The Ecologist

The logo of The Ecologist.

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.

Trump's coming ‘climate moment': and why we should be careful what we wish for...

Electoral democracy has largely failed. It has been captured by big corporates, suborned and crudified (de-deliberationised) by the corporate media, and sidelined by neoliberal globalisation (and the consequent minute-by-minute power of ‘the markets').

Perhaps the most spectacular ever instance of the failing of electoral democracy has been very recent indeed: it is the election of Donald Trump to (what is still, even now) the most powerful office in the world.

The Rise of the Robot: Dispelling the myth

Robotisation is probably going to be a temporary phenomenon: planetary limits will (within a generation or at most two) severely limit the supplies of raw materials and energy needed to enable large-scale robotisation, and pollution-crises - part-speeded-up by huge investments in automation/robotisation - will have the same effect. The question is whether we can rein in robotisation soon enough to ensure that ‘Peak Robot' occurs under our control, and not as a result of a crash forced on us by collapsing ecosystems.

The delusion of endless growth

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.

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.

Pages