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Monthly Archives: January 2014

If I were at home right now…

… I’d be taking part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, and spending an hour counting the birds in my back garden. I’d be looking out for the familiar robins and blackbirds, and perhaps for a chance visit from a house sparrow, a goldfinch or even, these days, a greenfinch. Spend an hour contributing very useful information and watching the wildlife in your garden this weekend. You can find details on how to take part here.

Friends in the Jungle, part 3

Completing a trio of blogs by friends who came to visit me in the jungle, Casper, Caroline, Laura and Titiaan share their experience. Borneo was as distant an idea for us as it was geographically far away. A chance invitation meant that we found ourselves flying out from Bangalore, London and Boston to join Matt for three beautiful days in the jungle. Laura and Casper watch a male orangutan It was a leap of faith in many ways: travelling into […]

Bad news out of Brussels this lunchtime

The EU has just released new energy and climate change targets for 2030, which extend the existing targets beyond their current 2020 lifetime. The EU has set a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030, which many believe (also here) is not enough to make sure the EU offers a fair contribution to keeping climate change within safe limits. With a weak carbon market that goes unfixed the target could in reality only amount to a 33% cut. There is no target for energy […]

Friends in the jungle, part 2

My friend Steph, who works for the RSPB, writes about a visit by her and her husband Liam to see me and experience the Sabangau rainforest. This blog was originally posted on the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project blog. It has been months since I first thought about organising a trip to visit my friend Matt who is working in Borneo for the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project. But it came round really quickly and in no time at all we were […]

Getting intimate with geckos

Originally posted on the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project blog. In our base camp, when light falls, strange squeaking sounds begin to echo from the rafters. It’s a sign that the geckos have awoken to begin their nightly hunt for insects. They gather on the walls, near the lights powered by the generators that produce faint balls of yellow glow around different parts of camp. They line up, each picking a spot and hoping that they will be the lucky one […]

Rapid prototyping by orangutans… and other reflections on three days in Kalimantan

My friend Titiaan shares his reflections on spending a few days here in Indonesia, seeing orangutans. This was first published on his blog. Casper invited me to spend a week with our good friend Caroline and his sister Laura at a primate-research project in Borneo, Indonesia. Casper’s friend Matt, the Communications Manager of the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project and avid wildlife photographer, had offered to host us. On December 31st 2013, I booked my flight from Bangalore to Kalimantan – starting the new […]

A friend in the jungle, part 1

One of my aims with this blog during 2014 is to provide more guest material from friends and acquaintances. So, for 1 January, here’s my first one. My friend Ken Xie describes his visit to come and see me in the Indonesian rainforest, home to the orangutan. A week in the forest can sound like a long time. In fact, it passes in the blink of an eye. And it is barely enough time to scratch the surface of the […]

Of sex and seahorses

Originally posted on Good Men Project. Human civilization is littered with tidal shifts in sexual and family norms. Recent decades have seen great progress, in many places around the world, of the legal and cultural acceptance of non-mainstream lifestyles when it comes to relationships and raising children. But while many try to claim that such tendencies are unnatural, the natural world itself teaches us otherwise. Nature has been breaking down sexual and relationship barriers since pre-history. Let’s begin with a […]