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The Ecologist

The Ecologist has been setting the environmental agenda since 1970, first as a magazine and now exclusively online at www.theecologist.org.
Launched by Teddy Goldmsith, the Ecologist shot to fame in 1972 for devoting an entire issue to its Blueprint for Survival, a radical manifesto for change that proposed, amongst other reforms, the formation of a movement for survival. This led to the creation of the People Party, later renamed the Ecology Party and finally the Green Party.
Today the Ecologist examines the connection between a wide range of subjects. Whether it’s food, war, politics, pharmaceuticals, farming, toxic chemicals, corporate fraud, mass media or supermarkets, the Ecologist challenges conventional thinking and empowers readers to tackle global issues on a local scale.
With thought-provoking investigations by leading experts and daily news and analysis the Ecologist website is an indispensable guide for anyone re-thinking their basic assumptions about the world we live in.

Website: http://www.theecologist.org/


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E-mail: ecosystems@theecologist.org

Could Lithium-air batteries make oil obsolete?
November 24, 2015 06:47 AM - Editor, The Ecologist

Sooner than it takes to build a nuclear power station, lithium-air batteries could be helping wind and solar to make coal, oil and nuclear obsolete, say Cambridge scientists. Five times lighter and five times cheaper than current lithium batteries, Li-air would open the way to our 100% renewable future.

The Paris attacks - the climate talks, and the war on terror
November 15, 2015 08:31 AM - Oliver Tickell, The Ecologist

Is it a coincidence that the terrorist outrage in Paris was committed weeks before COP21, the biggest climate conference since 2009? Perhaps, writes Oliver Tickell. But failure to reach a strong climate agreement now looks more probable. And that's an outcome that would suit ISIS - which makes $500m a year from oil sales - together with other oil producers.

Yes, it's still about the climate, very much so. But there are also compelling reasons of national and global security to reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels, oil in particular.

The first thing to be said about the terrorist attacks on Paris yesterday is that they are a dreadful crime that deserves only the most fervent condemnation.

The Gypsies problem in Europe
October 4, 2015 07:34 AM - Dan Allen, University of Salford, The Ecologist

Under new planning rules, Travellers and Gypsies must be able to prove they are actually traveling to qualify for limited planning benefits to create new sites. But for many, it's impossible to do that. Not only to remain in employment, or education - but precisely because there are so few sites, that they are unable to travel.

Living on an unauthorised campsite carries a heavy weight of suffering and disadvantage. Travellers contend daily with the risk of criminalisation and eviction, as well as limited access to basic services such as running water and sanitation.

Any attempt to subsume diverse groups under one label is going to be fraught with tension - and this is certainly true in terms of the word 'Traveller'.

Ocean plastic plague threatens seabirds
September 1, 2015 12:36 PM - Chris Wilcox, Britta Denise Hardesty & Erik van Sebille, The Ecologist

Already 60% of seabird species have plastic in their guts, often as much as 8% of their body weight. And with ocean plastic increasing exponentially, that figure will rise to 99% by 2050, threatening some birds' survival. Unless we act.

How a warming climate is impacting wild boar in Europe
August 23, 2015 07:54 AM - Paul Brown, The Ecologist

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.

”‹Wild boar populations in Europe are getting out of control - and scientists are blaming climate change.

There are now millions of wild boar spreading out from their preferred woodland habitat, moving into city suburbs, and even crossing national boundaries to countries that had thought they were extinct.

China's carbon emissions may be lower than estimated
August 20, 2015 01:30 PM - Eliza Berlage, The Ecologist

The IPCC has over-estimated China's emissions since 2000 by 14%, almost 3 gigatonnes of carbon since 2000, while its energy consumption has been 10% higher than realised, writes Eliza Berlage. The country is far more carbon-efficient than we ever knew.

The Fukushima Accident Lives On
August 18, 2015 12:14 PM - Dr Ian Fairlie, The Ecologist

New evidence from Fukushima shows that as many as 2,000 people have died from necessary evacuations, writes Ian Fairlie, while another 5,000 will die from cancer. Future assessments of fatalities from nuclear disasters must include deaths from displacement-induced ill-heath and suicide in addition to those from direct radiation impacts.

Commentary on the US plan to reduce carbon emissions
August 16, 2015 07:45 AM - Tim Kruger, The Ecologist

President Obama's plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions may look like a climate victory, writes Tim Kruger - but it's no such thing. It's feeble because the US can meet its targets by reducing emissions to 2030 more slowly than it has since 2000. And it's fragile as any future President can scrap it at will.

Climate change-denying Republicans hate this plan (of course), therefore all good climate realists see it as a triumph. But it is a tiny, tiny step in the right direction and climatically immaterial.

No doubt, you heard the good news. Barack Obama has announced the US is pushing through plans to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Rejoice! Rejoice! We've got this climate problem licked - hurrah!

How the loss of Indonesian mangrove forests is linked to climate change
August 10, 2015 07:29 AM - Prodita Sabarini, The Ecologist

The loss of Indonesia's coastal mangrove forests for shrimp farming is a huge source of carbon emissions, writes Prodita Sabarini. But equally, a policy flip to preserve and recreate mangroves offers a major climate win.

Mangroves are important because of their high rates of tree and plant growth, coupled with anaerobic, water-logged soils that slow decomposition, resulting in large, long-term carbon storage. Mangroves store three to five times more carbon than rainforest

Preventing the loss of Indonesian mangroves would help in the global fight against climate change, new research shows.

Trophy hunting is not the main reason for declining population of lions in Africa
August 3, 2015 07:02 AM - Lochran Traill & Norman Owen-Smith, The Ecologist

Africa has half as many lions as 20 years ago - but don't blame trophy hunting

The killing of Zimbabwe's Cecil the Lion has put a welcome spotlight on the alarming decline of Africa's lions, write Lochran Traill & Norman Owen-Smith. But to save the species, we should not obsess about trophy hunting, but tackle much more serious problems - like snaring and habitat fragmentation.

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