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Patrick Holden with his dairy herd. Photo: Steph French (www.stephfrench.com) / SFT.

Patrick Holden: 'cheap' food is costing the Earth, and our health

Emily Lewis-Brown

7th April 2016

Food has never been more affordable for middle class families in rich countries. But it comes at a high cost: the impact of industrial food production on health, environment and society has never been greater, as Patrick Holden explained to Emily Lewis-Brown. Now the real cost of food US production will be examined in a ground-breaking conference in San Francisco. more...
Muammar al-Gaddafi: 'I rule!'. Photo: Neil Weightman via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Why Qaddafi had to go: African gold, oil and the challenge to monetary imperialism

Ellen Brown

14th March 2016

What was NATO's violent intervention in Libya really all about? Now we know, writes Ellen Brown, thanks to Hillary Clinton's recently published emails. It was to prevent the creation of an independent hard currency in Africa that would free the continent from economic bondage under the dollar, the IMF and the French African franc, shaking off the last heavy chains of colonial exploitation. more...
Poster for the film 'The Plague of the Zombies'. Photo: Huysamen Engelbrecht via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Nuclear zombie? Hinkley C build won't start until 2019 - if at all!

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

20th February 2016

Nuclear giant EDF can't afford to write off the £2 billion sunk into the Hinkley C nuclear plant, write Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell. So its cunning plan is to turn it into a 'nuclear zombie' - officially a live project, but actually stone cold dead - until EDF can find a way out of the hole it has dug itself into. more...
New Yorkers Protest the $3 trillion Wall Street bailout, Wall Street, NYC,  September 25, 2008. Photo: A. Golden via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Money revolution: making banks public and locally accountable

Ellen Brown

18th February 2016

The private banking system that dominates North America and Europe works very well indeed, writes Ellen Brown - for the bankers. As for us, it's a disaster, as the banks use their monopoly over the creation of money itself, at interest, as a tool to extract ever more value from us and the entire economy. But there is another way! more...
Look, no smoke! London's Battersea power station was closed in 1983 and survives only as an architectural icon. Will all coal power stations end up like this? Photo: Mark Colliton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

Fossil fuels a bad bet due to market changes, investors warned

Paul Brown

16th February 2016

The ever-falling cost of renewable energy could leave investors in coal, gas and oil seriously out of pocket as demand for fossil fuels falls away, writes Paul Brown. In the wake of the Paris Agreement and shrinking markets in major importing countries, the smart money is moving into renewables. more...
The Pacific Egret, with its small naval cannon visible, left and right, on its rear deck. Left, its companioin vessel, the Pacific Heron. Photo: Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment via Facebook.

Too much of a bad thing? World awash with waste plutonium

Paul Brown

24th January 2016

As worldwide stocks of plutonium increase, lightly-armed British ships are about to carry an initial 330kg of the nuclear bomb metal for 'safekeeping' in the US, writes Paul Brown. But it's only the tip of a global 'plutonium mountain' of hundreds of tonnes nuclear power's most hazardous waste product. more...
Photovoltaic power station Kosh-Agachsky District, Russia. Photo: Darya Ashanina via Wikimedia (CC-BY-SA).

Asia's low-cost path to 100% renewable power in 15 years

Paul Brown

11th January 2016

Renewable energy could supply Russia and Central Asian countries with 100% of their electricity needs by 2030, writes Paul Brown - and cut costs significantly compared to nuclear power and CO2-abated fossil fuels. more...
Reactor at Qinshan: many experts doubt nuclear power can make a significant contribution to China's future electricity needs. Photo: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited via Wikimedia Commons.

COP21 leaves nuclear dream adrift

Paul Brown

1st January 2015

Charlatans, or planetary saviours? Post-Paris views on the nuclear industry suggest few experts believe it will bring closer a world rid of fossil fuels, writes Paul Brown. Despite the best efforts of nuclear lobbyists, no revival is due any time soon. more...
Will it all be in vain? Human Chain in Paris before the opening of the COP21, 29th November 2015. Photo: Jeanne Menjoulet via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Rich nations must pay the climate price, say G77 + China

Paul Brown

4th December 2015

'Pay up or there's no deal', a coalition of 134 developing nations have warned the rich industrial countries at COP21 in Paris - the ones that caused the climate problem in the first place. As Paul Brown writes, much more than the $64 billion so far pledged will be needed to get them on board. more...
DCNS and Nass&Wind designed this 'Winflo' floating wind turbine.

With floating platforms, offshore wind cost set to plunge

Paul Brown

11th November 2015

Floating wind turbines offer huge falls in the cost of offshore wind power, writes Paul Brown, and could be generating power in UK waters at well under the cost of new nuclear by 2020, provided adequate support. more...
Michael Meacher MP addresses the group 'The State We Need' at the Occupy Democracy protest in Parliament Square, 25th October 2014. Photo: Sheila via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Michael Meacher: an environment minister who stood up for his beliefs

John Vidal / the Guardian Environment

22nd October 2015

The late Labour MP fought both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown on environmental policies, writes John Vidal, standing up for climate and access to countryside, and against GMO crops and road building. Radical to the end, he was one of the few MPs to support Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. more...
Do wild boar eat in the woods? Photo:  bzd1 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Warmer winters boost Europe's wild boar

Paul Brown

23rd August 2015

Increasingly mild winters have caused an abundance of acorns and beech nuts in Europe's woodlands, writes Paul Brown, triggering a wild boar population explosion - just one of the effects of warming climate on wildlife populations. more...

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Oddatjønn dam, Rogaland, Norway. Photo: Statkraft via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Norway's 'green battery' hydro plan for Europe

Paul Brown

27th July 2015

Engineers in Norway aim to put their mighty hydroelectric dams to a new purpose, writes Paul Brown - as giant batteries to store up surplus power from wind and sun across Europe, and put it back in the grid when generation falls off or demand is strong. more...
In danger? Apparently not. Under threat? For sure. A Red-spotted Porcelain Crab (Neopetrolisthes maculatus) on anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum). Steve's Bommie, Ribbon Reef #3, Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Richard Ling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UNESCO decides: Great Barrier Reef is not 'in danger'

Emily Lindsay Brown

2nd June 2015

Australia's government can breathe a sigh of relief as UNESCO keeps the Great Barrier Reef off its 'World Heritage in danger' list, writes Emily Lindsay Brown. But in return, it has committed to protect the reef from farm run-off and dredgings, and to implement its 'Reef 2050' sustainability plan. If Australia fails, the Reef could be officially 'in danger' as soon as 2020. more...
Protest in Baltimore, 29th April 2015. Photo: Arash Azizzada via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The slow poisoning of Freddie Gray and the hidden violence against black communities

Rita Turner

6th May 2015

The US is denying huge numbers of black and brown children their chance to achieve their cognitive potential by quietly poisoning them with lead and other toxins, writes Rita Turner. The offense is then compounded by providing the victims deeply unequal educational opportunities, and disregarding their civil rights. more...
On the beach ... EDF closed Dungeness nuclear power station, by the Channel, for 5 months in 2013 because of post-Fukushima flood fears. Photo: Andrew Gustar via Flickr (CC BY-ND)

Flood risk to nuclear reactors raises meltdown fears

Paul Brown

6th May 2015

Sea level rise, storm surges and bursting dams all pose an increasing danger to nuclear power stations across the world, writes Paul Brown, as the long term risk posed by climate change combines with chance events from extreme weather events to earthquakes. more...
The Flamanville nuclear plant in Normandy, France, was already years late and billions of budget - before news emerged that its steel reactor vessel contains serious metallurgical faults. Photo: schoella via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Nuclear reactor flaws raise Hinkley C safety fears

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

14th April 2015

A serious flaw in the steel reactor vessel of a nuclear plant under construction in France raises safety fears for the EPR design, write Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell - and casts a dark shadow over the UK's troubled Hinkley C nuclear project. more...
Destruction driven by the 20% VAT penalty on property refurbishment? Demolition of Wychwood House on the Woodberry Down Estate, London in June 2007. Photo:  Sarflondondunc via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Use VAT to reward 'green' refurbishment - not demolition

Duncan Baker-Brown

19th March 2015

Another budget, another missed opportunity: the VAT system charges the full 20% on home upgrades, but 'zero-rates' developers who demolish and rebuild, writes Duncan Baker-Brown. Instead we should target VAT to reward those who meet 'green' criteria for energy efficiency and sustainability. Chancellors in waiting, listen up! more...
Real farming is all about sustaining healthy and abundant soil life - and applying compost is an important way to revitalise depleted soils. Photo: normanack via Flickr (CC BY).

The roots of life and health: Elaine Ingham's theory of the living soil

Lynda Brown / Sustainable Food Trust

31st March 2015

Modern agriculture - even among organic farmers - is often seen as a matter of soil chemistry, writes Lynda Brown. But an alternative view is gaining ground: that it's really about soil life. Nurture your soil-dwelling micro-organisms, and your crops look after themselves. more...
New technological advances could make the power of Atlantic waves into a competitive source of renewable energy. Photo: Albert Bridge via Wikimedia Commons.

New technologies promise cheap wave power

Paul Brown

23rd February 2015

Scandinavian inventors are hoping that efficient new waves power technologies will for the first time make the sector competitive with other renewable energy sources, writes Paul Brown - opening up a massive new clean energy resource around the world. more...
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' - a compromise too far?

Lynda Brown

20th February 2015

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...
Happy family - pleased to enjoy solar lighting for the first time. Photo: SunneyMoney.

1.5 million solar lamps brighten Africa's future

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

10th February 2015

The charity SolarAid has just celebrated 1.5 million small solar lighting installations in Africa, writes Paul Brown - an important milestone on its mission to get solar lighting into all of Africa's homes by 2020, and see out dangerous, polluting kerosene lamps. more...
Photovoltaic cells on the Solar Library and Energy-Optimised House in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. Image: Littleha via Wikimedia Commons.

Asia powers into the forefront of solar revolution

Paul Brown & Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

China has now overtaken the European Union as the largest new market for solar power, writes Paul Brown - as solar PV becomes one of the world's fastest growing industries - and one that's sure to keep on getting cheaper! more...
The flowers are gorgeous! But the oil that's pressed from their seeds is best avoided due to its high linoleic acid levels. Photo: Ken Slade via Flickr (Cc BY-NC 2.0).

Linoleic acid - the overwhelming evidence against this 'healthy' poly-unsaturated oil

David Brown

24th February 2014

The established wisdom that 'high in polyunsaturates' means healthy, and that saturated fat and cholesterol are the way to an early grave, lack any supporting scientific evidence, writes David Brown. Indeed the truth appears to be the precise reverse: over-consumption of the omega-6 polyunsaturate linoleic acid is causing untold harm to our health and wellbeing. more...
Photo: Scott Wallace / World Bank via Flickr, (CC BY-NC-ND).

Warmer world threatens wheat shortages

Paul Brown

19th January 2015

Just one degree of global warming could cut wheat yields by 42 million tonnes worldwide, around 6% of the crop, writes Paul Brown - causing devastating shortages of this staple food. more...

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