The Ecologist

 

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Melting point: researchers study Arctic sea ice and melt ponds on the Chuckchi Sea. Photo: Kathryn Hansen / NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Arctic ice loss sends Alaskan temperatures soaring

Alex Kirby

22nd October 2014

Scientists analysing more than three decades of weather data for the northern Alaska outpost of Barrow have recorded an astonishing 7°C temperature rise, writes Alex Kirby - and the likely cause is the decline in Arctic sea ice. more...
Fisherfolk on the beach, The Gambia. Photo: Angus Kirk via Flickr.

Ocean grabbing: a new wave of 21st century enclosures

Nick Buxton, Carsten Pedersen & Mads Christian Barbesgaard

20th October 2014

Small-scale fishing communities are key to any transition towards an ecologically and socially just food regime. But backed by the World Bank, powerful corporate interests are seizing their fish, seas and shores in the name of 'sustainability'. A revolution of the poor is needed to rebuild food sovereignty - and restore the oceans to the global commons. more...
An artist's impression of the Hinkley C nuclear power plant. Image: EDF Energy media library.

NAO investigates Hinkley C nuclear subsidies

Terry Macalister / The Guardian

17th October 2014

Hinkley C's subsidy package may have won European Commission approval - but now it faces a National Audit Office 'value for money' investigation, following a demand from a powerful Parliamentary committee. more...
Owen Paterson meets Hillary Clinton. Photo: from owenpaterson.org.

Keeping the lights on

Owen Paterson

16th October 2014

Last night's speech on Britain's energy choices by former environment secretary Owen Paterson's caused widespread outrage long before it was delivered. But what exactly did he say on the night? Read on, and be surprised to discover that it makes excellent sense - in parts. more...
Picture found in Honkawa Elementary School in 2013 of the Hiroshima atom bomb cloud, believed to have been taken about 30 seconds after detonation of about 10km (6 miles) east of the hypocentre. Photo: Honkawa Elementary School / Wikimedia Commons.

The ICRP's radiation risk model is bogus science

Chris Busby

22nd October 2014

The world has been the victim of a monstrous scientific error that has understated the dangers of radiation, writes Chris Busby. Following the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, investigators used 'controls' who had been exposed to high levels of 'black rain' fallout to understate the health impacts of radiation. This bogus science still underlies risk models today. more...
Who needs vegetables when there's deep-fried Mars Bars to eat? Photo: karendesuyo via Flickr.

Scotland: time for a National Food Service?

Pete Ritchie & Miriam Ross

15th October 2014

The Scottish diet is famous for being the worst in Europe, write Pete Ritchie and Miriam Ross. Yet the country has rich land and sea resources, and exports large quantities of high quality food. By treating food as a common good instead of leaving the market to provide, Scots can start to transform their food future. more...
The UK's first bomb test: Operation Hurricane. The plutonium implosion device was exploded at sea at the Montebello Islands, West Australia, on 3rd October 1952. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Bomb test veterans' grandchildren suffer health impacts

Chris Busby

16th October 2014

A scientific paper published this week shows that the severe health damage caused to UK bomb test veterans persists through the generations, writes Chris Busby. Their children and grandchildren are almost ten times more likely to suffer from congenital malformations than controls - and the only common cause is historic radiation exposure.
more...
What’s for dinner? Crocodile and antelope. CIFOR, CC BY-NC-ND.

Take bushmeat off the menu before humans are served another ebola

Robert Young

14th October 2014

Ebola and many other diseases have their origin in wild animals, writes Robert Young. The biggest opportunities for infection arises when people hunt and eat diseased animals, exposing themselves to their viruses and bacteria. To keep 'other ebolas' at bay, we must put an end to the bushmeat trade. more...
Greenpeace demonstration in Olkiluoto, Finland. Photo: Greenpeace Finland via Flickr.

Hinkley C will cost Britain dear - if it's ever built

Keith Barnham

15th October 2014

The UK Government promises that the Hinkley C 'EPR' nuclear reactor will lower electricity bills, but Keith Barnham shows that this is the very reverse of the truth. Our best hope is that it will never be built. Legal challenges aside, no sane investor will commit until one of the two EPR prototypes is working, which will be in 2016 at the earliest. more...
Krak des Chevaliers, the greatest of all the crusader castles, located in modern day Syria. Gavin Bannerman via Flickr.

Crusaders and Zionists

Uri Avnery

12th October 2014

The words 'Crusaders' and 'Zionists' are appearing ever more often as twins, writes Uri Avnery - and there are astonishing historical resonances between the two. If Israel wants to avoid the fate of the medieval Crusaders, it had better start accentuating the differences, and become a true Middle Eastern state, rooted in the region's native soil and culture. more...
Impressive and exciting, for sure. But what kind of life is it for an orca? Photo: Orca and trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida by Jeff Kraus via Flickr.

British Airways - stop selling trips to SeaWorld!

Kathleen Haase

13th October 2013

British Airways' commercial partnership with SeaWorld condones the physical and psychological suffering of orcas in captivity, writes Kathleen Haase, who meets the company's executives today. Her aim - to stop the sale of package holidays to SeaWorld parks and expose cetacean captivity as cruel and unethical. more...
It was Greenpeace wot won it. Image: Greenpeace.

Greenpeace victory - LEGO ends Shell promotion link

The Ecologist

9th October 2014

Following a 1 million signature Greenpeace petition, LEGO has pledged not to renew a 50-year link with the oil company Shell. The move comes as Shell bids to renew its Arctic drilling in 2015, and following revelations that it is trying to dilute environmental regulation in Arctic waters. more...

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The Prostitute State

Nuclear power trumps democracy

Donnachadh McCarthy

9th October 2014

The UK's political mainstream has performed a complete U-Turn in policy on nuclear power, culminating yesterday in the European Commission's approval of a £15-20 billion subsidy package for the Hinckley C project. Donnachadh McCarthy delves into the nuclear industry's deep and far-reaching political links. more...
Hinkley Point B. Photo: Ken Grainger / geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons.

Hinkley C gets the go-ahead - but will it prove a dodgy nuclear deal too far?

Paul Dorfman

8th October 2014

The outgoing European Commission has just given the UK's controversial Hinkley C nuclear project the go-ahead, writes Paul Dorfman - approving a deal that will cost the UK public tens of billions of pounds. But now the deal faces a legal challenge in the European Court of Justice. more...
What was once the Aral Sea at Muinak, Qoraqalpoghiston, Uzbekistan. Photo: so11e via Flickr.

Once a Sea - now it's the Aral Desert

Anson Mackay

16th October 2014

The Aral Sea is a well known environmental disaster zone. But this year, it got a whole worse, writes Anson Mackay, as its biggest basin dried up completely to expose a toxic, salty wasteland. With continuing irrigation and declining river flows due to climate change, the desert is only set to expand. more...
Would TTIP force the privatization of the NHS? No - but it could make it impossible to roll back any privatisation once it had taken place. Photo: 38 Degrees' members in Sheffield Hallam hand in a massive NHS petition to their MP, Nick Clegg. By 38 Degree

Make no mistake - the TTIP is a move in the wrong direction

Gabriel Siles-Brügge

6th October 2014

A huge EU-US trade and investment deal may not be quite so dangerous as its opponents portray it, writes Gabriel Siles-Brügge - but it still represents a serious threat to governments' ability to regulate for the benefit of citizens and environment, and would entrench 'competitive' markets in public service provision. more...
A loggerhead turtle lost among the garbage lies dead, baked under the midday sun. Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd.

Sea turtles run the deadly garbage gauntlet of Praia de Achados

Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd

6th October 2014

Out in the Atlantic off the coast of West Africa, the Cape Verde islands should be pristine, writes Simon Ager, a haven for sea turtles and other wildlife. But the beach where loggerhead turtles have nested for millions of years is buried under a deadly morass of plastic garbage. more...
Greenpeace action at Shell's petrol station in Davos, January 2013. Photo: Greenpeace Switzerland via Flickr.

Arctic madness: oil majors plead for lower safety standards

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

6th October 2014

Oil majors are gearing up to exploit Arctic oil, writes Mike G. But they don't want to carry the costs of all the safety equipment the US Government is demanding to protect the fragile Arctic environment from spills. And they're reluctant to give up the use of toxic chemical dispersants. more...
This 62.5 MW Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR-II) at the Argonne National Laboratory (USA) was built in 1965 and closed in 1994 due to its abysmal economics and proliferation concerns. The design is the basis of the PRISM and Integral Fast Reactors being

'New' reactor types are all nuclear pie in the sky

Jim Green

2nd October 2014

There's an Alice in Wonderland flavour to the nuclear power debate, writes Jim Green. Lobbyists are promoting all sorts of new reactor types - an implicit admission that existing reactors aren't up to the job. But the designs they are promoting have two severe problems. They don't exist. And they have no customers. more...
Park rangers working in  Priazovskii National Park. Photo: Dimiter Kenarov.

Ukraine - now the war is to rescue threatened nature

Dimiter Kenarov

1st October 2014

Ukraine's Priazovskii National Park epitomises the problems faced by the world's natural areas, writes Dimiter Kenarov, as it contends with inadequate funding, rising sea levels, dried-out rivers, industrial pollution and illegal hunting. And that's not to mention the war. But the staff battle on: 'If we don't do this, then who will?' more...
A radioactive emissions spike taking place during refueling from fugitive noble gas release at the Gundremmigen nuclear plant, Bavaria, Germany. Measured as kBq/m3 against time, in half-hourly intervals. Graph: Alfred Korblein.

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants - a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Dr Ian Fairlie

29th September 2014

When nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation, writes Ian Fairlie. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants - but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures. more...
View of the Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Photo: Ben Holt - National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) via Wikimedia Commons.

Ice sheets will be melting, and raising seas, for centuries to come

Eelco Rohling

28th September 2014

A study of 120 ice sheet collapses shows that 68% went from initial change to maximum retreat within 400 years - and that once triggered, the process and the associated sea level rise kept accelerating for hundreds of years. We may face a 1m sea level rise by 2100, writes Eelco Rohling - and much more in centuries to come. more...
The environmental movement in Malaysia remains strong, despite judicial repression, as this recent demonstration against Lynas and Bersih shows. Photo: cumi&ciki via Wikimedoa Commons.

Malaysia: eco-activists combat judicial repression

Meena Raman

26th September 2014

Government and corporations are resorting to the judicial repression of environmental activism in Malaysia, writes Meena Raman - deploying public order and defamation laws to suppress criticism and protest. Malaysia must value its peoples health and security above corporate profit. more...
Marcellus Shale rig and gas well operation on Ridge Road in Jackson Township, Butler County, PA operated by Rex Energy. Photo: WCN 24/7 via Flickr.

Skin, respiratory symptoms increase near gas wells

The Ecologist

25th September 2014

A health study in Pennsylvania, USA, shows that people living near fracking and other natural gas wells are more likely to suffer from skin conditions and upper respiratory symptoms. It calls for further study of the associations, including the role of specific air and water exposures. more...
The secret of healthy food is healthy soil - as with these organic potatoes bursting from the ground in early June this year at Sandy lane Farm, Oxfordshire. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm.

For healthy food we need living, organic soils

Hannah Bewsey & Katherine Paul / OCA

9th October 2014

Soils are naturally alive with complex 'food webs' of micro-organisms that sustain plants with moisture and nutrients, making them good to eat. But once the biota have been blitzed with agro-chemicals under industrial farming regimes, it's our health that suffers. One more reason to grow, and eat, organic! more...

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