Category: Biodiversity

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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Genetically Modified Crops and Hunger – Another Look at the Evidence

Genetically modified crops are hailed by their proponents as the basis for a “new green revolution”, and as the key solution to feeding the world in the face of population growth and the exhaustion of new sources of agricultural land. There is a massive volume of research and research literature around genetically modified crops, but how much of it is really of value in assessing this often heard hypothesis about […]

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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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Bee All or End All

Photo © Craig Mackintosh It’s score one for the bees. Last week the European Union banned neonicotinoid pesticides for a two-year period beginning early next year. Key findings cited evidence of the role neonics play in destroying bee populations. The ban is specifically for flowering crops as neonics penetrate plants from treated seed through to affecting flower nectar and pollen, which bees and other non-target insects feed on. Bees in […]

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The Providential Principle

Amazingly, the UK government has not defined the precautionary principle and appears to have no idea what it is. by George Monbiot Click for larger view Here’s something remarkable I stumbled across while researching my column on Monday, but did not have room to include. I hope you’ll agree that it is worth sharing. I was trying to understand the context for the new chief scientist’s cavalier treatment of scientific […]

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The Counter-Enlightenment

How government science advisers misrepresent science. by George Monbiot What happens to people when they become government science advisers? Are their children taken hostage? Is a dossier of compromising photographs kept, ready to send to the Sun if they step out of line?

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Tackling “Monoculture of the Mind”

Billionaires forgo iron-rich crops in push for GM bananas in India Nature has given us a cornucopia of biodiversity rich in nutrients. Malnutrition and nutrient deficiency result from destroying biodiversity. The Green Revolution has spread monocultures of chemical rice and wheat, driving out biodiversity from our farms and diets. And what survived as spontaneous crops — like amaranth greens (chaulai) and chenopodium (bathua) that are rich in iron — were […]

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Forests Keep Drylands Working (John D. Liu video)

John D. Liu of the EEMP, who has partnered with us in spreading the permaculture message, has created yet another excellent documentary — this time focussing on drylands, their past function and their present dysfunction through a broadscale loss of forest cover, and its impact on soil loss and on the hydrological cycle. In this video we travel vicariously with John as he takes us from Jordan to Africa to […]

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Healthy Planet and the Law of Ecocide – an Interview with Polly Higgins

The disappearing Amazon rainforest Photo: Cifor Marcin Gerwin: You propose introducing a new international law of ecocide as an amendment to the Rome Statute. Ecocide is defined as “an extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished.” […]

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Compost Toilets in Haiti

A student I had recently in my short course in California sent me a link to an award-winning NGO working in Haiti called SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) — a nonprofit working within the country performing truly beneficial work, utilizing compost toilets to deal with the perennial problem of waste management. In the following clip SOIL’s Co-Founder & Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, provides an excellent, well-contextualized explanation of her […]

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Ship-Wrecked

How the government betrayed its promises to protect our seas. by George Monbiot If the European Union decides to ban fishing boats from discarding the edible fish they catch, it’ll land the British government in a spot of bother. It’s been using the discards issue as its excuse for justifying overfishing.

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