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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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Amazon forest loss and water supply are linked
December 30, 2013 07:05 AM - Paul Brown, Ecologist
Water, food supplies and energy production are all in jeopardy as the Amazon forest is felled for profit. And as Paul Brown writes, the damage is spreading well beyond Amazonia itself. The combination of industrial and agricultural pollution and droughts is creating a once unthinkable vulnerability for the five countries of Amazonia. The continued destruction of the Amazon to exploit its resources for mining, agriculture and hydro-power is threatening the future of the South American continent, according to a report by campaigning groups using the latest scientific data. Five countries - Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru - share the Amazon, and for all of them the forest area occupies more than 40% of their territory. All face threats to their water supply, energy production, food and health.
A little less coal for China
December 24, 2013 09:02 AM - Kieran Cooke, Ecologist
Coal mining companies in Australia have been enjoying the good life in recent years, making millions of dollars from feeding the seemingly insatiable energy appetites of Asia's tiger economies - particularly that of China. But a new report by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE) at Oxford in the UK warns that Australia's coal mining party could be coming to an end.
Shanghai air quality crisis
December 13, 2013 06:48 AM - Matthew Currell, Ecologist
Shanghai is experiencing unprecedented levels of pollution. Last week fine particulate levels reached almost 20 times WHO guidelines, and they are still at dangerous levels. Matthew Currell reports on China's pollution crisis. The huge economic and health costs of pollution are estimated to consume approximately 5% of China's gross domestic product. The current "airpocalypse" emergency in Shanghai - which has seen schoolchildren ordered indoors to protect them from the polluted air, flights grounded and companies ordered to cut production - comes at the end of a year in which China's environmental crisis reached a tipping point.
Arctic at risk from invasive species
November 25, 2013 09:31 AM - Christopher Ware, Ecologist
As the Arctic ice melts, new shipping routes are opening up for tourism, mining and other commercial purposes, cutting journey times and fuel costs. And as Christopher Ware reports, a new danger arises - invasive alien species disrupting fragile Arctic ecosystems...
Nuclear power gets twice the price of solar!
October 28, 2013 08:31 AM - Oliver Tickell, Ecologist
The UK government's policy to pay for more for nuclear power than for power from solar PV is in direct contradiction of EU rules on state aid. The Hinkley C nuclear power station is to be paid more than twice as much as German solar pv arrays of 10MW or more, energy expert David Toke of Aberdeen University has calculated. And even smaller arrays are being paid considerably less than the price paid to EDF at Hinkley.
Ecology: Life's Connections
October 24, 2013 04:41 PM - Glen Barry, Ecologist
Ultimately, all humanity and all life have is the biosphere, the thin layer of life just above and below Earth’s surface, composed of ancient, miraculously evolved natural ecosystems. The natural Earth is a marvel - a complex coupling of species within ecosystems, whereby life begets life. Ecology is far more than the study of life and its environment. The word is used here as a synonym for ecosystems - the vibrant connections that emerge between species across scales, which cumulatively make life on Earth possible.
Solar power straight off the shelf
October 2, 2013 08:03 AM - David Thomas, Ecologist
Furniture giant IKEA are soon to stock solar panels in all their UK stores, evidence that renewable technology can really compete in the global marketplace says David Thomas. The mood among UK trade organizations is that despite working hard to promote solar PV as an investment, governmental mismanagement has done the industry harm.
Fracking poses risk to UK farm animals and food safety, experts warn
September 18, 2013 01:02 PM - Andrew Wasley, Ecologist
US researchers behind a study that showed links between gas drilling and sickness in livestock say a moratorium should be imposed on fracking in the UK until its impact on food safety can be assessed. Andrew Wasley reports
Why eating insects is good for the environment
August 29, 2013 09:50 AM - Ben Whitford, Ecologist
As a growing number of chefs put bugs on the menu, Ben Whitford samples his first 'entomophagic' meal and talks to the edible-insect entrepreneurs hoping to convert the rest of us to the environmental and nutritional benefits of eating insects.... The other day, at a busy restaurant in the middle of Washington, D.C, I had bugs for lunch. Sitting at a polished table in Oyamel - a high-end Mexican eatery a stone's throw from the Capitol - I was presented with the house specialty: a fresh corn tortilla cradling a fist-sized heap of glistening chapulines, the roasted grasshoppers prized as a delicacy in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Reader, I ate them. The carapaces were disconcertingly crunchy, but the taste was subtle - mostly chipotle chilli and lime, with a pleasant nuttiness from the grasshoppers themselves. Later, after picking the legs from my teeth, I chatted with Oyamel head chef Colin King, who sells two or three dozen tacos de chapulines a day to curious diners. Many guests first try them on a dare, King said, only to order second and third helpings. "People generally end up liking the flavour," he adds. Grasshopper tacos won't replace crab cakes and steaks as D.C. power-lunch staples, but the dish's popularity points to the gradual mainstreaming of entomophagy, the practice of eating bugs.
The Hidden Conservation Costs of Renewable Energy
March 27, 2013 01:55 PM - Luke Dale-Harris, Ecologist
Ecologist writer Luke Dale-Harris questions the ability of Natura 2000 to work as an effective environmental regulator. The birds that migrate freely across Europe are unaware of the invisible borders that lie below them. They follow the same routes that have carried them to warmth every year for an eternity, marked out by the indomitable features of the landscape - the coast of the Atlantic on one side and the curve of the Carpathian Mountains on the other. But it is what they miss that matters most; their future, along with that of the rest of us, is dictated by the political and economic tides that shift shape across the continent.