The Ecologist

 

ec: 25/50 of 1913
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Vultures pay their respects at a sky burial in Sichuan province, China. Photo: Lycopodium L (CC BY-NC-SA).

Live long, die green and recycle your discarded body

Robert John Young

8th February 2015

If you live a green life, you'll also want a green death, writes Robert John Young. Sadly pollution, energy use and methane emissions mean there's no completely green way to dispose of your body. The good news is that a new 'fast composting' technique ticks all the boxes - but it's still under development. more...
Photovoltaic cells on the Solar Library and Energy-Optimised House in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. Image: Littleha via Wikimedia Commons.

Asia powers into the forefront of solar revolution

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

China has now overtaken the European Union as the largest new market for solar power, writes Paul Brown - as solar PV becomes one of the world's fastest growing industries - and one that's sure to keep on getting cheaper! more...
The Alberta tar sands aren't just destroying forests and waters on an industrial scale - they are also destabilising the global economy. Photo: Luc Forsyth via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Energy market madness is the death spasm of the oil age - renewables now!

Nafeez Ahmed

4th February 2015

Current oil price volatility is a symptom of the end of cheap oil, writes Nafeez Ahmed, and it's destablising the entire global economy. The answer is a major shift to renewables - but the the International Energy Agency, which should be leading the transition, is in the grip of nuclear and fossil fuel interests. Instead the leadership must come from us, the people! more...
An oil rig in the Irish Sea, two hours from Liverpool. Photo: *Psycho Delia* via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Fracking, the oil price crash, and the 'greenest government ever'

Simon Bullock & Tony Bosworth / FoE

2nd February 2015

Faced with climate change, economic doldrums and collapsing oil prices, the government has the perfect opportunity to put Britain on the right track, write Simon Bullock & Tony Bosworth - reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and invest in renewables and efficiency. So what's it actually doing? The exact opposite. more...
Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett on a 'Stand up to UKIP' demonstration in Doncaster, 27th September 2014. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

'You'll let the Tories in!' - Labour's feeble response to the Green Surge

Ian Sinclair

3rd February 2015

The Green Surge is getting very scary - for Labour Party MPs, candidates and supporters who fear that Green support will undermine 'their' vote, writes Ian Sinclair. So when exactly will it be safe for those desperate for an alternative to neoliberalism and austerity to vote for a genuinely progressive party? more...
Different types of UAVs work in various challenging situations. Photo: Thomas Snitch (CC BY-NC-ND).

Satellites, mathematics and drones take down Africa's poachers

Thomas Snitch

3rd February 2015

Using new technologies to take on poaching in Africa is reaping big dividends, writes Thomas Snitch. Where drones are deployed as part of an integrated package of measures, poachers quickly give up. The trouble is, they move to other unprotected locations. So we must extend the program to all of Africa's most at-risk areas. more...
A typically dark, narrow Cairo street in the Boulaq El Dakrour district. Photo: Patrick Keddie.

Beginning to see the light ... shining the sun's rays into Cairo's dark streets

Patrick Keddie

4th February 2015

Egyptian researchers have come up with a solution to the a lack of sunlight in Cairo's narrow and dingy streets, writes Patrick Keddie: a sine-wave panel that reflects light as soon as the sun rises. Initial tests indicate a potential five-fold increase in light levels. more...
Grass-fed British cows - to keep them in our fields, we must pay dairy farmers a fair price for their milk. Photo: Steph French.

Save our farmers with fair trade milk!

Patrick Holden

22nd January 2015

As hundreds of British dairy farmers are forced out of business by milk prices well below production cost, writes Patrick Holden, it's time for a 'fair trade' British milk label that guarantees a fair price to smaller scale farmers operating to good environmental and animal welfare standards. more...
Young voters in Athens celebrate Syriza's victory in the 2014 European elections. Photo: via Business Insider Australia, marked for non-commercial re-use.

On election day, young Greeks will be voting for Syriza

Elati Pontikopoulou-Venieri

21st January 2015

As Greece prepares for its election this weekend, the leftist Syriza coalition stands alone as a progressive force committed to rebuild democracy and civil society, writes Elati Pontikopoulou-Venieri - and opposed to the austerity, bigotry, corruption and violence offered by the mainstream parties. Thanks to Greece's young voters, it could just win. more...
Look - no gasoline! A Tesla Roadster charging up outside the company's Palo Alto HQ, California. Photo: Windell Oskay via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Goodbye oil! Soon all cars will be electric - because they are better

Chris Goodall

10th February 2015

78 records didn't come to an end because the world ran out of shellac, writes Chris Goodall. And today's cars won't be made obsolete by a shortage of oil, or even climate change. The transition will be driven by falling prices, long range, clean air laws, and the superb style, performance and driving experience they offer. more...
'Unemployment Wall' at Calle San Pablo, Zaragoza, Spain. Photo: Luis Colás via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Inequality does matter - and we must fight it!

Global Justice Now

20th January 2015

Peter Mandelson is 'intensely relaxed' about growing inequality, but he shouldn't be. It's the result of a 'trickle up' economy which perpetuates and fosters injustice, violence and ill health, writes Global Justice Now, and corrodes democratic societies at their very foundations. more...
Burning oil field in Kuwait, Gulf War 1. Photo: VA Comm via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Oil prices and the devil's ransom

Alexander Reid Ross

15th January 2015

The global economic shake-down of low oil prices continues apace, writes Alexander Reid Ross, causing environmentalists to celebrate the collapse of dirty energy projects. But the oil price collapse is the manifestation of a multi-layered conflict being fought out on the political, military and ideological battlefields of the Middle East - and it may not last much longer. more...

ec: 25/50 of 1913
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Smart countries are going for renewables - like Algeria, where these panels are located. Photo: Magharebia via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Only a mug would bet on carbon storage over renewables

John Quiggin

16th January 2015

From Australia to the UK, governments are pinning their hopes on 'carbon capture' technology stuck onto coal power stations, writes John Quiggin. But their choice carries a high risk of failure - the smart money is on renewables, energy storage and responsive power grids. more...
Another advantage of vertical axis turbines is that they can be placed closer together. Image: Vertax Wind.

Going vertical: offshore wind power must find a new axis

Maurizio Collu & Michael Borg

14th January 2015

Offshore wind turbines are trying to reproduce at sea what works on land, write Maurizio Collu & Michael Borg. But it's proving a costly and high maintenance exercise. It's time to switch to new 'vertical axis' designs that promise to be cheaper to build and operate. more...
One of the single-engine Cessnas used by the Wildlife Air Service for their marine patrols with The Black Fish. Photo: Marine Air Service.

Wildlife Air Service spreads its wings

Elizabeth Claire Alberts

6th February 2015

Aerial surveillance is a proven and effective technique in tackling wildlife crime, writes Elizabeth Claire Alberts - so the arrival on the scene of a new wildlife organization dedicated to providing air reconnaissance services to frontline environmental defenders couldn't come too soon. more...
Soon smartphones could work as mobile air quality sensors - but probably best avoided by smokers! Photo: Ed Yourdon via Flickr, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Information to the people! The coming air quality revolution

Prashant Kumar

15th January 2015

Air quality across the UK is currently monitored by just a few hundred fixed stations, writes Prashant Kumar. That leaves most of us ignorant about the pollution we are breathing. But tiny air quality sensors in our mobile phones could soon create a network of millions of data points - and spur much needed official action to clean our air. more...
The oil crash has incinerated $100s of billions of investments in extreme energy and stopped hundreds of damaging projects in their tracks. So why aren't environmentalists celebrating? Photo:  s1lang via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Environmentalists' oil price panic reflects their own existential crisis

Paul Mobbs

8th January 2015

Low oil prices are putting a stop to some of the world's most environmentally damaging 'extreme energy' projects, writes Paul Mobbs, and may close down the entire fracking and tar sands industries. So why are so many 'Greens' issuing dire warnings, instead of celebrating the good news? more...
As with today's social, economic, military and industrial order, the power of Sauron's ring is to dominate, enclose, torment, dispossess and enslave.

Tolkien, the Machine, and the Way of the Hobbit

Richard Gunderman

12th January 2015

Tolkien's Universe is one that reflects our own, writes Richard Gunderman - and has come to resemble it all the more as industrialism, militarism and an unjust economic order have come to dominate the world and enslave its peoples. It's time to follow the Way of the Hobbit. more...
Bonobo group hug. Photo:  LaggedOnUser via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Make 2015 the Year of the Bonobo!

Dr Susan Block

5th January 2015

We humans have much to learn from our kissing cousins, the peaceful, empathic, playful, sensual and highly sexual Bonobos, writes Susan Block. Rather than play out the myth of ancestral 'killer apes', better follow the 'Bonobo Way', and extend our love to all living beings and Earth herself. more...
Tuva, Siberia. Photo: Jules Pretty / The Edge of Extinction.

The Way of the White Cloud

Jules Pretty

31st January 2015

In his search for alternatives to consumerism and industrialism, Jules Pretty travelled around the world to find surviving nature-based cultures. In this extract from his book 'The Edge of Extinction', he tells of the Tuva people of the Siberian steppe - proud of their traditions and closeness to the land, but very much part of the modern world - strictly on their own terms. more...
The SPICE project will investigate the release of small particles into the stratosphere to cool the Earth by reflecting a few percent of incoming solar radiation. Photo: Hugh Hunt CC BY-SA 3.0.

What's worse than geoengineering the climate?

Nick Breeze

23rd December 2014

Film maker Nick Breeze has conducted a series of interviews with experts on 'geo-engineering' to forestall runaway global warming. Here he presents the distilled wisdom from his meetings - and concludes that we should at least be experimenting with the techniques, and studying their impacts. more...
Fracking is burning more than just our health. Our money's going up in flames too - and that's putting the whole financial system at risk. Photo: Bill Baker via Flickr.

With sub-$60 oil, fracking and tar sands losses threaten the whole financial system

Paul Mobbs

17th December 2014

A new financial crisis is threatening to dwarf the 'subprime' mortgage debacle, writes Paul Mobbs. Cheap money from central banks has fuelled some $1.3 trillion of risky investments in high-cost 'unconventional' oil and gas. Now, with oil sinking below $60, all that paper is turning to junk - and that's putting the entire economic system at risk. more...
Regular PV solar cells on the Brighton Earthship in the south of England  Dominic Alves, CC BY-SA.

Here comes the sun: explosion in solar power beckons

Ralph Gottschalg

12th December 2014

Solar power has a sunny future - even without any major breakthroughs, writes Ralph Gottschalg. There are huge gains to be made simply by getting smarter and using existing technologies more effectively. A new report shows that - given political support - solar PV could be competitive in the UK by 2020. more...
Murder most foul - a porpoise carcass bearing cruel bite marks. Photo: Johan Krol.

Murder most foul - who killed all the porpoises?

Ken Collins

9th December 2014

Since 2010 porpoise carcasses have been washing up on our shares, writes Ken Collins - displaying horrific wounds and bite marks that many thought a sign of Great White sharks in Britain's coastal waters. But now scientists have identified an improbably cuddly culprit ... more...
Torturing the truth - the mainstream media today. Photo: via johnpilger.com.

War by media and the triumph of propaganda

John Pilger

22nd December 2014

We live in an age of propaganda by the 'mainstream' media, writes John Pilger. Inconvenient stories, truths and even entire countries are airbrushed away, while dominant narratives are parroted incessantly to bludgeon our minds in acceptance of war, injustice, austerity, all to serve the interests of our ruling elites. more...

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