Tag Archives: Environment

The GMO debate and the lightning conductor

Genetically modified crops generate intense anger on both sides of the debate.

Those who oppose it, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, cite the risk of some kind of unpredictable disastrous effect on Nature.

Those who argue in its favour point out that millions of children could be cured of blindness if genetically-modified rice were used to feed people in the third world. In fact, vitamin A-enhanced rice could prevent up to a third of the world’s child deaths. And that’s just one example of the benefits.

The stakes couldn’t really be higher on either side of the debate. It’s imperative that the world makes the right decision about this issue.

So here, I’m asking, “How do we make the decision?” Continue reading

Live to 100 the Icelandic Way

Iceland. It’s a cold country far, far away. It has the third highest life expectancy in Europe. And it’s an annoying anomaly in my study of countries with high life expectancy. The other countries where people live long, healthy lives tend to be hot and sunny.

So what’s special about Iceland? Why do people live such a long time? Do they hibernate in Winter? Continue reading

Lies, damn lies and infographics

youareanidiotThe internet is full of pithy facts, many of them incorrect or misleading. And if you present a fact as a cool infographic, it will go viral whether it’s true or not. Especially if it involves a cat. Continue reading

Climate change conundrum

Every other blog I read these days seems to take a stance on global warming, so I thought  I’d make my position clear. Continue reading

The end of the world is nigh (again)

When I was growing up in the 1970s, my friends and I used to play a card game called Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (it was a variation of Snap.) In those Cold War days nearly everybody believed that the world would be destroyed in a nuclear attack. Continue reading

Hating humans

hatinghumansIf you read the Daily Mail you’ll know that there are far too many immigrants in Britain, and they are stealing our jobs. If you’re a Guardian reader, you’ll realise that this is narrow-minded thinking, and the real problem is that there are too many people on the planet as a whole, and we are destroying it. Continue reading

The myth of finite resources

The world’s resources. We’re using them up at a selfish, unsustainable rate and we’re all DOOMED! Or are we?

What if resources are not something that we mindlessly consume? What if resources are something that we create? Continue reading

Is the world getting better or worse?

glasshalffullAre you a glass half-full or a glass half-empty kind of person? An optimist or a pessimist?

At a personal level, we can choose whether to be optimistic or pessimistic about any situation that confronts us. Optimists tend to make the world a better place, because they believe they can. Pessimists tend not to, because they believe they can’t. But what about the bigger picture? Is the world in general getting better or worse? Continue reading

It’s unsustainable, my dear

deerFive years ago we moved from the town to the countryside. Owning a large garden for the first time, we eagerly rushed out and planted vegetables, flowers and fruit trees.

Deer ate the lot.

The worst thing was that the deer didn’t wait for the vegetables or fruit to grow, they just stripped all the new shoots from each plant and moved on to the next one. All the plants died. There never was any fruit or veg. Continue reading