A weekly round up of news and views on topical issues appearing in The Thin End Magazine. This week: Invasive Rabbits and Hares, pesticides and hummingbirds, Invasive mosquitos, abortion law reform in the UK, and controversl new blood pressure guidelines.
One of the problems for humans, and for the planet, is that we have isolated ourselves from our ecosystem. Yet, our activity impacts on the global climate and on habitats. Unlike Apodemus sylvaticus, we destroy more of our forests than we plant, and we deplete the worlds fresh water with our increasing demand for crops and our unregulated world trade.
Is this really the best we can do with our 'intelligence'? Or have we much to learn from the wood mouse?
Ray Noble tells how the NHS saved his life and considers the benefits of the British National Health Serivice. He argues why markets alone are insufficient to meet needs. The NHS is already being adversely affected by Brexit with worstenng staff shortages leading to delays and longer waiting lists. The NHS has been starved of adequate finding, and public service provision has been blighted by an eroneous faith in markets as a miraculous solution to meeting needs.
We hear often the phrase 'in the genes'. But we are not in our genes. Our attributes are often considered to be partitioned between genetic and environement. But this is a false dichotomy. Ray Noble considers what makes us who we are.
Ray Noble talks to Samuel Shem, the acclaimed author of The House of God. The House of God, published in 1978, has in many ways become a cult book in the medical profession. It follows a group of medical interns at Beth Israel Hospital over the course of a year in the early 1970s, focusing on the psychological harm and dehumanization caused by their residency training. For this dialogue we took the opportunity to catch up with Samuel Shem when he visited Oxford last year. We hope to have a more extensive interview with Samuel Shem in the near future.
With negotations underway Ray Noble considers the reality of Brexit. The phony war is over. The truth is understood. Brexit isn't good. It isn't good for the economy, for jobs, for health and social care, for research, for fighting climate change, and so the negotiations now turn on how to ameliorate the harm it will do.