Friday 31 July 2009

follow fridays

The twitter stream down the right-hand side of this blog is usually self-explanatory. But today's three tweets that list a series of names are followed by #FF. This stands for 'Follow Friday', where twitterers pass on recommendations at the end of the week. more ...

Thursday 30 July 2009

one per cent

Ben Fogle, President of the Campaign for National Parks, said 10 per cent of the population are from ethnic minority groups but only one per cent of people visiting National Parks come from this group. more ...

as we like it

The greenest theatre in Montreal does Shakespeare plays in parks, provides composting and recycling facilities, and uses 'Enviro100' recycled paper for its publications. Its current production? As You Like It. more ...

Tuesday 14 July 2009

summer break

This blog is taking two weeks off. There may be occasional tweets. more ...

Sunday 12 July 2009

ice trait

The Arctic, says David Lan, is an 'untradeable commodity'. more ...

Friday 10 July 2009

and they all lived ...

The writer of Dr Who, Russell T. Davies, once said the only plot he would avoid was the environment because he could not give audiences a happy ending. more ...

Wednesday 8 July 2009


Springcoppice discusses Philip Pullman on moral education and the danger of making 'a mechanical connection' between stories and behavioural change. more ...

Tuesday 7 July 2009

buy this

The Guardian's 'best adverts to save the planet'. more ...

Monday 6 July 2009

what the new narrative describes

The founder of the Eden Project, Tim Smit (left) elaborates on what he means by 'hippy shit'. He says he in no way meant:

'to decry the efforts of those who are encouraging the first steps in community action through various mediums such as growing your own and so on, merely that we have been here before many times and the danger of becoming over impressed with such steps is that it drowns out the scream from the future that a truly radical shift in philosophy and leadership is required - one that questions the fundamentals of the way we do business, measure growth and take on responsibilities as citizens as opposed to just being aware of our rights.'

The target is to cut our carbon footprint by 80%. To succeed in doing this:

'we need a new narrative, one that describes the sunny uplands our society is striving to reach and the reason why adopting a philosophy which sees us recognising our part in and responsibility to the natural world will see us working with the grain of nature and not against it.' more ...

Thursday 2 July 2009

tim smit defines 'hippy shit'

There was a conference yesterday, organised by the Sustainable Development Commission, on Breakthrough Ideas For the 21st Century.

William Shaw at the RSA's Arts and Ecology blogs about attending one session and a new sense of frustration that's creeping in:

'The morning rolled on and we heard about an idea to teach happiness in schools, a(nother) website for joining up activists of all hues, an idea to persuade to schools to take children to the countryside so they could get in touch with the natural world, etc.'

At the end of this well-meaning hour of discussion the Eden Project's Tim Smit stood up and said this is 'hippy shit'.

What did he mean by this? There wasn't time to discover. But someone has left a link below Shaw's blog to a 2007 Guardian article by Smit which gives a very good idea of what he means. Smit writes:

'Last year I spoke at the 40th anniversary of Resurgence magazine, and asked the audience if they believed that everybody on Earth should have access to clean drinking water. They all put their hands up. I asked them who supported WaterAid, a fabulous charity, and almost everybody put their hands up. Then I asked who believed WaterAid could provide clean drinking water to everybody on Earth. Nobody put their hands up. I laid into the audience. I said: "The problem is you're in love with hippie shit."'

However terrific the charity, the scale of the problem is too big. Smit believes that some of the biggest businesses in the world - in energy, water, railways - should be run as social enterprises. more ...

Wednesday 1 July 2009

that was the year that was

Which was the most important year in history? Andrew Marr nominated 1776. This blogger has jumped in and argued for 1712. more ...