The Ecologist

 

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The Malaysian Bakun Dam is one of Asia's largest dams and had high cost and time overruns. Photo: Bruno Manser Fund.

Large dams are uneconomic

The Ecologist

22nd April 2014

A study of 245 large dams carried out at Oxford University shows that big hydropower is uneconomic. Actual costs are typically double pre-construction estimates - and have not improved over 70 years. ASEAN energy ministers take note! more...
Bringing 'Perpetual leeks' from the Schumacher College forest garden in to the kitchen for the day's soup.

Towards an agroecological food system

Joanna Wright

10th May 2014

How we feed ourselves sits at the crux of all human affairs, writes Joanna Wright - the health of our bodies and communities. Far too important to leave to industrial farms and processors, it's something we can all begin to do for ourselves. more...
Does nature have rights, too? A mountain valley in Kurdistan. Photo: Jan Sefti via Flickr.com.

Being Nature - extending civil rights to the natural world

Mumta Ito

24th April 2014

As the destruction of the biosphere continues, we need to establish new legal systems to protect what remains. Mumta Ito proposes a new beginning for environmental law based on extending 'civil rights' to the natural world. more...
A sunrise industry: wind turbines in Texas. Photo: Chrishna via Flickr.com.

Wind power booms in oil-rich Texas

Ian Partridge

13th April 2014

One evening in March, wind delivered over 10,000 MW of electricity to Texas's power grid, almost 30% of total demand, reports Ian Partridge, and another 18,500 MW of capacity is under construction. So just why is Texas going so big on wind? more...
Synthetic biology for everybody? What a wonderful world that would be ... at a lecture by Dr. Manuel Selg, Photo: Martin Hieslmair / Ars Electronica via Flickr.com.

It's time to get a grip on technology!

David King

12th April 2014

The issues surrounding powerful new technologies from GMOs to nuclear power appear disparate, writes David King - but look harder and most are linked by common threads. Key among them are issues of profit, control and socialisation of cost ... more...
Green growth in lower Manhattan - but is it enough? Photo: Alyson Hurt via Flickr.com.

Green growth cannot make a sustainable world

André Reichel

14th April 2014

Green growth is a myth, writes André Reichel, because it ignores the social, political and personal dimensions of sustainability. Instead we must plan for economic 'de-growth' - and go for growth only in the areas that really matter, like culture, learning and joy. more...
Africa would not be the same without them. Rhinos at Kariega Game Reserve. Photo: Clem Evans via Flickr.com.

Africa without rhinos would be different, and poorer

Rachel Nuwer

6th April 2014

If rhinos are driven to extinction in the wild, Africa's landscapes and ecosystems would be very different, reports Rachel Nuwer. The activities of this mega-herbivore diversify plant life and create prime grazing spots for other animals. more...
Talis Kalnars in 1999, in the Dinam Estate woodlands in mid-Wales. Photos: Oliver Tickell.

An inspirational forester

Phil Morgan

14th May 2014

Talis Kalnars was a pioneer of 'continuous cover' forestry in Britain, writes Phil Morgan. His woodlands were not only beautiful but profitable, as he nurtured the 'natural capital' of the forest ecosystem, and only harvested the dividend of high value timber. more...
Hinkley Point nuclear plant, viewed across the reedbeds from Steart. Quantock Hills in the background. Photo: Mark Robinson via Flickr.com.

Hinkley C - a nuclear subsidy too far

Paul Dorfman

8th April 2014

As the European Commission considers the £100 billion subsidy package the UK has offered EDF to build and operate Hinkley C nuclear power station, Paul Dorfman explains why the 'deal' is illegal, anti-renewables, and ruinous to energy users and tax payers. more...
Coal fired power stations will be among those to benefit from the freezing of the 'carbon floor price'. Photo: Emilian Robert Vicol via Flickr.com.

The IPCC and Osbornomics - a dangerous disconnect

Molly Scott Cato

2nd April 2014

The IPCC's latest report makes a stark contrast with Osborne's recent budget, writes Molly Scott Cato. It was all about sacrificing our future for short term benefit - when as the IPCC makes clear, what we need is the precise opposite. more...
The Amoeba in the Room front cover - Nicholas Money / OUP.

The amoeba in the room

Martin Spray

11th April 2014

What kind of life really matters? Big, showy species, or the uncountable gadzillions of microbiota that do the biosphere's hard work, and whose DNA occupies every cell in our bodies and makes 'higher' life possible? Martin Spray on 'The amoeba in the room'. more...
Hasankeyf, a 10,000 year old city in Turkey's Kurdish region, is due to be flooded by the Ilusu dam - giving common cause to the Kurdish minority, and environmental activists. Photo: Omer Unlu via Flickr.com.

After Gezi, a new eco-democratic alliance challenges Erdogan

Rosa Wild

26th March 2014

Turkey's Gezi Park protestors are finding common cause with Kurdish communities, writes Rosa Wild. Both are suffering from Erdogan's annihilation of land, forests, parks and cities in pursuit of economic growth. A new eco-democratic resistance is taking root. more...

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Sour garlic and fennel pickles. Photo: Gary Leybman /  FB Wild Fermentation group.

My microbes, therefore I am: fermentation, health, and human identity

Joanna Wright

10th April 2014

Fermentation is far more than a way to prepare diverse, delicious and wholesome food, writes Joanna Wright. It is a means for us to connect with the ancient past, with the world around us, and with our own selves. Are you ready to try it? more...
The Mirador mine in the Ecuadorian Amazon would be comparable in scale to the Kennecott open pit copper mine in Utah.

Ecuador - upholding the Rights of Nature

David Dene

29th April 2014

Deep in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, a gigantic open pit copper and gold mine is planned in the heart of the Shuar peoples' territory. David Dene tells the story of a growing international campaign to uphold and defend the 'Rights of Nature', in Ecuador and beyond. more...
Eradicating giant hogweed, an invasive plant whose sap inflicts painful blisters on skin contact. It grows vigorously - but that does not make it good. Photo: NYS DEC via Flickr.com.

Challenging 'growthism'

Rupert Read

21st March 2014

The basic premise of this week's budget is that 'growth is good' and must be sought at all costs. But as Rupert Read writes, this is transparent nonsense. Growthism is an outdated ideology that must be thrown out - and replaced with 'ecologism'. more...
Two thirds of the energy companies coal, oil and gas resources will have to stay in the ground to protect the climate. Photo: eastcolfax via Flickr.com.

Financial markets should get serious on climate policy

Sam Fankhauser

22 March 2014

Climate policy could bite on fossil fuel resource values much faster than financial markets anticipate, writes Sam Fankhauser. It's time investors wised up to the hazards of investing in fossil fuels, when two thirds of them may have to remain unexploited. more...
The closing still from The Money Trap (1965). Metro Goldwyn Mayer via marsmet472 / Flickr.com.

Breaking the despotic power of finance

Ann Pettifor

14th March 2014

Orthodox economics and finance have promoted a false account of money, writes Ann Pettifor. Change is necessary and possible. But it will come only through a revolution in the general public's understanding. more...
Earl Ray Tomblin, Democrat Governor of West Virginia - dedicated servant of Big Coal. Photo: iwasaround via Flickr.com.

One State, under Coal

Jeffrey St. Clair

15th March 2014

When Mike Roselle tried to give his State Governor a sample of Mountain Top Removal dust for analysis, he was not expecting to be arrested at gunpoint and banged in jail for a week on suicide watch - all without charge. more...
Flying the 'Morning Star' flag of West Papua. Photo: A K Rockefeller via Flickr.com.

West Papua's 'Act of Free Choice' - 45 years on

Free West Papua Campaign

7th March 2014

As global media focus on Crimea's forthcoming referendum on whether to join Russia, we remember another 'Act of Free Choice' in West Papua in 1969 - which set off 45 years of military occupation, theft, repression and murder. more...
Poundland jubilee flag maker by Banksy. Photo: Duncan Hull via Flickr.com.

Fracking is the death spasm of a defunct economic order

Paul Mobbs

5th March 2014

Political support for fracking is not just about energy, writes Paul Mobbs. It reflects the greater ecological and resource crisis at the root of our current economic woes - and only postpones the essential shift to a new kind of economy. more...
Making Sustainability Work - second edition, front cover.

Making Sustainability Work

Finn Jackson

14th March 2014

'Business' has to made sustainable - but how is the transformation to be achieved? Finn Jackson reviews a key book on the topic - but finds that amid the checklists of criteria, the authors have somehow missed the point of it all. more...
Native American or Palestinian, Awa, Inuit, Dayak or Bushman, the struggle against colonialism is one. Quanah Parker - Comanche. Photo from firstpeople.us.

Indigenous peoples of the world, unite!

Dr Sarah Marusek

13th March 2014

The struggle for collective rights unites all Indigenous peoples from North America to Palestine, writes Sarah Marusek - as does their common narrative of resistance to colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. more...
Zac Goldsmith & Boris Johnson on a walk about in Richmond, April 10, 2012. Photo: By Andrew Parsons / i-Images via Flickr.com.

No rubber stamp for the TTIP!

Zac Goldsmith

27th February 2014

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Programme - TTIP - is a huge 'free trade' agreement under negotiation between the EU and the USA. Zac Goldsmith MP warned Parliament that it threatens to undermine key democratic principles. more...
Water permit hearing poster for uranium mining in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Photo: via White Plume.

Protect our sacred water!

Ben Whitford

3rd March 2014

The curse of Uranium has fallen once again on the Black Hills of South Dakota, ancestral home to the Lakota Indians - now fighting a massive mining project that threatens land, rivers and groundwater. But this time, writes Ben Whitford, the Lakota are not alone ... more...
'Foreclosing the Future' by Bruce Rich book cover.

Foreclosing the Future - can the World Bank ever reform?

Tom Griffiths

24th February 2014

Will the World Bank ever change? After decades of promises, initiatives, accords and re-branding, Bruce rich finds that the World Bank is the same old indiscriminate money-pump, still funding social and environmental catastrophe worldwide. more...

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