The Ecologist

 

commons : 1/23 of 23

Reduced to one meagre bar of an electric fire, an old lady fights to keep warm in Perth, Scotland. Meanwhile Centrica's CEO rakes in £3.7 million a year. Photo: Ninian Reid via Flickr.

Reclaim the power! It's time to deprivatise Britain's energy

Sam Lund-Harket

16th December 2014

Privatised energy has failed us, writes Sam Lund-Harket. While energy company chiefs earn millions of pounds a year, one in ten English households live in fuel poverty. But there is another way. All over the world countries and communities are taking energy, water and other essential public services back under democratic control. more...
Women of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, protesting today. Photo: World Forum of Fisher Peoples - WFFP.

Marine Protected Areas in South Africa - ocean grabbing by another name

Mads Barbesgaard, Carsten Pedersen, Timothé Feodoroff

21st November 2014

Today on World Fisheries Day, fisher peoples and their allies are taking to the streets and beaches to fight against ocean grabbing in all its forms - including Marine Protected Areas imposed without consultation that rob and criminalise local communities and benefit only privileged outsiders. 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...
Group photo of delegates to the Isla Margarita Social Pre-COP. Photo: via facebook.com/socialprecop.

Civil society speaks: only a just world can prevent catastrophic climate change

Maruška Mileta

13th November 2014

A gathering of civil society and social movements in Venezuela concluded last week with a strong demand for climate justice, writes Maruška Mileta. Rich countries must stop passing off their 'false solutions' - from nuclear power to geoengineering - and pay the costs of a rapid transition to low-carbon world that brings renewable energy to all. more...
Boston in bloom - sunflower at the Eglestone Community Orchard. Photo: Alvin Kho via Facebook.

Making it happen - a community orchard in downtown Boston

Orion Kriegman

7th November 2014

A orchard garden has taken root on a long-vacant lot in an economically and racially divided neighborhood of Boston, writes Orion Kriegman. In the making it has united a community, helped to heal deep scars of violence, and inspired a wider reclamation of the urban commons. more...
Ranching on BLM lands is a taxpayer-subsidised environmental degradation. Photo: Cattle near the Bruneau River in Elko County, Nevada. Photo: Famartin / Wkimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wild West Welfare - how ranching made US public lands private property

William Williers

26th September 2014

Livestock ranching on US public lands underlies a vast range of environmental problems - so should we welcome 'conservation buyouts' of ranches that own grazing leases? No way, writes William Williers, because the lands are already ours, and to 'buy' them is to support and perpetuate a $1 billion per year fraud against the American people. more...
Letting the seeds grow free on a vegetable garden in BC, Canada. Photo: Christopher Porter via Flickr.

Free the seeds to feed the world!

Jack Kloppenburg & Irwin Goldman

20th August 2014

Patented and 'indentured' seeds are fast taking over the world's food supply, write Jack Kloppenburg & Irwin Goldman, terminating farmers' and gardeners' ancient right to develop new varieties, and forcing them to buy seed anew for every crop. Enter the Open Source Seed Initiative ... more...
Colorful Heirloom Potatoes - 'Carola', 'All Red', 'All Blue', and 'Purple Viking' - collection  from Seed Savers. Photo: Susy Morris via Flickr.

Building an International Seed Savers Exchange

Andrew Kimbrell / Center for Food Safety

19th July 2014

Recent decades have seen a hardening global clampdown on the rights of farmers to use, save, develop, share, swap and distribute the seeds that produce the food we all eat, writes Andrew Kimbrell - and which constitute an essential common heritage of mankind. Here's his plan to fight back against the seed monopolists ... more...
For Sale - the Co-op's Stoughton Farm.

Community bids excluded from Coop farm sale

The Ecologist

9th July 2014

The sale process of the UK's Co-op Group of its entire 70,000 acre farm estate systematically blocked community and cooperative bidders. Not a single such bid was received by the deadline. more...
Hands Off Our Forest protest in the Forest of Dean, 2011. Photograph by John F French.

Save our public lands and forests

Owen Adams

23rd June 2014

First the Government failed to include a Forests Bill in its legislative programme, writes Owen Adams. Next, campaigners spotted that the Infrastructure Bill enables a wholesale selloff of public lands. Just how safe are Britain's public lands and forests? more...
Just outside the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales (pictured), on common land high above Ebbw Vale, developers want to build a 3.5 mile motor racing complex. Photo: Ross Merritt via Flickr.

The upland commons of South Wales are no place for a motor sports complex

Kate Ashbrook

14th June 2014

Developers are determined to build a massive motor sports complex on common land above the South Wales valleys, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, writes Kate Ashbrook. But although they have planning permission, they can still be defeated ... more...
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...

commons : 1/23 of 23

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...
Grand View Ranch, Utah. Photo: Don Graham via Flickr.

We must rid the American West of 'welfare ranching'

George Wuerthner

22nd June 2014

The image of the rancher in the rugged West is one of self-sufficiency and a tough defiance of government, writes George Wuerthner. But the truth is that ranchers, especially those using federal land, depend on a host of generous subsidies, both economic and ecological. more...
A #NoKXL activist is arrested during a sit-in outside TransCanada’s Houston offices in 2013. Photo: Aaron M. Sprecher via Flickr.

Resisting the Keystone XL is legally justified - even if we are arrested

Jeremy Brecher

2nd May 2014

Nearly 100,000 people have pledged to risk arrest if the Obama administration approves the Keystone XL pipeline. Among them is Jeremy Brecher, who believes that the real criminals are governments who betray their fiduciary duty as trustees for the public good. more...
Its more than just water the UK's privitatised water industry is wasting - it's costing every household £80 more than it should. Photo: Magnus D via Flickr.com.

Public water is no pipe dream

Stephen Struthers

21st February 2014

In 2010 Parisians sacked the private water companies. Now they are reaping the benefits of public cownership and control, writes Stephen Struthers - and it's high time for the UK to do the same. more...
Skateboarders - banned at the stroke of bureaucrats pen. Photo: Norma Desmond via Flickr.com.

Public space - we must defend our freedoms!

Josie Appleton

21st January 2014

Laws handing sweeping new powers to police and private security to restrict access to Britain's public space will extinguish the diversity of civic life, writes Josie Appleton. Time for us to rediscover and defend our freedoms! more...
Bringsty Common

One man's remarkable journey to gain access rights to his local common

Chris Baker

28th January, 2011

When Tom Fisher applied for commoners' rights to graze a goat and take firewood from his local common in Bringsty, he had little idea it would lead him on an eight-month delve around England's labyrinthine Commons Act more...

How a new generation of eco-filmmakers are challenging broadcasting convention

Laura Sevier

26th October, 2010

From the Age of Stupid to the End of the Line, and next year's Just Do It, independent filmmakers are innovating with radical film subjects and creating whole new funding streams, reports Laura Sevier more...
tools

Could open source technologies help us solve climate change?

Jamie Andrews

4th May, 2010

'Open source' is a familiar concept to many web users, providing free, well-supported software across the internet. But could the same principles be used to rapidly disseminate low-carbon technologies around the world? more...
The Commons office in Kilburn

Can direct democracy win a seat in Kilburn?

Jeremy Smith

1st April, 2010

Environmental activist Tamsin Omond is running for a Westminster seat on a platform of more collaborative democracy, and resurrecting the idea of the Commons as a shared public good more...
Copenhagen

Copenhagen and the carbon conundrum

Felicia Jackson

10th August, 2009

It's too late to create an entirely new global climate framework, argues Felicia Jackson. We need to put a price on carbon to reflect its true cost, and Copenhagen, while flawed, is our best hope more...
Archive_204.jpg

The commons: an antidote to globalisation

Jonathon Rowe

1st April, 2008

The corporate market has become the institutional equivalent of a compulsive eater. It has a built-in hunger that cannot be filled, and it is hard to stop the damage within the framework of its own game.
more...

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