The Ecologist

 
«
||
»

News

Ukraine war leaves a long shadow of pollution, ill-health and ravaged industries

Nickolai Denisov & Otto Simonett with Doug Weir & Dmytro Averin

24th May 2015

A barricade burns in Kiev, Ukraine in January 2014. Photo: Sasha Maksymenko via Flickr (CC BY). Over a year after violent conflict began in East Ukraine, indications are emerging of its severe environmental impacts in the highly industrialised Donbas region, and the grave health risks to civilians that will endure long into the future. The area will need international assistance both to reduce the hazards, and to 'green' the region's often polluting industries. more...

Power struggle: after Germany's renewables surge, can it keep its coal in the ground?

Melanie Mattauch

22nd May 2015

In August 2014 climate activists blocked a digger in one of the Rhineland open-pit coal mines. Protests will resume in August 2015. Photo: 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Germany's 'Energiewende' has made the country a global renewable energy powerhouse. So why have its carbon emissions gone up? Not because of nuclear closures, writes Melanie Mattauch, but because powerful fossil fuel companies have blocked effective climate action. Now the fight is on as public calls to keep the coal in the ground get too loud to ignore. more...

Pressing ahead with Trident, only the UK hasn't noticed: it's time to get rid of nuclear weapons

Dr David Lowry

21st May 2015

Titan II ICBM in an underground missile silo complex in Arizona, USA. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY). Important developments are unfolding at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty negotiations in New York this week, writes David Lowry. These include the surprisingly large scale of the US's warhead scrapping, and a grassroots rebellion against the nuclear states led by South Africa. But the UK and its media remain aloof from it all - intent on renewing Trident no matter what. more...

As Chipotle goes GMO-free, Monsanto's worst fear is coming true

Jonathan Latham

20th May 2015

Chipotle Mexican Grill. Photo: Mike Mozart of JeepersMedia and TheToyChannel on YouTube via Flickr (CC BY). Next to MacDonalds, Burger King and KFC, Chipotle's Mexican Grill is a minnow, writes Jonathan Latham. But its decision to go GMO-free will ultimately compel all America's consumer-facing food brands to follow suit - because that's what their customers want. Could this be the beginning of the end of GMOs? That's what Monsanto, Dupont, Bayer and Syngenta fear. more...

Amid the smoke and chaos of 'development', China seeks a return to ancient harmony

Thembi Mutch

19th May 2015

Precious little harmony here: a building site in Beijing. But change is on the way. Photo: Thembi Mutch. China is struggling with a myriad of environmental challenges, writes Thembi Mutch, as the country 'develops' at breakneck speed with massive construction projects, and industrial expansion. But amid the chaos and filth, the Chinese people are mindful of their history and ancient principles of harmony with nature - something that many are working hard to restore. more...

Breast cancer and nuclear power - statistics reveal the link 'they' wanted to hide

Chris Busby

18th May 2015

The Blackwater estuary with Bradwell nuclear power station in the background. Photo: Michael Szpakowiski via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The link between nuclear power and cancer is real, writes Chris Busby, and revealed in the UK's cancer statistics - if only you look for it. Previous approaches have focused on rare cancers over large, poorly selected populations. But look at common cancers among those most exposed to nuclear radiation, and the statistical evidence is overwhelming. more...

Kenya's Maasai determined to overcome the challenges of drought and climate change

Simone Sarchi

16th May 2015

Reuben Sempui seated on a rock on the peak of the volcano Suswa. Photo: Simone Sarchi. Persistent droughts are undermining the self-sufficiency of Maasai communities in the Great Rift Valley and worsening their living conditions, writes Simone Sarchi. Now these fearless warriors are fighting the battle against climate change through adaptation, education and technology, and by making peace with traditional enemies. more...

Finland cancels Olkiluoto 4 nuclear reactor - is the EPR finished?

Dr Jim Green & Oliver Tickell

15th May 2015

The Olkiluoto nuclear power complex in the snow, with the Unit 3 EPR under construction to the left. A second EPR has now been cancelled. Photo: Mattias Olsson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). This week Finland cancelled its option for a second European Pressurised Reactor as the existing EPR project sinks into a abyss of cost over-runs, delays and litigation, writes Jim Green. It now looks like the EPR is a failed technology and its owner, French nuclear giant Areva, is fast running out of both money and orders as its 'hot prospects' evaporate. more...

War crime: NATO deliberately destroyed Libya's water infrastructure

Nafeez Ahmed

14th May 2015

Deprived of piped water supply, a man in post-invasion Libya fills up a bottle of water from a muddy puddle. Photo: British Red Cross. The military targeting of civilian infrastructure, especially of water supplies, is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Yet this is precisely what NATO did in Libya, while blaming the damage on Gaddafi himself. Since then, the country's water infrastructure - and the suffering of its people - has only deteriorated further. more...

Rebellion and hunger - how drought and food scarcity are fanning the flames of war

Nafeez Ahmed

13th May 2015

A boy herding cattle near Mentao refugee camp in Burkina Faso. More than 18 million people in West Africa’s Sahel region are hungry and malnourishedas a result of the crisis. Photo: DFATD | MAECD via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Food and water shortages and sharp price hikes in the necessities of life are driving civil unrest and rebellion across the Middle East and North Africa, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Adding to the problem, many of the afflicted countries are of strategic importance for their oil and gas, putting them on the front line of destabilizing 'counter-terrorism' operations. more...

Indian Point - the nuclear bombshell in New York City's backyard

Karl Grossman

12th May 2015

Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, New York, nestled alongside the Hudson River. Photo: Tony Fischer via Flickr (CC BY). Following the accidental fire in a transformer at the troubled Indian Point nuclear site last weekend, and the unplanned release of oil into the Hudson River, calls are growing for the two remaining power plants to be shut down, writes Karl Grossman. The NRC is likely to extend its expiring licenses for another 20 years - but New York State could still refuse it a water use permit. more...

If modern farming can't sustain bees, how much longer can it sustain us?

Dave Goulson

11th May 2015

Pollinators are finding it increasingly hard to get by under industrial farming regimes. This Common Carda bumblebee is supping on a Clover flower on acid grassland near pond, New Ferry Butterfly Park - an urban nature reserve in Merseyside. Photo: Richar Our bees and wider farmland ecosystems have been seriously harmed by neonicotinoids, writes Dave Goulson. But that's just the start of the damage that modern farming is doing to wildlife in a countryside stripped of wild flowers and drenched by cocktails of pesticides. The problem is not just neonics, but the entire model of industrial agriculture. more...

American revolution: cities seize control of essential local services

Max Holleran

9th May 2015

Photo: New Era Colorado Foundation. Fed up with being gouged by profit-driven corporations, let down by state neglect and under-investment, urban communities across the US are taking control of local services like public transport, energy, water, internet and telecoms, writes Max Holleran - bringing better service, lower prices and clean energy. more...

Aerotropolis alert! Airport mega-projects driving environmental destruction worldwide

Rose Bridger

8th May 2015

Isn't she lovely ... ! Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) has reached agreement with the US-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority to develop, build and operate a 'first-of-its-kind gateway entertainment city' in South Korea integrated with a Governments and corporations are driving a global wave of ecologically disastrous airport-centered mega-projects each destroying as much of 100 sq.km of farmland and forests - sucking water, resources and economic activity from surrounding areas, excluding host communities and locking in high-carbon infrastructure for decades to come. more...

The renewable revolution is upon us

Michael Klare

7th May 2015

Blue skies shining on renewable energy ... Bangui Windmills, located in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Photo: Paolo Dala via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Mainstream energy analysts cling firmly to the belief that fossil fuels will attract the lion's share of world energy investment for a long time to come, writes Michael Klare. But there are four compelling reasons why they are wrong. The renewable revolution is under way, and has already gathered an unstoppable momentum. more...

Can agroecology save us from 'scorched-earth' agriculture?

Professor Henrietta Moore

6th May 2015

This small cultivator of fresh vegetables in China is probably practising agroecology already! Photo: Jing via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Industrial agriculture has become a prime driver of many of the world's most serious problems, writes Henrietta Moore: the loss of wild and farmed biodiversity, huge climate-changing emissions, and the entrapment of small farmers in ever-deepening cycles of poverty. But there is a solution: the widespread adoption of agroecological farming. more...

'Beyond petroleum' - fracking's collapse heralds the arrival of peak oil

Paul Mobbs

5th May 2015

Despite the exploitation of unconventional oil resources like high-cost tar sands (pictured in Canada) and shales, peak oil really is upon us. Photo: Gord McKenna via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The 'death of peak oil' has been much exaggerated, writes Paul Mobbs. Take out high-cost 'unconventional' oil and production peaked ten years ago, and even North America's fracking and tar sands boom has failed to open up new resources both big enough to make good the shortfall, and cheap enough to reward investors. We really do need to be thinking 'beyond petroleum'. more...

In Nepal's next big quake, hydropower dams threaten catastrophe

Michael Buckley

4th May 2015

The sacred water of Gosainkunda Lake at the headwaters of the Trishuli River, soon to be changed forever by the construction fo a succession of high dams. Photo: Yosarian via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY). A spate of hydroelectric dam building in Nepal means that future earthquakes could send inland tsunamis flooding down the steep mountain valleys, writes Michael Buckley. Disaster was averted in last month's quake - a badly damaged dam was not yet filled. But despite the risks and the damage to river ecology, tourism and rural livelihoods, there's no sign of any policy shift. more...

Saudi Arabia's oil price manipulation - let's get rich while we still can!

Karl Grossman

2nd May 2015

It's only a matter of time before solar energy will make all this petroleum infrastructure worthless. But until then, there's money to be made! Dusk view of the Valero Energy Corporation's refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith via Flic The oil industry and oil producers have a long history of market manipulation, writes Karl Grossman, and we see it going on right now with the low oil price that's squeezing fracking and getting America back onto gas-guzzling SUV's. But longer term, solar power is going to win out, and even Saudi Arabia knows it. Its game? To make out big, while the going's good. more...

Russian roulette? Finland's inexplicable nuclear obsession

Ulla Klötzer

1st May 2015

A demonstration against nuclear power outside the Finnish Parliament, April 2009. Photo: Ulla Klotzer. Does Finland suffer from a nuclear death wish? So it seems, writes Ulla Klötzer. Its government responded to the world's two greatest nuclear disasters by ... ordering a new nuclear plant. And as the Olkiluoto nuclear project descended into face and litigation over a disputed €5 billion, they resolved to build two more. This time, supplied by Russia's nuclear weapon-maker Rosatom. more...

It's not just glyphosate and neonicotinoids! Why we need a pesticide-free future

Georgina Downs

30th April 2015

Agrochemicals are routinely sprayed right up to the boundary line with residential properties, causing severe ill-health to rural residents. Photo: UK Pesticides Campaign. The risk of cancer from the world's top herbicide, glyphosate, is just the tip of the iceberg of health damage caused by exposure to pesticides and other toxic agrochemicals, writes Georgina Downs. It's time for governments to correct their scandalous failure to protect rural residents from the cocktails of poisons sprayed on crops. more...

Previous Articles...

ECOLOGIST COOKIES

Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.

More information here...

 

FOLLOW
THE ECOLOGIST