When it comes to how we talk about ecological issues, 2012 looks like it might be the year of the R word – resilience. This term is more and more frequently used, and it seem to me that resilience is set to join the S word (sustainability) and the C word (conservation) to be another means by which we look at the widening gap between human demands and what our planet can supply.
In 2006, as director of Friends of the Earth, I shared a platform with David Cameron. We issued a joint call for new legislation on climate change. The Conservative leader was passionate and knowledgeable. I believed then that he was sincere in advocating moves toward a greener future.
What is the biggest environmental problem: climate change? Loss of biodiversity? Soil erosion? Is it our collective failure to harness sustainable technologies, our inability to muster sufficient political will? Or is it there something more vital still: namely the fact that so few people have an understanding of nature and thus find it hard to comprehend what is happening?