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Fisherfolk on the beach, The Gambia. Photo: Angus Kirk via Flickr.

Ocean grabbing: a new wave of 21st century enclosures

Nick Buxton, Carsten Pedersen & Mads Christian Barbesgaard

20th October 2014

Small-scale fishing communities are key to any transition towards an ecologically and socially just food regime. But backed by the World Bank, powerful corporate interests are seizing their fish, seas and shores in the name of 'sustainability'. A revolution of the poor is needed to rebuild food sovereignty - and restore the oceans to the global commons. more...
Infrastructure for shale gas in Scio, Ohio, Photo: Bilfinger SE via Flickr.

Global fracking boom could mean 12% higher emissions

Erik Bichard

17th October 2014

A full-scale rush for shale gas would increase emissions, writes Erik Bichard, giving the lie to politicians' claims that fracking is 'climate friendly'. A new study in Nature shows that abundant shale gas would cause CO2 emissions to rise by a median 4.5%. When 'fugitive' methane is included the figure rises to 9.5%. more...
Indigenous land-owners living comfortably in a land of fire in Arnhem Land. Photo: John Woinarski.

Australia's outback is globally important for its biodiversity - and its people

John Woinarski

20th October 2014

Almost three quarters of Australia's landmass is 'outback', writes John Woinarski, making it one of our planet's greatest natural areas. Yet it has many of the hallmarks of a 'failed state': its native peoples live on the margins, and its biodiversity is under threat. Now a new conservation model shows a way forward for both: Indigenous Protected Areas. more...
Keeping it clean: a hydropower site at Holbuvatnet in the highlands of eastern Norway. Photo: Ximonic / Simo Räsänen via Wikimedia Commons.

Renewables can supply 100% of world's power by 2050

Tim Radford

15th October 2014

The first ever global life-cycle assessment of clean energy sources shows that a renewable system could supply the world's entire electricity needs by mid-century, writes Tim Radford. more...
Protestors against the TTIP in Smith Square, London, 12th July 2014. Photo: World Developement Movment via Flickr.

Help us reach the TTIP tipping point!

Morten Thaysen

11th October 2014

The TTIP - a massive trade and investment deal under negotiation between the US and the EU - could be the end of democracy as we know it, writes Morton Thaysen, as corporate rights will supplant those of ciizens and elected governments. Join a global day of action today! more...
Photo: Stéfan via Flickr.

WWF International accused of 'selling its soul' to corporations

John Vidal / The Guardian

14th October 2014

A new book charges the world's biggest conservation group with forging links with global corporations that are using its name to 'greenwash' environmentally damaging activities, writes John Vidal - in the process becoming too close to industry, and over-dependent on corporate funding. more...
About half the world's coal is being produced at a loss, as buyers turn away. ALCOA Anglesea coal mine, Australia. Photo: Takver via Flickr.

Tide turning against global coal industry

Chris Rose / DeSmogBlog

2nd October 2014

King Coal's reign is coming to an end, writes Chris Rose, at least as a fuel for generating electricity. Following a price collapse half of all production is being sold at a loss - and major coal users like China are still moving away from the high-carbon fuel. more...
Cacao seedlings in the nursery - raised in biochar-enriched soil. Photo: Carbon Gold.

Corporate-smart greenwash: the Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture

Climate Smart Ag Concerns

30th September 2014

The Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture made its high-profile launch at the New York Climate Summit. But for a huge coalition of civil society organizations, it's a 'greenwash' initiative designed to promote intensive profit-driven industrial agriculture at the expense of small farmers, environment, and the real solutions. more...
These bananas in India are grown for their edible seed as well as their flesh. To increase food security in a warming world, we must increase the diversity of our food crops. Photo: VitaminGreen via Flickr.

In a warming world, food security means crop diversity

Sayed Azam-Ali

10th October 2014

The global homogenisation of food carries costs, writes Sayed Azam-Ali - notably the world's the increasing dependence on just a few 'elite crops', creating a precarious food system vulnerable to climate change. We must diversify our diets, and the crops that that feed us. more...
An intensive feedlot for beef cattle - a key stage in the US's amazingly high emissions from beef production. Photo: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project via Flickr.

The Carbon Underground: reversing global warming

Ronnie Cummins / Organic Consumers Association

21st September 2014

As millions join in climate marches and other actions around the world, writes Ronnie Cummins, the 'mainstream' focus on energy is missing the 55% of emissions that come from mismanaged land and destroyed forests. The key is to replace industrial agriculture worldwide with productive, regenerative organic farming that puts carbon back in the soil. more...
A container ship in port, Oakland, CA. Photo: Jim Bahn via Flickr.

For an easy win on carbon emissions - cut global trade!

John Weeks

27th September 2014

If the world's leaders really cared about climate change, there's one easy way to reduce emissions, writes John Weeks - drop the obsession with increasing trade, and all the pollution that goes with it. A world based on local production, consumption and finance will be a better one for people and the environment. more...
Protestors at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. Photo: Dima Konsewitch via Flickr.

Climate March and Summit: world leaders' 'flimsy pledges' denounced

The Ecologist

17th September 2014

Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide will join the Peoples' Climate March on Sunday - but will leaders at the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday be listening? Probably not, but all the more reason to act, and build a broad-based, global, popular movement for climate action. more...

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SOCO International plc – An Apology

The Ecologist

4rd October 2014

The Ecologist has apologised to SOCO International following an article we published based on a report by Global Witness about the company's operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. more...
Suzano's eucalyptus plantations in Urbano Santos, Brazil, specifically planted to satisfy the EU's projected future biofuel demand.

EU biofuel demand is driving land grabs in the Global South

Oliver Munnion

11th September 2014

With the EU projected to source most of its 'renewable' energy by burning biomass, its policies are leading to widespread land-grabbing and forest destruction, writes Oliver Munnion. And because many of the biomass projects are purely speculative, 'sustainability standards' will do little or nothing to improve practice on the ground. more...
Greenpeace action for an Arctic Sanctuary in front of the melting mouth of Austria's Goldbergkees glacier. The banner reads

Global support for a sanctuary to protect the Arctic

The Ecologist

4th September 2014

International polling today revealed strong public support for a formally protected area in the High Arctic for mammals and other marine life. The weakest support came from Japan, where opinion was evenly split over the industrialization of the Arctic. more...
The end of fossil fuel emissions is not the end of global warming! Florida Power & Light's smokestacks come down at Riviera Beach. Photo: Kim Seng via Flickr.

The end of fossil fuels is not the end of global warming

Andrew Lockley

17th September 2014

Of course we must quit burning fossil fuels and welcome a renewable future, writes Andrew Lockley. But that's not going to stop the Earth from warming, indeed the reverse. So ... we need some tricks up our sleeve to deal with it - in a word, geoengineering. Because it will save our lives, and our planet. more...
CIAT cassava specialist Dr. Tin Maung Aye studies cassava crops in NE Thailand, affected by pest and disease outbreaks. Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT) / Wikimedia Commons.

Farm pests' global advance threatens food security

2nd September 2014

Tim Radford

Agricultural pests - viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpillars - are spreading thanks to trade, travel and global warming, writes Tim Radford. The world faces a dire future of increased crop losses and growing insecurity. more...
A forest of giant bamboo near Kyoto, Japan. Photo: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr.

Steel and concrete, give over to the new kid - bamboo

Dirk Hebel

4th September 2014

The global construction industry is dominated by steel and concrete, writes Dirk Hebel - but it doesn't have to be that way. There's a strong, fast-growing, climate-friendly, sustainable material ready and waiting. Bamboo could be the basis of a whole new 'green' building industry, that also provides abundant rural livelihoods. more...
Road map detail - Central Africa. Image: Bill Laurance.

A global plan for road expansion that doesn't cost the earth

Bill Laurance

28th August 2014

Roads are responsible for massive environmental damage around the world, writes Bill Laurance - yet they also bring huge benefits. His solution? A new atlas that shows where the 'goods' of roads outweigh the 'bads', so that developing countries can harness the prosperity new roads can bring, without the destruction. more...
Time for climate solutions! Protest on the Dufourspitze. Photo: Greenpeace Switzerland via Flickr.

We can win on climate change - but without the UN

Assaad W. Razzouk

5th September 2014

Prospects for a global climate deal under the UN are receding fast, writes Assaad Razzouk, as the Green Climate Fund is short-changed by donor nations. But there's still plenty to hope for with a private sector that's stepping up to the mark, and fast-growing decentralised climate action. more...
The database shows information for the world's 50 major river basins. Map: International Rivers.

Dams versus rivers - the global battle

The Ecologist

26th August 2014

A new 'State of the World's Rivers' database shows how the world's rivers have been impoverished by dams and their ecosystems devastated - and provides a valuable resource to help save river basins that remain in good health. more...
Observed and simulated changes in Earth’s heating rate since 1985. Image: Allan et al., Author provided.

Heat accumulating in the deep oceans has put global warming on pause

Richard Allan

26th August 2014

Since 2000 global surface temperatures have risen less than expected, a fact seized on by climate change 'sceptics'. But indications are that the surplus heat has been building up all along, writes Richard Allan - in deep oceans where it does not influence observable climate. Not yet, anyway. more...
A vast monoculture of corn in Iowa, USA - profitable, but not healthy. Photo: Rich Griffith via Flickr.

More calories from fewer sources means less nutrition, more profit

David Nally

21st August 2014

It's a global phenomenon - we are consuming more calories, and more of those calories are the same, writes David Nally. Just ten crops produce 75% of our food, as factory-farmed meat, sugar, wheat, corn, soybeans and palm oil displace more nutritious and diverse diets. It's not good for us, or the planet - but it's great for corporate food monopolists! more...
Birds and airplanes are a poor mix - but do we need to slaughter quite so many? Photo: Eugene Zemlyanskiy via Flickr.

Airports' global bird slaughter - 100,000s gassed, shot, poisoned

Rose Bridger

18th August 2014

Airports around the world are waging a war on birds, writes Rose Bridger. It's meant to prevent aircraft bird strikes. But in fact, fatal (for people) collisions are rare - and even killing thousands of birds does little to reduce the number of strikes. Best fly less, and keep airports away from birds! more...
Changing climates ... the polar vortex played havoc with Niagara Falls (and much of the rest of North America too). Photo: Rick Warne / EPA.

The 'pre-Holocene' climate is returning - and it won't be fun

Peter Fisher

16th August 2014

A string of events earlier this year provided a sobering snapshot of a global climate system out of whack, writes Peter Fisher. Could it represent the end of a rare 10,000 year island of stability in global climate? If so, we had better get used to it. The Earth may never be so comfortable again ... more...

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