The Ecologist

 
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Campaigning

London's Garden Bridge: a damaging folly at public expense

Will Jennings

26th August 2015

Artists impression of 'Garden Bridge' by Heatherwick Studio. Not immediately obvious is that it will block views from Southbank along the river to St Pauls Cathedral. It sounded wonderful: a futuristic 'garden bridge' across the Thames dripping with flowers and foliage, writes Will Jennings. But really it's a private enclosure of valuable public space, mature trees and views, backed by £60m of taxpayers money, that delivers no benefits to London's wildlife, environment or transport needs. more...

The NFU's dishonesty over badger culling

Jay Tiernan & Lesley Docksey

22nd August 2015

Bovine TB is above all, about cattle and their biosecurity. Happy cows in England's beautiful Peak District. Photo: Rick Harrison via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). As they argue for an extended and intensified badger cull, some farmers have been making extravagant and improbable claims about giant badgers frolicking with their cattle in the sunshine, write Jay Tiernan & Lesley Docksey. But despite holding office in the NFU, they display astonishing negligence by failing to adopt the most elementary bio-security measures advised by Defra to keep their cattle TB free. more...

Into the heart of the beast - occupying Germany's open cast coal nightmare

Toni Belly

21st August 2015

'No Coal - the 'Ende Gelände' action, 15th August 2015. Photo: Ruben Neugebauer / 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Last weekend Toni Belly was occupying Germany's biggest open cast coal mine in the once lovely Rhineland area, one of thousands of protestors from 350.org and other groups determined to shut the operation down. Nursing his bruises and eyes still sore from pepper spray, he set down his account of an unforgettable day of action. more...

The perfect pinta vs. the TTIP trade tanker

Vicki Hird

20th August 2015

Farmers take part in 'Milk Bucket Challenge' amid dairy crisis, 18th August 2015. Photo: still from video by The Vale Veterinary Group. Britain's dairy farmers have been having a hard time, writes Vicki Hird, largely thanks to their exposure to an unregulated, unstable, global food market. But if the EU's TTIP 'trade deal' with the US is ever signed, pitting UK dairy farmers against zero-welfare US mega-dairies run on hormones and antibiotics, they won't have a chance. more...

Broken Promises: new film exposes Malaysia's indigenous rights violations

Jettie Word

17th August 2015

Baram Dam blockade at Long Lama. Photo: Borneo Project. Malaysia is pushing ahead with its plans for a devastating series of 12 dams in the rainforests of Borneo that will kill a billion trees, bring death to wildlife on a stupendous scale and evict tens of thousands of indigenous people and their communities, writes Jettie Word. Now a new film honours their struggle for land, forest and freedom. more...

The Green Deal is dead. Long live Fossil Fuel Freedom!

Sue Roberts

13th August 2015

Green deal renovations under way. Photo: Sue Roberts. The Green Deal was expensive, bureaucratic, complex, inefficient and so badly designed it could have been set up to fail, writes Sue Roberts. Yet it was the UK's only national home insulation scheme and its intentions were sound. What it needed was rethink and reform, not scrapping - and with it gone, there's a huge gap that desperately needs to be filled. more...

After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a third nuclear atrocity: the corruption of science

Chris Busby

After the bomb: retrieving the dead of Nagasaki, August 1945. Painting by US Army, posted on Flickr by James Vaughan (CC BY-NC-SA). Following the atomic bombs exploded over Japan in 1945 a second crime against humanity took place, writes Chris Busby: the deliberate falsification of science to hide the dangers of ionising radiation, perpetrated to quell public opposition to a new age of nuclear bombs and energy. The fraud continues to this day, but finally the truth is winning out. more...

Moorside, Cumbria: the great nuclear land grab

Martin Forwood

7th August 2015

The land take for the Moorside nuclear plant will come right up to the ancient village of Beckermet, West Cumbria, and the 12th Century St Bridget's Church, built on the site of a 7th Century monastery. Photo: Chris Wood via Flickr. The land grab by NuGen for its triple reactor Moorside site keeps on growing, writes Martin Forwood. The 'biggest construction project in Europe' is expanding from Nugen's original 200 hectare site to 552 hectares of farmland reaching right up to two villages and an 11th Century church. But with compulsory purchase on the cards, there's nothing locals can do except keep on fighting the entire deeply flawed project. more...

RBS, Barclays, HSBC ... it's time to get out of coal!

Greig Aitken / BankTrack

4th August 2015

Mountaintop removal mining impacts on Blair Mountain, West Virginia, USA. Photo courtesy of Paul Corbit Brown. There's one big thing that Britain's biggest banks could do to reclaim their grievously impaired reputations, writes Greig Aitken: commit to stop investing in coal projects. As well as reducing climate change and local environmental impacts, it would also 'de-risk' their balance sheets as the global tide, from the US to China, turns against the dirty, carbon-heavy fuel. more...

Julian Assange: an epic struggle for justice

John Pilger

3rd August 2015

Julian Assange. Illustration: Mataparda, on a photo from Espen Moe, via Flickr (CC BY). Julian Assange's struggle for freedom is one of law and justice against vengeful state power determined at all costs to darken the light of truth that Wikileaks has cast into the murkiest of places, writes John Pilger. Now, after a long series of moral and legal victories, his release may finally be drawing near. more...

Fighting back for the green economy

Alasdair Cameron / Friends of the Earth

31st July 2015

Dark skies gather over the UK's solar energy sector. Photo: reway2007 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The UK government has timed its attacks on renewable energy to perfection, writes Alasdair Cameron. Public 'consultations' on proposals to cut away support for wind and solar are running over the holidays - and many of those affected don't even know about it. It's time for us all to stand up for the green economy and make our voices heard! more...

Saving the wild Rockies

Jeffrey St. Clair

26th July 2015

Packers Roost, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA). In the battle to save America's real wild west of unlogged forests, grizzly bears, mountain goats, Bull trout, free flowing streams and roadless wilderness, a single person stands out, writes Jeffrey St Clair, for her dedication, courage and remarkable success: Arlene Montgomery of Friends of the Wild Swan, Montana. more...

Defend GMO labeling - say no to Monsanto's DARK Act today!

Katherine Paul / Organic Consumers Association

21st July 2015

'Hey Monsanto! If you're so proud why won't you label it?' Vermonters at the march Against Monsanto, 25th May 2013. Photo: Cedar Circle Farm & Education Center via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The US Congress votes this Thursday on the infamous 'DARK Act' that would abolish states' right to label GM foods, writes Katherine Paul. This 'Mother of all Monsanto Protection Acts' would also outlaw state GMO bans and even prevent the FDA from pre-market safety-testing GM ingredients. Send a clear message now to your member of Congress. more...

Defending Hollington Valley? Don't even think of talking to the man who's destroying it

Emily Johns / Combe Haven Defenders

20th July 2015

The man himself - John Shaw on the Link Road site. A polite knock on the door of a Mr John Shaw of Hastings got Emily Johns a visit from the police. How so? He's the CEO of a secretive 'non-profit company' that's using tens of millions of pounds of public funds to build white elephant business parks and destroy valuable nature sites. And avoiding accountability looks like a major point of the exercise. more...

Não a PEC 215! No to Brazil's plan to open indigenous lands to industrial exploitation!

Chris Lang / REDD Monitor

15th July 2015

Indigenous representatives of multiple ethnicities were barred from Brazil's Congress building last 16th December when they gathered to oppose PEC 215. Photo: Ninja Midia via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Last December Brazil's indigenous Peoples defeated the PEC 215 constitutional amendment that was meant to open up their territories for agribusiness, mining, power generation and industry, writes Chris Lang. But now, thanks to 'Chainsaw Queen' Kátia Abreu, minster of agriculture, it's back on the agenda ... and resistance is growing once again. more...

#StopOilTrains - How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb-train

Stephyn Quirke

9th July 2015

More than a hundred people converged in Ticonderoga, NY on 7th July for a flotilla and symbolic blockade to ‪#StopOilTrains. Photo:  Rising Tide Vermont. 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...

Austria files Hinkley Point C legal challenge in European Court

Oliver Tickell

6th July 2015

If Hinkley C is allowed, then other will follow in Poland, Czech, Hungary and UK. The Dukovany nuclear complex, Vysocina Region, Czech Republic. Photo: Zruda via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Austria today filed its legal challenge to the UK's €108 billion support package for the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, writes Oliver Tickell. A second such challenge at the European Court is due from green energy suppliers in Germany and Austria who fear unfair competition from subsidised nuclear power in Poland, Czech and Hungary if the Hinkley C precedent stands. more...

Time to 'Get Oil Out!' from sea to shining sea

Ralph Nader & David Helvarg

4th July 2015

A Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) off the coast of Massachusetts, USA. Photo: chris buelow via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Faced with the double crisis of global warming and the decimation of marine wildlife, what does the Obama administration do? Open up the US's Atlantic and Arctic Ocean seafronts to oil and gas drilling, write Ralph Nader & David Helvarg. But this assault on our climate and cetaceans can be stopped, as a 'Sea Party Rebellion' prepares to fight it all the way in forthcoming Presidential elections. more...

Coming closer this month: a UN Human Rights Treaty for corporate abuses

Sam Cossar-Gilbert

1st July 2015

Texaco's toxic signature, written in spilt oil: Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The company, now part of Chevron, has yet to compensate the victims of its pollution, or clean up. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr (CC BY). This month the UN is meeting to enact binding global rules on the conduct of business and transnational corporations, writes Sam Cossar-Gilbert, reversing the trend for increasing business empowerment in TTP, TTIP and TISA. The new UN Human Rights Treaty aims to provide justice for the victims of corporate criminality anywhere in the world. more...

EU nature laws are essential to fight off wildlife attacks in Northern Ireland

Andy Atkins

26th June 2015

Slieve Gallion in the Sperrin Mountains of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, at risk from a proposed gold mine. Photo: SHANLISS_SNAPPER via Flickr (CC BY). Northern Ireland shows just how much we need the EU's laws protecting nature, writes Andy Atkins - and for the Government to enforce them. The province's wonderful natural heritage is at risk from aggressive and often unlawful developments. And the EU nature laws are essential for us to fight off a host of threats - among them sand dredging, gold mining, road-building and over-fishing. more...

Pave Paradise, put up a naval base

Medea Benjamin

22nd June 2015

Police escort construction traffic through the gate of the naval base now under construction. Photo: No Naval Base / Facebook. Jeju, South Korea's 'island of peace' is the site of an extraordinary people's struggle against the construction of a new billion-dollar naval base destined to support the US's military posturing towards China and North Korea, writes Medea Benjamin. And even now, after eight years of peaceful resistance, the campaigning spirit is burning strong and bright. more...

Commerce or Corruption? The rainforest dams of Sarawak

The Borneo Project

18th June 2015

An indigenous peoples' protest against dam building in Sarawak, February 2012. Photo: The Borneo Project. Sarawak state in Malaysian Borneo already has an excess of electricity from existing hydropower dams - so why is the government determined to build a dozen more, displacing indigenous communities and flooding vast areas of rainforest? The answer, says a new documentary film by The Borneo Project, is simple - massive political corruption. more...

'What does FRACKING mean?' 80,000 leaflets already distributed across the UK

Jojo Mehta / Toxin Free Community

15th June 2015

Realities of Fracking page 1 (cut). Image: Toxin Free Community. As Lancashire planners come out in support of the UK's first fracking well, Jojo Mehta has something to celebrate: the resounding success of the 'What does FRACKING mean?' leaflets she crowd funded for in April. So far 80,000 have gone out to campaigners and volunteers all over the UK, and requests for more are piling up. more...

Today is the USA's last chance to ditch TTP, TTIP. Act now!

Conor J. Lynch

12th June 2015

US-based Renco Group used ISDS to bully the Peruvian government after they shut down a metal smelter in La Oroya - one of the most polluted towns in the world - when the company delayed environmental improvements. The Renco Group pressured the Peruvian go A final vote to give President Obama 'fast track' authority to pursue the TTP and TTIP trade negotiations is will take place in the US House of Representatives today, writes Conor J. Lynch. This time, it's final. And yes, it really does matter. A 'yes' vote would represent the greatest corporate power grab of our times - and there's just hours in which to stop it. more...

How a Ugandan grandmother fought the President for her community's land - and won

Phil Wilmot / Waging NonViolence

9th June 2015

Keromela Anek sits with some of her neighbors in Apaa. Photo: Phil Wilmot / WNV. A new tactic of non-violent resistance secured a future for the people of Apaa, Uganda, after a violent government-backed land grab had threatened to turn their village and farmland over to a sports hunting business, writes Phil Wilmot. The unlikely leader was Anek, a respected grandmother of the village, whose naked protest sent both troops and government ministers packing. 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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