News Analysis

The 'circular economy' package could have added billions to Europe's economy - but now it's on the scrapheap. Photo: Eddie McHugh via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Europe's 'circular economy' waste laws binned despite MEPs' fury
26th January 2015

The European Commission has confirmed that it will drop its 'circular economy' package, writes James Crisp, in the face of protest by MEPs and environment ministers. The EC's insistence that a future version would be 'improved' - but in in unspecified ways - only raised suspicions of a deregulatory coup by Europe's dirtiest businesses.

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The world stood with Yeb Sano and the Philippines in 2013 - but now the Philippines are dumping him and the principled policies he represented. Photo: Handing over 600k solidarity messages to Yeb Sano at the Warsaw COP, by Push Europe (CC BT-NC 2.0).

The Philippines are squandering their moral authority on climate change
25th January 2015

Yeb Sano, Philippines climate negotiator at the COP19 Warsaw climate talks, spoke for the entire poor and climate vulnerable world as his country was ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. But he was mysteriously absent from Lima in 2014 - signalling a major national policy reversal in which the Philippines are giving everything away - and receiving nothing in return.

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David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy, join EDF's top brass to view plans for the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Photo: Number 10 via Department of Energy and Climate Change / Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Austria: 'we will launch Hinkley C nuclear subsidy legal challenge by April'
23rd January 2015

Austria will launch its legal challenge against the UK's massive support package for the planned 3.2GW Hinkley Point C nuclear power station by April, writes Arthur Nelsen. The move will add years of delay to the controversial project, and may well finish it off altogether as fears over the troubled EPR reactor design grow, and renewables continue to fall in cost.

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A child brushes his teeth in lead-contaminated water in Klity Creek, Thailand. Photo: Human Rights Watch.

Thai communities poisoned by illegal lead mine waste
22nd January 2015

For 16 years the Thai government has ignored the plight of a community where toxic lead mine waste is causing severe chronic poisoning - defying both a 2013 court order, and its international obligations. It's just one of many toxic sites across Thailand that need to be cleaned up - but the government's main concern is to encourage further industrialisation.

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A California Condor near the South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon. Photo: George Kathy Klinich via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Condors or lead ammunition? We can't have both
21st January 2015

The recent death of Ventana the condor in Los Angeles zoo illustrates a simple truth, writes Dawn Starin: wild condors cannot survive so long as the dead amimals they eat are riddled with lead from spent ammunition. With lead poisoning to blame for 60% of condor deaths, it's time to ban lead ammunition across their entire range - and beyond.

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Green Living

Palau sunrise. Photo: by Y A B via Flickr.

Trust can fix our future: lessons from the simplicity of island life on Palau
24th January 2015

After spending twelve days on a small island in Palau without the ample resources of modern life in developed cities, Andrew Broadbent ponders the crucial role trust will - and must - play in restoring our communities.

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The Sotrami company office. Photo: John Crabtree.

Fair Trade gold mining in the highlands of Peru
14th January 2015

Most gold mining in Peru causes serious environmental damage, write John Crabtree & Judith Condor-Vidal, but there is one exception - a Fair Trade certified mine close to the world-famous Nazca Lines. Now it's up to us to demand Fair Trade gold from the jewellery trade, rewarding responsible producers and expanding the market for new Fair Trade gold miners.

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Tiny houses at Hatteras, North Carolina. Photo: Bill Dickinson via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Sick to death of consumerism and debt? Find freedom in a tiny house
10th January 2015

There is a simple solution to the problems of rampant consumerism, debt and a lifetime of servitude, writes Samuel Alexander - radical down-sizing to a truly tiny house. For a start, it's only big enough for the things you really need. And it's so cheap to build, that it's paid for from a month or two's salary. Just one question - what will you do with your freedom?

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Campaigning

A new landfill site opens for business, Scotland. Photo: London Permaculture via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Toxic landfills, fracking and the lethal threat of Environment Agency neglect
19th January 2015

Nearly a year ago at the height of the UK floods, tragedy struck an ordinary family in Surrey as toxic gas from a nearby landfill site killed a 7-year old boy, Zane. Now the authorities appear determined to exculpate the source of the poison - an old landfill site - even as they prepare for a massive increase in hazardous waste from fracking.

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The coal being mined on Lord Ridley's estate could be earning him £13 million per year - and when burnt, causes about 1% of the UK's carbon emissions. No wonder he is sceptical of climate change. Photo: Herb Kim via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Climate sceptic Lord Ridley - Britain's biggest carbon footprint?
13th January 2015

Lord Ridley, a card-carrying member of Britain's 1%, led the Northern Rock bank to collapse. Now he's causing another kind of catastrophe: the coal mined off his Northumberland estate is causing 1% of the UK's CO2 emissions. No wonder he's a climate sceptic!

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The launch of the South West Seed Savers Coop at Embercombe Farm. Photo: SWSSC.

Farmers join to save the seeds that feed us
6th January 2015

Farmers and growers in south-west England have united to reclaim the lost skill of seed saving, writes Ashley Wheeler. They are determined to grow, develop, share and disseminate open-pollinated seeds, and oppose EU laws granting commercial plant breeders a legal monopoly on the seeds that sustain our lives.

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Interviews

Naomi Klein. Photo: Resurgence.

Naomi Klein: A crisis this big changes everything
21st January 2015

The world's collective failure to tackle climate change comes down to one big problem, says Naomi Klein: the clash of climate necessities against corporate power and a triumphant neo-liberal world order. So after decades of government dithering, she told Oliver Tickell, it's time for civil society to unite and build a radical justice-based movement for climate action.

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Alana Husby with local Kuna indigenous women.

Logging the flooded forests of Panama: Alana Husby
9th January 2015

Alana Husby has sawdust in her blood. A fifth generation log and lumber person from Canada, she was ‘flipping wood' as a teenager, and now she's in Panama running the region's biggest underwater logging company, employing local Kuna Indians to fish tree trunks out of flooded forests. Kate Monson met Alana in Oxford while negotiating a 'green' timber deal ...

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WATCH and SHARE

Manta care - two divers free a huge Manta ray from a barnacled fishing line cutting deep into its wing.

Ecologist Film Unit

Champa from Dibulganj Village, is suffering from Tuberculosis. Photo: Sarah Stirk.

Ecologist Film Unit Coughing up coal
19th May, 2014

The Ecologist & Link TV investigate India's growing addiction to coal.

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EFU Film Fracking Hell – the environmental costs of the new US gas drilling boom
Jim Wickens

The gas stored in the Marcellus Shale formation is the subject of desperate drilling to secure US domestic energy supplies. But the process involved - hydraulic fracturing - is the focus of a bitter dispute over environmental damage and community rights

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WATCH and SHARE

Crawberry Hill Castle Eviction, 2nd August 2014, by Frack Free Crawberry Hill.

Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine

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

Charlie Hebdo
8th January 2015

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

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Comment

Undergound coal gasification explained. Image: Bretwood Higman, GroundTruthTrekking.org (CC BY-NC 3.0).

The EAC's plan for a 'fracking moratorium' in Britain doesn't go far enough
26th January 2015

The Environmental Audit Committee today calls for shale fracking in the UK to be 'put on hold', writes Paul Mobbs. But the EAC is missing an even more dangerous technology that the Infrastructure Bill would support - underground coal gasification.

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HMS Victorious on the Clyde. Photo: Photo: Will Haigh for UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Election 2015: finally, our chance to ditch Trident
24th January 2015

Campaigners against nuclear weapons on a 'Wrap up Trident' demo at the Ministry of Defence in London today have a new spring in their step, writes Paul Ingram. Thanks to the new electoral geometry of the 2015 general election, they could finally get to close down Britain's £100 billion nuclear weapons programme - and not a moment too soon!

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Fresh green chickpeas on sale in Varanasi, India. Photo: © Jorge Royan (royan.com.ar) via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Obama - stand up for Seed Freedom and Food Democracy
23rd January 2015

President Obama will shortly be on his way to India. In this Open Letter, Vandana Shiva invites him to join in securing the essential human freedoms to seeds and food - and to set aside any plans to pressure India into changing its laws to allow the corporate domination of life.

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Grass-fed British cows - to keep them in our fields, we must pay dairy farmers a fair price for their milk. Photo: Steph French.

Save our farmers with fair trade milk!
22nd January 2015

As hundreds of British dairy farmers are forced out of business by milk prices well below production cost, writes Patrick Holden, it's time for a 'fair trade' British milk label that guarantees a fair price to smaller scale farmers operating to good environmental and animal welfare standards.

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Young voters in Athens celebrate Syriza's victory in the 2014 European elections. Photo: via Business Insider Australia, marked for non-commercial re-use.

On election day, young Greeks will be voting for Syriza
21st January 2015

As Greece prepares for its election this weekend, the leftist Syriza coalition stands alone as a progressive force committed to rebuild democracy and civil society, writes Elati Pontikopoulou-Venieri - and opposed to the austerity, bigotry, corruption and violence offered by the mainstream parties. Thanks to Greece's young voters, it could just win.

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'Unemployment Wall' at Calle San Pablo, Zaragoza, Spain. Photo: Luis Colás via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Inequality does matter - and we must fight it!
20th January 2015

Peter Mandelson is 'intensely relaxed' about growing inequality, but he shouldn't be. It's the result of a 'trickle up' economy which perpetuates and fosters injustice, violence and ill health, writes Global Justice Now, and corrodes democratic societies at their very foundations.

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Stop TTIP demonstration in Germany. Photo: via openDemocracy.

TTIP: What bit of the word 'no' doesn't the Commission understand?
20th January 2015

When 97% percent of respondents to a European Commission 'consultation' on the TTIP EU-US trade deal opposed it outright the Commission accused them of 'hijacking' the process, writes Nick Dearden - and pressed ahead with negotiations. Whose Europe is it anyway?

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Reviews

Carbon Black by Declan Milling, front cover.

Carbon Black: A conspiracy thriller about REDD in Papua New Guinea
16th January 2015

The carbon market has certainly seen its fair share of skullduggery, writes Chris Lang, with massive frauds perpetrated on an unsuspecting public. This new thriller captures the essence of the wheeler-dealer carbon business to produce a compulsive work of fiction that is, sadly, all too believable.

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A young Aboriginal Australian in Arnhem Land. Photo: Rusty Stewart via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Utopia - breaking the Great Australian Silence
8th January 2015

Australia must acknowledge the horrors lurking in its own history, writes Fiona Broom, and admit to its continuing Aboriginal genocide. It's made harder by the deliberate ignorance of Australia's mainstream culture, politics and media. But with John Pilger's outstanding film, 'Utopia', the excuses are fast running out.

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Front cover of Money Logging by Lukas Straumann.

Money Logging: Corruption, power and the destruction of Sarawak’s forests
24th December 2014

Sarawak's lucrative logging industry has given rise to dynasties of enormous wealth and political power, writes Chris Lang, as revealed in this courageous investigation by Lukas Straumann. And the kingpin is multi-billionaire Abdul Taib Mahmud, Chief Minister of Sarawak for 33 years, whose whose property empire spans the globe.

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Blogs

Mind who you call stupid ... Palaeolithic men and tiger, Africa, 100,000 - 2,000,000 years ago. Image: via cantabriatotal.com.

Dear Carl, it's time to rethink Homo 'sapiens'
26th January 2015

In this imaginary letter to the father of modern taxonomy and ecology, Carl Linnaeus, about the current status of life on Earth, Gianluca Serra suggests renaming the human species from the self-satisfied 'wise' to 'obtuse' - if only to spare us from the ridicule we so richly deserve for our collective insanity.

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This PV farm near Sevilla, Spain, includes sun-tracking devices that double the daily output from the panels. Photo: Alejandro Flores via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

WEF: Big energy CEOs don't get the renewable revolution
23rd January 2015

Launched at Davos this week, a WEF report on electricity generation predicts that solar power will cost twice as much in 2030, as the lowest cost sources today, writes Chris Goodall. It's sources? WEF isn't telling. But if 'facts' like these are driving the decisions of big energy CEOs, heaven help their companies in years to come.

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If only badgers could read. Photo: jayneandd (CC BY 4.0).

Fail - 2014 badger cull didn't kill enough badgers to be effective
20th January 2015

Sneaked out just before Christmas, Defra's assessment of the 2014 badger cull inspired NFU leaders to claim 'success', writes Rosie Woodroffe. But the figures indicate the precise reverse: that too few badgers were killed to be effective against bovine TB, indeed the cull may even help to spread the disease.

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Soon smartphones could work as mobile air quality sensors - but probably best avoided by smokers! Photo: Ed Yourdon via Flickr, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Information to the people! The coming air quality revolution
15th January 2015

Air quality across the UK is currently monitored by just a few hundred fixed stations, writes Prashant Kumar. That leaves most of us ignorant about the pollution we are breathing. But tiny air quality sensors in our mobile phones could soon create a network of millions of data points - and spur much needed official action to clean our air.

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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

Tate's 'Walk through British art' - 'BP Displays, supported by BP, celebrating 25 years of the BP & Tate partnership'. From tate.org.uk.

BP's logo all over Tate for under half percent of income
26th January 2015

Tate, the leading London art gallery owner, has revealed the price of the BP logos that plaster its exhibitions: under 0.5% of its income - but only after a court order forced it to do so.

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Riding high - the Greens are close to level pegging with UKIP and the LibDems, according to an ICM/Guardian poll published on 20th January.

Greens' election debate victory as member surge approaches 60,000
24th January 2015

Greens are celebrating a decision by the main UK broadcasters to include them in the 2015 TV election debates alongside the SNP and Plaid Cymru - as their UK membership exceeds 58,000!

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Tagebau Garzweiler strip mine, Germany. Photo: Bert Kaufmann (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Coal's dark cloud hangs over Germany's energy revolution
22nd January 2015

Germany cut emissions and boosted renewables to record levels last year, writes Henner Weithöner. Yet the country's coal burn remains the EU's highest - and ambitious emissions targets can only be met by closing coal-burning power stations.

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Coal mine, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. Photo: Stephen Codrington via Wikimedia Commons.

Legal challenge puts coal mining's climate blame on trial
21st January 2015

A legal challenge has been launched against what would be Australia's biggest coal mine, writes Samantha Hepburn. If it succeeds, all future coal mine assessments will have to include the impacts of the resulting CO2 emissions on Australia's most important nature sites, such as the Great Barrier Reef.

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Photo: Scott Wallace / World Bank via Flickr, (CC BY-NC-ND).

Warmer world threatens wheat shortages
19th January 2015

Just one degree of global warming could cut wheat yields by 42 million tonnes worldwide, around 6% of the crop, writes Paul Brown - causing devastating shortages of this staple food.

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The Reclaim Shakespeare Company chant “Art Not Oil” outside the Tate AGM. Photo: Platform London.

Tate must reveal price of BP sponsorship
16th January 2015

The Information Tribunal has ordered Tate, the charity which runs two of London's biggest art galleries, to release details of financial support from the oil company BP, writes Richard Heasman - and they have until 27th January to comply.

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Vote Green! Photo: Leo Reynolds via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Greens overtake UKIP and Libdems - over 4,000 new members in 2 days!
15th January 2015

The Green party today overtook both UKIP and the LibDems the on number of paid-up members. After a surge of 4,000 new members in two days, the Greens UK-wide now have 44,713 members, 4,000 more than UKIP, and 1,500 more than the LibDems.

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4WDs and tourists in, tribal people out - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India, where the events of Kipling's  'Jungle Book' take place. Photo: © Survival.

India: 'Jungle Book' tribes illegally evicted from tiger reserve
14th January 2015

Indigenous forest dwellers in India's iconic Kanha Tiger Reserve have suffered another round of illegal forced evictions at the hands of the country's Tiger Conservation Authority - a move that is threatening the future of the tigers themselves.

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Pioneer's PR39F58 maize at Werktuigendagen, Belgium 2009. Photo: Bdk via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

EuroParl votes in new era of GMO farming
Oliver Tickell

Following a disgraceful EU stitch-up, the European Parliament today passed a law permitting EU-wide GMO crop cultivation. With regulation and safeguards devolved to member states, and only limited 'opt-out' rights, it is a recipe for chaos that GM corporations will ruthlessly exploit.

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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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