The Ecologist

 

pol: 25/50 of 1799
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Lesvos beach, 21st October 2015. Photo: Marienna Pope-Weidemann via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Why 'Effective Altruism' is ineffective: the case of refugees

Sam Earle & Rupert Read

5th April 2016

In trying to evaluate charitable interventions in 'value for money' terms, the movement for 'Effective Altruism' has lost its moral compass, Sam Earle & Rupert Read. The real changes the world needs are profound, systemic and political. There is no better example than the refugee crisis: the problem is not insufficient aid, but structural inequality, too many weapons, and too much war. more...
EDF chief Vincent de Rivaz giving evidence today to Parliament's Energy & Climate Change Select Committee. Photo: still from parliamentlive.tv.

EDF promises MPs: 'we will build Hinkley C!' But still no 'final investment decision'

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

23rd March 2016

MPs today grilled EDF Energy supremo Vincent de Rivaz over the troubled Hinkley C nuclear plant in Somerset. He insisted that the project was definitely going ahead - but refused to say when the 'final investment decision' was due. Confused? Bewildered? Frustrated? So were the MPs. more...
A US 11-megaton nuclear bomb is detonated at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 1954. Photo: US Government via International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons on Flickr (Public Domain).

A World War has begun. Break the silence

John Pilger

23rd March 2016

The world is in the grip of a massive wave of militarism of which most of us are blissfully ignorant, writes John Pilger. When did mainstream media last tell you about the US's $1 trillion nuclear weapon renewal? NATO's massive build up of military power on Russia's eastern frontier? The encirclement of China by nuclear-armed US bases? The world is at war. Pass it on! 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...
Soon there will be more cycles on London's roads than cars - is that something to be frightened of? Photo: Andreas Kambanis via Flickr (CC BY).

There's only one real climate change debate, BBC: what should we do about it?

Liz Hutchins / Friends of the Earth

22nd March 2016

After a succession of the hottest years and months ever recorded, climate is a hot topic, writes Liz Hutchins. But BBC1's 'Big Questions' climate change debate last Sunday completely missed the point. Instead of debating the only real question - how should we respond? - the BBC ran yet another repeat of the so-over 'believers versus deniers' ding-dong. Why do they still not get it? more...
Berta Cáceres. Photo: Prachatai via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The unfinished work of Berta Cáceres: now it's up to us!

Dan Beeton

22nd March 2016

Since the Obama-Clinton coup in Honduras the murder of eco-defenders and other activists has become a routine instrument of government, writes Dan Beeton. We must demand an end to the killings, the restoration of political freedom, and a halt to the tide of corporate megaprojects - beginning with the Agua Zarca dam. more...
Polar bear adrift in the Arctic Ocean. Photo: Gerard Van der Leun via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Shocking reality of climate change kicks in - but who's listening?

James Dyke, University of Southampton

18th March 2016

Last month must go down as one of the worst ever in the annals of climate change, writes James Dyke, with parts of the Arctic 16C hotter than usual and the 'safe' warming level of 2C breached across the Northern hemisphere. But even worse is the near-total lack of reaction from business, politicians and media. more...
ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer and funder of the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture in the Olympic Park, London have benefitted from a proportion of the EU's €24 billion handout. Photo: .Martin. via Flickr (CC BY-ND)

Europe's biggest polluters land €24 billion carbon windfall

The Ecologist

17th March 2016

The European Union's carbon market, the EU ETS, is meant to cut pollution in a cost effective way. But a new report shows that it handed the EU's biggest emitters a €24bn bumper payout over six years. Not so much the 'polluter pays' principle but the precise opposite: people pay, and polluters profit. 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...
What? You must leave us? So soon? US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Meet the Koch-affiliated fracker behind Marco Rubio's energy policy

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energydesk

15th March 2016

Barring a miracle Marco Rubio is set to be Trumped in the Republican primary tomorrow in Florida, his home state, putting an effective end to his campaign. But it's not for want of support from one of the US's biggest frackers, Devon energy, and its politically active CEO Larry Nichols. And with or without Rubio, Nichols's influence on the red states' energy policy is only going to get bigger. 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...
Hiroaki Koide (小出裕章さん) speaking at EcoLaboCamp on Mt Takao, August 2007. Photo: Hanako via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Koide Hiroaki: an insider's exposé of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Katsuya Hirano & Hirotaka Kasai / Asia-Pacific Journal

17th March 2016

Koide Hiroaki has spent his entire career as a nuclear engineer, and has become a central figure in Japan's movement for the abolition of nuclear power plants. He met with Katsuya Hirano and Hirotaka Kasai to discuss the catastrophic nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima Daaichi in March 2011, and the crimes and cover-ups committed both before and after the event. more...

pol: 25/50 of 1799
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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...
Muammar al-Gaddafi: 'I rule!'. Photo: Neil Weightman via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Why Qaddafi had to go: African gold, oil and the challenge to monetary imperialism

Ellen Brown

14th March 2016

What was NATO's violent intervention in Libya really all about? Now we know, writes Ellen Brown, thanks to Hillary Clinton's recently published emails. It was to prevent the creation of an independent hard currency in Africa that would free the continent from economic bondage under the dollar, the IMF and the French African franc, shaking off the last heavy chains of colonial exploitation. more...
Building at Chernobyl, Ukraine, 15th November 2012. Photo: Stijn D'haese via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

It's not just cancer! Radiation, genomic instability and heritable genetic damage

Chris Busby

17th March 2016

Cancer is just one of of the outcomes of the genetic damage inflicted by nuclear radiation, writes Chris Busby, and perhaps one of the least important. Of far greater long term significance is the broad-scale mutation of the human genome, and those of other species, and the resulting genomic instability that causes cascades of heritable mutations through the generations. more...
Too bad about the Ferrari. But far more serious is the health damage caused by pollution from HGVs and other diesel vehicles, which is causing a surplus mortality of some 40,000 people a year across the UK. Photo: Paul Townsend via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

To clean up air pollution we must dump diesel - and here's how

Richard Howard / Policy Exchange

11th March 2016

Low Emissions Zones have their place in cleaning up the UK's worst air pollution hotspots, writes Richard Howard. But we also need to adopt fiscal measures to encourage a shift away from diesel vehicles, at once delivering cleaner air, increased tax revenues, and lower carbon emissions. more...
Frozen meltwater lake along the northeast Greenland coast, as seen from NASA's P-3B aircraft on May 7, 2012. Photo: Jim Yungel / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr (CC BY).

Federal Court must uphold our children's right to a viable future

James E. Hansen

9th March 2016

The US Constitution guarantees the rights of future generations, not just current ones, writes James E. Hansen. But those rights are being betrayed, knowingly and deliberately, by governments and politicians who are standing by and allowing climate change to wreak long term havoc on the planet. Today, this legal principle is being asserted in a Federal Court in Oregon. more...
Plastic pollution found on a shoreline in Norway. Photo: Bo Elde via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Public Trust Doctrine requires governments to protect our oceans!

Deb Wright

9th March 2016

A legal principle dating from Roman times is ripe for use in protecting our waste-filled and over-exploited seas and oceans, writes Deb Wright. Under the 'Public Trust Doctrine' governments are entrusted to protect shared natural resources from abuse, and can be held accountable for neglect of their duties. more...
Roundup, Monsanto's top selling herbicide, now up for relicencing for use in EU. With today's postponement of a vote, it could go either way. Photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY).

EU postpones glyphosate decision: a good day for public health!

Aisha Dodwell

8th March 2016

It has been an epic battle, writes Aisha Dodwell. Monsanto and other corporations are desperate to get the world's number one herbicide, glyphosate, relicenced in the EU. But their network of power has been challenged by doctors, scientists and a global movement of people. With today's postponement of the EU's decision, we have just scored a major victory. more...
Exxon, one of the largest fossil fuel companies is surrounded in controversy. Photo: Mike Mozart via Flickr (CC BY)

Scandal! Exxon knew about climate change, boosted denialism, misled shareholders, went carbon heavy

Bill McKibben

9th March 2016

One of the world's biggest energy companies has been caught out in what may be the biggest ever climate scandal, writes Bill McKibben. Way back in the 1980s ExxonMobil knew of the 'potentially catastrophic' and 'irreversible' effects of increasing fossil fuel consumption, but chose to cover up the findings, spread misinformation on climate change, and go for high carbon energy sources. more...
Solar heating evacuated tubes being installed on a roof in Thorton Heath, England. Photo: szczel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Would you believe it? Yet another UK solar energy cut!

Oliver Tickell

7th March 2016

After ten massive renewable energy cuts that are leaving the UK falling well short of EU renewable energy targets, an eleventh! The axe is now falling on solar heating, writes Oliver Tickell - even though it's meant to be at the core of the government's renewable energy strategy. more...
Could they finally be getting what they want? Federal legislation for clear, simple GMO labelling could be on its way. Vermont Right To Know protestors against the DARK Act in Washington DC, 2014. Photo:Cat Buxton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

LIGHT Act? Democrat senators' new GMO label law

The Ecologist

3rd March 2016

The 'Biotechnology Food Labeling Uniformity' bill has been introduced to the US Senate to require clear, simple labelling of GMOs nationwide - informing consumers while saving manufacturers from a confusing patchwork of state regulations. Could it defeat the dreaded DARK Act? more...
The land contaminated by the oil spill in Mayoriaga. Photo: Forest Peoples Programme

Peru: Amazon tribe orders oil company out after devastating spills

Vanessa Amaral-Rogers

9th March 2016

The indigenous Wampis people of the Peruvian Amazon have demanded the immediate closure of a Petroperú oil pipeline after a series of devastating spills, writes Vanessa Amaral-Rogers. The company has already been found guilty of 'negligence' after previous oil spills contaminated the Wampis land and rivers. more...
Oil pollution in Ogoniland, Niger Delta. Photo: Milieudefensie via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

53,000 Nigerian oil spill victims press new Shell lawsuits

Oliver Tickell

2nd March 2016

A year after Shell was forced into a £55 million settlement with an indigenous community in Nigeria devastated by oil spills, a UK High Court judge has allowed two new such cases to proceed on behalf of some 43,000 subsistence farmers and fishers whose livelihoods have been wiped out by the same cause. more...

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