writing across society, culture, environment, politics, economy

Article links

Losing nature and culture: losses in biodiveristy and languages


In a previous post I wrote about the parallels between the loss of languages and the loss of biodiversity. I was interested in the external forces that drove both biodiversity and languages to the margins, often resulting in extinction. A recent article discusses the findings of a new report which establishes a direct link between the loss of biodiversity and loss of languages. The authors of the report claim that “the steep declines in both languages and nature mirror each other”, and “linguistic diversity is declining as fast as biodiversity – about 30% since 1970.”



In my last post Seeing a rich grey world, I reviewed The Island of the Colour-Blind and Cycad Island by Dr Oliver Sacks. I was interested in how much we take for granted the presence of colour in lives, and what this means for people who are born without the ability to see any colour, living in societies where colour is so embedded in daily life.

A recent article about colour, How colour paints your world, explains just how important colour is to humans and how we build so much meaning around colour. It impacts on our perceptions, understanding of the world, moods and emotions, and even our well-being. This is despite the fact that what we see as ‘colour’ is actually a trick of light and how our brains and eyes interpret this information. Interestingly, the article also suggests that the emphasis we place on colour and how much it can impact us is also related to our own personal feelings of vulnerability and the degree to which we feel we have control over our lives.

A very interesting read.

Displacement and resettlement in the Pacific

Caught between homelands looks at the recent history of migration and resettlement of two separate Pacific Island communities. The essay provides some interesting insights about ties to culture, land, and identity. The two case studies also provide lessons on how to approach resettlement of displaced communities.


Hope is not black and white

Arundhati Roy writes about the vital importance of retaining sustainable knowledge and practices of the indigenous communities in India in her article Re-imagining a world beyond capitalism and communism. She argues that the way forward exists in a space outside of the dominant ideologies of capitalism and communism.


Climate change displacement

We need a treaty to help people displaced by climate change looks at possibilities for developing an international treaty for the displacement of people as a result of climate change. Not an easy task by any means, but an important issue that requires significant attention and consideration.


Some history, possible futures, and an anxious present…

A world of our own making is an interesting essay exploring the past, present and future, connected through a single image of the earth taken from one of the missions to the moon in the 1960s. This image was later called ‘Earthrise’. The essay asks if we are about to embark on a brave new age, the Antropocene – an age of humans.

'Earthrise' - Photo: NASA

‘Earthrise’ – Photo: NASA