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WITNESS: South Africa's Parliament split over future of fracking

Jasper Finkeldey

5th December, 2016

Eight years ago the first exploration applications for unconventional gas extraction were submitted in South Africa. Last week fracking finally received official attention from South Africa's legislature during a debate that revealed how the country's different political parties gauge the benefits and risks linked to the drilling technique. JASPER FINKELDEY was at that debate. more...

Agroecology versus 'climate smart' - our next big challenge from COP22

Natalie Bennett

30th November 2016

Traditional agriculture on a farm in Cuba, where organic and agroecological farming now produce most of the nation's food. Photo: Tach_RedGold&Green via Flickr (CC BY-SA). How to make farming 'climate friendly' was one of the hot topics at COP22 in Marrakesh, writes Natalie Bennett, with two contrasting models on show: 'climate smart' agriculture, with its reliance on industrial farming systems; and agroecology, which works with nature to build fertile, high-carbon, moisture-retaining soils, and sustain employment for millions of skilled land workers. more...

Hope for forests at COP22

Tony Juniper

15th November 2016

A logging truck in Asia Pulp and Paper's PT Wira Karya Sakti pulpwood forest license. Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, in 2005. Now APP is financing forest restoration through the Belantara Foundation. Photo: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr (CC BY COP22 has revealed signs of real momentum toward an effective role for tropical forests in achieving a low carbon future, writes Tony Juniper. Now for the hard bit - connecting with realities on the ground to make it happen. This will mean working with indigenous and other forest communities to support and reward their conservation efforts, while harnessing large-scale international carbon finance. more...

WITNESS: Cleaning up the iconic but highly polluted Jukskei River

Ielyzaveta Ivanova, South Africa

Efforts to clean up the Jukskei River are to be applauded but fall far short of what's really needed to return it to the former glory so many Johannesburg residents still remember writes LELYZAVETA IVANOVA more...

THE ETHICAL FOODIE - Back to Basics

Tim Maddams

20th October, 2016

We refer to them as kitchen basics - milk and eggs - but how often do we stop to think about the true cost of their production? Not often enough writes TIM MADDAMS more...

WITNESS: Colombia's indigenous Wayuu suffer the effects of climate change, drought and rising food prices

Laura Dixon - La Guajira, Colombia

17th October, 2016

La Guajira, a dusty but spartanly beautiful region in Colombia's desert north is in the grips of a crisis. Climate change, desertification and water shortages have combined to create a perfect storm for the local rural community: a drought so severe some places did not feel a drop of rain for three years writes LAURA DIXON more...

WITNESS: Bob Dylan - The Times They Are a-Changin'

Harriet Griffey

14th October, 2016

In becoming the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Bob Dylan is in esteemed company; many previous recipients have also been voices for social protest and change, all of whom have borne witness to their life and times writes HARRIET GRIFFEY more...

WITNESS: Obesity, Ecology and the Confines of the Government Strategy

Yvonne Adebola

13th October, 2016

In the first of our new WITNESS series of blogs, food anthropology researcher YVONNE ADEBOLA suggests a 'One Health' approach to childhood obesity which recognises the ecological impact of modern food systems on the environment and on our collective health and wellbeing more...

The Ethical Foodie: We should 'meat' less often...

Tim Maddams

4th October, 2016

Ethical Foodie chef TIM MADDAMS puts the blame for the animal welfare abuses we reported recently at the door of consumers who are turning a blind eye to the true cost of cheap meat more...

US Presidential Candidates' First Televised Debate - will climate change and action get a mention?

Ethan Miller

26th September, 2016

If tonight's first televised lives debate between the US presidential candidates is anything like previous UK TV hustings climate change won't get a look in - let alone a mention. US voter and blogger ETHAN MILLER takes a personal overview of what they likely won't be saying more...

What's in a name? To control China's wildlife trade, law must keep up with science

Chris Newman & Zhaomin Zhou

20th September 2016

Malayan pangolins (M. javanica) are protected in the spirit of China's wildlife laws - but not in their letters. Photo: Zhaomin Zhou, Author provided. With the conference of the CITES convention limiting international trade in endangered species taking place in South Africa this weekend, Chris Newman & Zhaomin Zhou highlight China's problem of out-of-date species names in its national laws. If they are not updated, it's only a matter of time before illegal wildlife traders escape conviction under under this legal loophole. more...

Let's reclaim the free energy in our sewers - we have the technology!

Jan Hofman & Laura Piccinini

9th September 2016

The water may be dirty - but the heat is still valuable! Photo: susan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). First we heat up cold water for baths, showers and washing, write Jan Hofman & Laura Piccinini. Then we chuck all that precious heat down the plughole. So how about recycling our waste heat to warm up water on its way to the boiler or hot water tank, cutting bills and emissions? Or on a larger scale, use the sewage from entire communities as a free energy source for heat pumps? more...

How to spot hazardous 'rip currents' at the beach - before you get in the water

Martin Austin, Bangor University

25th August 2016

Waves break over the sandbars (1), feeder currents form moving parallel to the shore (2), until meeting and flowing offshore as a rip current (3). Image: Tim Scott, Author provided. Five men tragically died this week at Camber Sands in East Sussex, making holiday makers are increasingly fearful of the dangers of sea bathing. One of the biggest dangers comes from so-called 'rip tides' which carry swimmers out to sea on fast-moving 'rivers' of water, writes MARTIN AUSTIN. So here's how to recognise the dangers - before you even get in the water. more...

The Ethical Foodie: Pack up and ship more ethically out?

TIM MADDAMS

24th August, 2016


If you want to make a difference to waste and the environment then you need to think about what you will eat when you're travelling - both for business and for pleasure. It won't be easy, it'll take some planning but the difference you make will be huge writes, TIM MADDAMS our New Voices Ethical Foodie columnist
more...

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

James Dyke & Patrick Doncaster

22nd August 2016

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). 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...

Imposing Cliffs of Ice Are Like Something Out of TV's Game of Thrones

ROBBIE TREVELYAN

16th August, 2016

Travel blogger ROBBIE TREVELYAN is by turns awe-inspired and intimidating by the melting ice giant that is New Zealand's Tasman Glacier. Here's his first-person account of a recent visit more...

What if Britain really did abandon its farms and leave them to nature?

Christopher Sandom, University of Sussex

16th August 2016

Could the British countryside look like this one day? Gaur, a species of wild cattle, in the forest at the Kabini Wildlife Santuary, Kerala, India. Photo: rahul rekapalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The National Farmers Union has been issuing dire warnings that if UK taxpayers do not keep on paying landowners billions of pounds of annual subsidies after Brexit, many will simply give up farming altogether. So, asks CHRISTOPHER SANDOM, how would our countryside change if they followed through on that threat? (Or was it a promise?) more...

The Ethical Foodie - Thought for Food

Tim Maddams

8th August, 2016

In his new column for the Ecologist, chef and campaigner TIM MADDAMS tackles the big question - how do we reduce the environmental impact of the food we buy? more...

Guardians Of The Aegean: A new film involving a Cousteau but this one is about activism and the sea

KASSANDRA LEFAKINIS

4th August, 2016

You will recognise the famous surname but unlike his father, Jacques Cousteau, who spent a career discovering and sharing the mysteries and wonders of ocean life, Pierre-Yves Cousteau is having to campaign for its protection from over-fishing and the accompanying destruction of marine biodiversity. KASSANDRA LEFAKINIS finds herself engaged by a new film documenting this struggle and the bigger task ahead.... more...

Thanks Hugh - now let's stop throwing away the coffee grounds!

Rhodri Jenkins, University of Bath

2nd August 2016

There gold in them thar coffee grounds ... Photo: Dominick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has a done a great job exposing the scandal of Britain's billions of non-recyclable coffee cups, writes Rhodri Jenkins. But what about the coffee itself? The grounds can be used for everything from compost and biodiesel to boutique chemicals and supercapacitors - yet the vast majority of the world's 9m tonnes a year of waste coffee ends up in landfill. more...

NATURE vs NATURAL CAPITAL

Victor Anderson

26th July, 2016

The idea of "Natural Capital" as a way of seeing the world has caught on in a big way. There is a Natural Capital Coalition, a Natural Capital Protocol, and the Government even has a Natural Capital Committee. But what assumptions lurk within this term "Natural Capital"? A new University of Anglia arts-funded project aims to find out and one of those involved VICTOR ANDERSON will be giving us regular updates on the issues being raised more...

Why Corbyn so terrifies the liberal elite

Jonathan Cook

22nd July 2016

Jeremy Corbyn supporting the junior doctors' strike, 26th April 2016. Photo: Garry Knight via Flickr (Public Domain). 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...

Goodbye gasoline: we can Get It From The Sun

Keith Barnham

21st July 2016

New 'solar leaves' will be able to produce ethanol directly from sunlight - the perfect liquid fuel for automotive use - with just enough methanol to stop you drinking it. Photo: Eric Roy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Traveling in the US by boat and train visiting solar laboratories and environmental groups, Keith Barnham found many successful community initiatives in renewable electricity, and brings news of progress towards the ultimate renewable challenge: a solar fuel that could eventually replace gasoline in cars, trucks, buses, trains and aircraft. more...

Take back real control! A Green response to Brexit

Victor Anderson & Rupert Read

18th July 2016

If we really want to 'take back control', let's begin with our own institutions - such as the House of Lords, and ensure it represents the full spectrum of British society. Photo: ukhouseoflords via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The winning Brexit slogan was 'Take Back Control', write Victor Anderson & Rupert Read. But leaving the EU will only increase the power of corrupt elites unless the UK reforms its own democratic governance, combats the excessive power of corporations, upholds the rights of all its citizens, decentralises its economy, and forges progressive alliances with its European partners. more...

Korea's disgusting dog-eating 'festival' must end

Anneka Svenska

11th July 2016

A flayed whole dog placed in a cooking pot with other ingredients to make the 'dog elixir' soup for South Korea's 'Boknal' festival. Photo: courtesy of Anneka Svenska. With the coming of summer, South Korea's 'Boknal' dog-eating festival is under way, writes Anneka Svenska. Known for the extreme cruelty deliberately inflicted on dogs to improve the taste of their meat, Boknal is a barbaric relic rooted in ignorance and pseudo-medical superstition whose time is well and truly up. more...

Gertie's Story: the resilience of wildlife

Lesley Docksey

27th June, 2016

Anti badger culling campaigner Lesley Docksey tells a very personal story of her relationship with the badgers that live near to her home and come there to feed including one that miraculously survived the cruelty of a snare trap more...

The Midsummer Bonfire: Brexit and Podemos

Robert Alcock

30th June, 2016



One of our new Ecologist Voices, "Brexpat" Robert Alcock writes from rural Spain where deep down - under the shock and sorrow of Brexit - he believes there may be the seed of an unexpected hope that could give us the best chance of an emerging and real respect for our cultural and ecological heritage
more...

Solving the problem of safer drinking water with simple technologies

Chhavi Sharma, International Programmes Manager with Ashden

6th June, 2016

Later this week, an organisation that has helped make safer drinking water available to families in Indonesia will receive the new Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy and Water 2016. Here, Chhavi Sharma, explores the importance of using sustainable energy technologies to supply safer drinking water around the world. more...

Innovation for the global energy transformation: the Solarcentury Sunstation

Jeremy Leggett

1st June 2016

Installing a Solarcentury 'Sunstation', which embeds into the roof rather than sitting above it. Photo: Solarcentury. In the face of repeated attempts by the UK government to suppress the nation's solar industry in favour of fracking and nuclear, Jeremy Leggett tells the story of how the solar company he founded in 2000 has not just survived, but driven forward with technical innovation - including its new 'Sunstation' - an integrated 'snap-on' solar generation design that elegantly embeds into roofs. more...

Where will our next PM stand on fracking and the environment? (It's not looking good)

Joe Sandler Clarke / Energydesk

28th June 2016

One thing for sure - none of the candidates to be the next Tory Leader (and PM) will share the views of these anti-fracking protestors. We know who the likely runners and riders are in the race to be the new Tory leader and prime minister - but where do the prospective candidates stand on fracking and other environmental issues? Joe Sandler Clarke finds them all decidedly un-green. 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...

Raging seas: going local to understand ocean extremes of the future

Mikis Tsimplis, University of Southampton

24th May 2016

Raging seas: storm waves bear down on the already damaged Porthreath harbour wall, 1st February 2014. Photo: Philip Male via Flickr (CC BY). Scientists are rightly getting worried about increases in the average sea level over coming years, decades and centuries, writes Mikis Tsimplis. But that's only one cause of sea flooding and the loss of land to the sea. What's often forgotten are intense sea storms, hurricanes, typhoons and shifting tides, which have huge implications for the future of coastal areas around the world. more...

Set up for failure and corporate profit? The rotten core of the Green Deal

Sue Roberts

18th May 2016

This is what we need more of to save money and energy and reduce CO2 emissions: closed cell foam insulation installed between the rafters of this roof will keep the occupants warm for many years to come. Photo: Bryn Pinzgauer via Flickr (CC BY). The UK's 'Green Deal' energy efficiency scheme was a massive failure, writes Sue Roberts. But few knew just how bad until the NAO's report - which reveals that its main effect was to line the pockets of the Big Six energy companies, load the public with expensive loans, create a tangle of red tape, and engineer the collapse of the UK's nascent energy efficiency sector. more...

Good news for the only place on Earth where tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants live together

Bill Laurance, James Cook University

10th May 2016

Sumatran orangutans have lost huge areas of forest habitat to logging, burning and palm oil plantations. Photo: Richard Whitcombe. The remarkable Leuser ecosystem in Aceh, Sumatra, has faced massive destruction over recent years with rice farms, palm oil, roads and mines, writes Bill Laurance. But that's all set to end with a moratorium on forest clearance that's supported at the highest levels of government, both state and national. This is definitely news to celebrate! But we must also maintain our vigilance. more...

Wilderness is the salvation of the American West

George Wuerthner

9th May 2016

Maud Lake, Desolation Wilderness, El Dorado County, California. Photo: Blake Lemmons via Flickr (CC BY). The quiet desperation of declining towns and cities across America's West is understandable, writes George Wuerthner. Of course people dream of the 'good old days' when there were wild prairies to be grazed, forests to be felled and oil wells to be sunk - and try to bring them back. But in so doing they neglect and abuse their real and enduring wealth: nature, landscape and wildlife. more...

Dan Box - The Carteret Islands

Dan Box Blog - Paradise lost

Dan Box

14th May, 2009

DANBOX_Arrivals.jpg Dan Box reports from a community in its death throes, as the Carteret islanders pack up their homes and prepare to become the world’s first climate change refugees more...

Dan Box Blog: Morning in Tinputz

Dan Box

29th April, 2009

I slept in my clothes last night, on the bare wooden floor of one of the houses the first boatload of people to be evacuated from the Carteret Islands are building for their families. It was a jet-black night in the small clearing hacked out amid the jungle, the dark broken only by our two candles and the lights of Fireflies jigging in the trees. more...

The Evacuation Begins

Dan Box

22nd April, 2009

first arrivals at Tinputz.jpg Dan Box is on-site to witness the world's first climate refugees being evacuated due to rising sea levels more...

Other Blogs

Independent living in Canada

February 14th, 2013

by Eagle Gamma

Eagle Gamma profiles an ethnographer who chose life off-the-grid, and found true independence..... more...

Indonesia's Sumatran tiger threatened by development of last jungle strongholds

Dr. Julian Bloomer

4th September, 2012

Sumatran tiger As politicians encourage development around the Kerinci Seblat National Park, Dr. Julian Bloomer explores how the area's endangered species can be protected more...

Creating the future: How 'Zero Carbon Britain' is inspiring positivity in today's artists

Paul Allen

16th August, 2012

Zero Carbon Britain 2030 The Centre for Alternative Technology's Emergence Summit must develop positive versions of the future, as if we can't imagine it - there won't be one, says Paul Allen more...

Ewan Kingston

I did London to Sydney without flying. Here's how

Ewan Kingston

16th April, 2010

Ewan in front of a coach Our well-grounded Kiwi reflects on his six month (almost flightless) odyssey from London to New Zealand, and answers all the usual questions on travel without wings more...

I failed. I caught a plane

Ewan Kingston

3rd February, 2010

A plane ready for boarding Thousands of miles by train, coach, bus, boat and foot and, at the last hurdle, Ewan finds that there's no way to cross the Tasman Sea except on metal wings... more...

Bali to Australia by catamaran

Ewan Kingston

18th December, 2009

View from catamaran Though it was slow, choppy, wet and tiring, Ewan looks back on his wind-powered crossing to Australia as an experience worth every minute more...

Jeremy Smith

Inspiring solutions are out there, you just have to look

Jeremy Smith

25th October, 2009

Jeremy Blog image The 350.org events last Saturday on the International Day of Climate Action give us cause for hope. As Jeremy Smith is discovering, there are thousands of inspiring stories out there about people making a difference more...

It's ecotourism, but not as we know it

Jeremy Smith

5th October, 2009

Jeremy Blog image Ecotourism is not simply about minimising your negative impact. There are places you can go where your presence (and money) can make a positive difference too more...

Ivili - new video website for sharing green tech ideas

Jeremy Smith

14th September, 2009

Jeremy Blog image There are plenty of small scale, locally appropriate innovations out there. Jeremy Smith has set up a video archive and social network that puts all the stories and advice together more...

Gaian Economics

A green tax? James Tobin would be spinning in his grave

Gaian Economics

3rd September, 2009

Gaian Economics Lord Adair Turner - head of the FSA and the Climate Change Committe - has ruffled feathers by suggesting a tax on currency trading. Here's why more...

When it comes to work, less is more

Gaian Economics

18th August, 2009

Gaian Economics Why don't we follow the French model and take the whole month of August as holiday? It may help strengthen our economy more...

Mr. Bean to explain quantitative easing policy

Molly Scott Cato

16th July, 2009

Gaian Economics The deputy-director of the Bank of England is on a national tour to convince us of the seriousness of its policies to ease the recession. Molly Scott Cato can't wait for the punchline more...

Transition Culture

Five amazing things you never knew about potatoes

Transition Culture

6th July, 2009

Transition Culture Inspired by digging up some home grown new potatoes on a July afternoon Rob Hopkins is running a special competition - to win one of his potatoes... more...

Song lyrics for a better world

Transition Culture

29th June, 2009

Transition Culture In their new song 'Inaugural Trams', the Super Furry Animals capture a moment from a post carbon future more...

Transition meets local government

Transition Culture

24th June, 2009

Transition Culture What can happen when a Transition Initiative and its local authority work together: the Stroud story more...

Jonathon Porritt

Sarkozy deserves applause for his stance on growth

Jonathon Porritt

23rd September, 2009

Jonathon Porritt Few people in policy work have nice things to say about the Treasury, especially if you produce reports challenging economic growth. So Sarkozy's recent move on GDP is welcome more...

Have NGOs sold out?

Jonathon Porritt

13th July 2009

Jonathon Porritt Accusations that NGOs have got far too cosy with big business have been around for years. But where does the blame really lie? more...

Ecologist Leader

Recessions are unsustainable, but they sure cut emissions

Mark Anslow

30th March, 2010

editor's blog The dramatic cuts in UK emissions suggested by the Government's preliminary figures are staggering - but we would be wrong to celebrate them more...

Copenhagen: concession and compromise

Mark Anslow

18th December, 2009

cop15 Climate negotiations are always a balancing act. But the global atmosphere is not a politician, and it won't forgive us if we get this wrong more...

Shame on the 'climategate' scientists

Mark Anslow

27th November, 2009

Ecologist Editor Mark Anslow explores the fallout from the leaked email exchanges between climate scientists more...

Environmental Law Foundation

Corby judgment: do birth defects mean nothing?

Debbie Tripley

21st August, 2009

A handful of brave, convinced mothers fought their local council to make it pay for polluting their environment and causing their children birth defects. But has anyone learned anything from this landmark ruling? more...

Atlantic Rising

Atlantic Rising: creating a fashion for guilt-free fur

Lynn Morris

11th October, 2010

fur fashion on sale Can fashion fur be guilt free? A project in Louisiana believes the answer is yes - if you are wearing swamp rat more...

Atlantic Rising: Living on the edge on Nantucket Island in the US

Lynn Morris

28th September, 2010

Coastal erosion Homes are being moved and maps redrawn as coastal erosion eats away at an island off Massachusetts more...

Atlantic Rising: sea level rise threatens the Orinoco Delta in Venezuela

Will Lorimer

1st September, 2010

Venezuela Rising sea levels are forcing the migration of indigenous peoples and threatening the freshwater ecosystem of catfish and piranha found in the Orinoco Delta near the coast of Venezuela more...

Greening my office

Greening my office: choosing an ethical pension

Sylvia Sunshine

13th January, 2011

Sylvia takes a step towards financial security with her premier pension payment. But can she keep a clean conscience at the same time? more...

Greening my office: can't we all just go camping instead of jetting off overseas?

Sylvia Sunshine

17th August, 2010

As her colleagues jet off to sunnier climes, Sylvia tackles the thorny issue of eco holidays - but will she pluck up the courage to confront her boss over his second home? more...

Greening my office: I got them to switch the heating off!

Sylvia Sunshine

9th July, 2010

thermostat Sylvia scores her first eco success - persuading her sceptical boss that heating an unoccupied portion of the office is a terrible waste of resources more...

Laura Laker

Life without supermarkets: community action is the best way to beat them

Laura Laker

10th August, 2010

Community garden A hypermarket victory in Hackney demonstrates how local groups can help protect community shops... more...

Life without supermarkets: forget posh organic shops; check out food co-ops

Laura Laker

13th July, 2010

Money To keep prices down, Laura shops around and gives food co-ops a whirl... more...

Life without supermarkets: escaping choice overload

Laura Laker

14th June, 2010

food co-ops Laura Laker discovers the joys of farmers' markets, the convenience of vegboxes, and the horror of plans for a nearby Tesco Metro that will threaten her local corner shop more...

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