Modern technology has a lot to offer small farmers in poor countries - just not the GMOs and pesticides that are widely touted. But how about film, digital communications and smart phones? These new media can empower farmers and allow them to share knowledge and experience of how to produce more, from less.
Climate change is many things – a scientific question, a technological challenge, a political conundrum, a series of moral dilemmas and a multiplier of other risks. Because it has so many faces, is so pervasive and has such profound ramifications it is very hard to tackle. Where to begin in cutting emissions, and who should pay?
Jonathon Porritt, the environmentalist, last week attacked fellow Greens who back the ambition of “zero deforestation”’. He accused colleagues of “absolutism”, holding back development, perpetuating poverty and even colonialism.
For the first time ever, a ‘new’ species has been named after the company that has the power to either conserve or destroy it. It’s a snail and, although small, has the potential to leave a permanent legacy for a giant global business.
The snail in question was recently discovered living on an isolated limestone hill called Gunung Kanthan in the northwest of Peninsular Malaysia – its only known home on Earth.
One of the gravest difficulties we face in matching human needs within the capacity of what the Earth can indefinitely provide comes down to how we've come to see economy and ecology somehow locked in an irreconcilable struggle, wherein efforts to protect one inevitably lead to costs for the other. A meeting hosted today by The Prince of Wales at St James's Palace in London will consider a rather different reality.
November 1991. I’m outside a B&Q DIY store in North London distributing leaflets to customers. With dramatic pictures of destroyed rainforests, our advice was for people not to buy tropical wood from the company.
The idea was to use consumer power to convince B&Q to be more careful about where it bought its forest products.
The Prince of Wales's visit to the Somerset Levels has once more drawn attention to the dire circumstances faced by thousands of people because of floods. And as more extreme rain drenches the UK, calls for more flood defences and river dredging have predictably become louder. There is, however, another focus that has been hardly mentioned.