Reviewing the natural history books of 2021 (so far)

Hello friends! It’s me again after another hiatus… to talk about some non fiction books I have been reading lately! I am not typically a non-fiction reader and find it much slower going than fiction but in a vague attempt at keeping to the sciency-theme of this blog I will go through some here. My …

How do zoos decide which animals to keep?

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) boasts over 700 million visitors to its zoos each year – including London Zoo (UK), Calgary Zoo (Canada) and hundreds of other institutions around the world. This makes them a huge asset in raising awareness for the environmental threats that animals face, whilst also generating substantial funds …

Extinction Rebellion and the Climate Emergency

(Okay, so technically this does not begin with X for my alphabet…. but it still counts when abbreviated to XR, right?!)… History suggests that governments will only take action if there is intense pressure to do so (Gunningham, 2019). In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned us that we have only 12 years …

Wangari Maathai: Building change by planting trees

Nobel prize winner, environmentalist, and professor Wangari Maathai created the “Green Belt Movement”, an initiative to prevent environmental degradation linked to commercial deforestation across Kenya. During the 1970s and onwards, colonial and post-colonial pressures forced Kenyan farmers to grow cash crops such as tea and coffee for the foreign market, rather than the traditional crops …

Viruses: how particles in our poo are making us sick

When human sewage gets into our water systems, it can have disastrous effects on health. The 1955-1956 outbreak of hepatitis in New Delhi due to contamination of the Jumna River was one of the first instances which led scientists to link human health with sewage contaminated water (Bosch, 1998). Since then, research has found over …

News: Tiktok, tuna and the world’s largest bee

This post is just a brief one highlighting some of the top, positive, environmental news from September 2020. Enjoy. Tiktok Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000) and Generation Z (late 90s- 2010s) are becoming increasingly more aware of environmental issues by using the Internet, with one notable example being the video-sharing platform Tiktok. Many users …

Which is the real problem: Overpopulation or Overconsumption?

In 2015, 141 million people were born – 44 million more than was recorded 65 years earlier (Ritchie, 2019).  Our current population stands at over 7 billion, and could reach 9 billion by 2050. This puts a lot of strain on our planet’s resources, and leads many to believe that with fewer mouths to feed, …

Mutualism in nature: Fungal friends and finding Nemo

Mutualism is the technical term used to describe a relationship between organisms from which both parties benefit. For example, bees benefit from the nectar provided by flowers, when the flowers themselves are pollinated by the spread of their pollen to other flowers. It differs from symbiosis, a word which is often used alongside mutualism, as …

Environmental Justice: Why are Indigenous communities worst affected by climate change?

Indigenous communities tend to be best connected to the natural world. They have played a relatively tiny part in emitting anthropogenic greenhouse gases in comparison with Western societies like US and Europe (Green & Raygorodetsky, 2010). Yet the impacts of climate change fall disproportionately on Native people, like those living in the Arctic, in areas …

Indigenous knowledge: the quest for solutions to environmental problems

Indigenous people, also known as First Nations, Aboriginal or Native peoples are ethnic groups who lived in an area before it was included in a nation state – examples include the Inuit peoples of Greenland, the Samoans, the Maori of New Zealand and the Chukchi peoples of Russia. This post will discuss the controversial topic …

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