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In Scotland's Hebridean Isles most 'fishing communities' have long since lost all their rights to fish, and are reduced to trapping shellfish for a living. Photo: Florian Seiffert via Flickr.

Selling the silver: the enclosure of the UK's fisheries

Emma Cardwell.

7th July 2014

Fishing quotas were meant to conserve stocks and support fishing communities, writes Emma Cardwell. But they have achieved the reverse - rewarding the most rapacious fishing enterprises and leaving small scale fisherfolk with nothing. more...
A detail from 'Paradise':

Let's build a post-growth economy that works for the 99%

Rupert Read

16th May 2014

Most of Europe is in a state of low economic growth, and it's likely to go on for a long time yet. So let's get good at it, writes Rupert Read, and build 'post-growth' economic systems that work for people and the environment - not just plutocrats. more...
Are oil company valuations as ephemeral as the smoke rising from this oil refinery? Photo: Horia Varlan via Flickr.

Oil companies' $1.1 trillion gamble

Paul Brown

16th May 2014

Financial experts warn investors that their money is being used by oil companies for high-risk projects, reports Paul Brown, on the assumption that oil prices will go on rising, with little or no regard for climate change. $1.1 trillion could be at risk. more...
Cover of 'Extracted - how the quest for mineral wealth is plundering the planet', by Ugo Bardi.

Minerals are finite. We had better start conserving them

Ugo Bardi

19th May 2014

Are we going to run out of minerals? That's the central question of a debate that has been raging for a couple of centuries, writes Ugo Bardi, when it first became clear that minerals are not life forms - and do not reproduce as we extract them from the Earth's crust. more...
Bringing out the big guns for HS2, 21st November 2013. Too bad they're all wrong. Photo: BCC Birmingham News room via Flickr.com.

HS2 is a disastrous white elephant

Rupert Read

12th May 2014

HS2, the UK's £50bn+ high-speed rail project to speed travel between London and Birmingham - and eventually Manchester and beyond is colossal waste of money, writes Rupert Read. The resources should be used to fund sustainable local and regional transport schemes. more...
Trial at Glyn Farm, Anglesey, 2007: foreground - susceptible; background - Sarpo clone. Photo: Sarvari Trust.

Potato blight - there's no need for GMOs!

Sophie Brown / Sustainable Food Trust

10th June 2014

GM companies are exploiting the launch of a new blight-resistant GMO potato to make their case for an EU-wide relaxation of rules restricting GM crops. But as Sophie Brown discovers, we have all the answers to blight already, without a GMO in sight! more...
Children of Swaziland. Poor for sure - but to all appearances, very happy. Photo:  Crawford Learmonth via Flickr.

Riches won't make you happy, but a greener economy might

Jules Pretty

30th May 2014

In the industrial era, economic growth has become equated with human progress, writes Jules Pretty, with a fundamental assumption that material growth and consumption inevitably leads to improvements in our well-being. Now think again ... more...
A Navajo Hotshot firefighter in Division A battles the West Mullan Fire in the Lolo National Forest, MT, July 2013. Photo: USDA via Flickr.com.

Let the forests burn - the ecology depends on it!

Monica L. Bond, Chad T. Hansen & Dominick A. Dellasala

12th May 2014

Forest fires are invariably portrayed as fiercely destructive environmental calamities. But for the native forests of the American West, large fires are essential to ecological renewal. Contrary to the mantras of logging companies and forest service officials, we suppress them at our peril. more...
Used clothes from wealthy countries on sale at Nanyuki Market, Kenya. Photo: Konrad Glogowski via Flickr.

Anti-consumerism is not enough

Oliver Williams

25th May 2014

Our economies and our jobs depend on mass consumption, argues Oliver Williams. If we all consume less to save the planet, the economy will tank and millions will lose their jobs. The answer is not frugality, but reductions in population. more...
No longer such a hot investment? Oil pumps in California. Photo: CGP Grey via Flickr.com.

FTSE and Blackrock join to fight fossil fuel investment

Rebecca Cooke

1st May 2014

One of the world's biggest fund managers has joined forces with London's FTSE group, writes Rebecca Cooke, to steer investors away from putting their money into risky oil and coal investments. more...
A giant tree of the Congo basin rainforest. Photo: Corinne Staley via Flickr.com.

Congo rainforest 'browning' as temperatures rise

Tim Radford

30th April 2014

Scientists have found that the world's second greatest rainforest, the Congo, is losing its green, writes Tim Radford. As temperatures rise and rainfall reduces, the forest canopy is taking on a browner hue, and this could be an early signal of worse damage to come. more...
A wolf in the Transylvanian forest at dusk. Photo: Istvan Kerekes / AFIAP.

Bullets and false statistics - Transylvania's wolves in peril

Luke Dale-Harris in Transylvania

29th April 2014

On paper, Romania has a thriving wolf population. But Luke Dale-Harris finds that the official view is based on erroneous figures from hunting associations who are, bizarrely, responsible for wolf conservation. The truth is that the wolves are at serious and growing risk. more...

eco: 50/75 of 1175
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Deep sea fishing off Rockall is causing trouble down below. Photo: Irish Defence Forces, CC BY-SA.

Our deep sea wonderlands must be valued - and protected

J. Murray Roberts

1st May 2014

For just 8% of the fish landed, extraordinary, beautiful, ancient, diverse deep sea habitats are routinely destroyed by fishing gear. And as J. Murray Roberts writes, it's all for a one-off hit as the fish are so slow to grow and reproduce. If the same damage happened on land, there would be uproar. more...
Suren Gazaryan, winner of a 2014 Goldman Prize, surveying for bats in a cave deep underground.

Russian eco-hero: how protecting bats became a 'criminal conspiracy'

Sophie Morlin-Yron

28th April 2014

2014 Goldman Prize winner Suren Gazaryan took on the Kremlin in trying to block illegal development at the Sochi Olympics and on the Black Sea coast, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron. Forced to flee to Germany, he can finally get down to researching his beloved bats. more...
Hedgehog. Photo: Hugh Warwick.

Should we cull our badgers to save our hedgehogs?

Hugh Warwick

24th April 2014

New scientific research shows that culling badgers can increase local hedgehog numbers. As UK hedgehog populations continue to decline, Hugh Warwick asks - are badgers to blame? Or does the real problem lie elsewhere? more...
Well-being is far too important to be set aside in the 'nice fluffy things' category. Photo: Alison Curtis via Flickr.com.

Well-being, not growth, must be our economic purpose

Christine Berry

30th April 2014

Well-being is not just a luxury for good economic times, writes Christine Berry. Reducing poverty and promoting equality are more important economic goals than the pursuit of endless growth. more...
The Malaysian Bakun Dam is one of Asia's largest dams and had high cost and time overruns. Photo: Bruno Manser Fund.

Large dams are uneconomic

The Ecologist

22nd April 2014

A study of 245 large dams carried out at Oxford University shows that big hydropower is uneconomic. Actual costs are typically double pre-construction estimates - and have not improved over 70 years. ASEAN energy ministers take note! more...
Bringing 'Perpetual leeks' from the Schumacher College forest garden in to the kitchen for the day's soup.

Towards an agroecological food system

Joanna Wright

10th May 2014

How we feed ourselves sits at the crux of all human affairs, writes Joanna Wright - the health of our bodies and communities. Far too important to leave to industrial farms and processors, it's something we can all begin to do for ourselves. more...
Does nature have rights, too? A mountain valley in Kurdistan. Photo: Jan Sefti via Flickr.com.

Being Nature - extending civil rights to the natural world

Mumta Ito

24th April 2014

As the destruction of the biosphere continues, we need to establish new legal systems to protect what remains. Mumta Ito proposes a new beginning for environmental law based on extending 'civil rights' to the natural world. more...
A sunrise industry: wind turbines in Texas. Photo: Chrishna via Flickr.com.

Wind power booms in oil-rich Texas

Ian Partridge

13th April 2014

One evening in March, wind delivered over 10,000 MW of electricity to Texas's power grid, almost 30% of total demand, reports Ian Partridge, and another 18,500 MW of capacity is under construction. So just why is Texas going so big on wind? more...
Synthetic biology for everybody? What a wonderful world that would be ... at a lecture by Dr. Manuel Selg, Photo: Martin Hieslmair / Ars Electronica via Flickr.com.

It's time to get a grip on technology!

David King

12th April 2014

The issues surrounding powerful new technologies from GMOs to nuclear power appear disparate, writes David King - but look harder and most are linked by common threads. Key among them are issues of profit, control and socialisation of cost ... more...
Green growth in lower Manhattan - but is it enough? Photo: Alyson Hurt via Flickr.com.

Green growth cannot make a sustainable world

André Reichel

14th April 2014

Green growth is a myth, writes André Reichel, because it ignores the social, political and personal dimensions of sustainability. Instead we must plan for economic 'de-growth' - and go for growth only in the areas that really matter, like culture, learning and joy. more...
Africa would not be the same without them. Rhinos at Kariega Game Reserve. Photo: Clem Evans via Flickr.com.

Africa without rhinos would be different, and poorer

Rachel Nuwer

6th April 2014

If rhinos are driven to extinction in the wild, Africa's landscapes and ecosystems would be very different, reports Rachel Nuwer. The activities of this mega-herbivore diversify plant life and create prime grazing spots for other animals. more...
Talis Kalnars in 1999, in the Dinam Estate woodlands in mid-Wales. Photos: Oliver Tickell.

An inspirational forester

Phil Morgan

14th May 2014

Talis Kalnars was a pioneer of 'continuous cover' forestry in Britain, writes Phil Morgan. His woodlands were not only beautiful but profitable, as he nurtured the 'natural capital' of the forest ecosystem, and only harvested the dividend of high value timber. more...
Hinkley Point nuclear plant, viewed across the reedbeds from Steart. Quantock Hills in the background. Photo: Mark Robinson via Flickr.com.

Hinkley C - a nuclear subsidy too far

Paul Dorfman

8th April 2014

As the European Commission considers the £100 billion subsidy package the UK has offered EDF to build and operate Hinkley C nuclear power station, Paul Dorfman explains why the 'deal' is illegal, anti-renewables, and ruinous to energy users and tax payers. more...

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