The Ecologist

 

Fo: 25/50 of 2098
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Choices choices.. Photo by Sabotrax (CC-BY)

The great bathroom debate: paper towel or hand dryer?

Simon Lockrey

6th January 2016

Which of hand dryers or paper towels have the greatest impact on the environment? asks Simon Lockrey. Are your paper towels recycled or tree-pulped, your dryers power-hungry and long-blowing or short-blast and power-saving. Only full Life-Cycle Analysis can reveal the true punches these seemingly harmless items can deliver to our environment. more...
Road pushing deep into the Gabon rainforest near Junkville Ayem Lope, 20th December 2013. Photo: jbdodane via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Massive road and rail projects threaten thousands of Africa’s wildlife reserves

Bill Laurance, James Cook University

4th January 2015

Africa is facing an unprecedented surge in road and railway building with 33 huge 'development corridors' planned that threaten 2,400 of the continent's protected wildlife areas, writes Bill Laurance. We must block the most destructive plans and limit avoidable impacts on natural areas - before it's too late. more...
These Venezuelan watermelon (sandía) seeds are now protected by law from corporate takeover, while GMOs are banned. Photo: Rufino Uribe via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Venezuela's 'people as legislators' ban GMOs, protect traditional seeds

William Camacaro, Frederick B. Mills & Christina M. Schiavoni

2nd January 2015

A radical new Seed Law drafted by Venezuelan people, farmers and NGOs was signed into law in the closing days of 2015, write William Camacaro, Frederick B. Mills & Christina M. Schiavoni. Striking back against the corporate takeover of seeds and peddling of GMOs, the Seed Law bans transgenic seeds, protects the country's germplasm, and establishes the legal foundation for a participatory, agroecological food and farming system. more...
In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Green Leaves, Dead Leaves, Red Mushroom. Photo: John Britt via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

A Wild Liberty

Grant A. Mincy

18th January 2016

The world we inhabit is a miracle of billions of years of evolution as life has unfolded in its full beauty and diversity, writes Grant A. Mincy. But human activities - deforestation, mining, urbanisation, pollution, climate change - are tearing away at the functioning fabric of the living biosphere. A mass extinction is under way, and it must be halted, and reversed. But how? more...
Solar panels on the GLA building at Tower Hill, London. Photo: James Cridland via Flickr (CC BY).

Today's solar cut: government turns its back on the future

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

17th December 2015

The government's decision to cut support for domestic solar by 64% reflects antiquated thinking, writes Doug Parr. Just as the rest of Europe is shifting to ever-cheaper renewable, low carbon, decentralised, participatory, employment generating energy systems, the UK is stuck in a the dirty past of nuclear and fossil fuels. more...
Sun breaking through the clouds over the Derwent Valley, Peak District, UK with the village of Hatersage in the distance. Photo: Richard Walker via Flickr (CC BY).

Fracking go-ahead in England's national parks, SSSIs, water sources

Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell

16th December 2015

New regulations that will allow fracking under national parks, water sources and nature sites won the approval of MPs today in a Commons vote, write Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell, even though four Tory MP's rebelled against the party whip. But the new rules won't apply in Wales and Scotland. more...
Forest-based offsets are intended to save carbon-rich forests like these. But sadly, they can equally reward people for destroying them to create palm oil plantations. Photo: Shannan Mortimer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Carbon trading in Paris Agreement has set us up for failure

Steffen Böhm, University of Essex

15th December 2015

Hidden away in the pages of UN-speak that make up the Paris Agreement are the makings of global carbon market in which a host of exotic emissions derivatives can be freely traded, writes Steffen Böhm. And it's all going to be a huge and expensive distraction from the real and urgent task of cutting emissions. more...
Transmission lines across the Ohio River. Photo: Iris Shreve Garrott via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Fossil fuel credit ratings unmoved by Paris Agreement

The Ecologist

14th December 2015

The impact of the Paris Agreement on leading rating agency Moody's assessment of the world's fossil fuel companies is ... nothing at all. The one change is in Europe, where thermal generators have a worsening outlook, and renewables are 'credit positive'. more...
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, turned into a giant symbol of the Sun after hundreds of bicycles dribbled yellow paint on the Etoile roundabout and surrounding avenues. Photo: Greenpeace.

COP21: the end of fossil fuels is near. We must speed its coming

Kumi Naidoo

13th December 2015

The Paris climate agreement contains plenty enough to get fossil fuel companies and exporters worried about their future, writes Kumi Naidoo. But it is lacking is in the mechanisms to deliver its aspirations. That's why the global climate movement has to escalate its fight against the carbon bullies, and for climate justice. more...
Oil Refinery at Oxymoron. Photo: Wyatt Wellman via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

COP21: 'fossil fuel giants must pay carbon tax'

Henner Weithoener

11th December 2015

Campaigners at COP21 in Paris are calling for a new 'upstream' carbon tax to be levied on fossil fuel producers, writes Henner Weithoener, and so send a clear market signal and finance poor countries' compensation for 'loss and damage' caused by climate change. more...
Delegates rise from a hard negotiating session at COP21 in Paris. Photo: UNclimatechange via Flickr (CC BY).

COP21 to investors: 'the end of fossil fuels is nigh!'

Kyla Mandel

10th December 2015

Coal prices are in terminal decline, writes Kyla Mandel, oil giant Statoil is calling for the strongest possible agreement, and the world's energy bosses are planning for a decarbonised future. COP21 is marking the definitive tipping point in the demise of fossil fuels. more...
Tiger cub on the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Photo: Arindam Bhattacharya via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Coal plant threatens world's largest mangrove forest - and Bangladesh's future

Mowdud Rahman & Greig Aitken

10th December 2015

As COP21 reaches its endgame, there are plans to build 2,440 coal-fired power plants around the world, write Mowdud Rahman & Greig Aitken. Their completion would send global temperatures, and sea levels, soaring. Yet Bangladesh, the world's most 'climate vulnerable' large country, has plans for a 1.3GW coal power plant on the fringes of its World Heritage coastal wetlands. more...

Fo: 25/50 of 2098
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Image: Mario Piperni via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Climate 'academics for hire' conceal fossil fuel funding

Lawrence Carter & Maeve McClenaghan / Greenpeace Energydesk

9th December 2015

Investigative reporters working for Greenpeace UK's Energydesk have uncovered a nexus of senior academics willing to accept large sums of money from fossil fuel companies to write reports and newspaper articles published under their own names and university affiliations, without declaring the funding. Lawrence Carter & Maeve McClenaghan spill the beans ... more...
A pair of beaver dams in Bamff, Perthshire. Photo: Paul Ramsay.

Carlisle floods: bring back the trees, and the beavers!

Oliver Tickell

7th December 2015

The key to reducing the risk of more floods like those in Carlisle is to realise that conventional 'flood defence' can never provide security against the ever more extreme weather events that global warming will bring. We must embrace natural solutions to holding back flood waters: more trees; and bring back the beavers! more...
The problem is not just eating meat, but the kind of meat. Brazilian beef causes emissions around ten times greater than chicken. Photo: butcher's shop in Mares, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil by Vin via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Can eating less meat really tackle climate change? (Yes)

Mike Berners-Lee, Lancaster University

27th January 2016

Meat is responsible for about 30% of all 'wasted calories', writes Mike Berners-Lee, so with food causing a third of all greenhouse emissions, eating less meat is one of the most effective things we can do to reduce our climate impact. But no less important is to switch from high to low-impact meats - and to do all we can to cut food waste in our kitchens. more...
Intensive cultivation of soya advancing into the forests of the Mato Grosso, Brazil. Photo: Leonardo F. Freitas via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Monsanto on trial for crimes against nature and humanity

Pavlos Georgiadis

6th December 2015

Monsanto was accused of 'crimes against humanity and the environment' at COP21 in Paris this week, writes Pavlos Georgiadis. And now the evidence against it is being gathered for presentation at a 'Monsanto Tribunal' taking place next October in The Hague. more...
Soil is where our food comes from - so why don't we look after it as well as organic farmers? Photo: Soil Association.

It's time to celebrate and protect the soils that feed us!

Peter Melchett

4th December 2015

Almost all our food is grown in soil, writes Peter Melchett. Yet we are treating it like dirt: spraying it with toxic chemicals, depleting vital nutrients, and releasing its carbon to add to climate change. With World Soils Day coming up tomorrow, let's change our ways - and renew our commitment to organic food and farming. more...
Drax power station in Yorskshire, England, was to host the UK's examplar of BECCS in its White Rose project, with a planned CCS add-on. In a rare moment of santity, the UK government has pulled the funding. Photo: Ian Britton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

COP21's climate technofix: spinning carbon into gold and the myth of 'negative emissions'

Rachel Smolker

3rd December 2015

Paris has been awash with hype about 'CO2 recycling' and 'carbon neutral' or even 'carbon negative' technologies based on burning millions of trees, writes Rachel Smolker. But the alchemical notion that waste carbon can be spun into corporate gold is hitting serious reality checks. It's time to ditch the fantasies and progress the real solutions: like caring for land, soils, forests and grasslands. more...
The Upton Community Protection Camp in Cheshire on 17th November, due to be evicted tomorrow, 4th December. Photo: Upton Community Protection Camp via Facebook.

Cameron's real climate policy: promise the sky, frack the Earth

Natalie Bennett

3rd December 2015

On Monday Cameron was waxing lyrical on climate change at COP21 in Paris, writes Natalie Bennett. But his true colours will be revealed tomorrow as a long established anti-fracking camp in Cheshire is set for eviction: all part of the plan for a new generation of gas-fired power stations that will blow the UK's emissions targets. more...
Enormous farms are eating deep into the forests of the Mato Grosso in Brazil - and the EU is one of the main markets for the soya they produce. Photo: Leonardo F. Freitas via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Europe must lead the way towards 'zero deforestation'

Sébastien Risso / Greenpeace Europe

11th January 2016

After years of half-hearted, ineffective polices to tackle deforestation, the EU is finally promising to take strong measures to deal with the problem, writes Sébastien Risso. Tackling illegal timber imports will be a great start, but it also needs to take on the far larger problem of deforestation for agriculture - stimulated by the EU's huge imports of palm oil, soy, beef and other commodities. more...
Erika Berenguer examines recently burned primary forest. Photo: Jos Barlow, Author provided.

18,000 fires rage in Brazil's Amazon rainforest

Jos Barlow & Erika Berenguer

2nd Decmber 2015

It's not just Indonesia's forests and peatlands that are burning - the Amazon is suffering almost as badly, with over 18,000 fires last month in Brazil alone, write Jos Barlow & Erika Berenguer. The future is looking hot and fiery. more...
The UK government is lavishing billions of pounds of subsidies on North Sea gas and oil - while cutting renewable energy to the bone. Photo: Thistle Alpha oil rig in the North Sea roughly halfway between the Shetland islands and Norway by snapper via Flic

COP21: Time to end fossil fuel subsidies!

Tony Juniper

30th November 2015

The theme at COP21 today has been the urgent need to cut fossil fuel subsidies that favour dirty energy over renewables, writes Tony Juniper. Sadly the UK is setting all the wrong examples - ramping up its spending on fossil fuels, while slashing its much smaller renewable energy budgets. more...
A Greenland glacier breaks up into pieces into Ilulissat Icefjord. With rising sea levels and warming temperatures, such events are becoming ever more frequent. Photo: Tim Norris via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

WMO: record warming rises into danger zone

Alex Kirby

28th November 2015

A climate negotiators gather in Paris for COP21, the WMO say that a combination of human and natural causes will make 2015 temperatures the hottest ever - half way to the 2C 'safety threshold'. But despite the ever falling price of solar and wind, many newly industrialising countries are insisting on coal-fired development. more...

Oxford Real Farming Conference 2016

27 November 2015

Taking place from 6th - 7th January 2016, this conference brings together sustainable food and farming movements to discuss global food systems and the policies that affect British farming. more...
The list of sponsors for the 21st UN Climate Conference (COP21) released today includes some of the least climate-friendly multinationals. Image: Corporate Europe Observatory.

COP21 - brought to you by 200 Mt a year of coal-fired CO2

Pavlos Georgiadis

26th November 2015

As negotiators from around the world gather in Paris for what's hoped to be a groundbreaking climate summit, many will be surprised to discover that COP21 is funded by some of the world's biggest coal burners, writes Pavlos Georgiadis, and a leading financier of coal and tar sands development. Shouldn't we just ... kick them out? more...

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