thenextwave

nextwavenotes 13:09:07

Posted in books, environment, reports, technology, trends by thenextwavefutures on 13 September, 2007

A quick round up of a range of relevant reports: latest on threatened species; red meat and emissions; social attitudes to inequality; safety risks of mobile phones; and The Ingenuity Gap.


The World Conservation Union’s latest Red List of threatened species shows increased numbers of species at risk – including dolphins, vultures, and apes. Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre said: “The rate of biodiversity loss is increasing and we need to act now to significantly reduce it and stave off this global extinction crisis.” Signs that the next ‘great extinction’ may be coming sooner, not later.

I blogged a while back that beef consumption might become socially criticised. Today the Worldwatch Institute reports on a study by The Lancet which says the only effective way to cut the greenhouse gas and NOx emissions from cattle is to reduce demand for them by eating about 60% less red meat (at least if you’re an affluent Northern consumer). There are also health benefits from this.

A Fabian Society poll of 3,000 UK adults show strong preferences for reducing inequality. According to the Fabians’ news release 85 per cent of the public said that a better Britain would include a smaller gap between the rich and poor. (Sounds good, but without seeing the questionnaire…)

The UK’s Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research programme – now in its sixth year – finds that the biggest risk from mobile phones to adults is using them while driving. But mobiles don’t appear to cause direct health hazards to adults. It’s still possible that children are vulnerable, and the programme plans further research into this and into long-term health hazards.

And for the second time in just over a week – during a workshop – I’ve had participants enthusing about Thomas Homer-Dixon’s book The Ingenuity Gap.

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