2018/sep/26: There may be more bicycles but there will also be more planes. We’re still in denial about the scale of the threat to the planet.
Beyond a certain point, economic growth – the force that lifted people out of poverty, and cured deprivation, squalor and disease – tips us back into those conditions.
how come oil production, for the first time in history, is about to hit 100m barrels a day? How come the oil industry expects demand to climb until the 2030s? How is it that in Germany, whose energy transition (Energiewende) was supposed to be a model for the world, protesters are being beaten up by police as they try to defend the 12,000-year-old Hambacher forest from an opencast mine extracting lignite – the dirtiest form of coal? Why have investments in Canadian tar sands – the dirtiest source of oil – doubled in a year?
The answer is, growth. There may be more electric vehicles on the world’s roads, but there are also more internal combustion engines. Given that economic growth, in nations that are already rich enough to meet the needs of all, requires an increase in pointless consumption, it is hard to see how it can ever be decoupled from the assault on the living planet.
It doesn’t matter how many good things we do: preventing climate breakdown means ceasing to do bad things.
Electric vehicles have driven a new resource rush, particularly for lithium, that is already polluting rivers and trashing precious wild places. Clean growth is as much of an oxymoron as clean coal.
2018/sep/13: Never underestimate the power of one determined person. What Carole Cadwalladr has done to Facebook and big data, and Edward Snowden has done to the state security complex, the young Kazakhstani scientist Alexandra Elbakyan has done with Sci-Hub to the multibillion-dollar industry that traps knowledge behind paywalls.
Last week, a consortium of European funders, including major research agencies in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Italy, published their “Plan S”. It insists that, from 2020, research we have already paid for through our taxes will no longer be locked up. Any researcher receiving money from these funders must publish her or his work only in open-access journals.
The publishers have gone ballistic. Springer Nature argues that this plan potentially undermines the whole research publishing system. Yes, that’s the point.
We need to invest in finding sustainable and scalable alternatives to plastic. Even marine plastic is in large part a fishing issue: 46% of the Great Pacific garbage patch is composed of discarded nets,
Economic growth is tearing the planet apart, and new research suggests that it can't be reconciled with sustainability
Pope Francis reminds us that our relationship to the natural world is about love, not just goods and services
New insights from the deep past should transform the way we work with forests. By George Monbiot, published in BBC Wildlife magazine, June 2015 Why is it possible to lay
George Monbiot: The scoured, scorched Highlands could be brought to life - maybe an independent nation will have the courage to act
One day, the British environmental writer George Monbiot was digging in his garden when he had a revelation -- that his life had become too tidy and
George Monbiot: Every year billions are spent in Britain and Europe on policies that wreck homes and lives through flooding
George Monbiot: Materialism is associated with depression, anxiety and broken relationships. It is socially destructive and self-destructive
2012/07/04: Many within the fossil fuel industry are sounding alarms. Society ignores such warnings - and listens to potential bubble-backers like Monbiot - at its peril
2012/07/02: A boom in oil production has made a mockery of our predictions. Good news for capitalists - but a disaster for humanity
George Monbiot: As the British government cut benefits for the poor at home, in Europe it fought to keep millions in subsidies for wealthy farmers
George Monbiot: Essential public services are cut in order that the wealthy may pay less tax. But even their baubles don't make them happy
George Monbiot: Emissions are rising, ice is melting and yet the response of governments is simply to pretend that none of it is happening
George Monbiot: Japan's disaster would weigh more heavily if there were less harmful alternatives. Atomic power is part of the mix