Genetically Modified (GM) Foods Are An Unnecessary Evil

Yesterday I walked for about a mile through grassy fields, about half of them overgrown with grasses, nettles and other vagrant species. This was not in the middle of nowhere, but in prime Buckinghamshire farmland: some of the most fertile and longest farmed in England. These fields were completely vacant – no livestock, and certainly no crops. Were these fields to be left alone, apart from mowing, for long enough, they could become meadows, rich in wildflowers, with nesting places for skylarks and other birds, and

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One Sunday’s News: What Is Important?

From one Sunday newspaper today, May 2nd 2009: Item 1: 33.8% of honey bees in the USA disappeared or died since last year. The picture is much the same in the UK, though figures aren’t all in yet and is a bad year in a continuing trend. The main, but not only cause, is  ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ where whole colonies just die or disappear: what triggers it isn’t known, but taking into account chemical residues in wax, hives and honey, pesticides are a likely contributor. And

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Climate Change Deniers Aren’t Like Scientists

Last November, illegally obtained emails were publicised widely by climate change deniers, most strident among them Nigel Lawson, who claimed that the scientists must be exagerating their findings and not sharing the real data. So there was huge disruption and worry at East Anglia University and damage done to the reputation of climate change science in general aided and abetted by the media, who claimed that climate science itself was a scandal. The latest investigation results to be published last week exonerate the U.E.A. scientists and

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Tilting at Windmills – is it worth it?

A friend of mine, who is a population activist makes no bones about his attitude – population is the problem, so concern about carbon emissions and personal footprints is a waste of time as any efforts we make are like building a wall of sand with a spade against the incoming tide of population growth. I, and some more-or-less like-minded individuals around Thame are spending time and effort trying to influence people to live more sustainably in all sorts of ways – energy, waste, local food,

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It ain’t happening, but it is..

Headline 1 – Sceptic Scientists Demonstrate Climate Is Warming Up A group of Alabama climate scientists who are collecting data from a satellite and who are regarded as climate sceptics have announced that the Earth warmed more in January 2010 than any year since records began in 1979. Headline 2 – People don’t believe it. At the same time, opinion polls show that people in general have become much more skeptical about global warming since the well publicized errors in the climate report published by the

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Climate Shenanegans and Does What Scientists Say Matter?

“What blooming weather: so much for global warming!” is a cry I have heard more than once as we suffer a cold winter. Of course, weather and climate are different – we experience weather every day, and a year is a long time. Climate applies over tens, or hundreds of years and describes the general, overall situation. We find it difficult to see this perspective when battling through the snow of January 2010 or sweltering in the heat of June 1976. One degree centigrade is nothing

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Global Warming is not the problem….

I was sent an article from which the following is an extract: from Population and Development Review, Vol. 20, no. 1 (March 1994) Action is needed now Humanity is approaching a crisis point with respect to the interlocking issues of population, environment, and development. With each year’s delay the problems become more acute. Let 1994 be remembered as the year when the people of the world decided to act together for the benefit of future generations.” Well, that was 1994 and the same lack of action

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Too many people: an idyll changes to nightmare.

We visited the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford yesterday to see what it is like having been substantially rebuilt over past few years. It is now a modern and fascinating museum inside it’s lovely old Cotswold stone shell and well worth a visit. Entry is free too! We focused on the modern and nineteenth century paintings on the 3rd floor on this occasion, which include a couple of rooms of Pre-Raphaelite works. One is a panoramic view from a hill over Jerusalem painted at the end of

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Climate Change Or A Pop Star? No Contest

The BBC 10pm news on Saturday evening had a brief item on a climate change protest at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire where the headline was that a policeman was injured and fences were pulled down. The film showed a policemen falling, or being felled, by the protesters and the commentary stated these facts. There were no interviews with protagonists nor journalists and no reasons or background were given. The following item concerned the funeral of Stephen Gately of the band Boyzone which was attended by

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The UK Express Is Heading For The Buffers

(Note: An item in the 6pm news today tells how the UK energy regulator is warning of energy shortages and huge price hikes in the coming years. This blog was written this morning BEFORE the announcement – nice timing!) Renewable energy is very much in the public eye these days and the UK has an enormous looming energy problem owing to years of vacillation on policy, and complacency because the UK had it’s own oil and gas (now largely depleted). All the money from these resources

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