What makes a place like Oxford special? History, architecture, people and the local economy certainly all contribute. There is another factor though, and it is one that is often more important than all these in making where we live distinctive. It is what might be called natural character.
I grew up in Cowley and from a very early age was an avid naturalist.
The emergence of proposals from a House Committee to drastically cut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency underlines just how disastrously out of touch many politicians are with modern economic thinking.
The idea that it could be prudent to slash the budget of an organization that helps to sustain clean air and water and the quality of the natural environment is in large part predicated on the idea that the depletion o
So it’s official. Deep in Carboniferous and Jurassic rocks beneath parts of the north of England are locked an estimated 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. That is an awful lot, far more than was ever produced from North Sea fields. Is this a natural windfall of great economic importance, an opportunity for the UK to demonstrate cutting-edge technological capabilities and a source of long-term energy security?
In finding solutions to our growing energy challenges it is important to step back from our obsessive debates about different technologies and to take a wider view of the reality we inhabit. A good starting point is to remember how our planet is largely solar powered, and has been for a very long time. When it comes to the natural world the most visible manifestation of this fact is photosynthesis.
Following the launch of the State of Nature report, I am keen to stimulate a debate about what else we need to do to live in harmony with nature. Over the next few weeks, people from differing perspectives will propose their One Big Thing for Nature. Today, I am delighted to welcome Tony Juniper, former Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth, writer and top campaigner.
An absence of positive political debate about the natural world is even more troubling than the decline in the UK wildlife revealed by State of Nature report.
More than half the wildlife species found in our islands are declining, under an assault of development, air pollution and chemical attack. Bumblebees, wildflowers, songbirds and butterflies are among the more obvious casualties.