The Ecologist

 

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Mountaintop removal mining impacts on Blair Mountain, West Virginia, USA. Photo courtesy of Paul Corbit Brown.

RBS, Barclays, HSBC ... it's time to get out of coal!

Greig Aitken / BankTrack

4th August 2015

There's one big thing that Britain's biggest banks could do to reclaim their grievously impaired reputations, writes Greig Aitken: commit to stop investing in coal projects. As well as reducing climate change and local environmental impacts, it would also 'de-risk' their balance sheets as the global tide, from the US to China, turns against the dirty, carbon-heavy fuel. more...
The new normal? We simply don't know. Fires along the Rio Xingu, Brazil, 17th September 2011. Photo: NASA's Earth Observatory via Flickr (CC BY).

The scariest part of climate change is what we don't know

Bill Laurance

4th August 2015

The 'knowns' of climate change are already plenty scary enough, writes Bill Laurance. But far more worrying are the unknowns. And in a system as complex and convoluted as the global climate system there are lots of them, creating scope for many nasty surprises to emerge. more...
It's getting hot, and we're racing towards for even hotter. Photo: SMADE|MEDIA Galleria via Flickr (CC BY).

Global warming's record-breaking trend continues

Alex Kirby

29th July 2015

A detailed update of key climate indicators by hundreds of scientists reveals that 2014 saw rises in temperatures, sea levels and greenhouse gases to record levels, writes Alex Kirby. more...
Another Greece: from the river Kastor near the village Kastori (or Kastania as it is also known) in the Peloponnese, near Sparta. Photo: Stephen Pougas via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The Greening of Greece - the ecologic opportunity for Europe to embrace

Oliver Tickell

7th July 2015

Greece's economic woes will never be solved by merely moving money around the banking system, writes Oliver Tickell. The lasting solution is to restore native forests to her barren hills and mountains, invest in large-scale solar power to energise Europe, and create an examplar of sustainable development for our global future. more...
Texaco's toxic signature, written in spilt oil: Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The company, now part of Chevron, has yet to compensate the victims of its pollution, or clean up. Photo: Julien Gomba via Flickr (CC BY).

Coming closer this month: a UN Human Rights Treaty for corporate abuses

Sam Cossar-Gilbert

1st July 2015

This month the UN is meeting to enact binding global rules on the conduct of business and transnational corporations, writes Sam Cossar-Gilbert, reversing the trend for increasing business empowerment in TTP, TTIP and TISA. The new UN Human Rights Treaty aims to provide justice for the victims of corporate criminality anywhere in the world. more...
The small scale solar sector is also taking off around the tropics, as at this shop for solar cell panels in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Photo: Wegmann via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

Global emissions stay flat thanks to renewable energy surge

Alex Kirby

30th June 2015

The world economy and energy use both grew in 2014 - but carbon emissions did not, writes Alex Kirby. The reason? The worldwide surge in renewables, especially in China, has reduced demand for coal in power generation. more...
Whose water is it anyway? Photo: ricardo / zone41.net via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

California is the 'canary in the coalmine' of global drought

Maude Barlow

1st July 2015

California's drought is a harbinger of things to come around the world, writes Maude Barlow. Because of global warming, yes - but also because the Golden State is an exemplar of the 'water as property for corporate profit' neoliberal paradigm that's taking over the world. It's now essential to assert water as a Commons - to be both justly shared, and fiercely protected! more...
The Pacific Ocean, seen from high above. Photo: blueforce4116 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

To live within planetary boundaries, we must contract the global economy

Samuel Alexander

5th July 2015

We have a problem, writes Samuel Alexander. Even the most eco-friendly rich world lifestyles are overconsuming resources and over-dumping wastes. To put us on track to 'single planet living' will mean far deeper changes than any yet envisaged, including deliberate 'degrowth'' and the abandonment of consumer culture. more...
Meat is all very well for lions, like this one in the Masai Mara, Kenya. But can the planet take billions of humans eating it too? Photo: Stuart Richards via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Worried about climate change? So why aren't you vegan?

Chris Lang

1st July 2015

You might be forgiven for thinking that climate change is all about fossil fuels, writes Chris Lang. But with livestock farming causing around a sixth of global emissions, there's one quick, cheap way to cut our carbon footprints: go vegetarian, or better still, vegan. So what's taking us so long? more...
A Mursi boy suffering from Malaria in Ethiopia's Omo Valley. With warming, the range of malaria-carrying mosquitos will extend up into the Highlands. Photo: Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Court orders Dutch government to cut emissions, as doctors warn of health catastrophe

Alex Kirby

25th June 2015

In a landmark ruling, judges have ordered the Netherlands to do more to tackle the 'imminent danger' of climate change. Meanwhile an expert commission reports of an impending global health breakdown from unmitigated global warming. more...
Carbon trading may be highly profitable for a select few - but if you want to fix climate change, best leave it well alone! Photo: Richard Alvin via Flickr (CC BY).

Pope Francis is right. Carbon markets will never fix the climate

Steffen Böhm, Gareth Bryant & Siddhartha Dabhi

23rd June 2015

Carbon trading has a remarkable record of failure: rewarding polluters while causing no discernible reduction in global emissions. If the COP21 UN climate negotiations in Paris are to achieve anything of value, first they must ditch the false solution of carbon markets. And thanks to Pope Francis, the idea is firmly on the agenda. more...
Lettuce on an Organic Farm in Havana, Cuba. Photo: David Schroeder via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Cuba's warming relations with the US may undermine its agroecological city farms

Julia Wright & Emily Morris

27th June 2015

Cuba is a global exemplar of organic, agroecological farming, taking place on broad swathes of land in and around its cities, write Julia Wright & Emily Morris. These farms cover 14% of the country's agricultural land, employ 350,000 people, and produce half the country's fruit and vegetables. But can they survive exposure to US agribusiness? more...

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The Bois Dormoy is a unique green oasis in the heart of metropolitan Paris and its multicultural community. It should be treasured, not destroyed! Photo; via Bois Dormoy on Facebook.

Paris must remember: climate solutions are small, local, green, and begin at home

Marc Brightman

17th June 2015

As Paris prepares for COP21 in Paris, Marc Brightman finds that the city is in the grip of a benign but ignorant authoritarianism that is ready to trample on much-loved green spaces like the Bois Dormoy, reclaimed from dereliction by the multicultural local community, which represent real solutions to the global problems of food, climate, the future of our cities, and our place in nature. more...
'Reykjavik' by Bob Whitehead via Flickr (CC BY).

Endgame for glyphosate? The global fallout of WHO's 'probable carcinogen' classification

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji

12th June 2015

WHO's official recognition of the health damage caused by glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide, is having ramifications around the world, writes Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji. National governments are moving to restrict the chemical, campaigns to ban it are intensifying, and now 'Roundup Ready' GMO crops are coming under the regulatory spotlight. more...
A farmer sows his seed in Asmara, Maekel, Eritrea. Photo: Andrea Moroni via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

G7, be warned: your 'New Alliance' threatens to destroy small-scale farmers

The Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles

4th June 2015

As the G7 leaders prepare to meet in Bavaria this weekend, small-scale farmers from around the world call on them to abandon their disastrous plan for the corporate takeover of global agriculture and the extirpation of small-scale farmers everywhere - those who produce most of the world's food. True food security must be rooted in local control over land, seeds and water. more...
Sending men to the moon was easy compared to building a green energy future - they hadn't got the world's most powerful and heavily subsidised industry against them. Photo: NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

'Global Apollo' programme for renewables cannot take off without political power

James Dyke

4th June 2015

The Apollo Programme proposed this week to make renewable energy cheaper than coal through technological advances is welcome, writes James Dyke. But the real problems are political, not technological. Unless we back the Apollo vision by challenging the power of fossil fuel companies, it can never succeed. more...
Smoking dawn over Wiersbaden, Germany. Photo: Martin Fisch via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Climate negotiators, please cut soot and methane - but not at the expense of CO2!

Myles Allen

6th June 2015

Climatologists have spotted an 'easy hit' to reduce global warming by cutting emissions of short lived forcing agents like soot from dirty power plants, 2-stroke engines and cooking fires, writes Miles Allen. But while we should take action on these pollutants, it must not come at the expense of holding back on cutting emissions of the big long term climate forcer: carbon dioxide. more...
Protesters at David Cameron's constituency office - accusing him of being in bed with the UK's energy oligarchs at the expense of people and climate. Photo: Zoe Broughton.

Reclaim the Power! Climate protestors rout security with UK-wide fossil fuel strikes

Oliver Tickell

1st June 2015

The fossil fuel industry and its political backers have been left reeling by an unprecedented series of direct action strikes against targets across the country to protest at continuing investment in and official support for fossil fuels, inaction over fuel poverty and the systematic neglect of renewable energy despite the global climate emergency. more...
Grangemouth oil refinery, Scotland. Photo: Paul Mcgreevy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

IMF reports: fossil fuel subsidies worth $5.6 trillion per year

Pete Dolack

26th May 2015

A new report from the IMF has quantified the prodigious subsidies doled out to the fossil fuel industries, writes Pete Dolack - an astonishing $5.6 trillion per year, over 7% of world product, including direct payments, tax breaks and unpaid environmental costs. The obscene scale of public largesse proves the need for a social movement to challenge global energy capitalism. more...
Divest London protestors at last week's action at CommBank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Photo: Divest London via Facebook.

CommBank must ditch its plans to fund Great Barrier Reef destruction

Hal Rhoades

26th May 2015

As part of a global week of action campaigners from Divest London have gathered to ‘Raise the Heat' on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, writes Hal Rhoades - protesting its plan to invest in a ‘carbon bomb' coal project that endangers global climate and threatens to finish off the Great Barrier Reef. more...
Cape Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion pumilum) in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo: Elton Harding via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Endangered species don't need an Ark - they need a Living Planet!

Derrick Jensen

11th June 2015

While we face 'hard choices' about which species and ecosystems to conserve, it's odd how we face no such quandaries over which of our frivolous luxuries to refrain from, or what murderous weapons system not to build, writes Derrick Jensen. And of course, there's no question at all of tackling the root causes of global ecocide. more...
If you want to improve education for the poor, like these school children in Sierra Leone, handing over hundreds of millions of pounds to global corporations is not the way to do it. Photo: bobthemagicdragon via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Giving aid money to big business doesn't solve poverty. Who knew?

Kevin Smith

23d May 2015

The UK government has showered £500 million of its aid budget on 'partnerships' with global corporations that are meant to help the poor, writes Kevin Smith. Surprise - an independent assessment has found that the only ones to benefit were the companies themselves. This ideologically-driven farce must stop now! more...
In August 2014 climate activists blocked a digger in one of the Rhineland open-pit coal mines. Protests will resume in August 2015. Photo: 350.org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Power struggle: after Germany's renewables surge, can it keep its coal in the ground?

Melanie Mattauch

22nd May 2015

Germany's 'Energiewende' has made the country a global renewable energy powerhouse. So why have its carbon emissions gone up? Not because of nuclear closures, writes Melanie Mattauch, but because powerful fossil fuel companies have blocked effective climate action. Now the fight is on as public calls to keep the coal in the ground get too loud to ignore. more...
Pope Francis reads the Catholic Climate Petition with GCCM representatives Tomás Insua from Argentina and Allen Ottaro from Kenya. Photo: Fotografia Felici.

Pope Francis endorses climate action petition to world leaders

The Ecologist

15th May 2015

The Pope has urged Catholics around the world to sign a new faith-inspired petition calling on world leaders to limit global warming to 1.5C, shortly after declaring that there is 'clear, definitive and ineluctable ethical imperative to act' on climate change. more...
Scientists had thought that Arctic rivers like the Kolyma in Siberia carry dissolved carbon from melting permafrost to the oceans. They were wrong - it's all emitted to the atmosphere as CO2. Photo: Магадан via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Thawing Arctic carbon threatens 'runaway' global warming

Tim Radford

14th May 2015

Arctic warming is releasing ancient organic matter that's been deep-frozen for millennia, writes Tim Radford. And now scientists have discovered its fate: within weeks it's all digested by bacteria and released to the atmosphere as CO2 - with potentially catastrophic impacts on climate. more...

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