The Ecologist


Climate Change: 25/50 of 1798
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Friends of the Earth South Korea is working with the students and teachers to build 'Solar Cooperatives' on the roofs of class rooms, with the electricity generated used to power these new 'solar schools'. Photo: FOEI.

G20: Dodged taxes could finance renewable power for world's poorest 50%

Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert

2nd September 2016

As the G20 meet in China this weekend, it's time for governments to finally get tough on the world's tax dodgers, write Dipti Bhatnagar & Sam Cossar-Gilbert. The missing tax revenues would be able to finance a 100% renewable electricity system covering half the planet by 2030 - a major step in raising living standards and tackling climate change. more...

Shishmaref Climate Refugees Relocation - A sociological tipping point in Arctic Alaska

Dr Cara Augustenborg

23rd August, 2016

When the 600 residents of the Shishmaref Alaskan village decided last week to relocate due to the impact of Climate Change we moved beyond the 'wakeup call' stage to a serious tipping point, writes Dr CARA AUGUSTENBORG more...

Degrowth and the Global Movement for Environmental Justice


22nd August, 2016

With the 5th International Degrowth Conference taking place next week Spanish Ecologists Professor Joan Martinez Alier and Federico Demaria - both working at the Environmental Science and Technology Institute (ICTA) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) - explain why we need a 'less is more' alternative economic model and how the burgeoning Global Environmental Justice movement is a key concept in achieving the only goal that will halt Climate Change. more...

Imposing Cliffs of Ice Are Like Something Out of TV's Game of Thrones


16th August, 2016

Travel blogger ROBBIE TREVELYAN is by turns awe-inspired and intimidating by the melting ice giant that is New Zealand's Tasman Glacier. Here's his first-person account of a recent visit more...

There's no tree-huggers here: Why the ‘systems' approach to climate action is preventing change...

Katie Arthur

15th August, 2016

Half a year or so on from the historic signing of the Paris Agreement at the COP21, the smiling promises and diplomatic handshakes have not only left the mainstream media but left us still waiting for the shift to a greener world. NEW VOICES contributor, KATIE ARTHUR looks at whether we can ever expect systems to change without transformed attitudes to lead the way... more...
A new 3MW Siemens offshore wind turbine undergoing installation. Image: artist's impression by Siemens.

Global climate is spinning out of control - but now, we have the technology!

Paul Rogers

16th August 2016

As global temperatures reach new monthly highs and the Middle East is hit by record heatwaves, we might be forgiven for sliding into hopelessness, writes PAUL ROGERS. But a host of innovations in energy technology means that a carbon-free energy future is not just possible, but affordable. The first of the three paradigm shifts required to transform the climate change outlook is in place. more...

Why we need to keep rivers cool with riverside tree planting

Ecologist reporter

10th August, 2016

With some climate predictions warning that river water temperatures will exceed safe thresholds for river fish, the Keep Rivers Cool (KRC) campaign is calling for more riverside tree planting. more...

It's time for A Progressive Alliance for reform and for our environment

Dr Alex Chapman

2nd August, 2016

Actors across the UK political spectrum are recognising that the time is ripe for fundamental change; a Progressive Alliance of the left and centre parties, offering comprehensive constitutional, electoral, policy reform and tough measures on climate change, writes ALEX CHAPMAN more...

Australian Climate Sceptics Challenge Clean Energy Plan

Maxine Newlands

28th July, 2016

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has handed the environment portfolio to the energy minister in an attempt to calm climate sceptics. But will it work? Ecologist writer Maxine Newlands reports. more...
Quarry in Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. Photo: Thomas Nemeskeri via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Plunder of Earth's natural resources up 200% in 40 years

Alex Kirby

26th July 2016

A new UN report warns of a threefold increase in extraction of the Earth's primary materials between 1970 and 2010, writes Alex Kirby. The boom in the production of minerals, ores, fossil fuels, timber and biomass and will be to intensify climate change, increase air pollution and reduce biodiversity. more...
Multicultural Britain: exemplified through this London shopfront on Seven Sisters Road. Photo: Gwydion M Williams via Flickr (CC BY).

Greens must not jump on anti-immigration bandwagon!

Alex Randall

21st July 2016

The UK's Brexit vote probably did reflect widespread anti-immigration sentiment, writes Alex Randall. And that may persuade environmental groups to tap into the xenophobic zeitgeist to win support and appear 'relevant'. But that's a temptation they must resist, because it's wrong - for factual, logical and ethical reasons. more...

Charting Environmental Conflict - The Atlas of Environmental Justice

Nick Meynen.

20th July, 2016

Instead of leaching the world's resources to support out-of-control consumerism, EU leaders could do worse than ponder novelist Victor Hugo's claim that whilst "you can kill people, you can't kill an idea whose time has come", writes NICK MEYNEN more...

Climate Change: 25/50 of 1798
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Will Theresa May's new heavyweight Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy put climate change centre stage?

Joe Ware

19th July, 2016

At first glance the abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) tolled a death knell for UK action on global warming. However, rising from the ashes is a new department that has the potential to put the climate agenda at the very heart of Government. more...
A bottomland hardwood clearcut that Dogwood Alliance have linked to Enviva, the company that runs the Ahoskie pellet mill, which supplies the UK's Drax power station. Photo: Matt Adam Williams.

Dirtier than coal: burning forests for 'green' energy

Matt Williams

19th July 2016

The UK imports millions of tons of American wood pellets every year to be burned in power stations for 'climate friendly' electricity, writes Matt Williams. But his recent visit to the southern US showed him that this practice is devastating beautiful, natural forests rich in wildlife - while the UK government's own research shows that it's worse for the climate than the coal it replaces. more...


Victor Anderson

26th July, 2016

The idea of "Natural Capital" as a way of seeing the world has caught on in a big way. There is a Natural Capital Coalition, a Natural Capital Protocol, and the Government even has a Natural Capital Committee. But what assumptions lurk within this term "Natural Capital"? A new University of Anglia arts-funded project aims to find out and one of those involved VICTOR ANDERSON will be giving us regular updates on the issues being raised more...

The Unfair Narrative on Global Warming and Development: Why it must be challenged

Mark Kernan

18th July, 2016

The industries that have primarily caused, are still causing, and will continue to cause climate change, are the recipients of huge subsidies. Whilst the marginalised are promised a paltry and relatively insignificant amount to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of the problem they did little or nothing to bring about. That's just plain wrong says MARK KERNAN more...
New Defra Secretary Andrea Leadsom visiting Wytch Farm in Dorset; the largest conventional onshore oilfield in Western Europe, with Brian James, General Manager at Perenco UK, 11th November 2015. Photo: DECC via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Dis-May-ed! DECC scrapped, Leadsom to run Environment

Oliver Tickell

14th July 2016

Campaigners fear that the abolition of DECC, the department of energy and climate change, indicates that climate will take a low priority in Theresa May's policy agenda. Meanwhile the pro-fracking, pro-nuclear Andrea Leadsom is in charge of environment department Defra. more...
Action on climate - or the lack of it - will be the first key test of Theresa May's premiership. Photo: Picture: Russell Watkins / DFID via Flickr (CC BY).

Fit to rule over us? Theresa May's response to climate hazard report will be her first big test

Joe Ware

12th July 2016

With today's climate change report sounding a red alert for the UK's national security, Theresa May's response to it will mark the first major test of her leadership when she takes over as Prime Minister tomorrow, writes Ecologist New Voices writer Joe Ware. Imminent climate-related dangers demand urgent, effective, cross-departmental action - but will she step up to the mark? more...
'Safe fracking is a bad fairy tale' - banner at the community blockade in Balcombe, Tuesday 6th August 2013. Photo: Push Europe via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking not compatible with UK climate targets, say CCC

Victoria Seabrook

8th July 2016

A long-awaited report by the UK Climate Change Committee has found that fracking could produce a 'substantial' emissions footprint if left unregulated, writes Victoria Seabrook, and force the government into more rapid emissions cuts in other areas of the economy to compensate. more...

Ecologist New Voices: Cara Augustenborg

Cara is one of the Ecologist's New Voices contributors. An Irish-American environmental scientist and climate communicator living in Ireland, she lectures in climate change at University College Dublin and blogs and vlogs as ‘The Verdant Yank'. Here she challenges all environmental scientists to demand action on Climate Change from the politicians still turning a blind eye more...
Even though most of China's industrial production is exported to the UK and other countries, we take no responsibility for the emissions in its power plants and factories, like this one in Chonqing. Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

UK's latest 'carbon budget' fails the Paris Agreement test

Kate Scott & Marco Sakai

5th July 2016

The UK's latest carbon budget was well-received, even by environmentalists, write Kate Scott & Marco Sakai. But that's only because they didn't look hard enough. The Paris Agreement hugely elevated ambition to achieve even a 2C temperature rise limit - and the UK's effort is nowhere near the mark. more...
How committed is Tory Party hopeful Andrea Leadsom MP to climate change action? That much. Photo: Policy Exchange via Flickr (CC BY).

The UK can still lead on climate change - even after Brexit

Tim Rayner & Brendan Moore

8th July 2016

In its decision to leave the EU, the UK is cutting itself off from one of the world's most effective systems of climate governance, write Tim Rayner & Brendan Moore. But we still have our own Climate Change Act and can lead the EU, if not as a member, at least by example - provided current and future Conservative Party leadership make their commitment clear, and implement their promises. more...
'Leave' banner in Epping, South of London, UK, 19th June 2016. Photo: diamond geezer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

How the Remainers got it so wrong: the lessons of climate change campaigning

George Marshall

26th July 2016

Key to the Leave campaign's success was its focus on 'core values' like patriotism, independence and cultural purity, writes George Marshall, summed up in simple memes like 'defending our borders'. The Remainers' reliance on elite and expert opinion was hopelessly flat-footed - and went against everything climate campaigners have learned about winning over public opinion. more...
Was it all a beautiful dream? View of the Hinkley Point C site as visualised by EDF.

Brexit curse hits nuclear power, new London runway

Paul Brown

29th June 2016

Following the vote to leave the EU, the UK's energy and climate change policy faces major challenges, writes Paul Brown, with new nuclear power and a third London runway at Heathrow runway looking like the first casualties. more...
One thing for sure - none of the candidates to be the next Tory Leader (and PM) will share the views of these anti-fracking protestors.

Where will our next PM stand on fracking and the environment? (It's not looking good)

Joe Sandler Clarke / Energydesk

28th June 2016

We know who the likely runners and riders are in the race to be the new Tory leader and prime minister - but where do the prospective candidates stand on fracking and other environmental issues? Joe Sandler Clarke finds them all decidedly un-green. more...


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