The Ecologist


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Up, up, up ... the access road to the observatories near the summit of Mauna Loa, the Hawai'ian volcano on which official measurements of global CO2 concentrations are taken. Photo: Dave Strom via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

WMO: the world's new 400ppm climate reality

Alex Kirby

25th October 2016

Global CO2 concentrations have reached a historic new base of 400 parts per million, writes Alex Kirby, and are unlikely to fall below that level - 40% higher than the pre-industrial era - for many centuries to come. The WMO released the news just as the UK commits to a new London runway. more...
Well cared-for animals are crucial to food security and sustainable farming systems around the world. Photo: Paul Woods via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

The future of our food depends on small farmers and well cared-for livestock

Philip Lymbery / CIWF

19th October 2016

Abusive farming of animals in factory farms is one of the great cruelties of the modern age, writes Philip Lymbery. While some may justify it as necessary to 'feed the world', it is no such thing. The answer lies in supporting small scale traditional farmers, and respecting the livestock that are intrinsic to sustainable agriculture across the planet. more...
Vicky Tauli-Corpuz, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, at the 14th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues - 27 April 2015, New York. Photo: via

Vicky Tauli-Corpuz: 'The better protected areas are those where indigenous peoples live!'

Joe Eisen / Conservation Watch

19th October 2016

Indigenous Peoples are often the victims of nature conservation, according to a new report by Vicky Tauli-Corpuz presented to the UN this week, as they are expelled from lands they have inhabited for millennia. One reason, she told Joe Eisen, is that indigenous territories are precisely the places where biodiversity is best preserved - thanks to the protective, nurturing presence of their traditional owners. more...
The HFC gases that run most of the world's heat pumps and air conditioners, like these ones in Singapore, are very powerful greenhouse gases. But now the world has agreed to solve the problem. Photo: Rym DeCoster via Flickr (CC BY).

Paris talks, Montreal delivers! Kigali's massive climate victory

Nigel Paul

17th October 2016

The 'Kigali Amendment' agreed this weekend to control HFC gases thousands of times more powerful than CO2 is the first major step in delivering the goals of the Paris agreement, writes Nigel Paul - and a second huge success for the Montreal Protocol, originally agreed to save the ozone layer from destruction by CFCs. more...
Agroecology is not just for the developing world: Amish farmer, USA. Photo: Ashley Morris via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Agroecology cools the planet - so why are Governments backing agribusiness?

Kirtana Chandrasekaran

14th October 2016

It' a perfect win-win solution for World Food Day, writes Kirtana Chandrasekaran: agroecology that sequesters carbon into soils, making them more fertile, productive and resilient, while also supporting sustainable livelihoods and tackling climate change. But instead governments are desperately trying to attract agribusiness investment that does the precise opposite. more...
How's it worth more? Alive or dead? African bush elephant. Photo: Arno Meintjes via Fliuckr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Saving the elephant: don't forget local communities!

Ross Harvey & Alexander Rhodes

10th October 2016

With 27,000 African savannah elephants a year illegally killed for their ivory, the species is in peril, write Ross Harvey & Alexander Rhodes. Now international action at CITES and the closure of domestic ivory markets are attacking the ivory trade at both ends. But we must also give our full support to 'elephant neighbor' communities. more...

Feeding the Insatiable

7th October 2016

An international summit exploring real and imagined narratives of art, energy and consumption for a troubled planet, taking place at Schumacher College, Dartington, on 11th November 2016 more...

The Ecologist Arts Interview: UK Wildlife Artist Rachel Lockwood

Gary Cook

28th September, 2016

Wildlife artist Rachel Lockwood is in creative lockdown preparing for her new exhibition called Wilding. Ecologist Arts Editor, GARY COOK went to her North Norfolk studio to talk paint, animals and other environmental matters more...
Could a legal, regulated trade in rhino horn help save these wonderful animals by paying for their conservation and taking the profit out of poaching? Photo: rhino on the Eastern Cape, South Africa, by Colin via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To save our rhinos, we need a legal horn trade

Keith Somerville, University of Kent

22nd September 2016

The trade ban on rhino horn is not working, writes Keith Somerville. But non-lethally and sustainably harvested rhino horn can earn income to encourage breeders, pay rangers and anti-poaching teams, provide surveillance and supply wider benefits that will gain the support of people around parks, reserves and ranches. 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...
Durham Wildlife Trust volunteers surveying invertebrate populations at Stanley Moss, Sunniside, England. Photo: Dougie Nisbet via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

'State of Nature': a labour of love by Britain's conservation heroes

Dr Mark Eaton

14th September 2016

The 'State of Nature' report, published today, is the apex of a vast pyramid of loving and heroic toil by many thousands of volunteer naturalists, writes Dr Mark Eaton - hard at work in all seasons in our marshes, forests, mountains, swamps and farmland. But do we have the young recruits to keep this wonderful tradition going? more...
G4S provides security systems for prisons which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel, in contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Photo: Anti-G4S demo in London, June 2016 by Darren Joh

Corporations rule the world? Not quite. But we must stop them while we still can!

Aisha Dodwell / Global Justice Now

13th September 2016

Gigantic global corporations are seizing ever more power, writes Aisha Dodwell, as they reshape the world to serve their quest for profit: corrupting politicians, subverting governments, and breaking international law on labour, environment and human rights with impunity. We need a new UN Treaty to force corporations to act within international law - wherever they may be. more...

UN: 1/25 of 690
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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...

Yale University Launches Online Specialization Classes Open to the Public

Yales School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

9th September, 2016

If you've got the 'Back to School' bug this week then check out these brand new online courses from the prestigious Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental studies - the courses are based on the award-winning Journey of the Universe film and book more...

Yale University Launches New Online Classes Open to the Public

Yales School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

9th September, 2016

If you've got the 'Back to School' bug this week then check out these brand new online courses from the prestigious Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental studies - the courses are based on the award-winning Journey of the Universe film and book more...

Will UK follow the lead of New South Wales and ban greyhound racing?

Laura Briggs

7th September

Last month, an outright ban on greyhound racing was announced in the Australian state of New South Wales following an inquiry which uncovered overwhelming evidence of systematic animal cruelty. Will the UK do the same asks LAURA BRIGGS more...
The costs of 'growth': Shanghai skyscrapers barely breaking the all-engulfing smog layer. Photo: erhard.renz via Flickr (CC BY).

To deliver sustainable development, first give up on 'growth'

Jason Hickel, LSE

1st September 2016

The global economy has already outgrown the Earth, writes Jason Hickel. Yet even the UN insists that we need decades of continued economic growth to end poverty. The truth is the precise reverse: we must end growth - not just to save our planet but to refocus the economy on meeting human needs. more...
Shooting grouse in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Photo: Richard Woffenden via Flickr (CC BY).

Time to close down Britain's devastating grouse-shooting industry

Eduardo Goncalves

18th August 2016

The disappearance of a satellite-tagged hen harrier on a Scottish grouse moor and the loss of eight Golden eagles in five years provide the latest evidence for a ban on driven grouse-shooting, writes EDUARDO GONCALVES. But birds of prey are only the most high-profile victims of a cruel and ecologically destructive industry. more...
Bushmen have hunted at subsistence levels in the Kalahari for millennia. Photo: Survival International.

Botswana: shooting Bushmen from helicopters is wrong!

Lewis Evans

16th August 2016

Botswana's war on its indigenous population, the Bushmen of the Kalahari, has reached a new pitch, writes LEWIS EVANS. No longer content to arrest and intimidate them as they engage in subsistence hunting on their own land, the state has begun to shoot them from aircraft. These illegal, genocidal acts must stop! more...

After Brexit - Envisioning New British Landscapes

James Luchte

10th August, 2016

At a post-Brexit crossroads, we may still articulate a new vision for the countryside, one which expresses the concerns and desires of stakeholders - farmers, conservationists, land and land tenure reform advocates, communities, and environmentalists writes JAMES LUCHTE more...
Bill Oddie in his front garden with 'Cecil' - named after Cecil the Lion, shot by a licenced hunter from the US in Zimbabwe on 1st July 2015.

Whether it's Cecil the Lion or un-named fox cubs, killing for fun is wrong

Bill Oddie

29th June 2016

No animal should be killed for our enjoyment, writes Bill Oddie. And that applies alike to Cecil the Lion, shot by a Minnesota dentist almost two years ago; and to the nameless fox cubs that died more recently in England, thrown to hounds by a huntsman to teach them to hate and kill foxes. more...
Outside the kennels of the South Herefordshire Hunt. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

Fox cub persecution: hunting and violence are inseparable

Eduardo Gonçalves

23rd June 2016

An investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports shows that English hunts are training hounds to kill foxes in horrific secret slaughter sessions, writes Eduardo Gonçalves. It's just one example of the cruelty and violence that's intrinsic to fox-hunting, and another reason why the ban has to be maintained. more...

Cornish community carries on fighting a 'Super Quarry' development in Marine Conservation Zone

Amy Hall

20th June, 2016

There are now some 50 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) in England and Wales. Amy Hall reports on how campaigners fighting the re-opening of a Cornish quarry in one of the zones are effectively testing what the designation really means and how much protection it guarantees. more...

Grow Heathrow's Spiritual Ecology: One Resident's Personal Reflections

Edward Thacker

7th June, 2016

Living at Grow Heathrow has been a spiritual experience says resident Edward Thacker. We are actively rebelling against the wasted values of materialism, the capitalist world view which seeks to objectify nature. more...

Who gets to influence the climate negotiations?

Pavlos Georgiadis, Renee Karunungan and Anna Pérez Català

1st June, 2016

The influence of fossil fuel corporations was strongly questioned by developing countries in the post-Paris meeting of the climate change negotiations in Bonn last week. Climate Trackers Pavlos Georgiadis, Renee Karunungan and Anna Pérez Català highlight the key issues that were debated more...


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