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Home page for environmental, geographical and travel stories

Catalogue of subjects

The index to the right will take you to the subject index for all the stories on this website. Here are a selection to whet your appetite:

Montserrat: first volcanic eruption

Nuee ardente, pyroclastic flow, searingly hot ash avalanche...whatever you choose to call it, I reckoned I had less than a minute before it killed me...

Crossing South Georgia with Shackleton

My recent Antarctic trip allowed me a digression on South Georgia where I retraced part of Shackleton's epic crossing in 1916.

Seretse Khama: a true African statesman

Botswana is the 'Switzerland of southern Africa': a stable, democratic, little known country that has avoided the tragedies and upheavals of its neighbours. For much of this, it owes a huge debt to its first president, Seretse Khama.

Should the UK build nuclear power stations?

In trying to make my own mind up, I want to look at five factors: cost, safety, climate change, waste and timeliness. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer: like many questions related to energy it comes down to what your priorities are.

The Tragedy of the Commons

The true environmental costs of our industrial way of life are not incorporated in the price we pay for our lifestyle. What is that cost? The depletion of environmental resources we rely on to support that lifestyle, and the degradation of those parts of the environment we use to dispose of our waste ('sinks'). this was recognised in a famous 1968 essay by the biologist Garrett Hardin called The Tragedy of the Commons: "Property held in common by many people will be destroyed or at least overused until it deteriorates".

Why every country needs a Grand Canyon

The Park's interpretive rangers are encouraged to address environmental and Park issues in the daily free ranger programs. Visitors are introduced to a range of environmental issues which they may not have thought impinged on their lives, including pressure on natural resources, disruption of wildlife, and the speed of species extinction.

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