Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category


A (very) brief history of the River Thames

September 7th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

For the last five months, I’ve lived in a flat in a block which is less than one minute’s walk from the River Thames as it snakes its way through central London. So I see the river every day and, throughout the day and night, it changes level and character considerably because of the tides. […]

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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside …

September 5th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

… and today I’m off for a day trip to Brighton before summer is completely over. Of course, here in Britain, you’re never too far from the sea. But how far from the idea is the furthest location and where is that? The answers are 70 miles and the delightfully named Coton in the Elms […]

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The world population of 7.7 billion forecast to reach 10.9 billion

July 11th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Today we mark World Population Day. As a recent article in the “Guardian newspaper put it: “This will be the 30th anniversary of the annual event set up by the United Nations in 1989 – when there were a mere 5 billion people on Earth – to focus attention on the urgency of our impending population crisis. […]

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Humans threaten one million animal and plant species with extinction

May 6th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Three years in the making, a global assessment of nature draws on 15,000 reference materials, and has been compiled by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). It runs to 1,800 pages.  The brief, 40-page “summary for policymakers”, published today at a meeting in Paris, is perhaps the most powerful indictment of […]

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What do you know about the nation of Nauru?

April 29th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

I am a fan of the American television series “Madam Secretary” which is broadcast in the UK on the Sky Witness channel. A strength of the series is that – as with “The West Wing” – it features very contemporary and controversial political issues. So, for instance, a recent episode highlighted the impact of climate […]

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The introduction of the world’s first 24-hour seven-day-a-week Ultra Low Emission Zone

April 8th, 2019 by Roger Darlington

Two weeks ago, I started to live in the centre of London, so it is a fortuitous coincidence that today sees the introduction in the capital of the world’s first all-day, all-week Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). You can find a question and answer guide to London’ ULEZ here and an examination of how it […]

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What happened to change the whole world in 535 AD?

August 22nd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The extreme weather events of 535–536 were the most severe and protracted short-term episodes of cooling in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 2000 years. The event is thought to have been caused by an extensive atmospheric dust veil, possibly resulting from a large volcanic eruption in the tropics, or debris from space impacting the […]

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1976 and 2018: two exceptionally hot summers – but a lot of differences

July 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I remember the long hot summer of 1976. It was the summer I became a father and my life had never been sunnier. But, as explained in this article in the “Mirror” newspaper, there were lots of other things that made that year a better one than this year for so many people in Britain.

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Antarctic melting underneath much faster than we thought

April 3rd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Most of the news in the media is about specific events involving specific people, but often what’s going on underneath – sometimes literally – these headlines is a more significant story. An example is this “Guardian” news item which begins: “Hidden underwater melt-off in the Antarctic is doubling every 20 years and could soon overtake Greenland […]

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It’s World Water Day

March 22nd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I spent five years as Chair of the Customer Challenge Group at South East Water and this experience underlined my view that water plays an absolutely crucial role in life and all our lives. So, what is the United Nations World Water Day? “World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention […]

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