What we learned this week

  • When I was little, a man from Kew gardens moved to Madagascar and lived down the road with his family. He discovered nine new species of palm tree in a year. Madagascar is still revealing its biodiversity treasures, with scientists recently discovering 200 new species of frog.
  • Speaking of nature, there are plans to make the whole 4,250 mile stretch of the old cold war no-man’s land into one long, narrow nature reserve. Untouched for decades during the iron curtain, and land-mined, the wildlife made itself at home. I think a nature reserve would be a rather beautiful statement, nature redeeming and healing a political scar on Europe’s geography.
  • The town of Ghent, Belgium, has decided to go vegetarian for one day a week. As a response to the harmful environmental impact of eating meat, all restaurants in the town will serve special vegetarian menus on Thursdays. That”s an idea I can see catching on elsewhere.
  • While the country fumes and stomps about MPs expenses, I’d like to mention the honourable Kelvin Hopkins, MP for Luton North. Apart from very occasionally needing to stay overnight in a cheap hotel, Hopkins’ personal expenses since 2005 total £36.45. Like me, he gets the train into London in the morning. If I ever see him on the platform, I will shake his hand.

1 comment

  1. It’s great to hear about one honest MP! But it just shows how obscene all the other MPs’ expenses are – if this MP can live on these low expenses, why can’t all the others?
    PS:I like the idea of vegetarian day!

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