The Risk-Monger

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Green Indulgences

The plan is pretty simple. Forest product companies pay WWF undisclosed sums, memberships, donations and country fees to be part of a forest network. They buy the right to put a panda logo on the back of their loggers’ shirts. And then: Chop! Chop! Chop! To celebrate the 20th anniversary of WWF’s Global Forest and… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

DG Sanco’s promotion of organic living is a moral train wreck. It is reducing global food security and yields while encouraging price rises and child labour in developing countries. Worse, this moral self-satisfaction has limited basis in science and could increase health threats.

Posted by David Zaruk

European innovation gurus talk up targets for investments in research and technologies, but without serious changes in political and societal mindsets, we are simply building fast trains to run on slow tracks. A recent series of meetings with Taiwanese National Research Council experts has brought about much introspection.

Posted by David Zaruk

Do Facts Matter?

Ten years ago, the Risk Monger was one of many working on science communications, science, society and governance issues. He believed that facts mattered. Today he has lost his faith.

Posted by David Zaruk

After old people and poverty, the third biggest real risk to humans is policy-makers. Environmental-health policies decided under stakeholder pressure and without reliable scientific information costs thousands of lives every day.

Posted by David Zaruk

Real Risks #2: Poverty

Part 2 of a summer series on real risks. 24,000 children died today from poverty. That is a real risk we can do something about. Climate change is a potential risk we can’t do very much about. Guess where we chose to put our money? That’s right – pet food.

Posted by David Zaruk

The following is the first part of a summer series of disquiet. While the Risk Monger writes this blog to ridicule the fear mongers, there are certain risks that keep him awake at night. No it is not rising sea levels or contaminated food chains, ensuing pandemics or pervasive chemicals – I’ll leave those for… » read more

Posted by David Zaruk

The ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is outrageous. But where is the outrage? Outside of spontaneous actions on YouTube, the main NGOs charged with protecting the planet have largely pretended that this is a little thing. Why?

Posted by David Zaruk

DG Environment seems to have become a radical activist organisation: crime-scene street theatre in white decontamination suits, “campaign” websites, chilling video productions about man’s evil ways … What happened to consultation, engagement and dialogue?

Posted by David Zaruk

CEO is an anti-lobbying lobby group; a group fighting for transparency through opaque means and funding; an anti-globalisation front group attacking front groups. They must be exhausted living with these contradictions.

Posted by David Zaruk

The Gulf of Mexico disaster is just one more case of BP’s disregard for safety or the environment. BP’s cut-throat business culture pulls the rest of industry down, reducing initiatives and damaging the overall reputation of business. Time to say ‘Enough’.

Posted by David Zaruk