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The cartographic submarine at work. Photo: WHOI.

Antarctic sea ice expands to record extent - and it's deeper than we thought

Edward Hanna

28th November 2014

While the Arctic melts, Antarctica's ice has spread to record extents in three consecutive years, writes Edward Hanna. But is the news as good as it looks? Yes, if indications from a robot submarine that the ice is thicker than expected are supported by further evidence. It may just be that Antarctica's ice is more resilient than scientists dared to hope. more...
Early stages of construction on the Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor in France, which was due to open in 2012, but is running five years late. Photo: Schoella via Wikimedia Commons.

Hinkley C hovers on the brink - Europe's nuclear giants face meltdown

Paul Brown

25th November 2014

Doubts are growing doubts that the Hinkley C nuclear power station, the EU's biggest construction project, will get the final go-ahead from the UK government, writes Paul Brown. And that's leaving the European nuclear industry, already in serious financial difficulties, facing a struggle for survival. more...
The Red Dacca banana (Musa acuminata) growing on Zanzibar, East Africa - smaller, plumper, softer and sweeter than the yellow Cavendish varieties, with a slight raspberry-banana flavor. Photo: Harvey Barrison / Wikimedia Commons.

Why is Bill Gates backing GMO red banana 'biopiracy'?

Adam Breasley & Oliver Tickell

24th November 2014

The Gates Foundation has sunk $15 million into developing GMO 'super bananas' with high levels of pre-Vitamin A, writes Adam Breasley. But the project is using 'stolen' genes from a Micronesian banana cultivar. And what exactly is the point, when delicious, popular, nutritious 'red bananas' rich in caroteinoids are already grown around the tropics? more...
The Waltons are all for subsidies to large, centralised solar installations like this one by First Solar, in which they have a large shareholding. But they want to penalise small scale solar that challenges the corporate monopoly. Photo: Jumanji Solar via

Walmart, Asda owners using their billions to attack rooftop solar

Mike Gaworecki / DeSmogBlog

20th November 2014

The Walton family, owners of Walmart and Asda, project a 'public environmentalism', writes Mike Gaworecki. But their real agenda is to advance a monopolistic corporate economic model that is threatened by decentralised energy solutions like rooftop solar. The answer? Exterminate! more...
Solar panels in space work very efficiently. But how to get them there? And how to get the power down to Earth? Image: John MacNeil via Greenpeace.

Seven breakthrough solar technologies - but will they work?

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energy Desk

17th December 2014

A bunch of innovations are taking place in the world of solar power, writes Zachary Davies Boren - and one or more of them could just propel the technology from providing just 1% of the world's electricity, to dominating the world's energy supply. Provided they work ... more...
'So can you build this bloody power station or can't you?' Cameron gets tough with EDF workers on a visit to the Hinkley Point C site. Photo: Department of Energy and Climate Change via Flickr.

Hinkley C hit by surprise treble whammy - is it all over for EDF?

Doug Parr /

20th November 2014

EDF has already moved heavy earth moving gear onto the Hinkley C nuclear power station construction site, writes Doug Parr - but that doesn't mean it's a done deal. On the contrary, a host of intractable problems are coming home to roost, and the increasingly troubled project is looking shakier than ever. more...
At 7.40 am on 2nd May 2012 a Greenpeace activist flew over the Bugey power station on a yellow paraglider. But this time, it's something different! Photo: Greenpeace video / Youtube.

Mystery drones are buzzing around French nuclear plants - should we be worried?

Daniel Salisbury & Christopher Hobbs

20th November 2014

With unidentified drones regularly overflying French nuclear power plants, Daniel Salisbury and Christopher Hobbs warn that despite the dismissive responses of nuclear operators, they have cause for concern: the drones may be unable to cause serious damage in themselves, but they compromise site security and open the way to future attacks. more...
WIPP / Los Alamos National Laboratory celebrates its 1000th transuranic waste shipment. Photo: energy.gov / Wikimedia Commons.

New Mexico nuclear waste accident a 'horrific comedy of errors' that exposes deeper problems

Jim Green / Nuclear Monitor

27th November 2014

Last February's explosion at the WIPP dump for long-lived intermediate-level nuclear waste from the US's nuclear weapons program remains unexplained, writes Jim Green. But with the site's history of ignored warnings, 'missing' safety culture, lack of supervision and dubious contractor appointments, it surely came as no surprise - and further accidents appear inevitable. more...
Massacre by Burmese army

Explaining Burma's missing 9 million people - evaporation, or genocide?

Guy Horton

20th November 2014

The best way to deal with embarrassing, inconvenient facts is to ignore them, writes Guy Horton. And this is precisely what the international community is doing over Burma's demographic anomaly - 9 million people who ought to be there, but aren't. Their absence is prima facie evidence of genocide - but as we all celebrate the 'brave new Burma', no one wants to know. more...
Keystone XL Pipeline Protest at the White House, Washington DC, November 2011. Photo: tarsandsaction via Flickr.

Keystone XL - we won! But the real battle lies ahead

Alexander Reid Ross

19th November 2014

The enabling bill for Keystone XL failed yesterday in the US Senate. Supported by all 45 Republican senators, it fell one vote short of the required 60-vote threshold. But the victory will be a temporary one, writes Alexander Reid Ross. The final battle can only be won by massive grassroots engagement and protest in communities across North America. more...
Digital Green records a discussion on best agronomic practice with an Ethiopian farmer for dissemination among his peers. Photo: Digital Green.

New technologies can help poor farmers - just not the ones you're thinking of

Tony Juniper

18th November 2014

Modern technology has a lot to offer small farmers in poor countries, writes Tony Juniper - just not the GMOs and pesticides that are widely touted. But how about film, digital communications and smart phones? These new media can empower farmers and allow them to share knowledge and experience of how to produce more, from less. more...
'Don't shoot me - I'm only the Senate Leader!' US Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.

China leads the world in green energy - despite US Senate Leader 'do nothing' claims

John Mathews and Hao Tan

18th November 2014

The Leader of the US Senate says that under the China-US climate deal, China can 'do nothing at all for 16 years'. John Mathews and Hao Tan examine the claim - and find it's the very reverse of the truth. China is leading the world in greening its energy supply, and has committed to add a massive 1.3GW of renewable power capacity every week for 15 years. Now Mitch - beat that! more...

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No neonics here: organic Brussels sprouts from Home Farm, Nacton. Photo: Nick Saltmarsh via Flickr.

Farming for profit? Or for people, nature, health, wellbeing and human survival?

Colin Tudge

19th November 2014

Farming today is well on the way to becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of the agro-chemical-biotech industry, writes Colin Tudge. Defra and the European Commission are all too keen to make it so, reflecting the interests of an agro-oligarchy obsessed with profits and growth at all costs. But there is an alternative. Join the 'real farming' agrarian renaissance ... more...
A typical small farm in Russia of the kind that provides much of the nation's food. Photo: Vmenkov CC.

Want to double world food production? Return the land to small farmers!

GRAIN

22nd November 2014

All over the world, small farmers are being forced off their land to make way for corporate agriculture, writes GRAIN - and it's justified by the need to 'feed the world'. But it's the small farmers that are the most productive, and the more their land is grabbed, the more global hunger increases. We must give them their land back! more...
Democratic energy: wind turbines under An Sgurr, Eigg, Scotland. Photo: W. L. Tarbert / Wikimedia Commons.

Reclaim the power! Democratic energy must replace corporate capture

PLATFORM

18th November 2014

Democratising energy would save thousands of lives a year in Britain alone - releasing us from the clutches of corporate utilities, and building an energy commons in which we are all owners and participants, no longer captive, exploited consumers. More than that, it would be a big step forward in saving the planet. more...
This record snowfall is what the melting Arctic brought to Cheektowaga, New York yesterday, 20th November 2014. Photo: Anthony Quintano via Flickr.

Global warming - you must be joking! How melting Arctic ice is driving harsh winters

Nick Breeze

21st November 2014

The very least 'global warming' could do for us is to give us warmer winters, right? Wrong, writes Nick Breeze, who met climate scientist and meteorologist Jennifer Francis in his attempt to understand the complex interactions of jet stream, polar vortex, the melting Arctic, and the extreme snowfall that's hitting the northeast US right now. more...
MAP is deeply concerned by the refusal of access to a medical practitioner into Gaza. Following the recent conflict thousands of Palestinians in Gaza require specialised surgical treatment and it is imperative that the right to health is unimpeded. Photo:

Israel bans heroic Norwegian doctor from Gaza for life

Ben Norton

16th November 2014

Mads Gilbert, a renowned 67-year old doctor and human rights activist who has saved innumerable lives in Gaza by working right through Israel's two most recent military attacks, has been banned by Israel from entering the territory for life. His 'crime'? Apart from healing the shattered bodies of Palestinians, he has dared to speak out about the horrors he witnessed. more...
Building on existing cooperation to protect the fragile Arctic environment and its wildlife could be the key to forestalling a new Cold War over Arctic resources. Photo: Walrus, by Colin Jagoe via Flickr.

Arctic chill, red hot politics - as the ice melts, a new Cold War can still be avoided

Conn Hallinan

25th November 2014

As the Arctic ice retreats, a fragile but resource-rich landscape replete with oil, minerals, fish and islands is opening up, writes Conn Hallinan. A new land-rush is on, and it could all lead to war. But it can be avoided provided states respect the rule of law and build on existing regimes of cooperation to protect the precious Arctic environment. more...
IAEA experts examine recovery work on top of Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 17 April 2013. Photo Credit: Greg Webb / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr.

Fukushima 40-year, £11bn cleanup progresses - but the worst is yet to come

Justin McCurry / the Guardian

14th November 2014

The clean up at Fukushima faces enormous challenges, writes Justin McCurry. First, managing 500,000 tonnes of contaminated water stored onsite. Next, removing molten fuel from reactors 1, 2 and 3, a task so hazardous that it's been put off until 2025. Even robots have been unable to enter the reactor buildings - and no one knows where the molten fuel has gone. more...
Is this the kind of Arctic you want, cross-crossed by shipping, complete with oil rigs, mining, industrial fishing and pollution? If not, get behind the Arctic Declaration! Photo: epsdave via Pixabay.

We must keep the Arctic clean, wild and free!

Professor Robert Spicer

17th November 2014

The Arctic is a special place, teeming with life, but it is under threat like never before, writes Robert Spicer - not just from climate change, but from oil drilling, industrial fishing and shipping, as receding ice creates now commercial opportunities. We must designate an Arctic Sanctuary where nature can reign undisturbed. more...
MaJiKer. Photo: MaJiKer.

NORTH: spellbinding folk with a green mission

Laurence Rose

4th December 2014

Traditional melodies collected from Nordic countries and filtered through MaJiKer's unique sonic imagination are raising awareness, and funds, for nature conservation. He spoke to Laurence Rose about a four-year labour of love inspired by nature and the sounds of the high North. more...
With GMO agriculture, a walk in the countryside could be like this in the future. Photo: Liam Wilde via Flickr.

Living with GMOs - a letter from America

The Undersigned

12th November 2014

NGOs, scientists, anti-GM groups, celebrities, food manufacturers, and others representing 57 million Americans today publish an Open Letter to the UK and the entire EU warning of the serious and manifold hazards of GMO crops - and promising their support in our fight against them. more...
In the future, European corn fields like this on in Poland could be GMO. But at least the EU can no longer force its member states to allow GMOs to be planted. Photo: Maciek via Flickr.

Euro Parliament strengthens national GMO opt-outs

Keith Taylor MEP

11th November 2014

An attempt by the UK's Conservative Party and its allies to force countries to allow EU-approved GMO crops has been defeated by the European Parliament, writes Keith Taylor. Instead MEPs voted to strengthen the national GMO opt-out. But the UK still has a battle to fight against its avidly pro-GMO government. more...
Ambulances under tear gas attack at Bil'in, Palestine. In future, could it be something worse? Photo: Yossi Gurvitz via Flickr.

'Incapacitating' chemical weapons threaten a new arms race

Michael Crowley & Malcolm Dando

9th November 2014

December's meeting of the Chemical Weapons Convention offers the opportunity to control very dangerous and often fatal chemical agents deemed 'incapacitating', write Michael Crowley & Malcolm Dando. Currently a legal gray area, it's essential to bring the development and use of these substances before a full blown arms race breaks out. more...
Lorsban is sprayed on a soccer pitch to control grubs, 1987. Photo: srv007 via Flickr.

Chlorpyrifos - cause of birth defects, mental impairment - sprayed on farms across the US

Janette D. Sherman

15th November 2014

Dow's teratogenic pesticide chlorpyrifos is a human and environmental disaster, writes Janette D. Sherman. It causes serious, irreversible damage to the human foetus even at low concentrations that may be harmless to the mother, resulting in severely and permanently disabled and mentally damaged children. But it's still sprayed in vast quantities on America's farms. more...

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