[Notes on ‘political ecology’ submitted as an invited Contributing Author for the forthcoming Transformative Change assessment being developed by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).] The distinctive field of study that has become known as ‘Political Ecology’ seeks not only understand socio-ecological concerns, but also to conceptualise alternatives for transforming the … Continue reading Political ecology and transformation: ‘the point is to change it’
On 30th April 2020, an Interim Report on The Economics of Biodiversity was published by the UK government. Commissioned by UK Treasury and led by economist Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, the report is shorthanded as 'The Dasgupta Review', following the tradition established by the 2014 'Stern Review' on The Economics of Climate Change authored by … Continue reading The Dasgupta Interim Review on the Economics of Biodiversity – Feedback
First there was Nature. Sometimes an Edenic garden, whose fruitfulness we live with in peace and reciprocity; sometimes a vast wilderness to be feared, tamed or worshiped. But always a lively mesh of entities, whose magnificent diversity is now threatened by a single biological species – Homo sapiens. Then came Nature 2.0. A material world … Continue reading Nature 3.0 – Will blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies save the planet?
From disavowal to plutonomy, via ‘natural capital’? In Edinburgh over the next two days the inaugural World Forum on Natural Capital claims that 'a revolution is taking place in how businesses and governments account for natural capital', and that 'there has never been a better time for senior decision makers to exercise leadership for the … Continue reading At the Edinburgh Forums on Natural Capital and Natural Commons, 2013
Does putting a price tag on our natural world change our behaviour, or is it just another step into a model that brings few benefits for people - let alone our planet? After reading my blog post 'The natural capital myth', the Green Economy Coalition invited me to write a piece on the ‘debates around … Continue reading Should nature have to prove its value?
It’s official. We live in a magical universe. I have always known this, somewhere. In my heart, in my belly, in the places where the onslaught of modernity’s cynicism has not been able to reach. But now it is confirmed. Because last night I was privileged to watch - awed and humbled - the … Continue reading The Aurora affect
1. On elephants and economics In 1993, Australian ecologist Graeme Caughley published a paper on elephant conservation and market reasoning in Conservation Biology. Responding to proposals that clear ownership designations and the ability to sell harvested ivory on a free market would incentivise the conservation of African elephants, he showed that this approach might … Continue reading Biodiversity conservation, financialisation and equity: some currents and concerns
'Mike Hannis and Sian Sullivan explore the strange world of biodiversity offsets and habitat banking', for The Land Magazine. Land use planning is a key arena for the spectacles of localism and marketisation being staged by our self-proclaimed greenest government ever. The new “presumption in favour of sustainable development” aims to encourage housebuilding and other … Continue reading Offsetting nature
In the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, the villainous business tycoon Domenic Greene, makes a moving (and familiar) speech to potential company sponsors at a spectacularly glamorous, environmental fund-raising gala in Bolivia. He states: We are in a spiral of environmental decline. Since 1945 17% of the planet's vegetated surface has been irreversibly degraded. … Continue reading The environmentality of ‘Earth Incorporated’