The Ecologist

 

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Ecologist Special Report: The battle for the ‘mother of rivers'

Nosmot Gbadamosi

22nd May, 2017

Scientists are praising the discovery of new species and rare dolphins in the Mekong region, but overfishing and dams loom to disrupt habitats writes NOSMOT GBADAMOSI in this special Ecologist report more...

Sustainable Social Housing... How an eco cabin built entirely from waste shows it can be done

Matthew Kong

18th May, 2017

Scottish recycling expert, Angus Carnie has built an eco cabin in his native Carnoustie, Dundee, using only materials that were free. Now living happily without bills, he tells MATTHEW KONG how his modest home could help inspire a new vision for social and affordable housing more...

Rewilding America - The People & The Land

William Hawes

17th May, 2017

If we are to survive long into this century and beyond, our society will have to learn to re-indigenize (or rewild) itself - both its people and its environment, writes WILLIAM HAWES more...
Who needs research into climate change adaptation? Flooding in Brisbane, Queensland, 11th January 2011. Photo: Angus Veitch via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia axes climate change adaptation research

Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, University of Canberra

16th May 2017

Natural disasters like flood and drought have cost the Australian government more than A$12 billion since 2009, write Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, with even harsher weather events predicted for coming decades. Clearly, it's just the time for Australia to eliminate funding for research on adapting to climate change. more...

Otra Nation - A Disney-style eco fantasy or the way forward?

Laura Briggs

15th May, 2017

With what should perhaps be described as fantastic enthusiasm, a collective of architects, designers, engineers, urban planners and entrepreneurs have submitted a proposal to the Governments of the United States and Mexico to create a land with no borders. LAURA BRIGGS wonders if she should take the proposal seriously... more...
While Trump tries to extend the wall across the US-Mexico frontier, seen here at Nogales, Mexico could build a solar farm along the border, generating 2GW of power, and attracting technology, investment and jobs from the North. Photo: Jonathan McIntosh vi

Mexico's expiring oil and Trump's wall: the future is solar

Jeremy Leggett

11th May 2017

Mexico's oil looks set to run out within a decade, writes Jeremy Leggett, and it can hardly rely on Trump's America to make up the difference. But Mexico enjoys abundant sunshine, and the cost of solar power generation is falling fast. Let Trump tie America's economy to debt-financed fossil fuels. Mexico's future prosperity will come from harnessing its inexhaustible solar riches. more...
Mural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in celebration of indigenous culture by the artist Eduardo Kobra. Photo: Stefano Ravalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil: Amazon's Indians, rainforest under attack

Jan Rocha / Climate News Network

10th May 2017

Attacks on Amazon Indians and on their land rights are threatening vital areas of rainforest, writes Jan Rocha. Meanwhile FUNAI, the agency responsible for safeguarding indigenous tribes is being forced to withdraw from key conflict zones due to underfunding, while Indians' attempts to assert their rights are met with state violence. more...
The Carrizo Plain National Monument, California, represents the last remnant of a once vast grassland. It is just one of 27 at risk form Trump's executive order. Photo: Steve Corey via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Trump's National Monument order could open 2.7 million acres to oil, gas, coal

Lawrence Carter & Joe Sandler Clarke / Greenpeace Energydesk

12th May 2017

President Trump's recent executive order could open an area of America's most precious landscapes bigger than Yellowstone to oil drilling and coal mining, write Lawrence Carter & Joe Sandler Clarke. The 27 monuments 'under review' harbour huge volumes of oil, gas and coal: just what's needed to fuel Trump's vision of fossil fuel-led development - never mind the cost to scenery, wildlife, historic sites and indigenous cultures. more...
Spot the difference: Monsanto's new 'Glyphosate-free' Roundup product, now on sale in Germany, and a bottle of vinegar. Photo: Dr Helmut Burtscher / GMWatch.

Monsanto's new 'glyphosate-free' Roundup is vinegar!

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

8th May 2017

Has Monsanto, dubbed the 'world's most evil corporation', turned a new leaf? It has taken the 'probably carcinogenic' glyphosate out of a new version of its market leading 'Roundup' herbicide, and replaced it with vinegar. The bad news is it's only available in Austria. That, and it may still contain toxic 'adjuvants' to increase its effectiveness. more...

Winner of the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia: Prafulla Samantara

Sophie Morlin-Yron

2nd May, 2017

Meet the man securing justice for the Dongira tribe's sacred hills...in the first of her profiles of two of this year's winners, SOPHIE MORLIN-YRON interviews the recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia more...
Southern White rhinoceros in its native habitat in Zambia, bnear the Zimbabwe border, October 2013. Photo: Jim Frost via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Rhinos should be conserved in Africa - not moved to Australia!

Matt Hayward, Bangor University

2nd May 2017

A $4m plan to move 80 rhinos from South Africa to Australia is inept, patronising, a waste of scarce resources that contributes nothing to conservation, and betrays an outdated neocolonial mindset, writes Matt Hayward. The money should be spent on successful but underfunded community-based rhino conservation initiatives in Africa that benefit entire ecosystems. more...
John Muir, full-length portrait, facing right, seated on rock with lake and trees in background, circa 1902. Photo: unknbown via Library of Congress (Public Domain).

Divine ecstasy of Nature: Selected Writings by John Muir

Terry Tempest Williams

17th May 2017

May this new collection of John Muir's writings reach us now and inspire another generation to fall in love with wild nature, to care for it, to know that wilderness is not optional but central to our survival in the centuries to come, writes Terry Tempest Williams - and remind us how to embrace this beautiful, broken world once again with an open heart. If we do approach the mountain, it is we who are moved. more...

US: 1/25 of 1768
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Seen here in 2008, this uncontacted indigenous community in Brazil's Amazon may be fierce in defence of its lands. But they don't stand a chance in the face of bulldozers, chainsaws, automatic weapons, and the new diseases brought by loggers, miners and f

Brazil: Government to abandon tribes to 'genocide' by loggers and ranchers

Oliver Tickell

26th April 2017

Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.' more...
The UKEF export finance agency has committed £1 billion to support Colombia's fossil fuel sector. The Barrancabermeja oil refinery on the banks of Colombia's Río Magdalena. Photo: Javier Guillot via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Leaked: UK £7 billion export credit for fossil fuel industry violates 'clean energy' pledge

Lawrence Carter / Greenpeace Energydesk

16th May 2017

Between 2011 and 2016 the UK's export finance agency UKEF provided £109m to underwrite exports of equipment to coal mines in Russia, writes Lawrence Carter - despite the agency's commitment not to support 'investment in dirty fossil-fuel energy production'. And that's just a fraction of the £6.9 billion UKEF has lavished on the corrupt, polluting sector since 2000, while it was meant to be backing the clean energy technologies of the future. more...
Footbridge over the Coapa River in Chiapas, Mexico, which supports local silvopasture (forestry and livestock grazing). Photo: Lameirasb via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

To conserve tropical forests and wildlife, protect the rights of people who rely on them

Prakash Kashwan, University of Connecticut

26th April 2017

Who are the best guardians of forests and other wild places? Governments? Conservation NGOs? Corporations? No, writes Prakash Kashwan, it's the indigenous peoples who have lived in harmony with their environment for millennia. But to be able do so, they must first be accorded rights to their historic lands and resources, both in law and in practice. Among the countries leading the way, Mexico. Among the laggards, Kenya and India. more...
Judy Eckert holding water contaminated with arsenic drawn from her private well 450ft from a fracking rig in Pennsylvania, which she believes contaminated her water supply. Photo: Public Herald via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking kills newborn babies - polluted water likely cause

Oliver Tickell

25th April 2017

A new study in Pennsylvania, USA shows that fracking is strongly related to increased mortality in young babies. The effect is most pronounced in counties with many drinking water wells indicating that contamination by 'produced water' from fracking is a likely cause. Radioactive pollution with uranium, thorium and radium is a 'plausible explanation' for the excess deaths. more...

Ecologist Special Report: From fish to forests and conflicts to coffee...how humans are affected by climate-driven species shifts

Tero Mustonen & Hannibal Rhoades

20th April, 2017

Climate change has species on the move, with major consequences for biodiversity and human communities write TERO MUSTONEN and HANNIBAL RHOADES. Building resilience has never been more important and Indigenous Peoples are showing the way more...
False promise ... Wylfa 2 nuclear power station glowing in the dark on Anglesey, Wales. Photo: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

False promise: nuclear power: past, present and (no) future

David Elliott

12th April 2017

Nuclear power was originally sold on a lie, writes Dave Elliott. While we were being told it would make electricity 'too cheap to meter', insiders knew it cost at least 50% more than conventional generation. Since then nuclear costs have only risen, while renewable energy prices are on a steep decline. And now the nuclear behemoths are crumbling ... not a moment too soon. more...
'That Roundhouse' near Newport in Wales, built by Tony Wrench and Jane Faith and helpers as part of the secret Brithdir Mawr intentional community. In the UK this kind of eco-living is strongly linked to 'progressive' politics and values, but that's not a

Green nationalism? How the far right could learn to love the environment

Peter Paul Catterall, University of Westminster

12th April 2017

Myths of a pagan past in harmony with nature have been a feature of green nationalism, writes Peter Paul Catterall, from its beginnings through to the Anastasia ecovillages in contemporary Russia where - unlike their equivalent hippy communes found in the West - sustainable living is combined with a 'reactionary eco-nationalism'. Could it happen here too? more...
These trees along Idaho's Selway River may be harboring insects, fungi and bacteria - best cut them down quick to maintain forest health! Photo: Friends of Clearwater.

Catastrophic 'anti-infestation' logging threatens US National Forests

Brett Haverstick

10th April 2017

A fresh wave of logging is hitting America's national forests, writes Brett Haverstick. But this time it's all for the sake of 'forest health' and 'fire prevention'. It might look like industrial clear-cutting to you and me, but really, it's in a good cause. And if the forests and precious ecosystems they harbor just happen to perish in the process ... well ain't that just too bad? more...

The Ethical Foodie: I'm in huff - big time

Tim Maddams

7th April, 2017

Ethical foodie columnist TIM MADDAMS points the finger at fishing practices which may tick the sustainable criteria boxes but which perpetuate an environmentally damaging broken food production system when you take into account the bigger picture more...

Ecologist Special Report: The Indigenous Communities fighting oil companies in the Peruvian Amazon

Arthur Wyns

5th April, 2017

The Indigenous Peoples of Standing Rock are by no means alone in their struggle for the recognition and preservation of their native lands: a very similar story of resistance against oil extraction is taking place further south, and has been going on for almost half a century, namely the fight of the Indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon against oil pollution and oppression, writes biologist ARTHUR WYNS more...
Aerial view of Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar. Photo: via Andrew Lees Trust.

Tall tales and tailings - the truth about Rio Tinto's rare earth mine in Madagascar

Yvonne Orengo

3rd April 2017

Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar was meant to be an exemplar of 'corporate social responsibility' and environmental best practice. But the reality experienced by local communities is different, writes Yvonne Orengo, with uncompensated land seizures, food insecurity, deforestation and social deprivation. New concerns are emerging about the infringement of legal buffer zones and radiation exposure. Rio Tinto must be held responsible for its actions! more...
Where Toshiba's $10bn nuclear debt came from: the Vogtle AP1000 construction site in Georgia, under inspection by NRC Commissioner Svinicki. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr (CC BY).

Toshiba's nuclear flagship goes bust after $10 billion losses

Jim Green

30th March 2017

News that one of the world's biggest nuclear power constructors, Westinghouse, has filed for bankruptcy in with debts of over $10 billion has put the entire sector on notice and issued a dire warning to nuclear investors everywhere, writes Jim Green. Among the likely casualties: the UK's Moorside nuclear complex in Cumbria. more...
Coal mining on our lands comes with serious environmental consequences that we can no longer afford - as seen at the Black Thunder mjne in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. Photo: courtesy of Ecoflight.

Executive Order removes climate safeguards - now, the fightback

Trip Van Noppen / EarthJustice

29th March 2017

In a potentially devastating blow to the Earth's climate, President Trump's new executive order ends the Interior Department's moratorium on coal mining on public land and begins a repeal of the landmark Clean Power Plan, writes Trip Van Noppen. But this reckless move will not pass unchallenged - the Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA must tackle climate pollution, and clean energy policies can still be defended and advanced at state level. more...

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