“An action-oriented citizenship is, first and foremost, engaged with other people in the creation of shared social spaces and in the discourse that such spaces make possible. Through participation and conversation, we reproduce our social meanings through time: that is what culture is. Squares and institutions, walkways and stadiums, these are the places where the…

Forty-five years ago, Professor Christopher Stone published a paper entitled “Should Trees have Standing? Towards Legal Rights for Natural Objects”. [45 Southern California Law Review 450–501.] Two years later, that paper had morphed into a book of the same title, with the subtitle, “Law, morality and the Environment” (1974; 3rd ed, 2010; OUP). Stone’s objective…

In two earlier blog posts, I commented on the work of and risks to the Land and Water Forum in New Zealand. That there is cause to write again on this topic begins to feel like shaping up to the blog equivalent of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: a Trilogy in Four Parts…

Nothing is more fundamental to life than water. Water is also a potent fuel for conflict. Access to water has created many disputes through the ages. Conflicts over water are about scarcity, control, degradation, incompatible use, and quality. Their history goes back to much earlier than 2500 BC, when the city-states of Lagash and Umma…

This comment has its origins in two events, separated by distance and utterly different in origin and impact, yet still linked by a common theme. This is also a partial continuation of the conversation started by Martin Svatos in the preceding entry: http://kluwermediationblog.com/2015/11/22/je-suis-paris-do-the-mediators-have-right-to-be-xenophobic/ One event, front and centre in our media and in the lives…

Oz, left to himself, smiled to think of his success in giving the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman and the Lion exactly what they thought they wanted. “How can I help being a humbug,” he said, “when all these people make me do things that everybody knows can’t be done? It was easy to make…

Some 20 years ago, as part of a nostalgia trip (for me) and introductory trip (for my wife) to my childhood haunts in Malaysia, we visited the coastal town of Lumut and the offshore island, Pangkor. This was probably a bad idea. I’d last visited those place as a child, with my family, in the…

Mackerel has recently been taken off the ‘Fish to Eat’ list of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). Due to overfishing, MCS has downgraded its rating of this popular oily fish. The society believes that international arguments about mackerel quotas mean it is no longer a sustainable choice. MCS advises that mackerel should now only be…

Last weekend I was entertained by the “progressive rock” group Caravan, a lesser known group of musicians, the peak of whose glory was 40 years ago, in 1971. These grey-haired men in their mid-60’s displayed enthusiasm, energy and engagement as they took us down memory lane, with deft playing and masterly reconstruction of some of…