The Ecologist

 

EC: 1/25 of 1966
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A lignite-burning power station in Greece. Photo: Greenpeace-Greece.

Greece’s anti-solar, coal-based energy policies underlie its economic collapse

Takis Grigoriou / Greenpeace EnergyDesk

3rd July 2015

As Greece prepares for its referendum, Takis Grigoriou takes Greece to task for its highly polluting lignite power sector, its ditching of a successful solar program in favour of more coal, the minimal insulation in its buildings that locks in high fuel bills, and Syriza's failure to tackle these issues. The good news? Greece's latest €1.4bn coal project looks like going unfunded. more...
There's more to health and wellbeing than the NHS! Out cycling on the Folkestone to Hythe Coastpath last summer. Photo: Gareth Williams via Flickr (CC BY).

Health and wellbeing are at the heart of our Green future

Natalie Bennett

3rd July 2015

The NHS is one of our greatest institutions and we must defend it to the hilt, writes Natalie Bennett. But to build the healthy society we all want and deserve, we need joined up policies across the policy spectrum, valuing human wellbeing above crude economic growth. more...
Frack off! Photo: JustinWoolford via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Secret report: fracking could hurt house prices, health and environment

Adam Vaughan & Rowena Mason / Guardian Environment

2nd July 2015

House prices could fall 7% near fracking rigs, according to the 'secret' Defra report on fracking in rural areas, only published in full after a legal battle, while leakage of waste water could damage human health and contaminate food. more...
Just don't bring a nuclear power plant! Mission to Mars as envisioned by Pat Rawlings in 1985 for NASA. Image: Pat Rawlings / NASA.

NASA's warning - SpaceX crash highlights dangers of nuclear power in space

Karl Grossman

2nd July 2015

Sunday's SpaceX crash sends a powerful warning of the dangers of nuclear power on spacecraft, writes Karl Grossman. But will NASA listen? Despite the success of solar-powered missions, it's planning to use plutonium to power future missions and a new report asserts a continuing need for the technology - even as Russia ditches the idea. more...
Image: Breaking the Frame.

Exposing technocracy - the mindset of industrial capitalism

David King

27th June 2015

Technology is crucial to all the big issues, but criticism is hampered by mythologies and structures of power, writes David King. Designed by and for corporate interests, modern industrial technologies embody a 400-year old technocratic philosophy of control of nature and people which must be confronted. more...
Elephants examine the tusk of a poached sibling. Photo: Karl Ammann, author provided.

Where does ivory come from? Now we know, with forensic DNA analysis

Samuel Wasser

25th June 2015

Forensic analysis of DNA in ivory seized by police and customs officials reveals where it comes from, writes Samuel Wasser, giving valuable information to law enforcers. But this powerful tool is only as effective as the national authorities, and Tanzania, a major ivory hotspot, has been very slow to respond to warnings. more...
Radical Bankers gather in their social centre in an abandoned bank. Photo: The Source Brighton.

Anti-austerity movement revives radical urban squatting

Almudena Serpis

24th June 2015

Long a feature of British urban life, domestic squatting has now been criminalised, writes Almudena Serpis. But suddenly two social centres have come to life in a squatted bank in Brighton, and a long abandoned pub in London, reviving the rebellious spirit of the squatting movement, and promulgating a radical anti-austerity message that evokes the struggles in Greece, Spain and beyond. more...
'Nullius in verba' (Don't take anyone's word for it) - motto and coat of arms of the Royal Society, used in its bookplate. Photo: kladcat via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

The Royal Society's assault on the science of GM foods must cease

Steven M. Druker

25th June 2015

The Royal Society wants us to take its word that GM crops are safe and healthy, writes Steven Druker. But it refuses to retract its errors, apologise to those whose reputations it has impugned, or enter into constructive debate on the issue. To restore its scientific integrity, it must abide by its own motto. more...
Ex-congressman Eduardo Veliz (white hair) leads a protest at San Cristobál airport, Galapagos, against excessive development, prior to his arrest. Photo: El Colono (Galapagos newspaper).

Galápagos rebellion against foreign investment in hotels, golf courses, luxury tourism

Jane Shaw

25th June 2015

Residents of Ecuador's Galápagos islands are mounting angry protests against government plans to open the World Heritage Site to foreign investment in luxury tourism and hotels, writes Jane Shaw. They fear for the fragile ecology of the islands, for water shortages caused by golf courses and swimming pools, and for their livelihoods which depend on current 'low intensity' tourism. more...
General Audience with Pope Francis. Photo: © Mazur / catholicnews.org.uk via Flickr / Catholic Church England and Wales (CC BY-NC-SA).

Social and environmental justice: the struggle is one!

Pope Francis

28th June 2015

We must beware an 'environmental' agenda that excludes the human dimension, Pope Francis writes in his recent Encyclical: the poor are least to blame for the ecological and climate crises, yet they are its primary victims. Humanity must make enduring decisions about the world we and our children will share. more...
The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site from Drigg Beach, Cumbria, UK. Photo: Ashley Coates via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Civil servants must speak out: 'the time has gone for nuclear power'

Paul Flynn MP

18th June 2015

Despite the PR spin the truth about nuclear power is clear, says Paul Flynn. Current projects are plagued with technical failures, cost escalations and long delays - while renewables power ahead. As tin-eared ministers refuse to get the message, it's time for civil servants to speak out direct to the public. more...
The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis, 19th march 2013. Photo: Catholic Church England and Wales via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Pope Francis's climate letter is a radical attack on the logic of the market

Steffen Böhm, University of Essex

18th June 2015

The Encyclical published today by Pope Francis represents a profound religious and philosophical challenge to the mainstream narratives of our times, writes Steffen Böhm, and a major confrontation with the great corporate, economic and political powers, as it spells out the potential of a new world order rooted in love, compassion, and care for the natural world. more...

EC: 1/25 of 1966
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Photo: Troed-Y-Rhiw Farm via Facebook.

To support 'green' farming, officials must learn that small is beautiful

Alicia Miller / Sustainable Food Trust.

16th June 2015

It's a hard life being an organic farmer, writes Alicia Miller - and specially when it comes to engaging with a bureaucracy that's trying to 'green' our agriculture. Should small scale farmers change their farming practices to fit in with it? Or the other way round?
more...
Salmon run on the Adam's River, BC. Photo: John Biehler via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Is Canada's government trying to kill off the wild salmon?

Jeff Matthews

8th June 2015

Does the Canadian Government actually want to wipe out its wild salmon? To ordinary, sane people, the idea is completely mad, writes Jeff Matthews. But for resource extraction industries, salmon farmers and right wing neoliberal politicians, it could make perfect sense. more...
Sending men to the moon was easy compared to building a green energy future - they hadn't got the world's most powerful and heavily subsidised industry against them. Photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

'Global Apollo' programme for renewables cannot take off without political power

James Dyke

4th June 2015

The Apollo Programme proposed this week to make renewable energy cheaper than coal through technological advances is welcome, writes James Dyke. But the real problems are political, not technological. Unless we back the Apollo vision by challenging the power of fossil fuel companies, it can never succeed. more...
In danger? Apparently not. Under threat? For sure. A Red-spotted Porcelain Crab (Neopetrolisthes maculatus) on anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum). Steve's Bommie, Ribbon Reef #3, Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Richard Ling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UNESCO decides: Great Barrier Reef is not 'in danger'

Emily Lindsay Brown

2nd June 2015

Australia's government can breathe a sigh of relief as UNESCO keeps the Great Barrier Reef off its 'World Heritage in danger' list, writes Emily Lindsay Brown. But in return, it has committed to protect the reef from farm run-off and dredgings, and to implement its 'Reef 2050' sustainability plan. If Australia fails, the Reef could be officially 'in danger' as soon as 2020. more...
Prophetik by Jeff Garner on display at Eco Fashion Week 2012 in Vancouver, April 2012. Photo: Jason Hargrove via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Sustainable fashion is slow fashion - because fast comes at a price

Ruth Styles

8th June 2015

The mainstream fashion industry is trapped in a competitive spiral of ever shorter and faster sales and production cycles, writes Ruth Styles - and that inevitably stresses both textile workers and natural resources. But there is another way: the way of 'slow fashion' in which clothes are timeless, beautiful and made to last. more...
Cape Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion pumilum) in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Elton Harding via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Endangered species don't need an Ark - they need a Living Planet!

Derrick Jensen

11th June 2015

While we face 'hard choices' about which species and ecosystems to conserve, it's odd how we face no such quandaries over which of our frivolous luxuries to refrain from, or what murderous weapons system not to build, writes Derrick Jensen. And of course, there's no question at all of tackling the root causes of global ecocide. more...
If you want to improve education for the poor, like these school children in Sierra Leone, handing over hundreds of millions of pounds to global corporations is not the way to do it. Photo: bobthemagicdragon via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Giving aid money to big business doesn't solve poverty. Who knew?

Kevin Smith

23d May 2015

The UK government has showered £500 million of its aid budget on 'partnerships' with global corporations that are meant to help the poor, writes Kevin Smith. Surprise - an independent assessment has found that the only ones to benefit were the companies themselves. This ideologically-driven farce must stop now! more...
Sydney Action to Save the Reef, February 2013. Photo: Kate Ausburn via Flickr (CC BY).

Coal and climate change: a death sentence for the Great Barrier Reef

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

21st May 2015

Over the Great Barrier Reef's coral has already been lost, writes Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, and UNESCO is expected to add the site to its 'World Heritage in danger' list. The reef's survival will depend on the world's ability to control carbon emissions. So why is Australia planning to open vast new coal mines in the Galilee Basin? more...
The edge of an experimental sheep grazing exclusion zone (to the right) within Al Talila Reserve, Palmyra, photographed in March 2008 in the midst of an intense drought period. Sheep quasi uncontrolled grazing was allowed to the left of the fence. Grazing

Over-grazing and desertification in the Syrian steppe are the root causes of war

Gianluca Serra

5th June 2015

Civil war in Syria is the result of the desertification of the ecologically fragile Syrian steppe, writes Gianluca Serra - a process that began in 1958 when the former Bedouin commons were opened up to unrestricted grazing. That led to a wider ecological, hydrological and agricultural collapse, and then to a 'rural intifada' of farmers and nomads no longer able to support themselves. more...
The lights may be green - but what about the energy? Photo: Dennis van Zuijlekom via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Coal-heavy utilities stand in the way of a green internet

The Ecologist

12th May 2015

Powered by 100% renewable energy, Apple is maintaining its lead as the internet's greenest company, But others are lagging behind: Google has yet to reach 50% and relies heavily on coal, while Amazon's AWS, the massive 'dark cloud' of the web, won't even answer questions. more...
Young fishers with their catch on the opening day after a temporary fisheries closure. Small-scale fisheries support the livelihoods of at least 500 million people worldwide - Andavadoaka, Madagascar. Photo: Garth Cripps / Blue Ventures.

Sustainable abundance - rebuilding fisheries to support coastal communities in Madagascar

Alasdair Harris

12th May 2015

Marine conservation is usually expressed in austere and negative terms, writes Alasdair Harris, with strict quotas and exclusion zones. But the truth is the exact opposite: it's about working with natural ecosystems to unlock their productive potential, creating sustainable wealth and abundance for fishing communities while enhancing marine biodiversity. more...
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) at RSPB Medmerry, West Sussex England. Photo: BiteYourBum.Com Photography via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

We must defend Europe's wildlife laws!

Martin Harper

12th May 2015

Europe's most important laws for wildlife, the EU's Nature Directives, are under threat in from a recently launched 'review', writes Martin Harper. The official purpose is to make the laws more effective, but in reality it's all part of the Commission's agenda to strip away regulations that impede business in its pursuit of profit. more...
The Middelgrunden marine wind farm near Copenhagen is a wonder of 'green' energy technology. But even this has its toxic footprint, in the mines that produce the neodymium that's indispensable to their operation. Photo: Andreas Klinke Johannsen via Flickr

Renewable energy alone cannot reverse global warming or make a sustainable world

Pete Dolack

25th May 2015

The renewable power boom is excellent news for people and planet, writes Pete Dolack. But let's not get carried away: much energy that claims to be 'renewable; like biomass and big hydro, is no such thing. And greening our energy is just one of many steps to a sustainable world. The greatest challenges - like tackling the monster of infinite 'growth' - all lie ahead. more...

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