The Ecologist


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'Flush the TPP' actions in Washington DC, September 2013. Photo: Ellen Davidson / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

There is still time to defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

8th October 2015

Just how bad is the TPP? Incredibly, we don't know its full horror because even now, the agreement is a state secret, writes Pete Dolack. But the text will have to be released soon so that Congress and other parliaments can vote on it. And only then we will know the full scale of the corporate sellout it represents. The choice facing legislators is clear: democracy, or corporate dictatorship? more...
These anti-TPP protesters in Vancouver, Canada, are about to get their way. Now the text will have to be made public. Photo: Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

TPP agreement in 12 points - the fightback begins here

Nick Dearden

6th October 2015

The successful conclusion of the TPP talks is a huge blow for social and economic justice, writes Nick Dearden in his twelve point summary. But it's not over yet: the long secret text must now be made public. And there's every chance it can be defeated in an increasingly skeptical Congress. more...
Family bathing in the Rio Lempa, El Salvador's longest and only navigable river, until recently at risk from a cyanide-leaching gold mine. Photo: kadejo via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

For the love of water: El Salvador's mining ban may cost $300m 'compensation'

Lynn Holland

10th October 2015

Disastrous water pollution from gold mines in El Salvador has united government and people to oppose new metal mines, writes Lynn Holland. In Central America's most water scarce country, the imperative is to keep lakes, rivers and streams clean and wholesome. But there may be a heavy price to pay, with a Canadian mining company pressing a $300 million 'compensation' claim. more...
Demonstration in Rosia Montana against the gold mine project, 22nd September 2013. Photo: Initiative Mittel- und Osteuropa e.V. via Flickr (CC BYNC-SA).

Romania faces $2.56bn claim for failed gold mine

Oliver Tickell

14th August 2015

Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources is seeking over $2.5 billion damages from Romania after it rejected a vast gold mine at Rosia Montana, writes Oliver Tickell. Incredibly, it is taking legal action under a UK-Romania trade agreement. more...
Back to the future with TPP and other 'trade deals'? Winston Cigarette advertisement published in Ebony magazine, July 1971, Vol. 26 No. 9. Photo: Classic Film via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Yes, trade deals really do overturn democracy

David Morris / On the Commons

28th July 2015

Forget tariffs, forget Obama's promises. The whole point of modern 'trade agreements' is to whack pesky labor, environment and health laws, writes David Morris, and so empower capital and corporate power against regulators, governments and democracy itself. Unconvinced? Just imagine what these deals would look like if they were there to empower people. more...
David Lavalee out in the field, filming 'To the Ends of the Earth'.

To the ends of the Earth: a filmmaker's journey

David Lavallee

4th September 2015

It's tough being a filmmaker on the front line of environmental defense, writes David Lavallee - challenging corporate control of the Earth's resources, not to mention governments and security services, all of them intent on extracting every last drop of oil and gas from the world's most pristine places. All the more so when holding a camera makes you an instant 'eco-terrorist'. more...
Young participants observing the flames at the symbolic check burning ceremony. Photo: Paul Anderson / EarthJustice.

Indian Treaties are the new front in the battle against coal exports

Jan Hasselman / EarthJustice

16th July 2015

The 1865 Treaty of Point Elliot is clear, writes Jan Hasselman: the Lummi Nation has the right to fish, hunt and gather in their accustomed places in perpetuity - and they can't do that if a gigantic coal terminal is built in the Salish Sea's most productive waters. First Nations' treaty rights are now central to protecting the Pacific Northwest from destruction by fossil fuels. more...
Decoding the cassava genome. Photo: Neil Palmer / CIAT via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

TTIP could open EU to 'new biotech' GMO seeds and foods

Coroprate Europe Observatory & Inf'OGM

7th July 2015

The EU Parliament is voting tomorrow on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated between the USA and the EU. But do MEPs realise that the agreement could force European markets open to 'new biotech' foods and crops using advanced GM technologies that do not meet current definitions of 'GMO' within the EU? more...
More than a hundred people converged in Ticonderoga, NY on 7th July for a flotilla and symbolic blockade to ‪#StopOilTrains. Photo:  Rising Tide Vermont.

#StopOilTrains - How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb-train

Stephyn Quirke

9th July 2015

Two things are new in the Pacific Northwest, writes Stephyn Quirke: abnormally hot, dry weather that has even killed Chinook salmon on their run upriver to spawn; and 'bomb trains' a mile more long carrying thousands of tonnes of oil, with just a single sleep-deprived driver on board. What could possibly go wrong? more...
Salmon run on the Adam's River, BC. Photo: John Biehler via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Is Canada's government trying to kill off the wild salmon?

Jeff Matthews

8th June 2015

Does the Canadian Government actually want to wipe out its wild salmon? To ordinary, sane people, the idea is completely mad, writes Jeff Matthews. But for resource extraction industries, salmon farmers and right wing neoliberal politicians, it could make perfect sense. more...
A nursery of loblolly pine – approx. 500,000 in view, all waiting to be dispatched and planted (c. 1,000 acres). Photo: Drax Group.

Biomass for energy is the common sense option

Matthew Rivers

5th June 2015

Today UK campaigners against burning biomass for power will deliver a 110,000 signature petition to DECC to protest at government subsidies for the practice. But in this 'Right of Reply' article Matthew Rivers, chairman of Drax Biomass, argues that biomass combustion is sustainable, benign, and helps to conserve forests worldwide. more...
Whale watching off Digby's Neck, Nova Scotia, where Bilcon wants to site a massive basalt quarry. Now Canada must pay Bilcon as much as $300 million following a NAFTA judgment that the company's right to profit comes before cetacean survival. Photo: Reigh

Profits before whales! To know why TTIP would be a nightmare, look to Canada

Nick Dearden

26th March 2014

A series of judgments against Canada in secret corporate tribunals costing taxpayers $100s of millions show that 'free trade' agreements really do restrict governments' right to protect health, environment and endangered species, writes Nick Dearden. more...

Canada: 1/25 of 64
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Under the NAFTA trade deal, Canada is being sued to open up the St Lawrence River to fracking, or pay to massive damages. TTIP, TPP and CETA promise more of the same. Photo: Bob August via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The corporate coup d'etat: TTIP, TTP, CETA, NAFTA

Joyce Nelson

17th February 2015

The raft of 'free trade' agreements under negotiation represents a massive seizure of power by corporations, writes Joyce Nelson - effectively stripping democratic governments of their power to legislate for health, environment, labour or anything else that could reduce corporate profit. But the mainstream media are mysteriously silent. more...
'Free Cascadia' banner. Photo: ario_ via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Design by Joe Martin.

Fighting the 'Big Club': blockades, strikes, and the fossil fuel blowback

Alexander Reid Ross

2nd February 2015

North America's environment campaigners face a fearsome enemy in the 'Big Club', writes Alexander Reid Ross - the nexus of fossil fuel and infrastructure corporations, government, militarized police, private security contractors, PR agencies, astroturf NGOs and quasi-judicial bodies. But the activists are winning key victories in their battle to halt the industrialization of Cascadia. more...
Fracking in a Denton residential neighborhood. Photo: Gena Felker / Britt Utsler via Frack Free Denton.

Message to the UK: the fracking 'bridge' is burning!

Naomi Klein

27th January 2015

The lesson of fracking in the US and Canada is a simple one, writes Naomi Klein. The fracking industry is vicious, brutal and will stop at nothing to get its way. British anti-frackers can celebrate yesterday's achievements - but the fight ahead will not be an easy one. more...
Bali, Indonesia: US Secretary of State John Kerry participates in a meeting with nations' leaders discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, 8th October 2013. Photo: William Ng / State Department (Public Domain).

TTIP is sputtering, but other 'trade' deals threaten our sovereignty

Glyn Moody

25th January 2015

Even as the controversial TTIP 'trade' deal runs into sand, writes Glyn Moody, a spate of similar deals to empower corporations over national governments and democratic forces are being negotiated even more secretively - like CETA, TPP, TISA - and could become cemented into binding treaties before civil society even knows of their existence. more...
The possible lengthening of ice-free periods may affect polar bears before the end of the century. Photo: Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia Commons.

With melting Arctic ice, Canada's polar bears face wipe-out by 2100

Tim Radford

6th December 2014

The expected melting of sea ice in Canada's Arctic Archipelago will progressively render huge areas unable to support viable polar bears populations, writes Tim Radford. By 2100 the polar bears could be pushed out altogether. more...
The Syncrude Aurora Oil Sands Mine, north of Fort McMurray, Canada. Photo: Elias Schewel via Flickr.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss

Gregory McGann

27th November 2014

The exploitation of Canada's tar sands is more than just an environmental catastrophe, writes Gregory McGann. It's also an turning into an economic disaster, with massive investments at risk as falling oil prices leave the tar sands stranded. 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...
Wind turbines like these in Ontario, Canada, are three times more 'annoying' than those on Prince Edward Island - apparently because of Ontario's negative press coverage of wind power. Photo: Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Flickr.

Wind turbine noise may be annoying - but it's not making you sick

Tyler Hamilton

25th November 2014

A large-scale independent study by Health Canana finds no link between the noise from wind turbines and health, writes Tyler Hamilton. That's not to say wind turbines can't be annoying - but there's a sure way to deal with that: give locals a financial benefit from their operation. Has Britain's wind industry got something to learn? more...
Stop TTIP logo. Image: Stop TTIP via Flickr.

TTIP - challenging the European Commission's unlawful intransigence

Mary Fitzgerald & Michael Efler

10th November 2014

The Commission's refusal to 'register' a European Citizens Initiative demanding an end to negotiations over the TTIP trade deal is more than just an affront to the 'democratic values' that Europe is meant to represent, write Mary Fitzgerald & Michael Efler. It is also unlawful, and the legal challenge filed today at the ECJ is richly deserved. more...
Stop TTIP demo in Berlin, October 2014. Photo: Jakob Huber / ECI via Stop TTIP! /  Flickr.

Lawsuit served on Commission for blocking TTIP challenge

The Ecologist

10th November 2014

A 300-strong coalition of civil society groups is taking the European Commission to the European Court of Justice, claiming that its refusal to register a official 'Citizens Initiative' opposing the EU-US TTIP trade deal was unlawful. more...
The 'Bridge of the Gods' crossing the Columbia River Gorge. Photo: Mark Stevens via Flickr.

US oil boom threatens pristine North-West with crude transport corridors

Valerie Brown / Climate News Network

11th November 2014

America's expanding oil production threatens the pristine Pacific Northwest region of the country with a rash of new oil terminals along the coast, writes Valerie Brown, and hugely expanded traffic of freight trains loaded with hundreds of cars of crude oil heading for California refineries. more...
'The view from my sister's window'. Greenpoint, NY, NY. Photo: Susan via Flickr.

What if your backyard was a slaughterhouse?

Laura Lee Cascada

3rd November 2014

When three giggling teenage girls in an SUV called 'BACON' at Laura Lee Cascada as she conducted a peaceful slaughterhouse vigil, she realised - those girls don't yet realise that 'bacon' has a mom. And there is only one way to create that missing connection - through love, empathy, understanding and perseverance. more...
Heavy oil undergoing extraction from tar sands, Alberta. Canada. Photo: Howl Arts Collective via Flickr.

Plan to label tar sands as 'polluting' scrapped by EU

The Ecologist

7th October 2014

The EU is dumping a plan to label fuel made from tar sands as 20% more polluting than oil from conventional sources, making it cheaper for European countries to import. But the concession - intended to smooth the TTIP trade deal - still has to be approved by the European Parliament. more...


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