The Ecologist

 

US: 25/50 of 1806
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'Wrong way!' Roadside view of Alberta tarsands processing plant. Photo: Velcrow Ripper via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Wrong way! A climatic baby step forward beats a giant leap back

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

7th June 2017

The Paris Agreement is a severely inadequate response to the climate crisis the world now faces, writes Pete Dolack, full of vague aspirations and devoid of hard, enforceable commitments. But the impending US withdrawal is still bad news for us all - including the Trump-supporting Koch brothers, set to gain billions from their Alberta tarsands holdings. Short-term profits are a poor exchange for a less livable world, even for those making the money. more...
The 14th 'Free Terra' Camp in Praça dos Ipês, Brasília, during April 24-28 2017. Over 4,000 representatives from 200 indigenous peoples from all regions of the country were present in a large demonstration of strength of the indigenous movement. Photo:

Brazil: Increase in land killings as political crisis threatens Amazon

Joe Sandler Clarke & Sam Cowie / Greenpeace Energydesk

7th June 2017

Impunity reigns in the Amazon, write Joe Sandler Clarke & Sam Cowie, and the indigenous peoples of the forest are the big losers as they suffer repeated killings and land grabs. Big cuts to Funai, the agency meant to protect Brazil's indigenous tribes, have encouraged land barons to expand their land holdings into indigenous territories and murder any who resist. more...

The future of humanity on the planet does not rest on leaders alone - thankfully!

Dorothy Grace Guerrero

6th June, 2017

For social movements and climate justice campaigners, the US abandonment of the Paris Agreement is disappointing, but there is also a unity in understanding that the future of humanity on this planet does not rest on leaders alone, writes DOROTHY GRACE GUERRERO more...

The Tree Line: Poems for Trees, Woods & People

Harriet Griffey, Cultural Editor

2nd June, 2017

There's a certain irony that the publication of a new anthology of poems about trees coincided with President Trump's announcement yesterday that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, writes HARRIET GRIFFEY more...
Ecuador's 'free trade' agreement with the US only undermined their ability to get justice for Texaco's toxic legacy of oil pollution, and did little to attract investment. Now it has been dumped along with 15 others. Photo of Lago Agrio by Caroline Bennet

Ecuador rips up 16 toxic trade treaties

Nick Dearden / Global Justice Now

31st May 2017

Ecuador is the latest country to tear up 'free trade' agreements that have so far cost the country $21 billion in damages awarded to foreign companies by 'corporate courts', and yielded next to nothing in return, writes Nick Dearden. So the outgoing President Correa did the only sensible thing: in one of his final executive acts this month, he scrapped 16 toxic trade and investment treaties. more...

Ecologist Special Report: Empowering women to tackle climate change

Arthur Wyns

30th May, 2017

Women are not just a ‘tool' for social and environmental justice - they are agents of real change, and have the right to be engaged in all climate negotiations. ARTHUR WYNS reports on current moves to empower women to tackle climate change more...
Uluru at sunset. Photo: Chris Ford via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia's time to recognise indigenous peoples' sovereignty

Harry Hobbs, UNSW

26th May 2017

For 80 years Australia's Aboriginal peoples have called for land rights and sovereignty, writes Harry Hobbs. And for 80 years they have been ignored or brushed aside. But now delegates meeting at Uluru have issued a 'statement from the heart' demanding constitutional reform to empower Indigenous people to take 'a rightful place in our own country'. Their call must be heard! more...
Liberian Coast Guard prepares to board the Star Shrimper XXV. Photo: Alejandra Gimeno / Sea Shepherd Global.

Sea Shepherd helps arrest 'sustainable' shrimp trawler for illegal fishing in Liberian waters

Peter Hammarstedt / Sea Shepherd

26th May 2017

A 'Friend of the Sea' Dutch-owned trawler certified to supply 'sustainably caught' shrimp to the US and EU was arrested in Liberia after operating in an an area reserved for artisanal fishers, writes Peter Hammarstedt. The vessel, which had no licence and lacked the turtle excluders required by law, was discovered by the crew of Sea Shepherd's 'Bob Barker' in a joint mission with the Liberian Coast Guard to clamp down on rampant illegal fishing. more...
If you think fossil fuel lobbyists belong in UN climate negotiations, maybe you also think Santa smokes Lucky Strikes, and the tobacco industry belongs in the World Health Organisation. Photo: Phil Wolff via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Bonn climate talks' glacial progress shows why we must kick fossil fuels out!

Pascoe Sabido / Corporate Europe Observatory

25th May 2017

The participation of the fossil fuel industry in UN climate talks represents clear a conflict of interest, writes Pascoe Sabido. And nowhere has this been more apparent than at this month's UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, where fossil fuel representatives have slowed progress to a snail's pace. With just six months to go before November's COP23 negotiations, it's time to defy the US, EU and Australia, and kick fossil fuel lobbyists out! more...
Guarani tribal leader and activist Ladio Veron speaking outside the Brazilian Embassy in London, in an action replicated across the globe. Photo: still from Survival video.

Only global protest can secure land rights and justice for Brazil's Guarani people

Lewis Evans

24th May 2017

On the one side, the Guarani people and the entire panoply of international and Brazilian law asserting the rights of indigenous peoples to their lives, lands, and way of life. Against them, the entrenched economic and political power of farmers, ranchers, loggers and others exploiting the wealth of the Guarani's soils, forests and waters. Right now the power of money is winning every time. Only with international pressure can the Guarani emerge victorious. more...
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...

Ecologist Special Report: The battle for the ‘mother of rivers'

Nosmot Gbadamosi

22nd May, 2017

Scientists are praising the discovery of new species and rare dolphins in the Mekong region, but overfishing and dams loom to disrupt habitats writes NOSMOT GBADAMOSI in this special Ecologist report more...

US: 25/50 of 1806
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Sustainable Social Housing... How an eco cabin built entirely from waste shows it can be done

Matthew Kong

18th May, 2017

Scottish recycling expert, Angus Carnie has built an eco cabin in his native Carnoustie, Dundee, using only materials that were free. Now living happily without bills, he tells MATTHEW KONG how his modest home could help inspire a new vision for social and affordable housing more...

Rewilding America - The People & The Land

William Hawes

17th May, 2017

If we are to survive long into this century and beyond, our society will have to learn to re-indigenize (or rewild) itself - both its people and its environment, writes WILLIAM HAWES more...
Huichol Indians participate in a traditional peyote ceremony in the mountains outside Real de Catorce. Photo: Kurt Hollander.

Battle in the Mexican desert: silver mining against peyote and indigenous spirituality

Kurt Hollander

30th May 2017

Silver, indigenous Huichol communities and the peyote they venerate have co-existed in Wirikuta, northern Mexico for thousands of years, writes Kurt Hollander. But it's become an increasingly troubled relationship, one that illustrates the deepest conflicts of Mexican society. The region is protected as a UNESCO Natural Sacred Area, but foreign mining companies are determined to exploit vast concessions that pose severe threats to the fragile landscape, its inhabitants and their ancient culture. more...
The future of cities? Image: Paul Jones / Northumbria, Author provided.

How to embrace urban living, but avoid an apocalypse: Organicities are the future

Paul Jones, Northumbria University

31st May 2017

By shifting from globalisation to localisation, and creating smaller, self-sufficient communities within sustainable developments, cities could regain their equilibrium, writes Paul Jones. From where we stand today, the Organicity may sound like a Utopian dream. But if we're to avoid an urban apocalypse, we're going to need strong alternative visions, to change the way we imagine and plan for the cities of the future. Too good to be true? Or the way to human survival? 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...

Otra Nation - A Disney-style eco fantasy or the way forward?

Laura Briggs

15th May, 2017

With what should perhaps be described as fantastic enthusiasm, a collective of architects, designers, engineers, urban planners and entrepreneurs have submitted a proposal to the Governments of the United States and Mexico to create a land with no borders. LAURA BRIGGS wonders if she should take the proposal seriously... more...
While Trump tries to extend the wall across the US-Mexico frontier, seen here at Nogales, Mexico could build a solar farm along the border, generating 2GW of power, and attracting technology, investment and jobs from the North. Photo: Jonathan McIntosh vi

Mexico's expiring oil and Trump's wall: the future is solar

Jeremy Leggett

11th May 2017

Mexico's oil looks set to run out within a decade, writes Jeremy Leggett, and it can hardly rely on Trump's America to make up the difference. But Mexico enjoys abundant sunshine, and the cost of solar power generation is falling fast. Let Trump tie America's economy to debt-financed fossil fuels. Mexico's future prosperity will come from harnessing its inexhaustible solar riches. more...
Mural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in celebration of indigenous culture by the artist Eduardo Kobra. Photo: Stefano Ravalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil: Amazon's Indians, rainforest under attack

Jan Rocha / Climate News Network

10th May 2017

Attacks on Amazon Indians and on their land rights are threatening vital areas of rainforest, writes Jan Rocha. Meanwhile FUNAI, the agency responsible for safeguarding indigenous tribes is being forced to withdraw from key conflict zones due to underfunding, while Indians' attempts to assert their rights are met with state violence. 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...
Spot the difference: Monsanto's new 'Glyphosate-free' Roundup product, now on sale in Germany, and a bottle of vinegar. Photo: Dr Helmut Burtscher / GMWatch.

Monsanto's new 'glyphosate-free' Roundup is vinegar!

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

8th May 2017

Has Monsanto, dubbed the 'world's most evil corporation', turned a new leaf? It has taken the 'probably carcinogenic' glyphosate out of a new version of its market leading 'Roundup' herbicide, and replaced it with vinegar. The bad news is it's only available in Austria. That, and it may still contain toxic 'adjuvants' to increase its effectiveness. more...

Winner of the 2017 Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia: Prafulla Samantara

Sophie Morlin-Yron

2nd May, 2017

Meet the man securing justice for the Dongira tribe's sacred hills...in the first of her profiles of two of this year's winners, SOPHIE MORLIN-YRON interviews the recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for Asia more...
Southern White rhinoceros in its native habitat in Zambia, bnear the Zimbabwe border, October 2013. Photo: Jim Frost via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Rhinos should be conserved in Africa - not moved to Australia!

Matt Hayward, Bangor University

2nd May 2017

A $4m plan to move 80 rhinos from South Africa to Australia is inept, patronising, a waste of scarce resources that contributes nothing to conservation, and betrays an outdated neocolonial mindset, writes Matt Hayward. The money should be spent on successful but underfunded community-based rhino conservation initiatives in Africa that benefit entire ecosystems. more...
John Muir, full-length portrait, facing right, seated on rock with lake and trees in background, circa 1902. Photo: unknbown via Library of Congress (Public Domain).

Divine ecstasy of Nature: Selected Writings by John Muir

Terry Tempest Williams

17th May 2017

May this new collection of John Muir's writings reach us now and inspire another generation to fall in love with wild nature, to care for it, to know that wilderness is not optional but central to our survival in the centuries to come, writes Terry Tempest Williams - and remind us how to embrace this beautiful, broken world once again with an open heart. If we do approach the mountain, it is we who are moved. more...

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