The Ecologist



'Fragile Waters': we must stop starving Southern Resident Orcas to extinction

Kathleen Haase

24th November 2015

Southern Resident Orca near East Point, Saturna Island, 12th July 2011. Photo: Miles Ritter via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The Southern Resident Orcas of Puget Sound have plenty of problems, writes Kathleen Haase. But as the film 'Fragile Waters' makes clear, there's a common thread: us. Whether it's over-fishing Chinook salmon or polluting the ocean with toxic chemicals, we are driving them to extinction - and if we don't soon mend our ways, it will be too late. more...

'Last Days of Ivory' promotes a military conservation that is fatal for tribal peoples

Lewis Evans

17th November 2015

This Baka boy, and his community, hunt only for their own subsistence. But they are criminalised by the 'fortress conservation' promoted by 'Last Days of Ivory'. Photo: Seclen Kucukustel / Atlas. The massacre of elephants for Asian ivory trade is driving the iconic African giant to extinction, writes Lewis Evans. But the 'military response' is both brutal and ineffective, all the more so as it excludes and alienates the indigenous communities who are the best defenders of nature and wildlife. The simplistic message of 'Last Days of Ivory' is both damaging and dangerous. more...

'Credo': economics is a belief system - and we are ruled by fundamentalists

Paul Mobbs

6th November 2015

The real trick is happening where you're not looking. 'The conjurer' by Hieronymus Bosch, painted between 1496 and 1520, is now at the Musée Municipal, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. Photo: Public Domain / Wikimedia. Economics is much more than the study of money, writes Paul Mobbs. It is a belief system, and in its 'mainstream' incarnation, one that serves a very useful purpose - for those that reap the benefits. But as Brian Davey shows in his insightful new book, it's letting the rest of us down: failing to deliver human wellbeing, while driving ecological calamity. more...

PostCapitalism: is it what we Greens have always wanted?

Caroline Lucas

2nd October 2015

PostCapitalism by Paul Mason, published by Penguin / Allen Lane. Will we ever be able to say goodbye to capitalism? In his new book Paul Mason argues that its demise is inevitable, writes Caroline Lucas: neoliberalism contains the seeds of its own destruction, and it's up to ordinary people to replace it with a green, sustainable and cooperative society. So let's do it! more...

To the ends of the Earth: a filmmaker's journey

David Lavallee

4th September 2015

David Lavalee out in the field, filming 'To the Ends of the Earth'. It's tough being a filmmaker on the front line of environmental defense, writes David Lavallee - challenging corporate control of the Earth's resources, not to mention governments and security services, all of them intent on extracting every last drop of oil and gas from the world's most pristine places. All the more so when holding a camera makes you an instant 'eco-terrorist'. more...

'Inside Sellafield' and military plutonium - the BBC's nuclear lies of omission

Dr David Lowry

12th August 2015

Professor 'Jim' al'Khalili presenting BBC4's 'Inside Sellafield' from beside one of the facility's infamous open storage pond. Professor 'Jim' Al'Khalili's 'Inside Sellafield' programme was a tour de force of pro-nuclear propaganda, writes David Lowry - understating the severity of accidents, concealing the role of the UK's nuclear power stations in breeding military plutonium, and giving false reassurance over the unsolved problems of high level nuclear waste. more...

Hiroshima: the 'blinding flash' that changed the world forever

Daniel Cordle

6th August 2015

Aiko Ikemoto on 6th October 1945, as an outpatient at Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital. Shielded from the blast by brick walls, she survived the explosion a few miles from its epicentre, but died of cancer on 21st January 1965 at the age of 29 shortly after g This day in 1945, the explosion of a nuclear bomb over Hiroshima, Japan, changed the world forever, writes Daniel Cordle. A remarkable article in the New Yorker by John Hersey has shaped the way the world perceives the event, and nuclear weapons generally, by illuminating the humanity of its victims in clear, simple prose. more...

Words of wonder: openings to the natural world

Caspar Henderson

28th July 2015

'Landmarks' by Robert MacFarlane from cover (cut). All too often language is used to objectify nature, writes Caspar Henderson. But there's another, older vocabulary - introduced in this 'counter-desecration phrasebook' - that achieves the reverse: connecting us with the wonders of life and arousing delight in the natural world. more...

Green Revolution: wonderful science, catastrophic consequences

Colin Tudge

12th July 2015

The Vandana Shiva Reader (Culture Of The Land), front over (cut). In her new book The Vandana Shiva Reader, the celebrated campaigner and scientist deplores the way in which the Green Revolution forced India's poorest farmers off their land, writes Colin Tudge. Now she fears even worse outcomes in Africa where a GMO-fuelled farming revolution is under way. more...

The Moth Snowstorm: nature, joy, and the great thinning

Chris Rose

30th June 2015

From the front cover of 'The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy' by Michael McCarthy. In his new book environmental journalist Michael McCarthy bears witness to the astonishing decline in the once common wildlife of our countryside of the last few decades. But as Chris Rose writes, he does far more than bemoan the losses as he shares with us the joy that he still discovers in nature. more...

Adventures in the Anthropocene - a journey to the heart of the planet

Robert Hunziker

2nd June 2015

From the front cover of 'Adventures in the Anthropocene' by Gaia Vince, published by Random House. Gaia Vince's remarkable book is far more than a litany of the problems of global warming and mass extinction, writes Robert Hunziker. It's also an inspiring account of how people can respond to such crises in wonderful, imaginative, creative ways, achieving seemingly impossible tasks from seeding glaciers in the Himalayas, to holding back the desert with dew. more...

Green rising: the betrayal of Europe's peasant democracy

Simon Fairlie

20th May 2015

'Marx Against the Peasant' by David Mitrany (1951) front cover (resized). 100 years ago a new political movement swept across Europe, as a vision of agrarian democracy gripped a newly emancipated peasantry, writes Simon Fairlie. Betrayed by dogmatic socialists and crushed under the Nazi boot, it failed to leave a lasting mark on history. But could its time be coming once again? more...





In Predatory Light

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


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...


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...


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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