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.

After Brexit and Trump: don't demonise; localise!

The election of Donald Trump was a rude awakening from which many people in the US have still not recovered.

Their shock is similar to that felt by UK progressives, Greens, and those on the Left following the Brexit referendum.

In both cases, the visceral reaction was heightened by the barely-disguised racist and xenophobic messaging underpinning these campaigns.

'Progressive Alliance' is now the only alternative to the Tories

If we've learned anything from politics over the past year, it's that the era of two party politics seems to have crashed into a long-overdue end.

We are now faced with a crossroads: either we allow the UK to succumb to single party hegemony, or we pry open the door to pluralistic politics and allow a truly democratic multi-party politics to thrive.

Failure to achieve proportional representation could leave us facing unending Conservative governments for the foreseeable future - something we desperately cannot afford at this time of poverty and climate crisis.

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.

We must localise the EU and curb corporate power - but does that mean in or out?

Most voices in favour of Brexit seem to offer little more than narrow nationalism, xenophobia and racism.

Such associations make it feel impossible for most Greens and progressive thinkers on the left to vote Leave in the upcoming UK referendum.

And that settles it in the minds of some: one 'has' to vote Remain. Anything else feels 'unprogressive', reactionary, even downright dangerous.

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".

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