The Ecologist


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Don't worry, It's normal. Photo: loa bacon via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Hypernormalised? Heathrow plan is proof we exist in a catastrophic fantasyland

Matthew Adams, University of Brighton

26th October 2016

In one reality, the government recognises climate change, signs the Paris agreement, and commits to its 1.5C target, writes Matthew Adams. In another, it promises a new London runway that's predicated on sending aviation emissions soaring for decades to come. Now repeat after me: 'Everything will be fine!' more...
Heathrow scenery. Photo: stephen h via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

With Heathrow approval, aviation could use two thirds of UK's 1.5C carbon budget

Simon Evans / Carbon Brief

25th October 2016

The UK government today announced that Heathrow, already the UK's busiest airport, is its 'preferred option' for a new runway in southeast England, writes Simon Evans. It's just too bad about the climate: the airport expansion implies that aviation emissions alone could take up half to two thirds of the UK's 'carbon budget' for the country to comply with its 1.5C Paris Agreement target. more...
Sunset over Heathrow. Photo: Malcolm via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

No new runways! Not at Heathrow, not at Gatwick!

Keith Taylor MEP

24th October 2016

Should it be Heathrow or Gatwick? The answer, writes Keith Taylor, is neither. For climate and pollution reasons alone the UK should be scaling back on aviation, and in any case projections of future demand have been monstrously exaggerated. Step 1: a 'frequent flyer' tax on the 15% of people who take 70% of flights. more...
If mainstream car makers fail to keep up with fresh, nimble competitors like Tesla, they could go the way of the horse & cart. Photo: Windell Oskay via Flickr (CC BY).

$24 trillion tells car industry: it's time to act on climate!

Terry Macalister

12th Octobver 2016

International investors worth a collective $24 trillion have warned car manufacturers that they must 'get with the beat' on climate change, writes Terry Macalister. If car makers fail to shift to low emission models, they will face a large-scale sell-off of their shares. more...
Sadiq Khan speaking against Heathrow expansion at a protest at Parliament Square, London, 10th October 2015. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

London's 'Greenest Mayor ever'? Sadiq Khan still has a lot to prove

Caroline Russell

30th September 2016

London Mayor Sadiq Khan promised electors that he would be the 'Greenest Mayor ever'. In spite of his apparent support for a new Thames road crossing in East London and an expanded London City Airport, he still has huge opportunities to make good his pledge. And Green Assembly Members will be working hard to make sure he does. more...
Photo: Roo Reynolds via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Aviation industry's plan to 'offset' its emissions is crazy

Chris Lang / REDD Monitor

12th September 2016

Using carbon markets to 'offset' industrial pollution is a failed experiment of 19 years duration, writes Chris Lang. But the International Civil Aviation Organization, which holds its General Assembly later this month in Montreal, is determined to offset its emissions - up 76% in 12 years - rather than constrain or reduce them. more...
Natalie Bennett campaigning in Cambridge during the general election of 2015. Photo: Rama via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

It's time to take back REAL control!

Natalie Bennett

5th September 2016

It's time for UK citizens to #takebackREALcontrol by challenging the anti-democratic powers that control our country, our economy and our lives, retiring Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett told her party conference this weekend in this barnstorming speech. And that's a challenge only the Greens are prepared to take on. more...
Hydrogen produced from renewable energy is already finding a market as a 'green' fuel for cars. But its future potential goes way beyond that, as a vital storage mechanism for surplus wind / solar electricity on the grid, to provide power on demand. Photo

The hydrogen economy is much nearer than we think

David Thorpe

26th August 2016

Hydrogen made from renewable electricity is already fuelling vehicles at affordable prices, writes DAVID THORPE. But now the 'green' fuel is set to go from niche to mainstream - powering not just cars, trucks and buses, but storing surplus renewable energy on sunny and windy days, then to be burnt in gas turbines or fuel cells to supply the grid with reliable power on demand. more...
New 'solar leaves' will be able to produce ethanol directly from sunlight - the perfect liquid fuel for automotive use - with just enough methanol to stop you drinking it. Photo: Eric Roy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Goodbye gasoline: we can Get It From The Sun

Keith Barnham

21st July 2016

Traveling in the US by boat and train visiting solar laboratories and environmental groups, Keith Barnham found many successful community initiatives in renewable electricity, and brings news of progress towards the ultimate renewable challenge: a solar fuel that could eventually replace gasoline in cars, trucks, buses, trains and aircraft. more...
Was it all a beautiful dream? View of the Hinkley Point C site as visualised by EDF.

Brexit curse hits nuclear power, new London runway

Paul Brown

29th June 2016

Following the vote to leave the EU, the UK's energy and climate change policy faces major challenges, writes Paul Brown, with new nuclear power and a third London runway at Heathrow runway looking like the first casualties. more...
You’re trashing our home town and we’ll have nowhere to go! Photo:

Jeju Islanders resist airport megaproject

Rose Bridger

10th June 2016

Communities on Jeju, South Korea's 'island of peace', are resisting a second airport that's threatening the island's farming, nature, culture and way of life, writes Rose Bridger. Linked mega-projects include an 'Air City' of shopping malls, hotels and offices, plus high-speed transport corridors, luxury resorts, casinos, theme parks and golf courses - all catering to wealthy outsiders. more...
'End of Route - Cyclists dismount'. Traffic signage at Kew Green, West London. Photo: Mark Hillary via Flickr (CC BY).

Lies, damn lies and the national cycling 'strategy'

Donnachadh McCarthy FRSA

31st May 2016

The government's new 'strategy' for cycling is a feeble attempt to hide huge cuts to local transport budgets with a minute line of funds that would take over 2,000 years to bring the UK up to Dutch cycle lane standards, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. We must demand better! more...

transport: 1/25 of 208
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Kara Moses. Photo: Author supplied.

Heathrow13: Why I risked jail for my beliefs

Kara Moses

6th May 2016

Earlier this year, 13 climate activists were sentenced for aggravated trespass after blocking a runway at London’s Heathrow airport. For Kara Moses, the protest was part of her Buddhist practice of loving kindness to life and planet. more...
The Dounreay nuclear plant, now undergoing decommissioning, as seen from Sandside Bay in March 2008. Photo: Paul Wordingham via Flickr (CC BY).

UK-US air transports of high enriched uranium: global security at risk for commercial gain

Ernie Galsworthy / NFLA

3rd May 2016

Planned air transports of high-enriched uranium from Dounreay in Scotland to the US state of Tennessee would risk of accident or a terrorist seizure of weapon-usable nuclear material, writes Ernie Galsworthy. The motive for the transport appears to be purely commercial - and would thus put the public at needless risk for the sake of a cut-price nuclear waste / fuel deal between US and UK authorities. more...
Obama spoke out at the COP21 climate conference. But his officials helped to thwart limits on emissions from international shipping at the IMP this week. Photo: ConexiónCOP Agencia de noticias via Flickr (CC BY).

Amid Paris Agreement fanfare world fails shipping emissions test

Stephen Buranyi / & Oliver Tickell

22nd April 2016

World leaders are meeting in New York today to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, write Stephen Buranyi & Oliver Tickell. But the world just failed a big test of its commitment to the Paris targets by deadlocking on IMO proposals to limit emissions from international shipping. more...
Container ship MOL GRANEUR. Photo: ARTS_fox1fire via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UK must not let shipping sink the Paris Agreement!

Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden

18th April 2016

This week, the International Maritime Organisation could act to curb fast-rising emissions from shipping under the Paris Agreement, write Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden. But there are growing fears that the UK government may seek to delay and obstruct vital progress. more...
The Chancellor has done it for sugary drinks. Now, will he go on to do the same for even bigger issues - like the air pollution that's killing tens of thousands of British citizens a year? Photo: Roy Schreffler via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Chancellor is right to act on sugar. Next, air pollution!

Simon Bullock

17th March 2016

The Chancellor's 'sport not sugar' move to tax sugary drinks was extremely welcome, writes Simon Bullock. But we need a similar Treasury approach to protect people from other threats too. So how about tackling the air pollution that's killing tens of thousands of Britons a year? more...
The Pacific Heron moored at Falmouth. Photo: Tim Green via Flickr (CC BY)

Secrecy tightens over plutonium shipments from Japan to US

Tim Deere-Jones

21st March 2016

Two heavily armed, UK registered ships are currently engaged in the transport of UK sourced plutonium across the Pacific, writes Tim Deere-Jones. Details of their safety inspection records, survey status, voyage routes and location have been suppressed in the interests of security but the lack of transparency breaches a number of international safety standards. more...
Too bad about the Ferrari. But far more serious is the health damage caused by pollution from HGVs and other diesel vehicles, which is causing a surplus mortality of some 40,000 people a year across the UK. Photo: Paul Townsend via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

To clean up air pollution we must dump diesel - and here's how

Richard Howard / Policy Exchange

11th March 2016

Low Emissions Zones have their place in cleaning up the UK's worst air pollution hotspots, writes Richard Howard. But we also need to adopt fiscal measures to encourage a shift away from diesel vehicles, at once delivering cleaner air, increased tax revenues, and lower carbon emissions. more...
The Xindayang D2 at its launch last June. Photo: Geely Holdings / Xindayang.

China's electric vehicle boost drives global transport revolution

Kieran Cooke

10th March 2016

Improved technology and falling costs are moving electric car sales into the fast lane as manufacturers seek achieve significant economies of scale, writes Kieran Cooke. And now China is leading the EV charge with its plans for 5 million plug-in vehicles by 2020. more...
Women applying fertilizer to Cassava plants in Ekiti, without these crops the farmers would have nothing. Photo: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Nigerian farmers win High Court court victory in fight against Ekiti airport

Rose Bridger

8th April 2016

The state government of Ekiti sent bulldozers to clear farmland for a new airport without even consulting the farmers who owned it, writes Rose Bridger. Crops, buildings and trees were all flattened. But the farmers fought back - and have now won a major legal victory that will inspire and empower other mega-project afflicted communities across Nigeria, and beyond. more...
For some decades to come, old and new energy systems will have to maintain an uneasy coexistence - as at Interstate 10 near Palm Springs, California. Photo: Kevin Dooley via Flickr (CC BY).

The transition to 100% renewable energy: because we have no choice

Richard Heinberg

18th March 2016

It will take decades to completely leave fossil fuels, writes Richard Heinberg. But we can do it, starting with the easy stuff: going big time for wind and solar, raising energy efficiency, replacing oil-fuelled vehicles, and moving to organic farming. But deeper changes will follow as we transition to a more enduring sustainability - consuming better, and much less. more...
HSUK and HS2 route comparison. Image: HSUK.

HS2 or HSUK - the quicker, cheaper, emissions-cutting, low impact high speed rail network?

Colin Elliff, Andrew Coulson & Stephen Stretton

1st March 2016

High Speed UK is the greener, well-connected alternative to HS2, write Colin Elliff, Andrew Coulson & Stephen Stretton - and it would save taxpayers billions. Financed by taxing property owners in connected cities on their windfall gains, HSUK would create a low fare, high capacity, interconnected railway network which would generate huge long-term profits for the nation. more...
'Existence is Resistance!' Banner at the Climate Camp in Sipson village, wjhich wold be entirely destroyed by a third Heathrow runway, 16th August 2007. Photo: Alice via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The noble cause of the Heathrow 13

John McDonnell MP

24th February 2016

With the 'Heathrow 13' protestors expecting custodial sentences today for their occupation of a Heathrow runway last July, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP writes that their direct action followed years of official lies and broken promises, and forms part of a long tradition of direct action protests in defence of democracy. more...
Construction of the São Manoel Dam in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo: International Rivers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Saying 'No!' A last chance for the world's forests

Bill Laurance, James Cook University

5th February 2016

Roads, mines, dams, power lines, pipelines and other infrastructure projects are fast eating into the world's 'core forests', writes Bill Laurance. These rare and precious places where wildlife and ecological processes can flourish undisturbed must come before the evanescent gains of 'development'. To save what's left, governments and funders must learn the word 'No!' more...


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