Analysis & Opinion

Four steps this Earth Day to avert environmental catastrophe

Today is Earth Day, which should provide us with an opportunity to pause and confront the awful predicament humanity faces. We eat microplastics, breathe pollution and watch other life-forms decline to extinction. We face intersecting poverty, health, climate and biodiversity crises. Our global predicament is that consumption by the wealthy is driving us towards planetary disaster, yet billions live in poverty and need to consume more to live well. In this cycle, any version of “success” only hastens catastrophe.

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I’ve sailed the Suez canal on a cargo ship – it’s no wonder the Ever Given got stuck

However grim and difficult life these days is, I’d still prefer to be sitting on dry land in lockdown than trying to do a three-point turn on the Suez canal with a 400-metre cargo ship under my control. Wouldn’t you? The grounding of the Ever Given container vessel in the Suez canal has provoked both hilarity and genuine concern.

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View on urban insecurity: build a feminist city

The way our cities and towns look and work reflects political priorities. In mid-19th century Paris, when Baron Haussmann was seeking public money for building his boulevards, he told the government that wide, open avenues would make it harder to riot and build barricades. In an age of urban insurrections at the heart of the French capital, that quickly opened up the public purse.

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