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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 itís 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.
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Malaysian dam project will set precedent on how to treat indigenous people
November 6, 2012 11:31 AM - Maxine Newlands, The Ecologist
The controversial Murum dam in Malaysia is the first big overseas project for the China Three Gorges Project Company (CTGC) which is building hydro- and coal-fired power stations in 23 countries. So how it resolves its current conflict with the protesting Penan tribe will set an important precedent as to how other Indigenous people are treated. Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo and is covered in ancient rainforest. This pristine oasis is home to many rare species, including the Slow loris, Clouded leopard, eight species of Hornbill as well as the iconic Orang-utang. Logging practices in the Sarawak region have decimated the habitat of these, and thousands of other unique species, and caused irreparable damage to valuable peat lands.
Hope for Shark Finning Bans Continues
November 1, 2012 10:03 AM - Anna Taylor, The Ecologist
Last month in Cambridge, volunteers from the community group Fin Free Cambridge delivered a petition with over three and a half thousand signatures to the Guildhall. The group, and all the signatories, are hoping to make Cambridge the first UK city to ban the use of shark fins. Currently four businesses in Cambridge use shark fins and the UK is ranked 19th in the world for shark fin exports. Shark finning is a cruel and wasteful activity, with around 73 million sharks being killed each year for their fins alone. The number of threatened shark species in the world has grown to more than 180 from a total of just 15 in 1996.
Bringing Rain Gardens to Urban Areas
October 25, 2012 08:40 AM - Laura Laker, The Ecologist
Water management is a major issue in large urban areas, where after heavy rainfall, rooftops, streets and pavements act as funnels. This sends huge volumes of water very quickly into drainage systems, putting pressure on rivers and increasing the risk of flooding. In contrast, undeveloped land absorbs and utilises water, thus slowing its progress to rivers. It is this natural bioretention that our towns and cities must learn to mimic. Rain gardens do just that. In its most basic form a rain garden is a planted depression in the ground, providing porous and absorbent materials into which water can soak, with plants that can withstand occasional temporary flooding.
Update: Lab-grown Meat
October 8, 2012 06:11 AM - Tom Levitt, The Ecologist
Lab-grown meat could help reduce the environmental footprint of intensive farming. But will it ever appeal to vegetarians or even more eco-conscious consumers? Tom Levitt reports Lab-grown meat will create up to 96 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions. Before the end of the year, Dutch scientists are promising a high-profile debut for a burger made from meat grown not on a farm but in their laboratory. Synthetic or lab-grown meat involves taking a small amount of cells from a living animal and growing it into lumps of muscle tissue in the lab, which can then, in theory, be eaten as meat by people.
Community Sharing: Saving Resources and Saving Money
September 28, 2012 09:15 AM - Samir Jeraj, The Ecologist
It started with Sam going around to his neighbour to borrow some milk. Things took a further step when one of them borrowed some chairs for a barbecue. Finally, the two neighbours decided the time had come to take down the fence between their gardens, to better enjoy the shared space. This is how StreetBank - an online tool sharing website - started. On a street in West London, two neighbours started to share what they each owned, replacing the idea of possessions with the more collaborative concept of shared tools.
The Kathmandu Valley Needs Help!
September 27, 2012 05:56 AM - Joseph Mayton, The Ecologist
The once bustling Bagmati river has become the focal point of Nepal's struggle to bring modernity to this once isolated region. And the environment is struggling to survive, writes Joseph Mayton. It is "clean-up" day on Nepal’s major river, the Bagmati. Uniformed military personnel troll the banks of the river, picking up plastic bags and rubbish that has found its way onto the sides what once was the main thoroughfare for the Kathmandu Valley. Turning, with pieces in his hand, one officer lightly tosses the rubbish into the already polluted water.
Butterflies act as wildlife indicators, warning us of ecosystem changes
September 25, 2012 08:45 AM - Faye Dobson, The Ecologist
Although butterflies may seem like an attractive addition to your flower garden they are a more important insect than most people realise. Acting as a vital wildlife indicator, butterflies can tell us almost everything we need to know about the health of an ecosystem. But from the Meadow Brown to the Swallowtail, British native butterfly species are slowly disappearing. According to a report by the Dorset-based charity Butterfly Conservation, 72 per cent of butterfly and moth species have declined in the last ten years, and 54 per cent have decreased in the UK. Even the abundance of common garden butterflies, such as the Red Admiral, has dropped by 24 per cent.
Do protected areas for wildlife really work?
April 11, 2012 07:14 AM - Eifion Rees, The Ecologist
Can national parks and marine protected areas safeguard endangered wildlife against the growing pressures of population growth and climate change? Designated a national park in 1778 but safeguarded unofficially since the 13th century, the world's oldest protected area is Mongolia’s sacred Bogd Khan Mountain, overlooking Ulan Bator. The Emperor of Manchur’s 18th-century edict was designed to prevent mortals from desecrating the realms of the divine. Building was restricted, logging and hunting banned.
Bottled water industry wages PR battle against tap water
April 4, 2012 06:41 AM - Eifion Rees, The Ecologist
Worried by a dip in sales, Nestlé is among the companies waging a million-pound public relations war to turn the public off tap water and back onto plastic bottled water Bottled water is the totemic b√™te noire of the environmental world, a multibillion-dollar industry that takes what in the west is clean and readily available from the tap, packages it up in non-biodegradable plastic and sells it back to consumers at hugely inflated prices. And yet sales continue to rise. In 2010, more than 2bn litres were consumed in the UK — 33 litres per person, a figure projected to rise to 40 litres by 2020.
Native Wildflowers are good for bees and biodiversity!
March 21, 2012 07:00 AM - Hazel Sillver, The Ecologist
Filling your garden with wildflowers helps honeybees and butterflies, and creates a relaxed mood. And, from the Easton Walled Garden to Sissinghurst, there's plenty of inspiration Many of the wildflower areas that provide food for pollinating insects (such as honeybees and butterflies) have shrunk over the past few decades. So far, we have lost 97 per cent of lowland semi-natural grassland, 20 per cent of chalk grassland and thousands of miles of hedgerow. This is the effect of intensive agriculture and, in urban areas, an obsession with neatness.