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Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

US shale oil drillers flaring and venting billions of dollars in natural gas

Sharon Kelly / DesmogBlog

20th September 2014

Gas flaring of natural at shale oil wells is carried out on such a scale in North Dakota and Texas that 'phantom cities' show up at night in satellite photos, writes Sharon Kelly. Billions of dollars worth of gas are going up in smoke, adding to CO2 emissions - but far worse for the climate is when the gas is 'vented'. Regulators are doing too little, too late. more...
A deformed pig suffering, Ib Borup Pedersen believes, from the ill effects of glyphosate. Photo: Ib Borup Pedersen.

Changing to non-GMO soy transformed the health of my pigs

Ib Borup Pederson

18th September 2014

From the day that Danish pig farmer Ib Borup Pederson switched away from GM soy, his animals became healthier and more productive. Birth deformities reduced, sows became more fertile, medicine costs fell, and profits went up. The changes were linked to the reduction in the levels of the herbicide glyphosate in their feed. more...
Mighty Thor - arrested by police on the say-so of a British Museum security guard, later released without charge. Photo: BP or not BP?

British Museum - is BP driving your heavy-handed approach?

Danny Chivers

17th September 2014

Amid ongoing creative protests over BP's sponsorship of the British Museum, Danny Chivers wants to know - why the harsh security tactics? Why the searches, exclusions and arrests, all for a paltry 1% or less of the Museum's funding? Is this their policy, or is it BP that's calling the shots? more...
The 'flying rivers' of the Amazon are at risk from deforestation, fires and climate change. Without them, forest and farmland could turn to desert. Photo: Eli Duke via Flickr.

Drought bites as the Amazon's 'flying rivers' fail

Jan Rocha

20th September 2014

The Amazon forest both depends on, and sustains, vast 'flying rivers' that carry humid air and clouds deep into the continental interior, writes Jan Rocha. But scientists fear the flying rivers are failing due to deforestation, fire and climate change. more...
Glyphosate herbicides are often sprayed on potato crops prior to harvest to 'dessicate' the plants' green leaves. Photo: David Wright via Flickr.

Toxic glyphosate herbicides fly under the EU's regulatory radar

Pete Farrer & Marianne Falck

12th September 2014

The widely used herbicide glyphosate has been judged 'safe', write Pete Farrer & Marianne Falck. But by the time it's used, it's in a 'formulation' with toxic surfactants, which escape EU regulation despite their known dangers. Germany alone has forbidden the use of the most dangerous surfactant - but is keeping its evidence secret. more...
Ashaninka traveling by boat from eastern Peru to visit neighbors in Acre state, Brazil. Photo: © Mike Goldwater / Survival.

Assassination in the Amazon

Oliver Tickell

11th September 2014

Four Indian leaders who have opposed illegal logging in their forests have been shot dead in eastern Peru as they traveled by boat to an indigenous meeting in Brazil. The murders followed pleas to Peruvian authorities for protection, and warnings by Brazilian officials that the Indians were in extreme danger. more...
Suzano's eucalyptus plantations in Urbano Santos, Brazil, specifically planted to satisfy the EU's projected future biofuel demand.

EU biofuel demand is driving land grabs in the Global South

Oliver Munnion

11th September 2014

With the EU projected to source most of its 'renewable' energy by burning biomass, its policies are leading to widespread land-grabbing and forest destruction, writes Oliver Munnion. And because many of the biomass projects are purely speculative, 'sustainability standards' will do little or nothing to improve practice on the ground. more...
Green MP Caroline Lucas is a lone Parliamentary voice against fracking. But democratic pressure in constituencies could force others to join her camp. Photo: This account has been discontinued via Flickr.

One more heave! Ministers' pre-election fracking drive

Alex Stevenson

9th September 2014

Ministers are determined to get fracking under way in the UK as fast as possible, so it's a 'fait accompli' in time for the election, writes Alex Stevenson. With a firm pro-fracking concensus in Parliament, only one thing can frustrate their plans - strong local campaigns to turn around MPs desperate for re-election in 2015. It even has a name: democracy. more...
After the Fujushima catastrophe, this rice was grown nearby by IAEA to test methods of soil decontamination. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr.

Fukushima radiation damages rice genome

Gregory McGann

18th September 2014

Research on the biological effects of radiation near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site finds a powerful response in rice seedlings, writes Gregory McCann. The discovery will do nothing to boost consumer confidence in resumed rice exports from the Fukushima region. more...
Contented cows feeding on grass in a field in Cumbria. Photo: Nowerx via Flickr.

Dairy - the case for greener, healthier, lower performing cows

Mark Eisler, Graeme Martin & Michael Lee

8th September 2014

With supermarket milk cheaper than spring water, it's time to rethink the modern dairy industry. It's not just the milk that's become a throwaway product - the high-octane Holstein cows that produce it are also in the knackers yard after just two or three lactations, the living waste of a loss-making, environment-trashing industry. more...
The rice harvest in Bicol Region, Philippines. Photo: α is for äpΩL † via Flickr.

Philippines: farmers call to stop 'Golden Rice' trials

Oliver Tickell

8th September 2014

Farmers in the Bicol region of the Philippines have gathered to renew their fight against field trials of Golden Rice and halt moves towards its commercialization. But with last year's 'advanced' Golden Rice trials showing low yields, the prospect of a GR release is fast receding. more...
The whole region is carved up by canals with well heads like these at the ends. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr.

New Orleans: oil & gas evading $50bn coastal restoration obligations

Julie Dermansky

5th September 2014

Thanks to damage to coastal wetlands by the oil & gas industry, Louisiana is losing two acres to the sea an hour, writes Julie Dermansky. The companies are legally obliged to repair their damage - but they haven't and the cost has reached $50 billion. The answer? A Bill backed by the state governor to make them immune from lawsuits. more...

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CIAT cassava specialist Dr. Tin Maung Aye studies cassava crops in NE Thailand, affected by pest and disease outbreaks. Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT) / Wikimedia Commons.

Farm pests' global advance threatens food security

2nd September 2014

Tim Radford

Agricultural pests - viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpillars - are spreading thanks to trade, travel and global warming, writes Tim Radford. The world faces a dire future of increased crop losses and growing insecurity. more...
A forest of giant bamboo near Kyoto, Japan. Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr.

Steel and concrete, give over to the new kid - bamboo

Dirk Hebel

4th September 2014

The global construction industry is dominated by steel and concrete, writes Dirk Hebel - but it doesn't have to be that way. There's a strong, fast-growing, climate-friendly, sustainable material ready and waiting. Bamboo could be the basis of a whole new 'green' building industry, that also provides abundant rural livelihoods. more...
Andy Hall (3rd from right) and colleagues at the Migrant Worker Rights Network. Photo: MWRN.

On trial today - Thailand's food workers' rights

Andy Hall

2nd September 2014

Thanks to Andy Hall's investigations of abuses of migrant workers in Thailand's fish and pineapple industries, a criminal trial begins today in Bangkok - his own. He faces eight years in prison and a $10 million fine for exposing their crimes in a devastating report that has inspired international action against the companies involved. more...
'Mata Atlântica' in Brazil's Serra da Gandarela national park. But there are few large forest areas like this one remaining. Mostly the Atlantic forest habitat is fragmented by farms, roads and towns. Photo: Frederico Pereira via Flickr.

Saving Brazil's Atlantic forest on a shoe string

Cristina Banks-Leite

18th September 2014

As Brazil prepares for elections next month, conserving its remaining Atlantic Forest is a hot issue, writes Cristina Banks-Leite. Ecologists want to preserve more native habitat, while farmers want to expand their acreage. But there is one solution that ought to please everyone. more...
Flaring of unwanted hydrocarbons at a natural gas refinery in the Piceance Basin of Colorado. Photo: Tim Hurst  via Flickr.

Fracked off - natural gas victims flee Colorado's toxic air

Paul Thacker / Oil Change International

30th August 2014

Natural gas is widely touted as a 'green fuel'. But as Paul Thacker found in Colorado, fracking's national 'ground zero', it's anything but. Lives and health are being ruined by pollution from taxpayer-subsidized gas wells, flaring and refining plants, while property values collapse. Now a mass of environmental refugees are fleeing the ravaged state. more...
Action to shut down Utah tar sands mine - Summer Heat. Photo: 350.org via Flickr.

The liberal climate agenda is doomed to failure

Scott Parkin

29th August 2014

Liberal environmentalism represents a dangerous delusion, writes Scott Parkin - that 'playing nice' with Earth-destroying corporations and politicians can yield results worth having. Radical change on climate will only result from bold, confrontational direct actions against the fossil fuel industries and their apologists. more...
Road map detail - Central Africa. Image: Bill Laurance.

A global plan for road expansion that doesn't cost the earth

Bill Laurance

28th August 2014

Roads are responsible for massive environmental damage around the world, writes Bill Laurance - yet they also bring huge benefits. His solution? A new atlas that shows where the 'goods' of roads outweigh the 'bads', so that developing countries can harness the prosperity new roads can bring, without the destruction. more...
Salad leaves growing in Lufa's rooftop farm in Montreal. Photo: Lufa Farms.

Coming to a rooftop near you - the urban growing revolution

Rachel Dring / Sustainable Food Trust

30th September 2014

Could London, New York and other cities be self-sufficient in fruit and vegetables? Yes, writes Rachel Dring, by converting wasted roof space into gardens and greenhouses. Benefits include reducing waste; raising energy efficiency, sustainability and food security; and healthier, more connected citizens. more...
A New Zealand lamb in the spring. Is it more important that the lamb is 'tayyib' (good, wholesome, ethically and humanely produced) or halal (slaughtered iin accordance with Muslim ritual)? Photo: Tim Pokorny via Flickr.

Eating your ethics: Halal meat

Alicia Miller

22nd September 2014

Halal ritual slaughter has raised huge controversy in the UK press, writes Alicia Miller. But the far greater issue is farm animals' entire quality of life - as reflected in the Qu'ranic principle that meat must be 'tayyib' - good, wholesome and from well-treated, healthy animals. Is this something we can all agree on? more...
Dying for GMOs? One of 35 members of the neo-nazi Aidar Battalion killed in an ambush by rebels in East Ukraine, 6 September 2014. Photo: Colonel Cassad.

Ukraine opens up for Monsanto, land grabs and GMOs

Joyce Nelson

11th September 2014

Hidden from mainstream media exposure, the World Bank and IMF loan has opened up Ukraine to major corporate inroads, writes Joyce Nelson. Loan conditions are forcing the deeply indebted country to open up to GMO crops, and lift the ban on private sector land ownership. US corporations are jubilant at the 'goldmine' that awaits them. more...
Deep concerns: gas wells at a fracking site in the US state of Pennsylvania. Photo: Gerry Dincher via Wikimedia Commons.

Health alert - fracking’s chemical cocktails

Tim Radford

21st August 2014

Scientists in the US have established that chemicals used in fracking to extract gas and oil could represent health and environmental hazards, writes Tim Radford. Among the greatest hazards: biocides and corrosion inhibitors. more...
Uncontacted Indians making contact with a settled Ashaninka community near the Brazil-Peru border, June 2014. Photos: © FUNAI.

Peru: uncontacted tribe flees massacre in the Amazon

Alice Bayer / Survival International

22nd August 2014

Survivors of a previously unknown Amazon tribe have escaped gunmen in Peru, seeking refuge with settled indigenous communities in Brazil. But as Alice Bayer reports, their problems are far from over. Many remain under threat in Peru, and even the refugees are at risk of common but potentially lethal infections. more...
William Gibbs and his wife live near the massive coal ash dump in Uniontown, AL. Photo: Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice.

Alabama - a community fights toxic waste, discrimination

Oliver Tickell

20th August 2014

When the US's biggest ever coal ash spill buried 300 acres of waterfront property in a white, middle class suburb, the waste was treated as a toxic hazard. But by the time it reached Uniontown, a black community in Alabama, that was all forgotten. Now they are fighting back. more...

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