Linked inTwitter

Halcyon's 52:52:52 campaign on this site and on Twitter will start in late 2020. It will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

A Mundane Comedy is Halcyon's new book. Extracts will appear on this site and on social media during late 2020. Please get in touch with any questions about the book or related Halcyon services.

Halcyon monitors change for more than 150 key elements of life.

What's Changing? - Nature

Nature

 

Please see below selected recent nature-related change.

 

See also:

 

October 2020

  • A study in Nature said restoring - or rewilding - 15 per cent of land that humans have degraded could remove from the atmosphere nearly a third of all the excess carbon emitted since the start of the industrial revolution, and boost biodiversity. 
  • According to a study published in the journal Emotion, one way to improve mental health is by taking regular 15-minute "awe walks." Researchers at the UC San Francisco Memory and Ageing Center and the Global Brain Health Institute wanted to see if these focused walks in the woods could improve prosocial emotions in seniors. The team chose this cohort due to longstanding links between cognitive decline and mental health problems associated with anxiety and depression. According to associate professor Virginia Sturm, loneliness is particularly damaging to older adults and can help drive the onset of Alzheimer's disease. "What we show here is that a very simple intervention," said associate professor Virginia Sturm, "essentially a reminder to occasionally shift our energy and attention outward instead of inward – can lead to significant improvements in emotional well-being."

 

September 2020

 

August 2020

 

July 2020

 

June 2020

 

May 2020

  • It’s likely that we will all be spending time in our local areas for the foreseeable future and taking our holidays in our home countries rather than abroad. Could we bring to these experiences the same kind of curiosity we might feel when visiting a different city or landscape? Is it possible to find dynamism and novelty in our parks, streets and woodlands? During lockdown, writer Lucy Jones, like many others, came to know her nearest green spaces more deeply and gratefully. Instead of becoming bored, as she imagined she might, she found that her local natural areas felt like new destinations each day, even by the hour, for nature is in constant flux. Bird songs are richest at dawn and dusk. The wild garlic smells stronger when the soil is warm and rte nettles glow green when the sun is low in the sky.  In short, Jones says we can find the wild near our home and we can even find our place in the family of things, to use the poet Mary Oliver’s phrase. There is magic in the seemingly mundane. If we want more, we can find more. And it’s free.
  • Those who have wished to protect nature from modernity's destructiveness have often made powerful appeals to people's altruism; they have evoked the suffering of other species and the needs of as yet unborn generations. But, argues The School of Life, it is rarely a winning strategy to try to get through to the selfish by appeals to their conscience; it may simply be wiser to target their self-interest. We don't need to make impassioned speeches begging the drillers and the loggers to be good. We need only point out the cost to themselves, and more specifically to their mental well-being. There may be other ways to get healthy besides going to the park, but it is hard to imagine a species maintaining even a semblance of mental equilibrium without, somewhere in the picture, some very mighty trees, a mallard duck -- and a team of weaver ants.

 

January 2019

  • Nature is valuable not only for itself; it is also to be revered as the single most persuasive and redemptive work of philosophy. The School of Life argued that nature corrects our erroneous and ultimately very painful sense that we are essentially free. However, the idea of inevitability is central to the natural world: the deciduous tree has to shed it leaves when the temperature dips in autumn; the river must erode its banks, the cold front will deposit its rain; the tide has to rise and fall. The laws of nature are governed by forces nobody chose, no one can resist and which brook no exception.
  • While many of us know that time spent in nature is good for us, we can’t always say exactly why. There are obvious physical benefits (the exercise we get from walking and access to cleaner air, but instinctively, we feel an emotional benefit as well - subtle, but unmistakable. For The School of Life, this derives from our unconscious recognition of the innate wisdom nature contains. In its infinite variety, nature has lessons to teach us and all we need is the patience and focus to receive them.
  • The UN General Assembly declared 2021-2030 to be the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, while IPBES reported that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and species extinction rates are accelerating. They estimate that 1 million species or animals and plants are now threatened, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely. WWF estimate that humanity has wiped out 60% of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles that existed in 1970.

 

Pre 2018

  • George Monbiot argued passionately for "rewilding" our natural environment. Drawing upon new scientific discoveries, he laid out a new, positive environmentalism, in which nature is allowed to find its own way. By restoring and rewilding our damaged ecosystems on land and at sea, we can repair the living planet, create ecosystems as profuse and captivating as any around the world, and bring wonder back into our lives.
Topics
Timelines
Spaces
Signifiers