The Ecologist

 

Reviews

'Carnage' imagines a vegan utopia where animals live as equals - could it happen?

Matthew Adams, University of Brighton

28th March 2017

Bacon with nipple: Still from 'Carnage' by Simon Amstell / BBC iPlayer. In the year 2067, the eating of meat - carnism - will be seen as crime similar to cannibalism today, writes Matthew Adams. That is, in the fertile imagination of Simon Amstell, expressed in his BBC iPlayer film 'Carnage'. With 55 billion animals slaughtered every year for their meat, the vision looks remote. But the world will be a far better place if we begin the transition to plant-based diets - for our health, that of the planet, and not least, the animals themselves. more...

Slugs and snails

Martin Spray

7th March 2017

From front cover of 'Slugs and Snails by Robert Cameron, published by Harper Collins. In this long-anticipated volume, Robert Cameron introduces us to the natural history of slugs and snails of the British Isles, writes Martin Spray, also venturing across the world to explore the wide range of structures and ways of life of slugs and snails, particularly their sometimes bizarre mating habits, which in turn help to illuminate the ways in which evolution has shaped the living world. more...

Twinkle, twinkle ... Bobby the Brown Long-Eared Bat

Lesley Docksey

17th January 2017

Bobby the Brown Long-Eared Bat. Image - from website: bobbythebrownlong-earedbat.co.uk. This charming and beautifully illustrated story book will give pleasure to children everywhere, writes Lesley Docksey. It will also open their eyes (and with luck, those of parents and siblings) to the wonderful world of bats, and what we can do to look after them. more...

Frank Buckland: 'the man who ate the zoo'

Martin Spray

8th November 2016

From front cover of 'The man who ate the zoo' by Richard Girling, published by Chatto & Windus. As Victorian eccentrics go, Frank Buckland was a prime specimen, writes Martin Spray. But this new book about his rich and remarkable life is much more than a collection of anecdotes about his extraordinary doings, his inordinate curiosity about the natural world, and the animals he kept - and ate: a stimulating companion for wet days, cold evenings and wakeful nights. more...

You say you want a revolution?

Harriet Griffey, Cultural Editor

3rd November, 2016

The latest blockbuster exhibition from the V&A celebrates the music of its time and those who are forever linked to it, and one of the key outcomes of this counter-culture revolution was the very first Earth Day on April 22nd 1970. more...

'The Fate of the Badger': the great badger scapegoating conspiracy

Lesley Docksey

11th October 2016

Cover shot of trapped badger used for the new edition of 'The Fate of the Badger' by Richard Meyer, published by Fire-raven Writing. Thirty years ago, there was no evidence that badgers spread bovine TB among cattle, writes Lesley Docksey. Nor is there now. Yet badgers are still being slaughtered in a futile attempt to control the disease. This timely republication of Richard Meyer's 1986 book reveals the belligerent ignorance of the officials, politicians and farmers driving the failed policy. more...

Sellafield exposed: the nonsense of nuclear fuel reprocessing

Ian Fairlie

6th September 2016

The derelict B30 pond at Sellafield, used for the storage of intensely radioactive waste, in 2006. Photo: unknown / Public Domain. Last night's BBC Panorama programme did a good job at lifting the lid on Britain's ongoing nuclear disaster that is Sellafield, writes Ian Fairlie. But it failed to expose the full scandal of the UK's 'reprocessing' of spent fuel into 140 tonnes of plutonium, enough to build 20,000 nuclear bombs - while leaving £100s of billions of maintenance and cleanup costs to future generations. more...

Why are our badgers ‘Badgered to Death'?

Lesley Docksey

23rd August 2016

Front cover of 'Badgered to Death' by Dominic Dyer (exerpt), published by Canbury Press. With today's news that badger culling will continue in Gloucester, Somerset and Dorset, and take place in three other counties, writes LESLEY DOCKSEY, there could be no more opportune moment for Dominic Dyer's new book 'Badgered to Death' to appear - expertly exposing the total absence of scientific evidence that badgers transmit bovine TB to cattle. more...

The most perfect thing - inside (and outside) a bird's egg

Martin Spray

7th June 2016

'The most perfect thing - inside (and outside ) a bird's egg' - from front cover. Birds eggs are wonderful, as Tim Birkhead makes clear in his new book. But they are also enigmatic, mysterious, their secrets not lightly surrendered. Every kind of egg is perfect in its own way, writes Martin Spray, but the logic that underlies their characteristic designs, colours and shapes eludes the most assiduous of oologists. more...

Fossil Capital: the rise of steam power and the roots of global warming

Irma Allen

27th April 2016

From front cover of 'Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming' by Andreas Malm (Verso Books). We all know that coal and steam vanquished over water power in Britain's - and the world's - industrial revolution, writes Irma Allen. But as Andreas Malm sets out in his fascinating new book, the deciding factors in that victory were the unconstrained mastery over people and nature that coal provided mill owners. And so the model was set for the fossil age that may only now be coming to an end. more...

Banned: premiere of film probing Cambodian ecodefender's murder

Rod Harbinson

21st April 2016

Cambodian army soldiers attack Chut Wutty, November 2011. Photo: Vanessa de Smet Last Line Productions / N1M. A film investigating the 2012 murder of a forest defender has been banned by the Cambodian Government, writes Rod Harbinson. Chut Wutty's campaign to protect the forest on which his community depends clashed with powerful business and military interests. A first attack by soldiers was held off by campaigners, but... more...

The Invention of Nature: adventures of Alexander Humboldt, lost hero of science

Matt Mellen

3rd March 2016

Contemporary illustration of Alexander von Humboldt - used in the cover of 'The Invention of Nature'. Andrea Wulf's book about the remarkable 19th century explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt is welcome, opportune and a pleasure to read, writes Matt Mellen, packed as it is with high adventure and amazing discoveries. We have much to learn from him today in tackling the world's environmental crises; reading this book is an excellent - and enjoyable - way to begin. more...

Books

Films

Events

Books

In Predatory Light

Edgar Vaid reviews 'In Predatory Light: Lions and Tigers and Polar Bears', by Elizabeth Marshall...

Books

In Predatory Light

Edgar Vaid

9th December 2013

Lion from 'In Predatory Light: Lions and Tigers and Polar Bears' Edgar Vaid reviews 'In Predatory Light: Lions and Tigers and Polar Bears', by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Sy Montgomery, and John Houston more...

The Man Who Plants Trees

Edgar Vaid

Edgar Vaid reviews the biography of a man who, after a supernatural experience, takes it upon himself to clone species of tree that he deems 'special'; trees that he believes may be crusaders in the fight against global warming ... more...

Films

Welcome to Nuclear Land

Edgar Vaid

29th November 2013

As plans go ahead for the UK’s first new nuclear plant in twenty years, Edgar Vaid reviews a film that takes a look at the issues surrounding the use of nuclear power by our neighbours across the Channel ... more...

Pandora's Promise: Is nuclear an option?

October 24th, 2013

Alex Macbeth

As George Osborne hails a renaissance for nuclear power in Britain, Alex Macbeth reviews Pandora's Promise, a new documentary film that asks whether we've got nuclear energy all wrong....... more...

Events

Fossil Free Europe Tour

Peter Greaves

13th November 2013

Peter Greaves Bill McKibben is a charismatic speaker, a sort of Billy Graham for the Environment, filled with an evangelical fervour, writes Peter Greaves. But ... more...

Saving the Orangutan from the palm oil menace

Andy Morgan

5th December 2013

Lone Droscher Nielsen in a campaign poster. Lone Droscher Nielsen addressed the Oxfordshire village of Wootton about the deforestation that is pushing orangutans towards extinction - all driven by the world's hunger for palm oil. Andy Morgan was deeply moved ... more...

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