Environment

Oh no, it’s that global rethink time of year again

December 4, 2009

The much-misued Utilitarian term ‘greatest good for the greatest possible number’ might require a rethink around the notion of we do and how we do it based upon what we, and the planet, can afford, not slavish notions of ‘progress’. We may have reached the tipping point where humans have become slaves to consumerism. If so, it’s time to question why we’ve allowed a bunch of self-interested geeks to ruin the world and force us into penury along the way, not to give them a second chance. Globalisation has partly... More

It’s still true: you can’t eat money

August 23, 2009

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.” – Cree Saying. This quote, possibly the biggest cliché in the environmental literature, inspired Jared Diamond’s seminal work “Collapse“. But humans seem to succumb to boredom fairly quickly, so the real crisis, which is after all about something as mundane as food, has slipped off of the radar. The global meltdown of the banks, a grand Greek drama of the folly of the gods... More

A House of Cards

December 1, 2008

There are those among us who, whilst not willing to admit this publicly, probably deep down take the view that with 6+ billion people on this planet, we can probably afford to lose a few under climate change. Certainly if you look at something like the Stern Review, which uses a “willingness to pay” index to value lives, it is clear that some lives are seen as much cheaper than others. This is quite an extreme expression of a “Them” and “Us” mentality. It is also a profound mistake, because... More