The Ecologist


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Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. Photo: Natalie Bennett via Flickr (© all rights reserved).

For a Green future of tremendous possibility

Natalie Bennett

6th May 2015

Whatever government we end up with after tomorrow's election, there's just one way to make sure it takes climate change and wider environmental issues seriously, Natalie Bennett told a Cambridge audience yesterday - for us to deliver the strongest Green vote ever! more...
Ocean Sunrise over the Atlantic in Palm Beach County, Florida. Photo: Kim Seng via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The oceans are not worth $24 trillion

Charles Eisenstein

15th May 2015

Some things are beyond measure and beyond price, writes Charles Eisenstein. No amount of money is enough to compensate for the loss of the sacred or the essential - and to pretend that it is, is to capitulate to the very mentality that is driving the destruction of the biosphere. more...
The African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) the largest living land animal, at Gorom, Cameroon. Photo: Daniel Tiveau for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

To save the world's large herbivores, we too must make them welcome

Matt Hayward & William Ripple

5th May 2015

Most of the world's large herbivores - from elephants to gorillas, tapirs and sloths - are at risk of extinction, a new study shows. With most of these species in poorer countries, rich nations should dedicate substantial resources to their survival. But we must also lead by example - by reintroducing them ourselves. more...
This small cultivator of fresh vegetables in China is probably practising agroecology already! Photo: Jing via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Can agroecology save us from 'scorched-earth' agriculture?

Professor Henrietta Moore

6th May 2015

Industrial agriculture has become a prime driver of many of the world's most serious problems, writes Henrietta Moore: the loss of wild and farmed biodiversity, huge climate-changing emissions, and the entrapment of small farmers in ever-deepening cycles of poverty. But there is a solution: the widespread adoption of agroecological farming. more...
Despite the exploitation of unconventional oil resources like high-cost tar sands (pictured in Canada) and shales, peak oil really is upon us. Photo: Gord McKenna via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

'Beyond petroleum' - fracking's collapse heralds the arrival of peak oil

Paul Mobbs

5th May 2015

The 'death of peak oil' has been much exaggerated, writes Paul Mobbs. Take out high-cost 'unconventional' oil and production peaked ten years ago, and even North America's fracking and tar sands boom has failed to open up new resources both big enough to make good the shortfall, and cheap enough to reward investors. We really do need to be thinking 'beyond petroleum'. more...
The sacred water of Gosainkunda Lake at the headwaters of the Trishuli River, soon to be changed forever by the construction fo a succession of high dams. Photo: Yosarian via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

In Nepal's next big quake, hydropower dams threaten catastrophe

Michael Buckley

4th May 2015

A spate of hydroelectric dam building in Nepal means that future earthquakes could send inland tsunamis flooding down the steep mountain valleys, writes Michael Buckley. Disaster was averted in last month's quake - a badly damaged dam was not yet filled. But despite the risks and the damage to river ecology, tourism and rural livelihoods, there's no sign of any policy shift. more...
Oil wells in the Bakken Oil Field of North Dakota, USA. Photo: Alan Graham McQuillan PhD ARPS via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Future dustbowl? Fracking ravages Great Plains land and water

Tim Radford

4th May 2015

The fracking boom has caused massive vegetation loss over North America's rangelands, writes Tim Radford, as 3 million hectares have been occupied by oil and gas infrastructure and 34 billion cubic metres of water have been pumped from semi-arid ecosystems. more...
To pollinate California's huge monocultural almond farms bees are trucked in from all over the US, even flown in from Australia, because there's not the quantity or diversity of plants to sustain wild bee colonies or wild pollinators. Photo: Steve Corey v

Bee collapse is the result of their enslavement in industrial monocultures

Allan Stromfeldt Chris­tensen

2nd May 2015

Bee 'colony collapse disorder' cannot be ended by easy technofixes, writes Allan Stromfeldt Christensen. The real problem is the systematic abuse of bees in vast industrial monocultures, as they are trucked or flown thousands of miles from one farm to the next, treated with insecticides and antibiotics, and fed on 'junk food'. more...
A Eurasian lynx captured on film by Erwin von Maanen in its native Scandinavian setting.

Lynx could be reintroduced to Britain 'this year'

Oliver Tickell

27th April 2014

Lynx could be re-introduced to sites in England and Scotland before the end of 2015, according to the Lynx UK Trust, which has just issued polling and survey results that show strong support for the idea among the UK population. more...
Insulating homes is much less glamorous than building a nuclear power station - but a much better national investment for health, comfort, jobs, climate and a flourishing economy! Photo: Martin Pettitt via Flickr (CC BY).

Ten election ideas to bring on the 'green economy'

David Powell / Friends of the Earth

4th May 2015

Tired of politicians' platitudes, defensive pledges and blinkered vision? As the General Election approaches, we desperately need to expand our discussion of 'the economy' beyond its usual narrow confines, writes David Powell. And if they won't get the ball rolling, he will ... more...
Arctic aurora at Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Photo: Kyle Marquardt via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Our year of opportunity for a green, just and sustainable future

The Earth League

22nd April 2015

We are alive in a pivotal year, writes the Earth League. 2015 offers the opportunity to build a sustainable and prosperous future for people and planet. But if we fail to act on climate change, safeguard crucial ecosystems and biodiversity, and secure a just and equitable world order for all, grave and irreversible perils await Earth and all who dwell on her. more...
A polar bear keeps close to her young along the Beaufort Sea coast in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Susanne Miller / USFWS via Flickr (CC BY).

Polar bears at risk from pollution as well as warmth

Tim Radford

24th April 2015

As if melting ice in Polar bears' Arctic habitat was not enough, Norwegian scientists have found that organic pollutants such as pesticide residues are disrupting their thyroid and endocrine systems, adding a further threat to the species' survival. more...

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Transformed! An early summer riot of Ox-eye Daisies, Red Clover and Meadow Buttercups. Photo: Jo Cartmell.

Nearby wild - how I turned my lawn into a mini-meadow

Jo Cartmell

27th April 2015

Decades of regular mowing left my front lawn looking bare and sterile, writes Jo Cartmell. But in fact, the exhausted, infertile soil made it the perfect place for a host of wild flowers to take up residence - some from planted seed, others blown-in, or from long buried seed lying dormant in the soil. And after that, the butterflies ... more...
View from the Goodnoe Hills near the Columbia River Gorge, Washington. A small settlement with a school once existed below the abandoned farm house. Photo: gary via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Agroecology and the people's struggle for land and freedom

Blain Snipstal

23rd April 2015

Everyone in this society is caught up in the battle between two models of agriculture, writes Blain Snipsta - industrial agribusiness for profit, control and domination; and small-scale agroecological farming for good food, health, people and planet. more...
Austerity for the rich! Image: Michael Thompson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Challenging 'austerity' and its self-contradicting narrative

Rupert Read & Bennet Francis

14th April 2015

As the Greens announce anti-austerity policies in their election manifesto, Bennet Francis & Rupert Read examine the austerity narrative - and find it doesn't add up. By insisting that deficit reduction is necessary for growth, the politicians of austerity undermine the very meaning of the 'prosperity' they promise us. more...
Small fishing boats at Lyme Regis, Dorset, where England's first big marine Protected Area was designated. Photo: Sue Hasker via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

To protect our seas, first we must reclaim them from 'Big Fishing'

Horatio Morpurgo

10th April 2015

There's strong public support for protecting marine wildlife, writes Horatio Morpurgo - so why aren't politicians championing the cause? Labour and Tories alike fear to challenge the big fishing companies that have come to believe they own Britain's offshore waters and seabed. Now it's up to use to prove they're wrong. more...
Wood lizard of the Ecuadorian cloud forest, Enyalioides rubrigularis. Photo: Santiago Ron via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Letter from Ecuador - where defending nature and community is a crime

Carlos Zorrilla

25th March 2015

Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, has personally attacked eco-defender Carlos Zorrilla in TV broadcasts for resisting a vast new copper mine in a precious area of pristine cloud forest, and opposing the advance of oil exploration into the Amazon. Fearful for his life, Zorilla is now seeking international support for his, and his community's, battle for land, water and the natural world. more...
Do trees grow on money? Photo: Tax Credits via Flickr (CC BY).

Reinventing money for a green and flourishing future

Duncan McCann

4th April 2015

Our system of money created by banks for their own profit is no longer fit for purpose, writes Duncan McCann. We need new money systems designed for sustainability and wellbeing that allow us all to achieve financial security and freedom from debt - not just the super-rich1%! more...
Let them eat carbon! At the 2011 UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Ainhoa Goma / Oxfam International via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Let them eat carbon! The corporate plan to cook Africa in its own fossil fuels

Nnimmo Bassey & Sheila Berry

17th March 2015

Mining corporations, politicians and big NGOs are meeting in London today to plan the future of extractive industries in Africa, write Nnimmo Bassey & Sheila Berry. Absent African civil society and impacted communities, delegates are setting an agenda for 'resource-led development' that will cook the continent in the greenhouse gases of its plundered oil, gas and coal. more...
Women from all over Côte d'Ivoire gather to celebrate International Women's Day at the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Photo: UN Photo / Ky Chung vias Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Patriarchy is killing our planet - women alone can save her

Nafeez Ahmed

13th March 2015

The global epidemic of violence against women and their systematic exclusion from the power structures that rule us are integral to man's violent exploitation of Earth and her resources, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The fight to save the Earth must begin with the empowerment of women - and that means ending our complicity in their oppression, and servitude. more...
A ranger looks at the skull of an elephant killed by poachers - a frequent side-effect of development projects that open up remote forests to human access. Photo: Ralph Buij, Author provided.

Roads to ruin: the G20's ecocidal infrastructure rampage

Bill Laurance

16th March 2015

What's needed to pull the world's economy out of recession? According to the G20, it's a massive wave of 'infrastructure' development worth as much $70 trillion, writes Bill Laurance. But all the roads, mines, dams, pipelines and 'development corridors' will inflict massive damage on wildlife populations and natural havens, not to mention local communities that stand in the way. more...
Destruction driven by the 20% VAT penalty on property refurbishment? Demolition of Wychwood House on the Woodberry Down Estate, London in June 2007. Photo:  Sarflondondunc via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Use VAT to reward 'green' refurbishment - not demolition

Duncan Baker-Brown

19th March 2015

Another budget, another missed opportunity: the VAT system charges the full 20% on home upgrades, but 'zero-rates' developers who demolish and rebuild, writes Duncan Baker-Brown. Instead we should target VAT to reward those who meet 'green' criteria for energy efficiency and sustainability. Chancellors in waiting, listen up! more...
A female Eurasian Lynx (Lynx Lynx Lynx) in her summer coat in a Norwegian forest near Liaset, Buskerud Fylke. Photo: Tom Bech via Flickr (CC BY).

Reintroduce lynx? Fine - but we must control the apex predator

Niki Rust

27th April 2015

The return of the lynx to the British Isles could bring many benefits, writes Niki Rust, not least to the ecology of our woodlands, ravaged by too many deer. But we must not forget the human factor: livestock farmers may fear the arrival of a top-level predator, and their support will be essential to the success of any reintroduction. more...
Capital by Thomas Pinketty, front cover (edited).

What Piketty missed - the ecological limits to growth

Rupert Read

18th March 2015

Piketty's 'Capital in the 21st Century' has taken the intellectual world by storm, writes Rupert Read. His analysis of wealth inequality is timely and powerful, but there's one crucial thing he hasn't 'got': that growth must run up against ecological limits - indeed it already has. more...
Greenpeace Energy, Germany's largest energy co-op, installing 21,132 photovoltaic modules with a peak power output of 3,800 kW on the 80,000 square roof of Stuttgart Exhibition Planet Energy. Photo: © Dirk Wilhelmy / Greenpeace Energy eG.

Green power! Civic energy could provide half our electricity by 2050

Stephen Hall

6th March 2015

With the Green Party's spring conference kicking off today, Stephen Hall presents a vision of a future energy system for the UK that embodies 'green' in its technology, politics and economics: low-carbon, networked, locally accountable and cooperative. Big Six, move over! more...


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