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Protecting The Countryside

Susan Clark & Edgar Vaid

November/December 2013

Editor's and Reader's Highlights from the current issue of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine

Protecting The Countryside - Editor's highlights

As the threat of Biodiversity Offsetting becomes a reality in the UK, this issue of Resurgence & Ecologist explores the urgent need to not only protect our countryside but also to work out how best to cost up the true value of Nature. And in his punchy political keynotes piece, Michael Jacobs, a former special advisor to 10 Downing Street, explains his view that unless the Greens actively collaborate with Labour, the environmental movement in the UK will never hold any political sway.

8 THE WORLD WE MADE

Self-style ‘eco optimist' Jonathon Porritt believes we still have time to turn things around in order to build a more sustainable world and in his latest book explains how we should go about this.

20 MY GREEN LIFE

Dragon's Den businesswoman Deborah Meaden - who is currently part of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Saturday night tv line up - tells Sharon Garfinkel why sustainability matters, in and out of the boardroom.

42 NATURAL FARMING

Ted Taylor profiles the Japanese farmer, Yoshikazu Kawaguchi, whom many in Japan see as the leader of this environmental movement.

68 FOOD IN THE CITIES

Environmental journalist, Tom Levitt, reviews Farming the City by Francesca Miazzo and Mark Minkjan and is left feeling both positive about the future and inspired by what can be achieved.

Susan Clark is Associate Editor of Resurgence & Ecologist and a food writer.

Protecting The Countryside - Reader's Highlights

10 SELLING OUT ON OUR ECOSYSTEMS

You are unlikely to find a more clear-sighted article dealing with the recurring debate over ascribing monetary values to the natural world. Beth Stratford cogently explores not only how this has been approached at a theoretical level, but also whether it's feasible/dangerous/amoral, etc to do so. Is the whole idea, in fact, a classic example of a ‘category error'? Should we even attempt to place $ or £ signs (followed by rows of zeros) on nature's ‘ecosystem services'?

16 PROTECTING THE COUNTRYSIDE

As well as bringing the perspectives and sensitivities of a former Poet Laureate to bear on the landscapes of the English countryside, Andrew Motion suggests that our current Government could take a cue from leaders of the last century. Both Neville Chamberlain and Harold Macmillan showed their far-sightedness in protecting the countryside.

34 A NEW POLITICS

Whilst it may be difficult to envisage a fusion (or coalition) of Labour and the Greens given the UK's current undemocratic voting system (ie non-proportional representation), this idea forms the key element of Michael Jacob's thought-provoking piece: "the green social democratic project ....... is not just to regulate capitalism for the sake of people, but also to regulate it for the sake of Nature".

49 NATURE'S ARTISTS

Which are the only animals (other than humans) to produce what we might loosely describe as art? In an article which initially seems to have escaped from something akin to "Ornithologists Quarterly Journal", David Rothenberg describes the creations of several species of male bower birds, which go far beyond being merely functional nests, and pose intriguing (but as yet not satisfactorily answered) questions about the place of art in evolution.

Edgar Vaid is a freelance book reviewer and long time reader of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine.

 

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