The Ecologist


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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...
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...
How to green your photocopier? Easy - just change the default from single to double-sided copies, and most people will go along with it. Result? Save thousands of trees. Photo: Bruce Bortin via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Green by default - how a nudge and wink can save the planet

Cass R. Sunstein

27th September 2016

There's a simple way to induce us to make good environmental choices, writes Cass R. Sunstein: make them the default setting. Whether it's selecting double sided photocopies or renewable electricity tariffs, defining easily-overridden 'green defaults' is by far the most efficacious means to influence consumer choices for the environment and the planet. more...
English badger. Photo: Kentish Plumber via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

England's £100m badger cull extensions condemned

The Ecologist

23rd August 2016

England is about to extend its badger cull policy to five new areas of the country, proving that only that science is a dead letter to May's conservative government as it was to Cameron's. While bovine TB infections in cattle rise in the existing cull areas, Wales has just achieved a cull-free 14% reduction. more...
Front cover of 'Badgered to Death' by Dominic Dyer (exerpt), published by Canbury Press.

Why are our badgers ‘Badgered to Death'?

Lesley Docksey

23rd August 2016

With today's news that badger culling will continue in Gloucester, Somerset and Dorset, and take place in three other counties, writes LESLEY DOCKSEY, there could be no more opportune moment for Dominic Dyer's new book 'Badgered to Death' to appear - expertly exposing the total absence of scientific evidence that badgers transmit bovine TB to cattle. more...
The first ingestible GE product, L-typtophan, derived from GMO bacteria.contained impurities that killed dozens of Americans and seriously sickened thousands, permanently disabling many of them. Image: Bin im Garten via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

The GMO food venture is built on a foundation of mass deception

Steven M. Druker

23rd August 2016

The very first GE product, a dietary supplement, poisoned thousands of people of which dozens died, writes Steven M. Druker. The first GE food, the 'Flavr Savr' tomato, caused stomach lesions. But a long campaign of concealment and deception by regulators and corporate scientists re-engineered the truth to present GMOs as so safe they did not even need to be tested for safety. more...
How can we act in time to prevent ecosystem collapse in eutrophic waters? The answer is in the ecology. Photo: Dr. Jennifer L. Graham | US Geological Survey / eutrophication&hypoxia on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

How to avoid system collapse? It's the ecology, stupid!

James Dyke & Patrick Doncaster

22nd August 2016

Ecosystems don't collapse a little at a time, writes JAMES DYKE, but all of a sudden. So how can we see the danger signs and act in time to save them? A new study of eutrophic lakes shows that the answer lies, not in easily-measured nutrient levels, but from a more subtle understanding of the lakes' shifting ecology and types of species: keystones, weeds and canaries. more...
How will the promoters of GMO golden rice ensure that malnourished children receive it in the first place? Will they also ensure they get the dietary fat they need to actually assimilate the carotene once they have eaten it? Photo of children playing in M

Millions spent, no one served: who is to blame for the failure of GMO Golden Rice?

Angelika Hilbeck & Hans Herren

15th August 2016

The real reason why 'golden rice' remains uncultivated after a 20 year effort is its poor agronomic performance, write Angelika Hilbeck & Hans Herren. But beyond that, the very idea of golden rice as a 'solution' to Vitamin A deficiency fails to recognise the real causes of malnutrition - poverty, hunger and poor diet. How will golden rice reach poor children in the first place? And will they ever get the rich, oily diet they need to assimilate its fat-soluble nutrients? 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...
The Gates Foundation-funded 'Gates Hall' at Cornell University. Photo: Robert Gray / At-Hand Guides via Flickr (CC BY).

Pro-GMO propaganda at Cornell University - a student fights back

Robert Schooler

4th August 2016

Cornell student Robert Schooler was shocked at the pro-GMO propaganda emanating from Cornell University and it's Gates-funded 'Alliance for Science'. But rather than just complain about it, he decided to fight back - with his popular 'GMOWTF' website and an important lecture series this fall by GMO experts on the Cornell campus - the ones that Cornell has been ignoring for years. more...
Jeremy Corbyn supporting the junior doctors' strike, 26th April 2016. Photo: Garry Knight via Flickr (Public Domain).

Why Corbyn so terrifies the liberal elite

Jonathan Cook

22nd July 2016

Britain's political, economic and media elites will be the last to turn against the neoliberal system that spawned them, writes Jonathan Cook - even as it impoverishes the country and endangers our fragile planet. Cheered on by the Guardian, most Labour MPs would rather destroy their own party than let Corbyn and his backers make it fit for its 21st century purpose. more...
Tank destroyed by depleted uranium (DU) munitions on Iraq's 'Highway of Death' in the first Gulf War, February 2003. Photo: Christiaan Briggs via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Chilcot: UK insists it has 'no long-term legal responsibility to clean up DU from Iraq'

Doug Weir

11th July 2016

The Chilcot report reveals that the UK has disclaimed any duty to decontaminate the toxic, radioactive ash left behind by its DU munitions, or even monitor the impacts on human health, writes Doug Weir. But Iraq and other countries are working towards a UN Resolution this October that would hold contaminating governments like the UK and the US legally accountable for DU pollution. more...

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Whited Sepulchre of science? The Royal Society's imposing building overlooking St James's Park, London. Photo: Steve Slater via Flickr (CC BY).

Royal Society must end its partisan, unscientific support for GM crops and food

Steven Druker

13th July 2016

The Royal Society purports to provide unbiased information on scientific issues, writes Steven Druker. But its new guide on GMOs is grossly misleading - glossing over the many dangers inherent to the technology with bland, unsupported re-assurances. The Society must end its partisan promotion of GMOs or risk its reputation as Britain's premier scientific body. more...
Temporary streams are set to become an increasingly common landscape feature in the UK. The River Manifold (Staffordshire, UK) already experiences annual drying due to features of the underlying bedrock. Photo: Tory Milner.

Dry rivers are living rivers - with our care and protection

Rachel Stubbington

25th July 2016

Although flowing water is fundamental to river ecosystems, temporary streams are distinctive landscape features that support surprisingly diverse communities, writes Rachel Stubbington. However, the biodiversity of these dynamic ecosystems needs greater recognition and protection. more...
Spot the difference! Golden rice and ordinary rice. Photo: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY).

Pro-GMO campaign exploits Nobel laureates in 'Golden Rice' Greenpeace attack

Claire Robinson

4th July 2016

Greenpeace is being attacked for 'crimes against humanity' by 100 Nobel laureates for blocking GMO 'golden' rice, reports Claire Robinson. But the low-yielding crop is years away from going on sale, and there is no proof of any nutritional benefit to the malnourished children it's meant to benefit. Could the distinguished prize-winners have fallen for slick pro-GMO PR and spin? more...
Are we the real lab rats? If glyphosate herbicides can mess up rats uterine development, what's it doing to humans? Photo: Tatiana Bulyonkova via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Glyphosate disrupts rats' uterine development


21st June 2016

As the EU prepares to vote on whether to re-authorise glyphosate this week, a new study finds that commercial formulations of the herbicide alter the development of rats' uteruses, potentially causing cancer and affecting fertility. more...

Join the Great Stag Hunt - Stag Beetle that is

Susan Clark

15th June 2016

It's National Insect Week in the UK and the conservation charity, People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), is looking for Citizen Scientists to take part in its annual survey to record sightings of the stag beetle. Here's how to take part. more...
Prime Minister David Cameron visiting an IGas site in Gainsborough on 13th January 2014. Photo: Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UK fracking policy founded on scientific fraud, misrepresentation and prevarication

Nick Cowern

15th June 2016

The key study that justifies the Government's claim that fracking is a climate change 'solution' is based on serious scientific errors, writes Nick Cowern. Not only has the Government failed to correct them, but it is now delaying the publication of a new official report that would reveal the truth - that fracking is considerably worse for the world's climate than coal. more...
Gas tanks at a fracking well on the Marcellus Shale in North Central Pennsylvania, USA. Photo: Gerry Dincher via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Fracking is twice as bad for climate as coal - will the Climate Change Committee ban it?

Dr Robin Russell-Jones

9th June 2016

The UK government is all for fracking, writes Dr Robin Russell-Jones, but on climate grounds alone it should be banned. Evidence from the US shows that shale gas is twice as dirty as coal from a climate viewpoint due to 'fugitive emissions' of methane. That makes fracking incompatible with the UK's climate change commitments and the Paris Agreement - as the CCC may soon rule. more...
Viscount Matt Ridley at a book signing in Washington DC, 11th November 2016. Photo: ehpien via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Matt Ridley's pro-GMO blunders and ignorance

Colin Todhunter

3rd June 2016

The mainstream British media have long acted as cheerleaders for GMOs, but none quite so much as The Times and its disgraced correspondent Matt Ridley, writes Colin Todhunter. His most recent article on the topic is a strange concoction of misrepresentations, falsehoods and blunders dressed up as science, and reflects both his ignorance of the real facts and his deep ideological commitment to corporate profit and power. more...
GM soy and corn are now a major export for Brazil, Argentina and other South American countries, as from this cornfield near Sao Paulo. But GMO agribusiness is having severe impacts on health and environment, and importers are increasingly demanding non-G

Scientific error, omission and misrepresentation: the Royal Society on GM crops

Soil Association

27th May 2016

The Royal Society has form on GM crops, writes the Soil Association - consistently Gung-ho! for the last 20 years, while refusing to engage with critics of the technology or even accept the existence of any problems. Its latest effort represents more of the same, while exposing this once August body to ridicule for its egregious scientific howlers. more...

Footprint Identification Technology - where traditional ecology meets technology

Zoe Jewell & Sky Alibhai of WildTrack

26th May 2016

The inspiration for the pioneering Footprint Identification Technique (FIT) technology sprang from an unexpected source - traditional ecological wisdom. Conservationists Zoe Jewell & Sky Alibhai explain how that happened. more...

Footprint Identification Technology (FIT) - where traditional ecology meets technology

Zoe Jewell & Sky Alibhai

25th May, 2016

The inspiration for Footprint Identification Technology (FIT) sprang from an unexpected source - traditional ecological know how. Conservationists Zoe Jewell & Sky Alibhai explain how that happened more...
Red clover cover crop at Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire: it may not be high-tech, but that's not to say it's anti-science! Photo: Sandy Lane Farm via Facebook.

Organic farmers are not anti-science - we leave that to the genetic engineers

Elizabeth Henderson

24th May 2016

Those opposed to the mass release of GM crops and foods inadequately tested for health and ecological safety are routinely accused of being anti-science, writes Elizabeth Henderson. But it's the GM corporations and their academic allies that are suppressing scientific research, and organic farmers that are building alliances with independent scientists for a future of safe, healthy food. more...
Badger, seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. Photo: Peter Trimming via Flickr (CC BY).

Alas poor Brock! The insanity of the badger cull

Martin Hancox

27th May 2016

The lives of all the thousands of badgers slaughtered in the name of TB eradication have been lost in vain, writes Martin Hancox. The cryptic reservoir of bovine TB is the cattle themselves, and no amount of badger killing will make the slightest difference to the problem. Once we have grasped this reality the solution is astonishingly simple: improved TB testing that picks up all infected cattle. more...


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