The Ecologist


Society: 1/25 of 940
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Photo: Visit Exmoor via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Forget Black Friday - this is 'Buy Nothing Day'!

Vicki Hird

27th November 2015

Black Friday is yet another manifestation of a consumer culture that is both empty and destructive, writes Vicki Hird. So instead let's join in creative celebrations of Buy Nothing Day ('no purchase necessary'), and develop a new life-enhancing ethic of joyful frugality. more...
Finance and terror, war and profit: never far apart. A US army helicopter hovers over Royal Victoria Dock, away from the DESI 2015 arms fair at the ExCeL Centre, 19th September 2015. Photo: Matt Buck via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

'The terror dividend' - how traders and lobbyists made a killing from the Paris attacks

Paul Mobbs

25th November 2015

Amid the human suffering caused by terror attacks, it's easy to forget the economic dimensions, writes Paul Mobbs. But after the 13th November attacks in Paris defence industry shares soared, while a host of connected think tanks, lobbyists and politicians dominated the media in pushing for military responses. Is it time to expose and confront the terror industrial complex? more...
Solar cell charging a battery. Lukolela, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: Ollivier Girard / Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Powering the world with renewables - we can do it!

Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert

23rd November 2015

An energy revolution that would take the world to 100% renewables in 15 years is possible, write Sam Cossar-Gilbert and Dipti Bhatnagar. We have the technology, and we even have the money - only it's currently being spent to subsidise fossil fuels. The time has come to tackle two hugely destructive and closely entwined crises - growing inequality and climate change. more...
COP21 Image: Ron Mader via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

COP21 Paris Climate March banned

The Ecologist

18th November 2015

The two major demonstrations planned by climate campaigners at COP21 in Paris have been banned by police for security reasons. But organisers insist that over 2,000 events are still going ahead - and call for solidarity marches and protests around the world. more...
Bernie Sanders in Saturday's debate for the Democratic Presidential primaries, 14th November 2015. Photo: Still from CBS News.

Bernie Sanders is right - climate change is a massive global security threat

Farron Cousins / DeSmogBlog

17th November 2015

Remarks by Bernie Sanders that climate change is a major driver of global instability and terror, he was mocked by Republican Presidential contenders. But the argument is a familiar one to the CIA and the Department of Defense, which has itself released strong warnings on the issue. Is it time the GOP got with the beat? more...
Thanks to the sudden withdrawal of tax benefits for community energy projects, these waters at Abingdon Lock, Oxfordshire, will remain unharnessed for many years to come. Photo: Victor Bayon (CC BY-NC-SA).

George Osborne must back down on community energy tax

Georgina Matthews

11th November 2015

Surprise changes to the Finance Bill in its third reading have withdrawn tax benefits for investors in community renewable energy projects, writes Georgina Matthews. While some societies are rushing to complete their fund-raising by the end of the month, others have been forced to close. If these measures are not withdrawn, a small but flourishing sector will be at risk. more...
The Stone's Throw Landfill, near Tallassee, AL. Photo: Jeronimo Nisa / Earthjustice.

Environmental racism in the US - black communities fight for justice

Heather Kathryn Ross / Earthjustice

11th November 2015

Landfill sites, giant hog farms, incinerators and other 'bad neighbor' industries in the US tend to be situated in African American communities, writes Heather Kathryn Ross. The Environmental Protection Agency is legally obliged to prevent 'environmental racism', but from California to Michigan, low-income communities of color have been waiting years for it to take a stand. Now, backed by Earthjustice, they are forcing the issue - in the courts. more...
Remade by man: the Passenger Pigeon. Juvenile (left), male (center), and female (right), from 'Birds of New York' (University of the State of New York) 1910-1914. Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874-1927), Public Domain via Patrick Coin on Flickr.

The Ecomodernist Manifesto is a program for genocide and ecocide

Derrick Jensen

10th November 2015

The idea of a 'good, or even great, Anthropocene' as promised in the Ecomodernist Manifesto is purely delusional, writes Derrick Jensen. Worse, it underlies a narrative in which the wholesale destruction of nature and of sustainable indigenous societies is repackaged as a noble mission - one whose ultimate purpose is the complete alienation of humans from the planet that spawned us. more...
Reduced to one meagre bar; old lady fighting to keep warm in Perth, Scotland. Photo: Ninian Reid via Flickr (CC BY).

As tens of thousands die, the UK must act on fuel poverty

Mari Martiskainen, University of Sussex

16th October 2015

Fuel poverty is a complex problem with many causes, writes Mari Martiskainen, but it is also a deadly one for some 25,000 thousand people every year. And there is one surprisingly simple solution: a huge upgrade in the energy efficiency of our housing stock. more...
Wild ponies feeding at Oostvaardersplassen, Netherlands, where a huge floodplain nature reserve has been turned over to wilderness. Photo: KONIKpaarden via Flickr (CC BY).

Rewilding is not just for nature - it's essential for our own survival

Jessica Rothwell

16th October 2015

Rewilding landscapes impoverished by human exploitation enriches nature and brings back life to an increasingly ravaged world, writes Jessica Rothwell. But more than that, it's a vital step in making human existence sustainable in the long term, depending as we do on our planet's functional ecosystems for our health and survival. It's time for people to pull back - and make space for the wild. more...
Not much fruit in Sunny D 'fruit punch'. Photo: Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia via Flickr (CC BY).

Toxic innovation: Volkswagen is the tip of a destructive iceberg

Paul Levy, University of Brighton

20th October 2015

Corporations can be incredibly innovative, writes Paul Levy. But it's not always in good ways. Think of VW's clever device for fooling emissions tests, social media software that's way too intrusive for its own good, or sugary drinks marketed as 'healthy' when they're no such thing. Sadly, there's a lot of it about! more...
sHellNo! Flotilla Departure Blockade in Seattle's Elliott Bay, 15th June 2015. Photo: Jeff Dunnicliff / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

Shell's retreat from the Arctic - what tipped the scales?

Louise Rouse / Greenpeace Energydesk

30th September 2014

When Shell decided to quit its Arctic oil exploration it cited 'insufficient quantities' of oil and gas, writes Louise Rouse. But that was not the whole story: what tipped the balance was a combination of investor discontent, reputational damage and public opposition on an unprecedented scale. more...

Society: 1/25 of 940
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Members of the Womens' Collective of Tamil Nadu in a forest area where they are growing fruits and vegetables. Photo: WhyHunger.

Agroecology leading the fight against India's Green Revolution

Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau

29th September 2015

For the women farmers of Tamil Nadu life has long been a struggle, Sheelu Francis told Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau, all the more so following the advent of 'Green Revolution' industrial agriculture. So now women's collectives are organising to restore traditional foods and farming methods, resulting in lower costs, higher yields, improved nutrition, and a rekindling of native Tamil culture. more...
An unauthorised Travellers' site at Pryor's Wood Nature Reserve, Hertfordshire. Photo: Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Travellers' and Gypsies' ethnic Catch 22 must end

Dan Allen, University of Salford

3rd October 2015

Under new planning rules, Travellers and Gypsies must be able to prove they are actually traveling to qualify for limited planning benefits to create new sites. But for many, it's impossible to do that. Not only to remain in employment, or education - but precisely because there are so few sites, that they are unable to travel. more...
PostCapitalism by Paul Mason, published by Penguin / Allen Lane.

PostCapitalism: is it what we Greens have always wanted?

Caroline Lucas

2nd October 2015

Will we ever be able to say goodbye to capitalism? In his new book Paul Mason argues that its demise is inevitable, writes Caroline Lucas: neoliberalism contains the seeds of its own destruction, and it's up to ordinary people to replace it with a green, sustainable and cooperative society. So let's do it! more...
Felled tree in the coastal rainforest of Oregon, USA. Photo: Francis Eatherington via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Biosphere collapse: the biggest economic bubble ever

Glen Barry

14th September 2015

Worried about debt, defaults and deficits? Save up your concern for the real problem, writes Glen Barry. The systematic destruction Earth's natural ecosystems for short-term profit is the 'bubble' that underlies economic growth - and if allowed to continue its bursting will leave the Earth in a state of social, economic and ecological collapse. more...
Criatg Bennett, new Executive Director of Friends of the Earth (EWNI). Photo: Rob Monk / Friends of the Earth EWNI.

FoE's new CEO Craig Bennett: 'We have people on our side everywhere'

John Vidal / Guardian Environment

5th September 2015

They tried to influence government - but that's not working any more, writes John Vidal. So Friends of the Earth's new boss is taking a more radical approach rooted in community activism. And as he prepares for a storm of protest over fracking and cuts to wind and solar, he's ready to take on George Osborne in an 'ideological war' for the future of Britain. more...
Work - who needs it? Photo: a family celebration by the Potomac by Bill Dickinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

We should all get three-day weekends - all the time

David Spencer

30th August 2015

The effect of new labour saving technologies has been ... to keep us working as long as ever, or longer. But why? Certainly not for our benefit, writes David Spencer. It's to keep civil society suppressed, docile, in thrall to the power of capital. All the more reason to rebel - demand a 30-hour working week now! more...
Gardens by the Bay with Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. Photo: Uwe Schwarzbach via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Setting aside half the Earth for 'rewilding': the human question

William Lynn

9th September 2015

Biologist E O Wilson's grand idea of setting aside half of the planet for nature to thrive is both appealing and deeply challenging, writes William Lynn. But it's missing a key element: an urban vision of how people can live ecologically, joyously in the half we make our own. more...
Living within ecological limits - austerity? Or sustainable abundance? Photo: Bart via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Death to 'austerity'. Long live sustainable abundance!

Rupert Read & Sandy Irvine

30th August 2015

Greens are united in opposing neoliberal 'austerity', write Rupert Read & Sandy Irvine. But there's another kind of austerity to which we are committed - that of living within ecological limits. But base the transition on social, economic and environmental justice, and there will be nothing austere about it. The future we're working for is one of sustainable, life-enhancing abundance. more...
It will take more than PR puff to restore Coca-Cola's reputation in India. Wall-painted sign in Bangalore, India. Photo: Syed Nabil Aljunid via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Never mind the greenwash - Coca Cola can never be 'water neutral'

Amit Srivastava

25th August 2015

Following a series of disastrous failures in India, one of Coca-Cola's most important markets, the company is desperate to rebuild its reputation by claiming 'water neutrality'. But the idea is absurd, writes Amit Srivastava, and does nothing to benefit the communities that suffer from the depleted aquifers it pumps from. more...
Photo: Angus via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Corbyn is great - but the Greens are different!

Rupert Read

12th August 2015

Jeremy Corbyn's soaraway success in Labour's leadership contest poses an existential threat to the Greens, writes Rupert Read. To counter it we must re-assert our distinctive ethos, values, policies and principles, rooted in ecologism not socialism, respecting natural limits, opposed to endless economic growth, dedicated to building and sharing the wealth we all hold in common. more...
Aiko Ikemoto on 6th October 1945, as an outpatient at Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital. Shielded from the blast by brick walls, she survived the explosion a few miles from its epicentre, but died of cancer on 21st January 1965 at the age of 29 shortly after g

Hiroshima: the 'blinding flash' that changed the world forever

Daniel Cordle

6th August 2015

This day in 1945, the explosion of a nuclear bomb over Hiroshima, Japan, changed the world forever, writes Daniel Cordle. A remarkable article in the New Yorker by John Hersey has shaped the way the world perceives the event, and nuclear weapons generally, by illuminating the humanity of its victims in clear, simple prose. more...
A rice field and some traditional farm houses in a small village in the South of Niigata, Japan. Photo: Norman Tannert via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Japan's 'sacred' rice farmers evade TPP death sentence - for now

Nicole L Freiner

3rd August 2015

Japanese rice farmers won a reprieve last week when TTP negotiations in Hawaii ended without conclusion on opening Japan up to cheap US rice imports, writes Nicole L Freiner. But with Japan keen to export more cars to the US, the victory is a temporary one. At stake is a way of life, an ancient land-rooted religion, and the future viability of Japan's farming villages. more...
Are we ready for the fight? Photomontage: Tjebbe van Tijen via Flickr (CC BY).

Strange happenings on a small island off Europe

Chris Rose

31st July 2015

The Conservative attack on the environment is being carried out for good reasons, writes Chris Rose: because they can; because it delights their support base; because it heads off UKIP; and because they think it carries no political risk. Now it's up the UK's green movement to prove them wrong. But have our 'herbivorous' NGOs got the stomach for a fight? more...


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