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Ecologist Special Report: Divesting from investment in fossil fuels gains momentum in the UK

Remo Bebié, Finance Dialogue,

15th May, 2017

Since the beginning of the year, increasing efforts by both public and private institutions to reduce their exposure to fossil fuel investments have emerged and over the weekend, UK campaigners further stepped up the pressure in a serious of co-ordinated Global Divestment Mobilisation (GDM) calls for continued divestment. Remo Bebié takes an overview more...

The demise of the Horse Chestnut tree - Armageddon or Scaremongering?

Dawn Starin

12th May, 2017

Over the past few years newspaper headlines suggesting that various alien invaders are decimating the British horse chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum) and that all affected trees should be removed have been making alarming reading. But talk to the experts, and a slightly different, less horror-filled story arises, writes anthropologist, DAWN STARIN. more...
Mural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in celebration of indigenous culture by the artist Eduardo Kobra. Photo: Stefano Ravalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil: Amazon's Indians, rainforest under attack

Jan Rocha / Climate News Network

10th May 2017

Attacks on Amazon Indians and on their land rights are threatening vital areas of rainforest, writes Jan Rocha. Meanwhile FUNAI, the agency responsible for safeguarding indigenous tribes is being forced to withdraw from key conflict zones due to underfunding, while Indians' attempts to assert their rights are met with state violence. more...
Spot the difference: Monsanto's new 'Glyphosate-free' Roundup product, now on sale in Germany, and a bottle of vinegar. Photo: Dr Helmut Burtscher / GMWatch.

Monsanto's new 'glyphosate-free' Roundup is vinegar!

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

8th May 2017

Has Monsanto, dubbed the 'world's most evil corporation', turned a new leaf? It has taken the 'probably carcinogenic' glyphosate out of a new version of its market leading 'Roundup' herbicide, and replaced it with vinegar. The bad news is it's only available in Austria. That, and it may still contain toxic 'adjuvants' to increase its effectiveness. more...
Everyday life at the Preston New Road fracking site. Photo: Mat Hope / DeSmog UK (CC BY).

Battered but steadfast: dispatch from Lancashire, England's fracking frontline

Mat Hope / DeSmog.uk

8th May 2017

The months-old protest at Preston New Road, Lancashire, is no longer just about fracking, writes Mat Hope. This dispute is now about London versus the North. It is about the government failing 'the people' from which it has become detached. It is about people sensing hopelessness and helplessness and trying to find a means to resist. And it is about holding on, steadfast, in spite of it all, knowing this is the forgotten frontline of a far greater struggle. more...
The People's Climate March rally in New York City, 21st September 2014. Photo: Alejandro Alvarez via Wikimedia commons (CC BY-SA).

A climate insurgency: building a Trump-free, fossil-free future

Jeremy Brecher

28th April 2014

After 99 days of Donald Trump's presidency, his only achievement is to pursue his anti-climate, anti-environment agenda with a cruel passion that is already alienating a clear majority of Americans, writes Jeremy Brecher. The Peoples Climate March tomorrow will signal the strength of the fightback. And while there will be no overnight victory, a national, indeed a global movement is forming to resist Trump and bring the age of fossil fuels to its long overdue end. more...
John Muir, full-length portrait, facing right, seated on rock with lake and trees in background, circa 1902. Photo: unknbown via Library of Congress (Public Domain).

Divine ecstasy of Nature: Selected Writings by John Muir

Terry Tempest Williams

17th May 2017

May this new collection of John Muir's writings reach us now and inspire another generation to fall in love with wild nature, to care for it, to know that wilderness is not optional but central to our survival in the centuries to come, writes Terry Tempest Williams - and remind us how to embrace this beautiful, broken world once again with an open heart. If we do approach the mountain, it is we who are moved. more...
Back to the future? Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London, in the Great Fog of 1952. Photo: N T Stobbs via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Conservatives' hard right Brexit plans: UK's great leap backwards to 'dirty man of Europe'

Brendan Montague

27th April 2017

It's barely mentioned in the election campaign or reported in the media. But a powerful faction of Tory ministers, ex-ministers and backbench MPs are bent on using Brexit to ignite a massive bonfire of 'spirit-crushing' laws on wildlife protection, air and water pollution, pesticides, renewable energy and public health, writes Brendan Montague. At risk are not just EU directives and regulations but even the UK's own Climate Change Act. May's Brexit may not just be hard, but very, very dirty. more...
Footbridge over the Coapa River in Chiapas, Mexico, which supports local silvopasture (forestry and livestock grazing). Photo: Lameirasb via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

To conserve tropical forests and wildlife, protect the rights of people who rely on them

Prakash Kashwan, University of Connecticut

26th April 2017

Who are the best guardians of forests and other wild places? Governments? Conservation NGOs? Corporations? No, writes Prakash Kashwan, it's the indigenous peoples who have lived in harmony with their environment for millennia. But to be able do so, they must first be accorded rights to their historic lands and resources, both in law and in practice. Among the countries leading the way, Mexico. Among the laggards, Kenya and India. more...
How it all began: Monsanto Tribunal Opening day, 14th October 2016. Photo: Monsanto Tribunal via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Tribunal judges: Monsanto isn't feeding the world - it's undermining food security

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

24th April 2017

Five international judges say Monsanto's activities have negatively affected individuals, communities and biodiversity, writes Claire Robinson. The Monsanto Tribunal's damning ruling denounces the company's harmful impacts on food sovereignty, agricultural production, access to nutrition, the natural environment, seed diversity, climate change, pollution and traditional cultural practices. more...
An official vet talks with with abattoir staff during the slaughter of sheep. Photo: Animal Aid.

Special Investigation: How bullying and intimidation in abattoirs threatens food safety checks

Andrew Wasley

19th April 2017

A Unison survey of UK meat hygiene inspectors found that, last year, 51% of respondents had been the victim of bullying and harassment. One inspector said the situation was so bad he had considered suicide. Campaigning reporter, ANDREW WASLEY investigates more...
Chinese-built road under construction through rainforest in Mouloundou Department, Ogooue-Lolo, Gabon. Photo: jbdodane via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The dark legacy of China's drive for global resources

William Laurance

11th April 2017

As China pursues a startling array of energy, mining, logging, agricultural, transport and other infrastructure projects on virtually every continent, it is having an unprecedented impact on the planet, writes William Laurance. It's not that China is any worse than historic colonial powers - the difference is in the sheer scale and pace of environmental destruction, and the total lack of oversight under which Chinese mega-corporations operate. more...

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These trees along Idaho's Selway River may be harboring insects, fungi and bacteria - best cut them down quick to maintain forest health! Photo: Friends of Clearwater.

Catastrophic 'anti-infestation' logging threatens US National Forests

Brett Haverstick

10th April 2017

A fresh wave of logging is hitting America's national forests, writes Brett Haverstick. But this time it's all for the sake of 'forest health' and 'fire prevention'. It might look like industrial clear-cutting to you and me, but really, it's in a good cause. And if the forests and precious ecosystems they harbor just happen to perish in the process ... well ain't that just too bad? more...
The four eastern cooling towers at the Drax biomass and coal-fired power station in North Yorkshire. Photo: Jonathan Brennan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No Drax! There's nothing 'sustainable' about big biomass

Frances Howe

10th April 2017

The Drax power station in Yorkshire is the UK's biggest CO2 emitter, burns more wood each year than the entire UK timber harvest, and is a major importer of coal from strife-stricken regions of Colombia, writes Frances Howe. This Thursday campaigners will target the company's AGM to highlight its impacts on forests, biodiversity, climate and communities, in the face of Drax's PR offensive to make biomass appear 'sustainable'. more...

Ecologist Special Report: A multinational fracking boom begins in Colombia

Sebastian Ordoñez and Daniel MacMilllen Voskoboynik

7th April, 2017

Information from Colombia's National Hydrocarbons Agency shows that at least 43 new fracking concessions have been handed out to multinational companies including Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Drummond. These concessions affect over three hundred municipalities, in the departments of Cesar, Santander, Boyacá, Cundinamarca and Tolima. SEBASTIAN ORDOÑEZ and DANIEL MACMILLEN VOSKOBOYNIK report. more...

Ecologist Special Report: The Indigenous Communities fighting oil companies in the Peruvian Amazon

Arthur Wyns

5th April, 2017

The Indigenous Peoples of Standing Rock are by no means alone in their struggle for the recognition and preservation of their native lands: a very similar story of resistance against oil extraction is taking place further south, and has been going on for almost half a century, namely the fight of the Indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon against oil pollution and oppression, writes biologist ARTHUR WYNS more...
Aerial view of Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar. Photo: via Andrew Lees Trust.

Tall tales and tailings - the truth about Rio Tinto's rare earth mine in Madagascar

Yvonne Orengo

3rd April 2017

Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar was meant to be an exemplar of 'corporate social responsibility' and environmental best practice. But the reality experienced by local communities is different, writes Yvonne Orengo, with uncompensated land seizures, food insecurity, deforestation and social deprivation. New concerns are emerging about the infringement of legal buffer zones and radiation exposure. Rio Tinto must be held responsible for its actions! more...
At risk: Canaima National Park in the Venezuelan Amazon headwaters. Photo: Antonio Jose Hitcher (@antoniohitcher).

Saving the Venezuelan Amazon: mega-nature reserve? Or mega-mining frontier?

Lucio Marcello

30th March 2017

Venezuela is set to hand over 12% of the nation's territory in the upper reaches of the Amazon rainforest to mining corporations, writes Lucio Marcello, with 150 companies from 35 countries poised to devastate the army-controlled 'special economic zone'. But resistance is growing, and a counter-proposal aims to protect the area's precious biodiversity, indigenous cultures and water resources in a new South Orinoco Mega Reserve. more...

The Challenges of Green Living: Finding Enough Food In Nature

Paul Miles

24th March, 2017

Before taking to a low impact lifestyle aboard his narrowboat, PAUL MILES imagined foraging - especially in springtime - would keep his galley larder well stocked but learns the reality is very different ... more...
Victoria water lilies in Pucate Creek (Quebrada Pucate) off Rio Marañon, Peru. Photo: Mike LaBarbera via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Scientists: protect vast Amazon peatland to avoid palm oil 'environmental disaster'

Joe Sandler Clarke /Greenpeace Energydesk

23rd March 2017

A recently discovered peatland in northeast Peru contains two years worth of US carbon emissions, writes Joe Sandler Clarke, but it's under threat from the rapidly advancing 'palm oil frontier'. Now scientists are calling for the wetland's immediate protection - before it's too late to save it. more...
Organic beetroot grown at Sandy lane Farm, Oxfordshire: good for you, the farmer, wildlife and the wider environment. Photo: Sandy lane Farm via Facebook.

We need more organic farming!

Peter Melchett / Soil Association

23rd March 2017

A new study sets out the huge benefits of organic farming to people and the environment, writes Peter Melchett, including more wildlife, healthier consumers and farm workers, lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced soil erosion and increased water retention. We need more of it, fast! more...
A forest? You might not think so, but according to the FAO's definition, oh yes it is! Photo: Balaji Kasirajan via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

FAO: Plantations are not forests!

World Rainforest Movement

21st March 2017

Since 1948 the UN's Food and Agriculture has been clinging to an outmoded definition of 'forests' that includes industrial wood plantations, writes WRM in this Open Letter for delivery to the FAO today, International Forests Day. This mis-definition seriously harms real forests and forest peoples as it justifies the clearance of real forests and their replacement with cash crops of trees. more...

Environmental vandalism? Campaigners regroup to stop the Great Downland Sell-Off

Jan Goodey

15th March, 2017

Campaigners up and down the country are trying to stop public access land from going under the hammer as UK councils seek ways to plug the Government funding gap. JAN GOODEY reports more...
At the Orgreave Colliery in 1984, a mounted policeman takes a swing with his baton at Lesley Boulton of Women Sgainst Pit Closures. Photo of newspaper cutting by Diego Sideburns via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking, Brexit and austerity: the coming fight for British freedom

Paul Mobbs

14th March 2017

Post Brexit, get ready for a massive attack on our liberty, especially on the right to protest, writes Paul Mobbs. With the UK likely to secede from the European Convention on Human Rights, prepare for a new empowerment of police to act with impunity against peaceful activists. We must be ready to stand up, with honour and dignity, for our ancient British right to dissent. more...

The Ethical Foodie: Walk on the wild side

Tim Maddams

14th March, 2017

As the UK Forestry Commission imposes a blanket ban on foraging in the New Forest, our food columnist, chef TIM MADDAMS questions the wisdom of this and makes the link between foraging and mindfulness more...

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