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Breakfast at McDonalds in Maddur, Karnataka, India. Photo: Harsha K R via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

India: obesity, malnutrition and the globalisation of bad food

Colin Todhunter

4th April 2016

India's food system, essentially clean just a generation ago, has been comprehensively contaminated with sugar, bad fats, synthetic additives, GMOs and pesticides under the country's neoliberal 'great leap forwards', writes Colin Todhunter. The result? a surge in obesity, diabetes and cancer incidence, but no let-up in the under-nutrition of those too poor to join in the over-consumption. more...
Never again! Texaco-Chevron's toxic oil legacy at Lago Agrio in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr (CC BY).

Ecuador's next Amazon oil battle: Indigenous Peoples on the front line

Kevin Koenig / Amazon Watch

4th April 2016

The rights of nature and of indigenous communities are enshrined in Ecuador's constitution, writes Kevin Koenig. But down in the Amazon the government is going full speed ahead with oil extraction on indigenous territories whose owners are committed to keeping their forests and waters pollution-free. A mighty battle is brewing that looks certain to come to a head this year. more...
Ffos-Y-Fran open cast mine, Merthyr Tydfil. Photo: Caradog Llywelyn via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Flesh against fossil fuels: let's shut down the UK's largest coal mine!

A Climate Activist

18th April 2016

Next month thousands will gather in Wales to shut down the UK's open cast coal mine at Ffos­y­fran, whose 3,500 acres abut both Merthyr Tydfil, one of Britain's most deprived communities, and the glorious Brecon Beacons national park. It will be one of dozens of coordinated actions across the UK, and around the world, to bring the age of coal to the rapid end it so richly deserves. more...
The Royal Oak of Teremiski, Bialowieza Forest. Photo: justyna via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No 'salvage' logging in Poland's ancient forest!

Lucinda Kirkpatrick

4th April 2016

Poland is intent on a huge increase in logging in Europe's greatest ancient forest, writes Lucinda Kirkpatrick. The government says it's needed to control spruce bark beetles. But the insect is a key part of the ecosystem, creating woodpecker nest sites and habitat for other endangered species. In truth it's just a big timber grab that must be strongly resisted. more...
Vegetable stall in the Old Havana market, Cuba. Photo: Guillaume Baviere via Flickr (CC BY).

Cuba's sustainable agriculture at risk in US diplomatic thaw

Miguel Altieri, University of California, Berkeley

1st April 2016

Among Cuba's greatest achievements is its organic farming sector, writes Miguel Altieri. Developed in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, small agroecological farms now employ 300,000 campesinos and provide an abundance of healthy fruit and vegetables. But now US food and agribusiness corporations are eyeing up a multi-billion dollar business opportunity. more...
Smoke, mirrors and raindrops: Exxon station at Columbus, Montana. Photo: J.C. Burns via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Exxon is the one guilty of 'chilling' climate science!

Louise Rouse & Naomi Ages / Greenpeace Energydesk

31st March 2016

ExxonMobil has long known that climate change is real and dangerous, write Louise Rouse & Naomi Ages, while denying it in public and supporting climate change deniers. Now they accuse their critics of 'chilling' climate science and the search for solutions. The truth is the precise opposite. more...
350.org executive director May Boeve: 'A trial of ExxonMobil and the fossil fuel industry would be even bigger than the cases against Big Tobacco.' Photo: 350.org / Twitpic.

Attorneys General unite to target Exxon climate crimes

Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams

31st March 2016

An unprecedented coalition of 20 Attorneys General from US states and the Virgin Islands have combined to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the deception they have inflicted on customers and the wider public over climate change, writes Lauren McCauley, in a move hailed as a 'turning point' in the battle to save the climate. more...
If we ate more of this, the world would be a cleaner and healthier place! Fruit vendor in Devaraj Market, Mysore, India. Photo: Christopher Fynn via Flickr (CC BY).

Going veggie could save slash emissions and prevent 8 million deaths a year

Marco Springmann

31st March 2016

Oxford researchers have quantified the benefits of the world becoming vegetarian, writes Marco Springmann. Their study shows that simple changes - like moving to diets low in meat and high in fruit and vegetables - could lead to significant reduction in mortality and health care costs, while cutting food sector greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds. more...
Anti badger cull demo in Oxford, 25th October 2014. Photo: Snapshooter46 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Badger cull: protestors' legal right to information upheld

Lesley Docksey

1st April 2016

Since December 2011, when it became clear that the government was intent on its badger cull, Defra and Natural England have been flooded with FOI requests about how the culls would be set up, conducted and monitored. The notable success of Anna Dale in cutting through official obfuscation has implications for everyone trying to protect the environment and wildlife. more...
A surface coal mine in Gillette, Wyoming. This type of  large-scale extraction is exactly what the residents of Montana wanted to avoid. Photo: Greg Goebel via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA)

People power: how Montana stopped the biggest coal mine in North America

Nick Engelfried

29th March 2016

Campaigners are celebrating after defeating plans to build America’s largest open pit coal mine, writes Nick Engelfriend. In an epic 'David and Goliath' battle, Montana activists challenged the project, and all the politicians and businessmen that supported it, with fierce opposition, protests and demonstrations. The outcome spells hope for all in the fight against dirty energy. more...
Intensive arable farming in England: no space for people or wildlife. Photo: Peter Roworth / Natural England via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Six steps back to the land: an agricultural revolution for people and countryside

Colin Tudge

22nd April 2016

What's the point of farming? To produce an abundance of wholesome food, writes Colin Tudge, while supporting a flourishing rural economy and a sustainable, biodiverse countryside. Yet the powers that be, determined to advance industrial agriculture at all costs, are achieving the precise opposite. It's time for a revolution in our food and farming culture, led by the people at large. more...
Wild coffee grows in these forests of the Ethiopian highlands - and nowhere else. Photo: Indrias Getachew.

Ethiopia's vulnerable tropical forests are key to securing the future of coffee

Fiona Hesselden, University of Huddersfield

24th March 2016

Coffee may be grown all around the tropics, writes Fiona Hesselden, but it originates in just one place: the 'coffee rainforests' of the Ethiopian highlands. We depend on the wild plants for new genes and varieties, yet the forests are falling fast to the advance of farmers. To preserve the forests and all their biodiversity, the original people of the forest must receive their just rewards. more...

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Peoples' Representatives marching to Malacañang to confer the 'King Coal Award to President Noynoy Aquino, for his approval of 59 coal plants in the Philippines; 20th October 2015. Photo: AC Dimatatac / 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Climate hypocrisy: JP Morgan's empty promises on coal

Assaad Razzouk

24th March 2016

JP Morgan's announcement that it's pulling out of coal is purest doublespeak, writes Assaad Razzouk. But it's not the only financier to engage in climate hypocrisy, as banks prepare to lend $5 trillion to build 2,440 new coal power stations. To deliver the Paris Agreement they - and the loans that would finance them - must be cancelled. more...
From a mock-up of a possible label on a can of Campbell's Soup Spaghetti-Os, with the words: 'Partially produced with genetic engineering.' Image: Campbell's Soup.

Soon a flood? Mars, General Mills begin US-wide GMO labels

Oliver Tickell

22nd March 2016

The small state of Vermont is changing the face of US food as companies hasten to comply with its GMO labeling rule which comes into effect in July 2016. Mars and General Mills - and now Kelloggs and ConAgra - are the latest companies to announce their labels will comply with Vermont law US-wide - and many more are sure to follow. more...
Artist's impression of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant. Image: EDF Energy.

Hinkley C 'secret documents' may have to be disclosed

Terry McAlister / Guardian Environment

21st March 2016

Backed up the Information Commissioner, DECC refuses to release the documents it sent to the European Commission to support its massive subsidy package for the Hinkley C nuclear plant, writes Terry McAlister. But now the case will go before a tribunal which could order their release. more...
The Chancellor has done it for sugary drinks. Now, will he go on to do the same for even bigger issues - like the air pollution that's killing tens of thousands of British citizens a year? Photo: Roy Schreffler via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Chancellor is right to act on sugar. Next, air pollution!

Simon Bullock

17th March 2016

The Chancellor's 'sport not sugar' move to tax sugary drinks was extremely welcome, writes Simon Bullock. But we need a similar Treasury approach to protect people from other threats too. So how about tackling the air pollution that's killing tens of thousands of Britons a year? more...

Beware the march of the authoritarians!

Jonathon Porritt

16th March 2016

Is the UK sinking into authoritarian rule? That's how it looks, writes Jonathon Porritt, as the government joins with right wing media and fossil fuel companies to attack local democracy and environmental campaigners. Is this 'merger of state and corporate power' a sign of more, and worse, to come? more...
All five Founding Members of MIT's prestigious new Energy Institute are oil companies: BP, ENI, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco and Shell. It has so far attracted $600m in funding, almost all of it from the fossil fuel sector. Image: from MITEI website.

Universities' love affair with fossil fuel companies must end

James Dyke

15th March 2016

Climate change is perhaps our generation's greatest challenge, and few people are better placed to know it than academics in our top universities, writes James Dyke. But they are still accepting huge sums of fossil fuel money, in the process helping donors in their quest to extract and burn ever more coal, oil and gas. This must stop. more...
Oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan. Photo: Klima- og miljødepartementet via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Feeding the bank balance: GMOs, development and the politics of happiness

Colin Todhunter

14th March 2016

To understand how technology is used in the real world we must appreciate who owns and controls it, writes Colin Todhunter: whose interests it serves, and how it works in an economic system driven by profit, geopolitics and the compulsion to capture and control markets - while the monopolists proclaim a noble ideology of 'free choice' and 'democracy'. more...
Oil-coated dolphin washed up on the Gulf coast following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, projected onto the walls of the Science Museum by 'BP or not BP'. Photo: BP or not BP.

BP doubles EU lobby spend, drops Tate sponsorship

Kyla Mandel / The Ecologist

14th March 2016

Oil giant BP is the UK's single biggest EU lobbyist, spending over £2 million reaching out to European policy makers in 2014, new figures show. But citing hard times, the company has dropped its controversial sponsorship of the London's Tate Galleries - and more such branding deals may bite the dust. more...
Intensively reared animals are typically kept in barren, squalid conditions, however product labels often don't display this reality. Photo: © Compassion in World Farming.

No more keeping consumers in the dark over animal welfare!

Philip Lymbery

10th March 2016

Labels on meat, egg and dairy products are often the only clue we have into the lives of the animals they came from, writes Philip Lymbery. But they are often confusing or even misleading about the truth of cruel farming practices. Labelling needs to be clearer to allow ethical consumers to make the right choices. more...
An illegal clear-cut on steep-sided hills in Harghita County, just a small part of a much larger illegal clear-cut. Photo: Ecostorm.

Illegal loggers levelling Romania's Carpathian mountain forests

Katy Jenkyns

30th March 2016

Austrian timber giant Schweighofer claims to be working hard to ensure that the huge volumes of timber it buys from Romania's mountain forests are strictly legal, writes Katy Jenkyns. But an Ecostorm investigation has uncovered its purchase of illegally cut wood, its acceptance of fraudulent paperwork from suppliers, and the deep shadow of fear it casts over local communities. more...
Red chilis grown by a traditional small-scale farmer in Morocco. Photo: Ali JAFRI via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Resisting the corporate stranglehold on food and farming - is agroecology enough?

Colin Todhunter

4th March 2016

Agroecology is key to retaking control over food, farming and land from the 'monstrous machine' of agribusiness, biotech, big finance and 'free trade', writes Colin Todhunter, as it represents a truly viable alternative to agriculture for corporate profit. But such are the powers ranged against the world's small farmers that it must be supported by a broad-based, global people's movement. more...
Wind turbines in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo: CGP Grey via Flickr (CC BY).

Denmark reaching its goal to be fossil fuel free through renewable energy

Laurie Guevara-Stone / RMI

5th March 2016

The small country of Denmark is making a big commitment to renewables, aiming to be fossil-fuel free by 2050, writes Laurie Guevara-Stone. A large expansion of mainly offshore wind power features large, along with moves to a 'smart grid', high vehicle taxes and energy conservation initiatives. Denmark is well on its way to becoming the energy leader of the EU. more...
For some decades to come, old and new energy systems will have to maintain an uneasy coexistence - as at Interstate 10 near Palm Springs, California. Photo: Kevin Dooley via Flickr (CC BY).

The transition to 100% renewable energy: because we have no choice

Richard Heinberg

18th March 2016

It will take decades to completely leave fossil fuels, writes Richard Heinberg. But we can do it, starting with the easy stuff: going big time for wind and solar, raising energy efficiency, replacing oil-fuelled vehicles, and moving to organic farming. But deeper changes will follow as we transition to a more enduring sustainability - consuming better, and much less. more...

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