The Ecologist


pollution: 25/50 of 363
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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...
Cycling in Beijing. Photo: Thembi Mutch.

Chinese environmentalism: driven by a deep desire for healthy living and wholesome food

Thembi Mutch

24th April 2015

China's growing 'bling' culture has taken off big time, writes Thembi Mutch - yet it is widely reviled among ordinary people who in the face of China's industrial boom hold resolutely to traditional values of economy and frugality, quietly yearning for the old days of clean air and safe, wholesome food to fill their stomachs. more...
A 'money-burning' event organised by the Miami Tea Party to oppose a 46,000 acre conservation land purchase - but were the 'protestors' all actors? So it would seem. Photo: from Youtube video by Miami Tea Party.

Tea Party's fake protestors for Big Sugar against Florida Everglades

Oliver Tickell

8rg April 2015

The Tea Party of Miami put up a convincing demo last week to oppose a 'land grab' that would see 46,000 acres of sugar farm land restored for Everglades conservation. Just one problem - the 'protestors' were actors each being paid $75 for the two-hour shift. more...
Dead fish on the beach at Cape San Blas, Florida, after a 'red tide' event in the Gulf of Mexico. Photo: Judy Baxter via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Ocean 'dead zones' are spreading - and that spells disaster for fish

Lee Bryant

9th April 2015

Oxygen levels in our oceans are falling, writes Lee Bryant, producing growing 'dead zones' where only the hardiest organisms can survive. The causes are simple: pollution with nutrient-rich wastes, and global warming. But the only solution is to stop it happening - or wait for 1,000 years. more...
'Pregnant health'. Photo: il-young ko via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Air pollution may be damaging children's brains - before they are even born

Frank Kelly & Julia Kelly

10th April 2015

As south-east England goes onto an air pollution 'red alert', write Frank Kelly & Julia Kelly, be warned: in addition to causing respiratory and cardiovascular damage, the microscopic particles befouling the air also impact on the brains and nervous systems of unborn children whose mothers suffer high levels of exposure. more...
Greenpeace volunteers on board Shell's 'Polar Explorer' oil rig in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Miriam Friedrich / Greenpeace.

Greenpeace occupies Shell rig after Arctic drilling go-ahead

Christine Ottery & Oliver Tickell

7th April 2015

Days after Shell received US Government backing for its plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea in the Alaskan Arctic, volunteers from Greenpeace have occupied its 'Polar Pioneer' oil rig in the Pacific Ocean to demand a halt to all Arctic oil exploration. more...
Rajendra Singh believes conservation is vital to combat future 'water wars' and climate change. Photo: Deccan Chronicle.

'Water man of India' makes rivers flow again

Pramila Krishnan

8th April 2015

The revival of traditional rainwater harvesting has restored flow to rivers in India's driest state, Rajasthan - thanks to the tireless efforts of Rajendra Singh, recent winner of a Stockholm water prize. And as Pramila Krishnan discovered in a fascinating meeting, Singh's techniques, and his philosophy, are of truly global significance. more...
Yolanda Oquelí stands between the National Police and the mine entrance. Credit: Guatemalan Human Rights Commission.

Guatemala: women lead the struggle for life, land, clean water

Jeff Abbott / Waging Nonviolence

1st April 2015

For over two years the small community of San José del Golfo has maintained a 24-hour barricade against the US-owned mine El Tambor that threatens to destroy their land and water. The non-violent resistance, led by women, is transforming the traditional 'macho' culture, and attracting support across Guatemala, and beyond. more...
Waterfall in the Srayaku territory in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Photo: skifatenum via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Deep in the Amazon, one tribe is beating big oil

David Goodman

30th March 2014

The people of Sarayaku in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest are a leading force in 21st century indigenous resistance, writes David Goodman, resisting the incursion of oil exploration into their lands, winning legal victories, and inspiring other communities to follow their example. more...
A toxic trail of chemical pollution and uranium ash from DU munitions: the infamous 'Highway of Death' from Kuwait across the Iraqi desert in Gulf War 1, in 1991. Photo: Bryan Dorrough via Flickr (CC BY).

Iraq seeks help in its fight to overcome the toxic fallout of war and terror

Wim Zwijnenburg / Insight on Conflict

8th April 2015

Iraq is working hard to remediate the environmental impacts of two Gulf wars and Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons programme, writes Wim Zwijnenburg. But it now faces new hazards deliberately caused by Islamic State - and is in desperate need of international support. more...
RWE's brown coal-burning Kraftwerk Weisweiler Langerwehe, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Photo: Oliver Wald via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Coal industry setting its own air pollution standards

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog UK

11th March 2015

Coal is Europe's biggest source of mercury and sulphur pollution, writes Kyla Mandel, killing tens of thousands of people a year. So how come more than half the members appointed by EU governments to set air pollution standards for coal plants are industry representatives? more...
The damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station as seen during a sea-water sampling boat journey, 7 November 2013. Photo: David Osborn / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

All fouled up - Fukushima four years after the catastrophe

Jim Green

11th March 2015

Four years ago today the world's biggest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl took place at Fukushima, Japan. Total clean-up costs are estimated around $0.5 trillion, writes Jim Green - but work to defuse the dangers has barely begun, the site is flooded with radioactive water making its way to the sea, and underpaid and illegally contracted workers are suffering a rising toll of death and injury. more...

pollution: 25/50 of 363
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Fawley power station and oil refinery in Hampshire, England, from the beach at Hillhead. Photo: Anguskirk via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Confronting industrialism: if you can't clean it up, don't make it!

Derrick Jensen

4th March 2015

Modern industrial capitalism is based on a simple premise, writes Derrick Jensen: our mother Earth is a great store of raw materials for us to pillage, and a vast trashcan for our endless volumes of waste, no matter how long-lived and deadly. How can this be changed? First we must regain our own sanity. more...
The pollution of Chao Lake is obvious - even from space. Photo: NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Meat boom propels China's ecosystems into total collapse

John Dearing

2nd March 2015

China's farming boom has massively increased food production, writes John Dearing - especially of meat. But it has come at a massive cost: the wholesale pollution and destruction of core ecosystems. more...
Protestors against the proposed 25,000-pig factory farm at Foston, Derbyshire. Photo: Farms not Factories.

Big stink! 24,500-pig factory farm defeated

The Ecologist

26th February 2015

A proposed factory farm at Foston, Derbyshire, condemned by locals as a 'pig prison' for 25,000 animals has been refused a permit by the Environment Agency because of the powerful stench it would emit and potential risks to health and the environment. more...
China's Red Flag Canal, which carries water to from the Zhang River to the cities and fields of Linzhou district, was an amazing feat of engineering and human labour. But its nitrite-rich waters also triggered a cancer epidemic. Photo: Eregli Bob via Wiki

Pure water the key to China's victories in the war against cancer

Kenneth Hsu

30th March 2015

Chinese scientists have established beyond doubt that water polluted with nitrite is feeding the worldwide cancer epidemic. But while China is beating cancer by providing new sources of nitrite-free water, Western scientists, regulators and the editors of scientific journals are doing their best to suppress the truth. more...
MPs may make the law - but that does not make them above the law. Photo: UK Parliament via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking: MPs and Lords have derelicted their legal duties - now they must pay the price!

Jojo Mehta

26th February 2015

The rushed passage of the Infrastructure Bill with all its pro-fracking provisions and toothless 'safeguards' is an abuse of democracy. And as it's manifestly against the national and public interest, it's also in breach of both MPs' and Lords' legally binding Codes of Conduct. Now Jojo Mehta intends to hold them to account - in Court. more...
Too good to frack? Spogen Lake lies in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Carbon County, Montana. Photo: Troy Smith via Flickr (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0).

Montana's Carbon County farmers sue for protection from fracking

The Ecologist

22nd February 2015

Montana legislators have brushed off the attempts of farmers, ranchers and landowners to effect 'zoning' regulations to protect them, their land, their water and their livestock from the toxic impacts of fracking. Now they say: 'See you in Court!'. more...
What goes up, must come down. Arizona's Navajo Generating Station consumes up to 25,000 tons of coal per day, and the mercury it emits - along with other coal plants - is poisoning our oceans, our fish, and us. Photo: Alan Stark via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Mercury - thanks to our pollution, tuna will soon be unsafe for human consumption

Paul Drevnick

18th February 2015

Levels of neurotoxic mercury in Yellowfin tuna are rising at almost 4% per year, and will soon reach a point where the fish are officially unsafe to eat, writes Paul Drevnick. And after decades of debate, there's no longer any doubt where the mercury comes from: humans. Industrial sources like coal burning are mainly to blame, and it's high time we put a stop to it. more...
A seal caught up in plastic pollution near Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Photo: Nels Israelson via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Five to 12 million tonnes of plastic are going into the ocean each year

Britta Denise Hardesty & Chris Wilcox

4th April 2015

An unimaginably large volume of plastic debris is reaching the world's oceans every year, write Britta Denise Hardesty & Chris Wilcox - and it's set for a ten-fold increase over the next decade, adding to the already terrible toll on marine life from turtles to seals, sea birds and fish. The solution must be to give waste plastic value - if we can find a way. more...
A Kichwa girl on the Rio Tigre blockade. Photo: David Hill.

Victory in prospect for Peru's Kichwa People after 40 years of oil pollution

David Hill

10th February 2015

A month-long blockade of the Rio Tigre deep in the Peruvian Amazon has secured promises of compensation and cleanup for Peru's Kichwa communities who have suffered 40 years of contaminated waters from oil drilling operations in their remote Amazon region. But until the funds materialize, they are holding firm in their resolve. more...
Oil in Montana's Yellowstone River, July 2011. Photo:  Alexis Bonogofsky / NWFblogs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

After the oil spill: ode to the Yellowstone River

Grant Mincy

1st February 2015

In the face of environmental atrocities like the recent spill of crude oil into the Yellowstone River, writes Grant Mincy, quiescence be damned! To stop more of the same, we must reclaim from the corporate-captured state the rights of commons and community to decide on how local resources are used. more...
Fracking in a Denton residential neighborhood. Photo: Gena Felker / Britt Utsler via Frack Free Denton.

Message to the UK: the fracking 'bridge' is burning!

Naomi Klein

27th January 2015

The lesson of fracking in the US and Canada is a simple one, writes Naomi Klein. The fracking industry is vicious, brutal and will stop at nothing to get its way. British anti-frackers can celebrate yesterday's achievements - but the fight ahead will not be an easy one. more...
Look - no gasoline! A Tesla Roadster charging up outside the company's Palo Alto HQ, California. Photo: Windell Oskay via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Goodbye oil! Soon all cars will be electric - because they are better

Chris Goodall

10th February 2015

78 records didn't come to an end because the world ran out of shellac, writes Chris Goodall. And today's cars won't be made obsolete by a shortage of oil, or even climate change. The transition will be driven by falling prices, long range, clean air laws, and the superb style, performance and driving experience they offer. more...
The biggest stitch up since the Bayeux Tapestry? Here Harold Earl of Wessex is shown swearing an oath to deliver the English crown to Duke William of Normandy. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Parliament's fracking examination must be inclusive and impartial

Paul Mobbs

13th January 2015

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has just begun to take oral evidence from a very select group of witnesses, writes Paul Mobbs in this open letter. Sadly its choices betray a systematic bias to industry and establishment figures - while community groups are entirely excluded. more...


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