Grenfell fire unmasks a tale of two cities

No one in the past few weeks has been left untouched by the series of tragedies that have struck our nation in seemingly quick succession. The shock of the Westminster Bridge attacks was followed all too quickly by the numbing horror of the Manchester bomb and then the London Bridge attacks. Being able to quickly…

The environmental price of fashion

Fashion has never failed to court controversy. If it is not the provocative designs of the clothes themselves (or lack of clothes in some cases) then it is the emaciated figures of its waif-like models that come under fire from the press. More recently, the harsh working conditions behind the cheap mass production of clothing by companies…

War and Famine: South Sudan in crisis

South Sudan may be the world’s newest country but the nation, which only gained independence in 2011, has never really known a period of peace or political stability. The civil war which has raged in South Sudan for over 3 years has cost thousands of lives but the country now reports that it is on the brink…

Journey to the centre of the crust

We saw it from the distance when we were in Iceland just a few weeks ago, but little did we know just how deep the geothermal well on the Reykjanes peninsular had reached, nor just how incredibly hot it was. Fresh reports from the Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP) reveal that their newest bore hole has reached a…

Last minute save for the British steel industry

Seconds before the whistle blew on the fate of Tata Steel, and with it the British steel industry, there has been a last-minute save in the form of union negotiations. And not a moment too soon. Back in March of this year, Tata Steel announced that it was going to sell off its UK operations in…

How regular landscape monitoring can save lives

With so much loss and destruction following in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and the Italian and New Zealand earthquakes, it is hard to sometimes accept the sheer magnitude of natural processes such as tectonic events or tropical storms. Like a big poke in the eye from Mother Nature, they remind us that we are…

The blight of tourism and the Venetian exodus (Venexedus)

Tourism is a staple source of income for many economies including our own. The growth of tourism is generally perceived as a good thing in economic terms but often a bad thing in environmental terms as too many visitors can put a tremendous strain on urban or natural ecosystems. But very often the social impact of…

Seismic shift in the political landscape

Back in June the political geography of our globe shifted when Britain turned its back on the EU in a shocking referendum that has seen financial ricochets bounce across the globe. Today the political geography has again shifted, but this time on a scale so large that it is hard to comprehend. Donald Trump has…

Flooding in the UK: we are finally looking at the whole water basin…

It’s nearly a year since severe flooding devastated parts of Cumbria first in December 2015 and then again in January (2016). Perhaps because as autumn deepens and winter sets in we are again reminded of flood risks, the environment agency is once again coming under criticism for its flood prevention strategy. There have been proposals…

It’s not over yet as another, bigger, earthquake strikes in Italy

Italy is barely recovering from the loss of just under 300 people in a 6.2 magnitude earthquake in August in Amatrice. However, just yesterday, the country experienced its biggest earthquake since 1980 when an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.6 on the Richter Scale occurred with its epicentre in Norcia, 60 miles to the North…

The geography of fate & the challenge of migration

In the summer of 2015 Europe was in turmoil as thousands of refugees seemed to suddenly descend upon various crossing points in the Mediterranean in a perilous attempt to escape conflict in Syria or the social, economic and political strife of their home countries in predominantly Africa and the Middle East. Media reporters oscillated between using the…

The battle beyond borders: Tesco versus Unilever

Since the rapid rise of TNCs (Transnational Corporations also known as Multinationals) in the 20th century,  corporate giants such as Walmart, Pfizer,  Apple and so on have come to dominate our global economy (think of Wall Street) and our global markets for manufactured goods and services (think of Amazon, Tata Steel etc.). These TNCs are so…