I was up in east Scotland on New Year’s Day, and found myself walking along a path called the John Muir Way. A few days later, a book I was reading mentioned a famous naturalist called John Muir, so I looked him up. It turns out John Muir was a father of modern conservationism, and Read more…

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There’s a cognitive bias which supposedly causes emotional disorders, whereby you minimize your own achievements while maximizing those of other people. I feel the authors of Britannia Unchained, a new book about how to save the UK from national decline, suffer from this bias. They are far too pessimistic about the UK’s achievements, while seeing Read more…

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Well, I finished my book yesterday and sent in the manuscript. I’m off on holiday in a few days, but seeing as I’m kicking around at a loose end…here are some interesting things I’ve come across in the last few days. Howard Gardner, the Harvard psychologist who came up with the theory of multiple intelligences, Read more…

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I went to the Climate Camp last weekend, on Blackheath, next to Greenwich Park, a brick’s throw from the Royal Observatory. The camp is maybe a 150m-diamater circle, with a metal fence around it, filled with tents. You have to enter through a steel gate, over which hangs a sign saying ‘Capitalism is crisis’, and Read more…

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Well, it’s on the way out. Say hello to Chateau Du Edinburgh. According to a new report from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, written up in the New Scientist: A century from now, Spain and Italy will be enduring baking, parched summers while residents of central and north-west Europe will be experiencing what we now Read more…

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