Who Noticed Earth Day?

It was Earth Day yesterday, although you would not have known this in the United Kingdom where politicians are much more concerned about being elected to office than they are in protecting our planet and the environment in which we live.  Continue reading

What Goes Around Comes Around

Our economic woes and the odd act of terrorism have distracted us from the fact that the weather in many places in the world is playing unusual tricks. In the United States of America, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Indiana and Iowa have suffered from record levels of rainfall. Properties that never suffered from flooding have flooded, people have been evacuated from their homes and five people so far have died as a result of the severe flooding, which has reached the state where it can properly be called a severe weather event. If the USA were not rich and well organised, many more people would have died. Continue reading

Gambling with the planet

We are usually happy and impressed when records are broken, because breaking records usually shows us that humans have progressed. We can run faster, fly higher, or even eat more sausages – this is all a measure of progress, but as my geography teacher used to say, progress is merely putting one foot in front of another. Progress is about movement, not direction, so we should treat all record breaking and all progress carefully. Continue reading

How forests may be affected by rising temperatures

Despite the best efforts of humanity forests still account for 30% of the world’s land surface area – roughly forty million square kilometres. Despite the importance of forests to our survival – they are huge carbon stores that can keep carbon dioxide from warming the planet too quickly – there are only not legally binding statements of principle about forests when what the world plainly needs is some legally binding way to prevent them from rapidly turning into grasslands and deserts. Continue reading