The Ecologist

 
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Campaigning

Trident nuclear accidents and terrorism are the greatest threats we face

Able Seaman William McNeilly

18th May 2015

Royal Navy ID card of British hero Able Seaman William McNeilly. The UK's Trident nuclear missile system and the nuclear submarines on which it depends represent a massive danger to the UK due to faulty equipment, gross security lapses and ignorance of operating procedures, writes William McNeilly. This leaves the system open to accidents and terrorist attack, and apparently unable to even fire missiles should the need arise. more...

Trident nuclear accidents and terrorism are the greatest threats we face - conclusion

Able Seaman William McNeilly

18th May 2015

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To make palm oil 'sustainable' local communities must be in charge

Forest Peoples Programme

14th May 2015

Local community forest land cleared and planted by Golden Veroleum in Butaw District, Sinoe County, previously contained areas of high­ quality forest many stories high. A woman from a nearby village described that The palm oil industry's repeated failure to keep its promises illustrates why global initiatives to achieve 'sustainable palm oil' must place communities centre-stage, writes FPP. Standard-setters like the RSPO must demand action, enforcement and accountability - not just lofty commitments that inspire hope, but rarely deliver. more...

Sustainable abundance - rebuilding fisheries to support coastal communities in Madagascar

Alasdair Harris

12th May 2015

Young fishers with their catch on the opening day after a temporary fisheries closure. Small-scale fisheries support the livelihoods of at least 500 million people worldwide - Andavadoaka, Madagascar. Photo: Garth Cripps / Blue Ventures. Marine conservation is usually expressed in austere and negative terms, writes Alasdair Harris, with strict quotas and exclusion zones. But the truth is the exact opposite: it's about working with natural ecosystems to unlock their productive potential, creating sustainable wealth and abundance for fishing communities while enhancing marine biodiversity. more...

Mandatory vaccination would violate our human rights

Anna Watson / EFVV

5th May 2015

IPV vaccination scene at Yokohama City University Medical Center, Japan. Photo: Sanofi Pasteur / Aiko Kawamura via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). We all have the human right to freedom of informed medical consent, writes Anna Watson. However this right is violated in 40% of EU countries which impose mandatory vaccination under threat of fines or imprisonment. Now health campaigners are petitioning the EU to protect and promote citizens' right to make their own informed medical choices. more...

Occupy Gandhi: a tarpaulin meditation on urgent climate action

Donnachadh McCarthy

3rd May 2015

The other Gandhi statue in London's Tavistock Square. Photo: L. Shyamal via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA). After the world's warmest year ever governments are pouring trillions into fossil fuels every year and the UK has even created a legal obligation on itself to maximise oil and gas recovery, writes Donnachadh McCarthy. But thanks to the UK's media billionaires climate change has not even figured as an election issue. Join us to protest tomorrow! more...

How the Tories and Lib Dems have stifled their most powerful critics

Adam Ramsay

1st May 2015

Gagging Bill protester. Photo: /38 Degrees. The Lobbying Act has left corporations and lobbyists free to argue their case in the election 'debate', writes Adam Ramsay. But the justified fear of legal sanctions has gagged charities and NGOs from speaking out, silencing the very people voters need to hear from most. more...

Exposing the secrets of the EU's corporate Lobbyland

David Lundy & Olivier Hoedeman, Corporate Europe Observatory

28th April 2015

Participants on the April 2015 EU Lobbyland tour of Brussels. Photo: Corporate Observatory Europe. Brussels is a city of ruthless, well-resourced corporate lobbyists. And unlike ordinary EU citizens, they enjoy priviliged access to officials, negotiators and parliamentarians, and are used to getting their own way. That's a state of affairs that David Lundy & Olivier Hoedeman are determined to end with their 'citizens tours' of EU Lobbyland ... more...

End support for Drax: stop subsidies for biomass power and phase out coal!

The Undersigned

22nd April 2015

A truck pulls into the Enviva Ahoskie wood pellet plant that supplies Drax power station, loaded with whole trees. Photo: Dogwood Alliance. Hundreds of millions of pounds meant to be spent on green energy will soon be lavished on Britain's biggest coal fired power station to reward it for burning 7 million tonnes of wood pellets a year - meant to be 'renewable' but actually driving biodiversity loss and even worse for climate change than coal. DECC must stop this madness! more...

Saving Lamlash Bay - and over-exploited seas everywhere

Howard Wood

20th April 2015

Howard Wood and colleagues in COAST, with the Lamlash Bay 'no take zone' in the background. Photo: COAST. A coveted award has put the campaign to protect and recover marine life in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, into the international limelight. Goldman Prize winner Howard Wood explains how Arran Islanders' efforts to keep scallop dredgers out of Lamlash Bay has brought life, and fish, back to the sea. more...

The scientific case for badger culling - an organic farmer writes

Charles Mann

9th April 2015

Free range, grass fed cattle in the Derbyshire uplands. Photo: John Bennett via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA) Organic farmer Charles Mann, aroused by The Ecologist's anti-cull stance, makes an evidence-based case for culling badgers in areas of high TB incidence - together with other measures including enhanced testing in apparently 'low risk' areas that present a high risk of disease spread. more...

Reinventing money for a green and flourishing future

Duncan McCann

4th April 2015

Do trees grow on money? Photo: Tax Credits via Flickr (CC BY). Our system of money created by banks for their own profit is no longer fit for purpose, writes Duncan McCann. We need new money systems designed for sustainability and wellbeing that allow us all to achieve financial security and freedom from debt - not just the super-rich1%! more...

Pure water the key to China's victories in the war against cancer

Kenneth Hsu

30th March 2015

China's Red Flag Canal, which carries water to from the Zhang River to the cities and fields of Linzhou district, was an amazing feat of engineering and human labour. But its nitrite-rich waters also triggered a cancer epidemic. Photo: Eregli Bob via Wiki Chinese scientists have established beyond doubt that water polluted with nitrite is feeding the worldwide cancer epidemic. But while China is beating cancer by providing new sources of nitrite-free water, Western scientists, regulators and the editors of scientific journals are doing their best to suppress the truth. more...

Love, hope and beauty against nuclear weapons

Angie Zelter

24th March 2015

Education not Trident! Burghfield Blockade May 19th, 2014. Photo: AWEAction. The UK's Trident nuclear missile system has the power of 1,500 Hiroshima bombs, writes Angie Zelter - and to use it would be a monstrous and probably suicidal crime against humanity. Should we spend £130 billion renewing it? Or on schools, hospitals, libraries, social care and cycleways? The inspiring ActionAWE campaign is waking people up to the choice we face. more...

With corporate energy, we're stuck in the dark ages - let's switch to public ownership

Calum McGregor

23rd March 2015

The Westmill renewable energy cooperative in Oxfordshire - a new model for the UK's energy future? Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). Britain's corporate energy oligarchy has failed us, writes Calum McGregor. It's given us widespread fuel poverty, unfair tariffs, constant price hikes, billions siphoned off to shareholders, and chronic under-investment in renewables. Now is the time for a new model: public and co-operative ownership of energy infrastructure under participative democratic control. more...

Occupy Amazonia? Indigenous activists are taking direct action - and it's working

Marc Brightman

17th March 2015

Indian tribes from the Xingu region protest at a Public Hearing for the Belo Monte dam in September 2009. Behind them stands a detachment from Brazil's National Security Force. Photo: J.Gil via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). The indigenous peoples of the Amazon are employing the tactics of the Occupy movement against oil companies, gold miners and illegal loggers, writes Marc Brightman. Their methods are home-grown: lacking the protection of the state, they have always had to fight their own battles. But recent campaign successes owe much to outside support. We must maintain, and strengthen, our solidarity. more...

London Assembly votes for £5 bn fossil fuel divestment - listen up, Boris!

Divest London

12th March 2015

Victory! Global Divestment Day City Hall action by Divest London, 14th February 2015. Photo: 350 .org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Members of the London Assembly yesterday voted for the London Pension Fund Authority, worth £4.8 billion, to ditch all its fossil fuel investments over a 5-year period. The vote is non-binding, but the huge 15-3 margin puts strong pressure on London Mayor Boris Johnson to follow through. more...

Anthropology is so important, all children should learn it

Marc Brightman

10th March 2015

Hamer people in a village near Turmi in the Omo Valley of Southern Ethiopia - now at risk from a huge dam project and sugar plantations. Photo: David Stanley via Flickr (CC BY 2.0). Anthropology, the study of humankind, should be the first of all the sciences our children encounter, writes Marc Brightman, with its singular capacity to inspire the imagination, broaden the mind and open the heart. Moves to downgrade it in the education system by those who know the price of everything, and the value of nothing, must be fought off. more...

End high seas fishing for fairness and sustainability

Reg Watson

9th March 2015

Orange roughy - one of the vulnerable fish species caught on the high seas. Photo: CSIRO Science Image (CC BY). What's the solution to the over-exploitation of fish on the high seas, outside territorial boundaries? Ban it altogether, argues Reg Watson. It would make little difference to the total fish catch, poor coastal countries would reap huge benefits, and the fishing fleet's fuel burn would be slashed. The main losers? Rapacious industrial factory-fishers. more...

We need safe havens for our ocean giants!

Dr Lissa Batey

2nd March 2015

A Basking shark in UK coastal waters. Photo: Andrew Pearson / The Wildlife Trusts. 'Ocean giants' in our coastal waters are increasingly rare, writes Dr Lissa Batey, thanks to a host of threats from pollution to entrapment in fishing gear. Marine Protected Areas in England and Wales could help restore our cetaceans to their former abundance - but so far, only one has been designated for these species in Wales, and none in England. more...

Fracking: MPs and Lords have derelicted their legal duties - now they must pay the price!

Jojo Mehta

26th February 2015

MPs may make the law - but that does not make them above the law. Photo: UK Parliament via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). The rushed passage of the Infrastructure Bill with all its pro-fracking provisions and toothless 'safeguards' is an abuse of democracy. And as it's manifestly against the national and public interest, it's also in breach of both MPs' and Lords' legally binding Codes of Conduct. Now Jojo Mehta intends to hold them to account - in Court. more...

The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' is helping to deliver good food for all

Peter Melchett / Soil Association

24th February 2015

Catering Mark may not guarantee quite this at every meal - but it's delivering huge improvements on the standard catering fare of yesteryear. Photo: pablo santa cruz diaz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). The Food for Life 'Catering Mark' is bringing fresh, healthy and local food into schools, hospitals and canteens, writes Peter Melchett - while driving big increases in the volume of organic food we eat, and growing the market for organic farmers and local food producers. more...

The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' - a compromise too far?

Lynda Brown

20th February 2015

The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' logo is so similar to its 'Organic' logo that he makers of this promotional video got the two mixed up - and released it without anyone noticing. The error has since been corrected. The Soil Association's Catering Mark scheme promises 'fresh food you can trust'. This sounds great, writes Lynda Brown. But what does it really deliver? The truth, she finds, is much less than the promise might suggest, considerably more complicated, and threatens to erode the public's trust in the Soil Association's organic brand and values. more...

Banged up for democracy - the UK kleptocracy cannot tolerate dissent.

Donnachadh McCarthy

16th February 2014

An Occupy Democracy protester is arrested by police in Parliament Square on 14th February 2015. Photo: still from RT report. Donnachadh McCarthy is facing 14 years in prison for his peaceful demands for democratic reform in Parliament Square, following his arrest on the order of 'Boris Guards' answerable to the London Mayor. In total four 'occupy democracy' protestors were arrested this weekend a stone's throw from the Westminster media pack - but not a word in the mainstream news. more...

Join Global Divestment Day and make fossil fuels history!

Yossi Cadan

13th February 2015

Dumped the day before Valentine's - Global Divestment Day 2015 party under way in Adelaide, Australia. Photo: 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Increasing numbers of investors are waking up to the reality that the fossil fuel era is coming to an end, writes Yossi Cadan. But there's one sector that hasn't yet got the message: the fossil fuel industry itself is determined to keep on piling good money after bad. So join the worldwide divestment party this weekend and help ram the message home! 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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