The Ecologist


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WITNESS: Colombia's indigenous Wayuu suffer the effects of climate change, drought and rising food prices

Laura Dixon - La Guajira, Colombia

17th October, 2016

La Guajira, a dusty but spartanly beautiful region in Colombia's desert north is in the grips of a crisis. Climate change, desertification and water shortages have combined to create a perfect storm for the local rural community: a drought so severe some places did not feel a drop of rain for three years writes LAURA DIXON more...

WITNESS: Bob Dylan - The Times They Are a-Changin'

Harriet Griffey

14th October, 2016

In becoming the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Bob Dylan is in esteemed company; many previous recipients have also been voices for social protest and change, all of whom have borne witness to their life and times writes HARRIET GRIFFEY more...

India's coal war heats up

Nick Meynen

13th October, 2016

There are 48 mapped struggles against the fossil fuel industry in India And whilst families run from justice for trying to protect their lands, it's the coal mining companies and police chiefs that should be brought to justice writes NICK MEYNEN more...
Lancashire: a local demonstration against fracking - 'Nanas to the front. Advance!' Photo: Victoria Buchan-Dyer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking trumps climate change, pollution, health - and democracy

Tony Bosworth / FoE

13th October 2016

Last week the EU ratified the Paris Agreement to limit climate change, writes Tony Bosworth. So how did Communities Secretary Sajid Javid mark the occasion? By overturning Lancashire's democratic rejection of fracking, so giving a whole new fossil fuel industry the green light to let rip. Hypocrisy? The word hardly does justice to our government's mendacity. more...
A total of 1,378 chemicals are banned for use in cosmetics in the EU, as opposed to a mere 11 in the US. Photo: Agnes via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Europe must resist chemical industry attacks on health and environment

Lora Verheecke & Laura Große

12th October 2016

Chemical and pesticide industry lobbyists are striving to abolish the European precautionary principle in favour of a so-called 'science-based' approach, write Lora Verheecke & Laura Große. If the EU succumbs to the spin, human health and the environment across Europe will be sacrificed to corporate profit. more...
Much, much more of this to come? Anti-fracking campaigners at Cuadrilla drilling site at Balcombe, West Sussex. Photo: Sheila via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Cuadrilla fracking decision: shale industry's battle is beginning, not ending

Michael Bradshaw

7th October 2016

Sajid Javid's decision to allow shale gas wells to go ahead in Lancashire marks a new phase in the industry's development, writes Michael Bradshaw. But it will also trigger a new phase of organisation, protest and resistance among impacted communities. Cuadrilla, IGas and other companies may just find the 'social licence' they thought they didn't need is essential, after all. more...

The 'Green Creates' exhibition invites Green 'artist' voices to shout about their concerns

Gary Cook, Arts Editor

8th October, 2016

The Green Party's new 'Green Creates' exhibition runs from 19 to 24 October at Hoxton Arches, London showcasing the work of the likes of Ralph Steadman, Grayson Perry, Gavin Turk, Andy Goldsworthy, Lesley Hilling and Craig Jones. Their donated pieces on the theme of 'Green Voices' will be auctioned to raise funds for the party. GARY COOK takes a preview more...

Arctic warming: Greenland's ‘abnormal' Manhattan-sized ice shelf breakaway

Nick Breeze

5th October, 2016

Professor Jason Box, glaciologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, tells NICK BREEZE how the largest ice shelf in Greenland has just lost an area of ice shelf the size of Manhattan Island. Its recent breaking away was a 'spectacular' event - but also a highly abnormal one that raises deep concerns about the future of the Arctic and prospective global sea level rise. more...

The Ethical Foodie: We should 'meat' less often...

Tim Maddams

4th October, 2016

Ethical Foodie chef TIM MADDAMS puts the blame for the animal welfare abuses we reported recently at the door of consumers who are turning a blind eye to the true cost of cheap meat more...
The Drax coal and biomass fired power station in North Yorkshire, one the UK's biggest point source emitters of greenhouse gases. Photo: Andrew Davidson via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

#AxeDrax: campaigners unite for climate justice against coal and biofueled deforestation

Almuth Ernsting

18th October 2016

The Drax power station in North Yorkshire is among Britain's greatest greenhouse gas emitters, writes Almuth Ernsting. Not only is it burning some 6 million tonnes of coal every year, it is also burning its way through forests in the USA and other countries as it converts to biomass-fired units, rewarded by £1.3 million a day in subsidies. Join the #AxeDrax protest this weekend! more...
Aerial view of the completed Hinkley C project. Artists impression by EDF Energy.

Nuclear and fracking: the economic and moral bankruptcy of UK energy policy

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

27th September 2016

With its choice of Hinkley Point C - a £100 billion nuclear boondoggle - its enthusiastic support for expensive and environmentally harmful fracking, and its relentless attack on renewable energy, the UK government's energy policy is both morally and economically bankrupt, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. It must urgently reconsider this folly and embrace the renewable energy transition. more...
Global action day against TTIP, CETA & TiSA, 18th April 2015 in Berlin. Photo: Cornelia Reetz / Mehr Demokratie via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Leaked: ‘new TTIP' TISA deal could prevent global action on climate change

Zachary Davies Boren / Energydesk

22nd September 2016

The Trade in Services Agreement is a multilateral deal like TPP, TTIP and CETA, writes Zachary Davies Boren. But while the 50-nation negotiations are even more secretive, its impacts could be even greater: undermining national sovereignty; allowing only corporate regulation deemed 'necessary' by a panel of WTO lawyers; and allowing no rollback on trade liberalisation. more...

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Soldiers came with the park officers. They planted a Thai flag and told the Karen to leave the village at once, or be shot. Photo: via CW.

Thailand court: National Park officers 'can burn indigenous homes'

Chris Lang / Conservation Watch

20th September 2016

The Thai government was right to evict an indigenous community from the Kaeng Krachan National Park at gunpoint and burn down homes, a Bangkok court has ruled - even though one resident had lived there for 100 years and the Park was only created in 1981. more...
Monsanto Graph' in Abode of Chaos by Thierry Ehrmann, Saint Romain en Mont d'Or, France. Photo: Urban Scraper via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Bayer-Monsanto merger - corporate madness or a moment of possibility?

Pat Thomas

19th September 2016

With the Wall Street Journal warning that the GMO crop boom may be over in the face of superweeds, higher seed prices, falling yields and farmer antipathy, writes Pat Thomas, the Monsanto-Bayer merger is a sign of weakness as both companies struggle to deliver growth and profits to match shareholder expectations. We had better be ready to press home our advantage! more...
Yanomami children in their forest home - which, with notorious 'Soy King' Bairo Maggi as agriculture minister, is now looking decidedly less secure. Photo: Dung Nguyen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Brazil’s new government to sacrifice the Amazon for 'growth'

Ed Atkins, University of Bristol

19th September 2016

It's not that Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's ousted President, was wonderful for the environment, writes Ed Atkins. It's that Michel Temer's new regime is certain to be far worse. Plans are afoot to weaken environmental assessments for large projects like mines, roads and dams. And the new Minister of Agriculture is a notorious campaigner for hugely increased deforestation. more...
'Resistance is Fertile - Compost Capitalism !' Banner at Occupy Oakland protest against GMOs, 10th December 2011. Photo: Lily Rhoads via Flickr (CC BY).

Monsanto and Bayer: food and agriculture just took a turn for the worse

Colin Todhunter

16th September 2016

Bayer's $66 billion takeover of Monsanto represents another big click on the ratchet of corporate power over farming and food, writes Colin Todhunter. With the 'big six' of global agribusiness now set to turn into the 'even bigger three', farmers and consumers are facing more GMOs and pesticides, less choice, and deeper price gouging. Agroecology has never looked more attractive. more...
Hinkley C - it now looks as if the UK may not be saddled with this monstrous white elephant after all. Image: EDF.

Hinkley C nuclear go-ahead: May caves in to pressure from France and China

Oliver Tickell

15th September 2016

The French and the Chinese may be celebrating the UK's decision to press ahead with the Hinkley C 'nuclear white elephant', writes Oliver Tickell. But the deal is a disaster for the UK, committing us to overpriced power for decades to come, and to a dirty, dangerous, insecure dead end technology. Just one silver lining: major economic, legal and technical hurdles mean it still may never be built. more...
Jeremy Corbyn addressing a leadership rally, 8th August 2016. Photo: Paul Newport via Flickr (CC BY).

Jeremy Corbyn: my plan for Britain's green industrial revolution

Jeremy Corbyn

8th September 2016

Under my leadership Britain will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies, writes Jeremy Corbyn. Meeting our Paris climate targets will be the starting point for a green industrial revolution that will deliver clean, affordable energy to all, create millions of new jobs, and establish the export industries of the future. more...

SBP certification scheme: debunking the myths

Carsten Huljus, SBP Chief Executive Officer

7th September, 2016

In a second response to a recent article published in the Ecologist, "Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?", SBP Chief Executive Officer Carstem Huljus debunks the myths in a right of reply more...
How to green your photocopier? Easy - just change the default from single to double-sided copies, and most people will go along with it. Result? Save thousands of trees. Photo: Bruce Bortin via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Green by default - how a nudge and wink can save the planet

Cass R. Sunstein

27th September 2016

There's a simple way to induce us to make good environmental choices, writes Cass R. Sunstein: make them the default setting. Whether it's selecting double sided photocopies or renewable electricity tariffs, defining easily-overridden 'green defaults' is by far the most efficacious means to influence consumer choices for the environment and the planet. more...
Weeds in farmers' crops - like these poppies in an oilseed rape field near Thirsk - may reduce profit margins - but they are hardly a 'serious danger to plant health'. Photo: James West via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

EFSA creates 'plant health' loophole for banned weedkillers

Oliver Tickell

8th September 2016

The EU's food and farming safety regulator is trying to create a 'back door' system to licence the use of herbicides that have been banned for their toxic impacts on people and wildlife - under a clearly inapplicable 'plant health' exemption. more...

SCS Global Services Correction to its rebuttal of misleading and inaccurate statements in Ecologist article

20th September, 2016

In response to a recent article published in the Ecologist, "Are the UK 'biomass sustainability standards' legitimising forest destruction?", SCS has prepared this point-by-point rebuttal to several misleading and inaccurate statements, and invites readers with additional questions to contact us directly.

Why the degrowth debate is gaining momentum

Nick Meynen

2nd September, 2016

Reporting from The 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest - which continues today and tomorrow - NICK MEYNEN explores the new narrative of ‘sufficiency' being discussed and and asks will it catch on before it's too late? more...
The Baka have lived sustainably in their rainforest home for generations. Photo: Selcen Kucukustel / Atlas / Survival International.

Corporate capture: Big Conservation must break out of its Stockholm syndrome

Dr Margi Prideaux

2nd September 2016

Big conservation NGOs increasingly resemble the nature-destroying corporations they should be opposing, writes Margi Prideaux. This ideological capture is reflected in their vapid marketing to conservation 'consumers'; the serious abuse of indigenous communities they should be engaging as partners; and their willing sacrifice of core objectives to money and influence. more...
Can we secure the future of our countryside - like this landscape in the Yorkshire Dales - with markets in 'ecosystem services'? Robert J Heath via Flickr (CC BY).

Can markets in 'ecosystem services' secure the future of the English countryside?

Dominic Hogg & Luke Dale-Harris

1st September 2016

The EU is already paying farmers and landowners for creating and maintaining valuable habitats, write Dominic Hogg & Luke Dale-Harris. But could the UK do better by creating markets in 'ecosystem services' that would put financial value on clean water, key wildlife habitats, endangered species and precious landscapes? more...


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