The Ecologist

 
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Campaigning

San Francisco declares: every whale and dolphin has the right to be free

Laura Bridgeman

23rd October 2014

A Bottlenose Dolphin does a backflip off of Kilauea Point, Hawaii. Photo: Byron Chin via Flickr. If SeaWorld is looking to build a new park in California, it will be steering well clear of San Francisco, writes Laura Bridgeman. Following a campaign backed by scientists and hundreds of high school students, the City has declared cetaceans' right to be free and 'unrestricted in their natural environment'. more...

The future of family farming is in our hands

Holly Creighton-Hird

19th October 2014

'Small holder farming traditions run through my blood; there was no other way I would choose to farm, I would never run a farm that was cruel.' Tom, Bellair Haye Farm. Photo: Pig Pledge. Everyone loves family farming! And so they should, writes Holly Creighton-Hird, as family farms produce most of the world's food. But the UK Government has a funny way of showing it - favouring corporate agriculture and eliminating farm payments for small land holdings. It's up to us, the public, to support small, high welfare producers.
more...

Keeping the lights on

Owen Paterson

16th October 2014

Owen Paterson meets Hillary Clinton. Photo: from owenpaterson.org. Last night's speech on Britain's energy choices by former environment secretary Owen Paterson's caused widespread outrage long before it was delivered. But what exactly did he say on the night? Read on, and be surprised to discover that it makes excellent sense - in parts. more...

Fighting for the foothills: protect the headwaters of North Saskatchewan!

Carol Linnitt

13th October 2014

The North Saskatchewan River in the Kootenay Plains. Photo: Alan Ernst. Much of Alberta, Canada has already been damaged by industrial clearfelling, or lost to the tar sands industry, writes Carol Linnitt. But now there's a chance to keep 'the most beautiful example of pristine eastern slopes Rockies out into the foothills' as wilderness, in the North Saskatchewan's unspoilt headwaters. more...

Hinkley C gets the go-ahead - but will it prove a dodgy nuclear deal too far?

Paul Dorfman

8th October 2014

Hinkley Point B. Photo: Ken Grainger / geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons. The outgoing European Commission has just given the UK's controversial Hinkley C nuclear project the go-ahead, writes Paul Dorfman - approving a deal that will cost the UK public tens of billions of pounds. But now the deal faces a legal challenge in the European Court of Justice. more...

Sea turtles run the deadly garbage gauntlet of Praia de Achados

Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd

6th October 2014

A loggerhead turtle lost among the garbage lies dead, baked under the midday sun. Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd. Out in the Atlantic off the coast of West Africa, the Cape Verde islands should be pristine, writes Simon Ager, a haven for sea turtles and other wildlife. But the beach where loggerhead turtles have nested for millions of years is buried under a deadly morass of plastic garbage. more...

Five ways to stop the world's wildlife vanishing

Paul Jepson

1st October 2014

Rewilding - how far do we want to go? A Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos ssp.) mother with two two-year old cubs in Denali National Park. Photo: Gregory 'Greg' Smith via Flickr. Faced with a worldwide 52% decline in wildlife numbers over 40 years, Paul Jepson calls for action, not despondency. A new, inclusive vision of how to conserve and rebuild biodiversity is needed - that embraces diverse solutions, engages new technologies, inspires a new generation of leaders, and echoes the call of the wild. more...

Wild West Welfare - how ranching made US public lands private property

William Williers

26th September 2014

Ranching on BLM lands is a taxpayer-subsidised environmental degradation. Photo: Cattle near the Bruneau River in Elko County, Nevada. Photo: Famartin / Wkimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0. Livestock ranching on US public lands underlies a vast range of environmental problems - so should we welcome 'conservation buyouts' of ranches that own grazing leases? No way, writes William Williers, because the lands are already ours, and to 'buy' them is to support and perpetuate a $1 billion per year fraud against the American people. more...

The Carbon Underground: reversing global warming

Ronnie Cummins / Organic Consumers Association

21st September 2014

An intensive feedlot for beef cattle - a key stage in the US's amazingly high emissions from beef production. Photo: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project via Flickr. As millions join in climate marches and other actions around the world, writes Ronnie Cummins, the 'mainstream' focus on energy is missing the 55% of emissions that come from mismanaged land and destroyed forests. The key is to replace industrial agriculture worldwide with productive, regenerative organic farming that puts carbon back in the soil. more...

Conserving Kazakhstan's golden treasures on a breathtaking scale

Stephanie Ward & Geoff Welch / RSPB

19th September 2014

Tulips - springtime on the 'Golden Steppe'. Photo: Stephanie Ward / Geoff Welch. Kazakhstan offers the opportunity for conservation on a grand scale, write Stephanie Ward & Geoff Welch. They recently visited the Golden Steppe, where they helped to secure an area of wildlife-rich grassland bigger than Wales for conservation. But that's just a fraction of the long term plan - a nature reserve the size of France. more...

British Museum - is BP driving your heavy-handed approach?

Danny Chivers

17th September 2014

Mighty Thor - arrested by police on the say-so of a British Museum security guard, later released without charge. Photo: BP or not BP? Amid ongoing creative protests over BP's sponsorship of the British Museum, Danny Chivers wants to know - why the harsh security tactics? Why the searches, exclusions and arrests, all for a paltry 1% or less of the Museum's funding? Is this their policy, or is it BP that's calling the shots? more...

In Defence of Life - standing up against the lust for culling wildlife

Lesley Docksey

14th Septmber 2014

A good day in the countyside? Seven brace of pheasant. Photo: Mark Seton via Flickr. British officialdom and those they serve are obsessed with the killing of wildlife, writes Lesley Docksey. It seems that whatever the 'problem', from bovine TB to the serendipitous arrival of beavers in Devon, the reflex is the same - to kill wild animals. But increasingly, the British people aren't having it. And our fightback is making waves .... more...

EU biofuel demand is driving land grabs in the Global South

Oliver Munnion

11th September 2014

Suzano's eucalyptus plantations in Urbano Santos, Brazil, specifically planted to satisfy the EU's projected future biofuel demand. With the EU projected to source most of its 'renewable' energy by burning biomass, its policies are leading to widespread land-grabbing and forest destruction, writes Oliver Munnion. And because many of the biomass projects are purely speculative, 'sustainability standards' will do little or nothing to improve practice on the ground. more...

Housing against nightingales - no way!

Martin Harper / RSPB

8th September 2014

Nightingale singing in a hawthorn tree. Photo: John Bridges / rspb-images.com. A 5,000-house development has just won planning permission on a SSSI nature area in Kent which is home to over 1% of the UK's nightingales. It violates government planning policies, and ministers have the power to stop it. But will they? Yes they will, writes Martin Harper - provided enough people show they care! more...

India: Women free themselves from a life of cleaning human excrement

Amy Braunschweiger / HRW

3rd September 2014

Lalibai. Women of an 'untouchable' caste in village India are rebelling against a life of cleaning human ordure, poverty and relentless discrimination, writes Amy Braunschweiger. Among them is Lalibai, who inherited her 'job' at the age of 12 - but has just helped to organise a protest march of 10,000 women across 18 states. more...

Liberation is our birthright! Palestine stands with Ferguson

Khaled Barakat

1st September 2014

Ferguson - Hands Up Don't Shoot! Photo: via PFLP. Blacks, Indigenous peoples and Palestinians are all engaged in a single struggle against a racist empire that systematically robs, colonises, impoverishes, terrorises, enslaves, imprisons, tortures and murders its subject populations. Their struggle for liberation is one, and will ultimately vanquish as the empire collapses from within.
more...

Swapping red tape for caution tape: why Canada can expect more mining disasters

Carol Linnitt / DeSmog.ca

27th August 2014

Hazeltine Creek on Quesnel Lake after the tailings dam collapse. Floating on the surface: the stripped off the mountainside by the force of the spill. Out of sight: 14.5 billion litres of toxic mining waste. This month a tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine in BC breached, writes Carol Linnitt - spilling 14.5 billion litres of toxic mine waste into Quesnel Lake. A major source of freshwater and one of BC's premier fly-fishing destinations, the lake will never be the same again. But it's just the first big victim of Canada's wave of environmental de-regulation ... more...

Missouri's 'Right-to-Farm' - an early win for third wave corporatocracy

Don Fitz

22nd August 2014

With the 'right to farm' constitutional amendment, this factory-scale hog farm in Missouri may be immune from regulation for environmental impacts, animal welfare and working conditions. Photo: KOMUnews via Flickr. First corporations gained legal personhood, writes Don Fitz. Next they seized the right to force 'free trade' on unwilling populations. Now they are making sure that 'corporate rights' trump citizen rights - like the right to wholesome food and a healthy environment. That's where the 'Right to Farm' constitutional amendments come in ... more...

Where survival is victory - resisting Occupation in East Jerusalem

Sam Gilbert

20th August 2014

East Jerusalem: the view over Issawiya from the Hebrew University is lovely - but the realities of life in this tightly walled Palestinian neighborhood are anything but. Photo: Benjamin via Flickr. After decades of occupation and dispossession, a culture of sometimes violent resistance has taken root in Issawiya. But it is never fetishized, writes Sam Gilbert - resistance is recognized as the only alternative to slavery, and the only means by which the people will ever achieve the freedom they thirst for. more...

Solar panels: a clear & present threat to this and future generations?

Paula Owen

18th August 2014

These solar panels on a Chiswick back street are An array of solar panels on a Chiswick side street, facing a brewery wall, constitute a threat to the quality of life of future generations, according to the council and a planning inspector. Paula Owen begs to differ, and wonders - exactly what kind of mushroom have they been smoking? more...

Nice work: G4S wins $118 million Guantánamo contract

Clare Sambrook

13th August 2014

Guantanamo Bay. Photo: Wikipedia via Aslan Media via  Flickr. G4S, the UK government outsourcer that supports Israeli security functions in the West Bank, will now supply 'custodial services' to Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, writes Clare Sambrook. Shocked? You shouldn't be. G4S is impervious to public criticism and defies international law with impunity. more...

Canada: saving the Peace Valley

Emma Gilchrist / DeSmog.ca

8th August 2014

About 250 boats took to the Peace River for the 'Paddle for the Peace' event on Saturday 12th July 2014. Photo: Emma Gilchrist. Canada's biggest infrastructure project is planned for Peace Valley, BC - a gigantic $7.9 billion dam that would flood 83 kilometres of the Peace River - all to produce electricity that no one needs. But a coalition of farmers, ranchers and First Nations is determined to block it ... more...

Taking the 'Pig Pledge' for happy, healthy, outdoor farming

Alastair Kenneil

4th August 2014

Organic outdoor pigs raised at Eastbrook Farm in Wiltshire. Photo: helenbrowningsorganic.co.uk/ The factory farming of pigs is organised animal abuse, writes Alastair Kenneil, and it imperils the environment and human health. But in the UK we have the choice to buy meat from pigs raised humanely under the open sky. Will you take the Pig Pledge today? more...

The National Funeral for the Unknown Victim of Traffic Violence

Donnachadh McCarthy

29th July 2014

Stop the Killing - Safe Roads for People - a recent protest at the notoriously dangerous Elephant & Castle roundabout in South London. Photo: Andrew Reeves Hall via Stopthekilling. A major demonstration will take place in November to demand an end to the killing on Britain's roads, both direct and indirect, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. And now is the time to sign up, get involved, and build up the momentum for desperately needed change. more...

Ukraine's use of unguided rockets in civilian areas of Donetsk 'may be war crimes'

The Ecologist

27th July 2014

An unguided Grad rocket hit the house of Valentina Fedorovna, 77, in the Kuibyshivskyi district in Donetsk on July 19, 2014. The rocket struck the second floor, penetrated the floor and went through her kitchen and bathroom. Photo: Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch has gathered evidence in the war zones of Eastern Ukraine which show that Ukrainian government forces have violated the laws of war by using 'notoriously imprecise' rockets in civilian areas, destroying homes, killing and injuring non-combatants. 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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