News Analysis

In Ghana, more than 100,000 straw coloured fruit bats are harvested as bushmeat every year. But the country is not affected by the Ebola epidemic. Photo: Diana Ranslam, CC BY-NC.

Ebola: don't blame the bats!
23rd October 2014

Bats serve as a natural reservoir for the Ebola - but we cannot blame them for the epidemic. In Ghana alone people eat over 100,000 fruit bats a year as 'bushmeat', yet the country has escaped the epidemic. Much more research is needed to discover the mechanisms of transmission, and to devise effective, appropriate interventions.

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Landscape with hundreds of wind turbines close to the North Sea in Ostfriesland, Germany.

Germany's green power surges ahead - at a price that's finally falling
22nd October 2014

Germany's transition to a renewable power system is on track, writes Gert Brunekreeft. But it's costing households €218 a year in surcharges, causing voter enthusiasm to wane. That may be about to change though. The surcharge is about to fall, while targets stay the same - a sign that renewable energy costs may be falling faster than expected.

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Biology students from the National University of Kiev on a trash monitoring mission at the city's Lysa Hora nature park. Photo: Dimeter Kenarov.

Greening the revolution - Ukrainian youth joins fight for nature
21st October 2014

With 300,000 hectares of forests, fields and steppes damaged by fire, the war in Ukraine has done huge damage to the country's environment, writes Dimiter Kenarov. But there has been an upside: a new green spirit is taking root, and young volunteers are stepping in to protect wild spaces.

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Fisherfolk on the beach, The Gambia. Photo: Angus Kirk via Flickr.

Ocean grabbing: a new wave of 21st century enclosures
20th October 2014

Small-scale fishing communities are key to any transition towards an ecologically and socially just food regime. But backed by the World Bank, powerful corporate interests are seizing their fish, seas and shores in the name of 'sustainability'. A revolution of the poor is needed to rebuild food sovereignty - and restore the oceans to the global commons.

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The UK's first bomb test: Operation Hurricane. The plutonium implosion device was exploded at sea at the Montebello Islands, West Australia, on 3rd October 1952. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Bomb test veterans' grandchildren suffer health impacts
16th October 2014

A scientific paper published this week shows that the severe health damage caused to UK bomb test veterans persists through the generations, writes Chris Busby. Their children and grandchildren are almost ten times more likely to suffer from congenital malformations than controls - and the only common cause is historic radiation exposure.

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Green Living

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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A gorgeous organic vegetable box from the Miller family farm. Photo: Alicia Miller.

Stony broke - the hard side of the good life
11th October 2014

The green dream of being a small farmer producing high quality, organic food for local people has ended up being anything but for Alicia Miller. The problem is money - there's never enough of it. But she's not alone. All over the world, life is a financial struggle for small, ethical cultivators, and constant source of stress.

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Ripe poppies awaiting harvest near Winchester in Hampshire. Photo: Neil Howard via Flickr.

Celebrate the seeds that feed us!
3rd October 2014

Seeds are essential to our food and our entire lives, writes Rowan Phillimore. So join in celebrating and sharing them at a series of events this month in London, Bristol, Devon, Oxford, Lancaster, Herts - and begin the fightback against corporate domination of seeds and oppressive government regulation.

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Campaigning

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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Owen Paterson meets Hillary Clinton. Photo: from owenpaterson.org.

Keeping the lights on
16th October 2014

Last night's speech on Britain's energy choices by former environment secretary Owen Paterson's caused widespread outrage long before it was delivered. But what exactly did he say on the night? Read on, and be surprised to discover that it makes excellent sense - in parts.

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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

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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Picture found in Honkawa Elementary School in 2013 of the Hiroshima atom bomb cloud, believed to have been taken about 30 seconds after detonation of about 10km (6 miles) east of the hypocentre. Photo: Honkawa Elementary School / Wikimedia Commons.

The ICRP's radiation risk model is bogus science
22nd October 2014

The world has been the victim of a monstrous scientific error that has understated the dangers of radiation, writes Chris Busby. Following the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, investigators used 'controls' who had been exposed to high levels of 'black rain' fallout to understate the health impacts of radiation. This bogus science still underlies risk models today.

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The author at an oil production site in Ecuador. Photo: David Poritz.

Certified-responsible oil and gas - we need it now!
21st October 2014

The oil and gas industry is disrupting communities and damaging ecosystems worldwide, writes David Poritz. Tough, independent social and environmental standards for the industry can bring urgently-needed improvements to company practices - even where government regulation has failed.

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Are there more nasty surprises in store for fossil fuel investors? The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 22nd June 2010. Photo: Oscar Garcia / via John Amos on Flickr.

To hit fossil fuel firms where it hurts, support divestment!
20th October 2014

Fossil fuel companies are a risky investment thanks to the 2.8 trillion tonnes of 'unburnable' carbon in their reserves, writes Franklin Ginn. But there's an even stronger reason to support fossil fuel divestment: to erode their political power, which they use to block progress to a sustainable, low carbon future.

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The Occupy Democracy rally in London's Parliament Square last night. Photo: Nina Tailor / @ninatailor2.

Less freedom in Westminster's Parliament Square than in Hong Kong!!
19th October 2014

Donnachadh McCarthy went to Parliament Square yesterday to address a peaceful rally about the failings of British democracy. The intimidatory, violent and inflammatory police reaction only confirmed everything he had to say - as did the dignified restraint of the Occupy Democracy protestors.

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Science can’t tell us exactly when the rising oceans will swallow up the Maldives, but it can give us a good idea. Photo: Hiroyuki-H, CC BY-SA.

Climate 'uncertainty' is no excuse for climate inaction
18th October 2014

Scientific uncertainties over future climate are widely used by 'sceptics' to justify a policy of no response, write Richard Pancost & Stephan Lewandowsky. But this reflects a deep misunderstanding: outcomes may end up much more severe than expected - and we should prepare for worst case scenarios.

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Infrastructure for shale gas in Scio, Ohio, Photo: Bilfinger SE via Flickr.

Global fracking boom could mean 12% higher emissions
17th October 2014

A full-scale rush for shale gas would increase emissions, writes Erik Bichard, giving the lie to politicians' claims that fracking is 'climate friendly'. A new study in Nature shows that abundant shale gas would cause CO2 emissions to rise by a median 4.5%. When 'fugitive' methane is included the figure rises to 9.5%.

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Reviews

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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Danny. Photo: Vali Ohm.

Fragile Earth: the new album by Vali Ohm
10th October 2014

Three thousand light years is a long way from Earth - but Vali Ohm have made the journey in quick time. It's the distance between their latest album, Fragile Earth, and their previous space-rock album 3000 Light Years, a homage to the sounds of the 1970s. Vali Ohm's Danny Jackson charted the journey with Laurence Rose.

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The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change - front cover. Image: Island Press.

Laughing all the way to the greenhouse - 'The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change'
28th September 2014

A new book on climate change brings a refreshing, visual, gag-filled view of a complex topic, writes Edgar Vaid - while including some surprisingly advanced science. The relentless jokiness may be a bit much for adult readers, but will be a hit with the young ones. And that is, after all, what it's all about.

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Blogs

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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Moussa Konate cultivating his fields. Photo: Fernando Naves Sousa.

Farmers lead composting revolution to heal African soils
14th October 2014

The soils on which African farmers depend are getting poorer, writes Fernando Naves Sousa, depleted of nutrients and organic matter. This creates a huge challenge: to reverse the trend in an environmentally responsible way, while feeding a growing population. But it can be done - using organic composting techniques.

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The secret of healthy food is healthy soil - as with these organic potatoes bursting from the ground in early June this year at Sandy lane Farm, Oxfordshire. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm.

For healthy food we need living, organic soils
9th October 2014

Soils are naturally alive with complex 'food webs' of micro-organisms that sustain plants with moisture and nutrients, making them good to eat. But once the biota have been blitzed with agro-chemicals under industrial farming regimes, it's our health that suffers. One more reason to grow, and eat, organic!

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Ecologist Partners

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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Celestine Akpobari, from World on Want's Nigerian partner Social Action. Photo: WoW.

The new frontlines of war
20th March 2014

This Saturday War on Want holds its Frontlines conference in London on the global conflict between communities and corporations, writes Paul Collins. Featuring a host of inspiring speakers, it will forge new alliances and new strategies of resistance.

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News in Brief

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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Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

NASA confirms US's 2,500-square-mile methane cloud
18th October 2014

Floating over the US Southwest is a cloud of methane the size of Delaware, writes Mike G - reflecting the release of almost 600,000 tonnes of the powerful greenhouse gas every year. Its origins? Coalbed gas production, fracking and horizontal drilling.

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

NAO investigates Hinkley C nuclear subsidies
17th October 2014

Hinkley C's subsidy package may have won European Commission approval - but now it faces a National Audit Office 'value for money' investigation, following a demand from a powerful Parliamentary committee.

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The Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) has declined by 88% since 1995, due to multiple causes: habitat loss in Africa; disease in its UK breeding grounds, and hunting between the two. Photo: Alan Shearman via Flickr.

African habitat loss driving migrating birds' decline
16th October 2014

A new report reveals huge declines in the UK's migratory birds that winter deep in Africa's rainforests. Shorter distance migrants are performing much better, with some recording big population increases.

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Keeping it clean: a hydropower site at Holbuvatnet in the highlands of eastern Norway. Photo: Ximonic / Simo Räsänen via Wikimedia Commons.

Renewables can supply 100% of world's power by 2050
15th October 2014

The first ever global life-cycle assessment of clean energy sources shows that a renewable system could supply the world's entire electricity needs by mid-century, writes Tim Radford.

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Tribal peoples are the best conservationists. Yet they are being illegally evicted from their ancestral homelands in the name of tiger 'conservation'. Photo: © Sandip Dey

India: tiger reserve tribes face illegal eviction
14th October 2014

A tribal community within India's Similipal tiger reserve is facing eviction after forest department officials tricked and coerced villagers into signing a document in which they promised to leave. Complaints to the state's Human Rights Commission have been ignored.

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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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