16 April 2019 Veganism Is challenging members of the public with the reality of animal suffering and slaughter counterproductive? Vegans Chris Saltmarsh and Hannah Short agree to disagree. YES: ‘By focusing on ordinary people’s behaviours vegan activists’ target is misdirected. If our ambition is to transform our food system, our target must be governments and corporations propping up business-as-usual.’ Chris Saltmarsh is a climate and social justice campaigner. He manages Fossil Free campaigns at People & Planet and writes about climate politics and social movements. NO: ‘While being on the receiving end of slaughterhouse videos and chants may be annoying or uncomfortable, this is trivial compared to the experience of factory-farmed animals.’ Hannah Short lives in London and works for SOAS Students’ Union. She is interested in most things environment-related, and spends her time campaigning, cycling and trying to make the best … [Read more...] about Is vegan activism too confrontational?
Traditional ecological knowledge
On 15 May 2013 the Arctic Council will hold its biennial Ministerial Meeting in Kiruna in the north of Sweden. Approximately 300 people – ministers, delegates from the eight Arctic states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States), representatives of indigenous peoples, scientists and observers – will gather in to mark the end of the two-year Swedish chairmanship and the beginning of the Canadian chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The ministers will sign an agreement on ‘Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response’. This is the second legally binding agreement among the Arctic States and will enhance response measures and cooperation in the Arctic. The ministers will also welcome the release of several important scientific reports and approve policy recommendations from: • the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment, the best available science informed by traditional ecological knowledge on the … [Read more...] about Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting to take place in Kiruna
14 December 2018 SocietyPsychology As growth-driven consumer culture spurs on planetary destruction, why don’t we spring into action? Psychologist John F Schumaker situates a frightening erosion of human personality at the heart of the problem. For a culture to avoid self-destruction as it progresses, writes Henry George in his classic 1883 work Social Problems, it must develop ‘a higher conscience, a keener sense of justice, a warmer brotherhood, a wider, loftier, truer public spirit’, while ensuring responsible and visionary leaders who embrace ‘the mental and moral universe’. By stark contrast, modern consumer culture barrels in the opposite direction, breeding an increasingly trivialized and disengaged strain of personhood, devoid of the ‘loftier’ qualities needed to sustain a viable society and healthy life supports. Human personality - a crisis While the ever-deepening mental-health crisis is common knowledge, less understood is … [Read more...] about The personality crisis
Adders are to be given protected habitats by roadsides in an attempt to boost numbers as conservationists insist they pose "little risk" to the public. Denbighshire County Council is believed to be the first local authority in the UK to unveil plans to use roadside nature reserves to help preserve Britain's only venomous snake. The measures come amid fears adders are vanishing across Britain with the species believed to be extinct in Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire. They are also considered to be endangered in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and London. Experts say a loss of natural habitat and human "persecution" has damaged adder population numbers. In North Wales, seen as one of the reptile's last remaining strongholds in the UK, work has started to create a designated 150m stretch of roadside verge in Hiraethog, which the council aims to monitor and protect the snakes under a "specific habitat management plan". The council said it hoped its approach in creating … [Read more...] about Adders to be given new protected habitat as conservationists admit battle to overturn image problem
Hilary Mantel For his 1959 life of the present queen’s grandmother, biographer James Pope-Hennessy compiled indiscreet and sharp-eyed interview notes, now edited by Hugo Vickers into The Quest for Queen Mary (Zuleika): very funny and astute, it provides a loathly feast for royal-watchers. Death and Nightingales by Eugene McCabe (Vintage), published in 1992 and now reissued, is set in rural Ireland in the 1880s: poetic and compelling, with a heart-stopping plot twist, it seems to me a perfect novel. Jonathan Sacks One of the most bracing reads of 2018 was Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt’s The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (Allen Lane). Confronting the ever-growing constraints on free speech in universities, the authors show how a generation of students is being encouraged to develop mindsets that will do them psychological as well as intellectual harm. Brilliantly written, forcefully argued and … [Read more...] about ConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightConsumerBusinessSpotlightThe best books of 2018