Have a little faith

August 11, 2010 / Science, Showcase, Writing / 12 Comments /

Do you believe in climate change?

Every newspaper, website, blog site, etc. has an opinion on the subject. We are flooded by inch upon column inch of reportage, opinion and hyperbole. With such a quantity of information being force-fed to us, surely we are all equipped to offer a judgement on the truth of the matter.

No, we’re not.

A high number of column inches does not equate to high quality information. Neither does an ability to read (or to write) equate to understanding the subject matter in hand. A large quantity of information does, however, contribute to a common belief that we all know it all. Continue Reading →


The trouble with biodiversity

July 3, 2009 / Science, Writing / 0 Comments /

Beware the Kitchener recruitment message

When every other headline tells us the economy and planet are crumbling, when all concerns pale next to the demise of Mammon, how do we keep biodiversity, if not at the forefront of, at least somewhere in people’s minds?

Biodiversity is the poor relation of environmental concerns – a fringe concern isolated at the edge of the anthropocentric interests of the majority; the biodiversity sector a small band of altruists, whose passion marks us out as oddities amongst a nation of consumers.

“Why does biodiversity matter?”

“It just does!”

We sustain this fantasy at the cost of our cause. Altruism is dead. It’s time to admit our preference for one species above another, to recount with joy those minor and mind-altering stories of personal encounters with wildlife, to acknowledge the economic value of the natural world and join the rest of the world in unashamedly embracing our selfish gene.

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Changing climates in South London

October 16, 2008 / Science, Showcase, Writing / 0 Comments /


So, the government has committed the UK to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by the middle of the century. And we thought we were having a tough time reaching 60%. I’ll try to withhold judgment until I see how they propose to achieve this laudable target, but it does appear contradictory to the plans announced last week for expansion at Stanstead Airport.

I fear they may be putting all their eggs in a nuclear-powered egg basket. My childhood years spent marching through the street of London with CND and trudging the perimeter fence of Greenham Common with a “Hamsters Against the Bomb” banner have ingrained a mistrust of nuclear power deep in my psyche. I cannot countenance the idea of an ever-more nuclear Britain.

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