The Ecologist

 
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Campaigning

Brazil must save Amazon's Kawahiva tribe from genocide

Lewis Evans

8th February 2016

Still from video footage taken by a Brazilian government task force during a chance encounter with a Kawahiva tribe member in his rainforest home. Photo: FUNAI. The Kawahiva, an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon rainforest, face extinction unless Brazil's government acts to secure their legal rights to land, security and to remain undisturbed by outsiders, writes Lewis Evans. The decree that would achieve this vital goal has been sitting on the Minister of Justice's desk since 2013. Let's make sure he signs it soon, before it's too late. more...

20 years ago today ... What have we learned since the GMO Flavr Savr tomato?

Pat Thomas

5th February 2015

Sainsbury's Genetically Modified Tomato Paste - on sale in the UK, 20 years ago. Photo: via Beyond GM. Two decades ago the world's first GM foods went on sale, writes Pat Thomas. The consumer flirtation with GMOs soon died away, yet the biotech industry has grown into a global behemoth, driving agricultural intensification and sending agro-chemical sales through the roof. It's time for us to take a stand once again and insist: there are better, healthier ways of growing food. more...

From salt to GMOs - resistance is fertile

Colin Todhunter

1st February 2016

Mahatma Gandhi remains a potent symbol of freedom from the oppression of colonialism and overweening corporate power. Photo: wall in Berlin by Marius Watz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). How can progressive movements rise above merely being right, to mount effective mass opposition to corporate rule and the dictatorship of the super-wealthy? By learning from Gandhi, writes Colin Todhunter, and devising new campaigns that engage with people's everyday concerns - like access to safe, wholesome, affordable, 'open source' food. more...

What's to celebrate on Australia's 'apartheid day' of national shame? Only this: survival

John Pilger

25th January 2016

Artwork: Franz Jachim via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). For most Australians, 26th January is a day of family celebration, writes John Pilger. But for its indigenous peoples the only thing to celebrate is their survival after over two centuries of rape, murder, theft and vicious racism that continues to this day, and has even found new expression in Australia's war on refugees, incarcerated in barbaric Pacific Island concentration camps. more...

Climate Justice activists to EPA: make Clean Power Plan work for fossil fuel afflicted communities!

Kate Aronoff / Waging NonViolence

24th January 2015

The smokestack of the now-defunct Fisk Generating Station spewing soot, sulfur and mercury over Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, and elsewhere, January 2012. Photo: Seth Anderson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). While the fossil fuel industry and Republican states and senators step up legal and political challenges to Obama's Clean Power Plan, protests have also been flooding in to the EPA's ten regional offices from climate activists - demanding that it cut out dirty biofuels and 'carbon trading' loopholes, and protect vulnerable communities from fossil fuel pollution. more...

Mums - let's use our consumer power to keep GMOs and deadly herbicides out of food

Sally Beare

21st January 2016

Mums say 'No' to GMOS! No matter how concerned we are about the quality of food we and our families eat, we can be sure governments are putting corporate profit first, writes Sally Beare. But we - Mums in particular - still have our power as consumers to push supermarkets and other retailers into going GM-free and keeping toxic agrochemicals out of the food chain. Let's use it! more...

Who's telling the truth about the New Alliance and farmers in African countries?

Aisha Dodwell / Global Justice Now.

15th January 2016

We enjoy farming! Photo: Alto vicky via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA). The 'New Alliance', backed by £600m of UK aid, is meant to improve food security, reduce malnutrition and lift people out of poverty, writes Aisha Dodwell. But it's all a huge con - delivering corporate welfare, attacking small farmers, enabling land grabs - and leaving a trail of poverty and human devastation. It draws praise from only a single review of its activities: its own. more...

Are fossil fuel giants violating human rights? The Philippines will decide

Ellen Baker / ClientEarth

13th January 2016

A survivor of Typhoon Haiyan, Leyte, Philippines, 10th November 2013. Photo: Arlynn Aquino / EU ECHO via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The Philippines is taking a huge leap forward in the climate wars, writes Ellen Baker, with the world's 'top 50' energy giants standing accused of violating international human rights law as a result of their fossil fuel production. This is the first such investigation ever to take place anywhere in the world - and it just opened up a whole new front of corporate vulnerability. more...

Europe must lead the way towards 'zero deforestation'

Sébastien Risso / Greenpeace Europe

11th January 2016

Enormous farms are eating deep into the forests of the Mato Grosso in Brazil - and the EU is one of the main markets for the soya they produce. Photo: Leonardo F. Freitas via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). After years of half-hearted, ineffective polices to tackle deforestation, the EU is finally promising to take strong measures to deal with the problem, writes Sébastien Risso. Tackling illegal timber imports will be a great start, but it also needs to take on the far larger problem of deforestation for agriculture - stimulated by the EU's huge imports of palm oil, soy, beef and other commodities. more...

Truss's decision: badger culling will continue, with no evidence it works

Lesley Docksey

5th January 2015

Why did the badger cross the road? Maybe to get away from an Environment Secretary on a personal mission of death and destruction to Britain's wildlife. Photo: Badger in the Quantock Hills of Somerset by Mark Robinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Sneaked out shortly before MP's Christmas recess, the Government's decision to 'carry on culling' badgers with no evidence that the slaughter is reducing the incidence of bovine TB is a travesty of process, writes Lesley Docksey. But it does have one useful outcome - it has exposed Defra's claims that the cull is 'science-led' as arrant nonsense. Science never even got a look in. more...

Cumbria flooding: Environment Agency issues alert on Drigg nuclear waste site

Marianne Birkby

31st December 2015

Pre-1988 dumping of low and intermediate level nuclear waste at the Drigg site in Cumbria. Photo: via EA (2005). Following this month's intense rainfall in the north of England an Environment Agency alert has highlighted the flood risk to the crumbling nuclear waste dump adjoining Sellafield in Cumbria, writes Marianne Birkby - a dump which remains in use despite its condemnation by the EA in 2005 due to its likely destruction by rising seas. Now it really is time to close the gate on Drigg! more...

Sewage treatment essential to save Puget Sound orcas

Dr. Sierra Rayne

20th December 2015

Orca watching in Puget Sound with Jim Maya. Photo: Robbert Michel via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Orcas from Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia are under threat,in large part due to toxic organic compounds in the marine food chain, writes Sierra Rayne. To give them a fighting chance, the nearby community of Victoria, British Columbia must install advanced sewage treatment - rather than just dump its wastewater largely untreated into the orcas' ocean home. more...

The plight of the partridge: confined, distressed, maimed - then shot for fun

Dr Toni Shephard

15th December 2015

A caged Heart of England partridge debeaked and fitted with metal beak 'bit'. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports. Forget pear trees. Today's partridges are unlikely to have seen much beyond the barren confines of their cages until they are released to be shot, writes Toni Shephard. A new investigation by the League Against Cruel Sports reveals that thousands of partridges will spend Christmas, like every other day, imprisoned on the farms that supply shooting estates. more...

Bloodbath in Yellowstone: the park's plan to slaughter 1,000 wild bison

George Wuerthner

14th December 2015

Yellowstone Bison. Photo: Jitze Couperus via Flickr (CC BY). Yellowstone Park is home to America's last pure-bred wild bison, writes George Wuerthner. Yet the Park's management is planning to kill around a thousand of these precious animals this winter. Ostensibly it's to protect cattle on public lands near the park from brucellosis. But bison have never been known to transmit the disease to them. The real reason is to keep all the pasture for livestock. more...

Brandalised! COP21's 600 fake adverts take the real climate message to Paris

Thomas Dekeyser, University of Southampton

9th December 2015

Living the real climate experience? Image by Brandalism.org.uk. Artwork by Bill Posters. Author provided. Civil society may have been kept out of the COP21 conference centre, even forbidden to march on the streets, writes Thomas Dekeyser. But climate activists have found an new means of expression: the 'Brandalism' of 600 advertisements in bus shelters across Paris, replacing corporate brand-building with subversive messages on climate and consumerism. more...

Sustainable palm oil? RSPO's greenwashing and fraudulent audits exposed

Chris Lang / REDD Monitor

19th November 2015

Vanishing rainforest: soon more oil palm plantations. Seen on flight between Miri and Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo: Bernard DUPONT via Flickr (CC BY-SA). A new investigation of palm oil plantations, companies and auditors has found that the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is failing to deliver on its promise, writes Chris Lang. Widespread fraud, collusion between auditors and companies, conflicts of interest, and a flawed complaints system mean that RSPO-certified palm oil may be destructively and illegally produced. more...

From Yucatan to Arizona, from Sonora to New Mexico: the return of the jaguar

Kent Paterson

13th November 2015

This jaguar is in a zoo in French Guyana - not to be confuised with the wild jaguars of Mexico, now returning to their former range in the US. Photo: Yannick TURBE via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Mexico is determined to restore populations of its largest native predator, the jaguar, to long term viability, writes Kent Paterson. That means creating millions of acres of ecological corridors across the country, and joining with US colleagues to secure large areas of habitat in southwestern states, where recent sightings give hope that jaguars are returning to their former range. more...

Fox hunting season begins under cloud of political spin

Dr Toni Shephard

8th November 2015

Dressed to kill ... the Essex Hunt. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports. The fox-hunting season is now well under way, writes Toni Shephard. But with Cameron still pressing for a Commons vote on wrecking amendments to the Hunting Act, political controversy shows no sign of subsiding. Take, for example, the proposed lifting of the limit on number of dogs that can be used for the 'observation or study' of a wild mammal. more...

Colorado State campus mega-development steals Mexican beach - you call that 'mindful'?

Viviane Mahieux

2nd November 2015

Punta Lobos beach, Todos Santos - with the 'mindfulness' development built out across the beach. Photo: Salvemos Punta Lobos via Facebook. Resistance is growing in Todos Santos, Baja California, to a tourism and University campus mega-development of 4,500 homes that claims to be 'free range and locally sourced', writes Viviane Mahieux. It has already grossly disfigured one of Mexico most gorgeous beaches, while locals fear it will drain their aquifers and obliterate a harmonious community. more...

BBC fails to challenge BP arts sponsorship chief on kidnap and torture allegations

Chris Garrard / Art Not Oil

26th October 2015

Colombian trade unionist Gilberto Torres taking part in a recent Art no Oil protest at the British Museum. He is taking BP to court over its alleged involvement in his 42-day kidnap and torture by a paramilitary group, during which he was kept in an insec Last week BP's Peter Mather - who claims to have 'green and yellow oil' flowing in his veins - took to the airwaves on Radio 4's The Bottom Line'. Evan Davies asked some tough questions, writes Chris Garrard - but failed to mention the shocking case of Colombian trades unionist Gilberto Torres, kidnapped and tortured for 42 days by paramilitaries employed by BP's joint venture partner. more...

Can't drive? Won't drive? Want to drive less?

Chris Church

15th October 2015

Some pedestrians are getting tired of waiting ... Photo:  Samu Lang via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Fewer than half the UK's inhabitants even have a driving licence, writes Chris Church. So how come the UK's transport policies are all about meeting the needs of drivers? After all, even drivers are pedestrians the moment they step out of their cars. Now a new campaign group is forming to give a voice to non-drivers - and demand a better deal. more...

Indigenous activists celebrate bitter victory over rainforest dam moratorium

Rod Harbinson / Mongabay

22nd October 2015

Even though the Baram dam is on hold, logging of the reservoir area and surrounding forest is proceeding apace. Photo: Rod Harbinson. As indigenous activists opposing hydropower dams on their territories gather this weekend in the rainforests of Sarawak, Malaysia, they have good news to celebrate, writes Rod Harbinson: a giant dam on the Baram river has been put on hold. But the forests are still being logged, local people have been stripped of land rights, and a programme of 12 giant dams is still official policy. more...

Time to curb FADs, the tuna industry's floating atoll destroyers

Dr Cat Dorey / Greenpeace

14th October 2015

A bamboo-net FAD on Farquhar Atoll, Seychelles. Photo: ICS. Declining tuna stocks are not the only consequence of an out-of-control tuna industry, writes Cat Dorey. A major tuna fishing method used in tropical seas is causing serious damage to coral reefs and attracting a huge 'bycatch' of sharks and other species. Now responsible producers and retailers are taking matters into their own hands - and you can help! more...

For climate change action, we must fight back against the media billionaires

Donnachadh McCarthy

12th October 2015

Propaganda - Brain Death by the Daily Mail. Image: Byzantine_K via Flickr (CC BY). A handful of 'climate sceptic' billionaires, owners of most of the UK's biggest selling newspapers, have used their media dominance to spread a false narrative on climate change, and undermine prospects for effective action to curb fossil fuels, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. Campaigners must fight back - beginning with a series of actions that begin outside the Daily Mail this month. more...

Global South campaigners tell UK planners: no new opencast coal mines!

Anne Harris & Hal Rhoades

7th October 2015

Opencast coal mine at Pont Neddfechan, Wales, UK. Photo: Ben Salter via Flickr (CC BY). Campaign groups from Indonesia, Kenya and Peru have called on planners in the UK to turn down opencast coal mines in Co Durham and Derbyshire, write Anne Harris & Hal Rhoades. Not only do the mines damage local health and environment, say the activists. They also threaten global climate stability - and all countries must play their part in ending the world's coal addiction. 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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