Tag Archives: New Scientist

Should you go vegan?

That is the headline on the front page of 27 January edition of New Scientist magazine. The article by Chelsea White describes how she was vegan then changed back to eating meat and why she has now decided to return to a vegan diet.

There are many good reasons for not eating meat like amount of land used for farm animals, plus the land needed to grow food for livestock, the water used and the CO2 produced. All are drastically reduced by eating a plant based diet.

The big concern that always comes up is whether we can get enough of the essentials for a healthy life from plants alone. It is more difficult and needs care and thought when choosing what to eat. That goes against the grain for many people who live normal ‘busy lives’. But do we need to think more about what we eat? Does eating a standard diet of junk food and ready meals provide optimum nutrition? My guess is a resounding no.

White goes through all the pros and cons and end up stating that she has returned to being vegan. It really is not that hard especially if you grow your own fruit and veg!


Why there’s no sign of a climate conspiracy in hacked emails

There is a really good article in New Scientist this week about the hacked climate change emails. The sceptics, and other oil company supporters, are hailing it as a victory and as proof that climate change does not exist. Having spent most of my working life in science and technology I do not share their optimism.

As a gardener I know that things have changed over the last 20 years. Spring is earlier and old weather patterns have changed. It used to be relatively easy to predict when pests would arrive e.g. carrot root fly had two periods of activity so it was possible to avoid, or reduce, attacks by planting at the right time. Now it is virtually impossible to predict when they will be around.

Summers might not always be warmer but the trend is for an increase in average temperatures year on year. We are also getting many more extreme weather events. What I have noticed is that rainfall patterns have changed and we also get lots of very heavy downpours now.

Much as I would like to believe that climate change is not happening, and that manmade CO2 is not contributing to, it that is just not true. I particularly remember some predictions from NASA some years ago that nobody wanted to believe. All  they said has now happened but actual measurements have far exceeded their predications.

There are challenges ahead for gardeners but we are a resourceful lot and will adapt and respond. The best advice is to find what works for you in your garden and keep records and if you are really keen record the weather.