One interpretation of Lady Gaga’s recent outing in a dress made of raw meat is that it was a statement about our society’s ‘hypocritical attitude to meat’. Have some consumers become so distanced from the way in which their meat is produced that the sight of raw meat is so shocking? And is this willful ignorance representative of a wider refusal to accept the realities of how our consumption of meat impacts both the environment and wider society? If that is the case we ignore it at our own peril.
A new book argues that the best approach to reducing poverty is the simplest: giving money to the poor. In Just Give Money to the Poor, Hanlon, Barrientos and Hulme argue that cash transfers put money directly in the hands of those that need it, and that the poor are both willing and capable of using the money to benefit themselves and their families. Given the uncertainties and pitfalls of spending money on climate change adaptation, could we do worse than simply giving money to the poor themselves?
To ensure that nature's goods and services can continue to support human wellbeing, we need better communication about why biodiversity is important, what its decline means and what can be done about it.
Asking poor households how much they would be willing to pay to protect a river in Thailand can help put a tangible price-tag on the river’s benefits — from clean water to flood control — and realistically assess the costs of overexploitation and degradation.