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How old is humanity?

Here’s a little thought experiment that turns up in Alex Evans’ book The Myth Gap. It’s something Duane Elgin asks people, and it got me thinking. I thought I might try it out on you all, and then we can talk about it. If you look at the way we treat each other, the way […]

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The view from Yemen

Yesterday I wrote about arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and what activists are doing in Britain. It’s a politically contentious idea, taking a government to court over arms sales to a long standing ally. The judge has already voiced his hesitance, and various MPs are unhappy about it. We think in terms of diplomacy, national […]

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Will the courts stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia?

In recent weeks we’ve seen the British government told by the courts to let Parliament vote on the process of leaving the EU – something that should have been obvious in a parliamentary democracy. This week they have been court over another issue that ought to be obvious: arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Under the […]

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The Fashion Transparency Index

This weekend saw the 3rd anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,134 people. As you may remember, the building hosted several factories, making clothes for global brands including Benetton, Primark, Monsoon and Walmart. When cracks appeared in the building, shops and offices closed and evacuated. The clothing […]

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Safeguarding tribal lands in Tanzania

Land-grabbing is one of humanity’s most ancient sins. It occurs when land that previously belonged to everyone or no-one is put into private hands, and it’s a recurring them through history. Britain had the worst of it during the run of Enclosure Acts that accompanied the Industrial Revolution, driving people off the land and into […]

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Climate free riders and second hand smoke

Greenhouse gas emissions work like ‘second hand smoke’ according to a new study from the University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Many countries with high emissions will suffer relatively little from a warming world, while some of the lowest emitters will face catastrophic effects. Carbon emissions are produced in-country, but their impact is […]

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It’s time to stop UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been in the news again this week for executing a prominent Shia cleric and democracy campaigner. There has been widespread condemnation for the execution, which was one of 47 carried out on the day. Britain however, has been distinctly muted in its response. Saudi Arabia is a close ally and we hold […]

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Top down and bottom up peace deals

When we read about conflicts in the news, and efforts to stop them, the stories that are most likely to make the news are those involving the biggest players – UN summits, G8 gatherings, special envoys, or talks brokered by the likes of Kofi Annan. Sometimes they succeed, or at least sketch out rough outlines […]

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The global arms treaty is now in force

Since the news tends to take a break over Christmas, it was easy to miss the fact that the first global arms treaty came into effect on Christmas Eve. Even if it hadn’t fallen at Christmas, it may have been overlooked. For some reason the only people who seem to care about the treaty are […]

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The environmentalism of the poor

Concern for the environment is often described as a luxury, something that emerging middle classes can pick up once more pressing development needs have been met. It’s an argument that some developing countries have used to duck out of climate change negotiations. It’s also used by commentators who say that economic growth is the most […]

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