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National network steps up to address damaging advertising

National network steps up to address damaging advertising

New report presents compelling case for making manipulative advertising ‘opt-in’

Nature
Making the world wild again

Making the world wild again

Rewilding the land, restoring ourselves - free online Zoom event with Kristine Tompkins

Nature
Is Scotland ready for the return of lynx?

Is Scotland ready for the return of lynx?

Return of large cat offers multiple ecological and environmental benefits

Nature
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Diving Deep

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New anti HS2 petition goes viral

New anti HS2 petition goes viral

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Culture

National network steps up to address damaging advertising

New report presents compelling case for making manipulative advertising ‘opt-in’

Artwork by Banksy

A new report, published today by Green House think tank, argues that manipulative advertising should be restricted, enabling citizens to opt-in rather than having to opt-out of subliminal commercial messaging.

The report outlines for discussion a comprehensive proposal for changing the way advertising is regulated and explores the consequences. The proposal would mean that most of the advertising to which the public is exposed becomes primarily informative. Exposure to subconscious marketing would become the exception people opt into, rather than the norm that is difficult, if not impossible, to opt out of.

Zoe Wide, one of the report’s contributors, said:

Restricting manipulative advertising is justified on the grounds of public health and wellbeing – providing society chooses to value long-term benefits over short term gain, and the quality of life of its citizens over economic output.

Kim Moodley, one of the report’s contributors, commented:

“Advertising, particularly persuasive advertising, is inextricably linked with consumption. Current levels of material consumption, particularly in the developed world cannot continue if we are to successfully address climate change and prosper within planetary boundaries.”

By outlining a comprehensive proposal for change, the report moves the debate on from asking whether a change is needed, to discussing what that change should be. The report calls on the government, political parties, and other think tanks to lay out their own proposals for a step change in advertisement regulation.

Peter Sims, one of the report’s authors, adds,

The increasing presence of advertising, both in physical and digital spaces, combined with its ever more subversive and manipulative nature, mean that advertising is now a potential threat to citizens’ fundamental rights as set out by the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, namely the right to freedom of thought, opinion and expression.

If citizens have a right to freedom of thought, they should have the right to choose not to expose themselves to subconscious manipulation, particularly by commercial entities that often do not have citizens’ best interests at heart. This report challenges the ‘it’s all too complicated’ cop-out by laying out a possible change to the law. We hope it will spark a fruitful public debate.

Carla Denyer, Policy Coordinator at Adfree Cities, a national network of groups campaigning against outdoor advertising, commented,

This report is a valuable contribution to the public debate around advertising, and shows why we need restrictions on advertising in public spaces.

There are multiple problems with commercial advertising, and many groups in the UK campaign on different aspects of it (outdoor, online, tv), for different reasons (environment, health, privacy), and using different tactics (political campaigns, lobbying and ‘subvertising’). If these campaigns can unite around a shared vision, we are more likely to achieve the step-change in regulation that is clearly needed.”

adfreecities.org.uk

greenhousethinktank.org

Nature

Making the world wild again

Rewilding the land, restoring ourselves - free online Zoom event with Kristine Tompkins

Rewilding the land, restoring ourselves

We’ve all come to understand that we’re damaging our planet - but for a few visionaries this isn’t news, it’s become a way of life. 

Kristine Tompkins is an American conservationist, former CEO of Patagonia, and President and Co-founder of Tompkins Conservation, who, alongside her late husband Douglas Tompkins, has spent a quarter of a century, conserving and rewilding vast areas of the world. 

Fighting against nature destruction, neglect and exploitation, together they purchased more than 2 million acres of land in Chile and Argentina to restore to wilderness. Kristine is also a UN Environment Patron, recognised for her commitment to protected areas of the planet.

Kristine Tompkins - Master Rewilder

So what does that mean in reality? In the wetlands of Iberá in Argentina, this requires the reintroduction of jaguars and giant river otters to the land, together with a level of commitment from local people that is almost unprecedented. This process makes stakeholder engagement look like a party game! So it’s not enough to buy land, reintroduce species, and reverse damage caused by pollution and deforestation. 

Rewilding demands a high degree of diplomacy, tact and understanding. It also demands imaginative approaches to human behaviour, and ongoing support for marginalised or often hostile communities. Above all, rewilding calls for dedication - for the long-term dedication of time, money and energy to a massive and unpredictable process that can end in failure - but if we don’t learn to do it successfully, it may be the end of us all!

Join us Where the Wild Things are

Kristine Tompkins has lessons to teach us. In a 2020 TED Talk entitled, “Let’s make the world wild again” she talks about how each human is impacted by every other human, and how each of our actions affects the health of the planet. None of us is on a solo journey, no matter how insulated we feel in our urban sprawl and our techno-bubble, we live or die, based in part on what those jaguars and giant otters are getting up to in their marshes.

You can’t protect a place unless you understand it. You can’t love it until you know it

Kristine Tompkins

Making the World Wild Again

While it can be hard for us to grasp, given our often limited experience of genuine wilderness and our even more limited opportunities to engage with it on its own terms, it is vital that humanity learns this lesson. 

Kristine Tompkins is giving us all a chance to learn - partnering with Satopia and Journeys with Purpose, she’s speaking live at a free online event on 21 January 2021exploring why and how we all need to work together and sharing stories from Tompkins Conservation - one of the greatest successes in nature conservation. We invite you to register for this conservation and rewilding virtual event that will be held on Zoom here.

The virtual event is organised by Satopia Travel and Journeys With Purpose. It will take place on 21st of January 2021 at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT / 7pm CET

You can register for the free online Zoom event here.

Nature

Is Scotland ready for the return of lynx?

Return of large cat offers multiple ecological and environmental benefits

A European Lynx (Lynx lynx) adult female in winter birch forest, Bardu, Norway © scotlandbigpicture.com

An extensive and impartial study to assess people’s views about the possible reintroduction of Eurasian lynx to the Scottish Highlands is being launched this month by a new partnership of the charities SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, Trees for Life and Vincent Wildlife Trust.

Ecological research has shown that extensive areas of Scotland could support lynx, but the charities say returning the shy and elusive animal is less about science and more about people’s willingness to live alongside a species that’s become forgotten on these shores.

The year-long Lynx to Scotland consultation will impartially and accurately assess public and stakeholder attitudes around the idea of lynx reintroduction, including in rural communities.

With a global biodiversity crisis, we have a responsibility to have open and constructive conversations around restoring key native species to the Scottish landscape – and science shows that apex predators like lynx play a vital ecological role in maintaining healthy living systems,

said Peter Cairns, Executive Director of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture.

Lynx are now expanding in range and numbers across mainland Europe as hunting laws are enforced and public attitudes to large predators soften. Several successful lynx reintroductions since the 1970s have brought ecological and environmental benefits to countries more densely populated than Scotland, and in areas used for farming, hunting, forestry and tourism.

As a shy and solitary woodland hunter, lynx are rarely glimpsed and attacks on humans are virtually unknown. Research suggests the Highlands has sufficient habitat – and more than enough roe deer, the cat’s preferred prey – to support around 400 wild lynx.

Steve Micklewright, Chief Executive of Trees for Life, said:

Scotland has more woodland deer than any other European country, and their relentless browsing often prevents the expansion and healthy regeneration of our natural woodlands. By preying on roe deer, lynx would restore ecological processes that have been missing for centuries, and provide a free and efficient deer management service.

Jenny MacPherson, Science and Research Programme Manager with the Vincent Wildlife Trust, which will lead the study, said:“Reintroducing lynx would inevitably bring challenges. Lynx to Scotland will actively include stakeholders representing the full range of perspectives, in order to produce meaningful conclusions about the level of support or tolerance for lynx, and therefore the likely success of any future reintroduction.”

The Eurasian lynx is native to Britain but was driven to extinction some 500-1,000 years ago through hunting and habitat loss.

Lynx to Scotland runs from January 2021 to February 2022 and is not associated with any other previous or current initiatives to restore lynx to Britain.

For details, see scotlandbigpicture.com/lynx-to-scotland.