The Ecologist

 
«
||
»

News

Climate Negotiations: tackling the big questions before COP22

Georgiadis Pavlos

16th May 2016

The UN intersessional negotiations on climate change (UNFCCC) which started in Bonn last week enter their second week with the big question - how to find and allocate by 2020 the $100bn as agreed in the Paris Agreement. Climate tracker Pavlos Georgiadis reports. more...

The problem is not glyphosate, or DDT, or BPA - we must challenge the entire system!

Jonathan Latham, PhD

20th May 2016

Just about every one of the 11,000 organochlorine chemicals in industrial use is harmful - so maybe we should just ban the lot, rather than worry about a handful of 'bad actors'. Photo: Grey World via Flickr (CC BY). Apparent 'victories' in the fight against toxic chemicals - like the EU's failure to re-approve glyphosate yesterday - are illusory, writes Jonathan Latham. The real problem is not one of specific 'bad actors', but the entire system that allows new, likely to be toxic compounds to pollute the environment in near-total ignorance of their impacts. It's time to take our campaigning to a whole new level. more...

No, the UN has not given glyphosate a 'clean bill of health'

Georgina Downs

17th May 2016

Crop spraying in the British countryside close to a rural resident's home. Spraying of pesticides, including glyphosate, regularly takes place in the locality of homes and gardens with no protection for those living there. Photo: courtesy of UK Pesticides News headlines today suggest that a UN report on glyphosate residues has given the controversial herbicide a clean bill of health, writes Georgina Downs. But that's seriously misleading: the panel concludes that exposure to the chemical in food is unlikely to cause cancer. But that does not apply to those exposed to it occupationally or who live near sprayed fields. more...

US nuclear industry's plan thanks to NRC: let taxpayers carry the can for closed power plants

Linda Pentz Gunter

13th May 2016

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant is set to cost $1.2 billion to decommission, but the fund set up by its owner, Entergy, contains just $625 million - and Entergy has already been rumbled for using the fund to pay for nuclear waste disposal. Photo: U With five reactors closed in the last three years, the US nuclear industry is in shutdown mode, writes Linda Pentz Gunter - and that means big spending on decommissioning. But now the nuclear regulator is set to exempt owners from safety and emergency costs at their closed plants - allowing them to walk away from the costs and liabilities, and palm them onto taxpayers. more...

Mining, money and murder: the deadly struggle to protect South Africa's Wild Coast

Hal Rhoades

12th May 2016

Nonhle Mbuthuma of Amadiba Crisis Committee shows the red sand at Kwanyana Beach near Xolobeni that is at the centre of the dispute. Photo: Loyiso Mpalantshane via Sustaining the Wild Coast. The pristine landscape of South Africa's Wild Coast is under threat from mining, writes Hal Rhoades, and the communities standing up to defend the land are facing deadly consequences: harassment, threats, physical assault and murder. Attacks on mine opponents have taken four lives so far and many others have been injured. But the opposition is growing and gaining international support. more...

In the Corbyn era, Greens must move from socialism to ecologism

Rupert Read

10th May 2016

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on the picket line supporting the junior doctors' strike, 26th April 2016. Photo: Garry Knight via Flickr (Public Domain). Where does the Green Party go now? Last week's uninspiring election results show that Jeremy Corbyn's Labour poses a serious challenge to us Greens, who can no longer succeed by being merely left wing. We must fulfil our own destiny, representing a distinct, authentic ecological strand in politics, making the case for living as if we only had one planet - as is in fact the case. more...

Militarism and Monsanto or Gandhi and Bhaskar Save? The agroecology alternative

Colin Todhunter

9th May 2016

Farmers on the storm ... Madhya Pradesh, 31st July 2013. Photo: Rajarshi MITRA via Flickr (CC BY). The corporate war on traditional farming is nowhere fiercer than in India, writes Colin Todhunter. After decades of the 'Green Revolution' that have impoverished the nation's soils, water, biodiversity and cultivators alike, agribusiness is poised for its final strike. But now the small scale farmers who produce most of the country's food are rediscovering ancient agroecological alternatives. more...

Chernobyl, genetic damage, and the UK nuclear bomb tests - justice at last?

Chris Busby

6th May 2016

Explosion cloud from the UK's Operation Hurricane atomic bomb test on Australia's Montebello Islands, 3rd October 1952. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public domain). Britain's nuclear bomb test veterans suffered severe genetic damage from radiation, writes Chris Busby, and their case for compensation is being heard in the High Court today. Key to their case is evidence of similar damage inflicted on in utero babies exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, and how the dreadful health impacts of radiation cascade down to future generations. more...

Goodbye to democracy if TTIP is passed

Pete Dolack

5th May 2016

Germans protest against the TTIP in Hannover on April 23 as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Barack Obama confer. Photo: Bernd Schwabe in Hannover via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA). The leaked chapters of the EU-US TTIP 'free trade' deal reveal a shredding of health, environmental and other protections for consumers and citizens, writes Pete Dolack. It's a wet dream for corporate monopolists and profiteers, and the elite bureaucrats that serve them. But for civil society it represents an irreversible destruction of democracy itself. more...

From Hillsborough to pesticides: establishment cover-ups, lies and corruption

Georgina Downs

4th May 2016

When UK farmers spray their fields with pesticides close to rural homes, residents get no protection, and bizarre court rulings have effectively denied them their legal rights. Photo: Aqua Mechanical via Flickr (CC BY). The British establishment does nothing quite so well as lies, cover-ups and high-level corruption, writes Georgina Downs - whether it's the Hillsborough disaster or permitting polluters to poison us. Georgina won her own High Court legal victory protecting rural residents from pesticide exposure as long ago as 2008 - only to have it snatched away as Court of Appeal judges closed ranks. more...

UK-US air transports of high enriched uranium: global security at risk for commercial gain

Ernie Galsworthy / NFLA

3rd May 2016

The Dounreay nuclear plant, now undergoing decommissioning, as seen from Sandside Bay in March 2008. Photo: Paul Wordingham via Flickr (CC BY). Planned air transports of high-enriched uranium from Dounreay in Scotland to the US state of Tennessee would risk of accident or a terrorist seizure of weapon-usable nuclear material, writes Ernie Galsworthy. The motive for the transport appears to be purely commercial - and would thus put the public at needless risk for the sake of a cut-price nuclear waste / fuel deal between US and UK authorities. more...

Brutal, opaque, illegal: the dark side of the Tres Santos 'mindfulness' eco-tourism resort

Viviane Mahieux

29th April 2016

Mindful living is beautiful in thought and even better in reality. Picture a small-town sanctuary where you can find yourself, live in the moment, and relish the simple things in life. Photo: via Viviane Mahieux. A small fishing community in Mexico's Baja California is playing involuntary host to a gigantic tourism and real estate development, writes Viviane Mahieux. And while the branding of the Tres Santos resort is all about mindfulness, ecology and sustainability, the reality is one of big money, high level politics, and the unaccountable deployment of state violence against those who dare oppose it. more...

Uranium mining threatens South Africa‘s iconic Karoo

Dr Stefan Cramer

28th April 2016

Drilling and blasting creates large volumes of radioactive dust. Photo: Andrey Serebryakov Almost entirely unknown to the outside world, and even to most local residents, hundreds of square kilometres of South Africa's Karoo dryland have been bought up by uranium mining companies, writes Dr Stefan Cramer. With no strategic assessment of the industry's devastating impacts and massive water demand, official permission could soon be granted for vast open pit mines. more...

Jordan grapples with the environmental consequences of its refugee crisis

Doug Weir

27th April 2016

A dust storm hits Jordan's  Zaatari refugee camp on 29th July 2012 shortly after it was established ear the northern city of Mafraq. Photo: European Commission DG ECHO via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Since 1948 Jordan has taken in millions of refugees from Palestine, Iraq and most recently Syria, writes Doug Weir. Politically and economically the country has proved astonishingly resilient - but the population increase has caused huge damage to its fragile environment. Ecological degradation, pollution and resource scarcity may cause political instability unless more is done to tackle the problems. more...

Mikhail Gorbachev: 30 years after Chernobyl, time to phase out nuclear power

Linda Pentz Gunter

26th April 2016

Mikhail Gorbachev's party member's card issued in 1986, the year of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain). Thirty years after Chernobyl former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev remains haunted by the world's greatest ever industrial catastrophe, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. Now 85 and a committed environmentalist, he's still campaigning to bring the failed nuclear experiment to an end before further disasters follow, and encouraging a clean, efficient and renewable global energy economy. more...

Blind mice and bird brains: the silent spring of Chernobyl and Fukushima

Linda Pentz Gunter

25th April 2016

Radioactivity warning sign on the hill at the east end of Chernobyl's Red Forest, so called due to the characteristic hue of the pine trees killed by high levels of radiation after the disaster. Photo: Timm Suess via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA). Evolutionary biologist Timothy Mousseau and his colleagues have published 90 studies that prove beyond all doubt the deleterious genetic and developmental effects on wildlife of exposure to radiation from both the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. But all that peer-reviewed science has done little to dampen the 'official' perception of Chernobyl's silent forests as a thriving nature reserve. more...

Global pitbulls: the US military mission to support corporate colonialism

Pete Dolack

22nd April 2016

A member of the National Guard - a department which costs over $8 billion a year. Photo: DVIDSHUB via Flickr (CC BY) With its 800 bases in 80 countries, the US's global military domination is often seen as an altruistic exercise to ensure world peace and harmony, writes Pete Dolack. It is, of course, the opposite: the essential underpinning of the US's predatory economic power, always ready to strike down any challenge to the rights and privileges of its corporate conquerors and financial oligarchy. more...

Flawed US GMO labeling will damage the anti-GM movement on both sides of the Atlantic

Lawrence Woodward / Beyond GM

22nd April 2016

Ben & Jerry's GMO Labeling poster in Portland, Oregon, 15th October 2014. Photo: anna Hanks via Flickr (CC BY). Little Vermont is having a big impact on GMO food labeling across the US, writes Lawrence Woodward. And with 'regulatory cooperation' under TTIP that influence could reach into the EU. Trouble is, Vermont's labeling law contains major exemptions - on meat products, take-aways and restaurant food, as well as products from animals fed GM feeds. The US, and the EU, deserve better. more...

Industry fingerprints all over Reuters' attack on IARC over glyphosate and cancer

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

21st April 2016

Kate Kelland's article implies that the IARC considers almost everything it meets to be carcinogenic, with bacon the prime example. Photo: cyclonebill via Flickr (CC BY-SA). The Reuters news organisation has just sullied its reputation with a disgraceful attack on the WHO's specialist body on cancer, the IARC, writes Claire Robinson. Resorting to smear, innuendo and anonymous critics, it relies heavily on discredited industry sources including tobacco defenders in its attempt to undermine IARC's view that glyphosate probably causes cancer. more...

India's 'shoot on sight' conservation terrorises indigenous communities

Lewis Evans

20th April 2016

Dozens of people have been shot on sight in Kaziranga in recent years. The park guards are immune from prosecution. Photo: © Survival International. The endangered Bengal Tiger and One-horned Rhino desperately need protection, writes Lewis Evans. But in India's Kaziranga National Park, 'fortress conservation' includes a brutal 'shoot on sight' policy that is terrorising local communities, many of them tribal. Indigenous peoples are the natural allies of conservation and need to be engaged in constructive solutions - not shot! more...

Renewable energy versus nuclear: dispelling the myths

Mark Diesendorf

19th April 2016

Large wind and solar farms can be planned and built in 2-3 years (compared with 10-15 years for nuclear) and are ready now to replace fossil and nuclear electricity. Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND) Don't believe the spurious claims of nuclear shills constantly doing down renewables, writes Mark Diesendorf. Clean, safe renewable energy technologies have the potential to supply 100% of the world's electricity needs - but the first hurdle is to refute the deliberately misleading myths designed to promote the politically powerful but ultimately doomed nuclear industry. more...

Previous Articles...

ECOLOGIST COOKIES

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

More information here...

 

FOLLOW
THE ECOLOGIST