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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 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.
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Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food
January 28, 2013 09:12 AM - Elizabeth Royte, The Ecologist
While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or "fracking") operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil. Last year, Michelle Bamberger, an Ithaca, New York, veterinarian, and Robert Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, published the first and only peer-reviewed report to suggest a link between fracking and illness in food animals.
Python Trade Influenced by Fashion Industry
January 9, 2013 08:50 AM - Anna Taylor, The Ecologist
A report released last month by the International Trade Centre has raised concerns over many aspects of the snake skin trade, most notably high levels of illegal trading, plus concerns about the welfare and conservation of the species involved. The report, entitled "The Trade in South-East Asian Python Skins", was backed by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, (IUCN). The authors used information gathered from interviews with exporters and importers, hunters, government officials, conservationists and vets to highlight the now urgent need for more control over a trade which is threatening the survival of pythons.
Study links pesticides used by sheep farmers to long-term brain damage
December 14, 2012 08:50 AM - Tom Levitt, The Ecologist
A long-running campaign to highlight the health impacts of a dangerous chemical used by farmers in the UK has been vindicated by the conclusions of a major new study. Several hundred farmers in the UK are believed to have suffered debilitating health problems from exposure to organophosphate pesticides (OPs). A large number of them were sheep farmers, following government orders in the 1980s and 90s to treat their animals with the chemical to protect against the spread of a disease called sheep scab.
Uncontacted Tribes in Peru at Risk
December 11, 2012 06:51 AM - David Hill, The Ecologist
Peru is set to embark on a major expansion of gas operations in the Camisea region in the Amazon - a move which could decimate Indigenous peoples, both those in 'voluntary isolation' and others in the early stages of contact. Operations in Camisea - in a concession known as Lot 88 in the Cusco region in south-east Peru - are run by a consortium headed by Pluspetrol and including Repsol-YPF and Hunt Oil. The bulk of this Lot (74% ) overlaps the Kugapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve, which was created in 1990 for ”˜isolated’ peoples and in a bid supposedly intended to prohibit companies from operating there.
Greenland becoming more green, thanks to Global Warming
November 23, 2012 08:25 AM - Susan Clark, The Ecologist
I don't want to be told that thanks to Global Warming - now accepted by the majority (77%) of Americans and so therefore, in my opinion, a new Tipping Point - strawberry plants can now survive a Greenland winter. I don't want to see neat little rows of budding lettuce plants growing outside a polytunnel. OUTSIDE a polytunnel; over-wintering under the snow but come the Spring, still alive and sprouting new shoots; cabbage and potatoes to follow. And I don't want to hear a Greenlander livestock farmer telling me that (once again, thanks to Global Warming) he now has enough newly ice-free pasture land to double the size of his 20,000-strong flock of sheep.
Planting Forests for Carbon Sequestration
November 9, 2012 08:33 AM - John Gould, The Ecologist
Imagine a forest landscape where every tree is aligned and equally spaced apart. A forest where there are no sounds, no undergrowth and a distinct lack of species. Could this be the fate of our environment as carbon forestry becomes a common way to offset greenhouse gas emissions? Or, could it supplement reforestation programs and slowly ease the biodiversity crisis? Post-Kyoto there has been strong support for global emissions to be 'capped'. Key nations, including Australia, Norway and Japan, have already started to place a price on carbon, with internal stakeholders now having a legal obligation to pay for the greenhouse gasses they emit. One strategy that has been adopted by these 'compliance' markets — as well as many 'voluntary' markets — includes the purchasing of carbon credits that are linked with the forestry sector.
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.