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Cold Winter, Cosy Home

Mukti Mitchell

30th November, 2016

Mukti Mitchell, period home insulation expert, who last week won the 2016 ‘Devon Environmental Champion' award for his work insulating the heritage village of Clovelly, says now is the time to make your old home cosy for winter more...

You say you want a revolution?

Harriet Griffey, Cultural Editor

3rd November, 2016

The latest blockbuster exhibition from the V&A celebrates the music of its time and those who are forever linked to it, and one of the key outcomes of this counter-culture revolution was the very first Earth Day on April 22nd 1970. more...

The most important meeting you've probably never heard of...and it's happening this week

Joe Ware

12th October, 2016

This week in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, nations are meeting to hammer out a plan to phase out Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are guilty of accelerating climate change. At the heart of the talks will be the date at which the world will end their use. JOE WARE reports more...

Ecologist Special Report: The Pillaging of Nicaragua's Bosawás Biosphere Reserve

Courtney Parker

6th October 2016

Violent expansion of the agricultural frontier in Nicaragua has produced devastating consequences for Indigenous Peoples and is fostering destructive long-term climate change impacts. COURTNEY PARKER reports more...

UK Green Party elects new co-leaders who promise a ‘Green Guarantee' new industrial revolution

2nd September, 2016

Ecologist Reporter

The new co-leadership of the Green Party is an historic first for any Westminster Party with the duo promising to rejuvenate British democracy by putting voters back in control. They also want a second referendum on the terms of our exit from Europe more...
Vezo fishers primarily use only traditional fishing methods - their boats have no motors and the dive without scuba gear. Thriving markets for shark fin and sea cucumbers, however, are changing many aspects of the way they live. Photo: © Garth Cripps.

Madagascar's 'sea nomads' are the new ocean defenders

Charlie Gardner

8th June 2016

The Vezo, Madagascar's indigenous 'sea nomads', are travelling hundreds of miles to the remote 'Barren Isles', the Indian Ocean's largest locally-managed marine protected area, writes Charlie Gardner. Drawn by valuable shark fins and sea cucumbers, sold into Chinese markets, the Vezo are now joining with local fishers to protect the ecosystem and expel illegal divers. more...
With the rains failing, desperate farmers head to the Spiny Forest to make charcoal. Photo: Louise Jasper (louisejasper.zenfolio.com).

Climate-afflicted farmers are turning Madagascar's Spiny Forest into charcoal

Charlie Gardner, University of Kent

3rd May 2016

Madagascar's unique Spiny Forest, a stronghold for the island's lemurs, is fast being felled for charcoal, writes Charlie Gardner - and it's a knock-on impact of the increasingly unpredictable climate and sparse rains that are forcing farmers from the land. To create a 'safety net' for the forest, first safety nets must be put in place to protect displaced farmers, fishers and pastoralists. more...
Measure the value of a rainforest in tonnes of carbon, and 'market forces' will probably end up destroying. Canopy in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. Photo: Andreas Kay via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Why the Paris Agreement will fail: the living Earth cannot be reduced to tonnes of carbon

Camila Moreno, Daniel Speich Chassé & Lili Fuhr

10th February 2016

Mainstream solutions to climate change are all based on reducing the world down to a single metric - tonnes of carbon. But as Camila Moreno, Daniel Speich Chassé & Lili Fuhr explain, this uni-dimensional world view is doomed to failure as it neglects all the difficult things that matter most: people, communities, ecosystems, love, beauty, politics, money, corruption, and corporate power. more...
Logging road in East Kalimantan: logged forest on the left, primary forest on the right. Photo: Wakx via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

REDD is dead. So now, how are we going to save the world's forests?

Chris Lang

11th February 2016

For years the 'market mantra' has been to save forests by selling the carbon they embody, writes Chris Lang, harnessing the profit motive for the benefit of trees and climate. But it never worked, and now even former fans are admitting that REDD is just another failed conservation fad. So what next? How about asking local communities to manage their forests as commons? more...
An Amazonian Grey woolly spider monkey feeding in the treetops. As a important seed disperser, it is essential to the forest ecology - and its capacity to store carbon. Photo: UEA.

Hunting in the Amazon threatens rainforest carbon

The Ecologist

27th January 2016

The over-hunting of wildlife in the Amazon has an unexpected knock-on effect: the reduced seed dispersal reduces the forest's capacity to store carbon in its biomass, increasing emissions from apparently 'intact' rainforest areas. more...
Forest-based offsets are intended to save carbon-rich forests like these. But sadly, they can equally reward people for destroying them to create palm oil plantations. Photo: Shannan Mortimer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Carbon trading in Paris Agreement has set us up for failure

Steffen Böhm, University of Essex

15th December 2015

Hidden away in the pages of UN-speak that make up the Paris Agreement are the makings of global carbon market in which a host of exotic emissions derivatives can be freely traded, writes Steffen Böhm. And it's all going to be a huge and expensive distraction from the real and urgent task of cutting emissions. more...
Permanent pastures and wetlands are a huge and growing carbon store - like this floodplain meadow of 'pozzine' grassland near Ninu lake, south Corsica, France. Photo: Quentin Scouflaire via Flickr (CC BY).

France's plan to increase its soil carbon is an example to the world

John Quinton, Lancaster University

17th October 2015

It sounds like a modest ambition: France wants to raise the amount of carbon in its soils by 0.4% a year, writes John Quinton. But that represents a vast amount of carbon, and its capture into soils will bring a host of other benefits. We should all get with the program! more...

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Carbon trading may be highly profitable for a select few - but if you want to fix climate change, best leave it well alone! Photo: Richard Alvin via Flickr (CC BY).

Pope Francis is right. Carbon markets will never fix the climate

Steffen Böhm, Gareth Bryant & Siddhartha Dabhi

23rd June 2015

Carbon trading has a remarkable record of failure: rewarding polluters while causing no discernible reduction in global emissions. If the COP21 UN climate negotiations in Paris are to achieve anything of value, first they must ditch the false solution of carbon markets. And thanks to Pope Francis, the idea is firmly on the agenda. more...
Smoking dawn over Wiersbaden, Germany. Photo: Martin Fisch via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Climate negotiators, please cut soot and methane - but not at the expense of CO2!

Myles Allen

6th June 2015

Climatologists have spotted an 'easy hit' to reduce global warming by cutting emissions of short lived forcing agents like soot from dirty power plants, 2-stroke engines and cooking fires, writes Miles Allen. But while we should take action on these pollutants, it must not come at the expense of holding back on cutting emissions of the big long term climate forcer: carbon dioxide. more...
In August 2014 climate activists blocked a digger in one of the Rhineland open-pit coal mines. Protests will resume in August 2015. Photo: 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Power struggle: after Germany's renewables surge, can it keep its coal in the ground?

Melanie Mattauch

22nd May 2015

Germany's 'Energiewende' has made the country a global renewable energy powerhouse. So why have its carbon emissions gone up? Not because of nuclear closures, writes Melanie Mattauch, but because powerful fossil fuel companies have blocked effective climate action. Now the fight is on as public calls to keep the coal in the ground get too loud to ignore. more...
Young fishers with their catch on the opening day after a temporary fisheries closure. Small-scale fisheries support the livelihoods of at least 500 million people worldwide - Andavadoaka, Madagascar. Photo: Garth Cripps / Blue Ventures.

Sustainable abundance - rebuilding fisheries to support coastal communities in Madagascar

Alasdair Harris

12th May 2015

Marine conservation is usually expressed in austere and negative terms, writes Alasdair Harris, with strict quotas and exclusion zones. But the truth is the exact opposite: it's about working with natural ecosystems to unlock their productive potential, creating sustainable wealth and abundance for fishing communities while enhancing marine biodiversity. 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...
The Amazon forest still looks green and verdant, but over the whole region changes are afoot, with trees maturing faster - and dying younger. Photo: Dams999 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Amazon carbon sink declines as trees grow fast, die faster

Oliver Phillips & Roel Brienen

21st March 2015

To date the Amazon has been a huge carbon sink, soaking up billions of tonnes of our emissions from fossil fuels, write Oliver Phillips & Roel Brienen. But now that's changing, as trees grow faster and die younger: the sink appears to be saturating. 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...
If the Adami mine goes ahead, the Abbot Point port will be in line for a massive upgrade. But the Queensland Government is paying nothing towards the cost. Photo: Greenpeace.

Money dries up for Great Barrier Reef coal project

Marina Lou & Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk

16th March 2015

Indian coal firm Adani is struggling to finance its proposed mega coal mine in Australia's Galilee Basin, write Marina Lou & Christine Ottery, as promised government support evaporates and a major investor looks set to pull out. more...
A female brown bear with three yearlings in Gutulia National Park in SE Norway. Bears and other carnivores do not only live in protected areas - Europe lacks enough true wilderness for that model of conservation. Instead, humans and wildlife must coexist.

Europe's bears are back!

Jocelyn Timperley

21st December 2014

If you go down to the woods today you're in for a big surprise, writes Jocelyn Timperle - Europe's bears are are on the increase, with 17,000 of them at large, along with 12,000 wolves, 9,000 lynx and 1,250 wolverines. Moreover these carnivore populations are co-existing with people with remarkably few problems. more...
Carbon Black by Declan Milling, front cover.

Carbon Black: A conspiracy thriller about REDD in Papua New Guinea

Chris Lang

16th January 2015

The carbon market has certainly seen its fair share of skullduggery, writes Chris Lang, with massive frauds perpetrated on an unsuspecting public. This new thriller captures the essence of the wheeler-dealer carbon business to produce a compulsive work of fiction that is, sadly, all too believable. more...
A male Onthophagus vacca, the species of dung beetle being released this week in Western Australia. Photo: CSIRO.

Australia - exotic beetles fly in to clean up the cattle dung

Jane Wright

5th October 2014

After rabbits, foxes, brambles and the cane toad, you would have thought Australia would have had enough of invasive exotic species, writes Jane Wright. Wrong! CSIRO scientists are introducing a French dung beetle, in the hope it will lead to fewer flies, improved soil fertility and structure, and greater carbon sequestration. more...
Torched Senger home. Photo: Justin Kenrick.

World Bank and UN carbon offset scheme 'complicit' in genocidal land grabs

Nafeez Ahmed

20th August 2014

The plight of Kenya's Sengwer people shows that carbon offsets generated by 'sustainable' forest management are empowering a corporate recolonisation of the South backed by the World Bank against its own guidelines, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Indigenous forest peoples are at risk of genocide while corporations let rip. more...
Lake Nicaragua, ecological jewel of Central America, will never be the same if the canal project goes ahead. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr.

The Nicaragua Canal - a disaster in waiting?

Nathan Wood

15th August 2014

A second canal joining the Pacific and Atlantic oceans is planned for Nicaragua, writes Nathan Wood. But the gigantic project is raising growing fears due to a grossly unfair contract, glaring failures of process, close links to the Chinese government, and its enormous - but uncosted - ecological impacts. more...

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