The Ecologist

 

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Will Obama's clean energy legacy outlast this Alaskan glacier? Chances are it may. President Obama stops for a break in Kenai Fjords National Park with Exit Glacier in the background. Photo: Pete Souza / The White House (Public Domain).

Obama's clean energy legacy - how long can it last?

Mark Barteau, University of Michigan

20th January 2017

President Trump comes into office determined to discard huge swathes of his predecessor's legacy on day one, writes Mark Barteau. But he will struggle to undo Obama's clean energy regulations. It's not just that they are legally robust, it's also that energy markets in the US and the wider world have shifted firmly, and irreversibly, towards efficiency and renewables. Sorry, Mr Trump. more...
How the Daily Mail greeted Theresa May's sharp turn to the extreme right this week. Photo: Donnachadh McCarthy.

Wake up Britain! A far right coup is under way!

Donnachadh McCarthy

20th January 2017

An extreme right-wing coup is unfolding day by day, writes Donnachadh McCarthy, as the government exploits Brexit to justify more huge cuts to public services, extreme deregulation and massive corporate empowerment. A new political leadership must step up to defend our hard-won rights and our children's futures. more...
Artist's impression of the Moorside nuclear complex, built on a green field site next to the Sellafield nuclear complex. Image: Nugen.

Jeremy Corbyn - come out fighting against the Moorside nuclear monstrosity!

Marianne Birkby, Radiation Free Lakeland

19th January 2017

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show last weekend, Jeremy Corbyn gave no clear support to the massive Moorside nuclear development in Cumbria, writes Marianne Birkby. But to win the impending Copeland by-election, he and the Labour Party must go further - and campaign against the deeply unpopular project. more...
Photo: World Economic Forum via Fliclr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Cuckoos in the nest: clipping the wings of corporate capitalism

George Feiger, Aston University

17th January 2017

Global corporations and their lofty princes have outgrown the control of regulators, politicians and society, writes George Feiger. Such is their power that they can extract an ever-growing share of global income, block any moves to limit their freedoms, and loot our future wealth for immediate profit. The first step to regaining control is to keep private money firmly out of politics. more...
With most luxury apartments in central London sold off-plan to overseas investors who often leave them empty or use them for a few weeks a year, the UK's social fabric is suffering from unrestricted capital inflows. Photo: Andrea Kirkby via Flickr (CC BY-

Progressive protectionism - the Green case for controlling our borders

Colin Hines

13th January 2017

The green movement's squeamish social liberalism has left it to the political right to exploit public concerns about population and immigration, writes Colin Hines. We must make the progressive case for controlling our borders, and restricting not just migration but the free movement of goods, services and capital where it threatens environment, wellbeing and social cohesion. more...
Evicted from their forests for a flawed model of conservation: Baka 'Pygmies' in the Cameroon forest. Photo: ..zuzu.. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

OECD takes up complaint that WWF has funded abuses of Cameroon's forest peoples

Chris Lang / Conservation Watch

12th January 2017

The OECD is pursuing a complaint that WWF has funded abuses against the indigenous forest-dwelling Baka or 'Pygmy' peoples of Cameroon, after determining that its human rights guidelines do apply to WWF owing to the 'commercial nature' of its conservation activities. more...
Workshop at the 2013 FanFest at Rosia Montana, which attracted thousands to the small village and stimulated a new round of activism to defeat the gold mine. Photo: Jan Slangen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Rosia Montana: how Romanians united to save a mountain village from mining apocalypse

Alexandru Predoiu / WNV

11th January 2017

Last week's decision by the Romanian government to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for Rosia Montana, a historic Carpathian mountain village under threat of gold mining, is a massive victory for campaigners after a hard 15-year struggle, writes Alexandru Predoiu - one that has united farmers, city-dwellers and new-age protestors against cultural and ecological destruction. more...
CDC's development model in microcosm? Girl begging outside McDonalds outlet, India. Photo: Jon Ardern via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

UK's 'development for profit' private equity arm set to grab £6 billion of aid funds

Global Justice Now

10th January 2017

A bill to quadruple the UK's aid funding to a profit-driven 'private equity' company owned by the government comes before MPs today for its third reading, writes Global Justice Now. Trouble is the investments do little or nothing for the poor, and instead entrench corporate power in health, education and infrastructure. Parliament should seize this last chance to reject the new law. more...

Real Farming Report - Whose seeds are they anyway?

Kathryn Hindess

6th January, 2016

The new People Need Nature report - published to coincide with this week's annual Oxford Real Farming Conference - warns that modern farming practices are not good for wildlife. But they're not good for humans either. And with predictions that we will need to produce 70 per cent more food to feed a third more mouths by 2050 the question of seed ownership and diversity cannot be ignored. KATHRYN HINDESS reports more...
The bottom line: post-Brexit, will our countryside be richer, or poorer, in wild-flower meadows like this one near Silsden in West Yorkshire, England? Photo: Steven Feather via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Four essential 'green lines' for Brexit negotiators

Viviane Gravey, Queen's University Belfast

5th January 2017

Will the UK keep Theresa May's promise to 'leave the environment in a better state than it found it' in the Brexit negotitions? Or is the government bent on the 'bonfire of red tape', including environmental protections, demanded by right-wing former and serving ministers? Viviane Gravey sets out four 'green lines' by which to judge the Brexiteers' true colours. more...
Blazing a trail? The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System - a concentrated solar thermal plant in the California Mojave Desert SW of Las Vegas - has a capacity of 392 MW. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Never mind Trump - the global energy transition is racing forward

Jeremy Leggett

3rd January 2017

As the new year begins, the global clean energy transition is progressing much faster than most people realise, and is probably irreversible, writes Jeremy Leggett. President-elect Trump's prospects of revitalising the US coal industry, and giving the oil and gas industry the expansionist dream ticket it wants, are very low. more...

Brexit offers a "rare opportunity" to change UK farming practices says the charity People Need Nature

Kathryn Hindess

3rd January, 2017

Leaving the EU provides a "once in a lifetime opportunity" for England to change the way its land is managed so that nature, the environment, and society are better off according to a new report by the UK charity People Need Nature which is published to coincide with this week's Oxford Real Farming Conference. KATHRYN HINDESS reports more...

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"NATURAL CAPITAL" - A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Victor Anderson

14th December, 2016

It is easy in a country like the UK to imagine that science and economics command the whole debate about nature's value. But step back and look at the bigger picture internationally, and it all looks rather different writes VICTOR ANDERSON more...
Google's not playing about: its commitment to run its data centres around the world on 100% renewable energy represents a systemic shift. Photo: Google's London offices by Marcin Wichary via Flickr (CC BY).

Trump, carbon neutrality and the next phase of business sustainability

Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan

14th December 2016

The President-elect may be determined to lead America down an environmentally damaging path, writes Andrew J. Hoffman. But he may find few in the corporate world, where a growing number of major players are committed to eliminating CO2 emissions and making sustainability a core element of their business systems and supply chains, leading to global green transformation. more...

The Rise of the Robot: Dispelling the myth

Rupert Read

13th December, 2016

Will we rein in robotisation soon enough to ensure that 'Peak Robot' occurs under our control, and not as a result of a crash forced on us by collapsing ecosystems, asks RUPERT READ more...
Greenpeace's 100% subsidiary Frack'n'go! sets up its rig in Parliament Square beneath the windows of the House of Commons, 9th February 2016. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY).

Time to give the chop to fracking: FraXit now!

Professors Peter Strachan and Alex Russell

19th December 2016

Fracking has no social licence in the UK, will contribute little to the economy, will have a huge adverse impact on other sectors, will be a disaster to climate and the environment, and won't even improve energy security, write Peter Strachan and Alex Russell. Do we really want to see 16,000 or more shale gas wells drilled in the British countryside? Let's FraXit now! more...
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation Rex W. Tillerson. Photo: premier.gov.ru via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson new US Secretary of State?

Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog

12th December 2016

President-elect Trump's widely anticipated appointment of Exxon's CEO Rex Tillerson as new US Secretary of State is creating a government of, by, and for the oil and gas industry, writes Steve Horn. more...
Tensions on the bridge at Standing Rock. Photo: Colin Samson, Author provided.

Civil liberties of indigenous people illegally suppressed at Standing Rock

Colin Samson & Øyvind Ravna

9th December 2016

The US is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, write Colin Samson & Øyvind Ravna. Both require free, prior and informed consent for any intrusions on indigenous lands and stipulate that indigenous peoples shall own and control their traditional lands. The US is violating both at Standing Rock. more...
White-letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album), Parc de Woluwé, Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Frank Vassen via Flickr (CC BY).

Vital EU wildlife laws saved! But will UK keep them after Brexit?

Oliver Tickell

7th December 2016

Two key wildlife laws that underpin nature conservation across the EU will be retained intact, the EU Commission announced today after an 18 month review that generated record public engagement due to fears that they would be weakened. Now campaigners are determined to ensure the UK retains the laws post-Brexit. more...
A shining example of community renewables - the 'Solar Settlement' in Freiburg, Germany.  Photo: deedavee easyflow via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Responding to populism: we need more politics in energy, not less!

Natalie Bennett

7th December 2016

To secure the clean energy transformation for the long term we must get the good news out there, writes Natalie Bennett - driving forward a popular movement for warm, comfortable homes, affordable fuel bills, community renewables and thriving local economies. more...
Could you live in a glass dome or box? The idea is catching on.

Nature House...complete with Grow Your Own Figs... anyone?

Paul Miles

7th December 2016

The idea has yet to catch on in the UK but in Scandinavia, where the very first 'nature house' was built in the 1970s, the idea of surrounding your existing home with what is essentially a 'greenhouse' to create a living home is one that is catching on. PAUL MILES explores the eco benefits more...
Gene drives could be used, for example, to attack fast-breeding pest species like aphids. But with what consequences on other species and wider ecosystems? Photo: Nigel Jones via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Biodiversity Convention call to block new 'genetic extinction' GMOs

GMWatch & The Ecologist

6th December 2016

160 global groups have called for a moratorium on new 'genetic extinction' technology at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Cancun, Mexico. Gene drive technology, they say, poses serious and irreversible threats to biodiversity, national sovereignty, peace and food security. more...
Post Brexit, expect a more assertive use of UK military assets to promote UK trade and financial interests. Nuclear missile equipped HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: Defence Images via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Post-Brexit dreams of empire: arms, free trade and corporate conquest

Mark Curtis / Global Justice Now

5th December 2016

It's now clear what place government ministers and senior officials want for the UK in a post-Brexit world, writes Mark Curtis - and it's not pretty! A new era of corporate 'free trade' colonialism looms, spearheaded by aid spending, with ramped-up arms exports to the world's most corrupt and repressive regimes, all backed up by military force to project the Britain's global financial interests. more...

WITNESS: South Africa's Parliament split over future of fracking

Jasper Finkeldey

5th December, 2016

Eight years ago the first exploration applications for unconventional gas extraction were submitted in South Africa. Last week fracking finally received official attention from South Africa's legislature during a debate that revealed how the country's different political parties gauge the benefits and risks linked to the drilling technique. JASPER FINKELDEY was at that debate. more...
Solar roof at Moor Hall Primary School, Sutton Coldfield, completed on 1st November 2012. But with government policy changes and now a new 'solar tax' on commercial property installations including schools, there's no longer much to celebrate. Photo: Birm

Chancellor - stop the solar tax hike!

Solar Trade Association

5th December 2016

Next April the UK government proposes to increase taxes on self-consumed solar electricity installations on schools, offices, warehouses and factories by a whopping 6-8 times, write the STA and undersigned. This inexplicable move, which threatens a once thriving solar industry already on its knees, must be abandoned. more...

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