Reframing the Planet

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Economics, Society.

People who think they are protecting nature by costing it are stepping straight into the destroyers’ trap. George Orwell warned that “the logical end of mechanical progress is to reduce the human being to something resembling a brain in a bottle”(1). This is a story of how it happens. On the outskirts of Sheffield there… Read more »

Loved to Death

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Society.

By embracing their critics and colonising governments, corporations engineer a world of conformity and consumerism. How do you engineer a bland, depoliticised world, a consensus built around consumption and endless growth, a dreamworld of materialism and debt and atomisation, in which all relations can be prefixed with a dollar sign, in which we cease to… Read more »

The Biogas Disaster

Posted by & filed under Biofuels, Desertification, Food Shortages, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

How the perverse consequences of a great idea are destroying the natural world. In principle it’s a brilliant solution. Instead of leaving food waste and sewage and animal manure to decay in the open air, releasing methane which contributes to global warming, you can contain it, use micro-organisms to digest it, and capture the gas…. Read more »

All Give and No Take

Posted by & filed under Economics.

Do those negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have any interest in democracy? Here’s a test. Nothing threatens democracy as much as corporate power. Nowhere do corporations operate with greater freedom than between nations, for here there is no competition. With the exception of the European parliament there is no transnational democracy, anywhere. All… Read more »

The Benefits Claimants the Government Loves

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Biofuels, Deforestation, Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Corrupt, irrational, destructive, counter-productive: this scarcely begins to describe our farming policy. Soil erosion in a maize field. Photo: Defra Just as mad cow disease exposed us to horrors – feeding cattle on the carcasses of infected cattle – previously hidden in plain sight, so the recent floods have lifted the lid on the equally… Read more »

Torpedoed

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity.

The results of a crowd-sourcing appeal prove that Discovery Channel engaged in fakery. The photo of a whale carcass which Discovery claims to have “found”. The suspicion that the Discovery Channel had abandoned its professed editorial standards was a powerful one. Its documentary claiming that the giant shark Carchardon megalodon still exists contained images which… Read more »

Jumping the Shark

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Society.

Misleading claims by Discovery and other channels help to fuel wildlife massacres. There are, I think, two factors at work. The first is the desire to eliminate all risk from our lives, to move through a world that is safe, predictable and tame, with “no alarms and no surprises”. The second emerges paradoxically from the… Read more »

Muddying the Waters

Posted by & filed under Economics, Global Warming/Climate Change, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

How the government’s farming policies have produced a perfectly designed system for flooding your home. It has the force of a parable. Along the road from High Ham to Burrowbridge, which skirts Lake Paterson (formerly known as the Somerset Levels), you can see field after field of harvested maize. In some places the crop lines… Read more »

Dredged Up

Posted by & filed under Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Never mind the evidence, we’ll do something eye-catching. by George Monbiot For a moment that rarest of beasts, common sense, poked a nose out of its burrow and sniffed the air. Assailed by angry farmers demanding dredging in the Somerset levels, the environment secretary, Owen Paterson broke with protocol and said something sensible. Dredging is… Read more »