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An Irawaddy dolphin slips beneath the surface of the Mekong river at Kampie, Cambodia. Photo: Jim Davidson via Flickr

Why freshwater dolphins are among the world’s most endangered mammals

Rachel Nuwer

30th July 2014

Humans are to blame for the drastic declines in river dolphin populations around the world, writes Rachel Nuwer. But what exactly are we doing wrong? Mainly, scientists have found, it's building dams - and so destroying and fragmenting their habitat. more...
Under the new guidance, even Stonehenge could by destroyed by fracking if it would 'achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss.'

Fracking go-ahead on UK's National Parks, World Heritage Sites, nature reserves

Oliver Tickell

28th July 2014

The UK has just opened a bidding round for fracking licences. But the rules contain only weak protections against fracking in National Parks and AONBs - and none at all for even the most important wildlife sites and drinking water aquifers. more...
Chong boys playing up a tree by the Areng river. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Cambodia: indigenous protests repel dam builders - so far

Rod Harbinson

28th July 2014

Since the 1980s Cambodia has lost 84% of its primary forests, and the remote Cardamom mountains are the country's last great natural treasure, writes Rod Harbinson. Just the place for grandiose dam projects? 'No way!" say indigenous people and young eco-activists. more...
Cattle packed in as far as the eye can see at the Harris Ranch feedlot in California. Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr.

The true cost of your beefburger is much worse than you know

Gidon Eshel

22nd July 2014

US beef carries a heavy environmental cost in water, land, emissions. But few of us know quite how damaging beef is, writes Gidon Eshel, nor that it is more than five times worse than pork, poultry, eggs or cheese. Isn't it time we did something about it? more...
Water depth marker in the dried out bed of Lake Albert, South Australia. Photo: Bidgee via Wikimedia Commons.

Australia's drought - yes, it's climate change

Tim Radford

18th July 2014

Australia's prime minister thinks climate change is 'crap' and has just abolished his country's carbon-pricing system. But scientists say that it's rising levels of CO2 that are leaving the south of the country parched and sweltering - and it's only going to get worse. more...
Happy days: children of Gaza play on a water slide during UNRWA Summer Fun Weeks, 2013. Photo: United Nations Photo via Flickr.

Gaza: Israel bombs water and sewage systems

Mohammed Omer

16th July 2014

Israel's armed forces have destroyed vital water and sewage infrastructure in their bombing campaign of the besieged territory, writes Mohammed Omer. This constitutes a severe breach of the 1977 Protocol to the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the part of Israel and all those conceiving, planning, ordering and perpetrating the attacks. more...
If this water was money ... Photo: loopzilla / CC BY-SA.

Soaking the customer - Thames Water's £4 billion sewage money grab

John Allen & Michael Pryke

4th July 2014

Using sophisticated financial engineering, Thames Water is making its customers pay almost the whole cost of its £4.2 billion London sewage tunnel. Is it time England ditched corporate ownership of its utilities and adopted Wales's 'non-profit' model? more...
No water for 6 weeks despite paying my bill. 3 children, single parent, full-time student. Photo: Nicole via Facebook.

We must support Detroit's fight for the right to water

Justin Wedes

4th July 2014

Detroit is shutting off water to 40% of residents to prepare the water system for a corporate buyout, writes Justin Wedes. Residents are organizing to resist the water shuttoffs, anti-democratic rule and the demands of Wall Street - but they need our help! more...
Left: Potential shale gas / oil source rocks in England and Wales. Right: principal aquifers in England and Wales (dark blue), aquifers shallower than 400 m (pale blue). Image: BGS.

Fracking - 95% of oil and gas shales underlie drinking water aquifers

The Ecologist

3rd July 2014

A study by the British Geological Survey and the Environment Agency reveals that almost all the the oil and gas bearing shales in England and Wales underlie drinking water aquifers, raising fears that widespread water contamination could occur. more...
Wild beavers caught on film in the River Otter, Devon, by Tom Buckley. Photo via BBC News and Youtube.

Let England's wild beavers be!

Oliver Tickell

1st July 2014

A family of wild of beavers has established on an English river for the first time since Henry VIII. But now the Government has decided to trap them and consign them to captivity in a zoo or wildlife centre. Defenders of wilderness are now demanding: keep our wild beavers free! more...
The Bakun dam under construction. Photo: pHotosHo0x via Flickr.

Borneo mega-dams threaten indigenous 'ethnocide'

Amanda Stephenson

30th June 2014

Massive dams in Sarawak, Malaysia, threaten to flood over 2,000 square kilometers of the world's oldest rainforests, displace 10,000s of indigenous people, and aggravate climate change, writes Amanda Stephenson - all to generate electricity that no one wants. more...
Little bee eaters on the Okovango River,  Botswana. Photo: amattox mattox via Flickr.

Okovango Delta is 1,000th World Heritage Site

The Ecologist

23rd June 2014

Botswana's Okavango Delta, one of the most iconic natural areas on the planet, has been listed as 1,000th World Heritage site today. The decision follows the advice of IUCN, UNESCO's advisory body on nature. more...

Water: 1/25 of 174
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The Belo Monte dam construction site. Photo: Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento via Flickr.

Brazilians have far more to protest about than the World Cup

Steffen Böhm & Rafael Kruter Flores

20th June 2014

It may all be over for England, but for Brazil, the battle is only just beginning. Anger over the vast cost of the World Cup - well over $10 billion - and its huge social impacts, is spilling over into a wider fury at massive mega-projects than enrich elites, trash the environment, and leave the poor poorer. more...
Mixed messages: a warning sign at a fracking site in Pennsylvania. Photo: Ostroff Law / Wikimedia Commons.

Fracking boom depletes, pollutes US water supplies

Valerie Brown

20th June 2013

The US's 'dash to frack' for oil or gas, which has transformed the country's energy market, is seriously depleting and contaminating aquifers and surface water supplies, writes Valerie Brown. The choice facing America is plain - energy, or water? more...
Coca-Cola Factory in Mehdiganj. Photo: India Resource Center.

India: Coca Cola bottling plant shut down

The Ecologist

19th June 2014

After eleven years of campaigning by local people suffering from water shortages, state authorities have closed Coca-Cola's bottling plant at Mehdiganj, Uttar Pradesh - inspiring campaigners at another three Coca Cola sites in India. more...
These organic broad beans at Sandly Lane Farm, Oxfordshire, will soon be ready for harvest. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm.

Earth's vitality and the power of happiness

Jigmi Y. Thinley

19th June 2014

Farming should not only sustain people with healthy food, writes Jigmi Y. Thinley. If humans are to survive on Earth, it must also revitalise nature and sustain vital planetary systems, instead of poisoning and over-exploiting them. And to do that farming must be organic. more...
Sunset over the Sacramenta River - but how much longer will it be there? Photo: Eric Leslie via Flickr.

Stealing the Sacramento River - California agro‑barons' last huge water grab

Will Parrish

17th June 2014

In California, water no longer runs to the sea - it runs towards money, writes Will Parrish. Most of the state's water is already controlled by agribusiness elites. Now, backed by politicians, they are planning to grab the little that's left, leaving nature and indigenous communities high and dry. more...
A badger struggles to avoid drowning in the flooded river Saale, 2011. Photo: Margrit via Flickr.com.

Cull could put flood-struck badgers 'at risk of local extinction'

The Ecologist

2nd June 2014

Following last winter's severe flooding in SW England, the Government has refused to assess how badly badgers suffered - even though local populations could have crashed. If the cull goes ahead, badgers could be wiped out of some areas altogether. more...
White storks nesting at Coto Doñana, Spain. Photo: Ian Keith via Flickr.

Thanks to EU laws and money, Coto Doñana rises from disaster

Laurence Rose

4th June 2014

Spain's Coto Doñana shows the value of EU conservation law, writes Laurence Rose, as the UK tries to get rid of the Birds and Habitats Directives. Both have proved essential to the protection and restoration of one of Europe's greatest wetlands. more...
The blockade of the Amazon Highway near the Belo Monte construction site. Photo: Xingu Vivo.

Brazil: Amazon Indians shot at Belo Monte dam site

Xingu Vivo / The Ecologist

30th May 2014

This week 20 Amazon Indians walked to the Belo Monte dam site to demand the company keep its promises to compensate indigenous communities. Police shot them with 'rubber bullets' and stun grenades, wounding four. Tensions are rising ... more...
An Israeli Black Hawk helicopter lands in the well-watered Golan Heights. Photo: Sgt. Ori Shifrin / Israel Defense Forces via Flickr.

Water wars in the Middle East - $1 trillion is at stake

Garikai Chengdu

4th June 2014

Water is to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th ... the commodity that determines the wealth and stability of nations, writes Garikai Chengdu. Welcome to a new age of hydro-imperialism that is upon us right now in Syria, Israel, Iraq, Libya ...
more...
Oil pipeline across Lago Agrio, in Ecuador's Amazon. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr.

Your investment in Chevron will never be safe!

Humberto Piaguaje, UDAPT

29th May 2014

Humberto Piaguaje traveled from Ecuador's rainforest to Texas to deliver this Open Letter from Texaco's victims to Chevron-Texaco shareholders. Chevron is refusing to pay multi-billion dollar damages awarded to those suffering from its pollution. more...
Photo taken by Rastko’s friend Marko Ristic / 350.org.

Hundred-year Balkan floods: a report from the ground

Rastko Šejić / 350.org

29th May 2014

Apocalyptic floods have hit the Balkans, causing many deaths and billions of dollars of damage. 350.org campaigner Rastko Šejić from Obrenovac, Serbia, wrote this personal account of the floods - and how they have at least served to re-unite divided communities. more...
Cabo Pulmo, in its current, concrete-free incarnation. Alan Harper, CC BY-NC.

Mexico: 22,000 room mega-hotel threatens 'biodiversity hotspot'

Sula Vanderplank & Benjamin Wilder

28th May 2014

The Baja California peninsula is rich in history and natural beauty, with thousands of unique plants and animals making up its globally unique ecosystems, write Sula Vanderplank & Benjamin Wilder. Just the place for a new giant hotel resort? more...
Palestinian boys showing the Free Gaza passengers the lakes of untreated sewerage inside Gaza. Photo: Free Gaza movement via Flickr.

Water in Gaza - total collapse draws ever nearer

Irin News

31st May 2014

After suffering devastating winter floods, Gaza now prepares for a long, dry summer of acute water shortages, declining water quality and a collapsing sewage system, as its coastal aquifer faces permanent damage from over-use and seawater contamination. more...

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