Resources: Article

Results 101 - @to of 170
The Greening of Intolerance
Sarah Sexton, Nicholas Hildyard and Larry Lohmann

7 April 2005

Far-right groups in Britain are increasingly using environmental and social justice concerns to argue against immigration. This is part of a clear political strategy to make racist ideas and goals seem more respectable. Whether they like it or not, environmentalists are therefore being increasingly drawn into debates on immigration, refugees and asylum seekers. To counter this strategy, environmental groups need to link with those who have to deal with racism every day as a matter of strategy, process and structure.

How to Respond to a Proposed New Export Market?
Larry Lohmann

29 January 2005

The new export market in biological carbon-cycling capacity is likely to have effects similar to export markets in soya, paper pulp, petroleum, timber, palm oil, maize, bananas, coffee or tourism. What are the best ways of encouraging discussion among affected communities about this new form of globalisation? asks this article for the World Rainforest Movement Bulletin.

Michael Gillard

24 November 2004

In February 2004, the Sunday Times newspaper published an article by Michael Gillard, detailing reports that the coating selected to seal the joints of the BTC oil pipeline before it was buried was "utterly inappropriate" and could cause the pipeline to leak. This expanded article provides more detail.

Towards a model for excellence: A discussion paper
Dr Susan Hawley

24 June 2004

Enforcement of overseas corruption offences involving British companies and individuals under the UK's anti-corruption legislation is crucial to tackling corruption internationally. The current arrangements in the UK between various law enforcement agencies are not the most effective means of ensuring that these offences are investigated and prosecuted. A more pro-active enforcement regime could detect overseas corruption offences as and when they occur and could act on credible suspicions of bribery.

Sarah Sexton

11 May 2003

The World Trade Organisation's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) could have a significant effect on human health, and health care services.

Sarah Sexton

30 July 2002

The great majority of the world's diseases are caused by environmental, not genetic, conditions. A frenzied search for genetic therapies could steal resources from billions in order to serve only a few.

(Or, rather: What went Right? For Whom?)
Nicholas Hildyard

10 July 2002

In July 2000, 19 corporations and individuals were being prosecuted in the Lesotho courts for bribing a top official in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (a scheme intended to divert water from Lesotho to South Africa). This presentation explores the daily institutional practices that actively encourage the flouting of guidelines and anti-corruption regulations. It sheds light on the institutionalised racism that assumes the Third World to be inherently corrupt and corruptible, a view that underwrites bribery.

Public Health or Private Wealth?
Sarah Sexton

6 June 2002

Economics and financial gain, rather than improved health, is the underlying rationale for public and private support of human genetic research and technologies.

Kerim Yildiz, Kurdish Human Rights Project, and Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House

23 May 2002

Since October 2000, the UK Export Credits Guarantees Department (ECGD) has been bound by the UK Human Rights Act. But many of the ECGD's procedures potentially conflict with this Act.

Recommendations from Friends of the Earth to the ECGD
Kate Hampton, Friends of the Earth

23 May 2002

In 2001, governments agreed that export credit agencies should support the transfer of climate-friendly technologies. Urgent institutional reform is needed if Britain is to fulfil its commitment, argues this presentation at an NGO Seminar on Export Credit Reform held in the House of Commons, London.

Global Witness

23 May 2002

Publicly-traded companies involved in resource exploitation should be required to publish a breakdown of all payments which they make for the products of every country in which they operate.

Romilly Greenhill and Ann Petifor, Jubilee Research

23 May 2002

Export Credit Agencies have created unsustainable debt in developing countries. Despite reforms, arms sales and other ECA-backed deals continue build up debt without contributing to development.

Ann Feltham, Campaign Against Arms Trade

23 May 2002

Arms sales currently take up a disproportionate amount of official export credit support. The Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) and other Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) should end support for military goods.

Barry Coates and Daniela Reale, World Development Movement

23 May 2002

The UK government's Export Credits Guarantees Department (ECGD) supports British exporters. Using public money to support private businesses is only justified if it has a demonstrable public purpose.

Michael Bartlet, Religious Society of Friends

23 May 2002

The ECGD's support for defence-related exports has lost money every year for the past 12 years. This strongly suggests that arms sales are being deliberately subsidised.

Rob Cartridge, Campaigns Director, War on Want

23 May 2002

Protecting workers' rights is central to alleviating poverty. The UK Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) should require all applicants to have policies for achieving core labour standards.

Neocolonialism and Fraud
Larry Lohmann

2 April 2002

The Kyoto Protocol is not a step forward in the struggle to stabilise climate, but a stumble sideways into spurious science and the privatization of the atmosphere, contends this talk given at the "Resistance is Fertile" gathering in The Hague, The Netherlands

New Tensions and Resolutions over Land
Larry Lohmann

31 January 2002

Multilateral agencies have been promoting the commoditization of land in the Mekong region. How is this project being advanced and resisted?

The Language and Discourse of Human Embryo Cloning
Sarah Sexton

2 December 2001

This analysis of the changing language used in discussions of human embryo cloning was presented at a conference addressing "Techniques of Reproduction: Media, Life, Discourse" at the University of Paderborn, Germany.

International versus National Campaign Issues
Sarah Sexton

26 May 2001

Many of the issues raised by developments in genetic technologies are the same in every country. Is it ethical to experiment on embryos or people who cannot give their consent? Will widespread gene testing of adults lead to discrimination? Does genetic research increase the likelihood of biological weapons being deployed and used? But some issues are not the same because of different cultures, legislation, histories and economies. Genetic developments will play out differently in different countries with consequences for the building of international alliances.

Why did the British Parliament change the law?
Sarah Sexton

10 February 2001

In January 2001, the UK parliament voted to allow research on embryo stem cells. Media reporting suggested this was an easy decision with which the majority of people agreed. Yet other examples suggest unease among the general public and parliamentarians in Britain about several issues involving life and death; sickness and health; and doctors and scientists. In anticipation of such unease and growing public distrust in scientists and government, many discussions and debates about embryo research have been channelled in certain directions so as to ‘engineer consent’ to such research.

A Book Review
Larry Lohmann

15 December 2000

If the choice of whether and when to translate claims to water and land into other idioms shapes and is shaped by power relations, so too is the choice of how to translate them. The charges of “misunderstanding” and “misinterpretation” that ricochet around any conflict of interpretation are negotiating moves, not claims that can be settled once and for all by fixing on a meaning that floats free of the context of discussion and struggle.

Public discourse in the UK
Sarah Sexton

10 December 2000

When Dolly the cloned sheep was announced in early 1997, the government in the UK stated that cloning techniques must never be applied to humans. Yet in August 2000, it recommended that the law be amended to allow the first stages of embryo cloning and related research to go ahead. This article provides a brief resume of some government, institutional and media responses to human cloning, interspersed with reflections on these trends and omissions.

Nicholas Hildyard

20 October 2000

Unless Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) can demonstrate a public purpose, ensured through mandatory sustainable development standards, the subsidies they provide have no legitimacy.

An Ilisu Dam Campaign Briefing on the ‘Ilisu Dam’s Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) -- Achieving International Best Practice’
The Ilisu Dam Campaign and The Corner House

6 September 2000

International groups campaigning against the controversial Ilisu Dam in Turkey obtained a copy of an assessment, commissioned by the export credit agencies considering financial support for the project, of the Turkish Government’s proposed resettlement plan. The assessment highlights serious problems with resettlement and reveals that two to three times more people may be affected than previously estimated -- possibly as many as 70,000 people, mainly ethnic Kurds.

A Political Economy of Ethics in the Export Credit Debate
Nicholas Hildyard

2 June 2000

“Moral dilemmas” are not unattached to political, bureaucratic, social and economic interests. They are deeply political and are products of everyday conflicts over meaning, resources and ways of living and power. Who raises a particular moral dilemma and why is thus of critical importance.

The Shady World of Carbon Laundering
Larry Lohmann

15 May 2000

Tradeable carbon credits from forests cannot be scientifically quantified. NGOs interested in participating in markets for such credits need to be aware of the climatic damage they sanction as well as the damage they may do to communities affected by fossil fuel exploitation.

A New Plantation Economy
Larry Lohmann

1 May 2000

Tree plantations to "compensate" for industrial carbon-dioxide emissions are being established in many parts of the world, often infringing local land and water rights in the South. Understanding the discourses through which the carbon "offset" market is being created is crucial to political action on climate change.

Ethnic Discrimination and Conservation in Thailand
Larry Lohmann

9 April 2000

The intersections between international nature conservation and ethnic politics are of serious and growing concern to many social movements in Southeast Asia. This paper offers evidence that international environmentalist practices interact with local and national conditions to advance the structural work of ethnic discrimination and racism in Southeast Asia. The racist outcomes of these practices do not flow exclusively from unprofessionalism, faulty science, irrationality, immorality or incorrect beliefs -- and anti-racist strategy has to accommodate this insight.

Larry Lohmann

26 February 2000

A presentation at a seminar on "Environmental Justice in a Divided Society", Goldsmiths College, University of London, suggests that individual Western environmentalists are often pushed into supporting racist or discriminatory structures by their need to adhere to the rules of professional performance, including those of peer-reviewed science.

Nicholas Hildyard

18 January 2000

This presentation challenges four myths about large dams: they provide a cheap and economic source of energy;  are an environmentally-benign source of energy; are uncontroversial in Europe; and result from impartial decision-making processes. It poses several detailed questions for the World Commission on Dams.

Planting New Problems
Larry Lohmann

15 December 1999

This article outlines two options put forward to tackle global warming -- reduce fossil fuel use or plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide -- and analyses the substantial differences between the two approaches.

The Politics of Eucalyptus in Thailand
Larry Lohmann

1 December 1999

This article analyses the drivers and consequences of commercial eucalyptus tree plantations in Thailand’s rural areas.

Larry Lohmann

1 June 1999

Violence over and against forests cannot be explained by population increase nor by other linear, office-bound models of change which pit abstracted “humans” against an abstracted “nature”. This book chapter uses examples from England hundreds of years ago and from Viet Nam during the US war there to show that local people’s struggle for their rights to use the forests were continually threatened and partly defined by interests operating outside the forests.

Alan Simpson MP and Nicholas Hildyard

2 February 1999

This article argues that companies seeking public money in the form of grants or subsidies should put forward proposals which can be subject to public scrutiny and accountability.

Whose Risks? Whose Gains?
Nicholas Hildyard

2 November 1998

A summary of the ecological risks of genetic engineering in agriculture and suggestions for resisting its introduction.

Larry Lohmann

1 November 1998

Overconsumption is possible only by dividing different groups of people from each other. A different, more democratic pattern of political action will be required to lower consumption.

Nicholas Hildyard

6 June 1998

This talk is a reflection on the operations of power in decision-making. It raises questions about environmental degradation in the European Union: whose environment is being protected through European Monetary Union and the Single European Market -- and whose environment is being degraded, rubbished and trashed by it?

Nicholas Hildyard

1 June 1998

This talk looks at the politics of everyday life and its effects on the science lab; how the funding of science affects the view of the world that science portrays; and how the daily social and economic pressures of everyday life affect the direction and outcomes of scientific research.

The Corner House

1 June 1998

There are at least 10 good reasons why the widespread adoption of genetic engineering in agriculture will lead to more hungry people, not fewer.

Nicholas Hildyard

31 May 1998

A presentation looking at whose interests the free market serves and whose environment is protected by market instruments such as labelling and property rights which concludes that leaving the environment to the market is a recipe for social injustice, authoritarianism, neo-colonialism and ecological suicide.

Larry Lohmann

31 March 1998

All development projects follow a three-act dramatic plotline, as development agencies try to impose plans, meet local opposition, and improvise freely in an attempt to overcome resistance.

ABB’s Hydropower Strategy under Review
Nicholas Hildyard

25 February 1998

Swedish-Swiss engineering company Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) has supplied generators for hydroelectric dams around the world, accounting for one-fifth of the world’s hydropower capacity. This analysis provides financial reasons why ABB should not continue to be involved in the hydropower sector. It forecasts a shrinking market because of substantial and growing opposition to large dams and insufficient private and public finance to build them. Its findings were circulated to ABB shareholders and financial journalists. In March 2000, ABB decided to sell its hydropower division, mentioning shareholders’ sensitivity to the significant environmental, human rights and social impacts of large-scale dams.

Pluralism, Participation and Power
Nicholas Hildyard, Pandurang Hegde, Paul Wolvekamp and Somasekhare Reddy

12 December 1997

Participation, forests and environment all mean different things to different people and different interest groups. This presentation analyses the discourse on participation, as reflected in conflicts over forest resources and more widely. It highlights examples where participation is being used to soften resistance to projects or to engineer consent.

Dramatic U-Turn or Clever Repositioning?
Nicholas Hildyard

1 June 1997

The package of economic reforms that the World Bank has promoted in recent years -- from privatisation of state or public services and assets to deregulation of labour and environmental laws -- has, in theory, been intended to remove the state from all but a minimal role in the national economy. The best government is considered to be the least government. Yet the practical outcome of these free-market policies has been to increase and redirect the state’s power in favour of transnational interests. Resistance to the “free market state” is growing, as is the demand that the state’s powers be used to protect the interests and rights of citizens, not corporations.

Whose Interest, Whose Rationality?
Larry Lohmann

31 May 1997

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is often regarded as a pure form of practical reasoning that can shift accountability onto supposedly impersonal mechanisms, summarize complex choices in a formulaic way, and transmute popular pressure, political debate and political conflict into quiet, office-bound operations performed on fixed and agreed-upon preferences. Yet CBA’s commensuration of things that no one has any experience in commensurating leads to odd new ways of treating reason, democracy, public opinion, space, time and personhood. And the more practical steps are taken toward its algorithmic ideal of decision-making, the more unforeseen political and social difficulties crop up, including popular resistance.

The Social Generation of Food “Scarcity” and “Overpopulation”
Nicholas Hildyard

1 November 1996

Discussions of population and food supply that leave out the relationships of power between different groups of people will always mask the true nature of food scarcity -- who gets to eat and who doesn’t -- and lead to “solutions” that are simplistic, frequently oppressive and that, ultimately, reinforce the very structures creating ecological damage and hunger. 

Changing Landscapes of Corporate Control
Nicholas Hildyard

1 July 1996

In the drive to become “competitive”, companies are restructuring their operations on a global scale. It is not companies which are competing, however, but workers and communities, pitted against each other as companies relocate from one country to another in search of new markets, the weakest trade unions, the most flexible rules on working conditions and the largest subsidies. It is time to question the notion that export-led growth and enhanced corporate competitiveness is the route to employment and to press instead for an economy that protects people and the commons rather than corporations.

The World Bank and the Private Sector
Nicholas Hildyard

1 July 1996

Increasingly, multilateral development banks are funding private companies to undertake projects, underwriting the investments through guarantees or providing loans direct to the companies involved. Development is effectively being “privatised”. For companies, a raft of new “corporate welfare” programmes are on offer.

Nicholas Hildyard

1 June 1996

Transnational companies develop extensive networks so they can fashion the political infrastructure that permits them to capture subsidies, manage demand, create new markets, centralize power, enclose new environments, and evade, digest and regulate resistance.

Nicholas Hildyard

1 June 1996

The rich have never been shy about praising the qualities that created their wealth. Nor are they short of convenient explanations for the poverty of others -- from “the breeding habits of the poor” to “economic mismanagement” and “protectionism”. But they have always found it difficult to explain poverty in ways that do not implicate themselves, contends this contribution to an Oxford Union debate, held at Oxford University, UK.

Indonesia and Thailand in a Globalizing Pulp and Paper Industry
Larry Lohmann

1 June 1996

This essay sketches some of the pressures behind -- and some of the dangers of -- the expansion of the pulp and paper industry in Southeast Asia over the last decade. It describes some of the mechanisms by which the industry has enclosed land and water in two of the countries most affected, Indonesia and Thailand, and outlines the various forms of opposition the industry is meeting. It concludes by indicating some of the strategies the industry is using to manage this resistance.

Nicholas Hildyard

1 June 1996

This presentation to the Soil Association's Annual Conference recognises that the UK government has publicly renounced industrialised, chemical-based agriculture in favour of “sustainable agriculture”. Under Agenda 21, the action plan for sustainable development signed at the Rio Earth Summit (UNCED) in 1992, it is committed to Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development or SARD, drawn up by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Yet SARD’s understanding of people’s participation, land reform, sustainable agriculture and environmental protection are quite different from that of many people’s movements. For SARD, participation is about engineering consent and getting people to participate in implementing decisions that have already been taken by someone else. SARD calls for land reform to promote is agribusiness’ access to land, not people’s control over it. And despite the rhetoric, SARD is about agricultural intensification. Overall, the policy is the same, but the language has changed.

The Politics of Contraceptive Research
Judith Richter with Sarah Sexton

2 April 1996

For the past 25 years, scientists have been developing a new class of birth control methods -- immuno-contraceptives, also known as an anti-fertility “vaccines” -- which aim to turn the body’s immune system against reproductive components. Immuno-contraceptives are likely to be unreliable as far as an individual is concerned and to entail an unprecedented potential for abuse; severe health risks cannot be discounted. They are a clear example of the impact “population control” has had on contraceptive research.

Contention and Resistance in Intercultural Space
Larry Lohmann

1 September 1995

Different actors -- transnational corporations, political and technocratic elites, their opponents and others -- contend with and influence what is loosely called “globalization” in different ways. Constructive and engaged understanding of the power struggles between them all and their resources, motivations, dynamics, strategies, effectiveness, and capacities for alliances requires coming to grips with the ways in which they interpret and present their own struggles.

Nicholas Hildyard

1 July 1995

Many activists have an image of power as something which the state and industry “have” and others “lack” They often believe that only by entering the “real world” and getting some of this “power” can social movements have any real hope of achieving change. Yet there are diverse kinds of influence operating in today’s world; we could learn much about "power" from working more closely with those who historically have proved most effective in protecting the environment and who are most capable of becoming lasting allies.

The Politics of an Image
Nicholas Hildyard

1 June 1995

A presentation looking at the forces which have degraded the earth and which now propose to manage its recovery through processes such as “sustainable development”.

How an Industry Reshapes its Social Environment
Larry Lohmann

1 June 1995

Social structures sensitive to the needs of elites in the pulp and paper industry are built, expanded and improved upon through the political efforts of a multitude of agents with different interests and motivations. Close attention to this dynamic is crucial to the success of environmentalists’ efforts to reduce the damage done by the industry.

Nicholas Hildyard, Larry Lohmann, Sarah Sexton and Simon Fairlie

31 May 1995

The commons is neither private nor public: neither business firm nor state utility, neither jealously guarded private plot nor national or city park. Industrial development has been possible only through dismantling the commons and harnessing the fragments to build up new economic and social patterns responsive to the interests of a dominant minority from which the great mass of humanity (particularly women) are excluded. Such enclosure has never gone unchallenged, however: resistance takes place in countless everyday ways in both the South and the North.

Approaching Thailand’s “Environmental” Struggles from a Western Starting Point
Larry Lohmann

1 April 1994

Westerners wanting to engage in effective international campaigning often will need to question their very conceptions of what social movements are.

The Politics of Protection
Sarah Sexton

2 November 1993

Corporate and legislative responses to reproductive hazards in the workplace have been based on ideological assumptions about human reproduction and working women. The controversy surrounding US employers’ recent practices of excluding women from work where they might come into contact with known or suspected reproductive hazards has made these misconceptions explicit -- clarified the direction of more constructive action.

Larry Lohmann

1 November 1993

This opinion piece shows how environmental activists, ecological economists, development experts and deep green theorists tell self-serving and one-sided stories about Noble Savages, Eastern religions, “traditional communities” and ordinary householders. This "Green Orientalism" both arises from and perpetuates power imbalances. It must be constantly challenged by stories told from other points of view.

The Politics of Gene Research
Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald with Nicholas Hildyard

1 September 1993

Molecular biologists now claim that they can link specific DNA sequences to specific diseases, forms of human behaviour and social conditions -- from diabetes and cystic fibrosis to homosexuality, alcoholism, intelligence and even homelessness. Although based on flawed science, such claims are being used to divert attention from environmental factors in disease and to legitimise new forms of intervention in social life. The myth of the “all powerful gene” threatens to impose a new eugenics -- with “normality” defined by arbitrary models of a standard human.

Interest Groups, Centralization and the Creative Politics of “Environment” in Thailand
Larry Lohmann

1 July 1993

Effective political struggle in intercultural space means creatively weaving in and out of all the cultures present.

Villagers, NGOs and the Thai Forestry Sector Master Plan
Larry Lohmann

1 July 1993

Disputes over a forestry master plan formulated for Thailand by Finnish consultants and others illustrate how environmental conflicts are often settled by translating concerns and suggestions in procedures acceptable to the more powerful.

Nicholas Hildyard, Sarah Sexton and Larry Lohmann

31 May 1993

“Carrying capacity” is a term derived from the biological sciences, where it denotes the optimum number of a given species that a specific ecosystem can sustain. In the context of people and the planet, however, it is a means of preventing social change and of removing the concept of “overpopulation” from the realm of moral criticism and debate.

Nicholas Hildyard

1 March 1993

“My enemy’s enemies may not be my friends . . . but they may be useful”. When groups campaigning for change make alliances with other groups without reference to specific struggles or grassroots groups involved, when they find common ground only by setting aside critical issues, and when none of the groups have to live with the consequences of their actions, such alliances can marginalize those for whom political struggle is not just another campaign but a defence of livelihood.

Nicholas Hildyard

2 February 1993

In 1986, the 12 member states of the European Economic Community (EEC) signed the Single European Act, which committed them to dismantling all legislative barriers to the free movement of goods, services, capital and people between them by 31 December 1992. The resulting Single Market is designed to protect the multinational interests that have long lobbied for its creation and that are now the dominant economic and political force within Europe. The Treaty on European Union -- commonly known as the Maastricht Treaty -- gives those multinational interests the legal powers and administrative apparatus of a full-blown state.

Larry Lohmann

2 January 1993

Relationships of power determine which truths can be spoken and when. Power is not a black box but a set of social meshes that we Western environmentalists must work within and against. This review of four books offers useful new tools for achieving a different political and self-awareness.

Larry Lohmann

The takeover of land for pulpwood eucalyptus plantations was a major source of rural conflict in Northeast Thailand in the 1980s and 1990s, and the alliances that resulted have exerted a continuing influence on the country's politics. This 1991 article from the Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (now Critical Asian Studies) outlines some of the issues involved.