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The Balbina Dam reservoir. Photo: via Greenpeace.

Brazil's giant dam programme is a climate disaster

Helle Abelvik-Lawson / Greenpeace

28th October 2014

Brazil's newly elected Dilma Roussef is committed to completing the disastrous Belo Monte dam, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson. Worse, she looks certain to press ahead with the industrialisation of the Amazon, with 61 hydroprojects in the pipeline. And new scientific findings about the massive climate impacts of tropical forest dams are not about to stop her. more...
Skilful heather burning can enhance biodiversity, according to the Moorland Association. Recently burnt heather at Ramshaw Rocks, Staffordshire. Photo: Paul via Flickr.

England's 'upland Amazon' destroyed for grouse shooting

Paul Brown

9th October 2014

The repeated burning of England's upland moors - carried out so more grouse can be reared for lucrative shooting parties - is seriously damaging a unique and valuable ecosystem, writes Paul Brown - destroying ages-old peat, reducing its capacity to retain water, and releasing megatonnes of carbon to the atmosphere. more...
What was once the Aral Sea at Muinak, Qoraqalpoghiston, Uzbekistan. Photo: so11e via Flickr.

Once a Sea - now it's the Aral Desert

Anson Mackay

16th October 2014

The Aral Sea is a well known environmental disaster zone. But this year, it got a whole worse, writes Anson Mackay, as its biggest basin dried up completely to expose a toxic, salty wasteland. With continuing irrigation and declining river flows due to climate change, the desert is only set to expand. more...
The North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains. Photo: Alan Ernst.

Fighting for the foothills: protect the headwaters of North Saskatchewan!

Carol Linnitt

13th October 2014

Much of Alberta, Canada has already been damaged by industrial clearfelling, or lost to the tar sands industry, writes Carol Linnitt. But now there's a chance to keep 'the most beautiful example of pristine eastern slopes Rockies out into the foothills' as wilderness, in the North Saskatchewan's unspoilt headwaters. more...
A beaver in Scotland, where they are being re-introduced. Photo: Paul Stevenson via Flickr.com.

Save the free beavers of England!

Alasdair Cameron / Friends of the Earth

25th September 2014

Deep in rural Devon, the word is that the Government intends to trap the wild-living beaver family on the River Otter next month, and consign them to captivity. But as Alasdair Cameron writes, this is not only unnecessary and unpopular, but probably illegal as well. more...
The 'flying rivers' of the Amazon are at risk from deforestation, fires and climate change. Without them, forest and farmland could turn to desert. Photo: Eli Duke via Flickr.

Drought bites as the Amazon's 'flying rivers' fail

Jan Rocha

20th September 2014

The Amazon forest both depends on, and sustains, vast 'flying rivers' that carry humid air and clouds deep into the continental interior, writes Jan Rocha. But scientists fear the flying rivers are failing due to deforestation, fire and climate change. more...
Ashaninka traveling by boat from eastern Peru to visit neighbors in Acre state, Brazil. Photo: © Mike Goldwater / Survival.

Assassination in the Amazon

Oliver Tickell

11th September 2014

Four Indian leaders who have opposed illegal logging in their forests have been shot dead in eastern Peru as they traveled by boat to an indigenous meeting in Brazil. The murders followed pleas to Peruvian authorities for protection, and warnings by Brazilian officials that the Indians were in extreme danger. more...
Tel Aviv beach. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Gaza's revenge: Israelis swim in Palestinian shit

Sam Bahour

11th September 2014

Consecutive Israeli military assaults have caused huge damage to Gaza's water and sewage systems, writes Sam Bahour. One result is that almost all Gaza's water is unfit for human consumption. Another is the tide of raw Palestinian sewage lapping on the beaches of Tel Aviv. So who should we feel most sorry for? more...
The view down the borehole through half a mile of the Antarctic ice to Lake Whillans. Photo: Reed Scherer / Northern Illinois University.

Abounding life! 4,000 microbes thrive in Antarctic lake beneath the ice

Helen Thompson

15th September 2014

Beneath half a mile of ice scientists have uncovered the first hard evidence of a life in a subglacial lake, writes Helen Thompson. And not just life, but a complex ecosystem comprising thousands of microbial species. Could Jupiter's frozen moon Europa be hiding lakes like this? more...
Copenhagen Harbour Bath designed by JDS Architects. Photo: Lucy Reynell.

Urban Plunge - open swimming in the heart of the city

Jane Withers

13th September 2014

With the growing trend for natural swimming in cities new opportunities are opening for architects and designers to create dramatic, inspiring, enjoyable new public spaces in urban waterways, writes Jane Withers. And it's the subject of a new exhibition at London's Roca London Gallery ... more...
Drought under a torrid sky in Santa Fe, Argentina. Photo: Claudio.Ar via Flickr.

Britain's real 'terror threat': eco-sceptic politicians

Paul Mobbs

3rd September 2014

Politicians are forever citing 'terror' as a reason to expand the security state and restrict civil liberties, writes Paul Mobbs. But when it comes to the real threats that face the world - ecological breakdown, climate disruption, resource crises, and an unjust and rapacious world order ... well, that's all 'green crap'. Isn't it? more...
The Mosul dam spillway. Photo: United States Army Corps of Engineers / Wikimedia Commons.

The battle for Mosul Dam: a new age of water wars beckons

Jonathan Bridge

2nd September 2014

Conflict continues to rage in Iraq over control of the Mosul dam, which impounds 11 cubic kilometres of water and controls water levels and supplies across the country, writes Jonathan Bridge. It's not the first battle fought over control of water - and it's certainly not the last in a drying Middle East with fast-growing populations. more...

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From tiny acorns ... a pair of solar panels powering a desalination unit in the West Bank, installed in May 2013 with USAID finance. Photo: USAID via Flickr.

Gaza - renewable energy for a just a durable peace

Keith Barnham

4th September 2014

The war in Gaza is over - but with the territory in ruins, it's essential to build a just and durable peace, and restore essential public services: health, water, sewerage and above all electric power. Keith Barnham presents his plan for Gaza, based on a massive deployment of solar and wind power generation. more...
Drought - what drought? Fountains in Sao Paulo disguise the reality that power and water will soon be running catastrophically low. Photo: collectmoments via Flickr.

Drought hits São Paulo - what drought?

Jan Rocha

29th August 2014

São Paulo, South America's biggest city, is suffering its worst drought in over a century, writes Jan Rocha, with rivers and reservoirs running dry. But the state's politicians are seeking re-election. And for them, it's as if nothing is happening - never mind that water and power cuts affecting millions are looking inevitable. more...
Give it love, not Coke - defaced Coca-Cola poster in Rishikesh, India. Photo: Axel Drainville via Flickr.

Coca-Cola forced out of $25 million factory in India

The Ecologist

27th August 2014

After a 15-year battle, local campaigners infuriated by pollution, over-pumping of groundwater and land-grabbing have finally forced the closure of Coca-Cola's $25 million factory near Varanasi. more...
The database shows information for the world's 50 major river basins. Map: International Rivers.

Dams versus rivers - the global battle

The Ecologist

26th August 2014

A new 'State of the World's Rivers' database shows how the world's rivers have been impoverished by dams and their ecosystems devastated - and provides a valuable resource to help save river basins that remain in good health. more...
Who drank all the water? Dried out 'swamp' just NE of the Everglades National Park, Miami County, Florida. Photo: A Duarte via Flickr.

Florida's sugar barons grow fat on subsidies, diabetes and Everglades destruction

Alan Farago

1st September 2014

Big Sugar is the new Big Tobacco, writes Alan Farago - lethal to human health, wreaking environmental devastation, gouging huge public subsidies, and with the political clout to stop First Lady Michelle Obama from breathing a word against it. Only an alliance of 'green', health and taxpayer campaigners can kill the beast. more...
Algae on the Trinity River, July 2014. Photo: Klamath Justice Coalition.

Fish before agribusiness! California river tribes demand water

Oliver Tickell

22nd August 2014

Large scale salmon deaths are imminent on the Klamath River and its tributaries in northern California due to low flows and high temperatures. Native American tribes are protesting in the state capital as federal agencies illegally prioritize water for large scale agribusiness over fish and indigenous people. more...
Hazeltine Creek on Quesnel Lake after the tailings dam collapse. Floating on the surface: the stripped off the mountainside by the force of the spill. Out of sight: 14.5 billion litres of toxic mining waste.

Swapping red tape for caution tape: why Canada can expect more mining disasters

Carol Linnitt / DeSmog.ca

27th August 2014

This month a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine in BC breached, writes Carol Linnitt - spilling 14.5 billion litres of toxic mine waste into Quesnel Lake. A major source of freshwater and one of BC's premier fly-fishing destinations, the lake will never be the same again. But it's just the first big victim of Canada's wave of environmental de-regulation ... more...
Shu takes to the megaphone to get her message across - water is a human right! Photo: Detroit Water Brigade via facebook.com/waterbrigade .

Detroit: what happens when water is a commodity, not a human right

Pete Dolack

19th August 2013

The shutoff of water to thousands of Detroit residents, the proposed privatization of the water system, and the diversion of the system's revenue to banks are possible, writes Pete Dolak, because water - the most basic human need - has become a means to extract profit from the City's people. 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...
The recent protest of Mongolian herders in China's Bayangol province, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, before it was broken up by police. Photo: via Intercontinental Cry.

Mongolian herders protest - 'protect our grazing land!'

The Ecologist

8th August 2014

In China's remote Mongolian region, indigenous herders are being forced from their traditional pastures to make way for roads and vast mining projects. Last week they held a public demonstration - but it was immediately dispersed with ten arrests. more...
Deforestation in the high mountains has devastating effects downstream. The Forest of Aliabad, near Hajipir, district Bagh, Azad Kashmir. Photo: Muzaffar Bukhari via Flickr.

Pakistan - no response to flood, drought, deforestation crisis

Saleem Shaikh

6th August 2014

Pakistan is already experiencing a pattern of devastating flood and drought brought on by climate change and deforestation, say the country's top climate scientists. Yet the government has failed to either tackle the problems, or prepare for future disasters. more...
A Shell oil well-head in Ogoniland - situated in a wetland, and surrounded by spilt oil. Photo by Friends of the Earth International via Flickr.

Niger Delta oil - Shell ignores horrendous pollution

Oliver Tickell

4th August 2014

The systemic failure of the Nigerian government and oil giant Shell to clean up the horrendous oil pollution in the Niger Delta has been branded 'shameful' by a group of Nigerian and international NGOs. more...
Children in Rafah collect water from one of the working public taps, 13th July 2014. But with the bombing of water infrastructure and Gaza's only power station, it's unlikely to be working today. Photo: Oxfam International via Flickr.

Gaza: water crisis grows as Israel targets essential infrastructure

Luisa Gandolfo

31st July 2014

Israel's war on Gaza has seen the systematic and widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure essential for human survival, writes Luisa Gandolfo. This represents an apparently deliberate 'cutting off of life support' to those that survive the bombardment now under way. more...

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