The Ecologist


News In Brief

Indonesian forest fires will emit more CO2 than UK

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energydesk

8th October 2015

Flames break through from deep peatland in burning Indonesian rainfoirest. Photo: Greenpeace via Youtube video (see embed). Thanks to massive forest clearance for palm oil plantations combined with drought conditions in this 'El Nino' year, writes Zachary Davies Boren, rainforest and peatland fires across Indonesia are set to emit more carbon than the UK, while covering millions of square kilometres with choking smoke. more...

UK rigging power market against clean energy

Alex Kirby

7th October 2015

An Ecotricity wind turbine in Swaffham, Norfolk. Photo: Nick Ford via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Ecotricity boss Dale Vince has accused the government of rigging the electricity market, writes Alex Kirby, by showering fossil fuels and nuclear power with huge subsidies, while taxing renewables and insisting they must 'stand on their own two feet'. more...

Brazil to auction Amazon fracking licences

The Ecologist

6th October 2015

Aerial view of the Amazon rainforest, near Manaus, an area affected by fracking licences. Photo: Neil Palmer / CIAT for CIFOR on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Brazil is about to auction hundreds of fracking blocks across the country - extending deep into the Amazon forest including the territories of remote and vulnerable indigenous peoples. Registered bidders include BP, Shell and ExxonMobil. more...

Millions of plastic pellets contaminate Cornwall beaches

The Ecologist

5th October 2015

Nurdles found on the beach near Newquay in recent weeks. Photo: Tracey Williams / Rame Peninsula Beach Care. Cornish beaches are awash with millions of 'nurdles', tiny wildlife-choking plastic pellets presumed spilled from an rogue shipping container. As England's plastic bag charge comes into force, it's a sign that there's still a long way to go to rid our seas of the plastic menace. more...

Two thirds of EU cropland, population ditch GM crops

The Ecologist

1st October 2015

No GM crops here! Typical farm house amid cropland in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest), Germany. Photo: Domenico via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Fifteen EU states have now joined the GM-free movement as the 3rd October deadline for registration nears, along with four regions. They collectively account for 65% of the EU's arable cropland, and 65% of its population, and Greenpeace expects more to sign up. more...

France, Germany, Poland ... ten European nations to go GMO-free

Oliver Tickell

30th September 2015

A cob of Portuguese maize: Portugal being one of the only countries in the EU to permit the cultivation of a GMO maize variety. Photo: Rosino via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). With the deadline for EU countries who wish to ban genetically GM crops drawing near, writes Oliver Tickell, Poland is the latest to register with the European Commission to go GM-free. Now the division of the EU into pro and anti-GM zones may test the single market beyond its limits. more...

Victory! Shell quits Arctic

Terry Macalister / the Guardian Environment

28th September 2015

Yes we did! Shell no Kayak Flotilla climate stabilization demo in April 2015. Photo: Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY). Shell's US president says the oil giant's unpopular drilling operations in Alaska's Chukchi Sea will stop for the 'foreseeable future' as exploratory drilling finds little oil and gas to justify its $7 billion investment. more...

Exposed: UK Councils' £14 billion fossil fuel gamble

The Ecologist

24th September 2015

Is this what you want your pension fund to finance? Open pit coal mine near Hailar, Inner Mongolia. Photo: Herry Lawford via Flickr (CC BY). UK local authorities have £14 billion invested in fossil fuels, campaigners revealed today. Now they should re-invest it in solar energy, new housing and other areas that generate local and global benefits - as well as providing better security for pension holders. more...

Mammoth Arctic carbon thaw would cost us $43 trillion

Tim Radford

23rd September 2015

There's a mammoth surprise lurking in the permafrost: 1,700 billion tonnes of frozen carbon. Let that go and the world's climate may never be the same. BC Museum Photo: Tyler Ingram via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Something scary is lurking in the melting Arctic permafrost, write Tim Radford & Oliver Tickell: 1,700 Gt of carbon. That's 53 years worth of current emissions, and if we let it melt the impact would cost the world $43 tn. Or act now, and we could preserve the Arctic ice for a seventh as much. more...

Divestment pledges rise 50-fold to $2.6 trillion

The Ecologist

22nd September 2015

The city of Newcastle, Australia, home to the world's biggest coal port, is among those to join the divestment movement. Port Waratah Coal Loader and freight train carrying steel. Photo: OZinOH via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Pledges by investors to divest from fossil fuels have soared to $2.6 trillion - 50 times more than a year ago. 'Now is the time to divest', says Leonardo di Caprio, one of the latest to join the movement, which even includes Newcastle, Australia, home to the world's biggest coal port. more...

Indonesia chokes as forest and peatland fires rip

The Ecologist

21st September 2015

Sun sinking in smoke from Indonesia's burning forests and peatlands, Singapore, around 6pm on 21st September 2014. Photo: Yvonne Perkins via Flickr (CC BY). The burning forests and peatlands of Indonesia are once again casting a pall of choking smoke across the region, in the process releasing billions of tonnes of carbon. Promises to solve the problems stand betrayed - and COP21 commitments to tackle the problem are being weakened. more...

Glyphosate harms bees' spatial learning

Beyond Pesticides

20th September 2015

Exposure to low levels of glyphosate impairs bees navigational learning. A bee in Charlotte, VA. Photo: Universal Pops via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). A new study shows it's not just neonicotinoids that impair bees' ability to navigate to nectar and pollen sources, and to their nests: now the herbicide glyphosate has been found to have the same impact even at very low levels. more...

Let fossil fuels rip for an ice-free Antarctica

Tim Radford

18th September 2015

Burn all our fossil fuels, and all the ice in Antarctica will melt, causing sea levels to rise 58m. The Ellsworth Range in Antarctica as seen from the IceBridge DC-8, 22nd October 2012. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC BY). Scientists warn that burning up the planet's remaining fossil fuel would cause all Antarctic ice to melt and lead to 58m of sea level rise over 10,000 years, writes Tim Radford. But devastating impacts would strike much sooner, with oceans rising by 3m a century for the next millennium. more...

EU taxpayers finance Ukraine's 'chicken oligarch'

Fidanka Bacheva McGrath / CEE Bankwatch

17th September 2015

The beneficiary - 'chicken oligarch' Yuriy Kosyuk, whose agribusiness company has received €500 million of loans from the EBRD, financed by the EU's taxpayers. Photo: UTR News via Wikimedia (CC BY). Taxpayer-financed development banks have lent €500 million to Ukraine's biggest agribusiness company so it can undercut EU chicken producers, writes Fidanka Bacheva McGrath - while polluting the environment and grabbing land from local farmers. more...

UK drops out of top 10 countries for renewable energy

Emma Howard / the Guardian Environment

16th September 2015

Scout Moor Wind Farm is the second largest onshore wind farm in England. But under current government policies, there won't be many more of these. Photo: Gidzy via Flickr (CC BY). A new report by accountancy giant EY says the UK's Conservative government has sentenced renewable energy sector to 'death by a thousand cuts', writes Emma Howard, and left investors puzzled at inexplicable policy changes. more...

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