You can ‘structurally adjust’ an economy in a matter of years, but it takes longer to destroy a culture. Heiner Thiessen reports from Senegal on the impact of imposing a Western cash economy on a traditional African barter society
We are obsessed with our odour. We slavishly scrub off all that makes us distinct as members of a species, and then spray ourselves liberally with a homogenous fug of the latest mass-marketed musk. Jeremy Smith wonders why
Since defeating the government in 1984 over its compulsory warble fly erradication scheme, Mark Purdey has been travelling the world to find the real cause of BSE and vCJD. His conclusions are controversial, fascinating, and if proved right, will cost the government millions in compensation.
This month a construction consortium will start pouring millions of tons of rock and cement into the Venice Lagoon – one of the Mediterranean’s most important wetlands. The consortium claims the dam project will ‘save’ the city from flooding. But the project failed its environmental impact assessment, threatens the ecology of the lagoon and – with global warming and rising sea-levels –may not even protect Venice anyway. Tony Zamparutti reports from Italy.
Shrimp has always been associated with the small and the puny. Why then is this seemingly harmless crustacean inspiring angry protests throughout the developing world, and why have so many people died as a result? Dr Mike Shanahan investigates
‘Immortal’ and created solely to amass ever larger amounts of wealth, limited-liability corporations institutionalise dissatisfaction. They are, Derrick Jensen writes, the economic manifestation of the Buddhist notion of ‘hungry ghosts’ – spirits that roam the earth, always eating, never sated.
Who said these words: ‘The environmental movement is a growing force in civil society, searching for a home in mainstream politics. The party that succeeds will be the natural party of government’? It wasn’t George Monbiot, Tony Juniper or Jonathon Porritt. It was David Miliband, in December 2006.
Ever since the 1970s we have lived with the growing awareness that our ecosystem is fragile and the perpetual exploitation of our natural resources impossible. By the late 1980s, even The Sun newspaper had its own green correspondent. Everything we buy, use and throw away has an impact somewhere on the ecological continuum, and nowadays the most bullish Western consumers’ consciences are regularly punctured by shards of eco-worry. We also increasingly realise that working ever harder for more possessions, more options, more stuff, doesn’t tend to make us more content.
Public money to the tune of £131,000 has been spent on a report that claims to have found farmers ‘upbeat’ about genetic modification – despite its authors having interviewed only 30 farmers, half of whom had already grown GM crops.