The Ecologist

 

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Photo: World Economic Forum via Fliclr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Cuckoos in the nest: clipping the wings of corporate capitalism

George Feiger, Aston University

17th January 2017

Global corporations and their lofty princes have outgrown the control of regulators, politicians and society, writes George Feiger. Such is their power that they can extract an ever-growing share of global income, block any moves to limit their freedoms, and loot our future wealth for immediate profit. The first step to regaining control is to keep private money firmly out of politics. more...

When degrowth enters the parliament

Federico Demaria

16th January 2017

Ecological Economist FEDERICO DEMARIA was the youngest panellist at a recent House of Common debate on ‘Degrowth' as a movement gaining traction and now entering the corridors of power. Here's his report on the challenges and tasks ahead more...
With most luxury apartments in central London sold off-plan to overseas investors who often leave them empty or use them for a few weeks a year, the UK's social fabric is suffering from unrestricted capital inflows. Photo: Andrea Kirkby via Flickr (CC BY-

Progressive protectionism - the Green case for controlling our borders

Colin Hines

13th January 2017

The green movement's squeamish social liberalism has left it to the political right to exploit public concerns about population and immigration, writes Colin Hines. We must make the progressive case for controlling our borders, and restricting not just migration but the free movement of goods, services and capital where it threatens environment, wellbeing and social cohesion. more...
VC Summer Nuclear Station Unit 1 in South Carolina, showing the Reactor and Turbine Buildings. An AP1000 Toshiba / Westinghouse reactor is under construction, much delayed, on the same site. Photo: SCE&G via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Long-promised nuclear revival has run out of steam

Paul Brown

4th January 2017

A legacy of lies and covered-up accidents has left nuclear energy with a serious credibility gap, writes Paul Brown. But poor safety is only the beginning of the industry's problems. With 'new improved' reactor designs all running late and way over budget, any nuclear revival can only be sustained at massive, unaffordable taxpayer cost. more...

"NATURAL CAPITAL" - A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Victor Anderson

14th December, 2016

It is easy in a country like the UK to imagine that science and economics command the whole debate about nature's value. But step back and look at the bigger picture internationally, and it all looks rather different writes VICTOR ANDERSON more...
Google's not playing about: its commitment to run its data centres around the world on 100% renewable energy represents a systemic shift. Photo: Google's London offices by Marcin Wichary via Flickr (CC BY).

Trump, carbon neutrality and the next phase of business sustainability

Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan

14th December 2016

The President-elect may be determined to lead America down an environmentally damaging path, writes Andrew J. Hoffman. But he may find few in the corporate world, where a growing number of major players are committed to eliminating CO2 emissions and making sustainability a core element of their business systems and supply chains, leading to global green transformation. more...
Morning Sun Beams on the Thomas Divide in North Carolina as seen from Newfound Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where the Appalachian Trail crosses US 441. Photo: John Britt via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Fire, snow and mist: resilience and the way of the Smoky Mountains

Grant A. Mincy

13th December 2016

This summer, the Smoky Mountains burned, writes Grant A. Mincy. The aftermath is terrible to behold. But with the autumn rains and winter snow, life is returning, and a new cycle of regeneration is under way. Once again we witness the beating heart of the forest: water travels the vascular tissue of the trees and transpires over the valley and ridge. The wilderness is breathing. more...

Ecology Research Report: How noise pollution impacts marine ecology

Laura Briggs

12th December, 2016

Marine ecologists have shown how noise pollution is changing the behaviour of marine animals - and how its elimination will significantly help build their resilience. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...
Traditional agriculture on a farm in Cuba, where organic and agroecological farming now produce most of the nation's food. Photo: Tach_RedGold&Green via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Agroecology versus 'climate smart' - our next big challenge from COP22

Natalie Bennett

30th November 2016

How to make farming 'climate friendly' was one of the hot topics at COP22 in Marrakesh, writes Natalie Bennett, with two contrasting models on show: 'climate smart' agriculture, with its reliance on industrial farming systems; and agroecology, which works with nature to build fertile, high-carbon, moisture-retaining soils, and sustain employment for millions of skilled land workers. more...

The Arts Interview - The 'real' Lesley Hilling

Gary Cook, Arts Editor

28th November, 2016

Lesley Hilling is a core member of Human Nature - a group of 30 like-minded artists aiming to change the way people think and act about the natural environment through their work. GARY COOK visits her London home and studio to learn more more...

New scientific insights on ecologically unequal trade

Nick Meynen

23rd November, 2016

Conventional economic analyses of trade tend only to discern the flows of money, writes NICK MEYNEN. But by also considering biophysical metrics - such as material and energy flows, and embodied water and land - ecological economists can identify the asymmetric flows of resources obscured by the apparent reciprocity of market prices. more...
Bt GMO crops are designed to combat pests like the Helicoverpa armigera moth, which causes A$25 million of damage a year in Australia alone to crops such as cotton, legumes and vegetables. But there is a cost: damage to beneficial soil fungi. Photo: CSIRO

Vital soil fungi damaged by GMO Bt cotton

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

24th November 2016

A study of GMO cotton varieties shows they disrupt an important beneficial soil fungus, writes Eva Sirinathsinghji, apparently due to the Bt insecticide they are engineered to express. Disruption caused by the transgenic cotton to mycorrhizal fungi, and the wider soil ecosystem, may underlie the low yields and poor pest resistance now endemic among Bt GM crops. more...

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Scientists call for the protection of the little-known and disappearing ecosystem: seagrass ‘meadows'

LAURA BRIGGS

21st November, 2016

A unified scientific approach has been called for to help protect one of the most threatened ecosystems on earth. LAURA BRIGGS learns more about the unique ecosystem known as seagrass beds more...
Postgrowth debate on 28 Nov 2016

The End of Growth?

11 November 2016

An evening debate with Federico Demaria, Graeme Maxton, Jørgen Randers and Kate Raworth at the House of Commons, Monday 28 Nov 2016 more...
Once a rainforest ... land cleared for a palm oil plantation, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Privatizing nature, outsourcing governance: the economics of extinction

Margi Prideaux

7th November 2016

The 'Global Redesign Initiative', a project of the World Economic Forum, aims to replace UN-based intergovernmental decision-making with unaccountable 'multi-stakeholder governance' run by and for corporations, writes Margi Prideaux. What future for nature and people in this brave new world? Generate profits for investors, or face extinction or exclusion to the margins of existence. more...
Flyer for the Lucas Plan conference in Birmingham on 26th November 2016.

The Lucas Plan: how Greens and trade unionists can unite in common cause

David King, Breaking the Frame

2nd November 2016

Forty years ago workers at Lucas Aerospace created a detailed plan to transition out of the arms industry and into green, sustainable products and technologies, writes David King. it never happened, yet the Lucas Plan provides a blueprint for similar initiatives today to build a deep-rooted, broad-based movement for social, economic and ecological progress. more...
'Love Planet' by emily792872 via Flickr (CC BY).

Gaia lives! Overcoming our fear of a living planet

Charles Eisenstein

21st October 2016

To embrace the Earth as truly alive is a step too far even for many committed environmentalists, writes Charles Eisenstein: worried that others may perceive us as unscientific, childish, woolly-headed and ridiculous. But it's a step we must take: in refusing to recognise the living Gaia that is both our creator and our home, we accept and perpetuate the philosophy of her destroyers. more...

WITNESS: Obesity, Ecology and the Confines of the Government Strategy

Yvonne Adebola

13th October, 2016

In the first of our new WITNESS series of blogs, food anthropology researcher YVONNE ADEBOLA suggests a 'One Health' approach to childhood obesity which recognises the ecological impact of modern food systems on the environment and on our collective health and wellbeing more...
Abandoned, and going nowhere: Japan's the Monju 'fast' nuclear reactor. Photo: Nuclear Fuel and Power Reactor Development Corporation (PNC) / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Japan abandons Monju fast reactor: the slow death of a nuclear dream

Dr Jim Green

6th October 2016

'Fast breeder' reactors are promoted by nuclear enthusiasts as the clean, green energy technology of the future, writes Jim Green. But all the evidence tells us they are a catastrophic failure: complex, expensive, unreliable and accident-prone. Is Japan's decision to abandon its Monju reactor the latest nail in the coffin of a dead technology? Or the final stake through its rotten heart? more...
A Common toad colony migrating across a road near Ipswich.

Toad's 30-year decline shows 'large-scale deterioration of environmental quality'

Oliver Tickell

6th October 2016

A 30-year decline in toad populations recorded by volunteers, shows the need to rebuild vital 'green infrastructure' across both the wider countryside and urban areas, writes Oliver Tickell: reversing habitat fragmentation, digging out ponds and ditches, and leaving ample unkempt areas for cover and hibernation. more...
Wall to wall solar panels on industrial buildings in Birmingham, UK, where the Aurora report was published this week. Photo: h080 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Cheap as chips! 'Negligible' cost of integrating big solar into UK grid

Oliver Tickell

4th October 2016

A new study shows that the cost of 'integrating' the variable power output of large scale solar PV is surprisingly affordable, writes Oliver Tickell, at just a few pence per unit. Costs will fall further as more wind power, batteries and ever-cheaper solar drive the transition to a 100% renewable power system. more...

Tourism vs Ecology - which in this case boils down to SSSI Sand Dunes vs a new Scottish Golf Course

Laura Briggs

3rd October, 2016

Campaigners fighting a development for an 18-hole golf course on a pristine part of the Moray Firth are planning to launch a legal challenge against the plans with £10,000 they have sourced through crowdfunding. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...
These yurts on Mongolia's 'sea of grass' are powered through a miniature solar microgrid that is both compact and lightweight for easy carriage on to the next site. Photo: Shutterstock.

Off-grid renewables: the sustainable route to 100% global electricity access

Adnan Z. Amin / IRENA

4th October 2016

Off-grid renewable energy is key to achieving the global goal of 100% electricity access by 2030, writes Adnan Z. Amin, and to achieving the emissions reductions enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Thankfully, a confluence of factors - including rapid cost declines and impressive technology innovations - are making this goal more achievable than ever, and investment in the sector is taking off. more...

From neoliberalism to ecologism: what needs to happen next?

Nick Meynen

3rd October, 2016

The alternatives to neoliberalism - including a new community type of agriculture and community-owned green energy, local currencies, peer-to-peer networks and a sharing economy - are already here and unfolding right now. All we need is a revolution writes NICK MEYNEN more...
Photo: ben.timney via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Digital Disconnect and its adverse impact on how (or whether) we engage with nature

Laura Briggs

29th September 2016

As the Digital Schoolhouse programme starts a national roll out to schools across the UK, scientists warn that digital disconnect can mean caring less - for each other and the environment. LAURA BRIGGS reports. more...

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