The Ecologist

 

eco: 1/25 of 1470
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Traditional agriculture on a farm in Cuba, where organic and agroecological farming now produce most of the nation's food. Photo: Tach_RedGold&Green via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Agroecology versus 'climate smart' - our next big challenge from COP22

Natalie Bennett

30th November 2016

How to make farming 'climate friendly' was one of the hot topics at COP22 in Marrakesh, writes Natalie Bennett, with two contrasting models on show: 'climate smart' agriculture, with its reliance on industrial farming systems; and agroecology, which works with nature to build fertile, high-carbon, moisture-retaining soils, and sustain employment for millions of skilled land workers. more...

New scientific insights on ecologically unequal trade

Nick Meynen

23rd November, 2016

Conventional economic analyses of trade tend only to discern the flows of money, writes NICK MEYNEN. But by also considering biophysical metrics - such as material and energy flows, and embodied water and land - ecological economists can identify the asymmetric flows of resources obscured by the apparent reciprocity of market prices. more...
Bt GMO crops are designed to combat pests like the Helicoverpa armigera moth, which causes A$25 million of damage a year in Australia alone to crops such as cotton, legumes and vegetables. But there is a cost: damage to beneficial soil fungi. Photo: CSIRO

Vital soil fungi damaged by GMO Bt cotton

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

24th November 2016

A study of GMO cotton varieties shows they disrupt an important beneficial soil fungus, writes Eva Sirinathsinghji, apparently due to the Bt insecticide they are engineered to express. Disruption caused by the transgenic cotton to mycorrhizal fungi, and the wider soil ecosystem, may underlie the low yields and poor pest resistance now endemic among Bt GM crops. more...
Postgrowth debate on 28 Nov 2016

The End of Growth?

11 November 2016

An evening debate with Federico Demaria, Graeme Maxton, Jørgen Randers and Kate Raworth at the House of Commons, Monday 28 Nov 2016 more...
Once a rainforest ... land cleared for a palm oil plantation, Indonesia. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Privatizing nature, outsourcing governance: the economics of extinction

Margi Prideaux

7th November 2016

The 'Global Redesign Initiative', a project of the World Economic Forum, aims to replace UN-based intergovernmental decision-making with unaccountable 'multi-stakeholder governance' run by and for corporations, writes Margi Prideaux. What future for nature and people in this brave new world? Generate profits for investors, or face extinction or exclusion to the margins of existence. more...
Flyer for the Lucas Plan conference in Birmingham on 26th November 2016.

The Lucas Plan: how Greens and trade unionists can unite in common cause

David King, Breaking the Frame

2nd November 2016

Forty years ago workers at Lucas Aerospace created a detailed plan to transition out of the arms industry and into green, sustainable products and technologies, writes David King. it never happened, yet the Lucas Plan provides a blueprint for similar initiatives today to build a deep-rooted, broad-based movement for social, economic and ecological progress. more...
'Love Planet' by emily792872 via Flickr (CC BY).

Gaia lives! Overcoming our fear of a living planet

Charles Eisenstein

21st October 2016

To embrace the Earth as truly alive is a step too far even for many committed environmentalists, writes Charles Eisenstein: worried that others may perceive us as unscientific, childish, woolly-headed and ridiculous. But it's a step we must take: in refusing to recognise the living Gaia that is both our creator and our home, we accept and perpetuate the philosophy of her destroyers. more...

WITNESS: Obesity, Ecology and the Confines of the Government Strategy

Yvonne Adebola

13th October, 2016

In the first of our new WITNESS series of blogs, food anthropology researcher YVONNE ADEBOLA suggests a 'One Health' approach to childhood obesity which recognises the ecological impact of modern food systems on the environment and on our collective health and wellbeing more...
A Common toad colony migrating across a road near Ipswich.

Toad's 30-year decline shows 'large-scale deterioration of environmental quality'

Oliver Tickell

6th October 2016

A 30-year decline in toad populations recorded by volunteers, shows the need to rebuild vital 'green infrastructure' across both the wider countryside and urban areas, writes Oliver Tickell: reversing habitat fragmentation, digging out ponds and ditches, and leaving ample unkempt areas for cover and hibernation. more...
Wall to wall solar panels on industrial buildings in Birmingham, UK, where the Aurora report was published this week. Photo: h080 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Cheap as chips! 'Negligible' cost of integrating big solar into UK grid

Oliver Tickell

4th October 2016

A new study shows that the cost of 'integrating' the variable power output of large scale solar PV is surprisingly affordable, writes Oliver Tickell, at just a few pence per unit. Costs will fall further as more wind power, batteries and ever-cheaper solar drive the transition to a 100% renewable power system. more...
These yurts on Mongolia's 'sea of grass' are powered through a miniature solar microgrid that is both compact and lightweight for easy carriage on to the next site. Photo: Shutterstock.

Off-grid renewables: the sustainable route to 100% global electricity access

Adnan Z. Amin / IRENA

4th October 2016

Off-grid renewable energy is key to achieving the global goal of 100% electricity access by 2030, writes Adnan Z. Amin, and to achieving the emissions reductions enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Thankfully, a confluence of factors - including rapid cost declines and impressive technology innovations - are making this goal more achievable than ever, and investment in the sector is taking off. more...

From neoliberalism to ecologism: what needs to happen next?

Nick Meynen

3rd October, 2016

The alternatives to neoliberalism - including a new community type of agriculture and community-owned green energy, local currencies, peer-to-peer networks and a sharing economy - are already here and unfolding right now. All we need is a revolution writes NICK MEYNEN more...

eco: 1/25 of 1470
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Permaculture 'inventor' Bill Mollison, who died this weekend. Photo: Permaculture Association / Magazine.

Peaceful warrior: Permaculture visionary Bill Mollison

Permaculture Association / Magazine

26th September 2016

Australian educator, author and co-inventor of Permaculture, Bruce Charles 'Bill' Mollison, died on the 24 September 2016 in Sisters Creek, Tasmania. He has been praised across the world for his visionary work, and left behind a global network of 'peaceful warriors' in over 100 countries working tirelessly to fulfill his ambition to build harmony between humanity and Mother Earth. more...
Could a legal, regulated trade in rhino horn help save these wonderful animals by paying for their conservation and taking the profit out of poaching? Photo: rhino on the Eastern Cape, South Africa, by Colin via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To save our rhinos, we need a legal horn trade

Keith Somerville, University of Kent

22nd September 2016

The trade ban on rhino horn is not working, writes Keith Somerville. But non-lethally and sustainably harvested rhino horn can earn income to encourage breeders, pay rangers and anti-poaching teams, provide surveillance and supply wider benefits that will gain the support of people around parks, reserves and ranches. more...

Challenging Rising Inequality

Mark Goldring

17 September 2016

Mark Goldring, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB, reports on growing inequality arising from the current economic model that benefits the privileged minority.
Extreme inequality across the globe spells disaster for millions.
more...
'Resistance is Fertile - Compost Capitalism !' Banner at Occupy Oakland protest against GMOs, 10th December 2011. Photo: Lily Rhoads via Flickr (CC BY).

Monsanto and Bayer: food and agriculture just took a turn for the worse

Colin Todhunter

16th September 2016

Bayer's $66 billion takeover of Monsanto represents another big click on the ratchet of corporate power over farming and food, writes Colin Todhunter. With the 'big six' of global agribusiness now set to turn into the 'even bigger three', farmers and consumers are facing more GMOs and pesticides, less choice, and deeper price gouging. Agroecology has never looked more attractive. more...
Wind farm in India. Photo: Sundaram + Annam via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Renewables have the economic advantage over fossil fuels

Alex Kirby

15th September 2016

A new energy market analysis shows the average cost of electricity from renewables is already lower than from fossil fuels, writes Alex Kirby. And as renewables eat deeper into the 'market share' of coal and gas power plants, so the entire economics of fossil fuel power generation will unravel. more...
Solar panels and wind turbine at Westmill Farm, Oxfordshire, which hosts several community financed renewable energy cooperatives. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Massive support for community renewable energy

Oliver Tickell

6th September 2016

A new opinion poll of 2,000 adults reveals more than two thirds of the public support renewable energy schemes where projects are undertaken at a community level and local people receive financial benefit. The support even extends to wind and solar farms close to people's homes. more...
Natalie Bennett campaigning in Cambridge during the general election of 2015. Photo: Rama via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

It's time to take back REAL control!

Natalie Bennett

5th September 2016

It's time for UK citizens to #takebackREALcontrol by challenging the anti-democratic powers that control our country, our economy and our lives, retiring Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett told her party conference this weekend in this barnstorming speech. And that's a challenge only the Greens are prepared to take on. more...

Why the degrowth debate is gaining momentum

Nick Meynen

2nd September, 2016

Reporting from The 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest - which continues today and tomorrow - NICK MEYNEN explores the new narrative of ‘sufficiency' being discussed and and asks will it catch on before it's too late? more...
Friends of the Earth South Korea is working with the students and teachers to build 'Solar Cooperatives' on the roofs of class rooms, with the electricity generated used to power these new 'solar schools'. Photo: FOEI.

G20: Dodged taxes could finance renewable power for world's poorest 50%

Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert

2nd September 2016

As the G20 meet in China this weekend, it's time for governments to finally get tough on the world's tax dodgers, write Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert. The missing tax revenues would be able to finance a 100% renewable electricity system covering half the planet by 2030 - a major step in raising living standards and tackling climate change. more...
To get rid of conservative governments opposition parties must build a 'Progressive Alliance'. Photo: Maurice via Flickr (CC BY).

'Progressive Alliance' is now the only alternative to the Tories

Rupert Read

30th August 2016

Thanks to the UK's crazy 'first past the post' electoral system, there's only way the UK can end austerity and neoliberal government in the next general election, writes Rupert Read: if centre and left parties join in a Progressive Alliance that represents the majority of voters. more...
If the unions were so bothered about jobs, they should be supporting renewables, not nuclear. But could it be that those are the 'wrong kind of jobs' - not unionised ones? Photo: Centre for Alternative Technology (www.cat.org.uk) via Flickr (CC BY).

If it's jobs they want, Labour and the unions must back renewables, not Hinkley C!

Ian Fairlie

30th August 2016

Four of Britain's major unions are big supporters of nuclear power, writes Ian Fairlie - all because of the jobs. Now Labour's shadow energy minister has joined them in backing Hinkley C - even though renewable energy is a far better job-creator than nuclear, and already employs three times more people. more...
Can we secure the future of our countryside - like this landscape in the Yorkshire Dales - with markets in 'ecosystem services'? Robert J Heath via Flickr (CC BY).

Can markets in 'ecosystem services' secure the future of the English countryside?

Dominic Hogg & Luke Dale-Harris

1st September 2016

The EU is already paying farmers and landowners for creating and maintaining valuable habitats, write Dominic Hogg & Luke Dale-Harris. But could the UK do better by creating markets in 'ecosystem services' that would put financial value on clean water, key wildlife habitats, endangered species and precious landscapes? more...
Hydrogen produced from renewable energy is already finding a market as a 'green' fuel for cars. But its future potential goes way beyond that, as a vital storage mechanism for surplus wind / solar electricity on the grid, to provide power on demand. Photo

The hydrogen economy is much nearer than we think

David Thorpe

26th August 2016

Hydrogen made from renewable electricity is already fuelling vehicles at affordable prices, writes DAVID THORPE. But now the 'green' fuel is set to go from niche to mainstream - powering not just cars, trucks and buses, but storing surplus renewable energy on sunny and windy days, then to be burnt in gas turbines or fuel cells to supply the grid with reliable power on demand. more...

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