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Books

In this section are books relevant to our Key Topics: Health, Environment, and Animals. If you would like to add any particular books to the list, please send the details to us on our contact e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a brief summary of why the book is of interest.

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Eco Environment News feeds

  • Experts says technology alone will not get close to solving aviation’s emissions problems

    Boris Johnson’s “jet zero” goal of a commercial transatlantic flight producing no carbon emissions by 2025 is a “gimmick”, according to experts, who say technology alone cannot solve the impact of global aviation on the climate crisis.

    Such a flight would not be impossible, the experts said, but could only be a one-off and would encourage the view that other measures such as taxing jet fuel and frequent fliers were not needed to tackle aviation’s carbon problem.

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  • The wolf is considered a threat to our way of farming, but our fear may be misplaced. Perhaps predators are needed to bring nature back into balance

    There’s a monument near Brora, 60 miles short of John o’Groats, that claims to mark the spot where the last wolf in Sutherland was killed. I pass it often in the car. The wolf, it says, was killed by the hunter Polson in or about the year 1700.

    I know this story. Polson, so it goes, was standing watch outside the wolf’s lair while his sons laid waste to the pups inside. When the she-wolf returned from the hunt, racing to the aid of her young, she bounded past the hunter and, as she did, he grabbed her by the tail. From inside the den – now plunged into darkness as Polson and the wolf struggled at its entrance – came, in Gaelic, a shout of alarm: “Father! What’s blocking the light?” To which Polson replied: “If the tail comes away at the root, you’ll soon find out!”

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  • Mollusc’s neurons located in body and arms enable complex work independent of central brain

    One of the most remarkable creatures on the planet is the common octopus, or Octopusvulgaris,which is now well established in UK waters as our seas warm because of the climate crisis. It has three hearts, and eight limbs with 200 suckers that can feel, taste and smell its surroundings. Scientists remain divided over whether it has one brain or nine. In mammals, most neurons are in the brain, but with octopuses, two-thirds are in their body and arms, enabling each arm to do complex tasks, such as opening jars to obtain food, apparently independently from the central brain.

    After much experimenting with underwater mazes and other contraptions, scientists concluded that octopuses could solve various problems with one limb and then communicate the experience to other arms via the central brain.

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  • Pollutants from farming, heating and vehicles beyond levels needed to ensure breathable air

    Governments across Europe are failing to protect their citizens from toxic air pollution, with most Europeans still breathing filthy air in their cities, according to data.

    Pollutants from farming, domestic heating and vehicles are beyond the levels needed to ensure breathable air within World Health Organization guidelines, despite EU legislation, government pledges and years of campaigning.

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  • The company involved says it does not expect the fish to damage the environment, but others disagree

    An outbreak of 50,000 Tasmanian farmed salmon could potentially “pollute” the marine environment, according to local environmentalists.

    The fish rushed to freedom after a fire melted part of their enclosure on Monday morning, and while the company involved said it did not expect the fugitive fish to damage the environment, others disagree.

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  • Drop in emissions this year is a ‘tiny blip’ in buildup of greenhouse gases, UN agency says

    Climate-heating gases have reached record levels in the atmosphere despite the global lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization has said.

    There is estimated to have been a cut in emissions of between 4.2% and 7.5% in 2020 due to the shutdown of travel and other activities. But the WMO said this was a “tiny blip” in the continuous buildup of greenhouse gases in the air caused by human activities, and less than the natural variation seen year to year.

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  • Group stages debt and tax strikes to expose ‘political economy’s complicity’ in ecological crisis

    Extinction Rebellion is launching a campaign of financial civil disobedience aimed at exposing the “political economy’s complicity” in the unfolding ecological crisis.

    The group – which has staged some of the UK’s biggest civil disobedience protests over the past two years – is turning its attention to what it says will be a sustained campaign of debt and tax strikes. It is also asking people to “redirect” loans from banks that finance fossil fuel projects to frontline organisations fighting for climate justice.

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  • London and the south-east received 45% of new charger capacity in the past year, analysis shows

    London and the south-east have benefited disproportionately from the installation of new electric car charge points in the last year, amid a push to be ready the UK for the ban on internal combustion engine cars in 2030.

    The two regions together received 45% of new charger capacity in the year to October, well in excess of their 27% share of the population, according to a Guardian analysis of Zap Map data which shows charging points across the UK published by the Department for Transport.

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  • The population of shortfin mako, mainly caught as bycatch but also prized by sports fishermen, is facing an alarming decline

    Conservationists accused the EU and the US at negotiations of Atlantic fishing nations this week of blocking urgently needed plans to protect the world’s fastest shark species.

    The strength and speed of the shortfin mako, which can swim up to 43mph, makes it a target for sports fishermen, particularly in the US, while its highly prized meat and fins have led to the shark being overfished globally – and dangerously so in the north Atlantic.

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  • Three commoners explain why keeping 1,000-year-old farming practices alive is worth more than money

    Photographs by Peter Flude

    A five-inch stack of old Telegraph newspapers is perched on the front seat of the bashed-up Subaru, while in the back is a long stick for fending off cows. At the wheel is Ann Sevier, a 13th generation commoner whose family has lived in the New Forest since 1650.

    “Hello everybody!” she yells to the livestock as she pulls up in the car. We are in Latchmore valley near Fordingbridge, where more than a hundred cows and horses have gathered in the cool breeze that tumbles off the surrounding hills, providing respite from biting insects (behaviour known locally as “shading”). It resembles a congregation of animals you might see around a waterhole, except the horses have letters branded on their backs.

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