The Ecologist

 
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Campaigning

Up in smoke: the fight to block Gloucestershire's unwanted incinerator

Dan Hinge

24th April 2017

Scale representation of the incinerator in situ, near Junction 12 of the M5, providing a highly dubious 'welcome to Gloucester', adjacent to the AONB. Image: GlosVAIN. Activists in Gloucestershire are battling to block the construction of a massive incinerator that they see as a blight on the landscape, costly, polluting, wasteful and undermining recycling, writes Dan Hinge. Now the fight, backed by superstar actor Jeremy Irons, just entered a new phase after a tribunal forced the County Council to reveal essential details of the contract it had signed. more...

Smart meters and cell damage from pulsed em radiation - our health at risk?

Lynne Wycherley

11th April 2017

Image: Environmental Illness Network (CC BY-NC-ND). 'Smart meters' looked like a great idea, writes Lynne Wycherley, giving us more control over our energy use. The downside? They emit as many as 14,000 short bursts of intense microwave radiation a day, disrupting cellular electrochemistry and causing health symptoms from migraine to tinnitus, insomnia, dizziness, anxiety, chest pain, palpitations and memory loss. Now a growing number of 'electro-sensitives' have had enough! more...

No Drax! There's nothing 'sustainable' about big biomass

Frances Howe

10th April 2017

The four eastern cooling towers at the Drax biomass and coal-fired power station in North Yorkshire. Photo: Jonathan Brennan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The Drax power station in Yorkshire is the UK's biggest CO2 emitter, burns more wood each year than the entire UK timber harvest, and is a major importer of coal from strife-stricken regions of Colombia, writes Frances Howe. This Thursday campaigners will target the company's AGM to highlight its impacts on forests, biodiversity, climate and communities, in the face of Drax's PR offensive to make biomass appear 'sustainable'. more...

Grow for Syria - one woman's mission to make a difference

Laura Briggs

7th April, 2017

Grow for Syria is a new UK-based campaign bringing gardeners across the South West together to fundraise for Syrian refugees by selling plants, seeds and other garden-related items. LAURA BRIGGS explains how you can get involved more...

Deadly toll of fossil fuel pollution: the old economy versus planet and people

Pete Dolack / Systemic Disorder

6th April 2017

The Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland, UK. Photo: Graeme Maclean via Flickr (CC BY). Pollution caused by burning fossil fuels are already causing the premature deaths of 200,000 people a year - in the US alone, writes Pete Dolack. Add up the figures worldwide and it comes to many millions. And that's before we even count the catastrophic long term impacts of global warming. The US response: to loosen anti-pollution regulation and encourage increased oil, coal and gas production. more...

Tall tales and tailings - the truth about Rio Tinto's rare earth mine in Madagascar

Yvonne Orengo

3rd April 2017

Aerial view of Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar. Photo: via Andrew Lees Trust. Rio Tinto's QMM mine in Madagascar was meant to be an exemplar of 'corporate social responsibility' and environmental best practice. But the reality experienced by local communities is different, writes Yvonne Orengo, with uncompensated land seizures, food insecurity, deforestation and social deprivation. New concerns are emerging about the infringement of legal buffer zones and radiation exposure. Rio Tinto must be held responsible for its actions! more...

Hidden GMOs in our daily food? Let's get UK chefs talking, and doing!

Pat Thomas

31st March 2017

Mmm ... but did you know the chips could be fried in oil from GMO corn or soya, and that the steak almost certainly came from an animal fattened up on GMO feed? Photo: Henry Burrows via Flickr (CC BY-SA). Increasing quantities of 'hidden GMOs' are finding their way into our diet, writes Pat Thomas. They are coming mainly in US imports for supermarkets and caterers, and in animal feeds used for meat, dairy and egg production. It's time for chefs, pubs, takeaways and restaurants to take responsibility for the food chains that supply them - labelling the GMOs in their meals, and better still, cutting them out. more...

Is Natural England granting unlawful badger cull licences to farmers with poor biosecurity?

Anna Dale

29th March 2017

English badger at sunset near Canterbury, Kent. Let's all blame him for farmers' poor biosecurity! Photo: Ian Blacker via Flickr (CC BY-ND). Below-par farm biosecurity should block farmers from participating in England's badger culls, writes Anna Dale. But a large body of evidence of poor and negligent biosecurity by farmers suggests that Natural England, the government's official regulator, is turning a blind eye to this strict requirement - and undermining the purpose of the cull. more...

Support Woodland Trust's ‘Save Our Ancients' campaign to save UK's ancient woodland

Laura Briggs

20th March 2017

There's welcome news for campaigners lobbying for the protection of Britain's ancient woodland. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...

Environmental vandalism? Campaigners regroup to stop the Great Downland Sell-Off

Jan Goodey

15th March, 2017

Campaigners up and down the country are trying to stop public access land from going under the hammer as UK councils seek ways to plug the Government funding gap. JAN GOODEY reports more...

Sixteen Big Ideas to change the world and create a better future

Mike Childs

17th March 2017

The future is hard to foretell. So instead, why not create the future you want? Photo: Aurora Borealis in Iceland by Victor Montol via Flickr (CC BY) with Kirkjufell Mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall. In the fight for a better, cleaner, more just and sustainable world, it's not enough just to oppose all all the 'bads' that crowd in from all sides, writes Mike Childs. We also have to build our own vision of the future, and map out the changes we must make to get there. And that's what Friends of the Earth is setting out to do in its transformational 'Big Ideas Change the World' project. more...

Pity the poor hounds! Bovine TB, foxhounds and the biosecurity black hole

Lesley Docksey

15th March 2017

Boxing Day Hunt and Hounds in Chiddingstone, Kent, England. Photo: Kentish Plumber via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The 25 TB-infected hounds of the Kimblewick hunt, all put down, remind us that the lot of hunting dogs is not a happy one, writes Lesley Docksey. Unloved and at constant risk of slaughter, they are prone to a host of diseases, from bovine TB to brucellosis, neospora and botulism, which they can pass on to farm stock, humans and other dogs. They deserve better! more...

Supermarkets: 'Feed me the Truth' about GMOs in our food chain!

Liz O'Neill / GM Freeze

7th March 2017

If it's not organic, milk in UK supermarkets is almost all from cattle fed GMOs in their feed. Photo: Echoplex7 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). UK supermarkets led the world in saying 'no!' to GM foods and ingredients, writes Liz O'Neill. But they faltered on GM feeds for pigs, cattle, poultry and fish, with GM soy and corn dominating the UK's non-organic market. Now campaigners are putting the pressure on supermarkets to make their entire supply chains GMO-free for the sake of animal, human and ecological health. more...

Crustacean Compassion campaigns for welfare rights for lobsters & crabs

Laura Briggs

6th March, 2017

If the thought of dropping a live lobster into a pan of boiling water horrifies you, then you're in good company including that of a new campaigning group that wants lobsters to be given the same animal welfare rights as other creatures. LAURA BRIGGS reports more...

The Hunting Act 12 years on - time to crack down on the fox-killing criminals!

Jordi Casamitjana / League Against Cruel Sports

21st February 2017

A legal fox kill before the 1994 ban. But in truth, little has changed since. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports. Since February 18, 2005 roughly 200,000 illegal hunting events undertaken by registered hunts may have taken place in the UK, writes Jordi Casamitjana. By engaging in fictitious 'trail hunting', they can chase foxes as before, and when they are killed, well, it was all a shocking 'accident'. It's high time to strengthen the law to ensure the spirit in which it was passed is fulfilled. more...

Reaching hearts and minds: the power of nonviolent action unleashed

Robert J. Burrowes

15th February 2017

22,000 shoes in Place de la Republique - Climate of Peace #climat2paix, 29th November 2015, at #COP21 - placed to represent the hundreds of thousands of people denied freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the March for the Climate. Photo: Takver vi Nonviolent activism is an incredibly powerful means of transforming the world, writes Robert J. Burrowes. But to harness that power, we must understand that it works by inspiring others to join in a just and noble cause, while communicating the actions they can take in their own lives. Its essential modes are thus political and psychological - and victory can result from apparent failure. more...

New Mooncup campaign offers a more eco-friendly alternative to disposable sanitary-ware

Ecologist Reporter

13th February, 2017

The new 'Own Your Period' Campaign by Mooncup - the eco-friendly alternative to disposable sanitary-ware - aims to persuade women to make the switch more...

Stop the UK Treasury's transport carnage!

Donnachadh McCarthy

10th February 2017

Be there! Saturday 11th February 2017. It's not just that the government does not seem to care about the millions of Britons that have died prematurely from traffic pollution, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. It's that every policy intervention they have made is making the problem worse! Join us this Saturday to demand a sane transport policy that will make our roads safe for people, and our air fit to breathe. more...

Animal Campaigners launch petition to stop horrific dog torture in Romania

Ecologist Reporter

9th February, 2017

Animal campaigners who have returned from investigating the torture of street dogs in Romania are calling for new legislation that will prosecute those responsible more...

Fighting the Brexit threat to pesticide laws

Keith Tyrell / PAN UK

8th February 2017

After Brexit, currently banned pesticides like atrazine could once again contaminate the British countryside. Photo: Will Fuller via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). After leaving the EU the government could allow dangerous pesticides banned elsewhere in Europe to be used in the UK, writes Keith Tyrell. Today, Pesticides Action Network is launching a new campaign calling on citizens to fight back against the pesticide industry - and ensure that EU directives and regulations serve as a baseline for British pesticide laws. more...

Sizewell C consultation: EDF 'forgets' to mention 600,000 m3 a year of mains water

Peter Lux

23rd January 2017

The Sizewell B nuclear plant rises above RSPB's Minsmere nature reserve. Now, where's Sizewell C's 1,600 m3 a day of extra mains water demand going to come from? Photo: Tony Sutton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). In its second consultation for the EDF's planned Sizewell C nuclear power station there's a strange omission, writes Peter Lux: that the plant would use 1,600 m3 of mains water a day, adding to stresses on important local wetlands like RSPB's Minsmere reserve. The omission is not just strange - it's also illegal and could make the entire exercise invalid. more...

Rosia Montana: how Romanians united to save a mountain village from mining apocalypse

Alexandru Predoiu / WNV

11th January 2017

Workshop at the 2013 FanFest at Rosia Montana, which attracted thousands to the small village and stimulated a new round of activism to defeat the gold mine. Photo: Jan Slangen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Last week's decision by the Romanian government to seek UNESCO World Heritage status for Rosia Montana, a historic Carpathian mountain village under threat of gold mining, is a massive victory for campaigners after a hard 15-year struggle, writes Alexandru Predoiu - one that has united farmers, city-dwellers and new-age protestors against cultural and ecological destruction. more...

UK's 'development for profit' private equity arm set to grab £6 billion of aid funds

Global Justice Now

10th January 2017

CDC's development model in microcosm? Girl begging outside McDonalds outlet, India. Photo: Jon Ardern via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). A bill to quadruple the UK's aid funding to a profit-driven 'private equity' company owned by the government comes before MPs today for its third reading, writes Global Justice Now. Trouble is the investments do little or nothing for the poor, and instead entrench corporate power in health, education and infrastructure. Parliament should seize this last chance to reject the new law. more...

China must take responsibility for its citizens' wildlife crimes in Africa

Namibian Chamber of Environment

6th January 2017

Endangered by the illegal trade in rhino horn, much of which is exported to China in a trade largely operated by Chinese citizens: White Rhino at Okaukuejo, Oshikoto, Namibia. Photo: Paolo Lucciola via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Chinese citizens are responsible for much of the wildlife crime taking place in Namibia, inflicting immense damage to the country's environment, and undermining community based conservation, writes the Namibian Chamber of Environment in this Open Letter to China's Ambassador Xin Shunkang. China must act to stop its citizens' criminal activities, and invest in making good the damage caused. more...

EPA's systemic bias in hearings over glyphosate and cancer

Carey Gillam

19th December 2016

The EPA building in Washington DC. Photo: Mark Ordonez via Flickr (CC BY). The US Environmental Protection Agency was on the defensive last week in its hearings to determine whether glyphosate, the word's number one herbicide, causes cancer, writes Carey Gillam, as it stood accused of giving preferential treatment to industry representatives, excluding evidence of cancer links, and refusing testimony from a world expert epidemiologist. more...

Campaigning: The Basics

TAKE ACTION to end cosmetic testing on animals

Mark Briggs

24th April, 2012

TAKE ACTION to end animal testing on cosmetics Lush Cosmetics have teamed up with the Humane Society International to launch a campaign to ensure long-awaited proposals banning products tested on animals outside the EU are fully enforced more...

CAMPAIGN HERO: Martín von Hildebrand on indigenous rights in the Colombian Amazon

Mark Briggs

13th April. 2012

Martín von Hildebrand, founding Director of the Fundación Gaia Amazonzas The veteran campaigner talks to the Ecologist about the ongoing struggle to secure indigenous land rights and how he successfully took the Colombian government to court more...

Cleaner Air, Water, Land

CAMPAIGN HERO: Sharon Johnson, Trees for Cities

Ecologist

27th January, 2012

Sharon Johnson, Trees for Cities It is estimated that by 2030, 92 per cent of Britons will live in cities. The CEO of charity Trees for Cities on why its so important but difficult to plant trees in our streets more...

CAMPAIGN HERO: Bongani Mthembu of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance

Hannah Corr

26th October, 2011

Bongani Mthembu Bongani Mthembu talks to the Ecologist about the struggles and successes in achieving environmental justice in South Africa’s townships more...

Climate Change and Energy

TAKE ACTION to help end government subsidies for dirty energy

Grace Philip

25th May, 2012

350.org Global grassroots movement, 350.org is gathering support to persuade world leaders to stop subsidising fossil fuels at the Rio Earth Summit more...

TAKE ACTION to start a British clean energy revolution

Mark Briggs

11th May, 2012

Offshore wind turbines Friends of the Earth are calling on Prime Minister David Cameron, and Energy Secretary Ed Davey to wean the UK off fossil fuels and create a 'Clean British Energy Revolution' more...

Culture Change

Why the best world-changing ideas begin in your neighbourhood

John-Paul Flintoff

22nd May, 2012

Your ideas for changing the world may be desperately important. But if you can't find a way to engage the interests of the people around you they may never take off, argues John-Paul Flintoff more...

A midwife's manifesta on how to have a fearless birth

Laura Sevier

4th May, 2012

Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin Birth Matters, a new book by pioneering midwife Ina May Gaskin aims to empower women to gain control over their bodies in order to have the kind of birth they want more...

Food and Gardening

TAKE ACTION to stop supermarkets abusing their buyer power!

Ecologist

30th May, 2012

Top Banana 2 If you have bought bananas or pineapples in a supermarket recently did you know that many of the workers that plant, pack and grow them live in poverty? more...

Ireland's 'Grow it Yourself' self-help food growing community coming to the UK

Rebecca Campbell

16th May, 2012

Garden Organic's 'I don't dig peat' campaign Grow It Yourself is a popular community organisation with a vision of bringing people together in a sustainable and healthier way through organic food growing. Now it has plans to launch further afield in the UK more...

Schools

Child's Play: How Children Learn

Phoebe Doyle

17th July, 2012

A child plays in an empty box. They need to play; we buy them toys. But education writer Phoebe Doyle thinks you might just be wasting your money, and your children’s time more...

The Secret Garden nursery: a unique daycare where children spend all day outdoors

Phoebe Doyle

26th July, 2011

Outdoor nurseries When the classroom is the outdoors the possibilities are endless. Phoebe Doyle explores the practicalities, the realities and the huge potentials of the outdoor nursery concept more...

Transport

Campaign For Better Transport: how to reduce the need to travel

Richard Bourn

13th December, 2011

Exhaust pollution from a car The National Planning Policy Framework will sideline smart growth in favour of out-of-town sprawl - rolling back decades of town centred development. Now campaigners have launched a toolkit to reduce travel demand within local transport plans more...

CAMPAIGN HERO: Joss Garman of Plane Stupid

Matilda Lee

25th January, 2011

Joss Garman Veteran campaigner and former Ecologist contributor Joss Garman talks to us about past campaigning successes - and why a Green Investment Bank should be a top priority for the Coalition Government more...

Waste and Recycling

Collaborative Consumption: Tool Sharing

by Samir Jeraj

September 27th, 2012

Collaborative consumption is the next step on from Freecycle and swapshops more...

CAMPAIGN HERO: Shlomo Dowen, UK Without Incineration Network

Matilda Lee

5th April, 2011

Shlomo Dowen, UK Without Incineration Network The head of the UK's grassroots anti-incineration network on working towards a zero waste economy, encouraging community engagement and avoiding 'defeatist' language more...

Wildlife

Six reasons to become an urban beekeeper

Zion Lights

19th April, 2012

Bees Urban beekeeping will help boost the UK's declining bee population. Here are six reasons to get involved more...

TAKE ACTION: Support Friends of the Earth's National Bee Action Plan

Mark Briggs

11th April, 2012

Honey bees In China, pear trees have had to be pollinated by hand after bees were wiped out by industrial farming. Now FOE have launched a petition to get the UK government to help halt the decline in Britain's own bee population more...

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