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Could your household gas come from wildflower rich meadows, like this Culm Grassland at Knowstone Moor, Devon? Photo: Col Ford and Natasha de Vere via Flickr (CC BY).

It beats fracking - but can we believe Ecotricity's vision of 'green gas from grass'?

Almuth Ernsting

27th January 2017

Just imagine: gas for your cooking and heating made by composting home-grown British grass, writes Almuth Ernsting. What's not to like? Well, it would need almost all the UK's grassland to match our gas demand, leaving cows and sheep to starve or forcing them into sheds to eat foreign-grown feeds. And methane leakage could easily wipe out any climate benefit. more...

Decarbonising the UK economy

Joe Ware

26th January, 2017

Ultimately the UK Government's new industrial strategy has the potential to use government investment to shift the country in the right direction for the environment. But we need more than just ‘public money,' we need the public's money too writes JOE WARE more...
Site of a proposed palm oil plantation in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo: Dr Ward Berenschot, Author provided.

The new colonialism: 'developing' superpowers join the global land grab

Nikita Sud, University of Oxford

31st January 2017

Land grabbing has been going on since the mists of time, writes Nikita Sud, and took off like never before under European colonialism. But now 'developing' countries are also getting in on the act - notably China, an economic superpower in its own right, as it ruthlessly, and often corruptly, expands its global land holdings at the expense of nature and small scale farmers. more...
Rally to support GMO food labeling at the Connecticut State Senate, 21st May 2013. Photo: CT Senate Democrats via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Nothing 'parochial' about GMO food labeling!

Jonathan Latham, PhD

24th January 2017

With USDA proposing to redefine GMOs for the purposes of food labeling, the issue is more important than ever, writes Jonathan Latham. It's not just to give consumers' the 'right to know' when they buy GM food, it's also a vital means to empower citizens to fight back against the industrialisation of food and farming, and the monopolies of agribusiness corporations. more...

Neighbouring countries concerned about the risk of a Belgian Nuclear meltdown

Nick Meynen

19th January, 2017

On 10 January 2017 a new emergency plan was presented in a commission in Belgium's Parliament. The evacuation perimeter was conveniently halved to 10km to avoid an evacuation of Belgium's second and third cities in case of a meltdown. The plan has been called totally inadequate. NICK MEYNEN reports 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...
Professor Yablokov (1933-2017) with the author, Chris Busby. Photo: ECRR.

He dared to speak the truth: Alexey Yablokov, scientific hero of Chernobyl

Chris Busby

16th January 2017

Alexey V Yablokov (1933-2017) was a scientific giant of the post-Chernobyl age, writes Chris Busby. It was he who brought together the work of dissident Soviet scientists and revealed to the world, in English language, the true health impacts of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. His hard work and dedication underlies the continuing opposition to the nuclear industry today. more...
The disastrous Okiluoto 3 EPR reactor under construction in Finland. The project is taking twice as long to complete, and costing twice as much, as promised. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Time and money run out for nuclear revival

Paul Brown

17th January 2017

The nuclear industry faces an uncertain future as the reactor building boom is struck by unexpected costs, serious technical problems, and long, expensive delays, writes Paul Brown. Meanwhile renewables like wind and solar are offering investors an enviable combination of falling cost, low risk, fast build times, predictable returns and minimal long term liabilities. more...
The Sizewell B nuclear plant rises above RSPB's Minsmere nature reserve. Now, where's Sizewell C's 1,600 m3 a day of extra mains water demand going to come from? Photo: Tony Sutton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Sizewell C consultation: EDF 'forgets' to mention 600,000 m3 a year of mains water

Peter Lux

23rd January 2017

In its second consultation for the EDF's planned Sizewell C nuclear power station there's a strange omission, writes Peter Lux: that the plant would use 1,600 m3 of mains water a day, adding to stresses on important local wetlands like RSPB's Minsmere reserve. The omission is not just strange - it's also illegal and could make the entire exercise invalid. more...

Ecologist Special Report: Impending vote on the Canada trade deal which forced tar sands on Europe

Mark Dearn

11th January 2017

EU-Canada trade deal CETA, like its more well-known ‘evil twin' deal, TTIP, is a new form of trade deal which targets the removal of social, health and environmental regulations, locks in privatisation of public services and introduces a ‘corporate court' system so big business across North America can sue European governments in a private justice system. Worse still, CETA will worsen runaway climate change warns MARK DEARN more...
Submerged valley near Foel, Wales. Should farmers consider switching to growing rice in their flooded fields? Photo: Jonathan Pagel via Flickr (CC BY).

Climate change and farming: let's be part of the solution!

Anna Bowen

9th January 2017

What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution. more...
New regulations to protect Indonesia's peatlands - like this swamp forest under conversion to plantation - are doomed to failure. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Indonesia's plans to protect its peatland forests are fatally flawed

Yuyun Indradi / Greenpeace Indonesia

9th January 2017

Indonesia's plans to meet its Paris Agreement obligations by protecting its swamp forests, the world's biggest land reservoir of carbon, have been acclaimed by the world's press, writes Yuyun Indradi. But they contain so many loopholes and flawed compromises that - unless radically reformed - they are doomed to certain failure. more...

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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...
VC Summer Nuclear Station Unit 1 in South Carolina, showing the Reactor and Turbine Buildings. An AP1000 Toshiba / Westinghouse reactor is under construction, much delayed, on the same site. Photo: SCE&G via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Long-promised nuclear revival has run out of steam

Paul Brown

4th January 2017

A legacy of lies and covered-up accidents has left nuclear energy with a serious credibility gap, writes Paul Brown. But poor safety is only the beginning of the industry's problems. With 'new improved' reactor designs all running late and way over budget, any nuclear revival can only be sustained at massive, unaffordable taxpayer cost. more...

"Small really is beautiful", claims new report on England's farming

Kathryn Hindess

4th January, 2016


When it comes to farming, size matters. Currently, subsidies - received under the EU Common Agricultural Policy - are available only to farmers with more than five hectares of eligible land. Now, a new report by the charity People Need Nature published to coincide with the Oxford Real Farming Conferene (which starts today) claims that this "excludes the producers it should be supporting." KATHRYN HINDESS reports
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...

Trump's coming ‘climate moment': and why we should be careful what we wish for...

Rupert Read

21st December, 2016

On the day Obama bans Artic Offshore Drilling, RUPERT READ predicts a 'volte face' by the climate-change-denying President Elect, Donald Trump. But if this were to happen, would it make things better or worse? more...
A closeup of the fireball and mushroom cloud from the Upshot-Knothole Grable atomic bomb test in Nevada, 25th May 1953. The 1950's and '60's bomb tests, we can now calculate, caused uncounted millions of cancer deaths. Photo: Federal Government of the Uni

The 'Genetics' letter, the Euratom suicide clause, and the death of the nuclear industry

Chris Busby

15th December 2016

The Lifetime Study of Japanese A-bomb survivors is a monumental fraud which deliberately excludes controls for being 'too healthy', writes Chris Busby. Put them back in, and you find that low levels of radiation cause over 100 times more cancer than they are 'meant' to, creating a silent global massacre of the innocent. Under the Euratom treaty, the entire nuclear industry must now be 'rejustified'. more...

Coral Not Coal - Australian Activists Fight To Save the Great Barrier Reef

Maxine Newlands

15th December, 2016

Australian politicians are putting the Great Barrier Reef at risk by approving one of the world's largest coal mines, say activists and marine scientists. MAXINE NEWLANDS reports more...
The £740 million box: the 27 metre high Evaporator D module being lifted vertically into place from the horizontal, transportation position. Photo: Sallafield Sites.

Nuclear plundering of the public purse - the Sellafield and Moorside billions

Martin Forwood

13th December 2016

While the government is cutting vital public expenditure across the board there's one industry for which no costs are too great, writes Martin Forwood. The price of an 'evaporator' at the Sellafield nuclear complex is escalating towards £1 billion, while billions more of taxpayer finance are being lined up to finance cooling systems, power lines and transport links for the adjacent Moorside new-build nuclear power plant. more...
Bigor longhouse with land cleared for oil palm in the background. Photo: Sophie Chao.

Malaysia: the Murut struggle against palm oil, for land and life

Sophie Chao

12th December 2016

Supported by state and national governments, palm oil plantations are advancing over the rainforest hills of Sabah, Malaysia, writes Sophie Chao. In their way: the indigenous Murut of Bigor, whose culture, livelihood and very lives are under threat as forests and farms fall to chainsaws and bulldozers, enriching loggers and distant investors beyond the dreams of avarice. more...

Ecology Research Report: How noise pollution impacts marine ecology

Laura Briggs

12th December, 2016

Marine ecologists have shown how noise pollution is changing the behaviour of marine animals - and how its elimination will significantly help build their resilience. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...
EDF's Cruas nuclear complex in  Rhône-Alpes, France, where two reactors have been out of action this autumn due to safety concerns. Photo: jan buchholtz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

French taxpayers face huge nuclear bill as EDF financial crisis deepens

Paul Brown

8th December 2016

Nuclear giant EDF could be heading towards bankruptcy, writes Paul Brown, as it faces a perfect storm of under-estimated costs for decommissioning, waste disposal and Hinkley C. Meanwhile income from power sales is lagging behind costs, and 17 of its reactors are off-line for safety tests. Yet French and UK governments are turning a blind eye to the looming financial crisis. more...

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