The Ecologist


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UN development goals miss the point: it's all about power

Nick Dearden / Global Justice Now

28th September 2015

The Sustainable Development Goals are a wish list that few could disagree with, writes Nick Dearden. But the delivery plan is to rely on 'free' markets, corporations and technocratic government - although these 'solutions' are at the root of the problems the SDGs aim to solve. more...
Plenty more where that came from under the desert sands. Garage in the Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Jon Bowen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Yemen in dust, blood and flames, and the world is silent. Could it be oil?

Martha Mundy

25th September 2015

There's a plan afoot in Yemen, writes Martha Mundy, but no one is telling you about it. It's a plan so big that a country of 20 million people has to be starved and bombed into total submission, yet the world is indifferent. Yes, its oil. Lots of oil, and gas too, and lakes of fossil water, all lurking beneath the desert sands of the Arabian peninsula. How do we know? Because they told us. more...
Sweden's Red-Green coalition is determined to deliver the goods on climate, environment and social justice. Wild flowers at Kiruna, Sweden. Photo: Kathryn Waychoff / Dartmouth / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr (CC BY).

They really mean it! Sweden's Green transition gathers pace

Dominic Hinde

24th September 2015

There could hardly be a bigger contrast to the UK, writes Dominic Hinde. Sweden is closing airports and nuclear plants, selling off coal mines, spending billions to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, increasing green spending in developing countries, and is determined to lead by example at COP21 in Paris. Will other nations follow the green trail they are blazing? more...
Artists impression of 'Garden Bridge' by Heatherwick Studio. Not immediately obvious is that it will block views from Southbank along the river to St Pauls Cathedral.

London's Garden Bridge: a damaging folly at public expense

Will Jennings

26th August 2015

It sounded wonderful: a futuristic 'garden bridge' across the Thames dripping with flowers and foliage, writes Will Jennings. But really it's a private enclosure of valuable public space, mature trees and views, backed by £60m of taxpayers money, that delivers no benefits to London's wildlife, environment or transport needs. more...
Trucks in the airport excavation area. Photo: North Forest Defence.

Campaigners resist destruction of Istanbul forests and wetlands for airport megaproject

Rose Bridger

25th July 2015

Destruction of 76 square kilometres of forests, lakes and farmland is proceeding north of Istanbul for the city's third airport, writes Rosie Bridger. But the gigantic ‘aerotropolis' project is vigorously opposed by local farmers and residents, and an urban resistance fighting other ecologically destructive megaprojects across the beautiful, biodiverse region - both on the streets and in the courts. more...
Young Mursi cattle herders. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

US, UK, World Bank among aid donors complicit in Ethiopia's war on indigenous tribes

Will Hurd

22nd July 2015

USAID, the UK's DFID and the World Bank are among those covering up for severe human rights abuses against indigenous peoples in Ethiopia's Omo Valley, inflicted during forced evictions to make way for huge plantations, writes Will Hurd. Their complicity in these crimes appears to be rooted in US and UK partnership with Ethiopia in the 'war on terror'. more...
The man himself - John Shaw on the Link Road site.

Defending Hollington Valley? Don't even think of talking to the man who's destroying it

Emily Johns / Combe Haven Defenders

20th July 2015

A polite knock on the door of a Mr John Shaw of Hastings got Emily Johns a visit from the police. How so? He's the CEO of a secretive 'non-profit company' that's using tens of millions of pounds of public funds to build white elephant business parks and destroy valuable nature sites. And avoiding accountability looks like a major point of the exercise. more...
Ex-congressman Eduardo Veliz (white hair) leads a protest at San Cristobál airport, Galapagos, against excessive development, prior to his arrest. Photo: El Colono (Galapagos newspaper).

Galápagos rebellion against foreign investment in hotels, golf courses, luxury tourism

Jane Shaw

25th June 2015

Residents of Ecuador's Galápagos islands are mounting angry protests against government plans to open the World Heritage Site to foreign investment in luxury tourism and hotels, writes Jane Shaw. They fear for the fragile ecology of the islands, for water shortages caused by golf courses and swimming pools, and for their livelihoods which depend on current 'low intensity' tourism. more...
Trade, Tax & Transparency summit on the 'Isle of Shady',  a pop-up tax haven on the South Bank of the Thames at Gabriel's Wharf in London ahead of the Open for Growth: Tax, Trade & Transparency event in June 2013. Photo: David Parry / Enough Food IF via F

End transnationals' $212 billion tax dodge on poorest countries

Toby Quantrill

5th June 2015

Coroprate tax dodging is costing developing countries $212 billion a year, writes Toby Quantrill, and promised action by the OECD has been a damp squib. Now independent experts have come up with their own answers to the problem - beginning with an end to the 'separate entity' fiction that allows profits to be siphoned to shell companies in zero-tax jurisdictions. more...
Rice farmers and their children greeting visitors to Brong-Ahafo village, Ghana. The seeds they grow, and the land they grow them on, are essential to their survival. Photo: Eileen Delhi via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Africa's farmers fight the corporate takeover of seeds, land and food

Chris Walker

4th June 2015

Lured by promises of aid and investment, African governments are rewriting laws to create lucrative opportunities for corporate agribusiness, writes Chris Walker - while consigning their own farmers to servitude and landlessness. But now farmers are rising up, as in Ghana where a new 'Monsanto law' threatens to end their right to grow, save and share their ancestral seeds. more...
If you want to improve education for the poor, like these school children in Sierra Leone, handing over hundreds of millions of pounds to global corporations is not the way to do it. Photo: bobthemagicdragon via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Giving aid money to big business doesn't solve poverty. Who knew?

Kevin Smith

23d May 2015

The UK government has showered £500 million of its aid budget on 'partnerships' with global corporations that are meant to help the poor, writes Kevin Smith. Surprise - an independent assessment has found that the only ones to benefit were the companies themselves. This ideologically-driven farce must stop now! more...
Hares beware - a early action of the new Conservative government is expected to be a repeal of the Hunting with Dogs Act, opening the way to hare-coursing in the English countryside. Photo: oneshotonepic via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Green crap is coming our way - so let's be prepared!

Oliver Tickell

11th May 2015

As Cameron appoints his cabinet, we had better get prepared for the 'green crap' that's about to be unleashed on us, writes Oliver Tickell - the return of fox-hunting, badger-culling, road building and nuclear power, the arrival of GM food and crops, more cuts to wind and solar power and the underfunding of home insulation. more...

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Greenpeace India activists dump toxic sludge from the Asanikunta Lake in Medak District on ineffective pollution regulators in Hyderabad. Photo: Greenpeace India via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Greenpeace India faces closure in weeks

The Ecologist

7th May 2015

Greenpeace India has barely three weeks left to fight for its survival following a broad government crackdown on civil society. The green NGO has been left with funds for staff salaries and office costs that will last no later than 1st June. 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...
Isn't she lovely ... ! Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) has reached agreement with the US-based Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority to develop, build and operate a 'first-of-its-kind gateway entertainment city' in South Korea integrated with a

Aerotropolis alert! Airport mega-projects driving environmental destruction worldwide

Rose Bridger

8th May 2015

Governments and corporations are driving a global wave of ecologically disastrous airport-centered mega-projects each destroying as much of 100 of farmland and forests - sucking water, resources and economic activity from surrounding areas, excluding host communities and locking in high-carbon infrastructure for decades to come. more...
India's human rights and environment are going up in smoke - sacrificed to an aggressive coal-fired development path. Photo: coal power plant outside Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, by Reuben Stanton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Indian government sanctions Greenpeace to send a menacing message

Praful Bidwai

23rd April 2015

Prime Minister Modi's government has frozen the bank accounts of Greenpeace India, writes Praful Bidwai - provoking widespread protest from the environment and civil rights community. It's all part of a wider campaign against 'anti-national' movements that challenge India's development policies based on the aggressive exploitation of coal, minerals, big hydro and nuclear power. more...
A farmer and cattle herder in Lawra village, Ghana - the kind of person the World Bank claims to be working for, while promoting a corporate model of agriculture that leaves them landless and destitute. Photo: Photo: P. Casier /CGIAR via Flickr (CC BY-NC-

The battle for the future of farming - why is the World Bank on the wrong side?

The Rules & the Oakland Institute

18th April 2015

The World Bank exists to fight poverty. So why does it promote a profit-driven model of agriculture that enriches corporations at the expense of the small farmers who provide most of the world's food, creating poverty by stealing their land and water, depleting resources and undermining sustainable livelihoods? more...
Precious little harmony here: a building site in Beijing. But change is on the way. Photo: Thembi Mutch.

Amid the smoke and chaos of 'development', China seeks a return to ancient harmony

Thembi Mutch

19th May 2015

China is struggling with a myriad of environmental challenges, writes Thembi Mutch, as the country 'develops' at breakneck speed with massive construction projects, and industrial expansion. But amid the chaos and filth, the Chinese people are mindful of their history and ancient principles of harmony with nature - something that many are working hard to restore. more...
The dazzling pace of development in China comes at a human cost - of those dispossessed to make way for it all. Tianmu is one of the villages in the way of the expansion of Tianjin, pictured. Photo: Yang Aijun / World Bank via Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Tianjin, China: a village 'land grab' protest spells trouble for the Communist state

Samantha Hoffman & Jonathan Sullivan

11th April 2015

Rising anger by China's dispossessed - those displaced from their homes, villages and farms to make way for ever-expanding cities and infrastructure - is posing an existential threat to the ruling regime, write Samantha Hoffman & Jonathan Sullivan. At the root of the problem is the state's inability to tackle endemic official corruption and deliver justice to its citizens. more...
Swarthmore students ready to join the Peoples Climate March, 21st September 2014 in New York City. Photo: maisa_nyc via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

College fossil fuel divestment - Yes we must!

Cutler J Cleveland

18th March 2015

Univerisities' core mission is one of civilization and enlightenment, and that's incompatible with investing in fossil fuels that pose an existential threat to humanity and the planet, writes Cutler J Cleveland. It's is also financially prudent for for them to avoid sinking capital into future 'stranded assets' of unburnable carbon. 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...
Fighting the land grabs: peasant farmers on Ile-a-Vache, Haiti, refuse to be moved from their ancestral lands by the US puppet government, 28th February 2014. Photo: marie-chantalle via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

World Bank's Conference on Land & Poverty is a cruel farce

Oliver Tickell

20th March 2015

On Monday the World Bank's Conference on Land and Poverty begins in the US. But farmer organizations, indigenous groups, trade unions and others denounce the whole exercise as a sham that, in tandem with other Bank initiatives, is all about accelerating corporate land grabs and robbing the poor that the Bank was founded to assist. more...
Residents of Prek Smach commune, Kiri Sakor district at a road block they have constructed out of trees and rocks. Botum Sakor national park, Koh Kon Province, Cambodia. Photo: Rod Harbinson.

Cambodia: local people risk everything to defend national park sold off to highest bidders

Rod Harbinson

24th March 2015

Botum Sakor national park is one of Cambodia's biodiversity hotspots, where indigenous tribes have long lived in harmony with the forest and its wildlife, writes Rod Harbinson. But now they are being violently evicted as the park is being sold off piecemeal to developers for logging, plantations, casinos and hotels. Now local communities are defending themselves and their land. more...
Victory! Global Divestment Day City Hall action by Divest London, 14th February 2015. Photo: 350 .org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

London Assembly votes for £5 bn fossil fuel divestment - listen up, Boris!

Divest London

12th March 2015

Members of the London Assembly yesterday voted for the London Pension Fund Authority, worth £4.8 billion, to ditch all its fossil fuel investments over a 5-year period. The vote is non-binding, but the huge 15-3 margin puts strong pressure on London Mayor Boris Johnson to follow through. 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...


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