Better Dead Than Different

Posted by & filed under Global Warming/Climate Change, Society.

Our visions of the future are defined, like the film Interstellar, by technological optimism and political defeatism. Yawn: "Hey, we can make it out here!" “It’s like we’ve forgotten who we are,” the hero of Interstellar complains. “Explorers, pioneers, not caretakers…. We’re not meant to save the world. We’re meant to leave it.” It could… Read more »

A Gunpowder Plot Against Democracy

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

This bill of rights for corporations will blow up the sovereignty of parliaments. On this day a year ago, I was in despair. A dark cloud was rising over the Atlantic, threatening to blot out some of the freedoms our ancestors lost their lives to secure. The ability of parliaments on both sides of the… Read more »

Ripping Yarns

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, Fish.

Only 0.01% of our seas are protected, and even the top conservation sites are up for grabs. A few days ago, I visited the Flamborough Head “no take zone”, one of the UK’s three areas in which commercial fishing is prohibited. Here marine life is allowed to proliferate, without being menaced by trawlers, scallop dredgers,… Read more »

“Cleansing the Stock”

Posted by & filed under Society.

How our governments now talk about human beings. To blot people out of existence first you must blot them from your mind. Then you can persuade yourself that what you are doing is moral and necessary. Today, this isn’t difficult. Those who act without compassion can draw upon a system of thought and language whose… Read more »

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 »