Resources

Environment and Ecology

Leading environmental ecological research. Ecosystems & species are collapsing at an alarming rate. From environmental pollution, land use abuse and a complete disregard of biodiversity it is estimated that 1 million species will be lost.

Our global food system is the primary driver of biodiversity loss
A new Chatham House report highlights that the global food system is the primary driver of biodiversity loss. Biodiversity loss will continue to accelerate, unless we change the way we produce food. Further destruction of ecosystems and habitats will threaten our ability to sustain human populations.
Unilever and Nestlé are burning Indonesia. Is “sustainable palm oil” a con?
At the moment, fires burning across Indonesia since July have destroyed over burned 8,578 square kilometers (3,304 square miles and around the size of Puerto Rico) as of the end of September, blanketing the islands in thick toxic smoke which has turned the sky a violent red.
Insects feel persistent pain after injury, evidence suggests
Scientists have known insects experience something like pain, but new research provides compelling evidence suggesting that insects also experience chronic pain that lasts long after an initial injury has healed.
Sea-level rise from climate change could exceed the high-end projections, scientists warn
Of the many threats from climate change, sea-level rise will most certainly be among the most impactful, making hundreds of thousands of square miles of coastline uninhabitable and potentially displacing over 100 million people worldwide by the end of the century. This threat is a top concern for national security experts because forced migration poses significant risks to international security and stability.
New global study reveals the ‘staggering’ loss of forests caused by industrial agriculture
A new analysis of global forest loss—the first to examine not only where forests are disappearing, but also why—reveals just how much industrial agriculture is contributing to the loss. The answer: some 5 million hectares—the area of Costa Rica—every year. And despite years of pledges by companies to help reduce deforestation, the amount of forest cleared to plant oil palm and other booming crops remained steady between 2001 and 2015.
Forests Absorb Twice As Much Carbon As They Emit Each Year
New research, published in Nature Climate Change and available on Global Forest Watch, found that the world’s forests sequestered about twice as much carbon dioxide as they emitted between 2001 and 2019. In other words, forests provide a “carbon sink” that absorbs a net 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 per year, 1.5 times more carbon than the United States emits annually.
What insects can tell us about the origins of consciousness
How, why, and when consciousness evolved remain hotly debated topics. Addressing these issues requires considering the distribution of consciousness across the animal phylogenetic tree. Here we propose that at least one invertebrate clade, the insects, has a capacity for the most basic aspect of consciousness: subjective experience.
Food System Impacts on Biodiversity Loss
This paper explores the role of the global food system as the principal driver of accelerating biodiversity loss. It explains how food production is degrading or destroying natural habitats and contributing to species extinction. The paper outlines the challenges and trade-offs involved in redesigning food systems to restore biodiversity and/or prevent further biodiversity loss, and presents recommendations for action.
The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
In this revelatory work, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson shows how food affects our moral selves, our health, and the environment. It raises questions to make us conscious of the decisions behind every bite we take: What effect does eating animals have on our land, waters, even global warming?
Eating Away at Climate Change with Negative Emissions: Harwatt/Hayek
We estimate the CDR potential of returning UK land currently used for animal agriculture to forest cover in two scenarios. Our first scenario maximises CDR by restoring land currently under pasture and cropland used to produce farmed animal feed to forest.
How bad are meat and dairy for the climate?
Livestock uses huge amounts of land, both for grazing and for growing feed. Indeed, one estimate is that if we all went vegan, we could reduce the land used by agriculture by 75%. It is inherently inefficient to grow grain and soya to feed to animals and then eat the animals, rather than eating the grain and soya directly.
Insect populations suffering death by 1,000 cuts, say scientists
Insect populations are suffering “death by a thousand cuts”, with many falling at “frightening” rates that are “tearing apart the tapestry of life”, according to scientists behind a new volume of studies.
UK has ‘led the world’ in destroying the natural environment
Centuries of farming, building and industry have made the UK one of the most nature-depleted countries in Europe. Extensive agricultural lands and road networks, in combination with other factors, have reduced the wildlife in the UK to a point hardly seen elsewhere.
The state of nature: 41 percent of UK species have declined since 1970s
A new report has found that the UK’s wildlife is continuing to crash, with hundreds of species now at risk of disappearing from our shores altogether. Over the past 50 years, urbanisation, agriculture, pollution and climate change have all caused the nation’s plants and animals to dwindle – a trend that has continued unabated within the last decade despite efforts to reverse these losses.
A quarter of all known bee species haven’t been seen since the 1990s
The number of bee species recorded worldwide has been sharply decreasing since the 1990s. Eduardo Zattara and Marcelo Aizen at the National University of Comahue in Argentina analysed how many wild bee species are observed each year as recorded in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility – a publicly available platform where researchers and citizens can record sightings of bee species.
THE PLANT INITIATIVE
Plants are aware and intelligent beings as demonstrated by recent scientific findings. Yet, plants typically continue to be treated as mere objects for use. In response, The Plant Initiative was started to encourage ethical behavior toward plants and to support development of an effective movement toward this goal.
A Timeline of Scientific Studies & Cultural Milestones
A partial but by no means conclusive history of some of the most significant milestones regarding public awareness of the environmental impacts of animal production and consumption.
Avoiding Meat and Dairy is the ‘Single Biggest Way’ to Reduce Your Impact on Earth
An article from The Guardian explaining the benefits of Veganism on the environment.
Assessing the Environment Impact of Consumption and Production
Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Consumption & Production
Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers
Producers have limits on how far they can reduce impacts. Most strikingly, impacts of the lowest-impact animal products typically exceed those of vegetable substitutes, providing new evidence for the importance of dietary change.