The Ecologist


UK: 1/25 of 1060
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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...
Meg Montgoris using free Wi-Fi on the red stairs on Duffy Square. Photo: Adam Pantozzi / Times Alliance / Yahoo via Flickr (CC BY).

Wireless pollution 'out of control' as corporate race for 5G gears up

Lynne Wycherley

27th October 2016

With the UK's Digital Economy Bill set to be finalised today, new 5G microwave spectra are about to be released across the planet without adequate safety testing, writes Lynne Wycherley. Global neglect of the Precautionary Principle is opening the way to corporate profit but placing humans and ecosystems at risk, and delaying a paradigm shift towards safer connectivity. more...
Pools of liquid still present outside the perimeter of the Aurobindo drug manufacturing plant near Hyderabad this month. Photo: Ecostorm.

Dirty production of NHS antibiotics in India helping to create superbugs

Andrew Wasley & Madlen Davies

26th October 2016

The NHS is buying drugs from pharmaceutical companies in India whose dirty production methods are fuelling the rise of superbugs, write Andrew Wasley & Madlen Davies. There are no checks or regulations in place to stop this happening - even though the rapid growth in antibiotic resistant bacteria in India is spreading across the world, including to the UK and NHS hospitals. 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...
Welsh Badgers at Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo. Photo: Neil Schofield via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Wales demands 'objective evidence' before killing badgers. Whatever next?

Lesley Docksey

21st October 2016

Wales has achieved enviable success in reducing bovine TB in its cattle herds without killing badgers, writes Lesley Docksey. The farming lobby is still demanding an England-style cull, but the Welsh government's 'refreshed' policy on bTB remains firmly science-based and no badgers will be killed without 'objective evidence' of infection. more...
Ineos gas tanker at port. Photo:

Challenging the delusion of cheap, safe shale gas extraction

Alex Russell & Peter Strachan

20th October 2016

The UK government's insistence of pursuing fracking is based on a flawed and utterly misinformed vision of our future, write Alex Russell and Peter Strachan. Rather than delivering the prosperity they promise, large scale fracking would cause massive pollution of air and water, undermine vital export industries, and leave us with an irretrievably damaged economy and natural environment. more...
Global action day against TTIP, CETA & TiSA, 18th April 2015 in Berlin. Photo: Cornelia Reetz / Mehr Demokratie via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Canada-EU 'TTIP' trade deal, CETA, down - but not out

Nick Dearden

18th October 2016

The EU Council today blocked the progress of CETA, the Canada-EU trade deal, writes Nick Dearden. It's a dramatic reversal for the transatlantic 'free trade' agenda, with the unpopular TTIP US-EU agreement already close to death. But negotiators aren't giving up on their aim to push CETA through, no matter what. Our fight goes on! more...
Lancashire: a local demonstration against fracking - 'Nanas to the front. Advance!' Photo: Victoria Buchan-Dyer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking trumps climate change, pollution, health - and democracy

Tony Bosworth / FoE

13th October 2016

Last week the EU ratified the Paris Agreement to limit climate change, writes Tony Bosworth. So how did Communities Secretary Sajid Javid mark the occasion? By overturning Lancashire's democratic rejection of fracking, so giving a whole new fossil fuel industry the green light to let rip. Hypocrisy? The word hardly does justice to our government's mendacity. more...
A total of 1,378 chemicals are banned for use in cosmetics in the EU, as opposed to a mere 11 in the US. Photo: Agnes via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Europe must resist chemical industry attacks on health and environment

Lora Verheecke & Laura Große

12th October 2016

Chemical and pesticide industry lobbyists are striving to abolish the European precautionary principle in favour of a so-called 'science-based' approach, write Lora Verheecke & Laura Große. If the EU succumbs to the spin, human health and the environment across Europe will be sacrificed to corporate profit. more...
Piglets living in cruel and unhygienic conditions on a factory farm somewhere in the UK Photo: FarmsNotFactories.

Superbug-infected pigs get into Britain unchecked, contaminate food chain

Andrew Wasley / Bureau of Investigative Journalism

14th October 2016

Regulatory failures are allowing Danish pigs infected with lethal antibiotic-resistant bacteria into British farms, writes Andrew Wasley, with contaminated pork found in UK supermarkets, and three human infections recorded. The official response? Deny there's a problem, take no action, and hope for the best. Six people may have died from the bug in Denmark, but the UK is safe, surely? more...
Is there more in your supermarket meat than you bargained for? Like antibiotic resistant bacteria? Photo: Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr (CC BY).

Supermarkets must act on farm antibiotics!

Emma Rose

11th October 2016

Hot on the heels of the recent revelations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on UK meat, a new Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calls on supermarkets to prohibit 'routine mass-medication of livestock' in their supply chains, and commit to 'drastic reductions' in farm use of critically important antibiotics. Make sure your MP signs! more...
Much, much more of this to come? Anti-fracking campaigners at Cuadrilla drilling site at Balcombe, West Sussex. Photo: Sheila via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Cuadrilla fracking decision: shale industry's battle is beginning, not ending

Michael Bradshaw

7th October 2016

Sajid Javid's decision to allow shale gas wells to go ahead in Lancashire marks a new phase in the industry's development, writes Michael Bradshaw. But it will also trigger a new phase of organisation, protest and resistance among impacted communities. Cuadrilla, IGas and other companies may just find the 'social licence' they thought they didn't need is essential, after all. more...

UK: 1/25 of 1060
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A Common toad colony migrating across a road near Ipswich.

Toad's 30-year decline shows 'large-scale deterioration of environmental quality'

Oliver Tickell

6th October 2016

A 30-year decline in toad populations recorded by volunteers, shows the need to rebuild vital 'green infrastructure' across both the wider countryside and urban areas, writes Oliver Tickell: reversing habitat fragmentation, digging out ponds and ditches, and leaving ample unkempt areas for cover and hibernation. more...
Cover shot of trapped badger used for the new edition of 'The Fate of the Badger' by Richard Meyer, published by Fire-raven Writing.

'The Fate of the Badger': the great badger scapegoating conspiracy

Lesley Docksey

11th October 2016

Thirty years ago, there was no evidence that badgers spread bovine TB among cattle, writes Lesley Docksey. Nor is there now. Yet badgers are still being slaughtered in a futile attempt to control the disease. This timely republication of Richard Meyer's 1986 book reveals the belligerent ignorance of the officials, politicians and farmers driving the failed policy. more...
The Drax coal and biomass fired power station in North Yorkshire, one the UK's biggest point source emitters of greenhouse gases. Photo: Andrew Davidson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

#AxeDrax: campaigners unite for climate justice against coal and biofueled deforestation

Almuth Ernsting

18th October 2016

The Drax power station in North Yorkshire is among Britain's greatest greenhouse gas emitters, writes Almuth Ernsting. Not only is it burning some 6 million tonnes of coal every year, it is also burning its way through forests in the USA and other countries as it converts to biomass-fired units, rewarded by £1.3 million a day in subsidies. Join the #AxeDrax protest this weekend! 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...
Among the 28 EDF nuclear power stations at risk: Sizewell B in Suffolk, England. Photo: Simon James via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Sizewell B and 27 other EDF nuclear plants 'at risk of catastrophic failure'

Oliver Tickell

29th September 2016

A new report finds that 28 nuclear reactors, 18 of them EDF plants in France and one at Sizewell in the UK, are at risk of failure 'including core meltdown' due to flaws in safety-critical components in reactor vessels and steam generators, writes Oliver Tickell. The news comes as EDF credit is downgraded due to a growing cash flow crisis and its decision to press on with Hinkley C. more...
Aerial view of the completed Hinkley C project. Artists impression by EDF Energy.

Nuclear and fracking: the economic and moral bankruptcy of UK energy policy

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

27th September 2016

With its choice of Hinkley Point C - a £100 billion nuclear boondoggle - its enthusiastic support for expensive and environmentally harmful fracking, and its relentless attack on renewable energy, the UK government's energy policy is both morally and economically bankrupt, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. It must urgently reconsider this folly and embrace the renewable energy transition. more...
'Imagine there's no Fracking' - banner at London protest outside Parliament, 26th January 2015. Photo: Ron F. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No fracking in the UK under Labour! Just trade not 'free' trade!

Barry Gardiner

26th September 2016

A future Labour government will ban all fracking in the UK and drive forward a clean, affordable energy revolution, Barry Gardiner promised in his conference speech today. And it will openly negotiate 'Just Trade' agreements that respect the environment, health and labour, boosting small business not just multinational corporations. more...
Piglets living in cruel and unhygienic conditions on a factory farm somewhere in the UK Photo: FarmsNotFactories.

To stop antibiotic resistant superbugs, keep off factory farmed meat!

Alastair Kenneil

21st September 2016

All 193 UN states will sign a declaration today to fight the spread of drug-resistant 'superbugs', writes Alastair Kenneil. The problem is often blamed on over­prescription of antibiotics by doctors. But that's to ignore the massive use of antibiotics on animals in factory farms, both to prevent infection and to assist weight gain - turning farms into superbug breeding centres. more...
Front page of the Daily Wail - a project of the  Advertising Action on Climate Project (AACP). Photo: AACP.

Responsible advertisers must boycott climate-sceptic Mail, Sun, Times, Telegraph, Express

Donnachadh McCarthy

19th September 2016

A handful of right wing media billionnaires have been using their newspapers as propaganda rags to attack climate science and oppose climate action, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. Yet even 'climate leader' companies like M&S are fuelling their profits by advertising with them. Now a new #Deadvertisment campaign is demanding them to stop, right now. more...
Hinkley C - it now looks as if the UK may not be saddled with this monstrous white elephant after all. Image: EDF.

Hinkley C nuclear go-ahead: May caves in to pressure from France and China

Oliver Tickell

15th September 2016

The French and the Chinese may be celebrating the UK's decision to press ahead with the Hinkley C 'nuclear white elephant', writes Oliver Tickell. But the deal is a disaster for the UK, committing us to overpriced power for decades to come, and to a dirty, dangerous, insecure dead end technology. Just one silver lining: major economic, legal and technical hurdles mean it still may never be built. more...
Who ate all the pies? Robin redbreast on an English farm. Photo: John Bennett via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

'State of Nature' 2016 report shows continued loss of Britain's biodiversity

Susan Clark

14th September 2016

The 2016 'State of Nature' report, published today, offers many small victories to celebrate, writes SUSAN CLARK, but overall it's not good news: 15% of our native species are under threat of extinction, while 53% are in decline. With intensive farming the main cause of the damage, and climate change a serious long term problem, turning the tide of wildlife attrition will be a long and challenging task. more...
Jeremy Corbyn addressing a leadership rally, 8th August 2016. Photo: Paul Newport via Flickr (CC BY).

Jeremy Corbyn: my plan for Britain's green industrial revolution

Jeremy Corbyn

8th September 2016

Under my leadership Britain will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies, writes Jeremy Corbyn. Meeting our Paris climate targets will be the starting point for a green industrial revolution that will deliver clean, affordable energy to all, create millions of new jobs, and establish the export industries of the future. more...
All adrift: Hinkley Point on a sea of mist. Photo: Mark Robinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Dear Theresa: Let it go! Six powerful reasons to dump Hinkley C

Scientists for Global Responsibility

7th September 2016

Theresa May's first big decision as PM was to duck out of a signing ceremony and review the Hinkley C nuclear project. But she will soon have to reach her decision. In this open letter Scientists for Global Responsibility set out six compelling reasons for her to let the whole monstrous white elephant go. more...


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