, reckless and deceitful cover-up of it's true knowledge of the dangers of climate change.

Clouds cast their fast moving shadows across the rolling arable farmlands of South Africa's Western Cape region, where production will become increasingly stretched with warming climate. Photo: Christopher Griner via Flickr (CC BY).

Climate food crunch demands sustainable food system
27th September 2016

Global food production may need to double over the next century to feed a growing world population, writes Tim Radford - just as yields crops in major crop-growing areas fall due to higher temperatures. But there is another way: to build sustainability into our food production and consumption.


Reduce flood-risk through rewilding, says new report from Rewilding Britain
21st September, 2016

A new report from Rewilding Britain highlights the positive impact which rewilding the UK's landscapes can have upon flood risk. The report comes as MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee consult on better ways to manage the UK's environment post-Brexit, with many calling for an approach which places nature centre stage.