Full marks to colleagues at WWF and the Zoological Society of London for the Living Planet Report 2014 and its headline message which one hopes ought to shock the world out of its complacency: a 52 per cent decline of wildlife populations in the past 40 years.
Over the summer I re-read Fairfield Osborne’s 1948 classic, Our plundered planet, the first mass readership environmental book that detailed the scale of the damage humanity wrought on nature. Faced with the figures in this report it is easy to slip into despondency and to blame others. But this would be a mistake. At the time, Osborne’s report must have been equally alarming, but the eclectic conservation movement of which he was part responded with confidence, hope and vision. Read more