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The Switch: soon solar will be the cheapest power everywhere

Chris Goodall

22nd July 2016

10 MW Solar PV Power Plant in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, where solar is already the lowest cost form of electricity generation. Photo: Masdar Official via Flockr (CC BY-NC-SA). Solar is already the cheapest available power across large swathes of the tropics, writes Chris Goodall - its cost down 99.7% since the early 70s. Soon it will be the cheapest electricity everywhere, providing clean, secure, affordable energy for all. more...

Greens must not jump on anti-immigration bandwagon!

Alex Randall

21st July 2016

Multicultural Britain: exemplified through this London shopfront on Seven Sisters Road. Photo: Gwydion M Williams via Flickr (CC BY). The UK's Brexit vote probably did reflect widespread anti-immigration sentiment, writes Alex Randall. And that may persuade environmental groups to tap into the xenophobic zeitgeist to win support and appear 'relevant'. But that's a temptation they must resist, because it's wrong - for factual, logical and ethical reasons. more...

Will Theresa May's new heavyweight Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy put climate change centre stage?

Joe Ware

19th July, 2016

At first glance the abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) tolled a death knell for UK action on global warming. However, rising from the ashes is a new department that has the potential to put the climate agenda at the very heart of Government. more...

Green transformation is a political project, not an economic one

Lili Fuhr, Thomas Fatheuer & Barbara Unmüßig

19th July 2016

It may be possible to transform this landscape into a green energy park, or back to wilderness - but it's not going to happen soon enough without a corresponding political transformation! Tar sands refinery at Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Photo: kris k The idea that our profit-oriented, growth-driven economic system can deliver a sustainable society is a beguiling one, write Lili Fuhr, Thomas Fatheuer & Barbara Unmüßig. But it is doomed to failure. The changes we need are in the first place political, and will be driven by a new democratic will to put people and planet before money. more...

The Unfair Narrative on Global Warming and Development: Why it must be challenged

Mark Kernan

18th July, 2016

The industries that have primarily caused, are still causing, and will continue to cause climate change, are the recipients of huge subsidies. Whilst the marginalised are promised a paltry and relatively insignificant amount to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of the problem they did little or nothing to bring about. That's just plain wrong says MARK KERNAN more...

Solar on the best UK sites is competitive with cheap coal

Chris Goodall

15th July 2016

Behind the beach and dunes of Druridge Bay, planning permission for a 350 hectare opencast coal mine has been granted. But if turned into a solar power farm, the same land would produce as much electricity as the coal after 70 years. Photo: Doug Belshaw v Last week a massive 350 hectare open cast coal mine at Druridge Bay took an important step towards winning panning permission. This got Chris Goodall wondering: what if the land was turned into a solar farm instead? His surprise discovery: solar power on England's south coast already costs no more than coal - and it's only getting cheaper. more...

Controversial dam robs, poisons Canada's indigenous Innu people

Colin Samson, University of Essex

14th July 2016

Muskrat Falls on 23rd October 2011, before dam construction commenced. Photo: innovationtrail via Flickr (CC BY-NC). A new dam on indigenous lands at Muskrat Falls will join a network of other hydroelectric projects spanning Innu territories across the Labrador-Quebec peninsula, writes Colin Samson. The continual violation of Innu rights imperils their ability to enjoy healthy and sustainable lifestyles - and follows in a long tradition of indigenous land theft in North America. more...

Beri-beri disease and resistance to GM 'Golden Rice'

Ted Greiner, PhD

13th July 2016

Most rice-eating peoples like their rice white - and will avoid yellow rice as the colour is an indicator of the deadly mould that causes beri-beri disease. Photo: rice and curry on banana leaf in Riau, Indonesia, by John Walker via Flickr (CC BY). Rice-eating peoples are very particular about the rice their diets are based on, writes Ted Greiner. And they have a strong aversion to yellow grains, the tell-tale sign of the deadly mould that causes beri-beri disease. That alone makes GMO 'Golden Rice' a non starter; 107 Nobel Laureates had better start eating their words. more...

A green, cooperative Europe - for people and planet!

Colin Hines

12th July 2016

Photo: jacinta lluch valero via Flickr (re-coloured by The Ecologist) (CC BY-SA).. The main concerns that drove the Brexit vote - mass immigration and declining job prospects - must be taken seriously, writes Colin Hines, in the UK and across Europe. We need a new, cooperative union: of decentralised regional economies, with public investment in 'green' infrastructure driving our transition to a sustainable, low carbon future. more...

Ecologist New Voices - Environmental artist Gary Cook

8th July, 2016


One of our New Voices is the UK-base environmental painter and activist Gary Cook who will be writing for us about the visual arts. As an introduction to his work, the committed conservationist explains how his extraordinarily powerful 'info-canvases' educate people about the threats to wildlife and the need for immediate action to protect our most endangered species for future generations.
more...

Ecologist New Voices: Cara Augustenborg

Cara is one of the Ecologist's New Voices contributors. An Irish-American environmental scientist and climate communicator living in Ireland, she lectures in climate change at University College Dublin and blogs and vlogs as ‘The Verdant Yank'. Here she challenges all environmental scientists to demand action on Climate Change from the politicians still turning a blind eye more...

UK's latest 'carbon budget' fails the Paris Agreement test

Kate Scott & Marco Sakai

5th July 2016

Even though most of China's industrial production is exported to the UK and other countries, we take no responsibility for the emissions in its power plants and factories, like this one in Chonqing. Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read via Flickr (CC BY-ND). The UK's latest carbon budget was well-received, even by environmentalists, write Kate Scott & Marco Sakai. But that's only because they didn't look hard enough. The Paris Agreement hugely elevated ambition to achieve even a 2C temperature rise limit - and the UK's effort is nowhere near the mark. more...

Loud and proud: Beating the drum for renewables and why the UK's green credentials are worth shouting about

Louise Ward

4th July, 2016

Louise Ward, investor relations director at renewable energy investor Low Carbon, examines how Britain's renewable energy industry is starting to make other European countries green with envy. more...

Whether it's Cecil the Lion or un-named fox cubs, killing for fun is wrong

Bill Oddie

29th June 2016

Bill Oddie in his front garden with 'Cecil' - named after Cecil the Lion, shot by a licenced hunter from the US in Zimbabwe on 1st July 2015. No animal should be killed for our enjoyment, writes Bill Oddie. And that applies alike to Cecil the Lion, shot by a Minnesota dentist almost two years ago; and to the nameless fox cubs that died more recently in England, thrown to hounds by a huntsman to teach them to hate and kill foxes. more...

The power of redemptive anger

Jonathon Porritt

27th June 2016

People have been talking about some kind of 'progressive alliance' ever since the 2010 General Election, writes Jonathon Porritt. If ever there was a moment where such an alliance could start coming together, and start working out a game plan to transform our political prospects between now and 2020, this has to be it. more...

Fox cub persecution: hunting and violence are inseparable

Eduardo Gonçalves

23rd June 2016

Outside the kennels of the South Herefordshire Hunt. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports. An investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports shows that English hunts are training hounds to kill foxes in horrific secret slaughter sessions, writes Eduardo Gonçalves. It's just one example of the cruelty and violence that's intrinsic to fox-hunting, and another reason why the ban has to be maintained. more...

Small is Beautiful but Big Matters Too

Molly Scott Cato

20th June, 2016

The only revolution, if we leave Europe, would be an uprising against a raft of EU environmental and social legislation, under the guise of ‘reducing red tape'. This would leave workers, our important nature habitats and the health of our citizens in far worse shape than is currently the case within the EU warns Green MEP Molly Scott Cato more...

Change The System - Not The Climate

Asoka Bandarage

16th June, 2016

Those most affected by climate change are those least responsible and the international policy frameworks in place to protect them don't work making it a moral issue. But we must believe that the larger goals of environmental sustainability and social justice can be achieved - if we just work together writes Asoka Bandarage more...

Now will our politicians take climate change seriously?

Richard Galustian

14th June 2015

HMS Dragon's Lynx helicopter fires infra red flares during an exercise over a Type 45 destroyer of the kind that won't work in warm seas. Photo: Dave Jenkins / Defence Images via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Rising temperatures are now affecting countries' ability to wage war, writes Richard Galustian, with Britain's new Type 45 destroyers left without power as warm Gulf and Mediterranean seas close down their engines. Will this, finally, force our politicians to understand that climate change is real and dangerous? more...

Corbyn must lead the movement for a progressive Europe

Alan Simpson

13th June 2016

Jeremy Corbyn making his big speech on the socialist case to remain in the EU, 14th April 2016: a good start but he must do far more and engage and inspire voters with his vision of a progressive Europe. Photo: via Youtube. The campaign to Remain cannot be left to the grey men of British politics, writes Alan Simpson. The Labour leadership must proclaim the case for a green Europe that belongs to its people not its corporations, inspiring voters with a positive vision of the EU as it ought to be - and that we can bring about only as fully engaged members. more...

Richard Heinberg

Is it time to change 20th century economic paradigms?

Richard Heinberg

5th February, 2009

Clueless_Economists_MAIN.jpg A hundred years ago, markets ruled: fortunes were made, workers abused, bubbles blown. The Austrian School of economists, led by Ludwig von Mises, said this was fine: despite temporary messiness, the market knows best. more...

Goodbye to growth

Richard Heinberg

7th January, 2009

Goodbye_Growth_MAIN.jpg The contraction of the global economic system bodes nothing but good for global ecosystems. Growth is dead – long live sustainability more...

Jim Thomas

High-altitude windpower: pie-in-the-sky or sound science?

Jim Thomas

1st May 2009

Jim_Thomas Since we don’t have enough land for the renewable technologies we need let’s go stratospheric instead, with a high-altitude solution… more...

What technologies for solving environmental problems will we see in 2009?

Jim Thomas

23rd April, 2009

Big_Fix_MAIN.jpg Somebody somewhere has to have a cunning plan to fix our environmental problems and save the world – right? Jim Thomas sorts through the big tech ideas you’ll be reading about this year more...

Joss Garman

Miliband's leadership on climate is tested

Joss Garman

19th June 2009

Joss Garman The climate secretary has been lauded for his coal-fired proposals, but beyond the smokescreen it’s business as usual says Joss Garman more...

European elections - will Brussels go Green?

Joss Garman

3rd June, 2009

BallotBoxing_MAIN.jpg It probably isn’t too much of an exaggeration to suggest that most people are hard pushed to name a politician they really admire. In Britain, however, one name will come up time and again. more...

Molly Scott Cato

Forget the 'big society'; we just need a co-operative one

Molly Scott Cato

16th August, 2010

Molly Scott Cato Claims that we need a 'big society' to fix our 'broken' one are just Victorian throwbacks - we have the business tools to survive; we just need a co-operative attitude to go with them more...

We scare people off by talking about 'degrowth'

Molly Scott Cato

14th July, 2010

Molly Scott Cato The French have a much better word for it: 'decroissance'. Using ugly and frightening terms like 'degrowth' won't help pave the way for a new and exciting economics more...

Tom Hodgkinson

Tom Hodgkinson: spare a moment for the bang bang men of Chongquing...

29th October, 2010

Tom Hodgkinson Although the rise of mega-cities raises disturbing questions about living standards and livelihoods, the spread of city living is not all bad, says Tom Hodgkinson more...

Starting a business has never been so liberating...

Tom Hodgkinson

25 August 2010

Tom Hodgkinson Find the hidden entrepreneur in you to free yourself from slavery to corporate and state authority, says Tom Hodgkinson more...

Other Comments

Mr Cameron: will it be heating or eating this winter?

John Sinfield

12th November 2013

John Sinfield The MD of Britain's largest insulation company demands: back warm, efficient homes now, or condemn millions to cold, damp and sky-rocketting fuel bills. more...

Peak soil: act now or the very ground beneath us will die

8th November, 2013

Helen Browning

plant and soil The health of our soils is more important now than ever, says the Soil Association’s Helen Browning - especially with the challenges that climate change will bring ... more...

Dan Box

When will Australia 'get' climate change? And will it be too late?

Dan Box

19th July, 2010

Dan Box The upcoming Australian elections will see yet another tussle between industry-supporting climate sceptics, and politicians trying to nudge their electorate towards the real world more...

Will putting a price on nature put environmentalists out of a job?

Dan Box

5th July, 2010

Dan Box The launch of the massive economic ecosystem assessment, TEEB, will help force the natural world onto the corporate balance sheet. It's a step forward. But how will protesters react to the ground shifting under their feet? more...

Bibi van der Zee

Bibi van der Zee: Government 'no more in touch with the countryside than Labour'

Bibi van der Zee

10th March, 2011

Continuing her exclusive series - Coalition Green Watch - Bibi van der Zee further assesses David Cameron's pledge to head the 'greenest government in history' and, whilst the jury may still be out, finds alarming cause for concern... more...

Climate Week is trying to galvanise the green movement – but it is splitting it

Bibi van der Zee

3rd March, 2011

Climate Week The backing of Cameron, Clegg and Kofi Annan isn't enough, say Climate Week's critics, it is blinkered – and RBS-sponsored. Bibi van der Zee reports more...

Deepak Chopra

Keeping Up America’s Reputation in the World

by Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra asks whether the American dream is tainted by current day trends in U.S. politics and society....... more...

Satish Kumar

A New Year Message - Be The Change ...

January 3rd, 2012

Satish Kumar

Don’t look at a society and think it is so big, so complex, that nothing can change. Don’t think: “I am one single person, what can I do?” That, says Satish Kumar, is despondency; that is pessimism. Instead, whatever you can do, do it. Step by step. more...

Soil, Soul and Society

December 7th, 2012

by Satish Kumar

Environmentalist and Humanitarian, Satish Kumar introduces the new trinity that he believes captures the essence of his ecophilosophy - one that cares about and for all life more...

Vandana Shiva

Safety as Freedom

February 21st, 2013

by Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva challenges the violence against people and Nature in the name of progress more...

A Student Writes

Intellectual Rigidity

March 28th, 2013

by The Interdisciplinary Research Society UEA

Would changes to academic structures help towards solving complex societal problems? more...

Global Extinction Within One Lifetime?

Michael Brown

July 16th, 2012

Environmental chemistry student Michael Brown evaluates how seriously recent claims that global extinction could occur within our lifetime should be taken.... more...

Tony Juniper

Counting the Consequences

January 14th, 2013

by Tony Juniper

We need ideas as compelling as those that embarked the world on its current competition-driven ‘free’ markets spree. We need to ignite a revolution that big, but one based on sustainability, writes Tony Juniper more...

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