News Analysis

Fracking is burning more than just our health. Our money's going up in flames too - and that's putting the whole financial system at risk. Photo: Bill Baker via Flickr.

With sub-$60 oil, fracking and tar sands losses threaten the whole financial system
17th December 2014

A new financial crisis is threatening to dwarf the 'subprime' mortgage debacle, writes Paul Mobbs. Cheap money from central banks has fuelled some $1.3 trillion of risky investments in high-cost 'unconventional' oil and gas. Now, with oil sinking below $60, all that paper is turning to junk - and that's putting the entire economic system at risk.

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Protest against the Taoyuan Aerotropolis as broadcast by Formosa EnglishNews (see video embed).

Taiwan: residents resist forced eviction for 'Aerotropolis' megaproject
16th December 2014

Communities facing around Taiwan's Taoyuan Airport are facing huge land grabs for a vast airport city that will line the pockets of powerful officials, politicians and developers, but leave them with nothing, writes Rose Bridger. Now, faced with official abuse and police brutality, they are fighting back with street protests and art projects.

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People's Climate March, COP20, Lima, with Christine Milne. Photo: Emma Bull / Green MPs via Flickr.

COP20: an agreement of sorts. Now, a rocky climate road to Paris
15th December 2014

After a second extra day of climate talks in Lima, an agreement has been cobbled together. Deadlines have been set for the world to come up with plans to curb emissions and adapt to climate change - but has been no progress on the key divisive issues, and the prospects of an effective mew treaty in Paris next year remain remote.

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Stonehenge itself may benefit from the tunneling - but at the expense of the its wider landscape in the 27 sq.km World Heritage Site. Photo: Todd via Flickr.

Stonehenge World Heritage Site at risk from A303 tunnel plans
13th December 2014

The government's plans to tunnel the A303 under the Stonehenge World Heritage Site has one grievous flaw, writes Kate Fielden. The tunnel is too short, so huge portals and graded junctions at both ends would lie entirely within the WHS causing huge damage to landscape and wipe out archaeological remains.

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Coal fired power station at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Photo: Guy Gorek via Flickr.

Leaked: EU Commission plot to ditch waste and air pollution laws
12th December 2014

An anti-environment plot by Junckers' Commission would abandon agreed 'green' laws for clean air, waste reduction and recycling. But the leak of key documents to EurActiv has stimulated fierce opposition by Green MEPs and environment groups, while eleven EU countries have called on Junckers to hold to the green laws and speed up their implementation.

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Green Living

Bringing in the olive harvest. Photo: Zaytoun.

Olive oil for peace and justice in Palestine
11th December 2014

Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ain died yesterday after being attacked by Israeli soldiers while planting olive trees in the West Bank - a peaceful and fruitful challenge to a long and brutal military occupation. As Zaytoun co-founder Cathi Pawson writes, we can help by buying organic Palestinian olive oil, available in the UK against all the odds.

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In Shanghai much food used to be grown within the city. In recent years peri-urban agriculture has taken over from intra-urban cropping. Whilst some land has been paved over as the city expanded, large areas of peri-urban land are still being set aside fo

Making cities sustainable with urban agriculture
3rd December 2014

To reduce the pressure on the world's productive land and to help assure long-term food security, writes Herbert Girardet, city people are well advised to revive urban or peri-urban agriculture. While large cities will always have to import some food, local food growing is a key component of sustainable urban living.

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Isobel (Bella) and father Gil Rodrigues. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager.

My conversion - from shearwater hunter to protector of birds and ocean
23rd November 2014

For nearly 30 years, Gil Fortes was a hunter of Cabo Verde's shearwater chicks, helping to drive the bird to the brink of extinction. But following a life-changing rethink, he and his daughter Isabel (Bella), are now at the forefront of efforts to save the shearwater and rebuild its perilously low numbers.

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Campaigning

Reduced to one meagre bar of an electric fire, an old lady fights to keep warm in Perth, Scotland. Meanwhile Centrica's CEO rakes in £3.7 million a year. Photo: Ninian Reid via Flickr.

Reclaim the power! It's time to deprivatise Britain's energy
16th December 2014

Privatised energy has failed us, writes Sam Lund-Harket. While energy company chiefs earn millions of pounds a year, one in ten English households live in fuel poverty. But there is another way. All over the world countries and communities are taking energy, water and other essential public services back under democratic control.

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The original heads in sand salute at Sydney's Bondi Beach. Photo: unknown.

Bottoms up! 'Head in sand salute' is the new climate protest
10th December 2013

A planned 'head in sand' salute had to be abandoned at COP20 in Peru this week, writes Maxine Newlands - called off due to lack of sand on Lima's stony shores. But climate campaigners in Australia and New Zealand made up for it with dozens of their own 'bums up' actions on sandy Antipodean beaches ...

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

COP20 host Peru claims forest 'leadership' - while attacking forest protectors
8th December 2014

Peru's government is actively undermining indigenous peoples' efforts to protect their forests - by refusing to title 20 million hectares of their lands and turning a blind eye to illegal logging. At the same time it's handing out vast concessions for oil, gas, mining and timber exploitation, expanding palm oil production and planning 50 major forest-flooding dams.

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Interviews

John Nissen speaking at AMEG's COP20 press conference. Photo: still from video on unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/ .

The melting Arctic - John Nissen's emergency call to action
15th December 2015

The Earth faces an imminent crisis caused by runaway Arctic warming. So says climate campaigner John Nissen, who travelled to COP20 in Lima to impress the dangers on delegates - and urge them to emergency action to cool the Arctic before it's too late. Tomás d'Ornellas, editor of Tecnews.pe, met him there ...

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Ian and Magqubu minding the nightly fire to protect against predators. Photo: www.trevorbarrettphoto.co.uk/ .

River of Life: Ian Player, saviour of the white rhino
5th December 2014

The white rhino is in deep trouble after a new surge of poaching. But the fact that it's there at all is largely thanks to one man: Ian Player, who saved the white rhino from near-certain extinction in the 1960's. Earlier this year Nicola Graydon met Dr Player at his home in South Africa, to record his last major interview.

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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

Rising sea level? What rising sea level? Peter, CC BY-SA.

I'll talk politics with climate change deniers - but not science
17th December 2014

The responses that climate change demands of us are collective, writes Mark Maslin, and force us to accept the finite nature of global resources and the need for equitable sharing. So when climate change collides with belief in neoliberalism, free markets, strong property rights and rugged individualism, denial trumps science every time.

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Bolivian president Evo Morales referred to industrialised nations that have appropriated more than their own fair share of global atmospheric space as

Rich nations must cough up for past carbon pollution
16th December 2014

In 2011 the US firmly ruled equity out of climate negotiations, writes Chukwumerije Okereke. But in the Lima climate talks the poor countries put the moral dimension where it belongs - at the heart of any future climate treaty.

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BUNDjugend demonstrators take on Shell in Hamburg in early 2014. They may not stop Shell in its tracks - but there's one power that can - international finance. Photo: BUNDjugend via Flickr.

The UN climate talks just failed - now for the real battle
15th December 2014

COP20 has just laid the foundations for a non-agreement in Paris in 2015, writes Assaad Razzouk - thanks to the pernicious influence of fossil fuels, poisoning debate and subverting serious climate action. Now there's only one earthly power big enough to fight back.

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This roman aqueduct near Haifa in modern-day Israel took water to Caesaria, the civilian and military capital of Judaea. But ultimately, most of the water flowed to Rome itself - if in virtual form. Photo: C. J.™ via Flickr.

The food-water-energy nexus defeated the Romans. It could defeat us too
13th December 2014

As well as being masters of water engineering, the Romans also engaged in a long distance trade in water across the Mediterranean - embodied in grain, oil, wine, cloth, metals and other goods. They also discovered the food-water-energy nexus - and not in a good way. We need to heed the warnings from Roman history.

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Rooms with views ... but where's the vision? European Commission photo by Bruno Coelho via Flickr.

Europe on the brink - green future or industrial wasteland?
12th December 2014

The EU faces a choice: a green, democratic future of clean prosperity and social justice? Or a dirty future of corporate domination with resurgent nuclear power, expanding fossil fuels, GMO agriculture and weak human and environmental protection? Junckers' Commission represents the latter. We must assert our own vision - or there will be little worth staying in for.

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The garbage that builds up incessantly on the Praia de Achados beach presents formidable obstacle to loggerhead turtles seeking nesting sites. Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd.

Over 268,000 tonnes of ocean plastic - neglect it at our peril
11th December 2014

The oceans are awash with plastic, write Magnus Johnson & Melanie Coull, with dire effects on marine wildlife mistaking it for food. But it's not just big animals like basking sharks, turtles and albatrosses that suffer. The very worst damage may be caused by particles too small for the eye to see, and the toxic chemicals that cling to them.

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'And now my friends, my cousins, died for this wood.' Photo: still from 'Our Fight' by Handcrafted Films.

How long can Norway ignore Peru's indigenous rights violations?
10th December 2014

The COP20 host, Peru's President Humala, certainly talked the talk on indigenous rights last September when he signed a $300 million deal with Norway. But his violations of indigenous rights, 'hands off' approach to murders of indigenous leaders and recent unguarded comments betray his true sentiments.

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Reviews

MaJiKer. Photo: MaJiKer.

NORTH: spellbinding folk with a green mission
4th December 2014

Traditional melodies collected from Nordic countries and filtered through MaJiKer's unique sonic imagination are raising awareness, and funds, for nature conservation. He spoke to Laurence Rose about a four-year labour of love inspired by nature and the sounds of the high North.

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Chris Rapley in '2071' at the Royal Court Theatre. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey.

Five stars! Scientist's dramatic climate change act is a winner
25th November 2014

A spellbinding solo performance by veteran climate scientist Chris Rapley at London's Royal Court puts the climate debate centre stage, writes Tim Radford - and earns the admiration of hard-to-please theatre critics.

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Cover of 'Don't Even Think About It' by George Marshall.

Why isn't climate change sparking climate action?
17th November 2014

Death threats, abuse and torrents of online hatred show how climate change scientists are demonised, writes Tim Radford, in a way without parallel in the history of science. It's all set out in a new book that explores both climate change denialism, and our inaction despite overwhelming evidence: 'Don't Even Think About It'.

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Blogs

Solar panels in space work very efficiently. But how to get them there? And how to get the power down to Earth? Image: John MacNeil via Greenpeace.

Seven breakthrough solar technologies - but will they work?
17th December 2014

A bunch of innovations are taking place in the world of solar power, writes Zachary Davies Boren - and one or more of them could just propel the technology from providing just 1% of the world's electricity, to dominating the world's energy supply. Provided they work ...

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Regular PV solar cells on the Brighton Earthship in the south of England  Dominic Alves, CC BY-SA.

Here comes the sun: explosion in solar power beckons
12th December 2014

Solar power has a sunny future - even without any major breakthroughs, writes Ralph Gottschalg. There are huge gains to be made simply by getting smarter and using existing technologies more effectively. A new report shows that - given political support - solar PV could be competitive in the UK by 2020.

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Murder most foul - a porpoise carcass bearing cruel bite marks. Photo: Johan Krol.

Murder most foul - who killed all the porpoises?
9th December 2014

Since 2010 porpoise carcasses have been washing up on our shares, writes Ken Collins - displaying horrific wounds and bite marks that many thought a sign of Great White sharks in Britain's coastal waters. But now scientists have identified an improbably cuddly culprit ...

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Philip Lymbery at work. Photo: CIWF.

It shouldn’t happen to a factory farm vet
1st December 2014

Vets have an essential role to play in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of farm animals at the hardest times in their lives, writes Philip Lymbery. But confronted with the ugly reality of the slaughterhouse, many vets are reduced to becoming passive servants of the industrial farming machine.

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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

An iceberg floating in the Amundsen Sea, where glaciers are shedding ice faster than in any other part of Antarctica. Photo: NASA / Jane Peterson via Wikimedia Commons.

Antarctica: warming ocean trebles glacial melt
17th December 2014

As temperatures rise in the Southern Ocean, warmer currents are eroding the Antarctic ice sheet from below, writes Tim Radford - causing the melting rate to treble in two decades to 83 cubic billion tonnes a year.

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EU drops plans to push up recycling rate to 70%. The back of an industrial estate in Romford, Essex. Photo: roadscum via Flickr.

Commission dumps eco-initiatives in 2015 work plan
16th December 2014

The European Commission has dropped measures to improve air quality and reduce waste from its work plan for 2015 - instead 'cutting red tape' and prioritizing 'jobs, growth, investment' at all costs.

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If you want one of these, best put a good distance between you and the nearest fracking well. Photo: Adriano Aurelio Araujo via Flickr.

Miscarriage and stillbirth linked to fracking chemical exposure
15th December 2014

Fracking for oil and gas uses a wide range of chemicals that disrupt reproductive function in both sexes, writes Tamsin Paternoster. Now an academic study has found a powerful correlation between stillbirth, miscarriage, low sperm count, and exposure to fracking chemicals.

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A booth at COP20 in Lima - where the collective IQ of negotiators has barely achieved double figures. Photo: Climate Change via Flickr.

COP20 extended another day - but where's the money?
12th December 2014

In a familiar ritual, the COP20 climate talks have been extended for an extra day as delegates struggle to reach some kind of agreement. The good news is that worthwhile emissions reductions may be achieved - but poor countries are asking: where's the money?

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An artist's impression of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Image: EDF Energy media library.

UK's €46 billion bid for EIB nuclear loan
11th December 2014

The UK is bidding for a massive €46 billion loan from the European Investment Bank to finance the construction of three new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point, Wylfa and Moorside - while Poland is seeking €8bn for huge new coal mines and power plants and €12bn for new nuclear.

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An English badger cub, innocent as summer days are long. Photo: Peter Burnage via Flickr.

Badger cubs to be shot in new 'summer cull' plan
10th December 2014

England's 2015 trial badger cull will be moved to summer, writes Damian Carrington - when cubs are numerous and easy to shoot. The surprise move follows 2014's failed autumn culls, which missed their minimum kill targets.

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No Mr Juncker, that's not 'Happy Birthday' they're singing ... Photo: Felix Kindermann / Stop TTIP.

TTIP - Juncker's 1.1 million signature 'birthday card'
9th December 2014

Campaigners today today delivered Commission President Juncker a 'birthday card' with 1.1 million signatures from EU citizens. Yes, it really is his birthday today - but the real message was calling on him to back off from negotiations over the TTIP and CETA trade deals with the USA and Canada.

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Coal trains near North Antelope Rochelle Mine in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. Photo: Kimon Berlin via Flickr.

BLM sued - no environmental review of coal leasing since 1979
8th December 2014

Coal leases on public lands operated by the US Bureau of Land Management are responsible for 40% of US coal production and 14% of total US CO2 emissions, writes Mike Gaworecki - yet their environmental impacts have not been reviewed in 35 years.

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The possible lengthening of ice-free periods may affect polar bears before the end of the century. Photo: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

With melting Arctic ice, Canada's polar bears face wipe-out by 2100
6th December 2014

The expected melting of sea ice in Canada's Arctic Archipelago will progressively render huge areas unable to support viable polar bears populations, writes Tim Radford. By 2100 the polar bears could be pushed out altogether.

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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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