George Monbiot

Ghost Plane

Lobbying results in old and dirty technologies being maintained long beyond their useful life. by George Monbiot Hoisting 180lbs of human flesh 30,000 feet into the air and 4,000 miles across the ocean every time you want to talk to someone: does that sound like 21st Century technology, or a 20th Century throwback? The lobbying power of well-established industries will always be greater than that of new or emerging businesses. […]

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The Naturalists Who Are Terrified of Nature

A radical challenge to British conservation and its bizarre priorities. by George Monbiot Male capercaillie I’m writing this on the train home, after visiting two places in the north of England celebrated for their “wildness”. One of them is Ennerdale in the Lake District, now officially known as Wild Ennerdale, a valley in which the river has been allowed to move freely once more, and in which native trees are […]

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The Landed Mafia

It’s time we confronted the National Farmers’ Union and the millionaires it works for. by George Monbiot Is there any organisation as selfish, grasping and antisocial as the National Farmers’ Union? Is there any organisation, except the banks, which secures so much public money while offering so little in return? Here are some of the positions the NFU has taken over the past few months.

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The Wrong State

The police spy scandal shows that mass surveillance will be used against us. by George Monbiot “If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear.”(1) That’s how William Hague, the foreign secretary, responded to the revelations of mass surveillance in the US and the UK. Try telling it to Stephen Lawrence’s family. Four police officers were deployed […]

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A Serengeti on Our Doorsteps

Is it really possible? Yes, I think it is. by George Monbiot Here’s a video of the 15-minute talk I gave at 5×15, where I spell out the remarkable potential for rewilding in Europe, including the possibility of reintroducing the elephants, rhinos, hippos, hyenas and lions we’ve lost. I also talk about how this could transform our own lives. I love this subject more than any other. You can read […]

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Pistols at Dawn

A three-year, £100 bet on solar power has matured. Who won? by George Monbiot The UK — a solar powerhouse…? Summer solstice. At dawn. What better time could there be for resolving a duel, albeit one not fought with flintlocks? The time is of my choosing, as the other party, though he accepted the challenge, would not agree terms. It is appropriate in another sense too, as this is the […]

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Elevation

Who do Bono and the ONE campaign really represent: the very poor or the very rich? It was bad enough in 2005. Then, at the G8 summit in Scotland, Bono and Bob Geldof heaped praise on Tony Blair and George Bush, who were still mired in the butchery they had initiated in Iraq(1,2,3). At one point Geldof appeared, literally and figuratively, to be sitting in Tony Blair’s lap. African activists […]

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Corporate Carve-Up

Under the pretext of preventing hunger, the rich nations are engineering a new scramble for Africa. by George Monbiot One of the stated purposes of the Conference of Berlin in 1884 was to save the people of Africa from the slave trade. To discharge this grave responsibility, the European powers discovered, to their undoubted distress, that they would have to extend their control and ownership of large parts of Africa. […]

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Agricultural Hegemony

Why do farmers’ groups indulge in such ridiculous scaremongering about the restoration of the natural world? by George Monbiot The dam is beginning to crack, faster than I would have believed possible. Britain, one of the world’s most zoophobic nations, is at last considering the return of some of its extinct and charismatic mammal species. While wolves, lynx, bears, bison, moose, boar and beavers have been spreading across the Continent […]

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What’s Missing from this Picture?

Somehow almost all of us have missed the real story behind the disappearance of our wildlife. by George Monbiot Even before you start reading the devastating State of Nature report, you get an inkling of where the problem lies. It’s illustrated in the opening pages with two dramatic photographs of upland Britain. They are supposed to represent the natural glories we’re losing. In neither of them (with the exception of […]

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A Manifesto for Rewilding the World

A mass restoration of ecosystems offers us hope where there was little hope before. by George Monbiot Until modern humans arrived, every continent except Antarctica possessed a megafauna. In the Americas, alongside mastodons, mammoths, four-tusked and spiral-tusked elephants, there was a beaver the size of a black bear: eight feet from nose to tail(1). There were giant bison weighing two tonnes, which carried horns seven feet across(2). The short-faced bear […]

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The Never-Spotted Leopard

Are repeated sightings of non-existent big cats evidence of a yearning for a wilder life? An extract from Feral: searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding, by George Monbiot, published in the Guardian, 22nd May 2013. by George Monbiot The setting was unimprovable. Across the fields, Maiden Castle, a turretted fortress of living rock, clawed at the sky. Beyond it was the village of Wolf’s Castle – Casblaidd – […]

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