Why 'nature' is beyond price... and could cost the earth
So nature’s services to Britain are worth billions of pounds. In a new report by 500 ecology, economics and social science experts, the free work done by the natural world has been evaluated, commodified and priced up.
There are whispers in Whitehall that a decision on the future of the Serious Fraud Office is imminent. The Home Office is considering rolling the Serious Fraud Office’s lawyers into the Crown Prosecution Service, while its investigators would be hived off into a new FBI-esque crime agency. And all this against the advice of most experts in the field.
I have witnessed some extraordinary diatribes on the uselessness of aid this week, so thank you Defence Secretary Liam Fox for being the catalyst to a show of sentiment that makes me again wonder how far we’ve moved on since the Enlightenment.
I’ve overheard some interesting conversations this week while travelling on public transport. As any Londoner knows, the unwritten rule is that you can be chatty on the buses, but it’s really not done to talk too much on the Tube. So I’ll start with a beautiful conversation from a ride on that previously mentioned (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/14356) rammed bus to Deptford Bridge.
Celebrating death (even Bin Laden's) demeans our humanity
So President Obama has decided that he will not release the image of Osama bin Laden’s body. The reason, he says, is that it could be used for propaganda purposes by terrorist organisations. How about the fact that making public the blood-stained and damaged body of a human being is just plain unpleasant, undignified and quite wrong?
On 9 June 2011 this year I am hoping to sit down for a chat with my MP. Over a cuppa and maybe a custard cream, I am going to go right to the heart of the political decision-makers to get myself heard on some issues that affect people in poor countries.
After more than two years working for an aid agency you would have thought I’d be used to bad news. But, do you know, the emphasis of CAFOD’s work is about the solution – the good stuff that can and will be done to make difficult situations better, to push against injustice, to offer people the tools to get themselves and their families further away from the red lines of poverty and abuse.
In 2002 I was detained by police at Kochi airport in Kerala. It seemed I had failed to get a vital stamp on my passport. Having missed my flight back to the UK to attend my auntie’s wedding, I was told I had to, the next day, report to the police station, which I duly did.
On Wednesday 16 March I clambered onto a bus heading for Deptford Bridge in South London. It was an articulated, crocodile bus that can barely see what its back end is doing, and it was rammed. In fact, it was so rammed that I couldn’t get my Oyster payment card to the unmanned scanner halfway down the bus.