The Ecologist


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Heathrow scenery. Photo: stephen h via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

With Heathrow approval, aviation could use two thirds of UK's 1.5C carbon budget

Simon Evans / Carbon Brief

25th October 2016

The UK government today announced that Heathrow, already the UK's busiest airport, is its 'preferred option' for a new runway in southeast England, writes Simon Evans. It's just too bad about the climate: the airport expansion implies that aviation emissions alone could take up half to two thirds of the UK's 'carbon budget' for the country to comply with its 1.5C Paris Agreement target. more...
Welsh Badgers at Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo. Photo: Neil Schofield via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Wales demands 'objective evidence' before killing badgers. Whatever next?

Lesley Docksey

21st October 2016

Wales has achieved enviable success in reducing bovine TB in its cattle herds without killing badgers, writes Lesley Docksey. The farming lobby is still demanding an England-style cull, but the Welsh government's 'refreshed' policy on bTB remains firmly science-based and no badgers will be killed without 'objective evidence' of infection. more...


Tim Maddams

20th October, 2016

We refer to them as kitchen basics - milk and eggs - but how often do we stop to think about the true cost of their production? Not often enough writes TIM MADDAMS 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...

ClientEarth against UK government in High Court over illegal air pollution

Ecologist reporter

18th October, 2016

Environmental Lawyers group ClientEarth is in court today to bring a case against the Government for failing to tackle illegal levels of air pollution in the UK 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...

WITNESS: Obesity, Ecology and the Confines of the Government Strategy

Yvonne Adebola

13th October, 2016

In the first of our new WITNESS series of blogs, food anthropology researcher YVONNE ADEBOLA suggests a 'One Health' approach to childhood obesity which recognises the ecological impact of modern food systems on the environment and on our collective health and wellbeing more...
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...

The most important meeting you've probably never heard of...and it's happening this week

Joe Ware

12th October, 2016

This week in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, nations are meeting to hammer out a plan to phase out Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are guilty of accelerating climate change. At the heart of the talks will be the date at which the world will end their use. JOE WARE reports more...
Piglets living in cruel and unhygienic conditions on a factory farm somewhere in the UK Photo: FarmsNotFactories.

Superbug-infected pigs get into Britain unchecked, contaminate food chain

Andrew Wasley / Bureau of Investigative Journalism

14th October 2016

Regulatory failures are allowing Danish pigs infected with lethal antibiotic-resistant bacteria into British farms, writes Andrew Wasley, with contaminated pork found in UK supermarkets, and three human infections recorded. The official response? Deny there's a problem, take no action, and hope for the best. Six people may have died from the bug in Denmark, but the UK is safe, surely? more...
Is there more in your supermarket meat than you bargained for? Like antibiotic resistant bacteria? Photo: Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr (CC BY).

Supermarkets must act on farm antibiotics!

Emma Rose

11th October 2016

Hot on the heels of the recent revelations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on UK meat, a new Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calls on supermarkets to prohibit 'routine mass-medication of livestock' in their supply chains, and commit to 'drastic reductions' in farm use of critically important antibiotics. Make sure your MP signs! more...

Biofuels from seaweed?

Laura Briggs

12th October, 2016

Seaweed is known for its culinary uses and has seen a renaissance in past years thanks to its health claims and a distinctive taste - but there are more ecological benefits to seaweed that currently remain untapped. more...

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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 'Green Creates' exhibition invites Green 'artist' voices to shout about their concerns

Gary Cook, Arts Editor

8th October, 2016

The Green Party's new 'Green Creates' exhibition runs from 19 to 24 October at Hoxton Arches, London showcasing the work of the likes of Ralph Steadman, Grayson Perry, Gavin Turk, Andy Goldsworthy, Lesley Hilling and Craig Jones. Their donated pieces on the theme of 'Green Voices' will be auctioned to raise funds for the party. GARY COOK takes a preview more...
A keyboard player, blind from birth due to a genetic defect induced by Agent Orange, performing at the War Remnants Museum. Photo: Mick Grant.

First Agent Orange, now Roundup: what's Monsanto up to in Vietnam? Ecologist Special Investigation

Mick Grant

10th October 2016

With the International Monsanto Tribunal beginning this week (14-16 October) in The Hague, MICK GRANT reports from Vietnam with this special investigation for The Ecologist five decades after the company's lethal herbicide Agent Orange first devastated the country - and discovers the agribusiness giant is sneaking its way back into Vietnam with modern herbicides and 'Roundup-Ready' GMO crops. more...

Ecologist Special Report: The Pillaging of Nicaragua's Bosawás Biosphere Reserve

Courtney Parker

6th October 2016

Violent expansion of the agricultural frontier in Nicaragua has produced devastating consequences for Indigenous Peoples and is fostering destructive long-term climate change impacts. COURTNEY PARKER reports more...
Abandoned, and going nowhere: Japan's the Monju 'fast' nuclear reactor. Photo: Nuclear Fuel and Power Reactor Development Corporation (PNC) / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Japan abandons Monju fast reactor: the slow death of a nuclear dream

Dr Jim Green

6th October 2016

'Fast breeder' reactors are promoted by nuclear enthusiasts as the clean, green energy technology of the future, writes Jim Green. But all the evidence tells us they are a catastrophic failure: complex, expensive, unreliable and accident-prone. Is Japan's decision to abandon its Monju reactor the latest nail in the coffin of a dead technology? Or the final stake through its rotten heart? more...

Arctic warming: Greenland's ‘abnormal' Manhattan-sized ice shelf breakaway

Nick Breeze

5th October, 2016

Professor Jason Box, glaciologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, tells NICK BREEZE how the largest ice shelf in Greenland has just lost an area of ice shelf the size of Manhattan Island. Its recent breaking away was a 'spectacular' event - but also a highly abnormal one that raises deep concerns about the future of the Arctic and prospective global sea level rise. more...

The Ethical Foodie: We should 'meat' less often...

Tim Maddams

4th October, 2016

Ethical Foodie chef TIM MADDAMS puts the blame for the animal welfare abuses we reported recently at the door of consumers who are turning a blind eye to the true cost of cheap meat more...
Mark Lynas, Kevin Folta, Bill Gates ... the chair is yours to make the case for GMO crops. Or are you chicken? Photo: Hernán Piñera via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

GMO debate: why are Cornell biotech boosters 'chicken'?

Jonathan Latham

4th October 2016

The purported mission of the Cornell Alliance for Science is to explain the science underlying biotechnology and GMOs, writes Jonathan Latham. So with a debate on the issue taking place tomorrow, 5th October, on the Cornell campus, how come CAS can't find a single speaker prepared to defend their zealously pro-GM stance? more...
Cover shot of trapped badger used for the new edition of 'The Fate of the Badger' by Richard Meyer, published by Fire-raven Writing.

'The Fate of the Badger': the great badger scapegoating conspiracy

Lesley Docksey

11th October 2016

Thirty years ago, there was no evidence that badgers spread bovine TB among cattle, writes Lesley Docksey. Nor is there now. Yet badgers are still being slaughtered in a futile attempt to control the disease. This timely republication of Richard Meyer's 1986 book reveals the belligerent ignorance of the officials, politicians and farmers driving the failed policy. more...
Wall to wall solar panels on industrial buildings in Birmingham, UK, where the Aurora report was published this week. Photo: h080 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Cheap as chips! 'Negligible' cost of integrating big solar into UK grid

Oliver Tickell

4th October 2016

A new study shows that the cost of 'integrating' the variable power output of large scale solar PV is surprisingly affordable, writes Oliver Tickell, at just a few pence per unit. Costs will fall further as more wind power, batteries and ever-cheaper solar drive the transition to a 100% renewable power system. more...

Tourism vs Ecology - which in this case boils down to SSSI Sand Dunes vs a new Scottish Golf Course

Laura Briggs

3rd October, 2016

Campaigners fighting a development for an 18-hole golf course on a pristine part of the Moray Firth are planning to launch a legal challenge against the plans with £10,000 they have sourced through crowdfunding. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...
These yurts on Mongolia's 'sea of grass' are powered through a miniature solar microgrid that is both compact and lightweight for easy carriage on to the next site. Photo: Shutterstock.

Off-grid renewables: the sustainable route to 100% global electricity access

Adnan Z. Amin / IRENA

4th October 2016

Off-grid renewable energy is key to achieving the global goal of 100% electricity access by 2030, writes Adnan Z. Amin, and to achieving the emissions reductions enshrined in the Paris Agreement. Thankfully, a confluence of factors - including rapid cost declines and impressive technology innovations - are making this goal more achievable than ever, and investment in the sector is taking off. more...
Among the 28 EDF nuclear power stations at risk: Sizewell B in Suffolk, England. Photo: Simon James via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Sizewell B and 27 other EDF nuclear plants 'at risk of catastrophic failure'

Oliver Tickell

29th September 2016

A new report finds that 28 nuclear reactors, 18 of them EDF plants in France and one at Sizewell in the UK, are at risk of failure 'including core meltdown' due to flaws in safety-critical components in reactor vessels and steam generators, writes Oliver Tickell. The news comes as EDF credit is downgraded due to a growing cash flow crisis and its decision to press on with Hinkley C. more...


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