The Ecologist

 

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EURATOM was once a symbol of Europe's nuclear future. But it's true role may be to supervise the sector's decline. Photo: Euratom Inspectors inspecting URENCO, Almelo, Netherlands, 13 October 2015. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The nuclear fallout from 'Brexatom': threat, opportunity, or plain bonkers?

Pete Roche

24th February 2017

The UK's inability to import radio-isotopes for cancer therapy is just the latest outcome of the UK's decision to leave EURATOM to hit the headlines, writes Pete Roche. It may also put a brake on the UK's plans to build new nuclear plants, and import and export nuclear fuel and wastes. The UK's exit from the treaty, as a strongly pro-nuclear state, could also mark an EU-wide anti-nuclear swing. more...
A legal fox kill before the 1994 ban. But in truth, little has changed since. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

The Hunting Act 12 years on - time to crack down on the fox-killing criminals!

Jordi Casamitjana / League Against Cruel Sports

21st February 2017

Since February 18, 2005 roughly 200,000 illegal hunting events undertaken by registered hunts may have taken place in the UK, writes Jordi Casamitjana. By engaging in fictitious 'trail hunting', they can chase foxes as before, and when they are killed, well, it was all a shocking 'accident'. It's high time to strengthen the law to ensure the spirit in which it was passed is fulfilled. more...
Herbicide spraying in Arkansas, USA. Photo: Kevin Wood via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Suppressed EPA toxicologist: 'it is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer'

Carey Gillam

14th February 2017

Letters from an EPA toxicologist to the EPA official in charge of assessing whether glyphosate, the active ingredient of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, causes cancer, reveal accusations of 'staff intimidation' and 'political conniving games with the science' to favour pesticide corporations, writes Carey Gillam. Could this be a game-changer for cancer-suffering plaintiffs? more...

Healthy Not Hungry - The Ethical Foodie meets the WFP

Tim Maddams

6th August, 2017

When our Ethical Foodie food columnist was invited to help create a sustainable Fine Dining menu showcasing the values of the UN's World Food Program he jumped at the chance - and left feeling inspired not just by the food choices on the night but by the fact the whole event reinforced his conviction we can all do better, eat better and work together to help alleviate hunger across the world more...
Bottles of Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller relabeled by Global Justice Now activists, April 2016. Roundup contains glyphosate, a chemical that the WHO classifies as 'probably carcinogenic'. Photo: Global Justice Now via Flickr (CC BY).

On trial: Monsanto's 'alternative facts' about glyphosate

Carey Gillam / USRTK

1st February 2017

Reeling from California's decision to ban glyphosate, fearful of 're-evaluation' by EU and US regulators, and facing ruinous cancer claims in federal courts, the US chemical industry are fighting back, writes Carey Gillam. Their key argument: don't trust independent doctors and scientists - trust us! And as they just told a California court, profit must come before people. more...

Devon Wildlife Trust is crowdfunding for the reintroduction of beavers

Laura Briggs

13th January, 2017

In 2020 the fate of Devon's River Otter wild beavers will be decided. With Chris Packham backing the campaign to save the species and the protection of beavers into Scotland recently getting the go-ahead, the outlook is bright for the species.LAURA BRIGGS reports more...

LUSH ethical cosmetics company launches a new Spring Prize fund for regenerative projects

LUSH cosmetics

6th January, 2017

Nominations have opened for the new Lush Spring Prize. Launched jointly with the Ethical Consumer Research Association this is a new and very welcome £200,000 annual prize fund that aims to support those projects around the world that work towards environmental and social regeneration. more...
The EPA building in Washington DC. Photo: Mark Ordonez via Flickr (CC BY).

EPA's systemic bias in hearings over glyphosate and cancer

Carey Gillam

19th December 2016

The US Environmental Protection Agency was on the defensive last week in its hearings to determine whether glyphosate, the word's number one herbicide, causes cancer, writes Carey Gillam, as it stood accused of giving preferential treatment to industry representatives, excluding evidence of cancer links, and refusing testimony from a world expert epidemiologist. more...
Gene drives could be used, for example, to attack fast-breeding pest species like aphids. But with what consequences on other species and wider ecosystems? Photo: Nigel Jones via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Biodiversity Convention call to block new 'genetic extinction' GMOs

GMWatch & The Ecologist

6th December 2016

160 global groups have called for a moratorium on new 'genetic extinction' technology at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Gene drive technology, they say, poses serious and irreversible threats to biodiversity, national sovereignty, peace and food security. more...
A raging wildfire 24 km south of Fort McMurray 7th May 2016 - part of a 1,500 square kilometre inferno that prompted the evacuation of nearly 90,000 people from the northern Alberta city. Photo: Chris Schwarz / Government of Alberta via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

WMO: 2015 / 2016 temperature records creating surge of climate refugees

The Ecologist

14th November 2016

Record global temperatures in 2015 and 2016 are causing a humanitarian crisis that is more than double that of conflict as a cause of displacement and migration, the WMO stated today. Heatwaves, flood, drought and fires are all contributing to the declining food and water security affecting over 60 million people worldwide. more...
Container ship MOL GRANEUR off the Japan coast, 18th October 2015. Photo: ARTS_fox1fire via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Shipping to go 'beyond Paris Agreement' without offsets

Oliver Tickell

8th November 2016

The International Chamber of Shipping has committed the industry to legally binding emissions reductions under the Paris Agreement. Unlike the aviation industry, it will make no use of carbon 'offsets', but will reach its targets by increasing efficiency and moving to lower carbon fuels. more...

Ovillantas - used tyres make a new and affordable mosquito trap in rural Mexico

Forest Ray

2nd November, 2016

The Mexican Government spends millions trying to stop the spread of mosquito-borne viruses like dengue, chikungunya and - more recently - zika. Could the solution be as simple as a kind of mosquito ‘hatchery' made of old tyres to create an inviting breeding ground from which eggs and larvae can be destroyed? FOREST RAY reports. more...

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You say you want a revolution?

Harriet Griffey, Cultural Editor

3rd November, 2016

The latest blockbuster exhibition from the V&A celebrates the music of its time and those who are forever linked to it, and one of the key outcomes of this counter-culture revolution was the very first Earth Day on April 22nd 1970. more...
Delegates from Mozambique in Geneva last week celebrating their achievements in progressing the new human rights treaty. Photo: Victor Barro / FOEI.

Controlling corporate power: advance of a people-centred UN human rights treaty

Amelia Collins

1st November 2016

People power was at the forefront of UN talks on an global treaty for transnational corporations and human rights last week in Geneva, writes Amelia Collins. The fact that so many countries - led by South Africa and Ecuador - voiced their unequivocal support for legally binding rules, sets exactly the right tone for an ambitious and far-reaching negotiation. more...
Rainbow-decorated fence at Greenham Common US military base near Newbury, England, 17th March 2007. Photo: Your Greenham via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Historic UN vote to negotiate a global nuclear weapons ban

Rebecca Johnson

31st October 2016

Last week the UN General Assembly's Disarmament and Security Committee voted for negotiations to begin next year on a new international treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, writes Rebecca Johnson, bypassing the stalled Non Proliferation Treaty. One immediate consequence is to make the UK's plans to replace its Trident nuclear missile system 'completely untenable'. more...

ECOLOGIST INTERVIEW - ALISTAIR McGOWAN

Tim Saunders

28th October, 2016

British impressionist, comedian, actor and musician Alistair McGowan is also a staunch environmentalist - he doesn't even drive a car. He tells TIM SAUNDERS we should all be doing more to help save the planet and that the environmental costs of the proposed new runway at Heathrow are not worth the promised economic benefits more...
Up, up, up ... the access road to the observatories near the summit of Mauna Loa, the Hawai'ian volcano on which official measurements of global CO2 concentrations are taken. Photo: Dave Strom via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

WMO: the world's new 400ppm climate reality

Alex Kirby

25th October 2016

Global CO2 concentrations have reached a historic new base of 400 parts per million, writes Alex Kirby, and are unlikely to fall below that level - 40% higher than the pre-industrial era - for many centuries to come. The WMO released the news just as the UK commits to a new London runway. more...
Well cared-for animals are crucial to food security and sustainable farming systems around the world. Photo: Paul Woods via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The future of our food depends on small farmers and well cared-for livestock

Philip Lymbery / CIWF

19th October 2016

Abusive farming of animals in factory farms is one of the great cruelties of the modern age, writes Philip Lymbery. While some may justify it as necessary to 'feed the world', it is no such thing. The answer lies in supporting small scale traditional farmers, and respecting the livestock that are intrinsic to sustainable agriculture across the planet. more...
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, at the 14th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - 27 April 2015, New York. Photo: via rightsandresources.org.

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz: 'The better protected areas are those where indigenous peoples live!'

Joe Eisen / Conservation Watch

19th October 2016

Indigenous Peoples are often the victims of nature conservation, according to a new report by Vicky Tauli-Corpuz presented to the UN this week, as they are expelled from lands they have inhabited for millennia. One reason, she told Joe Eisen, is that indigenous territories are precisely the places where biodiversity is best preserved - thanks to the protective, nurturing presence of their traditional owners. more...
The HFC gases that run most of the world's heat pumps and air conditioners, like these ones in Singapore, are very powerful greenhouse gases. But now the world has agreed to solve the problem. Photo: Rym DeCoster via Flickr (CC BY).

Paris talks, Montreal delivers! Kigali's massive climate victory

Nigel Paul

17th October 2016

The 'Kigali Amendment' agreed this weekend to control HFC gases thousands of times more powerful than CO2 is the first major step in delivering the goals of the Paris agreement, writes Nigel Paul - and a second huge success for the Montreal Protocol, originally agreed to save the ozone layer from destruction by CFCs. more...
Agroecology is not just for the developing world: Amish farmer, USA. Photo: Ashley Morris via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Agroecology cools the planet - so why are Governments backing agribusiness?

Kirtana Chandrasekaran

14th October 2016

It' a perfect win-win solution for World Food Day, writes Kirtana Chandrasekaran: agroecology that sequesters carbon into soils, making them more fertile, productive and resilient, while also supporting sustainable livelihoods and tackling climate change. But instead governments are desperately trying to attract agribusiness investment that does the precise opposite. more...
How's it worth more? Alive or dead? African bush elephant. Photo: Arno Meintjes via Fliuckr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Saving the elephant: don't forget local communities!

Ross Harvey & Alexander Rhodes

10th October 2016

With 27,000 African savannah elephants a year illegally killed for their ivory, the species is in peril, write Ross Harvey & Alexander Rhodes. Now international action at CITES and the closure of domestic ivory markets are attacking the ivory trade at both ends. But we must also give our full support to 'elephant neighbor' communities. more...

Feeding the Insatiable

7th October 2016

An international summit exploring real and imagined narratives of art, energy and consumption for a troubled planet, taking place at Schumacher College, Dartington, on 11th November 2016 more...

The Ecologist Arts Interview: UK Wildlife Artist Rachel Lockwood

Gary Cook

28th September, 2016

Wildlife artist Rachel Lockwood is in creative lockdown preparing for her new exhibition called Wilding. Ecologist Arts Editor, GARY COOK went to her North Norfolk studio to talk paint, animals and other environmental matters more...
Could a legal, regulated trade in rhino horn help save these wonderful animals by paying for their conservation and taking the profit out of poaching? Photo: rhino on the Eastern Cape, South Africa, by Colin via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To save our rhinos, we need a legal horn trade

Keith Somerville, University of Kent

22nd September 2016

The trade ban on rhino horn is not working, writes Keith Somerville. But non-lethally and sustainably harvested rhino horn can earn income to encourage breeders, pay rangers and anti-poaching teams, provide surveillance and supply wider benefits that will gain the support of people around parks, reserves and ranches. more...

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