Oct 18

Are boots on the ground better than words in cyberspace? 

Activism may be enhanced by using social media platforms for awareness campaigns, virtual petitioning and fund-raising, but when it comes to the environment, it’s ‘boots on the ground’ that count.

It’s no big news to hear about the affordances that social media has offered the world of political and social activism. The ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011/12 and more recently, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations the hashtag #metoo campaign, are oft-cited examples of how social media is transforming the socio-political landscape on scales rarely seen before. However, can the same be said for environmental activism? Are the affordances offered by social media making strong headways in the world of environmental protection? Continue reading →

Oct 18

Last Call on avoiding catastrophic Climate Change

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their 15th Special report yesterday, giving a snapshot of what a world globally warmed by 1.5C above pre-industrial levels might look like within the context of strengthening global responses to climate change, promoting sustainable development, and eradicating poverty. It makes sobering reading: Continue reading →

Sep 18

Drones – The New Watchdogs for Environmental Activism


Drones have been around longer than you think. Perhaps not in the compact, commercial, radio-controlled versions you see whizzing around lakes, over coastlines and above marathons that you see today, but as “unmanned aerial vehicles” (UAVs), we can look back to the mid-nineteenth century to find their origins. In 1849, Austrian forces besieging Venice used balloons carrying timed-fuse explosives to bombard the city. The attack was mostly a debacle, as wind changes forced many balloons off-target with some drifting back over their own lines – however at least one fell into the city. We have our first instance of aerial bombardment by drone! In the 21st Century, UAV’s are now directed by ‘pilots’ who, from the comfort of their own headquarters, use consoles to steer drones and attack targets using ‘surgical strikes’ in far-away countries, regardless of the international rules governing sovereignty or ethical implications of automating warfare in this way. Continue reading →