The British government has just released a report on the value of ‘ecosystemic services’ in the UK. Nature, it seems, is worth billions. Live close to green space, and the health benefits to you are worth nearly $500. The total benefits to the British public of living near wetlands or the coast – over $2 billion. The services provided by pollinators: $700 million.
The series of posts that used to be prefaced with “FYI” is now up on my Twitter stream (apologies to the one respondent who didn’t think I should tweet, but I’ll make it up to you, Phil, promise). In following the thread around the revolts in Spain, though, I came across Not Yet Dead NYC, a feminist reading group in New York City. No idea who runs it, but they’ve a great report from the joyful streets in Spain, and also a fine caution about the prospects and possibilities of the Spanish Revolution…
I’ve been persuaded by @NaomiStarkman @civileater @HavenBourque and @TomPhilpott that I ought really to spend more time on Twitter. It’s an experiment that I’ll start soon, in earnest, if there’s demand. But in the meantime, if you’re on Twitter and want to hear me tweet, let me know. I’m @_RajPatel.
Last week, I had the great pleasure of meeting and throwing ideas around with Michael Hardt, the author of, among other things, Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth all written with Antonio Negri. I once had some unkind things to say about Empire, which I wince to read now – being a graduate student brought out the worst point-scoring debater in me. But the reason that Empire kicked off a trilogy of books is because Hardt and Negri were also unsatisfied. To my mind, the trilogy has worked. Their thoughts have been honed over their collaboration and certainly have shrugged off the criticisms I lobbed a decade ago. You can watch our conversation at the Taft Center at the University of Cincinnati when it’s uploaded, likely in the next few weeks. It has been a long time since I had a discussion in which ideas whizzed around so freely, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.