Category: The Planet – Enviroment

Happy the elephant was denied rights designed for humans – but the legal definition of ‘person’ is still evolving

Nobody knows how old Happy is. Sometime in the 1970s, she and six other youngsters were taken from their family group (probably in Thailand) and sold to an entertainment complex in California where they were forced to perform for paying…

Why David Attenborough cannot be replaced

At a recent event on the history of wildlife documentaries, I was asked a question that has popped up regularly in my 15 years of research: “Who, do you think, will replace David Attenborough?” Now that Sir David is gradually…

2020 was a terrible year for climate disasters, but there are reasons for hope in 2021

Climate disasters started early in 2020 — and kept on coming. The catastrophic fires in Australia in early 2020 were actually a holdover from 2019, but they were soon followed by flooding in Indonesia, a super-cyclone hitting the coast of…

Can a future ban on gas-powered cars work? An economist explains

The U.S. transportation sector is one of the largest contributors of carbon dioxide, the potent driver of climate change. Transportation accounts for about 28% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and, since 1990, emissions in this sector have increased more…

The daily grind: how to cut carbon emissions from coffee by 77%

For many of us, coffee is essential. It allows us to function in the morning and gives a much needed boost during the day. But in new research, we revealed the effect that our favourite caffeine hit has on the…

2020: The Year in Trees

WRITTEN BY Fátima Fátima is Ecosia’s Video Editorial Lead. She thinks in many Sprachen. We live in uncertain times. Planning ahead can seem futile. As the climate crisis goes from bad to worse, we are anxious because we no longer…

Goldenrod honey: misinformation is causing a biological invasion of this Canadian weed

Refusal of vaccines, climate change denial, the spread of coronavirus, dangerous drug use – all can be linked to the rapid spread of misinformation over the internet. Our recently published study now adds a biological invasion to the list: Canadian…

The Caspian Sea is set to fall by 9 metres or more this century – an ecocide is imminent

Imagine you are on the coast, looking out to sea. In front of you lies 100 metres of barren sand that looks like a beach at low tide with gentle waves beyond. And yet there are no tides. This is…

How British people weathered exceptionally cold winters

As global temperatures rise, snowy winters could become a thing of the past in much of the UK, according to a recent Met Office analysis. Aside from depriving schoolchildren of the sheer fun of a snow day, climate change could…

Magnetic induction cooking can cut your kitchen’s carbon footprint

To curb climate change, many experts have called for a massive shift from fossil fuels to electricity. The goal is to electrify processes like heating homes and powering cars, and then generate the increased electrical power needs using low- or…

Drive to football? Take your kids to the pool? You’re probably emitting an astonishing amount of CO₂

Few people would stop to consider if their sporting activities damage the environment. But our research shows Victorians use a huge chunk of their “personal carbon budget” driving to and from sport events each year – either to watch or…

Young Muslim women are leading environmental movements grounded in their beliefs

Weeks prior to the lockdowns and closures that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, UN Secretary General António Guterres said 2020 would be a “pivotal year for how we address climate change.” Revamped emission goals were expected from 196 countries, but…

Fewer tourists meant less money for wildlife during the pandemic – but there’s an alternative

“Nature is healing” read social media posts at the outset of the pandemic, as birdsong replaced the drone of traffic during lockdown. But for wildlife conservation in Africa, the reality was very different. Anti-poaching operations in protected areas were paused…

Huge ‘battery warehouses’ could be the energy stores of the future

One of the world’s largest battery storage projects will be built on the banks of the River Thames in Essex, after the UK government recently granted permission. When it is completed in 2024, the battery will eventually store 1.3 gigawatt…