Comment

Comment and opinion from expert environmental writers on green living and making a practical difference to energy, politics, social issues and climate change

Brexit and the corporate war on regulations designed to protect life itself

Professor John McMurtry
| 1st August 2017
Brexit is part of a corporate campaign to remove, undermine and attack European Union regulations and increase the rate of growth and profit. But these very regulations are necessary for the protection of the environment - and life itself. PROFESSOR JOHN McMURTRY, author of The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: from Crisis to Cure, raises the alarm.

Read Article

How environmentalists can regroup for the Trump era

Robert Percival
| 25th July 2017
Environmental law professor, ROBERT PERCIVAL, who has worked for both the Federal Government and a leading green nonprofit group, says despite the Trump administration's assault on America's environment laws they will survive... and may even be stronger for the attack

Read Article

Why environmental communications can't just talk about the environment

Natalie Bennett
| 14th July 2017

There's no doubt that one of the losers in this year's UK election was the environment and that there's clearly been a failure not just in politics, which is failing in so many ways, but also in environmental communication - a failure to reach people's hearts and minds with the urgent need for change, writes NATALIE BENNETT

Read Article

G20 summit showed international climate action really is 'Trump- proof'

Katrin Riegger
| 12th July 2017
The G19 pro-climate coalition which agreed both an energy and climate action plan and important steps to help reorient private capital flows and business strategies towards a new sustainable direction has been deemed a success by many environmentalists, writes KATRIN RIEGGER (who was present at the conference for the Ecologist). But others say these agreements still do not go far enough and want to see global leaders adopting even more ambitious strategies to cut emissions and achieve the agreed goals of the Paris Agreement

Read Article

Leading from Nature: Politics and Biomimicry

Elizabeth Wainwright
Nature Editor
| 13th June 2017
As Theresa May and her Ministers struggle to make a pact with the DUP, Ecologist Nature Editor, ELIZABETH WAINWRIGHT says we could all do worse than model both leadership and politics on Nature and work together to improve partnership and community, as well as innovation

Read Article

Uluru at sunset. Photo: Chris Ford via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Australia's time to recognise indigenous peoples' sovereignty

Harry Hobbs
UNSW
| 26th May 2017
For 80 years Australia's Aboriginal peoples have called for land rights and sovereignty, writes Harry Hobbs. And for 80 years they have been ignored or brushed aside. But now delegates meeting at Uluru have issued a 'statement from the heart' demanding constitutional reform to empower Indigenous people to take 'a rightful place in our own country'. Their call must be heard!

Read Article

If you think fossil fuel lobbyists belong in UN climate negotiations, maybe you also think Santa smokes Lucky Strikes, and the tobacco industry belongs in the World Health Organisation. Photo: Phil Wolff via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Bonn climate talks' glacial progress shows why we must kick fossil fuels out!

Pascoe Sabido
Corporate Europe Observatory
| 25th May 2017
The participation of the fossil fuel industry in UN climate talks represents clear a conflict of interest, writes Pascoe Sabido. And nowhere has this been more apparent than at this month's UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, where fossil fuel representatives have slowed progress to a snail's pace. With just six months to go before November's COP23 negotiations, it's time to defy the US, EU and Australia, and kick fossil fuel lobbyists out!

Read Article

The Essex Foxhounds in 1994. Photo: League Against Cruel Sports.

Tell Mrs May: Foxhunting must remain illegal!

Eduardo Gonçalves
| 18th May 2017
It's election time and the race is on for public support, writes Eduardo Goncalves. So why on Earth did Tory leader Theresa May come out in favour of foxhunting - an activity loathed or disliked by over 80% of voters - at this crucial time, offering MPs a free vote on repealing the Hunting Act? Now let's put pressure on our candidates to keep the law against this cruel, archaic pastime.

Read Article

The demise of the Horse Chestnut tree - Armageddon or Scaremongering?

Dawn Starin
| 12th May 2017
Over the past few years newspaper headlines suggesting that various alien invaders are decimating the British horse chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum) and that all affected trees should be removed have been making alarming reading. But talk to the experts, and a slightly different, less horror-filled story arises, writes anthropologist, DAWN STARIN.

Read Article

While Trump tries to extend the wall across the US-Mexico frontier, seen here at Nogales, Mexico could build a solar farm along the border, generating 2GW of power, and attracting technology, investment and jobs from the North. Photo: Jonathan McIntosh vi

Mexico's expiring oil and Trump's wall: the future is solar

Jeremy Leggett
| 11th May 2017
Mexico's oil looks set to run out within a decade, writes Jeremy Leggett, and it can hardly rely on Trump's America to make up the difference. But Mexico enjoys abundant sunshine, and the cost of solar power generation is falling fast. Let Trump tie America's economy to debt-financed fossil fuels. Mexico's future prosperity will come from harnessing its inexhaustible solar riches.

Read Article

ADB's 'two finger salute' to the world on climate change: the Tata Mundra coal power station in India, under construction in 2010. Photo: Joe Athialy via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Asian Development Bank must end its 50 year addiction to coal!

Hemantha Withanage
| 4th May 2017
The mighty Asian Development Bank is celebrating its 50th birthday this week in Yokohama, Japan, writes Hemantha Withanage. But the victims of ADB's $3 billion coal funding have little to be glad of - whether local communities impacted by mines and power stations, or people everywhere suffering climate change. ADB must stop financing coal now!

Read Article

Southern White rhinoceros in its native habitat in Zambia, bnear the Zimbabwe border, October 2013. Photo: Jim Frost via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Rhinos should be conserved in Africa - not moved to Australia!

Matt Hayward
Bangor University
| 2nd May 2017
A $4m plan to move 80 rhinos from South Africa to Australia is inept, patronising, a waste of scarce resources that contributes nothing to conservation, and betrays an outdated neocolonial mindset, writes Matt Hayward. The money should be spent on successful but underfunded community-based rhino conservation initiatives in Africa that benefit entire ecosystems.

Read Article

'That Roundhouse' near Newport in Wales, built by Tony Wrench and Jane Faith and helpers as part of the secret Brithdir Mawr intentional community. In the UK this kind of eco-living is strongly linked to 'progressive' politics and values, but that's not a

Green nationalism? How the far right could learn to love the environment

Peter Paul Catterall
University of Westminster
| 12th April 2017
Myths of a pagan past in harmony with nature have been a feature of green nationalism, writes Peter Paul Catterall, from its beginnings through to the Anastasia ecovillages in contemporary Russia where - unlike their equivalent hippy communes found in the West - sustainable living is combined with a 'reactionary eco-nationalism'. Could it happen here too?

Read Article

Demonstration for the ban on mining in El Salvador. Photo: UpsideDownWorld.

Making history: El Salvador bans metal mining

Ricardo Navarro
Sam Cossar-Gilber
| 11th April 2017
Mining was imposed on the Salvadoran people as a dream industry to aid development, create jobs and yield taxes to pay for schools and hospitals, write Ricardo Navarro & Sam Cossar-Gilber. But the reality was a nightmare of polluted water, stolen farmland, corporate violence, and murder. After a long campaign, El Salvador has just become the first country to ban all metal mining.

Read Article

These trees along Idaho's Selway River may be harboring insects, fungi and bacteria - best cut them down quick to maintain forest health! Photo: Friends of Clearwater.

Catastrophic 'anti-infestation' logging threatens US National Forests

Brett Haverstick
| 10th April 2017
A fresh wave of logging is hitting America's national forests, writes Brett Haverstick. But this time it's all for the sake of 'forest health' and 'fire prevention'. It might look like industrial clear-cutting to you and me, but really, it's in a good cause. And if the forests and precious ecosystems they harbor just happen to perish in the process ... well ain't that just too bad?

Read Article

The rich, deep color of this soil and high organic content shows exactly what healthy soil looks like. A diverse blend of crops, grasses, and cover crops creates a protective blanket that feeds and nurtures the soil. Photo: USDA-NRCS photo by Catherine Ul

How to feed the world? The answer lies in healthy soils

David R. Montgomery
University of Washington
| 7th April 2017
There's only one real faultline in farming, writes David R. Montgomery, and it's not the one between organic and 'conventional'. What really matters is whether farming systems are building, improving and nurturing soils - or exploiting them for short term gain. And if we want to keep humans well fed and healthy for the long term, there's only one choice to make.

Read Article