George Monbiot

Transylvanian Count to Chair Bloodbank

A new government appointment provides a chilling insight into its priorities. by George Monbiot (UK) You want to appoint a new chairman for Natural England, the government body responsible for protecting nature. Do you look for: a. someone with a background in ecology and a track record of interest in the natural world? Or b. someone with a background in accountancy, investment banking and house building? And a track record […]

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“Managing Transparency”

Editor’s Note: It’s hard to overstate the importance of fighting these behind-the-scenes actions by corporate lobbyists and lawyers. See Box 1 on this page to get a small idea of the big consequences of allowing the profit motive to be prioritised over the public good. Politicians and officials are desperately seeking to justify their transatlantic assault on democracy. by George Monbiot Panic spreads through the European Commission like ferrets in […]

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Hidden Interests

The BBC’s disgraceful failure to reveal who its contributors are speaking for. by George Monbiot Do the BBC’s editorial guidelines count for anything? I ask because it disregards them every day, by failing to reveal the commercial interests of its contributors.

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Spend, Don’t Mend

Advertising and consumerism dull our capacity for empathy. by George Monbiot Guilt is good. It’s the feature that distinguishes the rest of the population from psychopaths. It’s the sensation you are able to feel when you possess a capacity for empathy. But guilt inhibits consumption. So a global industry has developed to smother it with a 13-tog duvet of celebrities and cartoon characters and elevator music. It seeks to persuade […]

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Why Politics Fails

Nothing will change until we confront the real sources of power. by George Monbiot It’s the reason for the collapse of democratic choice. It’s the source of our growing disillusionment with politics. It’s the great unmentionable. Corporate power. The media will scarcely whisper its name. It is howlingly absent from parliamentary debates. Until we name it and confront it, politics is a waste of time. The political role of corporations […]

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A Festival of Toxic Waste

How about building bonfires without the old sofas and painted boards? by George Monbiot “Bonfire Night Kills Whales” is the sort of headline that gives environmentalists a bad name. But the facts can’t be helped, even if the messengers must be shot for sounding like killjoys. Most communities have festivals of subversion, in which the rules by which they live for the rest of the year – placid, ordered and […]

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A Global Ban on Left-Wing Politics

That’s what the new rules being smuggled into trade agreements are delivering. by George Monbiot Remember that referendum about whether we should create a single market with the United States? You know, the one that asked whether corporations should have the power to strike down our laws? No, I don’t either. Mind you, I spent ten minutes looking for my watch the other day, before I realised I was wearing […]

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Breach of Trust

Ill-informed and incoherent: the head of the National Trust talks nonsense on fracking. by George Monbiot “It’s not for me to judge the relative merits of fracking versus wind turbines.” So said Dame Helen Ghosh, the National Trust’s new director-general. To this there are two obvious responses. The first is: yes, as the head of Britain’s biggest conservation group, this is just the kind of judgement you should be making. […]

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Thinking Like a Forest

Why do conservation groups help to keep our wildlife in a state of extreme depletion? by George Monbiot I returned from the meetings filled with amazement, and the stirrings of a hope which has been all too rare in recent years. First, at the launch of Rewilding Europe’s Wildlife Comeback report three weeks ago, I heard about the remarkably rapid spread of large wild animals back into places which lost […]

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Elite Insurgency

The real threat to the national interest comes from the rich and powerful by George Monbiot Subversion ain’t what it used to be. Today it scarcely figures as a significant force. Nation states are threatened by something else. Superversion: an attack from above.

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Climate Breakdown

How governments bemoan the problem but keep stoking the fires. by George Monbiot Already, a thousand blogs and columns insist that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s new report is a rabid concoction of scare stories whose purpose is to destroy the global economy. But it is, in reality, highly conservative. Reaching agreement among hundreds of authors and reviewers ensures that only the statements which are hardest to dispute are […]

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Rewild the Child

A week in the countryside is worth three months in a classroom. by George Monbiot What is the best way to knacker a child’s education? Force him or her to spend too long in the classroom. An overview of research into outdoor education by King’s College London found that children who spend time learning in natural environments “perform better in reading, mathematics, science and social studies.”(1) Exploring the natural world […]

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