The Ecologist

 
«
||
»

News

PFI waste incinerator contracts burn more money than rubbish

David Hall / The Conversation

22nd September 2014

The Edmonton waste-to-energy incinerator in North London is the largest in the UK, and produces up to 55MW of power. Photo: Fin Fahey via Flickr. A Parliamentary report reveals that £200 million has been wasted on failed 'public-private' PFI projects for waste management, writes David Hall. The obvious solution: to allow local authorities to build and operate their own, which is cheaper and more flexible. The only problem: under UK government rules, it's PFI or nothing. more...

US shale oil drillers flaring and venting billions of dollars in natural gas

Sharon Kelly / DesmogBlog

20th September 2014

Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr. Gas flaring of natural at shale oil wells is carried out on such a scale in North Dakota and Texas that 'phantom cities' show up at night in satellite photos, writes Sharon Kelly. Billions of dollars worth of gas are going up in smoke, adding to CO2 emissions - but far worse for the climate is when the gas is 'vented'. Regulators are doing too little, too late. more...

Three in every four nuclear power builds worldwide are running late

Oliver Tickell

19th September 2014

Scheduled for completion in 2009, the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant is still under construction, and Areva is no longer projecting a completion date. Costs are running at roughly triple initial estimates. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr. A review of the 66 nuclear reactors 'under construction' worldwide shows that 49 are running behind schedule, including all five in the US and most in China. The long and unpredictable build times of nuclear plants, and the extra costs that ensue, are a compelling reason not to depend on the technology for either power or to mitigate climate change. more...

Changing to non-GMO soy transformed the health of my pigs

Ib Borup Pederson

18th September 2014

A deformed pig suffering, Ib Borup Pedersen believes, from the ill effects of glyphosate. Photo: Ib Borup Pedersen. From the day that Danish pig farmer Ib Borup Pederson switched away from GM soy, his animals became healthier and more productive. Birth deformities reduced, sows became more fertile, medicine costs fell, and profits went up. The changes were linked to the reduction in the levels of the herbicide glyphosate in their feed. more...

A Yes vote in Scotland could finish Trident

Paul Ingram

17th September 2014

All tooled up and nowhere to go? HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr. If the Scots vote yes on Thursday the UK's already tight military budget will be squeezed even harder, writes Paul Ingram, dramatically increasing the chances of nuclear disarmament. Adding to the UK's headache: the only medium term alternative base for its Trident submarine fleet would be ... in Georgia, USA. more...

World Bank to roll back safeguards for indigenous people

Irin News

16th September 2014

A group of Dayaks photographed on Borneo in 1910. The Indonesian government no longer recognises the People as 'indigenous', which may rob modern day Dayaks of protection against World Bank financed development projects. The World Bank is considering 'reforms' to its policies to protect indigenous peoples from the impacts of projects it finances that would devolve key decisions to national governments - such as whether an ethnic group is 'indigenous' at all. If passed by the Bank's Board, the changes would strip away a raft of essential human rights protections.. more...

$6 billion Gaza reconstruction aid will be ‘made in Israel’

EuroActiv

15th September 2014

How did we miss that one? Destruction in Gaza, July 2014. Photo: Oxfam International via Flickr. As the world gears up to finance Gaza's $6bn reconstruction after Operation Protective Edge, an EU source has revealed that Israel will earn billions of euros by making sure that all the steel, concrete and other materials and other aid are sourced in Israel and benefit Israeli companies. more...

Toxic glyphosate herbicides fly under the EU's regulatory radar

Pete Farrer & Marianne Falck

12th September 2014

Glyphosate herbicides are often sprayed on potato crops prior to harvest to 'dessicate' the plants' green leaves. Photo: David Wright via Flickr. The widely used herbicide glyphosate has been judged 'safe', write Pete Farrer & Marianne Falck. But by the time it's used, it's in a 'formulation' with toxic surfactants, which escape EU regulation despite their known dangers. Germany alone has forbidden the use of the most dangerous surfactant - but is keeping its evidence secret. more...

Ukraine opens up for Monsanto, land grabs and GMOs

Joyce Nelson

11th September 2014

Dying for GMOs? One of 35 members of the neo-nazi Aidar Battalion killed in an ambush by rebels in East Ukraine, 6 September 2014. Photo: Colonel Cassad. Hidden from mainstream media exposure, the World Bank and IMF loan has opened up Ukraine to major corporate inroads, writes Joyce Nelson. Loan conditions are forcing the deeply indebted country to open up to GMO crops, and lift the ban on private sector land ownership. US corporations are jubilant at the 'goldmine' that awaits them. more...

One more heave! Ministers' pre-election fracking drive

Alex Stevenson

9th September 2014

Green MP Caroline Lucas is a lone Parliamentary voice against fracking. But democratic pressure in constituencies could force others to join her camp. Photo: This account has been discontinued via Flickr. Ministers are determined to get fracking under way in the UK as fast as possible, so it's a 'fait accompli' in time for the election, writes Alex Stevenson. With a firm pro-fracking concensus in Parliament, only one thing can frustrate their plans - strong local campaigns to turn around MPs desperate for re-election in 2015. It even has a name: democracy. more...

Philippines: farmers call to stop 'Golden Rice' trials

Oliver Tickell

8th September 2014

The rice harvest in Bicol Region, Philippines. Photo: α is for äpΩL † via Flickr. Farmers in the Bicol region of the Philippines have gathered to renew their fight against field trials of Golden Rice and halt moves towards its commercialization. But with last year's 'advanced' Golden Rice trials showing low yields, the prospect of a GR release is fast receding. more...

While governments back fossil fuels and nuclear, popular renewables boom

Paul Brown

6th September 2014

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. Consumers around the world want their electricity to come from renewable sources, writes Paul Brown. Yet governments from the UK to Australia are defying the popular will as they push for fossil fuels and nuclear power. The good news? Renewable energy is surging ahead regardless. more...

New Orleans: oil & gas evading $50bn coastal restoration obligations

Julie Dermansky

5th September 2014

The whole region is carved up by canals with well heads like these at the ends. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr. Thanks to damage to coastal wetlands by the oil & gas industry, Louisiana is losing two acres to the sea an hour, writes Julie Dermansky. The companies are legally obliged to repair their damage - but they haven't and the cost has reached $50 billion. The answer? A Bill backed by the state governor to make them immune from lawsuits. more...

Botswana government lies exposed as $5bn diamond mine opens on Bushman land

Oliver Tickell

4th September 2014

This $4.9bn diamond mine opens tomorrow in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Photo: Gem Diamonds. Ten years after promises of 'no mining' in Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a $5 billion diamond mine opens a few miles from a Bushman village. Elsewhere in the Reserve, fracking is under way. And President Ian Khama, a director of Conservation International, denounces the Bushmen as 'poachers' and evicts them from their land. more...

Drills away in Canada's Arctic - 1.35 million hectares of wilderness open to fracking

Ed Struzik / Yale Environment 360

3rdt September 2014

The Canada's Northwest Territories' first fracking project, carried out by ConocoPhillips over the winter in the NWT's Sahtu region, was approved last summer with no public review. Photo: ConocoPhillips. Hydraulic fracturing is roaring ahead in the Canadian Arctic, writes Ed Struzik. Companies are competing to exploit the Northwest Territories' 2-3 billion barrels of shale oil, as the NWT government ignores calls from indigenous nations and scientists for a moratorium on fracking pending an open review of its impacts. more...

On trial today - Thailand's food workers' rights

Andy Hall

2nd September 2014

Andy Hall (3rd from right) and colleagues at the Migrant Worker Rights Network. Photo: MWRN. Thanks to Andy Hall's investigations of abuses of migrant workers in Thailand's fish and pineapple industries, a criminal trial begins today in Bangkok - his own. He faces eight years in prison and a $10 million fine for exposing their crimes in a devastating report that has inspired international action against the companies involved. more...

Florida's sugar barons grow fat on subsidies, diabetes and Everglades destruction

Alan Farago

1st September 2014

Who drank all the water? Dried out 'swamp' just NE of the Everglades National Park, Miami County, Florida. Photo: A Duarte via Flickr. Big Sugar is the new Big Tobacco, writes Alan Farago - lethal to human health, wreaking environmental devastation, gouging huge public subsidies, and with the political clout to stop First Lady Michelle Obama from breathing a word against it. Only an alliance of 'green', health and taxpayer campaigners can kill the beast. more...

Fracked off - natural gas victims flee Colorado's toxic air

Paul Thacker / Oil Change International

30th August 2014

Flaring of unwanted hydrocarbons at a natural gas refinery in the Piceance Basin of Colorado. Photo: Tim Hurst  via Flickr. Natural gas is widely touted as a 'green fuel'. But as Paul Thacker found in Colorado, fracking's national 'ground zero', it's anything but. Lives and health are being ruined by pollution from taxpayer-subsidized gas wells, flaring and refining plants, while property values collapse. Now a mass of environmental refugees are fleeing the ravaged state. more...

Drought hits São Paulo - what drought?

Jan Rocha

29th August 2014

Drought - what drought? Fountains in Sao Paulo disguise the reality that power and water will soon be running catastrophically low. Photo: collectmoments via Flickr. São Paulo, South America's biggest city, is suffering its worst drought in over a century, writes Jan Rocha, with rivers and reservoirs running dry. But the state's politicians are seeking re-election. And for them, it's as if nothing is happening - never mind that water and power cuts affecting millions are looking inevitable. more...

A global plan for road expansion that doesn't cost the earth

Bill Laurance

28th August 2014

Road map detail - Central Africa. Image: Bill Laurance. Roads are responsible for massive environmental damage around the world, writes Bill Laurance - yet they also bring huge benefits. His solution? A new atlas that shows where the 'goods' of roads outweigh the 'bads', so that developing countries can harness the prosperity new roads can bring, without the destruction. more...

Earthquake risk makes California's Diablo Canyon a Fukushima in waiting

Karl Grossman

27th August 2014

Diablo Canyon in California lies in a seismically active zone totally unsuitable for a nuclear power plant. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr. A newly-exposed report by Diablo Canyon's lead nuclear inspector shows that the twin reactors are unsafe, writes Karl Grossman. An earthquake on nearby geological faults could trigger a Fukushima-scale accident causing 10,000 early fatalities. The owner's response? Apply to extend the site's operation for another 20 years. more...

Previous Articles...

ECOLOGIST COOKIES

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

More information here...

 

FOLLOW
THE ECOLOGIST