“The American poet (of Scotch descent) William Ross Wallace wrote the poem The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World. Although Wallace lived in the first half of the nineteenth century, at a time when population was still rising in Europe, and did not have demography in mind, his paean to motherhood should remind us, today, that countries with empty cradles become the ruled not the rulers. ” (Read More)
Researching the impacts of climate change on agriculture, Cameron Mackay explores the Ladakh region of the Indian Himalayas. His research brings up themes of water scarcity, artificial glaciers and the future or farming in remote areas on the front lines of climate change.
Are we currently fully aware of and prepared for the issues that could arise over the next decade due to climate change? It could be argued that there is a lack of awareness of the impacts of climate change in remote subsistence communities around the world and also a lack of preparedness within global policy that needs to be addressed in order to mitigate the issues that could arise through a climate change influenced refugee crisis in the coming years.
As the issue of climate change has increasingly severe impacts around the world, many communities will be adversely effected. Perhaps on of the most severely effected will be remote subsistence communities that rely on glacial melt water for irrigation. Many of these communities can be found in Ladakh: a high altitude desert region nestled in the center of the Indian Himalayas. (Read More)
With moderated, slowed down neutrons, only a fraction of the nuclei in the core can be fissioned. With unmoderated, or fast neutrons, a considerably higher proportion of the nuclei are fissionable. This leads to favourable recycling properties which present a solution to the single biggest issue concerning commercial nuclear power – waste. (Read More)
Why is it that nuclear power is so feared, despite the fact science rejects this notion? What are the implications of this in terms of combating climate change? In his talk at the undergraduate conference ‘Let’s Talk About X’ at the University of Glasgow, Darrow’s Deputy Editor John Lindberg explores some of these questions by using the theory of securitisation. (Read More)
What’s to be done? Saying ‘go vote’ is wasted breath because people will only want to do it if they want to anyway. What we should all be rallying for, particularly at elections, is not just for promises for this and that but for, as President George H.W Bush put it, the ‘vision thing’. We want politicians that will sacrifice the popular for the right, and there is a curious absence of it these days. Our country deserves more than ‘the now’ and it deserves a future, but only if our elected officials are brave enough to look beyond their own five-year plans and see the nation’s life as contingent on the environment which nourishes its peoples. (Read More)
Last month was on average 1.35°c warmer across the globe than the 1950-1981 average for February. However, this warming was concentrated predominantly in the Arctic regions, where temperatures were over 10°c warmer than the 1950-1981 average. (Read More)
At Darrow we do not seek to take sides in this debate, but rather to promote different thinking – new angles to old problems and promote reframing exercises. Today’s political climate is far too black and white. Old problems are returning, but in a setting never seen before. The political establishment, be that in Brussels, London or Edinburgh, by and large try the same ideas from the past but expecting new outcomes. New, fresh thinking is necessary to deal with the brave new world we are facing, a world filled with new and familiar dangers that are ever-shifting. (Read More)
These are three of the main components of the Paris deal so why is the language quite so vague? Most likely it is because producing clear legislation that, in some cases is legally binding, for dates that are often decades into the future is extremely difficult. (Read More)
Moving forward, there needs to be a change in our attitude towards people who don’t believe in, or act on, climate change responsibly. We need to take on an attitude that brings them on to our side, instead of one that creates enemies.
It is also important to note how this research demonstrates how the term ‘global warming’ can be somewhat misleading at times, and why ‘climate change’ is a much more appropriate description of what our planet is experiencing. (Read More)
In the summer of 2015 I was part of a geological expedition team who travelled to Northwest Tanzania to study the unique and unusual lavas of the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano. As the sole geographer on the team, I conducted several interviews with members of the local Maasai community. Through hearing about their lifestyle, I soon realised that we need to move beyond the blanket term of conservation to consider the wider interconnections of the people, wildlife and landscapes we are trying to protect. (Read More)
For many the United Nations (UN) climate change conference in Paris at the end of November this year is a make or break moment for anthropogenic, or human-induced climate change. Negotiations over a law-binding international treaty committing governments to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions have been taking place for over two decades now. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has also been in existence for over twenty years now and given the lack of international progress regarding climate over that period, is the IPCC functioning effectively given the severity of the matter at hand? To assess this one needs to consider the history of the IPCC, and the methods it has adopted to convey its findings. (Read More)
Cecil the lion proved the point. The tragedy of a great beast being slain for sport is not lost on me in a world where extinction for most creatures beckons in the near future. It was quite right for their to be a shocked global outcry, particularly on social media, at something so garish. Yet the event unified people in such a wisdom of crowds type way as to beg the question why we’re not like this about the daily human travesties that occur every day all over the world. Have we become so used to hearing of famines, murder, rape, genocides, female genital mutilation and terrorism that we’ve accepted it as a fact of life? Even if these are facts of our global civilisation that may well be perennial, have we really lost our ability to care and our desire to see change? (Read More)
When the history of the early 21st century is written it will likely tell of a single day as the fateful turning point. 9/11 will be recorded as the point when the ‘war on terror’ was launched in earnest, unleashing untold havoc across the world. With its vacuously intoxicating allure the war on terror has torn resources from other pressing issues globally and for the last 15 years the ‘war on terror’ has absorbed so much of our attention that little else has managed to squeeze itself on to the agenda. Military budgets have ballooned and the bombing of foreign countries has become common practice in disregard to international law. (Read More)
2015 could be the year that mankind united and rises above national grievances and takes action against a threat that we all face. Climate change is upon us and our actions have already led to significant and irreversible changes to our planet. The climate summit in Paris in December will be the last chance to seriously address the problem – inaction now and we will not be able to meet the critical 2 degree target. If the planet heats more than 2 degrees we are in unchartered waters, waters that will very dangerous for all species on this Earth, not only humans. (Read More)
What if we could address Britain and Scotland’s energy security before it became a real problem, with a solution that not only offers cheap and reliable electricity, but also allows for us to meet our emission targets? Renewable energy sources are important yet usually fail two out of three tests all while the hypocrisy of the SNP remains astounding. (Read More)
Many of the greatest revolutions that mankind has experienced have been linked to the innovation or exploration of new energy sources. Coal allowed us to leave the Dark Ages behind and step into the Industrial Revolution. The automobile revolution, driven by oil, continued that revolution. But we are now standing on the brink of a new step, a new revolution. The question is, will we dare to seize the moment? (Read More)