What Do We Mean by a Crisis?

Massive social lock down has closely followed the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. Like many I’m struggling with how this is being communicated and, more importantly, how the required actions are being implemented. More than ever we need clarity and understanding from everyone. Yet we continue to see pictures of breaches to the governmentContinue reading “What Do We Mean by a Crisis?”

Matlock Floods investigated by East Midlands BBC News

On 6th March the East Midlands news team descended on Knowleston Gardens, site of the Bentley Brook pumping station. Contrary to local understanding the film crew took evidence from the Environment Agency who confirmed that the November 2019 floods were caused by surface water rather than flooding from the river. The volume of the waterContinue reading “Matlock Floods investigated by East Midlands BBC News”


LESSONS LEARNT? Human history is littered with stories of plagues and we are currently facing yet another. This latest one is a respiratory virus, first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has now infected thousands of Chinese citizens and spread to several other countries. It has been declared a global emergency by theContinue reading “CONTAINING THE CONTAGION”

Higher Education for Sustainability: Seeking Intellectual Independence

Late last year I received the manuscript of a book from a reputable publisher asking for my views on its strengths and weaknesses. I have done several book reviews in recent years, but I must admit this one was both a pleasure and surprise. I had heard of Kerry Shephard from a previous review ofContinue reading “Higher Education for Sustainability: Seeking Intellectual Independence”

Policy Coherence and the Sustainable Development Goals

POLICY COHERENCE, SHOEHORNING and the SDGs Since the early 1990s, the OECD has been at the forefront of international efforts to promote policy coherence for development (PCD). The OECD has a strong track record in monitoring policy coherence efforts in its Member countries through peer reviews. While PCD has traditionally beenseen as the main responsibilityContinue reading “Policy Coherence and the Sustainable Development Goals”


CRABBY INCREMENTALISM OR TRANSFORMATION? We face a democratic tipping point in responding to the climate emergency as the choices of business as usual(no change) or incremental change can no longer command majority support. Global tipping points now demand urgent action at scale and urgency. Our systems of governance need to respond in parallel to thisContinue reading “DEMOCRACY AND SUSTAINABILITY”

What is a Climate Emergency?

Many of our governing bodies at both national and local levels are declaring a climate emergency. But what does this mean? Do we carry on as before or are we meant to do something differently? We usually think of an emergency as some event that has happened that requires an urgent need for action toContinue reading “What is a Climate Emergency?”


A new dilemma for those who advocate Veganism is on the agenda of the forthcoming Oxford Farming Conference. Farming and other interests are now arguing that it is vital we eat more lamb and beef because some crop plants and fish are being drained of essential nutrients.A heart specialist who is speaking at the conferenceContinue reading “MEAT OR VEG ?ANOTHER WICKED SUSTAINABILITY ISSUE!”


This is the front-page headline carried by the Daily Mirror on New Year’s Day. Will this be the year transformative change happens? Or will we face another decade of business as usual?  One relatively simple test of our current trends in decarbonising our lifestyles is to ask ourselves this question: How many cars can theContinue reading “2020 – TEN YEARS TO SAVE THE PLANET!”