ON Conservation Policy

As the global economic crisis destroys jobs and shatters public and private finances, growth seems to be the universally accepted solution. And this notwithstanding the fact that there is little doubt that economic growth cannot be sustained forever, at least not on a planet with limited resources. Another issue with growth is, that it has been clearly established that at high income levels, growth alias more wealth does not contribute to higher levels of well-being. Therefore, a growth oriented economic and societal model not only is unsustainable but also pretty useless. As it happens, Germans seem to be starting to understand that there are more important goals than consuming more and more goods. According to a recent poll, only 33% consider economic growth to be helpful for the well-being of a society, and 8 in 10 citizens think that Germany needs to fundamentally reform its economic system.

ON-green-policy! It is certainly very positive, that the general focus on economic growth as problem solver gives way to a more comprehensive and sustainable world view. Germany, already a frontrunner in the green economy, could also lead to way to a more balanced and sustainable mix between economic, social and environmental goals. It will be a long process, also in Germany, but this should not deter anybody from starting it, but on the contrary should motivate us to try harder.

You wouldn’t necessarily think of Los Angeles as a ecological first mover but times are changing – in California even faster than elsewhere. So here comes the good news: plastic bags will soon be banned in Los Angeles. Starting with big stores and then including small stores. And no, plastic[more]

An ongoing discussion: how to measure life satisfaction, success, well-being? Recently, the new edition of the Happy Planet Index (HPI) endeavours to contribute a measure for the success of states to provide or allow a happy life to their current and future citizens. Including average life expectanc[more]

Polynesians were smarter than today US Hawaiians. What looks like a bold statement and is of course too generalised has some truth in it as far as fishing is concerned. In ancient times, fish catch dictated how many people the islands could sustain and was therefore highly regulated. A very sophisti[more]

US President Obama does not allow uranium mining in the Gran Canyon. Withstanding pressure from the industry and Republicans, he protected 1m square acres in the natural treasure from mining operations. On-green-policy. It sounds like a no-brainer. The Grand Canyon is one of the beautiful sites in t[more]

A gorgeous tuna, which has miraculously evaded fishermen and managed to grow to 269kg, has finally been caught and just sold for 573,000 Euros to a Japanese restaurant – about half the price of gold. It will be eaten in 10,000 portions by (presumably quiet wealthy) Japanese Sushi lovers. On-green-[more]

For years citizens presented increasingly overwhelming evidence that hydraulic fracturing used in gas and oil drilling is tainting drinking water. Buying off plaintiffs and closing off evidence the fossil industry has somehow managed to create the impression that there is no proven link between che[more]

While Australia is finally getting real (see this article) about climate change and related environmental problems, Canada goes in the opposite direction. Under the pretext of cutting the budget deficit Prime Minister Harper is slashing funding for the main Canadian environmental agency “Envir[more]

On the Indonesian part of Papua New Guinea, turtles backed by locals and environmental organisations have the upper hand over the trans-Papua highway. The latter’s planed course will be altered for about 70km in order to let the endangered species, with up to 700kg weight the biggest turtle in[more]

Rwanda has had a rather mixed record of policy achievements. Positive overall economic development has been accompanied by increasing restrictions on political freedom. This news however is solely positive. On the occasion of the UN year of forest, Rwanda was just awarded Gold for the best forest co[more]

Shale gas is booming in the US  and Canada and according to some sources is bound to become to most important source of primary energy in the region. However behind the suspiciously optimistic assumptions, some insiders reveal worrying figures seriously questioning both its ecological and econom[more]

Over half of Tasmania is forest and a substantial part thereof is virgin, untouched forest. Until now, these valuable forests were gradually converted into Japanese newspapers but now things have changed. Environmental activists have persuaded Japanese and other buyers to insist on FSC (Forest Stewa[more]