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Chris Rapley in '2071' at the Royal Court Theatre. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey.

Five stars! Scientist's dramatic climate change act is a winner

Tim Radford

25th November 2014

A spellbinding solo performance by veteran climate scientist Chris Rapley at London's Royal Court puts the climate debate centre stage, writes Tim Radford - and earns the admiration of hard-to-please theatre critics. more...
Farnes East candidate MCZ. Photo: Jean Luc Solandt via MCS.

A Marine Charter to protect and revitalise the UK's ocean riches

Tom Hickey

12th November 2014

The 2009 Marine Act was meant to result in a full network of marine protected areas along the UK coast, writes Tom Hickey. But since then far too few MPAs have been created, and no real change or action has followed. Hence the launch of the Marine Charter today - to galvanise political will - and manifesto commitments - for the 2015 election. more...
With GMO agriculture, a walk in the countryside could be like this in the future. Photo: Liam Wilde via Flickr.

Living with GMOs - a letter from America

The Undersigned

12th November 2014

NGOs, scientists, anti-GM groups, celebrities, food manufacturers, and others representing 57 million Americans today publish an Open Letter to the UK and the entire EU warning of the serious and manifold hazards of GMO crops - and promising their support in our fight against them. more...
In the future, European corn fields like this on in Poland could be GMO. But at least the EU can no longer force its member states to allow GMOs to be planted. Photo: Maciek via Flickr.

Euro Parliament strengthens national GMO opt-outs

Keith Taylor MEP

11th November 2014

An attempt by the UK's Conservative Party and its allies to force countries to allow EU-approved GMO crops has been defeated by the European Parliament, writes Keith Taylor. Instead MEPs voted to strengthen the national GMO opt-out. But the UK still has a battle to fight against its avidly pro-GMO government. more...
Wind turbines like these in Ontario, Canada, are three times more 'annoying' than those on Prince Edward Island - apparently because of Ontario's negative press coverage of wind power. Photo: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Flickr.

Wind turbine noise may be annoying - but it's not making you sick

Tyler Hamilton

25th November 2014

A large-scale independent study by Health Canana finds no link between the noise from wind turbines and health, writes Tyler Hamilton. That's not to say wind turbines can't be annoying - but there's a sure way to deal with that: give locals a financial benefit from their operation. Has Britain's wind industry got something to learn? more...
In 2011 Philip Morris Asia 'sued' Australia for 'losses' suffered due to the country's anti-smoking policies, including severely off-putting cigarette packaging. Under TTIP, US corporations could do the same to European governments. Photo: Eli Duke / Flic

TTIP threatens EU nations with corporate weapons of mass destruction

Kevin Albertson

10th November 2014

Far from creating a 'level playing field' for business, TTIP favours foreign corporations over domestic ones - while undermining governments' right to legislate for public health, safety and wellbeing. Australia got the message in 2011 after being sued for its anti-smoking policies - now Europe must catch up! more...
Sole of shoe at 'Highway of Death' in Iraq, where DU munitions were used to destroy tanks and other vehicles of Saddam Hussein's retreating army in Gulf War I. Photo: Christiaan Briggs via Flickr.

UN Resolution warns nuclear WMD states: end is nigh for DU munitions

John LaForge

10th November 2014

Only four countries opposed a UN Resolution on 'depleted uranium' munitions: the USA, UK, France and Israel, all nuclear WMD states whose use of DU leaves battle fields contaminated with toxic, radioactive residues for millennia into the future. The overwhelming support for the Resolution puts the WMD states on notice - DU munitions are no longer acceptable. more...
Mitra Wicks: 'my skin was more luminous and I was left revelling in a self-satisfied haze of leafy liberation'.

Virtuous veganism for health, beauty and pleasure

Mitra Wicks

15th November 2014

Setting aside her fondness for meaty delicacies, Mitra Wicks decided to follow the celebrity vegan trend. Buoyed along by the gastronomic pleasures of London's finest vegan restaurants, she declares the change a success - in terms of health, wellbeing, beauty ... and reducing the exploitation of animals in industrial farming. more...
Over 50% of an iguana shipment found dead. Photo: PETA.

The exotic pet trade is a global evil that must be stopped

Clifford Warwick

10th November 2014

Behind the relatively sanitized façade of the exotic pet industry resides a vast chronicle of species decline, ecological disruption, animal suffering, mortality, and the global dissemination of pathogens, writes Clifford Warwick. We are in the midst of a profit-fueled frivolous wildlife biocide, as animal traders strive to bring the next curiosity fish, turtle or primate into our homes. more...
Polaris Nuclear Sub from Honor House advertisement published in the November 1967 issue of Workbasket magazine. Photo: clotho98 via Flickr.

The world's first 'Nuclear Proliferation Treaty'

David Lowry

13th November 2014

Last week Parliament had its first ever chance to debate a shadowy treaty dating back to 1958, under which the UK exported to the USA enough plutonium for over 1,000 nuclear warheads, writes David Lowry. But the core question remains unanswered - how can the treaty be reconciled with our sovereign obligations to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation? more...
Spaying agro-chemicals on a windy day. Photo: Graham Rawlings via Flickr.

Agricultural pesticides - the gaping hole in the UK's 'Pollinator Strategy'

Georgina Downs

6th November 2014

The Government's 'National Pollinator Strategy' has a fatal flaw, writes Georgina Downs - it contains no meaningful measures to address farmers' spraying of highly toxic pesticides, often in mixtures that can further increase the harm they cause. And with 80% of the UK's pesticides used in agriculture, that's setting the 'strategy' up to fail. more...
Cod smolts among seagrass. Photo: John Carroll.

For the love of cod, let's save our disappearing seagrass

Richard K. F. Unsworth

4th November 2014

Seagrass provides a key marine habitat, writes Richard Unsworth - it stablises the sea floor, sustains rich ecosystems, soaks up excess nutrients, sequesters carbon dioxide, feeds dugongs, and nurtures young cod. Hadn't we better stop wiping out some 1,500 sq.km of seagrass meadows every year? more...

EA: 25/50 of 1641
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A welcoming committee at Christmas Island - site of the UK's Grapple X and Grapple Y bomb tests. But do these children, or their parents, know about the long term legacy of uranium pollution? Photo: Philip via Flickr.

The 'forgotten' uranium isotope - secrets of the nuclear bomb tests revealed

Chris Busby

4th November 2014

Papers reluctantly released by the UK Government in the bomb test veterans' legal case for compensation reveal what it has long denied, writes Chris Busby - that bomb fallout is rich in uranium, and that most of its radioactivity is concentrated in the 'forgotten' but highly active isotope U-234, explaining much of the substantial, long term damage to veterans' health. more...
Sellafield - the B30 pond, possibly 2006.

The Ecologist places leaked Sellafield fuel pond photos in public domain

The Ecologist

31st October 2014

The full set of photos of Sellafield's highly dilapidated and dangerous B29 and B30 cooling ponds as leaked to us are placed in the public domain. more...
Hurricane Sandy brought this blackout to Lower Manhattan in October 2012. Unless Britain's nuclear power stations perform implausibly well this winter, we could well be sharing the experience. Photo: Reeve Jolliffe via Flickr.

UK faces serious winter blackout risk - National Grid's rosy nuclear forecast fails reality test

Chris Goodall

31st October 2014

The National Grid's forecast for UK power supply this winter relies on overstating the availability of increasingly unreliable nuclear power stations, writes Chris Goodall. Realistic estimates of nuclear, gas and coal power station availability shrink the 'safety margin' to zero. more...
Hunting for lugworms for fishing bait at Brighton beach. Photo: Martin Thomas via Flickr.

Lugworms suffer toxic impact of acidifying oceans

Alex Kirby

30th October 2014

A common marine worm key to the richness of many coastal ecosystems is being damaged by the increasing ocean acidification that was thought to imperil mainly shellfish and coral, writes Alex Kirby. It's an unwelcome sign of more unexpected ecological changes to come. more...
An enormous plantation cut from the Liberian rainforest. Photo: Chulius Caesar via Flickr.

Oil palm explosion driving West Africa's Ebola outbreak

Richard Kock

29th October 2014

The medical response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been monstrously inadequate, writes Richard Kock. But so has been recognition of the underlying causes - in particular the explosive spread of industrial oil palm, which disrupts the ecology of forests and farms, and undermines local economy and traditional governance, leading to a 'perfect storm' of disease. more...
The B30 pond showing a full loading with fuel rods. Photo: unknown.

Leaked Sellafield photos reveal 'massive radioactive release' threat

Oliver Tickell

27th October 2014

Dilapidated nuclear waste storage ponds abandoned 40 years ago containing hundreds of tonnes of fuel rods pose an immediate danger to public safety, photographs sent to The Ecologist reveal. The fuel and sludge in the ponds could spontaneously ignite if exposed to air, spreading intense radiation over a wide area. more...
An artist's impression of the Searaser at work. Photo: DWE Ltd.

New wave generator brightens ocean power prospects

The Ecologist

27th October 2014

A new wave power generator has moved closer to reality after successful testing in simulated marine conditions. An array of the 1.5MW 'Searaser' devices could be deployed on Britain's coast within a few years. more...
Eurasian Beaver Castor fiber in a Swedish lake. Photo: Tim Ellis via Flickr.

FoE sues to keep Devon's wild beavers free

Oliver Tickell

24th October 2014

Friends of the Earth has filed a lawsuit to challenge Natural England's secretive grant of a licence allowing the Government to trap wild beavers on the River Otter in Devon. more...
Yucca Mountain, the site of the US's 'cancelled' repository for high level nuclear waste. Photo: White House via Wikimedia Commons.

Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump is all too 'undead'

John LaForge

1st November 2014

The Yucca Mountain radioactive dump may have been officially 'cancelled', writes John LaForge, and with very good reason. But like all those zombies out for Hallowe'en last night, it's not dead yet, as US nuclear regulators declare that the site perfectly meets nuclear waste storage requirements. more...
A Bottlenose Dolphin does a backflip off of Kilauea Point, Hawaii. Photo: Byron Chin via Flickr.

San Francisco declares: every whale and dolphin has the right to be free

Laura Bridgeman

23rd October 2014

If SeaWorld is looking to build a new park in California, it will be steering well clear of San Francisco, writes Laura Bridgeman. Following a campaign backed by scientists and hundreds of high school students, the City has declared cetaceans' right to be free and 'unrestricted in their natural environment'. more...
In Ghana, more than 100,000 straw coloured fruit bats are harvested as bushmeat every year. But the country is not affected by the Ebola epidemic. Photo: Diana Ranslam, CC BY-NC.

Ebola: don't blame the bats!

Alexandra Kamins, Marcus Rowcliffe & Olivier Restif

23rd October 2014

Bats serve as a natural reservoir for the Ebola - but we cannot blame them for the epidemic. In Ghana alone people eat over 100,000 fruit bats a year as 'bushmeat', yet the country has escaped the epidemic. Much more research is needed to discover the mechanisms of transmission, and to devise effective, appropriate interventions. more...
Children in the town of Gueckedou, the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea. Photo: ©afreecom / Idrissa Soumaré / European Commission DG ECHO via Flickr.

Love in the time of Ebola

Dr. Glen Barry / EcoInternet

26th October 2014

The human family must come together now to stop Ebola in West Africa or risk a global pandemic that could potentially kill billions, writes Glen Barry. And that will mean solving, with equity and justice, the disease's root causes: rainforest loss, poverty, war and overpopulation. more...
Hinkley C is 'unconstructable', says a distinguished nuclear engineer - 'like building a cathedral within a cathedral'. Artist's impression of the completed nuclear power station by EDF.

'Unconstructable' Hinkley C could end UK's nuclear dream

Chris Goodall

30th October 2014

Opponents of nuclear power hold up the planned Hinkley C as an examplar of waste and idiocy that could cost the UK over £30 billion in subsidies. Chris Goodall agrees - and fears that an impending fiasco with the 'unconstructable' and commercially disastrous EPR design may kill off the UK's nuclear aspirations for a generation. more...

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