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Roadside banner opposing mining in Intag, Ecuador. Photo: dawn paley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Ecuador's 'progressive' extractivism - mining, ecocide and the silencing of dissent

Carlos Zorrilla

6th March 2017

Ecuador's 'socialist' President Correa has unleashed a wave of repression at Andean communities seeking to protect their lands, forests and nature from open pit mining, writes Carlos Zorrilla. With most of biodiversity-rich Intag region conceded to international mining companies, the mood is one of rising fear and desperation in the countdown to next month's election. more...
Fossil fuels are already a huge money pit for US taxpayers, costing them $170 billion a year. Photo: open pit coal mine in West Virginia by Elias Schewel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Trump, think again! US subsidies for fossil fuels are already worth $170 billion a year

Radek Stefanski, University of St Andrews

2nd March 2017

We must not let President Trump's vocal support for the US fossil economy eclipse the dismal record of his predecessors, writes Radek Stefanski. Under Clinton, Bush and Obama fossil fuels subsidies reached $170 billion per year, pushing up US emissions by some 11% - and that's the real problem we have to solve. more...
Photographs showing the growth of plants and seed heads of the new golden rice crosses versus the non-GMO cultivar. The GMO golden rice is the abnormal and stunted one on the left. Photo: from PLOS One.

GMO golden rice trials fail: stunted plants, reduced grain yield

GMWatch

1st March 2017

The troubled project to develop GMO 'golden rice' cultivars has just hit a serious obstacle. An attempt to breed the 'event' responsible for carotenoid production into a commercial rice variety has produced widespread genomic instability, causing weak plants and poor grain production. Has the golden rice hype bubble finally burst? more...
This smog, seen over London from Primrose Hill, is unlawful. But how to stop it if you can't take the government to court? Photo: Luton Anderson via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Government tries to puts itself above environmental law

Oliver Tickell

28th February 2017

The UK government hates to be held accountable in court when it breaks environmental laws like those on air quality. So it has created new rules - coming into force today - that expose environmental litigants to unlimited financial liabilities. Now three leading NGOs have done to the High Court to argue that the rules themselves are in breach the UK's international obligations. more...

To mine or not to mine?

Jasper Finkeldey

20th February, 2017

The Alternative Indaba initiated by faith-based groups eight years ago is a forum to discuss alternatives to the mining rush that brought more doom than gloom over the African continent and beyond. JASPER FINKELDEY reports back from this month's forum which called for the mining industry to be made more accountable more...

Healthy Not Hungry - The Ethical Foodie meets the WFP

Tim Maddams

6th August, 2017

When our Ethical Foodie food columnist was invited to help create a sustainable Fine Dining menu showcasing the values of the UN's World Food Program he jumped at the chance - and left feeling inspired not just by the food choices on the night but by the fact the whole event reinforced his conviction we can all do better, eat better and work together to help alleviate hunger across the world more...
Can the UK's countryside and those who farm it survive the twin assaults of Brexit and a trade deal with the USA? Photo: KayYen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Brexit and Trump trade deal spell doom for our 'Green and Pleasant Land'

Kate Parminter

31st January 2017

Leaving the European Union and reaching a trade deal with President Trump's US would create a perfect storm for UK farmers, writes Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson Kate Parminter, with new EU tariffs, reduced subsidies and drastically lower standards. The changes would also pose a serious threat to our natural environment, food quality and public health. more...

WITNESS - The La Gomera Forest Fires

James McEnaney

30th January, 2017


Discussions around the effects of climate change tend to focus on the planet's polar extremes, expanding deserts or low-lying areas. La Gomera - a subtropical forest perched more than a thousand metres above the ocean - is also at risk. JAMES MCENANEY reports
more...

Food Waste - who's to blame?

Laura Briggs

27th January, 2017

Consumers could be doing far more to help combat global food wastage with relatively little effort according to a new study showing that every year, a third of all food produced ends up being binned. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...
Rally to support GMO food labeling at the Connecticut State Senate, 21st May 2013. Photo: CT Senate Democrats via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Nothing 'parochial' about GMO food labeling!

Jonathan Latham, PhD

24th January 2017

With USDA proposing to redefine GMOs for the purposes of food labeling, the issue is more important than ever, writes Jonathan Latham. It's not just to give consumers' the 'right to know' when they buy GM food, it's also a vital means to empower citizens to fight back against the industrialisation of food and farming, and the monopolies of agribusiness corporations. more...
Will Obama's clean energy legacy outlast this Alaskan glacier? Chances are it may. President Obama stops for a break in Kenai Fjords National Park with Exit Glacier in the background. Photo: Pete Souza / The White House (Public Domain).

Obama's clean energy legacy - how long can it last?

Mark Barteau, University of Michigan

20th January 2017

President Trump comes into office determined to discard huge swathes of his predecessor's legacy on day one, writes Mark Barteau. But he will struggle to undo Obama's clean energy regulations. It's not just that they are legally robust, it's also that energy markets in the US and the wider world have shifted firmly, and irreversibly, towards efficiency and renewables. Sorry, Mr Trump. more...
Lord Chris Smith, chairman of both the ASA and of the pro-fracking Task Force on Shale Gas, who provided the ASA with evidence in a contentious case involving Friends of the Earth. Photo: ASA website.

Lord Smith's conflict of interest: why we cannot trust the ASA on fracking!

Tony Juniper

18th January 2017

2017 began with bang for Friends of the Earth, writes Tony Juniper, with a hostile media blitz orchestrated by the fracking industry and abetted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). But the storm, over alleged errors in an FoE leaflet about the hazards of fracking, reveals nothing so clearly as the disgraceful conflict of interest at the top of the ASA itself. more...

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The roadless areas map developed by Roadfree.org and partners. The map referred to in this article is behind Science's paywall!

New map shows way to reducing roads' destruction of nature

Tim Radford

18th January 2017

Scientists are calling for the urgent protection of ecologically valuable roadless areas, writes Tim Radford, as a new global map shows that roads lead to loss of biodiversity and damage to ecosystems by fragmenting habitat and providing access to exploiters. more...
Riverside rainforest in the Congo basin. Photo: Paul Godard via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

World's biggest tropical carbon sink found in Congo rainforest

Tim Radford

16th January 2017

A 145,000 sq km area of peatland swamp forest has been discovered in the Congo Basin, writes Tim Radford, and it holds a record 30 Gt of carbon, equivalent to 20 years of US fossil fuel emissions. Now the race is on to protect it from damaging development that would emit that carbon over coming decades. more...

Scientists highlight the critical role of birds in forest regeneration

Laura Briggs

16th January, 2017

The loss of birds could significantly impact efforts to combat deforestation, according to research from scientists looking at species across the Brazilian Amazon. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...
Evicted from their forests for a flawed model of conservation: Baka 'Pygmies' in the Cameroon forest. Photo: ..zuzu.. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

OECD takes up complaint that WWF has funded abuses of Cameroon's forest peoples

Chris Lang / Conservation Watch

12th January 2017

The OECD is pursuing a complaint that WWF has funded abuses against the indigenous forest-dwelling Baka or 'Pygmy' peoples of Cameroon, after determining that its human rights guidelines do apply to WWF owing to the 'commercial nature' of its conservation activities. more...
New regulations to protect Indonesia's peatlands - like this swamp forest under conversion to plantation - are doomed to failure. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Indonesia's plans to protect its peatland forests are fatally flawed

Yuyun Indradi / Greenpeace Indonesia

9th January 2017

Indonesia's plans to meet its Paris Agreement obligations by protecting its swamp forests, the world's biggest land reservoir of carbon, have been acclaimed by the world's press, writes Yuyun Indradi. But they contain so many loopholes and flawed compromises that - unless radically reformed - they are doomed to certain failure. more...

Real Farming Report - Whose seeds are they anyway?

Kathryn Hindess

6th January, 2016

The new People Need Nature report - published to coincide with this week's annual Oxford Real Farming Conference - warns that modern farming practices are not good for wildlife. But they're not good for humans either. And with predictions that we will need to produce 70 per cent more food to feed a third more mouths by 2050 the question of seed ownership and diversity cannot be ignored. KATHRYN HINDESS reports more...

"Small really is beautiful", claims new report on England's farming

Kathryn Hindess

4th January, 2016


When it comes to farming, size matters. Currently, subsidies - received under the EU Common Agricultural Policy - are available only to farmers with more than five hectares of eligible land. Now, a new report by the charity People Need Nature published to coincide with the Oxford Real Farming Conferene (which starts today) claims that this "excludes the producers it should be supporting." KATHRYN HINDESS reports
more...

Brexit offers a "rare opportunity" to change UK farming practices says the charity People Need Nature

Kathryn Hindess

3rd January, 2017

Leaving the EU provides a "once in a lifetime opportunity" for England to change the way its land is managed so that nature, the environment, and society are better off according to a new report by the UK charity People Need Nature which is published to coincide with this week's Oxford Real Farming Conference. KATHRYN HINDESS reports more...

THE ETHICAL FOODIE - Try A Community Pop UP

Tim Maddams

20th December, 2016

The local food revolution, its not only under 'weigh', it's kicking ass at last and Pop Ups are both a great addition to the ethical foodie scene and more environmentally friendly than energy-sapping restaurant premises. Give them a try says chef TIM MADDAMS more...

Coral Not Coal - Australian Activists Fight To Save the Great Barrier Reef

Maxine Newlands

15th December, 2016

Australian politicians are putting the Great Barrier Reef at risk by approving one of the world's largest coal mines, say activists and marine scientists. MAXINE NEWLANDS reports more...
The European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Photo: Gideon Benari / www.solvencyiiwire.com via Flickr (CC BY).

ECB's 'quantitative easing' funds fossil fuels, arms, cars and climate change

Corporate Europe Observatory

14th December 2016

What kind of companies is the European Central Bank supporting by buying €46 billion of their bonds under its QE programme? Research by Corporate Europe Observatory reveals a strong preference for oil, gas, tar sands, dirty power generation, armaments, aviation, airports, car makers, motorways, luxury goods and gambling. Our sustainable be future be damned! more...
Google's not playing about: its commitment to run its data centres around the world on 100% renewable energy represents a systemic shift. Photo: Google's London offices by Marcin Wichary via Flickr (CC BY).

Trump, carbon neutrality and the next phase of business sustainability

Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan

14th December 2016

The President-elect may be determined to lead America down an environmentally damaging path, writes Andrew J. Hoffman. But he may find few in the corporate world, where a growing number of major players are committed to eliminating CO2 emissions and making sustainability a core element of their business systems and supply chains, leading to global green transformation. more...
Greenpeace's 100% subsidiary Frack'n'go! sets up its rig in Parliament Square beneath the windows of the House of Commons, 9th February 2016. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY).

Time to give the chop to fracking: FraXit now!

Professors Peter Strachan and Alex Russell

19th December 2016

Fracking has no social licence in the UK, will contribute little to the economy, will have a huge adverse impact on other sectors, will be a disaster to climate and the environment, and won't even improve energy security, write Peter Strachan and Alex Russell. Do we really want to see 16,000 or more shale gas wells drilled in the British countryside? Let's FraXit now! more...
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