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The world's leading environmental affairs magazine, now theecologist.org, was founded in 1970 by Edward Goldsmith. The magazine quickly became a platform for those who would go on to be the leading lights of the environmental movement.
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Natural gas leaks from power plants, refineries, 100 times greater than thought
March 22, 2017 05:02 PM - Steve Horn , Ecologist
Natural gas is meant to be a far lower carbon fuel than coal, writes Steve Horn. But a new study shows that methane leaks from gas power plants and oil refineries are 20-120 times higher than thought. And with methane a greenhouse gas almost 100 times stronger than CO2 over 20 years, the leaks are equivalent to about a tenth of the US's CO2 emissions.
Measures of poverty and well-being still ignore the environment - this must change
March 15, 2017 03:21 PM - Judith Schleicher & Bhaskar Vira - University of Cambridge, Ecologist
Orthodox economic measures like Gross Domestic product fail to measure the things that matter most, write Judith Schleicher & Bhaskar Vira: like human wellbeing and ecological health. This creates a systematic bias in 'development' policies that must urgently be addressed if we are to build an inclusive, equitable and sustainable society
Without nature, humans could be neither healthy nor happy.
Decarbonising the UK economy
January 26, 2017 10:24 AM - Joe Ware, Ecologist
This week the UK Government published its long awaited industrial strategy, marking a distinctive break from the previous Conservative regime. Gone is David Cameron's more laissez faire attitude to managing the economy. In its place is a more proactive approach, which seeks to stimulate industry with targeted investment. Taking advantage of the greater flexibility afforded by freedom from the EU's state aid rules the plan sees some exciting developments in the decarbonisation of the UK economy.
World's biggest tropical carbon sink found in Congo rainforest
January 16, 2017 02:04 PM - , Ecologist
A 145,000 sq km area of peatland swamp forest has been discovered in the Congo Basin, writes Tim Radford, and it holds a record 30 Gt of carbon, equivalent to 20 years of US fossil fuel emissions. Now the race is on to protect it from damaging development that would emit that carbon over coming decades.
Renewables have the economic advantage over fossil fuels
September 16, 2016 11:00 AM - Alex Kirby, Ecologist
A new energy market analysis shows the average cost of electricity from renewables is already lower than from fossil fuels, writes Alex Kirby. And as renewables eat deeper into the 'market share' of coal and gas power plants, so the entire economics of fossil fuel power generation will unravel.
The cheapest way of generating energy today is to use renewable fuels - and the authors of a new analysis predict that renewables are set to enjoy even more of an advantage within a few years.
The study by the Carbon Tracker Initiative says renewable power generation costs are already lower on average worldwide than those of fossil fuels.
Why we need to keep rivers cool with riverside tree planting
August 10, 2016 02:21 PM - Ecologist reporter, Ecologist
With some climate predictions warning that river water temperatures will exceed safe thresholds for river fish, the Keep Rivers Cool (KRC) campaign is calling for more riverside tree planting.
Fish in Britain's rivers are under threat from warmer waters. Cold-water species such as Atlantic salmon and brown trout, are struggling to cope as climate change brings significant increases in temperature.
Today there's a call for urgent action to Keep Rivers Cool by planting broadleaf native trees alongside river banks, creating dappled shading and stopping water from warming up.
Shade can reduce temperatures in small rivers by on average 2- 3C compared to un-shaded streams; and by more on hot summer days.
Buzzards Bay being impacted by climate change according to a Woods Hole study
January 22, 2016 02:44 PM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Ecologist
An analysis of long-term, water quality monitoring data reveals that climate change is already having an impact on ecosystems in the coastal waters of Buzzards Bay, Mass. The impacts relate to how nitrogen pollution affects coastal ecosystems.
Utilizing 22 years of data collected by a network of citizen scientists, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and their colleagues at the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and the Marine Biological Laboratory found that average summertime temperatures in embayments throughout Buzzards Bay warmed by almost 2 degrees Celsius—roughly 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
"That is a rapid temperature increase for marine life," said Jennie Rheuban, a research associate at WHOI and lead author of the paper published January 15, 2016, in the journal Biogeosciences. "For some species, a single degree Fahrenheit change can mean the difference between a comfortable environment and one where they can no longer thrive."
Solar gaining on coal in India
January 4, 2016 06:15 AM - Chris Goodall, Ecologist
A KPMG study shows that the cost of solar power in India, revealed by public auctions, is barely half a cent above that of cheap local coal , writes Chris Goodall, with generators bids falling well below 5p (UK) / 7¢ (US) per kWh. The idea put about at COP21 that India and other poor but sunny countries need coal to develop their economies is fast running out of steam.
When the accountants have fully loaded the network and other costs PV ends up as very slightly cheaper than using lndian-mined coal. And, of course, this advantage will grow as solar gets cheaper.
Commentators eager to arrest the move towards renewable energy are facing increasing difficulties finding arguments for the continued use of fossil fuel.
We need to focus on health and well-being, not economic growth
February 22, 2015 08:02 AM - Jules Pretty, Ecologist
The financial cost of the diseases of modern civilization is almost double the budget of the National Health Service, writes Jules Pretty, while the economy has grown past the point of greatest satisfaction. Our over-riding priority should be to move to greener, healthier, more sustainable and satisfying ways of life.
A substantial financial dividend could be released by a greener and healthier economy. Instead of encouraging material growth and consumption, we should consume in a way that is environmentally sustainable.
'Extreme levels' of Roundup are the norm in GMO soya
April 1, 2014 09:05 AM - Thomas Bøhn and Marek Cuhra, Ecologist
To accommodate high levels of Roundup residues in GM soya, limits were raised 200-fold - with no scientific justification and ignoring growing evidence of toxicity. What Monsanto calls 'extreme levels' are now the norm - but only in GM crops.