Both are exquisite and irreplaceable but only one can be rebuilt. In 2017, 158,000 km2 of tropical forest was destroyed, much of it on purpose. This is an area more than half the size of Italy. In addition, tropical forests could be critical for our survival. They hold carbon, support irreplaceable ecosystems and might contain […]
Question of the week: if aging populations are good for the environment why don’t we promote them?
Ageing demography leads to population decline and reduced consumption, which eases the impact of humans on the environment. However, most analysis on the subject presents this as a problem, something to be actively reversed. If we really care about climate change and long term human survival, wouldn’t learning to embrace and adapt to ageing societies […]
Question of the week: is the politics of income equality undermining the fight against climate change?
In Switzerland, emissions taxes, such as the one on home heating fuel, do two things. They make it more expensive to pollute and they redistribute income – every resident in Switzerland gets an equal share of the tax collected in the form of a deduction from their health insurance premiums. The redistributive element of this […]
Question of the week: is retirement a key driver of climate change?
To make the numbers work, pay-as-you-go state pensions require a high ratio of workers, who pay into the system, to retirees, who get money out. This leads some governments with growing populations of pensioners to push for higher birth rates. However, according to a climate report by Lund University having one less child is the […]
Question of the week: why are so many more men than women obese or overweight?
In Switzerland, like much of the world, far more men than women are overweight or obese. In Switzerland more than twice as many men (42%) as women (20%) are overweight or obese. 62% of men in Switzerland between the ages of 50 to 64 are obese or overweight. The same figure for women is 40%, […]
Question of the week: might political debate do more harm than good?
Debate, the art of finding narratives to support a chosen position or ideology, sits at the heart of much in politics. But competing narratives can be far apart and at odds with reality. In such cases, how useful is debate? For more stories like this on Switzerland follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Question of the week: does farming care for or destroy nature?
In Europe it is difficult to know what the landscape looked like before farming, but much of it was forested. However, in more recently altered landscapes, like New Zealand’s, it is easier. A time series of maps shows how the vast majority of New Zealand’s forests have disappeared, largely at the hands of farmers, and most of […]
Question of the week: should everyone pay for costly individual choices?
Before it becomes an addiction, smoking is a choice. Smoking costs Switzerland around CHF 10 billion a year. Tobacco taxes, which raise around CHF 2 billion a year are used to pay disability welfare. The annual healthcare costs related to tobacco in Switzerland are around CHF 1.7 billion, more than CHF 200 per resident. However, […]
Question of the week: what dangers would free unlimited clean energy bring?
Some believe nuclear fusion, which extracts fuel from water, might be less than two decades away. This would eventually provide a low cost (near free) means for us to make and do more faster without adding to human-induced climate change. But with unlimited energy, wouldn’t we consume the earth faster and create new problems? For […]