Away from intensive agriculture and sheltered from the effects of climate change, our cities may be the refuges that bees and other pollinating insects need to survive. Barry J Gibb explores.

Flitting from plant to plant, from flower to flower, bees and other insect pollinators play an essential role in crop pollination and the human food supply. But they’re struggling: intensive agriculture and climate change have taken a heavy toll on their populations.

Might our cities be the perfect haven for these pollinators? Amid the brick and concrete, steel and glass, there are parks, gardens and curious bits of greenery – and here you can find honey bees, bumblebees, solitary bees, flies and butterflies.

In this film we meet the scientists from the Insect Pollinators Initiative, an ambitious UK-wide scientific collaboration that’s exploring where and how wild bees and other pollinators are living in cities around the UK. And as we follow renowned guerrilla gardener Richard Reynolds around his home in London’s concrete maze, Elephant and Castle, we discover a curious symbiosis between humans and bees. By investing in the future of bees living successfully in cities, we may also be investing in our own health and happiness.

This articlefirst appeared on Mosaicand is republished here under Creative Commons licence.

Each year, tons of ivory is illegally trafficked across the globe fueling the black market trade and funding terrorism. Until there is a complete, global ban on the trade in ivory, will we see elephant populations begin to recover.

Help iWorry make this a reality and say NO to ivory.

Add your name to the 100,000 people calling for an end to the ivory trade:

iworry.org/action/

Food scandals, climate change, lifestyle diseases and ethical concerns move more and more people reconsidering eating animals and animal products. From butcher to vegan chef, from factory farmer to farm sanctuary owner, Live and Let Live tells the stories of six individuals who decided to stop consuming animal products for a variety of reasons and shows the impact the decision has had on their lives.

Philosophers such as Peter Singer, Tom Regan and Gary Francione join biochemist T. Colin Campbell and animal behavior expert Jonathan Balcombe, and others, to shed light on the ethical, health and environmental perspectives of veganism.

Through these stories, Live and Let Live showcases the evolution of veganism from its origins in London 1944 to one of the fastest growing lifestyles worldwide, with more and more people realizing what's on their plates matters to animals, the environment - and ultimately themselves.

Order it on DVD: letlivefilm.com

 

 

 

 

 

With the exception of our companion animals and a few wild and stray species within our urban environments, we experience animals daily as the food, clothing, animal tested goods and entertainment we make of them.
This moral dilemma is often hidden from our view.

A film by Liz Marshall
An interactive story by The Goggles
Featuring Jo-Anne McArthur
Produced by Nina Beveridge
& Liz Marshall
Broadcaster: documentary

Running Time: 92:00 & 60:00 mins
Release: 2013

For further information about the film and screenings visit:

http://www.theghostsinourmachine.com/

“The last confirmed sighting of a Baiji was in 2002 the same year that the sole surviving captive animal a male called Qi Qi — died. Since then fishermen have reported seeing Yangtze river dolphins on three occasions but scientists says it is impossible to confirm the sightings.”

A scientific expedition in 2006 carried out an extensive survey along Yangtze from Yichang to Shanghai but the team failed to find any evidence that the species survives and concluded that the Yangtze river dolphin is probably extinct a victim of by-catch in local fisheries and the rapid development and degradation of the Yangtze River.

© What is Missing? Foundation
Audio: Baiji.org Foundation
Image: ARKive
Source: New Scientist & NOAA

The Boreal forest. The largest terrestrial ecosystem on earth the Boreal forest covers over 2,539,500 square miles. Though it is the world’s most important carbon storehouse over 90% of the Boreal is unprotected.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Buy FSC certified & recycled paper and wood products.

© What is Missing? Foundation
Audio: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Video: Conservation International
Source: NRDC & World Wildlife Fund

To whom it may concern,

Last Wednesday at around midday I paid a visit to my local branch of Cex in Lewisham.  The store was busy with teenagers and children, an expected scene what with it being half term. Having finished browsing and with a bus to catch I was about to leave when my attention was drawn to the following poster.

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I must admit what I read left me staggered and not at the fact you recycle digital cameras. Before I go any further into questioning the poor taste and irresponsible content of the poster I want to state that I think I have a good grasp at your company's approach to advertising and branding, simple yet quirky is probably the best way to sum it up. I mean no offence when I say it's also quite dated in its style, I'm sure you'll be the first to admit that your stores haven't changed a great deal over the past decade and why should they? Cex have prospered where many other video game/DVD outlets have failed, I for one have shopped with you guys for years.

Anyway back to your poster and it's poorly thought message. Once again this isn't about the part-exchanging of cameras but the terrible joke that accompanies it. Firstly it's not funny, abusing animals never is. Now the fact I don't find it humourous might just be personal taste or my age, as some one in their early thirties the poster isn't (I'm hoping) aimed at me, so who then is your target audience? I'm guessing the teenagers and children who regularly inhabit your stores nationwide. A majority of whom would never dream of hurting an animal or maybe until seeing such a poster had never had the idea so vividly presented to them? Imagining such a dreadful concept is one thing, but to be given such clear instructions is quite another.

I guess what this all come down to is commonsense and the responsibility you have to your customers. I worry that both have been overlooked with this poster campaign.  I could accompany this letter with some horrific images of animal abuse, similar to those alluded to in your poster,  but I really don't think that's necessary, I'll just leave that part to your imagination.

Yours sincerely,

The Bumblebee.

It is with a heavy heart that I must  inform you that my special screening of 'More Than Honey' that I was organising for the 2nd of June at Clapham Picturehouse will no longer be taking place. I'm genuinely disappointed that the event has been cancelled. Having spent a great deal of time and money promoting the screening I received an email on Monday morning from 'Ourscreen' informing me that the screening would no longer be happening due to me not selling the required quota of tickets.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Friends Of The Earth, Bee Mercy, Kabloom and Seedball for the offer of their time and products. I'm positive the evening would have been a real success and although disappointed it is no longer taking place I have learnt some valuable lessons for my next planned event.

Lastly, thanks to everyone who did buy a ticket, your support is greatly appreciated.

Onwards and upwards! :)

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The Bumblebee is excited to announce that a special screening of 'More Than Honey' will be taking place on the 2nd of June at Clapham Picturehouse at 18:15.

The screening will include an introduction and Q+A session with a representative from 'Friends Of The Earth'.

Beautifully filmed & directed by Markus Imhoof, MORE THAN HONEY is the provocative yet touching tale of what may happen if bees become extinct, featuring a brand new narration from legendary actor John Hurt.

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets for the evening are strictly limited and must be purchased in advance of the event from www.ourscreen.com

 

I recently came across this new US commercial for KFC which informs us that 'Dipping is Fun', I'll have to take their word on this. As someone who has nearly 10 years of experience working in advertising I am left almost dumbfounded by some of the content of this advert.

Now I must start by saying this isn't a personal attack against KFC or fast food outlets in general, I'm just trying to be objective about what they are telling us about the product. I'm also aware that commercial advertising strategy differs greatly from country to country, particularly between the UK and the US. We may share a common language but the comparisons usually end there. American advertising is more confrontational, to the point and with a simple clear message. Whereas the UK style traditionally relies more on a subtle approach, they want to convince us to buy their product. These different approaches are due to a number of historical, social, economic and physiological factors, far too many to bore you with here.

Back to the advert in question. We see a young family gathered around the kitchen table, it's dinnertime and the kids are hungry. The exasperated mother starts by telling us how difficult it is to get her children to sit down for dinner, a common problem for most families with small children. Her answer is simple "KFC", a solution that appears to appease not only the kids but also her husband. The family enjoys their bucket of chicken and dips, we're told it's "delicious", so far so good, the usual approach. This is where the message changes, the mother confesses how she can't get her children to usually eat "anything" , but behold! They are silently devouring their chicken, even confirming their happiness when pressed by mom. Next 5s of product detail before the mother once again highlights the fact that her son is sitting still.  It ends with a burst of music, taglines and hashtags.

Now what have we learned here? That fried chicken is the saviour of family dinnertime? Hyperactivity can only be stemmed by rewarding your offspring with fast food? Fruit and vegetables should be replaced by sugary dips? And finally that a happy family is a silent one? The mind boggles.

It shocks me that a commercial such as this has been cleared to air. Obesity rates in America continue to rise annually, with almost one in every three children now considered to be overweight*.  The implications of all this is well-known and I don't need to discuss it here.

Companies/advertisers should adhere to promoting a clear and honest message when it comes to their products, they owe this to their consumer. If these firms are not held accountable where does the blame lie? Honesty and integrity should be the core values of any business, the responsibility cannot always rest with the consumer.

*http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm