The Ecologist


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Crop 'dusting' with pesticide a few miles north of Ripley, Mississippi. Photo: Roger Smith via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Monsanto on trial? Or 21st century capitalism?

Pete Dolack

13th October 2016

The organizers of tomorrow's International Monsanto Tribunal describe it as a 'moral trial', while the company dismisses it as a 'mock trial' and 'stunt'. The truth, writes Pete Dolack, is that it's about much more than this one company. On trial is the entire neoliberal system of 'free market' finance and monopoly capitalism. more...
Sunrise over the Mystic River in Medford-Somerville-Boston, Massachusetts - the area that ExxonMobil is accused of endangering by its climate change deceit. Photo:  Paul via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

ExxonMobil sued over climate cover-up

Oliver Tickell

30th September 2016

The Conservation Law Foundation has just filed the first lawsuit against ExxonMobil for violations under the Clean Water Act and other laws, committed in its deliberate, reckless and deceitful cover-up of it's true knowledge of the dangers of climate change. more...
Global action day against TTIP, CETA & TiSA, 18th April 2015 in Berlin. Photo: Cornelia Reetz / Mehr Demokratie via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Leaked: ‘new TTIP' TISA deal could prevent global action on climate change

Zachary Davies Boren / Energydesk

22nd September 2016

The Trade in Services Agreement is a multilateral deal like TPP, TTIP and CETA, writes Zachary Davies Boren. But while the 50-nation negotiations are even more secretive, its impacts could be even greater: undermining national sovereignty; allowing only corporate regulation deemed 'necessary' by a panel of WTO lawyers; and allowing no rollback on trade liberalisation. more...
Myanmar: Monsoon rains threaten Rohingya who have been displaced from their homes, villages and lands under violent and discriminatory government policies. Photo: Evangelos Petratos / EU/ECHO, Myebon, June 2013 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

ICC to prosecute environmental crimes for profit

John Vidal & Owen Bowcott, Guardian Environment

21st September 2016

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is to broaden its focus to prosecute governments and individuals for environmental crimes, write John Vidal & Owen Bowcott. Examples include illegal deforestation, theft of resources, and expulsion of populations from their land. more...
Malayan pangolins (M. javanica) are protected in the spirit of China's wildlife laws - but not in their letters. Photo: Zhaomin Zhou, Author provided.

What's in a name? To control China's wildlife trade, law must keep up with science

Chris Newman & Zhaomin Zhou

20th September 2016

With the conference of the CITES convention limiting international trade in endangered species taking place in South Africa this weekend, Chris Newman & Zhaomin Zhou highlight China's problem of out-of-date species names in its national laws. If they are not updated, it's only a matter of time before illegal wildlife traders escape conviction under under this legal loophole. more...
Soldiers came with the park officers. They planted a Thai flag and told the Karen to leave the village at once, or be shot. Photo: via CW.

Thailand court: National Park officers 'can burn indigenous homes'

Chris Lang / Conservation Watch

20th September 2016

The Thai government was right to evict an indigenous community from the Kaeng Krachan National Park at gunpoint and burn down homes, a Bangkok court has ruled - even though one resident had lived there for 100 years and the Park was only created in 1981. 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...
Weeds in farmers' crops - like these poppies in an oilseed rape field near Thirsk - may reduce profit margins - but they are hardly a 'serious danger to plant health'. Photo: James West via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

EFSA creates 'plant health' loophole for banned weedkillers

Oliver Tickell

8th September 2016

The EU's food and farming safety regulator is trying to create a 'back door' system to licence the use of herbicides that have been banned for their toxic impacts on people and wildlife - under a clearly inapplicable 'plant health' exemption. more...
One example of the government's law-breaking that has been challenged in the courts - failing to meet EU air quality standards. Photo: Air pollution level 5 (Moderate) at Clissold Park, Hackney, London, by DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY).

Challenging government's unlawful acts is a legal right - not a privilege!

Gillian Lobo, ClientEarth

6th September 2016

Judicial review is often the only way to challenge unlawful government acts and policies on the environment, writes Gillian Lobo. But proposals to double cost caps, or even remove them altogether, threaten the ability of both individuals and NGOs to hold government to account. Theresa May's new administration must urgently rethink! more...
Monsanto's supply of defoliant chemicals for the US's 'Operation Ranchand' in Vietnam is just the first of the alleged 'crimes' for which the company is facing trial in the peoples' tribunal. Photo: manhhai via Flickr (CC BY).

Holding Monsanto to account: the People's Tribunal

Heidi Chow

4th August 2016

This autumn the Monsanto Tribunal will assemble experts from around the world to set out the evidence against the global mega-corporation, which will stand accused of monstrous 'crimes' against people and the environment. The Tribunal's verdict will not be legally binding - this time. But on a future occasion, it may be. more...
Professor Smythe provided expert evidence in 2014 at a Public Inquiry into coalbed methane extraction in Falkirk - to the delight of these protestors for a frack-free Scotland, seen here on 7th December 2014. Photo: Ric Lander via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Exposed: Glasgow Uni's plot to cut off anti-fracking Professor

Kyla Mandel /

2nd August 2016

Internal Glasgow University emails show that it terminated geophysics professor David Smythe's email account and access to scientific papers because his concerns about the impacts of fracking were upsetting its 'industrial research partners', writes Kyla Mandel - not as part of a 'routine review' as previously stated. more...
Munduruku indigenous people set up a sign to demarcate their land. Photo: Greenpeace.

Brazil's indigenous peoples fight Amazon dams threat

Helle Abelvik-Lawson

1st August 2016

Brazil's new neoliberal government is intent on building a massive new dam deep in the Amazon rainforest on the on the Tapajós river, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson, obliterating the indigenous territory of the Munduruku people in defiance of their constitutional rights. more...

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Once a coral reef, now a construction site. China expanding its land 'reclamation' at Fiery Reef in the South China Sea. Photo: still from report by NHK WORLD NEWSLINE English (see video embed).

China condemned for massive coral reef destruction

Oliver Tickell

12th July 2016

International judges today condemned China's great 'water grab' of the South China Sea - not least for its destruction of over 100 of pristine coral reefs, dredged and ground up to build artificial islands, and the ransacking of their wildlife, from endangered sea turtles to giant clams. more...
Tina Rothery of The Nanas on an anti-fracking protest. Photo: The Nanas.

Cuadrilla versus The Nanas - #IamTinaRothery

Tina Rothery

23rd June 2016

Thanks to fracking company Cuadrilla, grandmother Tina Rothery will be in court tomorrow over a £55,000 'debt' imposed on her for joining a peaceful occupation of a fracking site in Lancashire. But as she explains, she can't pay, she won't pay, and even if she could pay, she wouldn't. Someone has to stand up to corporate vandalism and abuse of justice - and in this case, it's her, no matter what the consequences. more...
September sun rising over foggy wetlands, Ķemeri National Park, Latvia - part of the 'Natura 2000' territory designated under EU nature laws for its biological diversity, the unique Ķemeri Moorland, various ecosystems, and springs of mineral and curativ

Leaked official report: EU Nature Directives are 'fit for purpose'

Oliver Tickell

16th June 2016

The official 'fitness test' on the EU's nature directives carried out for the EU Commission under its 'better regulation' initiative finds that the laws are 'fit for purpose' in every respect, writes Oliver Tickell. But there's a mystery: the report was completed in January, yet it remains unpublished. Did it reach the 'wrong' conclusion for a Commission intent on a bonfire of red tape? more...
'No to the privaTISAtion of the world!' - sign at a recent demonstration agianst TISA in Geneva. Photo: Annette Dubois via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

TISA 'free trade' deal to force draconian social, environmental, financial deregulation

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

17th June 2016

A leaked text from the 'Trade In Services Agreement' negotiations shows that TISA is set to unleash a massive wave of deregulation affecting social, environmental and financial standards, and force the privatisation of state-run enterprises, writes Pete Dolack. So it's not just TTIP, CETA and TPP we have to fight - TISA could be the biggest corporate power grab of them all. more...
Pesticides - what's actually in them? If this judgment from a US federal court stands, you will never find out any but the 'active' ingredients. Photo: Gail Langellotto via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Judge rules: no right to know hazardous pesticide ingredients

Oliver Tickell

14th June 2016

A federal judge has ruled that the US Environmental Protection Agency is under no obligation to force pesticide makers to disclose supposedly 'inert' ingredients in their products - even where those ingredients are seriously hazardous to health or environment. more...
Jo Ruxton, co-producer of 'A Plastic Ocean'. Photo: via

Plastic Ocean - why the world should declare plastic 'hazardous waste'

Lesley Henderson, Brunel University London

8th June 2016

Plastic is ubiquitous around the world's oceans, writes Lesley Henderson, but although it's visible from space, it can be surprisingly elusive in the water - as she heard from Jo Ruxton, producer of the investigative documentary 'A Plastic Ocean'. Solutions to this growing hazard have also proved elusive to date, hence the film's strong focus on action: educational, cultural and legal. more...
Greenpeace activists and Munduruku Indians protest on a sandy beach on the banks of the Tapajos river, near Itaituba, Pará, where the government plans to build the first of a series of five dams. Photo: Greenpeace Brazil via Flickr (CC BY).

Brazil: rules protecting Amazon under threat

Helle Abelvik-Lawson

27th May 2016

A constitutional amendment that would allow 'strategic' public works including dams, roads, mines and other mega-projects to go ahead following the mere completion of an environmental impact assessment is being considered by a Committee of the Brazilian Senate, writes Helle Abelvik-Lawson. more...
At the protest last Monday 9th May 2016. Photo: Don't Drill Antrim Water via Facebook.

Locals battle fracking company drilling near drinking water reservoir

Oliver Tickell

11th May 2016

Local people are furiously trying to stop a fracking company from drilling near a drinking water reservoir serving tens of thousands of homes, after Northern Ireland planners failed to block Infrastrata's claim for 'permitted development' rights. more...
Explosion cloud from the UK's Operation Hurricane atomic bomb test on Australia's Montebello Islands, 3rd October 1952. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).

Chernobyl, genetic damage, and the UK nuclear bomb tests - justice at last?

Chris Busby

6th May 2016

Britain's nuclear bomb test veterans suffered severe genetic damage from radiation, writes Chris Busby, and their case for compensation is being heard in the High Court today. Key to their case is evidence of similar damage inflicted on in utero babies exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster, and how the dreadful health impacts of radiation cascade down to future generations. more...
Kara Moses. Photo: Author supplied.

Heathrow13: Why I risked jail for my beliefs

Kara Moses

6th May 2016

Earlier this year, 13 climate activists were sentenced for aggravated trespass after blocking a runway at London’s Heathrow airport. For Kara Moses, the protest was part of her Buddhist practice of loving kindness to life and planet. more...
When UK farmers spray their fields with pesticides close to rural homes, residents get no protection, and bizarre court rulings have effectively denied them their legal rights. Photo: Aqua Mechanical via Flickr (CC BY).

From Hillsborough to pesticides: establishment cover-ups, lies and corruption

Georgina Downs

4th May 2016

The British establishment does nothing quite so well as lies, cover-ups and high-level corruption, writes Georgina Downs - whether it's the Hillsborough disaster or permitting polluters to poison us. Georgina won her own High Court legal victory protecting rural residents from pesticide exposure as long ago as 2008 - only to have it snatched away as Court of Appeal judges closed ranks. more...
Photo of Fox hunt by TownePost Network via Flickr (CC BY).

Fair game? Hunting lobby's attacks on the RSPCA are proof of its effectiveness

Lesley Docksey

3rd May 2016

Lacking an official body to investigate and prosecute illegal cruelty to wildlife a unique charity, the RSPCA, took on that role almost 200 years ago, writes Lesley Docksey. But now it has ruffled high-ranking feathers by pursuing cases of illegal fox-hunting, and has been forced to leave prosecutions of such cases to the Crown Prosecution Service. But will the CPS do its job? more...
The war on drugs under way near Tumaco, Colombia, June 2008. But how come nothing like this happens in Colorado or Amsterdam? Photo: William Fernando Martinez / AP Photo via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

The 'war on drugs' is a war on culture and human diversity

Benjamin Ramm

28th April 2016

The 'war on drugs' is presented as a necessary battle against social evils, writes Benjamin Ramm. But from the Andes to the Caribbean, prohibition has criminalised both religious and cultural expression. And it's a war that is strictly for the global poor: people in Colorado can grow pot - so why not Colombians? more...


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