The Ecologist


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The Vandana Shiva Reader (Culture Of The Land), front over (cut).

Green Revolution: wonderful science, catastrophic consequences

Colin Tudge

12th July 2015

In her new book The Vandana Shiva Reader, the celebrated campaigner and scientist deplores the way in which the Green Revolution forced India's poorest farmers off their land, writes Colin Tudge. Now she fears even worse outcomes in Africa where a GMO-fuelled farming revolution is under way. more...
A handful of seeds, Porto-Novo, Oueme, Benin. Photo: Adam Cohn via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Seed Freedom! A last chance to thwart the great African seed grab

Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah

29th June 2015

Nineteen African nations meet today in Arusha, Tanzania, to finalise a 'plant protection' protocol that would open up the continent's seeds to corporate interests, taking away farmers' rights to grow, improve, sell and exchange their traditional seeds, while allowing commercial breeders to make free use of the biodiversity they embody, to sell them back to farmers in 'improved' form. more...

Plants Before Pills

Sebastian Pole

16 June 2015

Ayurvedic practitioner Sebastian Pole of Pukka Herbs looks at the role of plants in the history of medicine and why reconnecting with natural food is essential to our health. With the explosion of system-wide health disorders, its time to take a more holistic approach to wellbeing. more...
What BBC / Panorama didn't want you to know: This year's GM Bt brinjal plants either died out prematurely or fruited insignificantly compared to the locally available varieties, bringing finacial ruin to their cultivators. Photo: New Age (Bangladesh).

Investigation or advocacy? The BBC reveals its pro-GMO bias

Lawrence Woodward & Pat Thomas

10th June 2015

The Panorama programme on GM foods and crops last Monday was a masterpiece of spin, bluster, misrepresentation and outright deceit, write Lawrence Woodward & Pat Thomas, with the BBC's top investigatory strand hijacked to force feed the UK population with the purest of pro-GMO propaganda. more...
All about using herbs. Photo: ICPPC.

Building the Ark - small scale farming in Poland for a green future

Julian Rose

20th June 2015

Poland is the front line for Europe's small scale family farming, writes Julian Rose, under assault from the EU regulations, corporate agribusiness, and a hostile government. A popular campaign is fighting back from its base deep in the Polish countryside, a small organic farm that's developing new green technologies to enhance the sustainability of small farms everywhere. more...
Rice farmers and their children greeting visitors to Brong-Ahafo village, Ghana. The seeds they grow, and the land they grow them on, are essential to their survival. Photo: Eileen Delhi via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Africa's farmers fight the corporate takeover of seeds, land and food

Chris Walker

4th June 2015

Lured by promises of aid and investment, African governments are rewriting laws to create lucrative opportunities for corporate agribusiness, writes Chris Walker - while consigning their own farmers to servitude and landlessness. But now farmers are rising up, as in Ghana where a new 'Monsanto law' threatens to end their right to grow, save and share their ancestral seeds. more...
In danger? Apparently not. Under threat? For sure. A Red-spotted Porcelain Crab (Neopetrolisthes maculatus) on anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum). Steve's Bommie, Ribbon Reef #3, Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Richard Ling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UNESCO decides: Great Barrier Reef is not 'in danger'

Emily Lindsay Brown

2nd June 2015

Australia's government can breathe a sigh of relief as UNESCO keeps the Great Barrier Reef off its 'World Heritage in danger' list, writes Emily Lindsay Brown. But in return, it has committed to protect the reef from farm run-off and dredgings, and to implement its 'Reef 2050' sustainability plan. If Australia fails, the Reef could be officially 'in danger' as soon as 2020. more...
Sellafield, where the Nugen consortium wants to build three AP1000 nuclear reactors on the adjacent 'Moorside' site. Photo: Pharma Mike via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Lies, damned lies, and energy statistics - why nuclear is so much less than it claims to be

Neil Crumpton

26th May 2015

It's odd how often the contribution of nuclear energy is overstated, writes Neil Crumpton, by mixing up 'energy' and 'electricity', while a similar trick to understates the importance of renewables like wind and solar. Even odder is how the mistake always seems to go the same way, to make nuclear look bigger than it really is, and renewables smaller. Welcome to the nuclear 'X factor'! more...
If you want to improve education for the poor, like these school children in Sierra Leone, handing over hundreds of millions of pounds to global corporations is not the way to do it. Photo: bobthemagicdragon via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Giving aid money to big business doesn't solve poverty. Who knew?

Kevin Smith

23d May 2015

The UK government has showered £500 million of its aid budget on 'partnerships' with global corporations that are meant to help the poor, writes Kevin Smith. Surprise - an independent assessment has found that the only ones to benefit were the companies themselves. This ideologically-driven farce must stop now! more...
Sydney Action to Save the Reef, February 2013. Photo: Kate Ausburn via Flickr (CC BY).

Coal and climate change: a death sentence for the Great Barrier Reef

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

21st May 2015

Over the Great Barrier Reef's coral has already been lost, writes Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, and UNESCO is expected to add the site to its 'World Heritage in danger' list. The reef's survival will depend on the world's ability to control carbon emissions. So why is Australia planning to open vast new coal mines in the Galilee Basin? more...
Women from RUWFAG. Photo: Global Justice Now.

Ghana's women farmers resist the G7 plan to grab Africa's seeds

Heidi Chow

22nd May 2015

Sharing and saving seed is a crucial part of traditional farming all over Africa, writes Heidi Chow. Maybe that's why governments, backed by multinational seed companies, are imposing oppressive seed laws that attack the continent's main food producers and open the way to industrial agribusiness. But Ghana's women farmers are having none of it. more...
The edge of an experimental sheep grazing exclusion zone (to the right) within Al Talila Reserve, Palmyra, photographed in March 2008 in the midst of an intense drought period. Sheep quasi uncontrolled grazing was allowed to the left of the fence. Grazing

Over-grazing and desertification in the Syrian steppe are the root causes of war

Gianluca Serra

5th June 2015

Civil war in Syria is the result of the desertification of the ecologically fragile Syrian steppe, writes Gianluca Serra - a process that began in 1958 when the former Bedouin commons were opened up to unrestricted grazing. That led to a wider ecological, hydrological and agricultural collapse, and then to a 'rural intifada' of farmers and nomads no longer able to support themselves. more...

Ed: 25/50 of 613
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Reuben Sempui seated on a rock on the peak of the volcano Suswa. Photo: Simone Sarchi.

Kenya's Maasai determined to overcome the challenges of drought and climate change

Simone Sarchi

16th May 2015

Persistent droughts are undermining the self-sufficiency of Maasai communities in the Great Rift Valley and worsening their living conditions, writes Simone Sarchi. Now these fearless warriors are fighting the battle against climate change through adaptation, education and technology, and by making peace with traditional enemies. more...
Prince Charles during the Big Jubilee Lunch on Piccadilly, 4th june 2012. Photo:  chego-chego via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Get on with badger cull, Prince Charles told Blair

The Ecologist

13th May 2015

In a private letter to Tony Blair released today Prince Charles strongly urged Tony Blair to expedite a badger cull in 2005, raising the spectre of a third 'food scare' that would strike down British farming on the scale of BSE and Foot & Mouth disease. more...
The lights may be green - but what about the energy? Photo: Dennis van Zuijlekom via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Coal-heavy utilities stand in the way of a green internet

The Ecologist

12th May 2015

Powered by 100% renewable energy, Apple is maintaining its lead as the internet's greenest company, But others are lagging behind: Google has yet to reach 50% and relies heavily on coal, while Amazon's AWS, the massive 'dark cloud' of the web, won't even answer questions. more...
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) at RSPB Medmerry, West Sussex England. Photo: BiteYourBum.Com Photography via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

We must defend Europe's wildlife laws!

Martin Harper

12th May 2015

Europe's most important laws for wildlife, the EU's Nature Directives, are under threat in from a recently launched 'review', writes Martin Harper. The official purpose is to make the laws more effective, but in reality it's all part of the Commission's agenda to strip away regulations that impede business in its pursuit of profit. more...
Ed Miliband interviewed by Russell Brand on the Trews., Photo: the Trews via Youtube.

The real lessons of the Tory victory

Jonathan Cook

9th May 2015

This week the people spoke - and a tad under a quarter of them voted to put the Conservatives in power for another five years, writes Jonathan Cook. Was it an act of collective insanity? No, it's much worse than that. It's because our politics, media and ultimately our minds are controlled and manipulated by billionaires. more...
The other Gandhi statue in London's Tavistock Square. Photo: L. Shyamal via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Occupy Gandhi: a tarpaulin meditation on urgent climate action

Donnachadh McCarthy

3rd May 2015

After the world's warmest year ever governments are pouring trillions into fossil fuels every year and the UK has even created a legal obligation on itself to maximise oil and gas recovery, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. But thanks to the UK's media billionaires climate change has not even figured as an election issue. Join us to protest tomorrow! more...
Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar - films to inspire the change-makers of the future

Fern Smith

30 April 2015

A landmark 6-part documentary series is planned with Satish Kumar - peace and environment activist, religious philosopher, teacher, writer and broadcaster. more...
The education and health care model that British taxpayers are financing across Africa - in partnership with for-profit multinational corporations. Photo of White River Primary school, sponsored by Coca-Cola, by Roo Reynolds via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Coca-Cola schools - British aid pushing corporate education and health on world's poorest

Nick Dearden

28th April 2015

British taxpayers are forcing private health care and schooling onto many of the world's poorest countries including Nepal, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Mozambique, writes Nick Dearden - backing a huge neoliberal experiment whose only certain outcomes are high costs, low standards and massive corporate profits. more...
A Eurasian lynx captured on film by Erwin von Maanen in its native Scandinavian setting.

Lynx could be reintroduced to Britain 'this year'

Oliver Tickell

27th April 2014

Lynx could be re-introduced to sites in England and Scotland before the end of 2015, according to the Lynx UK Trust, which has just issued polling and survey results that show strong support for the idea among the UK population. more...
Devil's Springs in the Florida Everglades, where a deep crevice leads to submerged caverns. Photo: Phil's 1stPix via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Earth Day on the River of Grass

Grant A. Mincy

25th April 2015

President Obama Earth Day appearance on the Florida Everglades' failed to disguise the truth, writes Grant A. Mincy - that governmental and corporate domination of ecosystems brings their all too predictable destruction. It's not national parks that will save our nature, but restoration of the commons and their management by local communities. more...
A large hammerhead shark in the officially protected waters off Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Photo: Barry Peters via Flickr (CC BY).

Shark-counting divers off Costa Rica show marine reserves need active protection

Julia Baum & Easton R. White

24th April 2014

A Pacific island paradise 340 miles from Costa Rica's coast should be the ideal place for marine conservation, write Julia Baum & Easton R. White. But while its waters are indeed teeming with life, steep population declines in key shark and ray species show that stronger protection is badly needed. more...
BAE Systems 'Hawks' on show at Yeovilton Air Day 2010. They also kill people - among them resistance fighters in East Timor opposing Indonesia's illegal occupation of their country. Photo: Andrew Dennes via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The BBC's silent scandal - the arms magnate at the top

Harry Blain

8th April 2015

When seeking a new Vice-Chair for the BBC Trust, would you seek out a distinguished journalist? Or the Chairman of Europe's biggest arms company, one with a murky past of corruption and supplying deadly weapons to despotic governments? For the British oligarchy, writes Harry Blain, the answer is obvious. more...
The Guardian Media Group is to divest from fossil fuels, beginning with 'worst offenders' like coal. Divesting from natural gas is expected to take five years. Photo: Steven Depolo via Flickr (CC BY).

Guardian: our divestment pledge does rule out gas and fracking!

The Ecologist

1st April 2015

The Guardian Media Group is to divest its £800m fund from fossil fuels over five years. The terms of its promise appeared to leave the door open to natural gas and fracking, But GMG now insists that it aims to ditch all fossil fuels within five years. more...


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