The Ecologist


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Photo: Rachel Melton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Lights out? Amber Rudd's disastrous absence of an energy strategy

Oliver Tickell

18th November 2015

Amber Rudd's speech today exposes her total failure to assemble a coherent energy strategy, writes Oliver Tickell. It reveals the increasingly certain failure to meet EU renewable energy targets, proposes a new tax on wind and solar generation, and leaves the country facing the real prospect of lights going out in the next decade. The one hard policy? To maximise oil and gas recovery. more...
Image: Sebastián Núñez via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Paris attacks - COP21 and the war on terror

Oliver Tickell

14th November 2015

Is it a coincidence that the terrorist outrage in Paris was committed weeks before COP21, the biggest climate conference since 2009? Perhaps, writes Oliver Tickell. But failure to reach a strong climate agreement now looks more probable. And that's an outcome that would suit ISIS - which makes $500m a year from oil sales - together with other oil producers. more...
Proposed rig for Statoil's Aasta Hansteen gas field in the Arctic waters of the Norwegian Sea. A pipeline to Norway's coast is now under construction. Photo: Statoil Image Bank / ASA.

Norway's dash for Arctic oil violates its own Constitution

Aleksander Melli, Pål W. Lorentzen, Mari Seilskjær, Hans Morten Haugen &...

16th October 2015

Large-scale oil extraction in the Arctic is irreconcilable with the 2C global warming limit, write Aleksander Melli, Pål W. Lorentzen, Mari Seilskjær, Hans Morten Haugen & Truls Gulowsen. And that puts Norway's dash to develop Arctic oil into direct conflict with its Constitution, which requires the state to try and secure climate stability for its citizens, present and future. A lawsuit is imminent. more...
sHellNo! Flotilla Departure Blockade in Seattle's Elliott Bay, 15th June 2015. Photo: Jeff Dunnicliff / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

Shell's retreat from the Arctic - what tipped the scales?

Louise Rouse / Greenpeace Energydesk

30th September 2014

When Shell decided to quit its Arctic oil exploration it cited 'insufficient quantities' of oil and gas, writes Louise Rouse. But that was not the whole story: what tipped the balance was a combination of investor discontent, reputational damage and public opposition on an unprecedented scale. more...
Yes we did! Shell no Kayak Flotilla climate stabilization demo in April 2015. Photo: Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

Victory! Shell quits Arctic

Terry Macalister / the Guardian Environment

28th September 2015

Shell's US president says the oil giant's unpopular drilling operations in Alaska's Chukchi Sea will stop for the 'foreseeable future' as exploratory drilling finds little oil and gas to justify its $7 billion investment. more...
The city of Newcastle, Australia, home to the world's biggest coal port, is among those to join the divestment movement. Port Waratah Coal Loader and freight train carrying steel. Photo: OZinOH via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Divestment pledges rise 50-fold to $2.6 trillion

The Ecologist

22nd September 2015

Pledges by investors to divest from fossil fuels have soared to $2.6 trillion - 50 times more than a year ago. 'Now is the time to divest', says Leonardo di Caprio, one of the latest to join the movement, which even includes Newcastle, Australia, home to the world's biggest coal port. more...
President Obama in the American Arctic, Alaska, in from of a fast-retreating glacier, 4th September 2015. Photo: Still from White House video by Hope Hall (see video embed).

Arctic charade: Obama's Alaskan tour and the climate change 'puzzle'

Timothy Clark

15th September 2015

President Obama's whistlestop Alaskan tour highlighted his unique ability to believe in two completely contradictory ideas at once, writes Timothy Clark. On the one hand, the importance of climate change and the urgency of preventing dangerous warming. On the other, the importance of the Arctic's fossil energy and the urgent need to exploit it as rapidly and completely as possible. more...
Linevo and its water reservoir formed by a dam on Koinikha, a small river falling into Ob. The giant Novosibirsk Electrode Factory is on the background. Photo: Tatiana Bulyonkova via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Russia - has the world's biggest country turned against the environment?

Lucy E J Woods

22nd September 2015

While other countries apply themselves to environmental challenges from climate change to nature protection, Russia - with its massive wealth of nature and natural resources - is stubbornly refusing to take part, writes Lucy E J Woods. And as the economy declines, the pressure is on: to ignore environmental regulations, and clamp down on environmental defenders. 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...
Part of the Science Museum’s Atmosphere exhibition, which Shell sponsored. Photo: The Science Museum.

Shell leant on Science Museum to influence climate programme

Terry Macalister / the Guardian

1st June 2015

Emails released by the Science Museum show that Shell pressed its case to Museum staff to deny NGOs the opportunity to open up a debate on the company's operations in connection with an exhibition it had sponsored on waste and climate change, writes Terry Macalister. more...
These guys aren't waiting till 2050! 'Kayaktivists' opposing Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean prepare for the 'Paddle in Seattle' protest, 16th May 2015. Photo: Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

The world won't let Shell wait until 2050 to adapt its business to climate change

Steffen Böhm

27th May 2015

Shell's senior management are treading an impossible path, writes Steffen Böhm. On the one hand they accept that climate change is real and serious, and that many of their fossil fuel assets may prove unburnable. On the other, they insist that business as usual will continue for decades to come. It's high time they smelt the coffee! more...
Unit 3 of the Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan, Saskatchewan, has been converted for post-combustion CCS, producing over 1 million tonnes of CO2 per year - pipelined to oil fields in the south of the province to increase recovery. Photo: SaskPower vi

False promise of 'carbon capture' exposed

The Ecologist

26th May 2015

The widely touted 'carbon capture and storage' technology is much more expensive than wind and solar, says a Greenpeace report. It also represents a perverse subsidy to the fossil fuel sector that will only boost coal and oil, and delay the transition to a renewable energy system. more...

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Waterfall in the Srayaku territory in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Photo: skifatenum via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Deep in the Amazon, one tribe is beating big oil

David Goodman

30th March 2014

The people of Sarayaku in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest are a leading force in 21st century indigenous resistance, writes David Goodman, resisting the incursion of oil exploration into their lands, winning legal victories, and inspiring other communities to follow their example. more...
Let them eat carbon! At the 2011 UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Ainhoa Goma / Oxfam International via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Let them eat carbon! The corporate plan to cook Africa in its own fossil fuels

Nnimmo Bassey & Sheila Berry

17th March 2015

Mining corporations, politicians and big NGOs are meeting in London today to plan the future of extractive industries in Africa, write Nnimmo Bassey & Sheila Berry. Absent African civil society and impacted communities, delegates are setting an agenda for 'resource-led development' that will cook the continent in the greenhouse gases of its plundered oil, gas and coal. more...
The Reclaim Shakespeare Company chant “Art Not Oil” outside the Tate AGM. Photo: Platform London.

Tate must reveal price of BP sponsorship

Richard Heasman / DeSmogUK

16th January 2015

The Information Tribunal has ordered Tate, the charity which runs two of London's biggest art galleries, to release details of financial support from the oil company BP, writes Richard Heasman - and they have until 27th January to comply. more...
The Force is with us! Giant carbon bubbles were chased through the streets of London during the People's Climate March in September. Photo:

2015 - the fossil fuel endgame begins

Melanie Mattauch

12th January 2015

With 80% of the world's fossil fuel reserves 'unburnable' if the world is to meet its climate targets, writes Melanie Mattauch, the divestment movement is moving from strength to strength. As investor confidence in fossil energy ebbs away, 2015 is where the endgame for a dying industry begins. more...
Russian underground coal mining by SUEK - financed by the British taxpayer. Photo: SUEK via Greenpeace.

UK's soaraway financial support to foreign fossil fuels

Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk

9th January 2015

The UK's financing of fossil fuels abroad increased tenfold in two years to exceed £1 billion in 2013 / 2014, writes Christine Ottery. Incredibly, the fossil fuel funding increase came after a government promise to use the money to support 'innovative and green technologies'. more...
There is now no atmospheric space for any new 'extreme energy' to be developed. The Deepwater Horizon Fire, 21st April 2010. Photo: EPI2oh via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

Leave most fossil fuels in the ground, or fry

Alex Kirby

8th January 2015

For the world to meet its climate goals, a third of the world's oil, half its gas and 80% of its coal must stay underground, writes Alex Kirby. And it's not us saying it - but scientists writing in the journal Nature. more...
The oil crash has incinerated $100s of billions of investments in extreme energy and stopped hundreds of damaging projects in their tracks. So why aren't environmentalists celebrating? Photo:  s1lang via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Environmentalists' oil price panic reflects their own existential crisis

Paul Mobbs

8th January 2015

Low oil prices are putting a stop to some of the world's most environmentally damaging 'extreme energy' projects, writes Paul Mobbs, and may close down the entire fracking and tar sands industries. So why are so many 'Greens' issuing dire warnings, instead of celebrating the good news? more...
The Drake Oil Well, PA, the first ever drilled in the US, in 1859, could still be producing emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane. Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr CC-BY.

Disused oil and gas wells wells a major source of methane

Richard Heasman & Oliver Tickell

28th December 2014

Long-disused oil and gas wells in the US have been found to be a 'significant' source of the super greenhouse gas methane, writes Richard Heasman. The climate impact of oil and gas is underestimated, as this long term impact is not included in existing calculations. 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...
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...
Flaring the Bakken shale with cows, North Dakota. Photo: Sarah Christianson / Earthworks via Flickr.

NASA confirms US's 2,500-square-mile methane cloud

Mike G / DeSmogBlog

18th October 2014

Floating over the US Southwest is a cloud of methane the size of Delaware, writes Mike G - reflecting the release of almost 600,000 tonnes of the powerful greenhouse gas every year. Its origins? Coalbed gas production, fracking and horizontal drilling. 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...
Mighty Thor - arrested by police on the say-so of a British Museum security guard, later released without charge. Photo: BP or not BP?

British Museum - is BP driving your heavy-handed approach?

Danny Chivers

17th September 2014

Amid ongoing creative protests over BP's sponsorship of the British Museum, Danny Chivers wants to know - why the harsh security tactics? Why the searches, exclusions and arrests, all for a paltry 1% or less of the Museum's funding? Is this their policy, or is it BP that's calling the shots? more...


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