Neonicotinoids – Arguing over science, or economics?

The debate around neonicatinoids, a class of insecticides that are harmful to bees and other pollinators, rumbles on. The Guardian announced that ‘Neonicotinoids are the new DDT’ (here), while the BBC reported ‘Government rejects the science behind neonicotinoid ban’ – (here). So it sounds like the decision to ban or not to ban neonics turns… Read more »

Cascades and chains: how does value reach the valuer?

Browsing through a presentation online the other day, I came across an interesting slide titled the ‘Ecosystem service cascade’, produced by Roy Haines-Young at Nottingham University (see below in Fig.1 and here). The slide visualises a chain of events that leads to people benefitting from the environment. There are a series of natural (ie. ‘non-human’) inputs that… Read more »

The Costs of Culling and the Benefits of Badgers

There’s been a lot of coverage recently (August 2013) of the badger cull in Somerset and Devon. Campaigners such as the League Against Cruel Sports (here) are upset at the decision by DEFRA and Natural England to proceed with the controversial cull, and state that the decision to cull goes against scientific consensus. Indeed, proceeding with… Read more »