News Analysis

Chafer Sentry applying glyphosate to stubbles in North Yorkshire on a sunny December day. Photo: Chafer Machinery via Flickr (CC BY).

Roundup - a converging pattern of toxicity from farm to clinic to laboratory
25th February 2015

As scientific evidence grows of the many ways in which glyphosate - pipe-cleaner, herbicide and antibiotic - damages the environment and health, governments and regulators turn a blind eye, writes Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji, and the EU has even raised allowable residue levels. It's time for us all to put bans in place wherever we can!

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One of three solar towers at the Ivanpah CSP plant on the Nevada-California border.

Forget nuclear - Saharan sunshine for UK baseload power!
25th February 2015

As the UK's nuclear dream fades, writes Chris Goodall, investors are turning to the possibilities of 'Concentrating Solar Power' in the Sahara connected to Europe by HVDC power lines. The cost would be much lower than nuclear or offshore wind, and provide reliable baseload capacity. With the UK government's say so, Tunisian sunshine could soon be powering our grid.

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The flowers are gorgeous! But the oil that's pressed from their seeds is best avoided due to its high linoleic acid levels. Photo: Ken Slade via Flickr (Cc BY-NC 2.0).

Linoleic acid - the overwhelming evidence against this 'healthy' poly-unsaturated oil
24th February 2014

The established wisdom that 'high in polyunsaturates' means healthy, and that saturated fat and cholesterol are the way to an early grave, lack any supporting scientific evidence, writes David Brown. Indeed the truth appears to be the precise reverse: over-consumption of the omega-6 polyunsaturate linoleic acid is causing untold harm to our health and wellbeing.

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Cornfield in Iowa, almost certainly growing a GMO crop. Photo: Laura Bernhardt via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

There is no scientific consensus on GMO safety
23rd February 2015

A broad community of independent scientific researchers and scholars challenges claims of a 'consensus' that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are 'safe' to grow and eat. The claims - which continue to be widely and often uncritically aired - are a false and artificial construct that have been misleadingly perpetuated through diverse media.

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Solar power reaches into the places other electricity will never make it to. Solar panels in Tinginaput, Orissa, a region traversed by power lines where local people have no access to power. Photo: UK Department for International Development via Flickr (C

Renewables to transform India's energy landscape in seven years
31st February 2015

India's renewable power capacity is set to reach 170GW by 2022, write Areeba Hamid & Oliver Tickell - reducing power shortages and bringing electricity to off-grid of rural communities for the first time. But it may also have an unintended consequence - cutting off investment in India's troubled coal sector as prospects for future profitability evaporate..

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Green Living

Ingeborg Löfgren, a pillar of the Solbyn community. Photo: Gillian Thomas.

Green living in Sweden's Ecological Village of Solbyn
23rd February 2015

Solbyn, a sustainable community in southern Sweden, is a cold place to spend the winter, writes Gillian Thomas. But for all the snow outside, the well-insulated homes stay warm in the harshest conditions - and the welcome is warmer still. Come summer, there's an organic farm to nurture, but February is a month for friendship, making plans, and brilliant starry nights.

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We need to talk about climate change ... Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Carbon conversations: we need to talk about climate change
15th February 2015

Despite the urgency of climate change, most people close their eyes, turn away turn away and hope someone else will sort it out. It's not that we're bored, writes psychotherapist Rosemary Randall - we're more likely to be fearful, anxious or embarrassed. So how can we help people to feel less scared, and see that we are all are part of the solution?

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Vultures pay their respects at a sky burial in Sichuan province, China. Photo: Lycopodium L (CC BY-NC-SA).

Live long, die green and recycle your discarded body
8th February 2015

If you live a green life, you'll also want a green death, writes Robert John Young. Sadly pollution, energy use and methane emissions mean there's no completely green way to dispose of your body. The good news is that a new 'fast composting' technique ticks all the boxes - but it's still under development.

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Campaigning

MPs may make the law - but that does not make them above the law. Photo: UK Parliament via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking: MPs and Lords have derelicted their legal duties - now they must pay the price!
26th February 2015

The rushed passage of the Infrastructure Bill with all its pro-fracking provisions and toothless 'safeguards' is an abuse of democracy. And as it's manifestly against the national and public interest, it's also in breach of both MPs' and Lords' legally binding Codes of Conduct. Now Jojo Mehta intends to hold them to account - in Court.

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Catering Mark may not guarantee quite this at every meal - but it's delivering huge improvements on the standard catering fare of yesteryear. Photo: pablo santa cruz diaz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' is helping to deliver good food for all
24th February 2015

The Food for Life 'Catering Mark' is bringing fresh, healthy and local food into schools, hospitals and canteens, writes Peter Melchett - while driving big increases in the volume of organic food we eat, and growing the market for organic farmers and local food producers.

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The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' logo is so similar to its 'Organic' logo that he makers of this promotional video got the two mixed up - and released it without anyone noticing. The error has since been corrected.

The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' - a compromise too far?
20th February 2015

The Soil Association's Catering Mark scheme promises 'fresh food you can trust'. This sounds great, writes Lynda Brown. But what does it really deliver? The truth, she finds, is much less than the promise might suggest, considerably more complicated, and threatens to erode the public's trust in the Soil Association's organic brand and values.

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Interviews

The Mirabar Resort Village, illegally built on the the land of Taiwan's 'Amis indigenous People, Shanyuan beach. Photo: Glenn Smith.

Taiwan indigenous activist - this illegal luxury hotel on our beach must go!
19th February 2015

A huge hotel development has been built on a pristine beach belonging to the 'Amis, one of Taiwan's indigenous tribes, despite numerous court rulings confirming its illegality. Glenn Smith met 'Amis campaigner Sinsing, whose fight for justice began when the government handed out eviction notices to her community - and will continue until the hotel is razed and the beach restored.

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Malcolm Kerby, campaigning against a government as intransigent as the rising seas. Photo: Guy Shrubsole.

Meet Malcolm, the man defending his town from the rising seas
11th February 2015

As the seas rise, the government is doing little to help those whose homes are being engulfed beneath the waves, writes Guy Shrubsole - people like veteran campaigner Malcolm Kerby, who has already seen a whole street of his North Norfolk town lost to the rising waters.

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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

As for whether we want GMO crops ... who cares? A field of wheat (non-GM) neat Templecombe, England. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

MPs' GMO report is a scandalous cave-in to corporate demands
26th February 2015

A report published by MPs today displays a shocking ignorance of scientific logic and the nature of risk, writes Rupert Read. Confusing inconclusive evidence of harm from GMOs, with conclusive evidence of safety, they reach a false and dangerous conclusion - that the EU should give free rein to pro-GMO governments.

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How much is his speech really worth? David Miliband at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008. Photo: World Economic Forum via Wikimedia Commons.

Rifkind and Straw: Westminster is swimming in corporate influence
25th February 2015

Green leader Natalie Bennett may have been lost for words on LBC yesterday, writes Adam Ramsay - but at least she doesn't charge £25,000 for a speech or £10,000 to have dinner with you. Unlike Jack Straw, Malcolm Rifkind and other politicians so deeply mired in corporate influence that they can't even see what they have done wrong.

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Lands, skies, waters, all the common heritage of humankind, all of us to share in Earth's bounty. Photo: Channory Point, North West Scotland, by Kristian Dela Cour (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Reclaiming our birthright: paychecks from Earth and Sky
24th February 2015

Alaska has put in place a 'citizen's income' paid to every resident by right - their dividend from the state's oil and gas wealth. The principle should be applied everywhere, writes Peter Barnes, compensating us for the enclosure and exploitation of the global commons, our shared inheritance of land, water and sky.

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This colorful 'beetle bank' at Sandy Lane Organic Farm provides a haven for beneficial insects: pollinators and predators of pest species. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire, England.

Only agroecology can tackle the global food and health crisis
23rd February 2015

The recently published Global Nutrition Report shows almost all countries face high levels of malnutrition and diet-based ill-health, writes Julia Wright. This reveals deep problems with the dominant industrial model of food production, and the need for new agroecological approaches to feeding the world.

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Family cycling in Richmond, Indiana. Photo: Mark Stosberg via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Boost health, well-being and prosperity - not economic growth!
21st February 2015

The financial cost of the diseases of modern civilization is almost double the budget of the National Health Service, writes Jules Pretty, while the economy has grown past the point of greatest satisfaction. Our over-riding priority should be to move to greener, healthier, more sustainable and satisfying ways of life.

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Crossed wires? Power lines in Miango, Plateau State, Nigeria. Photo: Mike Blyth via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Privatized energy has failed us - so why is UK 'aid' exporting it?
20th February 2015

The failure of the UK's privatized electricity oligopoly - expensive, uncompetitive and slow to adopt renewable technologies - is being repeated across the global south, writes Christine Haigh: over £100 million of UK 'aid' is supporting energy privatization in the very countries that can least afford it.

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Syriza's Alexis Tsipras reaching out to progressive voters in Bologna, Italy, 19th May 2014, promising the way to 'the other Europe'. Photo: Lorenzo Gaudenzi via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

NATO invents Russian threats in the Baltic - but Putin's next big play is Greece
19th February 2015

While mainstream media promulgate a fictitious message of Russian threats in the Baltic, Vladimir Putin's next big play lies far to the south, writes Oliver Tickell. The gross intransigence of the EU, the IMF, the European Central Bank and Germany are forcing Greece into a powerful new economic and energy alliance with Russia that will reshape Europe - and for the better.

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Reviews

The Real Costs of Fracking - front cover.

Exposed: what fracking really does to you, your family, pets and food
25th February 2015

America's shale gas boom threatens families, pets, and food, writes Allison Wilson. Fresh from her reading of 'The Real Costs of Fracking', she finds a host of adverse health impacts on those living near fracking sites, the toxic pollution of the food chain, and a wall of corporate and official secrecy.

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Davi Kopenawa Yanomami, Presidente da Associação Hutukara Yanomami. Photo: Joelle Hernandez via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

'The Falling Sky' - words of a Yanomami shaman
17th February 2015

This powerful book by Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert reveals to us the world view of the Yanomami shaman, writes Sue Branford - together with many uncomfortable insights about the horrors of mainstream modern society, seen from an indigenous viewpoint as a form of organized madness that's driving the world to destruction.

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Front cover of Farmageddon, published by Bloomsbury.

Farmageddon - the true cost of cheap meat
5th February 2015

So just how serious is the impact of industrial farming? Worse than you could ever imagine, writes organic farmer Julian Rose in this review of 'Farmageddon - the Real Price of Cheap Food', which lifts the lid on the industry's human and ecological devastation, and the systematic cruelty inflicted on the animals that feed us.

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Blogs

Pipetting winegrape DNA samples in the lab during marker-assisted selection. Photo: Dan Ng (CC BY-SA).

GMO-free molecular genetics launch golden age of disease-resistant grapes
22nd February 2015

Advanced molecular genetic techniques are allowing scientists to breed disease resistance from wild grape varieties into susceptible domestic cultivars used for making wine, writes Andrew Walker. And it's all being done by conventional plant breeding accelerated by the use of DNA markers - with not a GMO in sight!

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The motor of a USFWS boat encrusted with quagga mussels on Lake Mead, Nevada. Photo: USFWS via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Don't move a mussel - a tiny invader is threatening our water and wildlife
18th February 2015

The zebra and quagga mussels, exotic invaders from the Caspian, are already causing huge damage in North America by 'biofouling' and disrupting native ecosystems, writes Yannic Rack. And now Britain is having to gear up for an impending invasion that threatens a costly meltdown of our aquatic biodiversity.

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Gigatonnes of carbon rising from the frigid Southern Ocean put an end to the last ice age. Photo: Natalie Tapson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Carbon stored deep in Antarctic waters ended the last ice age
12th February 2015

The last ice age came to an end following the massive release of carbon dioxide from the Southern Ocean, write Miguel Martinez-Boti and Gianluca Marino, and the signature of that event is written in planktonic shells. It's a timely reminder that the oceans contain 60 times more carbon than the atmosphere - and we want to keep it there.

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Look - no gasoline! A Tesla Roadster charging up outside the company's Palo Alto HQ, California. Photo: Windell Oskay via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Goodbye oil! Soon all cars will be electric - because they are better
10th February 2015

78 records didn't come to an end because the world ran out of shellac, writes Chris Goodall. And today's cars won't be made obsolete by a shortage of oil, or even climate change. The transition will be driven by falling prices, long range, clean air laws, and the superb style, performance and driving experience they offer.

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Ecologist Partners

'The kingdom of God belongs to such as these'. Children in Tacloban City, Leyte Province, Philippines, amid the wreckage of Super Typhoon Yolanda / Hiyan, 21st December 2013. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Rediscovering the moral dimension of climate change
9th February 2015

Pope Francis's forthcoming statement on climate change could just revitalise progress towards significant emissions cuts, writes Jonathon Porritt. But more than that, it will open up the space for a wider spirituality to guide our thinking, and campaigning, on climate and other key global challenges.

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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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News in Brief

Protestors against the proposed 25,000-pig factory farm at Foston, Derbyshire. Photo: Farms not Factories.

Big stink! 24,500-pig factory farm defeated
26th February 2015

A proposed factory farm at Foston, Derbyshire, condemned by locals as a 'pig prison' for 25,000 animals has been refused a permit by the Environment Agency because of the powerful stench it would emit and potential risks to health and the environment.

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Olive tree cut by Israeli settlers from illegal settlements in the South Hebron Hills. Photo: Operation Dove.

Arboricide in Palestine - olive orchard destroyed
25th February 2015

Israeli settlers in Palestine's South Hebron Hills last week cut down an orchard of 36 olive trees, in the latest attack of a decades-long war against Palestinian culture and survival in which has seen the cutting, burning and bulldozing of over a million olive, fruit and nut trees.

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Thousands of hectares of prime rainforest habitat for chimpanzees, drills, gorillas and other primates are being wiped out as agribusiness advances across Cameroon. Photo (Chimp Eden Sanctuary): Afrika Force via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Palm oil wiping out Africa's great ape rainforests
24th February 2015

The rainforest habitat of chimpanzees and other great apes is being destroyed by the expansion of palm oil projects in central Africa, according to new evidence from Greenpeace.

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New technological advances could make the power of Atlantic waves into a competitive source of renewable energy. Photo: Albert Bridge via Wikimedia Commons.

New technologies promise cheap wave power
23rd February 2015

Scandinavian inventors are hoping that efficient new waves power technologies will for the first time make the sector competitive with other renewable energy sources, writes Paul Brown - opening up a massive new clean energy resource around the world.

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Too good to frack? Spogen Lake lies in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Carbon County, Montana. Photo: Troy Smith via Flickr (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0).

Montana's Carbon County farmers sue for protection from fracking
22nd February 2015

Montana legislators have brushed off the attempts of farmers, ranchers and landowners to effect 'zoning' regulations to protect them, their land, their water and their livestock from the toxic impacts of fracking. Now they say: 'See you in Court!'.

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A Coral Cod (Cephalopholis miniata) at Lighthouse Bommie, Ribbon Reef #10, Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Richard Ling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

US tax dollars must not finance $1bn Great Barrier Reef destruction!
20th February 2015

A powerful call has gone out the the US Export-Import Bank not to finance a massive coal mine, railway, port terminal and dredged 'canal' through Australia's Great Barrier Reef with $1 billion in loans and guarantees.

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Houma, Louisiana: after the town of Venice was almost completely destroyed by Katrina, Houma became the service and transportation center for the offshore oil industry in this part of the Gulf. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Oil lawyer turned judge rules: industry not liable for $50bn Gulf Coast damage
19th February 2015

The oil and gas industry has admitted that its canals and drilling rigs have destroyed 1,900 square miles of coastal wetlands on the US Gulf Coast, but a Federal Judge with deep industry ties has ruled that 97 companies off have no liability for the $50 billion damage.

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The Tihange nuclear complex in Belgium, where a reactor is suffering from sever multiple cracking. Photo: Kazumitsu_ via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Belgian nuclear reactors riddled with 16,000 unexplained cracks
18th February 2015

The discovery of over 16,000 cracks in two Belgian reactor vessels may have global implications for nuclear safety, says the country's nuclear safety chief. He and independent experts are calling for the immediate checks of nuclear reactor vessels worldwide.

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Will we go the way of the Ancient Pueblo People? Climate models say we will, this century. Photo: Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park, by Lorax via Wikimedia Commons.

Southwest USA faces long term 'megadroughts' this century
17th February 2015

The same pattern of severe droughts that extinguished the Ancient Pueblo culture of the southwest US in the 13th century will come back with a vengeance later this century as climate warms and dries, writes Tim Radford. And it could have precisely the same effect on the region's modern-day residents.

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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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