Illustration: Eleanor Shakespeare/The Guardian
It is the first time we are seeing these two words together, and George Monbiot has this to say about the potential implied:
Embrace what may be the most important green technology ever. It could save us all
Never mind the yuck factor: precision fermentation could produce new staple foods, and end our reliance on farming
So what do we do now? After 27 summits and no effective action, it seems that the real purpose was to keep us talking. If governments were serious about preventing climate breakdown, there would have been no Cops 2-27. The major issues would have been resolved at Cop1, as the ozone depletion crisis was at a single summit in Montreal. Continue reading
‘The dangerous heat England is suffering at the moment is already becoming normal in southern Europe.’ A firefighter tackles a wild fire in Gironde, France, 17 July 2022. Photograph: Thibaud Moritz/AFP/Getty Images
George Monbiot has never held back, but now the cork is released full force:
Dangerous heat will become the norm, even in the UK. Systems need to urgently change – and the silence needs to be broken
Can we talk about it now? I mean the subject most of the media and most of the political class has been avoiding for so long. You know, the only subject that ultimately counts – the survival of life on Earth. Continue reading
Illustration by Eva Bee
The first I heard of him, nearly a decade ago, I was immediately hooked on his writing, and the ideas he was offering were surprising to read in a mainstream, if progressive, publication. He introduced me to rewilding. If you have not been reading or perhaps listening to George Monbiot during this decade you may not have noticed how his radicalism has evolved. In this editorial ostensibly about the Pandora Papers I learned something about Madeira that I want to read more about:
…A few decades after the Portuguese colonised Madeira in 1420, they developed a system that differed in some respects from anything that had gone before. By felling the forests after which they named the island (madeira is Portuguese for wood), they created, in this uninhabited sphere, a blank slate – a terra nullius – in which a new economy could be built. Continue reading
George Mobiot doesn’t just think about otters and eagles – he thinks BIG, back to the megafauna that once inhabited the temperate climates of the globe.
Rewilding offers us this fantastic opportunity to start restoring systems, or allowing them to restore themselves. I see it as reintroducing missing plants and animals, then stepping back and letting nature get on with it.
Otters near Shieldaig Island, Loch Shieldaig, Scotland. Photograph: Steve Carter
Although he may not use the term, George Monbiot believes in biophilia. His devotion to the concept of rewilding is evident in both his actions and his words, and his expressive writing about nature’s resilience and the richness of “ecological interactions” prove the point. His description of a recent trip to the Scottish highlands exemplifies both the draw of nature and his response to it:
As I came over a low ridge, I noticed a disturbance in the water below me, a few metres from the shore. I dropped into the heather and watched. A moment later, two small heads broke from the sea, then the creatures arced over and disappeared again.
After another moment, the larger one – the dog otter – scrambled out of the water with something thrashing in its mouth. He dropped it on to the rocks, gripped it again, then chewed it up. Then the bitch emerged from the sea beside him, also carrying something, that she dispatched just as quickly. They plunged in again, and I watched the trails of bubbles they made as they rummaged round the roots of the kelp that filled the shallow bay. Continue reading