Falling Apart

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Society.

Competition and individualism are forcing us into a devastating Age of Loneliness. What do we call this time? It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void now filled by marketing and conspiracy theories(1). Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our… Read more »

The Toll-Booth Economy

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

Corporate power is the real enemy within, but none of the major parties will confront it. The more power you possess, the more insecure you feel. The paranoia of power drives people towards absolutism. But far from curing them of the conviction that they are threatened and beleaguered, it becomes only stronger. On Friday, the… Read more »

The Kink in the Human Brain

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Deforestation, Desertification, Economics, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Pointless, joyless consumption is destroying our world of wonders. This is a moment at which anyone with the capacity for reflection should stop and wonder what we are doing. If the news that in the past 40 years the world has lost over 50% its vertebrate wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) fails to… Read more »

Someone Else’s Story

Posted by & filed under Alternatives to Political Systems, Economics, People Systems, Society, Village Development.

Scots voting no to independence would be an astonishing act of self-harm. Imagine that the question was posed the other way round. An independent nation is asked to decide whether to surrender its sovereignty to a larger union. It would be allowed a measure of autonomy, but key aspects of its governance would be handed… Read more »

The Pricing of Everything

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

The Natural Capital Agenda looks like an answer to the environmental crisis. But it’s a delusion. Below is the transcript of George Monbiot’s SPERI Annual Lecture, hosted by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. The lecture was delivered without notes, and transcribed afterwards, so a few small changes have been… Read more »

A One Way Street to Oblivion

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity.

As soon as an animal becomes extinct, a new bill proposes, it will be classified as “non-native”. Spoonbill (Photo © Craig Mackintosh) Can any more destructive and regressive measures be crammed into one bill? Already, the Infrastructure Bill, which, as time goes by, has ever less to do with infrastructure, looks like one of those… Read more »

Another Silent Spring?

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, GMOs, Health & Disease, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Neonicotinoids appear to have devastating effects across the natural world: we need a global moratorium. Here’s our choice. We wait and see whether a class of powerful pesticides, made by Bayer and Syngenta, is indeed pushing entire ecosystems to oblivion, or we suspend their use while proper trials are conducted. The natural world versus two… Read more »

Beaver Baiters

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Regional Water Cycle, Working Animals.

The government’s decision to capture England’s only free-living population is unjustified and irrational. An opinion poll in Scotland found that 86 per cent of respondents were in favour of reintroducing the beaver. As most people seem to understand, it’s a magnificent animal which can enrich our lives and our countryside. It was once part of… Read more »

Towering Imbroglio

Posted by & filed under Economics, Society.

Is the government preparing to dispose of our forests and other public land? Planning laws inhibit prosperity. That’s what we’re told by almost everyone. Those long and tortuous negotiations over what should be built where are a brake on progress. All the major parties and most of the media believe that we would be better… Read more »