The Ecologist

 

Change: 1/25 of 1776
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David Headley can light his spring on fire. David asked the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection to take a look. The DEP inspector told David it was probably a rotting log. The spring bubbles almost constantly, and has now for about two years since Marcel

Whitehall's fracking science failure: shale gas really is worse for climate than coal

Paul Mobbs

24th May 2017

The UK government claim that fracking is a 'clean' energy source rests on the conclusions of a single scientific paper, writes Paul Mobbs. And now that paper has been conclusively invalidated: it uses misleading figures that understate the methane emissions from fracking, and subsequent findings have left it totally discredited. Yet the paper is still being quoted to justify fracking, and the fool the public on its climate change impacts. more...
No, that's not Theresa May leading this 'police against fracking' demo, it's veteran anti-fracking campaigner Tina Rothery. Photo: Rev'd Peter Doodes via Fracking Hell (UK) on Facebook

Only Conservatives and UKIP back fracking in GE2017

Mat Hope / DeSmog.uk

18th May 2017

With the major party manifestos all published it's not just the Greens that oppose fracking, writes Mat Hope. It's also Labour and the Libdems. So who's left? The Tories of course, who are holding fast to the fracking faith, and even want to create a new special purpose regulator for the industry. Oh yes, and UKIP, which is also committed to abolishing the Climate Change Act. more...
Who needs research into climate change adaptation? Flooding in Brisbane, Queensland, 11th January 2011. Photo: Angus Veitch via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia axes climate change adaptation research

Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, University of Canberra

16th May 2017

Natural disasters like flood and drought have cost the Australian government more than A$12 billion since 2009, write Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, with even harsher weather events predicted for coming decades. Clearly, it's just the time for Australia to eliminate funding for research on adapting to climate change. more...
Sunset years ... power plant and Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Joliet, Illinois. Photo: Greg Wass via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Oil industry's sunset years: low prices, weak demand, poor outlook

Paul Brown

15th May 2017

With oil prices remaining low, the world's oil industry is facing bleak years ahead, writes Paul Brown. The global push to decarbonise the economy, combined with surging renewable energy and the trend to more efficient and electric vehicles, is denting investor confidence and pointing to the shrinking away of a once mighty and profitable industry. more...

Ecologist Special Report: Divesting from investment in fossil fuels gains momentum in the UK

Remo Bebié, Finance Dialogue,

15th May, 2017

Since the beginning of the year, increasing efforts by both public and private institutions to reduce their exposure to fossil fuel investments have emerged and over the weekend, UK campaigners further stepped up the pressure in a serious of co-ordinated Global Divestment Mobilisation (GDM) calls for continued divestment. Remo Bebié takes an overview more...

WITNESS: Marine biology at the top of the world

James Simpson

12th May, 2017

The return of blue shell mussels to the Artic after a 2,000 year absence, plus the arrival of mackerel are just two signs of a changing climate as JAMES SIMPSON discovers when he joins the scientists and fishermen on a research vessel off the coast of Svalbard more...
Jeremy Corbyn at a political rally in North London, 15th August 2016. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Corbyn's green vision wins: leaked manifesto promises huge environmental gains

Oliver Tickell

11th May 2017

A huge raft of environmental reforms is promised in the Labour Party's draft manifesto, writes Oliver Tickell. Among the highlights: a ban on fracking; a clean energy policy based on renewables and efficiency; no commitment to new nuclear power; to meet our Paris Agreement obligations on climate; to give companies a legal obligation to protect the environment; to retain all EU environment laws post-Brexit; and multilateral nuclear disarmament. more...
The Carrizo Plain National Monument, California, represents the last remnant of a once vast grassland. It is just one of 27 at risk form Trump's executive order. Photo: Steve Corey via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Trump's National Monument order could open 2.7 million acres to oil, gas, coal

Lawrence Carter & Joe Sandler Clarke / Greenpeace Energydesk

12th May 2017

President Trump's recent executive order could open an area of America's most precious landscapes bigger than Yellowstone to oil drilling and coal mining, write Lawrence Carter & Joe Sandler Clarke. The 27 monuments 'under review' harbour huge volumes of oil, gas and coal: just what's needed to fuel Trump's vision of fossil fuel-led development - never mind the cost to scenery, wildlife, historic sites and indigenous cultures. more...

Trump should stay in the Paris Agreement - but not at any cost

Joe Ware

10th May, 2017

Reporting from Bonn where delegates are still waiting to learn whether the US will pull out of the Paris Agreement, JOE WARE warns that if America stays in but by doing so allows the fossil fuel industry to derail progress we'd be better off if Trump pulls out more...
The People's Climate March rally in New York City, 21st September 2014. Photo: Alejandro Alvarez via Wikimedia commons (CC BY-SA).

A climate insurgency: building a Trump-free, fossil-free future

Jeremy Brecher

28th April 2014

After 99 days of Donald Trump's presidency, his only achievement is to pursue his anti-climate, anti-environment agenda with a cruel passion that is already alienating a clear majority of Americans, writes Jeremy Brecher. The Peoples Climate March tomorrow will signal the strength of the fightback. And while there will be no overnight victory, a national, indeed a global movement is forming to resist Trump and bring the age of fossil fuels to its long overdue end. more...
The UKEF export finance agency has committed £1 billion to support Colombia's fossil fuel sector. The Barrancabermeja oil refinery on the banks of Colombia's Río Magdalena. Photo: Javier Guillot via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Leaked: UK £7 billion export credit for fossil fuel industry violates 'clean energy' pledge

Lawrence Carter / Greenpeace Energydesk

16th May 2017

Between 2011 and 2016 the UK's export finance agency UKEF provided £109m to underwrite exports of equipment to coal mines in Russia, writes Lawrence Carter - despite the agency's commitment not to support 'investment in dirty fossil-fuel energy production'. And that's just a fraction of the £6.9 billion UKEF has lavished on the corrupt, polluting sector since 2000, while it was meant to be backing the clean energy technologies of the future. more...
An example of the magic CO2-absorbing 'ultramafic' rock that could save the world: Forsterite - Serpentine rock in thin section, magnified under polarized light. Photo: Richard Droker via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Worthless mining waste could suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and reverse emissions

Simon Redfern, University of Cambridge

25th April 2017

The world must drastically reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, writes Simon Redfern - and we can't do it by cutting emissions alone. But we could we do it 'nature's way', using volcanic rocks and mining wastes that naturally soak up CO2 from the atmosphere and ocean, and turn it into harmless forms like limestone and dissolved bicarbonate. more...

Change: 1/25 of 1776
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Ecologist Special Report: From fish to forests and conflicts to coffee...how humans are affected by climate-driven species shifts

Tero Mustonen & Hannibal Rhoades

20th April, 2017

Climate change has species on the move, with major consequences for biodiversity and human communities write TERO MUSTONEN and HANNIBAL RHOADES. Building resilience has never been more important and Indigenous Peoples are showing the way more...

We can do it! 'Mission 2020' bid to get emissions falling in three years

Joe Ware

13th April 2017

Never mind the climate idiocy that has gripped the USA! Global emissions are already flatlining, writes Joe Ware, and a new initiative just launched in London aims to start pulling them down by 2020. Sure it's ambitious, but it's possible - because the future is unlike the past, and it's already happening, right now. Are you up for the challenge? more...
There's carbon in the world's permafrost soils, like these at Summit Lake, Mount Evans/ Mount Spalding, Colorado - more than in the entire atmosphere!  Photo: Wally Gobetz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Permafrost thaw threatens flood of carbon, methane emissions

Alex Kirby

12th April 2017

Permafrost is much more sensitive to warmer temperatures than previously known, writes Alex Kirby. A new study shows that every 1C of warming could melt 4 million sq.km of frozen soil, releasing huge amounts of methane and carbon dioxide to add to the warming. It's time to start meeting those Paris targets! more...
The Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland, UK. Photo: Graeme Maclean via Flickr (CC BY).

Deadly toll of fossil fuel pollution: the old economy versus planet and people

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

6th April 2017

Pollution caused by burning fossil fuels are already causing the premature deaths of 200,000 people a year - in the US alone, writes Pete Dolack. Add up the figures worldwide and it comes to many millions. And that's before we even count the catastrophic long term impacts of global warming. The US response: to loosen anti-pollution regulation and encourage increased oil, coal and gas production. more...
Total tax received from the North Sea oil and gas sector 1968-2017, not adjusted for inflation. Includes petroleum revenue tax, ringfence corporation tax, supplementary charge, royalty and gas levy. Figure for 2016-17 covers 11 months to February 2017. So

North Sea oil industry cost UK taxpayers £400m last year, and counting

Simon Evans / Carbon Brief

5th April 2017

The whole idea of North Sea oil was to make Britain rich, writes Simon Evans. At least that's how it all began. But now ... it cost UK taxpayers a massive £396 million a year in tax breaks and subsidies to keep the industry alive last year. And there's no reason to think that's going to turn around any time soon. more...
Coal mining on our lands comes with serious environmental consequences that we can no longer afford - as seen at the Black Thunder mjne in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. Photo: courtesy of Ecoflight.

Executive Order removes climate safeguards - now, the fightback

Trip Van Noppen / EarthJustice

29th March 2017

In a potentially devastating blow to the Earth's climate, President Trump's new executive order ends the Interior Department's moratorium on coal mining on public land and begins a repeal of the landmark Clean Power Plan, writes Trip Van Noppen. But this reckless move will not pass unchallenged - the Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA must tackle climate pollution, and clean energy policies can still be defended and advanced at state level. more...
Bacon with nipple: Still from 'Carnage' by Simon Amstell / BBC iPlayer.

'Carnage' imagines a vegan utopia where animals live as equals - could it happen?

Matthew Adams, University of Brighton

28th March 2017

In the year 2067, the eating of meat - carnism - will be seen as crime similar to cannibalism today, writes Matthew Adams. That is, in the fertile imagination of Simon Amstell, expressed in his BBC iPlayer film 'Carnage'. With 55 billion animals slaughtered every year for their meat, the vision looks remote. But the world will be a far better place if we begin the transition to plant-based diets - for our health, that of the planet, and not least, the animals themselves. more...
Cattle grazing in Maharashtra, India. With global warming, their forage will get tougher, and their methane emissions higher. Photo: Vijay Sonar via Flickr (CC BY).

Spiral of doom: hotter world increases cattle methane emissions

Oliver Tickell

27th March 2017

A vicious cycle of climate change, cattle diet and rising methane has been revealed in a new scientific study: as temperatures rise, forage plants get tougher and harder to digest, and cause more methane to be produced in bovine stomachs. And with cattle numbers rising and methane 85 times more powerful a greenhouse gas over 20 years, that spells trouble. more...
Victoria water lilies in Pucate Creek (Quebrada Pucate) off Rio Marañon, Peru. Photo: Mike LaBarbera via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Scientists: protect vast Amazon peatland to avoid palm oil 'environmental disaster'

Joe Sandler Clarke /Greenpeace Energydesk

23rd March 2017

A recently discovered peatland in northeast Peru contains two years worth of US carbon emissions, writes Joe Sandler Clarke, but it's under threat from the rapidly advancing 'palm oil frontier'. Now scientists are calling for the wetland's immediate protection - before it's too late to save it. more...

WITNESS: Investigating ocean acidification (Part 2)

Conor Purcell

23rd March, 2017

In the second part of his WITNESS blog investigating the dangers of increasing ocean acidification, CONOR PURCELL learns that increase rates are already 10 times higher than at any time in the last 55 million years which, naturally, does not bode well for all ocean ecosystems more...
Coyote Springs Natural Gas Plant, Oregon, USA. Photo: Portland General Electric via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Natural gas leaks from power plants, refineries, 100 times greater than thought

Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog

22nd March 2017

Natural gas is meant to be a far lower carbon fuel than coal, writes Steve Horn. But a new study shows that methane leaks from gas power plants and oil refineries are 20-120 times higher than thought. And with methane a greenhouse gas almost 100 times stronger than CO2 over 20 years, the leaks are equivalent to about a tenth of the US's CO2 emissions. more...

WITNESS: Investigating ocean acidification (Part 1)

Conor Purcell

22nd March, 2017

In the first of his two-part WITNESS blog CONOR PURCELL joins the Irish marine scientists aboard the Celtic Explorer to learn more about how they are testing for ocean acidification more...

Ecologist Special Report: Colombian Coffee Growers Adapt to a Changing Climate

Forest Ray

21st March, 2017

Growing coffee is both a point of pride and a significant economic driver for Colombia but a changing climate is now threatening the harvest. FOREST RAY reports on the new challenges facing growers from that country more...

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