thenextwave

Climate change impact on UK biodiversity

Posted in biodiversity, climate change, environment, trends by thenextwavefutures on 26 May, 2007

song thrush

I mentioned last week the climate change maps from the French researchers CIRED, which show the type of weather we can expect in 2071 on probablistic trends. This week environmental researchers released a study analysing shifts in animal and bird patterns in the UK.

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A couple more trends on the liberties issues

Posted in civil liberties, security, social, trends by thenextwavefutures on 26 May, 2007

I wrote last week of trends that seemed to be colliding and reinforcing the ‘liberties’ agenda. There have been more since then, both pointing in the same direction.

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Spotting data on “illegal” agency workers

Posted in business, data, economics, work by thenextwavefutures on 25 May, 2007

One of the purposes of this blog is catch potentially useful data points, and Polly Toynbee provides one in a Guardian article today about the number of agency workers in the UK. Agency workers are among the most vulnerable in the workforce, with the most limited rights, typically working in the worst parts of the service sector.

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More on the acquittal of anti-war peace protestors

Posted in civil liberties, politics, security, trends, warfare by thenextwavefutures on 25 May, 2007

I mentioned in a recent blog the acquittal of the ‘B-52 Two’ – the peace protestors acquitted of causing criminal damage to USAF planes at Fairford in Gloucester. There’s more detail and comment by Stuart Weir at the Our Kingdom blog.

Testing copyright law in the Magic Kingdom

Posted in business, culture, digital, emerging issues, law, media by thenextwavefutures on 24 May, 2007

The Core 77 design blog carries news of a short fim made by US university professor Eric Feldman to make a witty point about copyright and “fair use”. He’s constructed it entirely by mashing up snatches of Disney cartoons (maybe he has young children). It’s uncanny how the bad guys seem to have the lines which sound most like the Motion Picture Association of America. Feldman’s released the film under a Creative Commons license (3.0) [Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike] but Disney may not share the same view. Watch quickly before the ‘cease and desist’ letter arrives at YouTube.

Human rights keeps checking security agenda

Posted in civil liberties, law, politics, security, trends, warfare by thenextwavefutures on 24 May, 2007

A trend is a trend is a trend – until it bends, said the futurist Ged Davis, but two which keep colliding without seeming to bend are the trends about human rights on the one hand, and security on the other. The UK government’s penchant for security related legislation (is it 50 Acts in the last ten years?), and its long-term love affair with security apparatuses and apparatchniks, long before September 2001*, makes it easy to lose sight of the human rights trend. But three separate events this week brought it back into sharp focus.

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Eating beef – starting on the road to disapproval?

Posted in emerging issues, energy, environment, ethics, food, sustainability by thenextwavefutures on 24 May, 2007

beefcattle.jpgWhen is eating beef going to become the subject of open social disapproval?

I need to do some research into this, but the thought came into my head while talking to a conservator at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust earlier this week. He works with marmosets in Brazil, now endangered by Brazil’s continuing growth as the world beef production capital.

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Shifts to flexible working – and its impact

Posted in business, economics, energy, organisational, trends, work by thenextwavefutures on 24 May, 2007

A couple of reports on flexible working – which may or may not have been released to coincide with ‘National Work From Home Day‘ last Friday – suggest that senior managers may at last be starting to work flexibly (even in sectors with antediluvian employment practices such as investment banking) – but that the environmental impact, which is usually assumed to be good, depends on how flexible working is implemented.

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A sustainable football stadium

Posted in design, environment, football, sport, sustainability, trends by thenextwavefutures on 23 May, 2007

Given that it’s a big week for football (with the FA Cup and European Champions’ Cup Finals) it seems a good moment to note that the most sustainable stadium in Britain is the 4,000 capacity Princes Park, the home of Dartford, in the Ryman Division 1 South.

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Failling airline numbers

Posted in aviation, business, emerging issues, environment, security, tourism, transport by thenextwavefutures on 23 May, 2007

Travelling through Gatwick on Monday provided an insight into the modest and apparently inexplicable fall in  the load factor (how full they are) of the UK’s low-cost airlines. Easyjet’s load factor fell in April by 3.3% (c0mpared to April 2007); Ryanair and BA have also reported falls.

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