The Ecologist

 

Blogs

My coal childhood - lessons for Australia from Germany's mine pit lakes

Anica Niepraschk

2nd August, 2017

How do you solve the problem of ‘retired' mine pits aka huge abandoned holes in the ground? Turning them into lakes is a popular solution but maybe not the best one says ANICA NIEPRASCK who should know since she grew up in the Lausitz region of Germany in a community surrounded by these massive, dangerous and polluting land holes more...

Introduction to Rewilding

Kara Moses

14th July, 2017

Everyone is talking about rewilding at the moment. The debate around it is shaking up the conservation sector and public interest in it is huge, with a growing movement of people advocating the restoration of our degraded ecosystems. But what does it really mean to rewild? And how would you go about doing it if you actually have some land? more...

UK Artists showcase the plight of the disappearing British bee

Gary Cook, Arts Editor

7th July, 2017

Ecologist Arts Editor, GARY COOK, visits a new exhibition showcasing the plight of the British bee - those species already sadly lost and those on the verge of extinction more...

Nature's soundscapes: protecting personal and planetary silence

Elizabeth Wainwright

4th July, 2017

In search of stillness and silence, our Nature Editor, Elizabeth Wainwright, spent a night under the stars in the wilderness (Devon's Dartmoor) which left her feeling reflective about the price we are all paying - humans and Nature - for increasing noise pollution more...

Expressing environmental concerns through the artist's pencil and paint

Gary Cook, Arts Editor

13th June, 2017

In its purist form, drawing is marking down the junctions of observed lines. The Ecology Movement does the same thing - joining up the dots of our under-strain, but interlinked environment to create forceful arguments, writes Ecologist Arts Editor, GARY COOK more...

How planting bioenergy crops could help stop Britain's brown hare from becoming extinct

Laura Briggs

6th June, 2017


If you live or spend time in the UK countryside it may have been some time since you spotted the native brown hare - if you've ever seen one at all. That's because the hare relies on an increasingly disappearing biodiverse landscape for its food. LAURA BRIGGS talks to the scientists behind a new study investigating what type of planting - including bioenergy crops - will help stop hare populations from continuing to decline
more...

Chelsea Flower Show - using garden spaces to tackle the challenges of climate change

Laura Briggs

25th May, 2017

It seems we've been talking about bringing green areas to urban spaces for years, but at this year's Chelsea Flower Show (which runs until 27th May) it's clear this theme remains a top priority writes LAURA BRIGGS who pays a visit to the world's best known flower show more...

WITNESS: Drawn to the Frozen South

Gary Cook

17th May, 2017

Our Arts Editor, GARY COOK, travels with his sketchbook to one of the last remaining wilderness places on Earth - Antartica - and returns home humbled by the experience more...

Otra Nation - A Disney-style eco fantasy or the way forward?

Laura Briggs

15th May, 2017

With what should perhaps be described as fantastic enthusiasm, a collective of architects, designers, engineers, urban planners and entrepreneurs have submitted a proposal to the Governments of the United States and Mexico to create a land with no borders. LAURA BRIGGS wonders if she should take the proposal seriously... more...

Foxhunting hounds and bovine TB - why the official silence?

Lesley Docksey

15th May 2017

The Kimblewick hunt on its Boxing Day meet, 2016. Photo: Roger Marks via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Teresa May's promise to bring back foxhunting has proved one of the most unpopular items in the Tories' election platform. So we should not be surprised at the official silence over the TB-infected hounds in the Kimblewick hunt, writes Lesley Docksey. Nor, given the political power of foxhunting landowners, should we be surprised that officials are shrugging off any idea that bad biosecurity in hunt kennels could possibly have anything to do with TB in cattle. more...

WITNESS: Marine biology at the top of the world

James Simpson

12th May, 2017

The return of blue shell mussels to the Artic after a 2,000 year absence, plus the arrival of mackerel are just two signs of a changing climate as JAMES SIMPSON discovers when he joins the scientists and fishermen on a research vessel off the coast of Svalbard more...

Worthless mining waste could suck CO2 out of the atmosphere and reverse emissions

Simon Redfern, University of Cambridge

25th April 2017

An example of the magic CO2-absorbing 'ultramafic' rock that could save the world: Forsterite - Serpentine rock in thin section, magnified under polarized light. Photo: Richard Droker via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The world must drastically reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, writes Simon Redfern - and we can't do it by cutting emissions alone. But we could we do it 'nature's way', using volcanic rocks and mining wastes that naturally soak up CO2 from the atmosphere and ocean, and turn it into harmless forms like limestone and dissolved bicarbonate. more...

The Ethical Foodie: I'm in huff - big time

Tim Maddams

7th April, 2017

Ethical foodie columnist TIM MADDAMS points the finger at fishing practices which may tick the sustainable criteria boxes but which perpetuate an environmentally damaging broken food production system when you take into account the bigger picture more...

Alternative Brexit? Could this be the change the Greens have been waiting for?

Victor Anderson & Rupert Read

31st March, 2017

Many eco-minded Brits are rightly worried about the prospect of a ‘hard Brexit'. But what if another ‘alternative' Brexit that delivered a Greener economy were possible? VICTOR ANDERSON and RUPERT READ of Green House have just delivered a new report on Brexit and trade from an ecological perspective. Here, they share their key findings with the Ecologist... more...

Executive Order removes climate safeguards - now, the fightback

Trip Van Noppen / EarthJustice

29th March 2017

Coal mining on our lands comes with serious environmental consequences that we can no longer afford - as seen at the Black Thunder mjne in Wyoming's Powder River Basin. Photo: courtesy of Ecoflight. In a potentially devastating blow to the Earth's climate, President Trump's new executive order ends the Interior Department's moratorium on coal mining on public land and begins a repeal of the landmark Clean Power Plan, writes Trip Van Noppen. But this reckless move will not pass unchallenged - the Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA must tackle climate pollution, and clean energy policies can still be defended and advanced at state level. more...

WITNESS: Investigating ocean acidification (Part 2)

Conor Purcell

23rd March, 2017

In the second part of his WITNESS blog investigating the dangers of increasing ocean acidification, CONOR PURCELL learns that increase rates are already 10 times higher than at any time in the last 55 million years which, naturally, does not bode well for all ocean ecosystems more...

WITNESS: Investigating ocean acidification (Part 1)

Conor Purcell

22nd March, 2017

In the first of his two-part WITNESS blog CONOR PURCELL joins the Irish marine scientists aboard the Celtic Explorer to learn more about how they are testing for ocean acidification more...

Force of Nature

Gary Cook

17th March, 2017

The curator of the new Force of Nature exhibition in London's Art Pavilion tells our Arts Editor, GARY COOK, that from the beginning of human history, and in every culture, nature has played a vital role in creative expression more...

The Ethical Foodie: Walk on the wild side

Tim Maddams

14th March, 2017

As the UK Forestry Commission imposes a blanket ban on foraging in the New Forest, our food columnist, chef TIM MADDAMS questions the wisdom of this and makes the link between foraging and mindfulness more...

Official cover-up - are hunting hounds the 'cryptic carrier' for bovine TB?

Jordi Casamitjana / League Against Cruel Sports

9th March 2017

The Kimblewick hunt on its Boxing Day meet, 2016. Photo: Roger Marks via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Was the discovery of bovine TB in a pack of foxhounds in southern England covered up? Jordi Casamitjana asks if hunts bear much of the blame for the bTB epidemic, while Defra may have deliberately suppressed the evidence. The 25 bTB-infected hounds of the Kimblewick Hunt may just be the tip of an iceberg of diseased dogs spreading TB across the UK - while badgers take the blame. more...

Listen up! Soundscapes reveal nature's ecological secrets

Ella Browning, UCL

8th March 2017

Don't forget the microphone! An Earth Touch cameraman braves the unpleasant odour of Malgas Island to get some awesome shots, and sounds, of cape gannets. Photo: Earth Touch via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). To find out about habitats, species and ecosystems are faring, don't just look, writes Ella Browning. Listen! Many species are hard to see, but have distinct auditory signatures, and advances in electronics suggest a future of landscapes 'wired for sound' feeding data streams for ecological analysis, not to mention detecting criminal activities from 'black' fishing to illegal logging and hunting. more...

To mine or not to mine?

Jasper Finkeldey

20th February, 2017

The Alternative Indaba initiated by faith-based groups eight years ago is a forum to discuss alternatives to the mining rush that brought more doom than gloom over the African continent and beyond. JASPER FINKELDEY reports back from this month's forum which called for the mining industry to be made more accountable more...

Healthy Not Hungry - The Ethical Foodie meets the WFP

Tim Maddams

6th August, 2017

When our Ethical Foodie food columnist was invited to help create a sustainable Fine Dining menu showcasing the values of the UN's World Food Program he jumped at the chance - and left feeling inspired not just by the food choices on the night but by the fact the whole event reinforced his conviction we can all do better, eat better and work together to help alleviate hunger across the world more...

Endgame for Cumbria's nuclear nightmare - Moorside or Doomrise?

Martin Forwood / CORE

3rd February 2017

One option for Moorside would be to ditch the Toshiba AP1000 and go for Korean APR1400 reactors. Photo: NRC officials inspect a KEPCO APR1400 simulator. Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr (CC BY). The 'biggest nuclear construction project in Europe' next to Sellafield in Cumbria is now hanging in the balance, writes Martin Forwood. With Toshiba fast sinking due to failed nuclear projects, and other members of the Nugen consortium getting cold feet, the project is facing collapse. The only alternatives are a Korean rescue - or making British taxpayers pick up the bill upfront. more...

WITNESS - The La Gomera Forest Fires

James McEnaney

30th January, 2017


Discussions around the effects of climate change tend to focus on the planet's polar extremes, expanding deserts or low-lying areas. La Gomera - a subtropical forest perched more than a thousand metres above the ocean - is also at risk. JAMES MCENANEY reports
more...

Climate change and farming: let's be part of the solution!

Anna Bowen

9th January 2017

Submerged valley near Foel, Wales. Should farmers consider switching to growing rice in their flooded fields? Photo: Jonathan Pagel via Flickr (CC BY). What with rising rainfall in the west, and hotter, drier summers in the east, British farmers place plenty of challenges from global warming, writes Anna Bowen. But there are also positive opportunities for agricultural innovators to adapt their farming systems to changing conditions, make their operations more resilient and sustainable, and make themselves part of the solution. more...

THE ETHICAL FOODIE - Try A Community Pop UP

Tim Maddams

20th December, 2016

The local food revolution, its not only under 'weigh', it's kicking ass at last and Pop Ups are both a great addition to the ethical foodie scene and more environmentally friendly than energy-sapping restaurant premises. Give them a try says chef TIM MADDAMS more...

"NATURAL CAPITAL" - A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Victor Anderson

14th December, 2016

It is easy in a country like the UK to imagine that science and economics command the whole debate about nature's value. But step back and look at the bigger picture internationally, and it all looks rather different writes VICTOR ANDERSON more...

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...

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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