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.

Why 'Effective Altruism' is ineffective: the case of refugees

The Effective Altruism (EA) movement has garnered a lot of attention over the last year.

And it got a huge boost with the Zuckerbergs' announcement that they would donate 99% of their Facebook shares to charity.

The EA movement is now the world's largest and most influential organised philanthropy network. So why does it have so little to say about the refugee crisis - surely one of the major humanitarian issues of our time?

The Rights of Nature must be recognised in law

At this week's Green Party conference we will be putting forward a proposal to adopt Rights of Nature into the Green Party's policies.

Central to this motion are the rights of nature to 'exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, as well as the right to restoration'.

Currently Britain's piecemeal environmental regulations consider nature as an object of commerce within the law, and thus they prevent us from protecting ecosystems in any meaningful sense.

Peak stuff: the 'growth' party is over. So what next?

This week, the front pages have been plastered with the news that trillions of dollars have been wiped off global markets, a dramatic shock which has been felt by all the main share indices worldwide.

The significance of these events depends on who you ask: some urge 'optimism', while others predict we may be on the cusp of a new Great Depression, at least as dangerous as the Great Recession of 2008, although different in kind. One thing is certain - we are entering a period of enormous uncertainty.

Death to 'austerity'. Long live sustainable abundance!

The 'austerity' issue is very much in the news. In last weekend's Observer, for example, it popped up in several articles.

On the front page a number of economists are quoted as supporting Jeremy Corbyn's "anti-austerity politics".

Inside there is an opinion piece by economics correspondent William Keegan who credits Corbyn for foregrounding the issue and challenging orthodox arguments for government spending cutbacks.

On another page, a "young Labour supporter" explains why she supports Corbyn because of his stance on "Tory austerity".

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.

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