The Ecologist

 

EC: 25/50 of 1822
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Artisanal fishing nets at the Cobb, Lyme Regis, Lyme Bay. Photo: geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons.

Simplifying the sea - ecocide in the English Channel

Horatio Morpurgo

25th July 2014

A new report on the Channel's fisheries is a timely reminder of the ecological trend to 'simplification' as whole trophic levels are stripped away by over-exploitation, writes Horatio Morpurgo. Yet the government's profit-focused vision of 'sustainability' is missing the essential element - allowing the recovery of marine ecosystems. more...
Local currencies, like these Totnes and Stroud 'pounds' are intended to stimulate local economic resilience and keep benefits within communities. But is there a better way to achieve the same ends, everywhere? Photo: London Permaculture via Flickr.

Closing the money loop to build resilient local economies

Bran Knowles & Michael Hallam

21st July 2014

Using local currencies to stimulate local economies and revalue local labour over imported products and resources sounds like a great idea - but recent experiences have proved disappointing. Are there other ways to 'close the money loop'? more...
Barn swallow chicks (Hirundo rustica) at Arrábida (Quinta do Camalhão), Setúbal, Portugal. This insectivorous species is among those impacted by imidacloprid. Photo: Jose Sousa via Flickr.

It's not just the bees! 'Neonic' pesticides linked to bird declines

Helen Thompson

17th July 2014

A study published today in Nature shows a strong correlation between concentrations of a popular neonicotinoid pesticide in water, and bird declines, writes Helen Thompson. Regulators are under pressure to tighten up, but the industry still claims there's 'no substantiated evidence'. more...
Colorful Heirloom Potatoes - 'Carola', 'All Red', 'All Blue', and 'Purple Viking' - collection  from Seed Savers. Photo: Susy Morris via Flickr.

Building an International Seed Savers Exchange

Andrew Kimbrell / Center for Food Safety

19th July 2014

Recent decades have seen a hardening global clampdown on the rights of farmers to use, save, develop, share, swap and distribute the seeds that produce the food we all eat, writes Andrew Kimbrell - and which constitute an essential common heritage of mankind. Here's his plan to fight back against the seed monopolists ... more...
Vandana Shiva leads a protest in India against Monsanto's GM seeds. Now she's on the warpath against Avaaz. Photo: Daniel Voglesong via Flickr.

Avaaz's global 'ebay of seeds' - how did they get it so wrong?

Julian Rose

16th July 2014

Already 56,000 people have pledged to support a global 'internet seed swap' initiative promoted by Avaaz, writes Julian Rose. Trouble is, the plans are deeply flawed, and have been developed without consultation with major seed saving groups worldwide. more...
Synthetic biology in your cleaning products? Image: ETC Group.

Synthetic biology - Ecover must come clean

Jim Thomas

16th July 2014

Following The Ecologist's revelation about Ecover's use of synthetic biology to make laundry detergent, the company has put its trials on hold, writes Jim Thomas. But to regain public trust, the company must re-engage honestly with its critics, and its customers. more...
Dark clouds gather over a sunset industry - represented by a Chevron oil tanker. Photo: Jamie Grant via Flickr.

Fossil fuels the 'new sub-prime crisis'

Nathan Wood

14th July 2014

The UK's conservative Daily Telegraph warns: investors in fossil fuels are 'throwing good money after bad', reports Nathan Wood, as renewable energy takes off leaving a potential $19 trillion of oil assets 'stranded'. more...
Luke Marion, installer Chris Jardine and Barbara Hammond connect the 140kW scheme's last panel, completing Oxford's biggest solar installation.

Pioneering community renewables in Oxford

Wendy Twist

11th July 2014

A partnership between an Oxford-based social enterprise and the local Council provides a blueprint for financing community energy projects, writes Wendy Twist. And with £2.3 million in the bank, things are really starting to move ... more...
Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr.

Nuclear power is no answer to global warming

Ian Fairlie

10th July 2014

If we're serious about cutting CO2 emissions, there's no place for nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie - because it's the least cost-effective way to do it. By far the best way is to improve energy efficiency. But tell the Government the truth, and it'll close you down. more...
Smartphone tracking device ready for installing high in the forest canopy. Photo: Rainforest Connection (RFCx).

Recycled phones drive new wildlife protection technology

Alex Kirby

7th July 2014

Networks of recycled smartphones are powering a crack down on illegal logging and poaching, writes Alex Kirby. The technology will help combat devastation of trees and wildlife in threatened habitats worldwide - beginning with Africa. more...
Smart new power electronics can keep the lights on, without the need for turbines and flywheels. Photo: Loupiote via Flickr.

Fear of blackouts is no reason to restrict renewable energy

Marek Kubik

13th July 2014

Our current electricity system cannot accept much wind and solar power because they lack the 'inertia' of spinning turbines that stabilises grid voltage, writes Marek Kubik. But that's no reason to limit renewables - there are new, smart solutions ready for deployment. more...
Red wolves are clinging on to existence in a few thousand kilometres of the southeastern US. Photo: B. Bartel / USFWS, CC BY-SA

Red wolf extinction fear as US budget cuts bite

Joseph Hinton

7th July 2014

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has done pioneering conservation work to save North America's endangered Red Wolf, under threat from shooting and inter-breeding with coyotes. But now federal budget cuts are putting all that - and the Red wolf itself - at risk. more...

EC: 25/50 of 1822
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Criminals? Protest against Kundakulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: Joseph Lazer / Wikimedia Commons.

India - now nuclear and environmental dissent is a crime

Kumar Sundaram

4th July 2014

In modern India any form of dissent from the neoliberal corporate model of development is being criminalised, writes Kumar Sundaram. Opponents of nuclear power, coal mines, GMOs, giant dams, are all under attack as enemies of the state and a threat to economic growth. more...
Neonicotinoid insecticides are killing more than just bees - entire farmland ecosystems are being poisoned. Photo: honeybees (Apis mellifera) on wild fennel, Albany, California, by Jack Wolf via Flickr.

Neonicotinoids are poisoning entire farmland ecosystems

Damian Carrington / The Guardian

2nd July 2014

The widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides is causing a neurotoxic overload afflicting entire farm ecosystems from earthworms to bees, other pollinators and birds, writes Damian Carrington. A collapse in food production may inevitably follow. more...
Could high speed railways transform the economy of England's ailing North? Photo: trains at Manchester Piccadilly station by Roger Marks.

Put high speed rail where it can really help - in the North of England

Ian Wray

30th June 2014

High speed railways connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield and Sheffield could transform the economy of the north of England, writes Ian Wray - creating a new mega-city that could challenge London's over-dominance. more...
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) in Russia's Altai Mountains. Photo: Sergey Yeliseev via Flickr.

The grouse shooting industry is out of control - it must be regulated

Martin Harper / RSPB

27th June 2014

Intensive grouse shooting on England's uplands is doing huge damage to fragile ecosystems, writes Martin Harper - and to the 'protected' hen harrier. It's high time to bring this industry under control with a new licencing system. more...
Improving public transport is one of the key measures that could cut GHG emissions, increase 'gross world product' by $2.6 trillion and save a million lives. Photo: Mumbai bus by Patrik M. Loeff via Flickr.

World Bank: tackle global warming and add $2 trillion to global economy, save a million lives

Chris Rose

30th June 2014

Tackling global warming with better public transport, increased energy efficiency, renewable energy, clean cookstoves, better waste management could increase global GDP by $2.6 trillion. The alternative is growing risk from harshening climates ... more...
The Arctic Red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, is causing ecological havoc as it devours its way down Norway's coast. It can reach a leg-span of 1.8m. Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration / Wikimedia Commons.

The Arctic shipping boom - a bonanza for invasive exotic species

Natasha Geiling / Smithsonian

27th June 2014

As the Arctic warms and its ice melts, growing numbers freight ships are reaping big savings from the 'Arctic short cut'. But this is creating a huge risk of invasive species spreading in ballast water and on hulls - disrupting both Arctic and temperate ecosystems. more...
A former undocumented worker in the USA, Marvin Garcia Salas shares food with his son, Jesus, at home in Chiapas, Mexico. Photo: Bread for the World via Flickr.

Adapt or survive? How migration creates climate resilience

Alex Randall

26th June 2014

Migration is an essential component of strategies to adapt to changing climates, writes Alex Randall. Greens should welcome migrants and support their efforts to build climate resilience in their home communities. more...
Nuclear submarines already have 'small modular reactors'. So if they're so cheap, safe and efficient, why aren't they already in civilian use? Photo: HMS Ambush by UK Ministry of Defence via Flickr.

Nuclear power - small isn't beautiful, safe, or cheap

Justin McKeating / Greenpeace

22nd June 2014

Nuclear power is neither beautiful, nor safe, nor cheap, writes Justin Keating - a message to the United States, where the Obama administration has pledged to waste over $200 million financing the 'Small Modular Reactor' (SMR). more...
Southall High Street, West London. Photo: Jonas via Flickr.

Blaming migration for our problems is dangerous and wrong

Adam Ramsay

21st June 2014

Britain's deep-seated environmental and economic problems have nothing to do with immigration, writes Adam Ramsay, and everything to do with our unjust and divisive social order, and the austerity that is being inflicted on us by an oppressive ruling class. more...
'How many more can we take?' screams a Daily Mail headline. Photo: Gideon via Flickr.

Love immigrants, hate immigration

Rupert Read

19th June 2014

The quest for never-ending economic growth demands high levels of immigration, writes Rupert Read - as do the demands of capital for pools of educated, needy, obeisant, low waged workers. Can we love individual immigrants, but hate mass immigration? more...
a female Monarch Butterflyen (Danaus plexippus) laying an egg on a Mexican Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica ) at the Tyler Arboretum. Photo: © Derek Ramsey via Wikimedia.

Heavy herbicide use on GMO crops raises Monarch butterfly extinction fear

John Pleasants

10th June 2014

Thanks to herbicide use on GMO crops in the US and Canada, Monarch butterfly numbers have crashed - the milkweeds the larvae feed on now survive mainly in 'conservation reserve' land and roadsides - and there's a 5% chance the Monarch will be extinct within 100 years. more...
The road is up to 60 metres wide. Photo: Finer M, Pappalardo SE, Ferrarese F, De Marchi M (2014) / geoyasuni.org.

Ecuador: oil company has built 'secret' road deep into Yasuni National Park

David Hill

6th June 2014

Ecuador's state oil company PetroAmazonas has, in secret, built a road deep into the heart of the world-famous Yasuni National Park in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, writes David Hill - violating promises and threatening uncontacted indigenous tribes. more...
A forest web, caught in a passing sunbeam. Photo: Julia Hodgson.

Living symphonies in the forest

Laurence Rose

6th June 2014

A new and deceptively sophisticated installation is about artists, audience and nature itself connecting in real time, writes Laurence Rose, who visited a Living Symphony in Thetford Forest. more...

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