The Ecologist

 
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Campaigning

Reclaim the power! Progress towards a fossil-free UK

Guy Shrubsole

29th April 2016

On 15th August 2015 climate protestors in Germany occupied and closed down a massive open pit coal mine in their 'Ende Gelände' action. Photo: Tim Wagner / 350.org via Flickr (CC BY). Momentum is gathering behind the UK's transition to a fossil free society, writes Guy Shrubsole. We know we need to leave at least 80% of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avert catastrophic climate change. Here's a quick run-down of progress to date - and the key upcoming fights, including an invasion of the UK's biggest coal mine this weekend. more...

Dodgy data, bad science, rotten politics: why the badger cull is wrong and stupid

Tom Langton

28th April 2016

Bovine TB begins and ends with cattle, with badgers playing at most a minor role. Photo: Will Fisher via Flickr (CC BY-SA). If we are ever to bring bovine TB under control in Britain's cattle herd, we must begin with the main disease reservoir, writes Tom Langton: the cattle themselves. The insistence on culling badgers has little to do with disease control, and everything to do with the short term economics of the beef and dairy industries, unwilling to sacrifice an iota of production in the interests of a real solution. more...

This deadly pollution must stop! London cyclists rally for health and climate

Donnachadh McCarthy

20th April 2016

Cyclists stage Die-In at Mansion House in June 2015, following death at Bank junction. Photo: Stop Killing Cyclists. Stop Killing Cyclists are staging a protest in London on 27th April to demand an end to the UK's intolerable air pollution, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. With an estimated 40,000 people dying every year from filthy air, much of it caused by diesel cars, all are welcome to join in, denounce the government's 'polluters' friend' policies, and insist on swift action to stop the needless deaths. more...

Protecting God's Creation: churches commit to the green energy transition

Tim Gee / Christian Aid

19th April 2016

The Thar desert in Rajasthan, India. Photo: Nick Kenrick via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Pope Francis's famous encyclical on climate change is part of a broad global shift to environmental awareness among faith communities, writes Tim Gee. Christian churches and congregations are among those joining the fast growing fossil fuel divestment movement, switching to renewable energy, and reaching out to wider society to help protect our home planet, Earth. more...

Flesh against fossil fuels: let's shut down the UK's largest coal mine!

A Climate Activist

18th April 2016

Ffos-Y-Fran open cast mine, Merthyr Tydfil. Photo: Caradog Llywelyn via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA). Next month thousands will gather in Wales to shut down the UK's open cast coal mine at Ffos­y­fran, whose 3,500 acres abut both Merthyr Tydfil, one of Britain's most deprived communities, and the glorious Brecon Beacons national park. It will be one of dozens of coordinated actions across the UK, and around the world, to bring the age of coal to the rapid end it so richly deserves. more...

Opening up the debate on GMOs to the voices of the future

Pat Thomas

13th April 2016

It's our future! Photomontage: Beyond GM. An exciting new project has been launched to give children a chance to join in the GMO debate, writes Pat Thomas. With young people speaking up and becoming more aware of food, health and environmental issues, they deserve the platform to voice their concerns and join in a wider global network of youth working for positive change in the world they will inherit. more...

Nigerian farmers win High Court court victory in fight against Ekiti airport

Rose Bridger

8th April 2016

Women applying fertilizer to Cassava plants in Ekiti, without these crops the farmers would have nothing. Photo: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) The state government of Ekiti sent bulldozers to clear farmland for a new airport without even consulting the farmers who owned it, writes Rose Bridger. Crops, buildings and trees were all flattened. But the farmers fought back - and have now won a major legal victory that will inspire and empower other mega-project afflicted communities across Nigeria, and beyond. more...

Taiji dolphin drive hunt is over - but the cetacean slaughter continues

Ric O'Barry / Dolphin Project

6th April 2016

Bottlenose dolphins trapped by nets in the killing cove at Taiji, Japan. Photo: Dolphin Project. The dolphin drive hunts in Taiji, Japan have officially ended for the season, writes Ric O'Barry, however the offshore pilot whale hunt continues until the end of May. After a particularly brutal year, which culminated in my arrest and deportation from Japan, we at Dolphin Project will continue our crucial work to end the annual barbarity of cetacean killings and captures. more...

Badger cull: protestors' legal right to information upheld

Lesley Docksey

1st April 2016

Anti badger cull demo in Oxford, 25th October 2014. Photo: Snapshooter46 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Since December 2011, when it became clear that the government was intent on its badger cull, Defra and Natural England have been flooded with FOI requests about how the culls would be set up, conducted and monitored. The notable success of Anna Dale in cutting through official obfuscation has implications for everyone trying to protect the environment and wildlife. more...

Sacred land, unholy uranium: Canada's mining industry in conflict with First Nations

Committee for Future Generations

30th March 2016

The Denesuline have long suffered and protested against the treatment of their people from industrial organisations causing damage to their territories and the environment. Photo: ItzaFineDay via Flickr (CC BY) For Saskatchewan, uranium is an important part of the economy, but for the province's indigenous peoples, the land is everything. It is filled with relationships between beings who dwell together in an interconnected web. Their traditional ecological knowledge is not just a set of terms or data, but a deep, broadly-viewed reality which contains systematic respect for all creation. more...

Secrecy tightens over plutonium shipments from Japan to US

Tim Deere-Jones

21st March 2016

The Pacific Heron moored at Falmouth. Photo: Tim Green via Flickr (CC BY) Two heavily armed, UK registered ships are currently engaged in the transport of UK sourced plutonium across the Pacific, writes Tim Deere-Jones. Details of their safety inspection records, survey status, voyage routes and location have been suppressed in the interests of security but the lack of transparency breaches a number of international safety standards. more...

Dolphin selfies and performing whales: how our cultural narcissism is killing the planet

Laura Bridgeman

15th March 2016

Dolphins are the most intelligent non-human animals, so why do we still allow companies like Seaworld violate their rights? Photo: BenSpark via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA) The craze for selfie photographs has reached an all-time low, after a recent spate of animal deaths have been linked to achieving the perfect picture, writes Laura Bridgeman. But why do people exhibit such a careless attitude to animal welfare when we normally show such apathy? Cultural conditioning may have the answer. more...

Federal Court must uphold our children's right to a viable future

James E. Hansen

9th March 2016

Frozen meltwater lake along the northeast Greenland coast, as seen from NASA's P-3B aircraft on May 7, 2012. Photo: Jim Yungel / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr (CC BY). The US Constitution guarantees the rights of future generations, not just current ones, writes James E. Hansen. But those rights are being betrayed, knowingly and deliberately, by governments and politicians who are standing by and allowing climate change to wreak long term havoc on the planet. Today, this legal principle is being asserted in a Federal Court in Oregon. more...

Siberia's Heavenly Lake and 'small peoples' of the High North at risk from oil drilling

Elena Sakirko & Konstantin Fomin

28th February 2016

Reindeer and Khanty children in the Numto Nature Preserve in 2006. Photo: Irina Kazanskaya via Flickr (CC BY). A vital nature preserve in western Siberia, and the indigenous peoples that inhabit it, are at risk from oil development, write Elena Sakirko & Konstantin Fomin. Oil giant Surgutneftegas is already active in the Numto Park, but now they want to extend operations into its fragile wetlands, putting at risk snow cranes, the Heavenly Lake, and the survival of the Nenet and Khanty peoples. more...

Coal companies trying to revive 'zombie' open cast mines in Wales

Guy Shrubsole / Greenpeace Energydesk

24th February 2016

Landscape in South Wales, near Varteg, scarred by slag heaps from deep coal mining. Now coal mining companies want to start all over again with open pit mines. Photo: Nicholas Mutton via geograph.org.uk (CC BY-SA). A tangle of undercapitalised companies are coming forward to cash in on old deep coal mines in Wales, writes Guy Shrubsole - by digging them all out from above from huge open cast pits. But local communities, alarmed at the noise, pollution and destruction of landscape, increasingly see coal as an industry that's best consigned to the scrapheap. more...

South Africa's conservation success story: the 'Black Mambas' mean business!

Anneka Svenska

19th February 2016

The Black Mambas mean business! Photo: Julia Gunther. A unique, all female anti-poaching unit has transformed the conservation picture in South Africa's Kruger National Park, writes Anneka Svenska. In just three years the Black Mambas have cut poaching by more than 75%, removed over 1,000 snares, and become role models for local youth. And this weekend they arrive in the UK to collect Helping Rhinos' 'Innovation in Conservation' Award. more...

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...

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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