News Analysis

Tina Rothery of The Nanas on an anti-fracking protest. Photo: The Nanas.

Cuadrilla versus The Nanas - #IamTinaRothery
23rd June 2016

Thanks to fracking company Cuadrilla, grandmother Tina Rothery will be in court tomorrow over a £55,000 'debt' imposed on her for joining a peaceful occupation of a fracking site in Lancashire. But as she explains, she can't pay, she won't pay, and even if she could pay, she wouldn't. Someone has to stand up to corporate vandalism and abuse of justice - and in this case, it's her, no matter what the consequences.

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Without EU directives and regulations to protect us, could scenes like this become common in the UK countryside. Waste water pond in the Pilliga Forest, NSW, Australia, June 2011. Photo: Kate Ausburn / Lock the Gate Alliance.

Brexit could lead to a bonfire of fracking regulations
21st June 2016

Almost all UK laws that regulate fracking's impact on the environment emanate from EU directives and regulations, writes Zachary Davies Boren. Once out of the EU, the UK would be free to amend them, scrap them or simply ignore them. And given the UK's record of support for fracking and lobbying in Brussels for deregulation, that may be exactly what the Brexiteers have planned.

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Cornish community carries on fighting a 'Super Quarry' development in Marine Conservation Zone
20th June, 2016

There are now some 50 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) in England and Wales. Amy Hall reports on how campaigners fighting the re-opening of a Cornish quarry in one of the zones are effectively testing what the designation really means and how much protection it guarantees.

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'No to the privaTISAtion of the world!' - sign at a recent demonstration agianst TISA in Geneva. Photo: Annette Dubois via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

TISA 'free trade' deal to force draconian social, environmental, financial deregulation
17th June 2016

A leaked text from the 'Trade In Services Agreement' negotiations shows that TISA is set to unleash a massive wave of deregulation affecting social, environmental and financial standards, and force the privatisation of state-run enterprises, writes Pete Dolack. So it's not just TTIP, CETA and TPP we have to fight - TISA could be the biggest corporate power grab of them all.

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September sun rising over foggy wetlands, Ķemeri National Park, Latvia - part of the 'Natura 2000' territory designated under EU nature laws for its biological diversity, the unique Ķemeri Moorland, various ecosystems, and springs of mineral and curativ

Leaked official report: EU Nature Directives are 'fit for purpose'
16th June 2016

The official 'fitness test' on the EU's nature directives carried out for the EU Commission under its 'better regulation' initiative finds that the laws are 'fit for purpose' in every respect, writes Oliver Tickell. But there's a mystery: the report was completed in January, yet it remains unpublished. Did it reach the 'wrong' conclusion for a Commission intent on a bonfire of red tape?

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Green Living

Ruth & Alex at the Steepholding, Greenham Reach. Photo: Walter Lewis.

Feeding body and soul - an exploration of Britain's new age landworkers
12th May 2016

For most of 2015 Walter Lewis travelled around England and Wales meeting and photographing people producing food outside the confines of mainstream agriculture - working out of a passion for the earth and the Earth rather than for commercial gain. He completed his exploration inspired, and determined to spread word of quiet revolution under way across the fields of Britain.

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Longji terraces in Longsheng county, Guilin, China, January 2009. Photo: Anna Frodesiak via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Creating sustainability? Join the Re-Generation!
25th April 2016

Faced with multiple converging crises humanity is challenged to redesign the human presence on Earth within the lifetime of present generations, writes Daniel Christian Wahl, and so transform our impact from degeneration to regeneration. We are capable of creating diverse creative cultures elegantly adapted to the uniqueness of place.

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Be the one that got away ... and others may follow. Photo: Rodrigo Benavides via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The 'non-compliant challenge' - mindful disengagement from modern evils
11th April 2016

How to dissent peacefully from the corruption, waste and destruction of the world? By a mindful disengagement from evil, writes Julian Rose: from fossil fuel energy to propagandist media, from sweatshop clothing to the predatory financial system. Some of the steps we can take are easy, others very difficult - but what ultimately matters is the direction of travel.

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Campaigning

Reward Offered to help catch and convict wolf pup poachers

The Center for Biological Diversity has launched a new Wolf Defense Fun to help protect wolves in the wild

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Brexit - a nasty sting in the tail for Britain's bees?
21st June, 2016

Britain's bees are under threat from Brexit and moves to allow farmers to use banned bee-harming 'neonictinoid' pesticides, warns Dave Timms, Bees Campaigner with Friends of the Earth. With 20 species extinct since 1900 and a further 35 under threat, how much more can our bees take?

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Wildlife Presenter Anneka Svenska is wearing the largest hat in racing history at Royal Ascot today.

Wildlife presenter wears 1,000 blood red roses to symbolise equine deaths from UK horse racing
14th June 2016

British conservationist and TV wildlife presenter Anneka Svenska is campaigning at Royal Ascot today to bring the plight of over 1,400 British racehorses that have died following racing injuries since 2007 to the attention of the mainstream - by wearing a dramatic hat made with a thousand blood-red roses.

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Interviews

Jo Ruxton, co-producer of 'A Plastic Ocean'. Photo: via plasticoceans.net

Plastic Ocean - why the world should declare plastic 'hazardous waste'
8th June 2016

Plastic is ubiquitous around the world's oceans, writes Lesley Henderson, but although it's visible from space, it can be surprisingly elusive in the water - as she heard from Jo Ruxton, producer of the investigative documentary 'A Plastic Ocean'. Solutions to this growing hazard have also proved elusive to date, hence the film's strong focus on action: educational, cultural and legal.

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Maude Barlow at the Peoples Social Forum 2014. Photo: Ben Powless / Peoples Social Forum via Flickr (CC BY).

Maude Barlow: combating CETA, TTIP's scary Canadian cousin
29th April 2016

Maude Barlow, Chair of the Council for Canadians, has dedicated her life to fighting injustice, and so-called 'free trade' deals in particular. In this interview with Nick Dearden, Maude explained how CETA, the Canada-EU trade and investment agreement, is every bit as dangerous as TTIP, but has somehow escaped the same level of media and campaign focus - and what we can do about it.

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Essays

The Grand Canyon. Photo: Aftab Uzzaman via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

'Altogether valueless' - how the Grand Canyon transformed our sense of natural beauty
15th June 2016

The first white people to encounter the Grand Canyon saw nothing but a gigantic obstruction, writes Stephen Pyne, devoid of any charm, beauty or value. That it is today an icon of American landscape, a 'natural wonder' known and revered around the world, creates hope for the long term preservation of the Grand Canyon itself, the wider National Park network, and wilderness everywhere.

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Viscount Matt Ridley at a book signing in Washington DC, 11th November 2016. Photo: ehpien via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Matt Ridley's pro-GMO blunders and ignorance
3rd June 2016

The mainstream British media have long acted as cheerleaders for GMOs, but none quite so much as The Times and its disgraced correspondent Matt Ridley, writes Colin Todhunter. His most recent article on the topic is a strange concoction of misrepresentations, falsehoods and blunders dressed up as science, and reflects both his ignorance of the real facts and his deep ideological commitment to corporate profit and power.

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Badger, seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr (CC BY).

Alas poor Brock! The insanity of the badger cull
27th May 2016

The lives of all the thousands of badgers slaughtered in the name of TB eradication have been lost in vain, writes Martin Hancox. The cryptic reservoir of bovine TB is the cattle themselves, and no amount of badger killing will make the slightest difference to the problem. Once we have grasped this reality the solution is astonishingly simple: improved TB testing that picks up all infected cattle.

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Seeking Green Liberty! Photo: Adarsh Thakuri via Flickr (CC BY).

The way to Green Liberty: stop being afraid, work together to make things better
11th May 2016

A future of green abundance for all is possible, writes Glen Barry. Instead we are mired in the destruction of the Earth's vital ecosystems, divided by obscene wealth and shameful poverty, and pitted against each other in genocidal wars over energy, resources and global dominance. To make that alternative a living reality, we must shed our fears and come together in common purpose.

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Commercial almond orchards in the US receive some 2.1 million pounds of glyphosate a year - hence the strips of bare earth beneath these trees near Vernalis, along 132 west of Modesto, CA. Photo: Tom Hilton via Flickr (CC BY).

Withdrawn: the EPA's memo on the increasing use of glyphosate on food crops
10th May 2016

The EPA's release of an internal memorandum last month showing the increasing use of the cancer-linked weedkiller glyphosate looked like a welcome opening up of information to the public, writes Carey Gillam. But then it was suddenly withdrawn, along with other related documents - though not before she grabbed her copy and reviewed the scale and scope of glyphosate usage.

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Blogs

Solving the problem of safer drinking water with simple technologies
6th June, 2016

Later this week, an organisation that has helped make safer drinking water available to families in Indonesia will receive the new Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy and Water 2016. Here, Chhavi Sharma, explores the importance of using sustainable energy technologies to supply safer drinking water around the world.

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Installing a Solarcentury 'Sunstation', which embeds into the roof rather than sitting above it. Photo: Solarcentury.

Innovation for the global energy transformation: the Solarcentury Sunstation
1st June 2016

In the face of repeated attempts by the UK government to suppress the nation's solar industry in favour of fracking and nuclear, Jeremy Leggett tells the story of how the solar company he founded in 2000 has not just survived, but driven forward with technical innovation - including its new 'Sunstation' - an integrated 'snap-on' solar generation design that elegantly embeds into roofs.

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Footprint Identification Technology - where traditional ecology meets technology
26th May 2016

The inspiration for the pioneering Footprint Identification Technique (FIT) technology sprang from an unexpected source - traditional ecological wisdom. Conservationists Zoe Jewell & Sky Alibhai explain how that happened.

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Raging seas: storm waves bear down on the already damaged Porthreath harbour wall, 1st February 2014. Photo: Philip Male via Flickr (CC BY).

Raging seas: going local to understand ocean extremes of the future
24th May 2016

Scientists are rightly getting worried about increases in the average sea level over coming years, decades and centuries, writes Mikis Tsimplis. But that's only one cause of sea flooding and the loss of land to the sea. What's often forgotten are intense sea storms, hurricanes, typhoons and shifting tides, which have huge implications for the future of coastal areas around the world.

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This is what we need more of to save money and energy and reduce CO2 emissions: closed cell foam insulation installed between the rafters of this roof will keep the occupants warm for many years to come. Photo: Bryn Pinzgauer via Flickr (CC BY).

Set up for failure and corporate profit? The rotten core of the Green Deal
18th May 2016

The UK's 'Green Deal' energy efficiency scheme was a massive failure, writes Sue Roberts. But few knew just how bad until the NAO's report - which reveals that its main effect was to line the pockets of the Big Six energy companies, load the public with expensive loans, create a tangle of red tape, and engineer the collapse of the UK's nascent energy efficiency sector.

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Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

Neil Young at London 02 Arena - Cry for the Earth

Resurgence Trust was invited to join the activist 'camp' on site at the UK leg of veteran rocker Neil Young's new tour. Will Gethin says it was exciting to be part of this innovative venture

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The Resurgence Trust

The Resurgence Trust has owned and run The Ecologist website since 2012. Since then, we have offered this website as a free service to an international community that shares our agenda of seeking positive solutions to the challenges of climate change, social justice and ethical living.

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Comment

Outside the kennels of the South Herefordshire Hunt. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

Fox cub persecution: hunting and violence are inseparable
23rd June 2016

An investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports shows that English hunts are training hounds to kill foxes in horrific secret slaughter sessions, writes Eduardo Gonçalves. It's just one example of the cruelty and violence that's intrinsic to fox-hunting, and another reason why the ban has to be maintained.

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Small is Beautiful but Big Matters Too
20th June, 2016

The only revolution, if we leave Europe, would be an uprising against a raft of EU environmental and social legislation, under the guise of ‘reducing red tape'. This would leave workers, our important nature habitats and the health of our citizens in far worse shape than is currently the case within the EU warns Green MEP Molly Scott Cato

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Change The System - Not The Climate
16th June, 2016

Those most affected by climate change are those least responsible and the international policy frameworks in place to protect them don't work making it a moral issue. But we must believe that the larger goals of environmental sustainability and social justice can be achieved - if we just work together writes Asoka Bandarage

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HMS Dragon's Lynx helicopter fires infra red flares during an exercise over a Type 45 destroyer of the kind that won't work in warm seas. Photo: Dave Jenkins / Defence Images via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Now will our politicians take climate change seriously?
14th June 2015

Rising temperatures are now affecting countries' ability to wage war, writes Richard Galustian, with Britain's new Type 45 destroyers left without power as warm Gulf and Mediterranean seas close down their engines. Will this, finally, force our politicians to understand that climate change is real and dangerous?

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Jeremy Corbyn making his big speech on the socialist case to remain in the EU, 14th April 2016: a good start but he must do far more and engage and inspire voters with his vision of a progressive Europe. Photo: via Youtube.

Corbyn must lead the movement for a progressive Europe
13th June 2016

The campaign to Remain cannot be left to the grey men of British politics, writes Alan Simpson. The Labour leadership must proclaim the case for a green Europe that belongs to its people not its corporations, inspiring voters with a positive vision of the EU as it ought to be - and that we can bring about only as fully engaged members.

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Drone footage documents a primary drainage canal cutting through an identified 'No Go' area of buffer forest in an IOI oil palm concession in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. Photo: Bjorn Vaugn / Greenpeace.

Palm oil giant IOI, rainforest destroyer, must make good its damage!
10th June 2016

Over 300 major food companies used to buy palm oil from IOI, writes Annisa Rahmawati. But after the company was found to be destroying vast areas of Indonesia's rainforest and draining peatlands to make new palm oil plantations, it has been deserted by its customers. Now IOI must go beyond just sticking to the rules, and start actively repairing the damage it has caused.

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Cargill soya terminal handling mainly GMO produce at Santarem, Brazil, between Rio Amazonas and rio Tapajos. Photo: Sara y Tzunki (Cecilia e Francesco) via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No 'old' GMOs, no 'new' GMOs, no GMOs in the EU, no GMOs in Africa!
9th June 2016

The European Parliament has had a great week, writes Molly Scott Cato MEP - for those who oppose GMOs in food and farming. MEPs voted on five occasions to say no to GMOs, and gave their support to agroecology as the only sustainable way to feed the world.

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Reviews

'The most perfect thing - inside (and outside ) a bird's egg' - from front cover.

The most perfect thing - inside (and outside) a bird's egg
7th June 2016

Birds eggs are wonderful, as Tim Birkhead makes clear in his new book. But they are also enigmatic, mysterious, their secrets not lightly surrendered. Every kind of egg is perfect in its own way, writes Martin Spray, but the logic that underlies their characteristic designs, colours and shapes eludes the most assiduous of oologists.

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From front cover of 'Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming' by Andreas Malm (Verso Books).

Fossil Capital: the rise of steam power and the roots of global warming
27th April 2016

We all know that coal and steam vanquished over water power in Britain's - and the world's - industrial revolution, writes Irma Allen. But as Andreas Malm sets out in his fascinating new book, the deciding factors in that victory were the unconstrained mastery over people and nature that coal provided mill owners. And so the model was set for the fossil age that may only now be coming to an end.

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Cambodian army soldiers attack Chut Wutty, November 2011. Photo: Vanessa de Smet Last Line Productions / N1M.

Banned: premiere of film probing Cambodian ecodefender's murder
21st April 2016

A film investigating the 2012 murder of a forest defender has been banned by the Cambodian Government, writes Rod Harbinson. Chut Wutty's campaign to protect the forest on which his community depends clashed with powerful business and military interests. A first attack by soldiers was held off by campaigners, but...

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Right of Reply

Artists impression of the Garden Bridge planned for the Thames in London. Photo: Garden Bridge Trust.

Everything in the Garden Bridge is lovely!
3rd September 2015.

The Garden Bridge will offer a new kind of green space in the heart of the city, strengthening London's status as the greenest capital in Europe, writes Bee Emmott. It will benefit the health and wellbeing of local communities and visitors alike.

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Cattle grazing near Swanage, Dorset, July 2015. Photo: Claire Cox via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

The case for the Dorset badger cull
31st August 2015

The government is right to extend the badger cull into Dorset, writes Mel Squires in this 'right of reply' article. While culling badgers is only part of the solution of bovine TB, along with annual TB testing of cattle and badger vaccination, it is a necessary measure in areas of high risk.

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Biomass for energy is the common sense option
5th June 2015

Today UK campaigners against burning biomass for power will deliver a 110,000 signature petition to DECC to protest at government subsidies for the practice. But in this 'Right of Reply' article Matthew Rivers, chairman of Drax Biomass, argues that biomass combustion is sustainable, benign, and helps to conserve forests worldwide.

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Ecologist Partners

Water vole in Arundel, England. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr (CC BY).

Citizens' science to save our water voles - volunteers needed!
28th April 2016

UK water voles face an uncertain future after widespread habitat loss and predation by American mink, write Emily Thomas and Nida Al-Fulaij. But you can help by joining a UK-wide monitoring scheme run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species that's recruiting nature-loving volunteers to survey local lakes, rivers, ditches and streams for signs of these lovable but elusive creatures.

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Patrick Holden with his dairy herd. Photo: Steph French (www.stephfrench.com) / SFT.

Patrick Holden: 'cheap' food is costing the Earth, and our health
7th April 2016

Food has never been more affordable for middle class families in rich countries. But it comes at a high cost: the impact of industrial food production on health, environment and society has never been greater as Patrick Holden explained to Emily Lewis-Brown. Now the real cost of food US production will be examined in a ground-breaking conference in San Francisco.

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Calendar

Upcoming Schumacher Courses - Including Right Livelihood with Satish Kumar

Environmental campaigner Satish Kumar is one of the co-hosts of the popular year-long Right Livelihood programme which will run again this year

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World Yoga Festival

Learn, rejuvenate and enjoy a weekend of yoga – learning from true masters at the World Yoga Festival taking place from 29th-31st July at Beale Park, Lower Basildon, Reading.

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Courses

The 'Daisyworld' model is integral to Gaia theory, developed by Dr James Lovelock, which proposes that organisms interact with their surroundings to form a complex, self-regulating system. Photo: Gordon Robertson via Flickr (CC BY).

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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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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News in Brief

Rare dormice return to Yorkshire Dales National Park

There's the Referendum vote and then there's what else is happening today. This, for instance...

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Are we the real lab rats? If glyphosate herbicides can mess up rats uterine development, what's it doing to humans? Photo: Tatiana Bulyonkova via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Glyphosate disrupts rats' uterine development
21st June 2016

As the EU prepares to vote on whether to re-authorise glyphosate this week, a new study finds that commercial formulations of the herbicide alter the development of rats' uteruses, potentially causing cancer and affecting fertility.

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Join the Great Stag Hunt - Stag Beetle that is
15th June 2016

It's National Insect Week in the UK and the conservation charity, People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), is looking for Citizen Scientists to take part in its annual survey to record sightings of the stag beetle. Here's how to take part.

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Pesticides - what's actually in them? If this judgment from a US federal court stands, you will never find out any but the 'active' ingredients. Photo: Gail Langellotto via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Judge rules: no right to know hazardous pesticide ingredients
14th June 2016

A federal judge has ruled that the US Environmental Protection Agency is under no obligation to force pesticide makers to disclose supposedly 'inert' ingredients in their products - even where those ingredients are seriously hazardous to health or environment.

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UK first as a rare orchid suddenly appears growing on an Islington Council rooftop
13th June, 2016

A rare orchid has made botanical history by taking root on the green roof of an Islington Council building - a UK first and the closest the species has ever been seen to central London.

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Last month's record low sea ice in the Arctic is bad news for the global climate, and for the polar bears who depend on the ice for their hunting. Photo: Patrick Kelley / US Coast Guard via Flickr (Public Domain).

Arctic ice recedes to record low for May
10th June 2016

After 12 successive months of record high global temperatures, yet another record has been broken, writes Tim Radford: the lowest May sea ice extent ever observed in the Arctic - over half a million square kilometers under the previous low, set in 2004.

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Farmers like Madame Fatu Kanu, near Freetown in Sierra Leone, have nothing to gain from the kind of corporate agricultural development offered by the 'New Alliance', and everything to lose. Photo: kenny lynch via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

EU Parliament: stop 'aid' funding billions to agribusiness in Africa
7th June 2016

The European Parliament today called on the Commission and member states like the UK to stop funding the 'New Alliance' plan to force export-oriented agribusiness onto Africa. Instead they want support for small-scale family farms and agroecology.

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The twin EPR reactor complex at Taishan, China, showing the completed concrete domes sealing in the reactor vessels and heads. Photo: from drone video footage by China Free Press, HK.

EDF, CGN press ahead with 'unsafe' Chinese nuclear plant
3rd June 2016

Twin nuclear reactors at Taishan in China have been sealed into their concrete domes despite fears that the reactor vessels have serious metallurgical defects. No safety test data has been released by the two companies in charge, EDF and CGN, to show that the reactors will not crack in operation, releasing radioactivity.

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Wind farms such as these in Palm Springs, California could be the answer to low-cost energy throughout the US. Photo: Prayitno Hadinata via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Renewable Energy Closes ‘The Gap'
The REN 21 Renewables Global Status Report

The Renewables 2016 Global Status Report just published by REN21 - The Renewables Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century - shows that renewables are now firmly established as competitive, mainstream sources of energy in many countries around the world, closing the gap between the energy haves- and have-nots

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Greenpeace activists and Munduruku Indians protest on a sandy beach on the banks of the Tapajos river, near Itaituba, Pará, where the government plans to build the first of a series of five dams. Photo: Greenpeace Brazil via Flickr (CC BY).

Brazil: rules protecting Amazon under threat
27th May 2016

A constitutional amendment that would allow 'strategic' public works including dams, roads, mines and other mega-projects to go ahead following the mere completion of an environmental impact assessment is being considered by a Committee of the Brazilian Senate, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson.

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Demonstration against granting planning permission for fracking in Ryedale. Photo: Guy Shrubsole.

Return of the Frack
24th May 2016

Conservative councillors have passed an application to frack in the Yorkshire Dales by Third Energy, signalling the return of shale gas exploitation in the UK after a five year break, writes Victoria Seabrook. Campaigners vow: 'We will fight on!'

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Could all of North Africa and the Middle East end up like this? Berber people in the Sahara Desert in Morrocco, close to the Algerian border, August 2009. Photo: 16:9clue via Flickr (CC BY).

Searing heat may spark Middle East, North Africa climate exodus
17th May 2016

Temperatures in the Middle East and North Africa could reach unbearably high levels by mid-century, writes Tim Radford - and then keep on rising. The intolerable heat would render large areas uninhabitable and give rise to a wave of 'climate refugees' seeking escape to more temperate regions.

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