The Ecologist

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The ecologist is a magazine offering radical thinking on environmental issues. It provides news, analysis and critiques of a range of interrelated global social and environmental concerns and challenging the political and economic thinking behind them. I’m proud to contribute on a range of issues, from alternatives to growth to democratic reform.

The Precautionary Principle: the basis of a post-GMO ethic

A swathe of Ecologist articles have recently considered various different aspects of the case against GM crops.

The purpose of the current article is slightly different. It is to take a step back, and think through systematically the reasons why GM crops are (and will for the foreseeable future probably remain) wrong.

From the point of view that is increasingly, I believe, becoming understood as the ethical basis for such reasoning: that of the Precautionary Principle.

Let's build a post-growth economy that works for the 99%

What would a post-growth world look like? Some would argue that it is not difficult to imagine a world without growth, as many countries are already living in it.

Japan stagnated for a decade and its economy has been left hollowed-out. Much of Europe is in negative or near-zero growth in the wake of the global economic crisis, and in none of these countries can a lack of growth be viewed as a good thing.

We see before our eyes the human cost of economic systems that are dependent on constant growth to function. We currently rely on growth for all kinds of purposes. As a substitute for the redistribution of wealth, for example - so long as everyone is getting richer, why worry if some are getting much richer than others?

Re-nationalise our railways!

My day started at 6 am, while it was of course still dark.

Dressed smart for the cameras, I cycled off to Norwich station for a series of interviews - with BBC Radio Norfolk about why the railways should be renationalised, the local paper, ITV 'Anglia', BBC 'Look East'.

No less important, I spoke to dozens of passengers to get the mood of what they were thinking. And here is something unusual. While we were giving out leaflets directly outside the doors to the station, every single person took a leaflet.

Any Ecologist reader who has any experience giving out leaflets will know how rare that is. Why such strong support? For a start, polls have long shown that an overwhelming majority of the British public wants the railways back in public ownership - yet the only Party committed to railway nationalisation is the Greens.