The Ecologist

 

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Activist ‘Pati' Ruiz Corzo: The Singing Conservationist

Tadzio Mac Gregor

25th August, 2016

TADZIO MAC GREGOR meets a former school teacher-turned-conservation-activist who uses singing to inspire her followers and who has taken on both the Mexican Government and big corporations to stop the exploitation of the biodiverse Sierra Gorda region for profit more...

The Ethical Foodie: Pack up and ship more ethically out?

TIM MADDAMS

24th August, 2016


If you want to make a difference to waste and the environment then you need to think about what you will eat when you're travelling - both for business and for pleasure. It won't be easy, it'll take some planning but the difference you make will be huge writes, TIM MADDAMS our New Voices Ethical Foodie columnist
more...
The first ingestible GE product, L-typtophan, derived from GMO bacteria.contained impurities that killed dozens of Americans and seriously sickened thousands, permanently disabling many of them. Image: Bin im Garten via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

The GMO food venture is built on a foundation of mass deception

Steven M. Druker

23rd August 2016

The very first GE product, a dietary supplement, poisoned thousands of people of which dozens died, writes Steven M. Druker. The first GE food, the 'Flavr Savr' tomato, caused stomach lesions. But a long campaign of concealment and deception by regulators and corporate scientists re-engineered the truth to present GMOs as so safe they did not even need to be tested for safety. more...
Before and after: natural wetland forest dominated by Swamp cypress, and an industrial plantation of Lolbolly pine. Both photos via Wikimedia Commons (see details on individual photos); amalgamation by The Ecologist (no rights claimed).

Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?

Almuth Ernsting / Biofuelwatch

18th August 2016

This month wood pellet mills in the southern US that supply the UK's Drax power station were awarded 'sustainability' certificates under a voluntary scheme governed entirely by energy companies. The certificates provide no credible guarantee that the fuel does not come from ecologically valuable natural forests and wetlands, clear-cut and replaced by industrial plantations. more...
In 2012 Natural England pulled its legal inquiry into the burning of blanket bog in the Pennines - one of several factors damaging the rare and vulnerable habitat. Photo: Peer Lawther via Flickr (CC BY).

England's nature watchdog to rely on 'consultancy' income from developers

Emma Howard / Greenpeace Energydesk

16th August 2016

Leaked documents show that Natural England, the official wildlife agency, is to increase its income from 'discretionary chargeable advice' to developers and landowners, writes EMMA HOWARD - while also failing to prosecute wildlife crime or challenge damaging developments. more...

New Whale Heritage Sites (WHS) signal a new era in responsible whale watching

DYLAN WALKER

16th August, 2016



As whale watching grows in popularity, so too do concerns about marine habitats and the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises. DYLAN WALKER of the World Cetacean Alliance explains why we must all take responsibility for ethical interactions with these intriguing animals
more...
EDF's corporate HQ in La Defense, Paris, France. Photo: Olivier Durand via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Hinkley C: government's 'revolving door' to EDF execs

Joe Sandler Clarke

12th August 2016

Ten advisers and civil servants working in DECC, the former UK energy department, were seconded from EDF or had other links to the company, writes Joe Sandler Clarke. This may help to explain the 'preferential treatment' EDF has received over the 3.2GW nuclear power station it wants to build at Hinkley Point in Somerset. more...
The yoke of direct colonial rule in India has been replaced with a new system of oppression and exploitation - this time by and for agribusiness corporations and transnational capital. Photo: Kannan Muthuraman via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

On Independence Day, India's new rulers are the World Bank, IMF, WTO and Monsanto

Colin Todhunter

15th August 2016

India celebrates its Independence Day today, writes Colin Todhunter. But the highly visible system of British colonial dominance has been replaced by a new imperial hegemony: the invisible, systemic rule of transnational capital, enforced by global institutions like the World Bank, while US-based global agribusiness corporations have stepped into the boots of the former East India Company. more...
Monsanto's supply of defoliant chemicals for the US's 'Operation Ranchand' in Vietnam is just the first of the alleged 'crimes' for which the company is facing trial in the peoples' tribunal. Photo: manhhai via Flickr (CC BY).

Holding Monsanto to account: the People's Tribunal

Heidi Chow

4th August 2016

This autumn the Monsanto Tribunal will assemble experts from around the world to set out the evidence against the global mega-corporation, which will stand accused of monstrous 'crimes' against people and the environment. The Tribunal's verdict will not be legally binding - this time. But on a future occasion, it may be. more...
How will the promoters of GMO golden rice ensure that malnourished children receive it in the first place? Will they also ensure they get the dietary fat they need to actually assimilate the carotene once they have eaten it? Photo of children playing in M

Millions spent, no one served: who is to blame for the failure of GMO Golden Rice?

Angelika Hilbeck & Hans Herren

15th August 2016

The real reason why 'golden rice' remains uncultivated after a 20 year effort is its poor agronomic performance, write Angelika Hilbeck & Hans Herren. But beyond that, the very idea of golden rice as a 'solution' to Vitamin A deficiency fails to recognise the real causes of malnutrition - poverty, hunger and poor diet. How will golden rice reach poor children in the first place? And will they ever get the rich, oily diet they need to assimilate its fat-soluble nutrients? more...
Professor Smythe provided expert evidence in 2014 at a Public Inquiry into coalbed methane extraction in Falkirk - to the delight of these protestors for a frack-free Scotland, seen here on 7th December 2014. Photo: Ric Lander via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Exposed: Glasgow Uni's plot to cut off anti-fracking Professor

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog.uk

2nd August 2016

Internal Glasgow University emails show that it terminated geophysics professor David Smythe's email account and access to scientific papers because his concerns about the impacts of fracking were upsetting its 'industrial research partners', writes Kyla Mandel - not as part of a 'routine review' as previously stated. more...
The transformer fire at Vermont Yankee nuclear power station, 18th June 2004. Photo: anonymous whistleblower via nukeworker.com.

US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 'enforcement' is as fierce as the comfy chair

Linda Pentz Gunter

2nd August 2016

The NRC routinely fails to enforce its own safety codes at nuclear power plants, writes Linda Pentz Gunter - putting all of us at risk from accidents. It's the US's most extreme example of regulatory capture, rivalling Japan's 'nuclear village' of crony agencies and feeble regulation that led to the Fukushima disaster. How long can it be before the US experiences another nuclear catastrophe? more...

ONS: 1/25 of 1319
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Photo: Roderick Eime via Flickr (CC BY).

Hugh's 'War on Waste' is great - but we need to grasp the bigger picture

Sam Earle

3rd August 2016

Last week's 'War on Waste' - throwaway coffee cups were the deserving target - was an exemplar of effective single-issue campaigning by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. But the answers to our waste problems go way beyond recycling. We must begin to plan a societal transition to a post-consumer culture of caring, sharing, and knowing when we have enough. more...
The first steam generator being delivered to the Flamanville EPR, 15th March 2014. With the discovery of steel defects in the reactor vessel, it is now possible that the entire project will be abandoned. Photo: Greenpeace Cherbourg via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA

Dump Hinkley! And invest in the UK's real energy future

Chris Goodall

28th July 2016

French energy giant EDF will today give the formal go-ahead for the Hinkley C nuclear power station in Somerset, writes Chris Goodall. But that's no reason for the UK to sign up to a disastrous deal that will cost us over £1 billion per year for 35 years - money that should be used to support the green technologies of the future. more...
Quarry in Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. Photo: Thomas Nemeskeri via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Plunder of Earth's natural resources up 200% in 40 years

Alex Kirby

26th July 2016

A new UN report warns of a threefold increase in extraction of the Earth's primary materials between 1970 and 2010, writes Alex Kirby. The boom in the production of minerals, ores, fossil fuels, timber and biomass and will be to intensify climate change, increase air pollution and reduce biodiversity. more...
Will it all come to nothing? Artist's impression of the planned Hinkley C nuclear power station. Image: EDF Energy.

EDF to postpone Hinkley C start until 2019 or beyond

David Toke

22nd July 2016

EDF's 'final investment decision' on the Hinkley C nuclear power station next week will be pure theatre, writes David Toke. The truth is that no concrete is to be poured until 2019 at the earliest. Meanwhile post-Brexit UK is running out of money to pay for it, and EDF is under investigation by the Financial Markets Authority for concealing information on Hinkley from investors. more...
A local fisherman navigates the Diphlu River, which runs alongside India's Kaziranga national park - which operates a strict 'shoot on sight' policy for people found within the park boundaries. Photo: Frank Boyd via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Guards shoot indigenous boy in India's 'shoot-to-kill' national park

The Ecologist

20th July 2016

A 7-year old boy has been shot by park guards in Kaziranga national park, India, visited in April by Prince William and Kate, which operates a strict 'shoot first' policy. The incident highlights the government's wider efforts to evict tribal peoples from their forests in the name of conservation. more...

Charting Environmental Conflict - The Atlas of Environmental Justice

Nick Meynen.

20th July, 2016

Instead of leaching the world's resources to support out-of-control consumerism, EU leaders could do worse than ponder novelist Victor Hugo's claim that whilst "you can kill people, you can't kill an idea whose time has come", writes NICK MEYNEN more...
A bottomland hardwood clearcut that Dogwood Alliance have linked to Enviva, the company that runs the Ahoskie pellet mill, which supplies the UK's Drax power station. Photo: Matt Adam Williams.

Dirtier than coal: burning forests for 'green' energy

Matt Williams

19th July 2016

The UK imports millions of tons of American wood pellets every year to be burned in power stations for 'climate friendly' electricity, writes Matt Williams. But his recent visit to the southern US showed him that this practice is devastating beautiful, natural forests rich in wildlife - while the UK government's own research shows that it's worse for the climate than the coal it replaces. more...

NATURE vs NATURAL CAPITAL

Victor Anderson

26th July, 2016

The idea of "Natural Capital" as a way of seeing the world has caught on in a big way. There is a Natural Capital Coalition, a Natural Capital Protocol, and the Government even has a Natural Capital Committee. But what assumptions lurk within this term "Natural Capital"? A new University of Anglia arts-funded project aims to find out and one of those involved VICTOR ANDERSON will be giving us regular updates on the issues being raised more...
Muskrat Falls on 23rd October 2011, before dam construction commenced. Photo: innovationtrail via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Controversial dam robs, poisons Canada's indigenous Innu people

Colin Samson, University of Essex

14th July 2016

A new dam on indigenous lands at Muskrat Falls will join a network of other hydroelectric projects spanning Innu territories across the Labrador-Quebec peninsula, writes Colin Samson. The continual violation of Innu rights imperils their ability to enjoy healthy and sustainable lifestyles - and follows in a long tradition of indigenous land theft in North America. more...
Port for phospate export from the Bou Craa mine, near Laayoune Marsa Boujdour in Western Sahara, 11th March 2013. Photo: jbdodane via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The corporate scramble for Africa's minerals: Britain's new colonialism

Colin Todhunter

14th July 2016

Africa is being opened up like a tin of sardines to a new wave of resource extraction, writes Colin Todhunter. Masked under the soubriquets of 'investment', 'growth' and 'free trade', a handful of vast global corporations are systematically plundering the continent's mineral wealth and leaving desolation in their wake, backed to the hilt by that ever-faithful servant of capital - the UK government. more...
Once a coral reef, now a construction site. China expanding its land 'reclamation' at Fiery Reef in the South China Sea. Photo: still from report by NHK WORLD NEWSLINE English (see video embed).

China condemned for massive coral reef destruction

Oliver Tickell

12th July 2016

International judges today condemned China's great 'water grab' of the South China Sea - not least for its destruction of over 100 sq.km of pristine coral reefs, dredged and ground up to build artificial islands, and the ransacking of their wildlife, from endangered sea turtles to giant clams. more...

The Great Barrier Reef's future is as uncertain as the Australian Prime Minister's

Maxine Newlands

13th July, 2016

The Great Barrier Reef was a key talking point in the run up to Australia's federal election as politicians promised billions to improve water quality, whilst talking down coral bleaching and report rigging. Ecologist writer, Maxine Newlands, reports... more...
'Safe fracking is a bad fairy tale' - banner at the community blockade in Balcombe, Tuesday 6th August 2013. Photo: Push Europe via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking not compatible with UK climate targets, say CCC

Victoria Seabrook

8th July 2016

A long-awaited report by the UK Climate Change Committee has found that fracking could produce a 'substantial' emissions footprint if left unregulated, writes Victoria Seabrook, and force the government into more rapid emissions cuts in other areas of the economy to compensate. more...

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