The Ecologist


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Holed Palestinian water tanks, destroyed by armed settlers in the old city of Hebron. Photo: ISM Palestine via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Think California's drought is bad? Try Palestine's

Laith Shakir

23rd August 2015

As World Water Week kicks off in Stockholm today with a theme of 'Water for Development', the drought being deliberately inflicted on Palestinians is firmly off the agenda, writes Laith Shakir. While Israelis water their lawns, irrigate crops and swim in Olympic-sized pools, Palestinian communities a few kilometers away are literally dying of thirst. more...
Indigenous representatives of multiple ethnicities were barred from Brazil's Congress building last 16th December when they gathered to oppose PEC 215. Photo: Ninja Midia via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Não a PEC 215! No to Brazil's plan to open indigenous lands to industrial exploitation!

Chris Lang / REDD Monitor

15th July 2015

Last December Brazil's indigenous Peoples defeated the PEC 215 constitutional amendment that was meant to open up their territories for agribusiness, mining, power generation and industry, writes Chris Lang. But now, thanks to 'Chainsaw Queen' Kátia Abreu, minster of agriculture, it's back on the agenda ... and resistance is growing once again. more...
GMB would better serve its members by promoting our renewable future, not the nuclear past. Photo: Walnet offshore wind farm by David Dixon via Wikimedia / Geograph (CC BY-SA).

GMB - as Hinkley C collapses, it's time to get over nuclear!

David Elliott, Ian Fairlie, Jonathon Porritt et al

15th July 2015

The GMB trade union has called on the UK government to press ahead with the Hinkley Point C power station despite legal challenges and serious technical failures. In this Open Letter, David Elliott, Ian Fairlie, Jonathon Porritt and colleagues tell the union that its members' interests lie in our renewable future, not the nuclear past. more...
He won't be pleased: UK Prime Minister David Cameron addressing Hinkley B workers as part of his visit to the Hinkley Point C site on 21st October 2013. Photo: Number 10 / DECC via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Green energy suppliers launch Hinkley C nuclear challenge

The Ecologist

15th July 2015

A second legal challenge to the UK's proposed Hinkley C nuclear power plant in Somerset was launched this morning by ten renewable and municipal power suppliers in Germany and Austria, citing grave distortions to European energy markets. more...
Monte Maiz Council unanimously approves an ordinance that bans the spraying of pesticides and the storage of agrochemicals in and near the town in Cordoba, Argentina. Photo: still from local TV report.

Argentine GM soya town bans pesticides

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

14th July 2015

The Council of Monte Maiz, a small town in Argentina surrounded by intensive GMO soya farms, has enacted a law that forbids the spraying and storage of pesticides and other agrochemicals after severe health impacts were detected. more...
The Augustow Primeval Forest in Poland - saved from a motorway project by the EU's nature laws. Is the problem that they work too well? Photo: Erik de Haan via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

European Commission's deregulation drive threatens EU nature laws

Leonardo Mazza

11th July 2015

The EU's nature directives provide effective protection for endangered species and habitats, writes Leonardo Mazza. So why the Commission's decision to 'review' and 'modernise' the laws? With its commitment to business-friendly deregulation and uninterest in the environment, the aim is surely to gut them - something only EU-wide citizens' mobilisation can prevent. more...
The South Shropshire hunt out on a public road. Photo: League Agaisnt Cruel Sports.

Hunting Act 'amendment' is repeal in disguise

Robbie Marsland

10th July 2015

Next Tuesday MPs will be voting on an 'amendment' to the Hunting Act that outlaws fox hunting and other cruel sports, writes Robbie Marsland. But its effect would be to make the law a dead letter - so full of holes as to permit the return of full-blown hunting with dogs. MPs must vote down this 'repeal by stealth'. more...
Quechua mother and child in the Sacred Valley near Qosqo (Cusco), Peru. Photo: Thomas Quine via Flickr (CC BY).

Enclosing the indigenous commons in highland Peru

Arthur Scarritt

14th July 2015

Under the guise of a land-titling project, Peru is breaking up and privatising indigenous common lands across the Andean highlands, writes Arthur Scarritt. While the law provides for communal titling and democratic votes, in practice there's no provision for communities to exercise these rights, and the many are being dispossessed in favour of large, 'efficient' market-oriented producers. more...
Crude oil in an open toxic oil waste pit abandoned by Texaco / Chevron in the Ecuadorean Amazon Rainforest near Lago Agrio. Photo: Caroline Bennett / Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Ecocide in the Amazon - Chevron evades $9.5bn restitution order

Orlan Cazorla & Miriam Gartor

17th July 2015

After 20 years of oil spills, deforestation, waste dumping and ill health, farmers and indigenous people in the the Ecuadorian Amazon have been fighting the Chevron-Texaco corporation. But despite its three times conviction and a $9.5 billion damages award to the victims, the oil giant looks no closer to making good its damage. more...
If Hinkley C is allowed, then other will follow in Poland, Czech, Hungary and UK. The Dukovany nuclear complex, Vysocina Region, Czech Republic. Photo: Zruda via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Austria files Hinkley Point C legal challenge in European Court

Oliver Tickell

6th July 2015

Austria today filed its legal challenge to the UK's €108 billion support package for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, writes Oliver Tickell. A second such challenge at the European Court is due from green energy suppliers in Germany and Austria who fear unfair competition from subsidised nuclear power in Poland, Czech and Hungary if the Hinkley C precedent stands. more...
Texaco's toxic signature, written in spilt oil: Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The company, now part of Chevron, has yet to compensate the victims of its pollution, or clean up. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr (CC BY).

Coming closer this month: a UN Human Rights Treaty for corporate abuses

Sam Cossar-Gilbert

1st July 2015

This month the UN is meeting to enact binding global rules on the conduct of business and transnational corporations, writes Sam Cossar-Gilbert, reversing the trend for increasing business empowerment in TTP, TTIP and TISA. The new UN Human Rights Treaty aims to provide justice for the victims of corporate criminality anywhere in the world. more...
Image: via Frack Free Lancashire on Facebook.

Lancashire councillors have every right to refuse fracking application

The Ecologist

28th June 2015

Independent legal advice shows that Lancashire councillors can refuse Cuadrilla's application for planning permission to frack at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire - contrary to advice from the Council's officers. more...

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Officers on anti-burglary patrols in the West Midlands, where dispersal powers have been used following burglaries. Photo: West Midlands Police via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Freedom of speech, assembly, protest? All are nixed by new police powers

Josie Appleton

26th June 2015

UK police now have free rein to create 'dispersal zones' in public places, writes Josie Appleton. This allows them to exclude people for anything from street drinking to looking suspicious, being homeless, protesting, or merely 'congregating'. This represents a serious breach of our Common Law and Magna Carta rights. more...
A Mursi boy suffering from Malaria in Ethiopia's Omo Valley. With warming, the range of malaria-carrying mosquitos will extend up into the Highlands. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Court orders Dutch government to cut emissions, as doctors warn of health catastrophe

Alex Kirby

25th June 2015

In a landmark ruling, judges have ordered the Netherlands to do more to tackle the 'imminent danger' of climate change. Meanwhile an expert commission reports of an impending global health breakdown from unmitigated global warming. more...
Radical Bankers gather in their social centre in an abandoned bank. Photo: The Source Brighton.

Anti-austerity movement revives radical urban squatting

Almudena Serpis

24th June 2015

Long a feature of British urban life, domestic squatting has now been criminalised, writes Almudena Serpis. But suddenly two social centres have come to life in a squatted bank in Brighton, and a long abandoned pub in London, reviving the rebellious spirit of the squatting movement, and promulgating a radical anti-austerity message that evokes the struggles in Greece, Spain and beyond. more...
In case you didn't know, her scales are weighted. And government 'reforms' are only making them more so. The statue of Lady Justice atop England's Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey. Photo: Ronnie Macdonald via Flickr (CC BY).

A 'poll tax' for English justice - subjecting the poor to 'trial by ordeal'

Paul Mobbs

23rd June 2015

As Michael Gove gives his first speech as Justice Secretary, promising to update our 'creaking and outdated' courts, Paul Mobbs writes that 'reforms' to date have only deepened the injustice that afflicts poor defendants: penalising the innocent, burdening those who plead 'not guilty' with heavy charges regardless of ability to pay, cutting legal aid, and halving the number of duty solicitors. more...
Captive foxes held in a 'fox farm' barn as discovered by investigators. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

Kidnapped fox cubs explode the myth that hunting is ‘wildlife management'

Dr Toni Shephard

21st June 2015

The discovery of a secret 'fox farm' apparently linked to the Middleton Hunt exposes the lie that is used to justify fox hunting, writes, Dr Toni Shephard: that it's a legitimate means of wildlife control. On the contrary, foxes are deliberately fattened up for the kill, also indicating possible violations of the 2004 Hunting Act, which prohibits the hunting of wild animals, including foxes, with dogs. more...
Fracking - it's happening! Get informed / Frack Off. Street sign in Brixton, South London. Photo: Matt Brown via Flickr (CC BY).

Government reduced to lies, misinformation and bullying to spin fast-track fracking

Paul Mobbs

15th June 2015

The Government is struggling to spin its policy to fast track fracking, writes Paul Mobbs. So as it cuts the public out of the regulatory process, exempts exploratory wells from controls, and forces the Environment Agency to issue permits with 1-2 weeks, its spin machine has resorted to outright lies and misinformation to conceal the scale of the attack on our environmental rights. more...
A rave? People gather to hear a lecture at the Democracy Festival near Runnymede yesterday. Photo: John Phoenix via Facebook.

Let's turn a Magna Carta travesty into a summons to defend our freedoms

Donnachadh McCarthy

15th June 2015

As the great and good of Britain including its most august royal personages converge on Runnymede to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, police are violating the very freedoms the Charter guarantees, writes Donnachadh McCarthy, after declaring an alternative Festival of Democracy to be an 'illegal rave'. more...
Jonny Walker (centre) and supporters of Keep Streets Live at a 'busk-in' on Oxford's Cornmarket, 27th May 2015, to protest the Labour Council's plans to criminalise busking and other 'non-compliant' behaviour. Photo: Keep Streets Live.

Oxford Council - drop your plan to criminalise music and street art!

Jonny Walker

11th June 2015

Oxford Council's Executive Board meets today to decide whether to criminalise 'noncompliant' busking, pavement art, cycling and other activities in the City's vibrant public spaces, punishable with a £1,000 fine. Jonny Walker wrote them this Open Letter. more...
Speaking out against Black deaths in custody, November 2011. Photo: Kate Ausburn via Flickr (CC BY).

Australia must abandon plans to ditch legal protection for Indigenous people in custody

Eugene Schofield-Georgeson

20th June 2015

A successful, low-cost scheme in New South Wales to safeguard indigenous Australians in police custody is to lose federal funding, writes Eugene Schofield-Georgeson, even though it is demonstrably saving lives. Rather than cut funding, the government should be financing similar schemes across the country. more...
The EU's neonicotinoid moratorium forbids the use of the chemicals on oilseed rape as bees can receive fatal doses while pollinating the plants - but that's exactly what the NFU wants permission to do. Photo: j_arlecchino via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Keep our bees safe! Liz Truss must say no to neonics

Nat Whalley / 38 Degrees

5th June 2015

In 2013 the EU imposed a moratorium on three of the most toxic of the neonicotinoid pesticides in an attempt to save wild bee populations. Now farmers have applied to lift the ban, writes Nat Whalley. Time to call on environment secretary Liz Truss, who today receives a 300,000-signature 'save the bees' petition, to say 'No!' 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...
A young Bonobo: the species is at riosk as logging in the Congo Basin fragments their forest habitat and opens up new areas to poachers. Photo: via Greenpeace.

End the Congo logging chaos for rainforest, people and bonobos!

Raoul Monsembula / Greenpeace Africa

1st June 2015

Industrial logging in the world's second largest rainforest is out of control, writes Raoul Monsembula, and spells disaster for both wildlife and forest people. There is an alternative: community forestry has just been enshrined in law. But resources must be committed to law enforcement in Congo and abroad, and to empowering forest communities. more...
Donnachadh McCarthy is among those engaged in a peaceful 'sit in' protest in Parliament Square on Monday 4th of May at the foot of Mahatma Ghandi's statue, prior to his arrest. Photo: via Facebook.

The poisonous extremism at the heart of yesterday's Queen's Speech

Donnachadh McCarthy

28th May 2015

Government plans to enact a 'domestic extremism' law, announced in yesterday's Queen's Speech, threaten to make thought criminals of all who challenge the established order, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. At risk are campaigners, protestors, journalists and all who dissent from Britain's neoliberal corporatocracy. more...


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