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Frack off! Photo: JustinWoolford via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Secret report: fracking could hurt house prices, health and environment

Adam Vaughan & Rowena Mason / Guardian Environment

2nd July 2015

House prices could fall 7% near fracking rigs, according to the 'secret' Defra report on fracking in rural areas, only published in full after a legal battle, while leakage of waste water could damage human health and contaminate food. more...
Police line up at a 2012 demo against the Lobo regime in Tegucigalpa. Photo:  hondurasdelegation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Honduras under Occupation - murders, land grabs, and Hillary Clinton's 'hard choices'

Eric Draitser & Ramiro S. Fúnez

2nd July 2015

Honduras has endured six years of violence and land grabs after the 2009 US-backed military coup made the country a playground for Hillary Clinton's billionaire friends, write Eric Draitser & Ramiro S. Fúnez - and a hell for the country's indigenous and small scale farming communities, whose leaders are routinely murdered with impunity by US-trained forces. 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 Hinkley Point nuclear site from the boundary fence near Stolford. Photo: Mark Robinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Will the Hinkley C fiasco rouse Labour from its nuclear dream?

Dr Ian Fairlie

30th June 2015

Will Labour turn against nuclear power? As Chancellor, Ed Balls would have cancelled Hinkley C due to its massive cost, writes Ian Fairlie. But he never got the chance, and now the party remains muted even though the Government's nuclear enthusiasm is completely out of kilter with reality. To end nuclear's grip on Labour there's only one choice of leader: Jeremy Corbyn. more...
'We've bloody won!' Image via Frack Free Lancashire / Facebook.

Cuadrilla's fracking application defeated

The Ecologist

29th June 2015

In a dramatic decision this morning, Lancashire county councillors voted 9:3 to reject Cuadrilla's planning application to frack at Preston New Road, defying the warnings of their own planning officers. more...
Image: www.maxalbedo.co.uk via Frack Free Lancashire on Facebook.

Lancashire councillors have every right to refuse fracking application

The Ecologist

28th June 2015

Independent legal advice shows that Lancashire councillors can refuse Cuadrilla's application for planning permission to frack at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire - contrary to advice from the Council's officers. more...
Officers on anti-burglary patrols in the West Midlands, where dispersal powers have been used following burglaries. Photo: West Midlands Police via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Freedom of speech, assembly, protest? All are nixed by new police powers

Josie Appleton

26th June 2015

UK police now have free rein to create 'dispersal zones' in public places, writes Josie Appleton. This allows them to exclude people for anything from street drinking to looking suspicious, being homeless, protesting, or merely 'congregating'. This represents a serious breach of our Common Law and Magna Carta rights. more...
Elephants examine the tusk of a poached sibling. Photo: Karl Ammann, author provided.

Where does ivory come from? Now we know, with forensic DNA analysis

Samuel Wasser

25th June 2015

Forensic analysis of DNA in ivory seized by police and customs officials reveals where it comes from, writes Samuel Wasser, giving valuable information to law enforcers. But this powerful tool is only as effective as the national authorities, and Tanzania, a major ivory hotspot, has been very slow to respond to warnings. more...
Jeremy Corbyn speaking out against austerity outside Parliament, 27th May 2015. Photo: Sleeves Rolled Up via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Labour's choice: neoliberalism, more neoliberalism - or Jeremy Corbyn?

Ben Whitham

3rd July 2015

Within minutes of Labour's election defeat its MPs were denouncing Miliband for failing to 'embrace aspiration' and alienating 'wealth creators', writes Ben Whitham. But the real problem was that he never expressed a coherent alternative to neoliberalism and austerity, presenting at best a 'Tory lite' agenda that failed to inspire. And who are the real wealth creators anyway? more...
In case you didn't know, her scales are weighted. And government 'reforms' are only making them more so. The statue of Lady Justice atop England's Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey. Photo: Ronnie Macdonald via Flickr (CC BY).

A 'poll tax' for English justice - subjecting the poor to 'trial by ordeal'

Paul Mobbs

23rd June 2015

As Michael Gove gives his first speech as Justice Secretary, promising to update our 'creaking and outdated' courts, Paul Mobbs writes that 'reforms' to date have only deepened the injustice that afflicts poor defendants: penalising the innocent, burdening those who plead 'not guilty' with heavy charges regardless of ability to pay, cutting legal aid, and halving the number of duty solicitors. more...
Royd Moor wind farm in Yorkshire. Photo: steve p2008 via Flick (CC BY).

It's only government policies that make the UK's wind power expensive

Andrew ZP Smith, UCL

22nd June 2015

The UK has the best wind power resource in Europe, yet it costs far more than in less windy countries like Germany, writes Andrew ZP Smith. That's because of government policies that undermine investor confidence, and fail to recognise that wind power, despite 'subsidies', lower the price consumers pay for electricity. more...
Star of Bethlehem flowers, photographed in Delaware Bay. Photo: Daniel Ashton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To save the Earth, first we must love her

Hugh Warwick

19th June 2015

Pope Francis's vision of mankind living in joyful harmony with God's creation has challenged the great powers of the modern world, writes Hugh Warwick - and made the Catholic Church a revolutionary force of love and compassion, empowering movements for social and environmental justice everywhere. more...

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Low welfare pigs in an unhygienic intensive unit of the kind that can generate antibiotic resistant bacteria. Photo: Compassion in World Farming via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

MRSA superbug found in pork meat and sausages - it's time for action

Peter Melchett

19th June 2015

The discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pork products in UK supermarkets is a call to action, writes Peter Melchett. We must end the unhygienic farming practices that only work with constant antibiotic use, and reserve the most valuable antibiotics for human use only - or face a world in which routine surgery and infections bring serious risk of death. more...
General Audience with Pope Francis. Photo: © Mazur / catholicnews.org.uk via Flickr / Catholic Church England and Wales (CC BY-NC-SA).

Social and environmental justice: the struggle is one!

Pope Francis

28th June 2015

We must beware an 'environmental' agenda that excludes the human dimension, Pope Francis writes in his recent Encyclical: the poor are least to blame for the ecological and climate crises, yet they are its primary victims. Humanity must make enduring decisions about the world we and our children will share. more...
Photo: Troed-Y-Rhiw Farm via Facebook.

To support 'green' farming, officials must learn that small is beautiful

Alicia Miller / Sustainable Food Trust.

16th June 2015

It's a hard life being an organic farmer, writes Alicia Miller - and specially when it comes to engaging with a bureaucracy that's trying to 'green' our agriculture. Should small scale farmers change their farming practices to fit in with it? Or the other way round?
more...
The massive 5-reactor Hamaoka nuclear site, 200km SW of Tokyo, is built directly over the subduction zone near the junction of two tectonic plates. It was closed in 2011 to avoid a second Fukushima scale disaster. Photo: Cesar Ogasawara via Flickr (CC BY-

To stop using fossil fuels any time soon, Japan must follow Germany's lead

Peter Matanle, University of Sheffield

15th June 2015

Japan and Germany have much in common: both are major industrial countries that have gone nuclear-free, writes Peter Matanle - Germany by choice, Japan by necessity. But while Germany is actively pursuing its renewable energy revolution, or Energiewende, Japan, possessed of the richest renewable energy resources in East Asia, is stuck in a fossil fuel pit. more...
A rave? People gather to hear a lecture at the Democracy Festival near Runnymede yesterday. Photo: John Phoenix via Facebook.

Let's turn a Magna Carta travesty into a summons to defend our freedoms

Donnachadh McCarthy

15th June 2015

As the great and good of Britain including its most august royal personages converge on Runnymede to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, police are violating the very freedoms the Charter guarantees, writes Donnachadh McCarthy, after declaring an alternative Festival of Democracy to be an 'illegal rave'. more...
Speaking out against Black deaths in custody, November 2011. Photo: Kate Ausburn via Flickr (CC BY).

Australia must abandon plans to ditch legal protection for Indigenous people in custody

Eugene Schofield-Georgeson

20th June 2015

A successful, low-cost scheme in New South Wales to safeguard indigenous Australians in police custody is to lose federal funding, writes Eugene Schofield-Georgeson, even though it is demonstrably saving lives. Rather than cut funding, the government should be financing similar schemes across the country.
more...
A nursery of loblolly pine – approx. 500,000 in view, all waiting to be dispatched and planted (c. 1,000 acres). Photo: Drax Group.

Biomass for energy is the common sense option

Matthew Rivers

5th June 2015

Today UK campaigners against burning biomass for power will deliver a 110,000 signature petition to DECC to protest at government subsidies for the practice. But in this 'Right of Reply' article Matthew Rivers, chairman of Drax Biomass, argues that biomass combustion is sustainable, benign, and helps to conserve forests worldwide. more...
Prophetik by Jeff Garner on display at Eco Fashion Week 2012 in Vancouver, April 2012. Photo: Jason Hargrove via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Sustainable fashion is slow fashion - because fast comes at a price

Ruth Styles

8th June 2015

The mainstream fashion industry is trapped in a competitive spiral of ever shorter and faster sales and production cycles, writes Ruth Styles - and that inevitably stresses both textile workers and natural resources. But there is another way: the way of 'slow fashion' in which clothes are timeless, beautiful and made to last. 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...
The melting on the southern Antarctic peninsula has been so sudden, that even the scientific expedition's supply ship seems to have been caught out. Photo: J Bamber,

Once-stable Antarctic glaciers have suddenly started melting

Bert Wouters

23rd May 2015

A dramatic shift has taken place in the glaciers of the southern Antarctic peninsula, writes Bert Wouters. Six years ago these previously stable bodies suddenly stated shedding 60 cubic kilometres of ice per year into the ocean. A stark warning of further surprises to come? more...
Titan II ICBM in an underground missile silo complex in Arizona, USA. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY).

Pressing ahead with Trident, only the UK hasn't noticed: it's time to get rid of nuclear weapons

Dr David Lowry

21st May 2015

Important developments are unfolding at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty negotiations in New York this week, writes David Lowry. These include the surprisingly large scale of the US's warhead scrapping, and a grassroots rebellion against the nuclear states led by South Africa. But the UK and its media remain aloof from it all - intent on renewing Trident no matter what. more...
Is the Pepsi brand getting tarnished? Pepsi sign in Rajasthan, India, by Matthew Stevens via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

India: unlawful Pepsi plant wins police protection

The Ecologist

20th May 2015

First the Pepsi-Cola bottling company in south India caused outrage by depleting groundwater. Next it was found to be operating without valid permits.Then as protests grew the company won a High Court order giving it police protection. Now locals are vowing to keep the plant shut for good. more...
Love and peace! Boys in the Jerash Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan gather to raise their hands in peace signs. Photo: Omar Chatriwala via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Undefeated after 67 years, Palestinians' thirst for peace and justice

Johnny Barber

15th May 2015

Today is Nakba day - when Palestinians everywhere remember in their native land, stolen homes, demolished villages and long-lost way of life with grief, anger and a deep yearning that endures from generation to generation, writes Johnny Barber. more...

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