The Ecologist

 

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Never mind the drinking water aquifers and the national park - the South Downs is one of England's most cherished landscapes that could be opened up for fracking. Photo: Jaydee! via Flickr.

Fracking is safe. Radiation is harmless. And pigs have wings

Dr David Lowry

21st November 2014

Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos, Environment Secretary Liz Truss, the Environment Agency and its ex-boss Lord Smith all suffer from a blind spot, writes David Lowry - the dangers of fracking, its radioactive emissions and the toxic chemicals that threaten to pollute our aquifers. As for official advice that 'regulation needs to be strongly and robustly applied' - pass the Tippex! more...
UKIP MEP and energy spokesman Roger Helmer poses with Maritsa Noon, chief executive of the pro-fossil fuel, climate change denying Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, at the 7th Heartland Institute Climate Conference in May 2012. Photo: rogerhelm

UKIP uncut - acoloytes of America's far-right corporate gunslingers

Alex Stevenson & Oliver Tickell

21st November 2014

Would UKIP be riding so high if voters knew of the party's links with powerful right-wing US corporate interests promoting fossil fuels, denying climate change, opposing gun control, and supporting big tobacco, teaching creationism in schools, healthcare privatisation and the lifting of nuclear power regulation? An Ecologist investigation exposes the real UKIP. more...
Air Pollution Level 5, London, April 30 2014. Photo: David Holt via Flickr.

ECJ affirms UK's right to clean air - the Government must act!

Keith Taylor MEP

19th November 2014

A landmark judgment by the European Court of Justice compels the UK Government to act as soon as possible to reduce air pollution in British cities, writes Keith Taylor - and a good thing too for our health, safety and wellbeing. But it's not just the UK that benefits: every EU country must also comply with the ruling. more...
TTIP - the elephant in the room. Photo: People's NHS.

NHS at risk from TTIP - Friday's key debate

John Hilary

20th November 2011

Tomorrow MPs will debate a bill to halt the ongoing privatisation of the NHS, writes John Hilary. But even if the bill passes into law, it risks being squashed by the TTIP - the increasingly unpopular US-EU trade deal which could hand over the NHS to US health giants. more...
No neonics here: organic Brussels sprouts from Home Farm, Nacton. Photo: Nick Saltmarsh via Flickr.

Farming for profit? Or for people, nature, health, wellbeing and human survival?

Colin Tudge

19th November 2014

Farming today is well on the way to becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the agro-chemical-biotech industry, writes Colin Tudge. Defra and the European Commission are all too keen to make it so, reflecting the interests of an agro-oligarchy obsessed with profits and growth at all costs. But there is an alternative. Join the 'real farming' agrarian renaissance ... more...
Wind turbines in Powys, Wales. Even if you don't like them, would an open-pit coal mine, or landscape dotted with fracking wells, be an improvement? Photo: vicirabi via Flickr.

Britain's 'energy policy' - carried out by Tories, made by UKIP?

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog UK

17th November 2014

As the governing conservative party lurches ever further to the right, writes Kyla Mandel, it feels like UKIP has already won the election - six months before it's even happened. Tory ministers are already executing UKIP policies, with their ignorant but implacable hatred of renewable energy in all its forms. more...
ITV interviews a victim of the flooded Severn in 2007. Photo: Wikimedia Commons via Open Democracy.

We shall defend our island - if the cost-benefit analysis stacks up

Guy Shrubsole

16th November 2014

Such is the Government's neglect of our flood defences, revealed by a National Audit Office report, that they are failing to even keep pace with climate change, writes Guy Shrubsole. That alone is a national disgrace - but most shameful is that current expenditures mostly benefit the wealthy, while poor communities are neglected. more...
Democratic energy: wind turbines under An Sgurr, Eigg, Scotland. Photo: W. L. Tarbert / Wikimedia Commons.

Reclaim the power! Democratic energy must replace corporate capture

PLATFORM

18th November 2014

Democratising energy would save thousands of lives a year in Britain alone - releasing us from the clutches of corporate utilities, and building an energy commons in which we are all owners and participants, no longer captive, exploited consumers. More than that, it would be a big step forward in saving the planet. more...
Paid for by taxpayers? Oil rigs moored in Cromarty Firth. Invergordon, Scotland, UK. Photo: Berardo62 via Flickr.

Breach of promise: G20 spending $88 bn a year on fossil fuel subsidies

Alex Kirby

13th November 2014

Despite promises to phase out subsidies to the coal, oil and gas industries, a new report G20 governments are still providing them with massive financial help, writes Alex Kirby. The UK alone is spending over £1.2 billion per year to support fossil fuel exploration and production at home and abroad. more...
The mass die-in of cyclists outside Transport for London's offices, 30th November 2013. Photo: Catherine Nelson.

Join us on Saturday to demand Roads Fit For Humans!

Donnachadh McCarthy

13th November 2014

A year ago six London cyclists were killed in a horrendous spate of road violence, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. A demonstration this Saturday will mark their deaths, and demand Government action to improve road safety and reduce traffic pollution - moves that could save over 210,000 lives over the next decade. more...
With GMO agriculture, a walk in the countryside could be like this in the future. Photo: Liam Wilde via Flickr.

Living with GMOs - a letter from America

The Undersigned

12th November 2014

NGOs, scientists, anti-GM groups, celebrities, food manufacturers, and others representing 57 million Americans today publish an Open Letter to the UK and the entire EU warning of the serious and manifold hazards of GMO crops - and promising their support in our fight against them. more...
In the future, European corn fields like this on in Poland could be GMO. But at least the EU can no longer force its member states to allow GMOs to be planted. Photo: Maciek via Flickr.

Euro Parliament strengthens national GMO opt-outs

Keith Taylor MEP

11th November 2014

An attempt by the UK's Conservative Party and its allies to force countries to allow EU-approved GMO crops has been defeated by the European Parliament, writes Keith Taylor. Instead MEPs voted to strengthen the national GMO opt-out. But the UK still has a battle to fight against its avidly pro-GMO government. more...

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Sole of shoe at 'Highway of Death' in Iraq, where DU munitions were used to destroy tanks and other vehicles of Saddam Hussein's retreating army in Gulf War I. Photo: Christiaan Briggs via Flickr.

UN Resolution warns nuclear WMD states: end is nigh for DU munitions

John LaForge

10th November 2014

Only four countries opposed a UN Resolution on 'depleted uranium' munitions: the USA, UK, France and Israel, all nuclear WMD states whose use of DU leaves battle fields contaminated with toxic, radioactive residues for millennia into the future. The overwhelming support for the Resolution puts the WMD states on notice - DU munitions are no longer acceptable. more...
Mitra Wicks: 'my skin was more luminous and I was left revelling in a self-satisfied haze of leafy liberation'.

Virtuous veganism for health, beauty and pleasure

Mitra Wicks

15th November 2014

Setting aside her fondness for meaty delicacies, Mitra Wicks decided to follow the celebrity vegan trend. Buoyed along by the gastronomic pleasures of London's finest vegan restaurants, she declares the change a success - in terms of health, wellbeing, beauty ... and reducing the exploitation of animals in industrial farming. more...
Polaris Nuclear Sub from Honor House advertisement published in the November 1967 issue of Workbasket magazine. Photo: clotho98 via Flickr.

The world's first 'Nuclear Proliferation Treaty'

David Lowry

13th November 2014

Last week Parliament had its first ever chance to debate a shadowy treaty dating back to 1958, under which the UK exported to the USA enough plutonium for over 1,000 nuclear warheads, writes David Lowry. But the core question remains unanswered - how can the treaty be reconciled with our sovereign obligations to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation? more...
A public tour of the Hepburn Community Wind Farm on its launch day, 5th November 2011. Photo: Tibor Hegedis / Hepburn Wind via Flickr.

Putting community energy at the heart of our renewables revolution

Julia Groves

7th November 2014

This is an exciting time for community energy, writes Julia Groves. New guidance will make it easier for local people to invest in local renewable power projects, while other opportunities are opening up for risk averse investors. And the more of us join in, the sooner we can displace the Big Six who dominate UK energy markets. more...
Spaying agro-chemicals on a windy day. Photo: Graham Rawlings via Flickr.

Agricultural pesticides - the gaping hole in the UK's 'Pollinator Strategy'

Georgina Downs

6th November 2014

The Government's 'National Pollinator Strategy' has a fatal flaw, writes Georgina Downs - it contains no meaningful measures to address farmers' spraying of highly toxic pesticides, often in mixtures that can further increase the harm they cause. And with 80% of the UK's pesticides used in agriculture, that's setting the 'strategy' up to fail. more...
Organic apples from the tree. Photo: Veronica Olivotto via Flickr.

A tale of two apple farms - can big be beautiful for organic growers?

Andrew Wasley

11th November 2014

The organic movement faces a dilemma. Should it hold to its roots and stick with traditional production methods and local distribution? Or embrace technology and supermarkets, and feed as many mouths as possible? Andrew Wasley meets two very different organic apple producers ... more...
Saved - for now. Hopwas Woods, Staffordshire. Photo: James Broad / Woodland Trust.

Ancient Woodland saved from quarrying

Oliver Tickell

31st October 2014

Lafarge Tarmac has withdrawn its bid to quarry Hopwas Woods following a huge local and national campaign. It's a victory to celebrate - but as the Woodland Trust points out, it also shows that none of our ancient woodland is truly safe from destructive development. more...
Sellafield - the B30 pond, possibly 2006.

The Ecologist places leaked Sellafield fuel pond photos in public domain

The Ecologist

31st October 2014

The full set of photos of Sellafield's highly dilapidated and dangerous B29 and B30 cooling ponds as leaked to us are placed in the public domain. more...
Hurricane Sandy brought this blackout to Lower Manhattan in October 2012. Unless Britain's nuclear power stations perform implausibly well this winter, we could well be sharing the experience. Photo: Reeve Jolliffe via Flickr.

UK faces serious winter blackout risk - National Grid's rosy nuclear forecast fails reality test

Chris Goodall

31st October 2014

The National Grid's forecast for UK power supply this winter relies on overstating the availability of increasingly unreliable nuclear power stations, writes Chris Goodall. Realistic estimates of nuclear, gas and coal power station availability shrink the 'safety margin' to zero. more...
Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England & Wales, on a 'Stand up to UKIP' march in Doncaster, 27th September 2014. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr.

Election debates: only the Greens offer a genuine alternative

Peter Bloom

31st October 2014

UK broadcasters' plan to exclude the Green Party from the 2015 pre-election debates is an affront to democracy, writes Peter Bloom. Its voice must be heard - not only do the Greens enjoy a firm, nationwide base of political support, but they offer the only alternative to the neoliberalism, austerity and immigrant-bashing on offer from the 'mainstream' parties. more...
Glowing pumpkins of the night, our to eat, not just to fright. Photo: Andrea Verganic via Flickr.

The great Hallowe'en pumpkin rescue

Gavin Ellis

31st October 2014

Every Hallowe'en the UK throws away enough pumpkin to make 360 million portions of pumpkin pie, soup, or cake, writes Gavin Ellis - a shocking waste in these hungry times. Hence a bold new initiative to rescue all those pumpkins from landfill, and turn them into delicious food we can all enjoy as part of our seasonal festivities. more...
Anne Power surrounded by police at an anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss, December 2013. Photo: Steven Speed / SalfordStar.com.

Fracking is driving UK civil and political rights violations

Jess Elliot & Damien Short

30th October 2014

Extreme energy in the UK is arousing extreme reactions, write Jess Elliot & Damien Short. On the one side stand citizens committed to preserving the quality of the local and global environment. And against them, a government determined to let fracking rip, and police forces prepared to ignore legal norms to suppress the growing popular resistance. more...
Protestors against the TTIP in Smith Square, London, 12th July 2014. Photo: World Developement Movment via Flickr.

TTIP: Cameron begs Brussels to give away more British sovereignty

Jurgen Maier

29th October 2014

The UK and 13 other EU trade ministers have written to the European Commission's new head imploring him to include secret, much criticised investor protections in the controversial TTIP, the EU-US trade and investment deal, writes Jurgen Maier. Is this a democratic snub too far? more...

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