Raiders of the lost bark
From the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Nagoya:
The second Tuesday of this meeting was the day glamour came to town - in good and ugly guises.
On the good side, I had the chance to sit down with Harrison Ford - an actor whose oeuvre looms large for anyone of my generation, from Witness to Indiana Jones - and talk about the reasons why he's been advocating conservation for almost as long as he's been making movies.
We explored other things that actors can and do campaign on - world poverty, HIV/Aids, and so on - so why conservation? And among organisations to support - why Conservation International, of which he's vice-president, and to which he's been a substantial financial donor?
We talked about whether movies can be used in education on issues like the environment; we also touched on the notable absence from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of the United States.
You can listen to his thoughts below. I refrained from any movie puns in the interview, but I think it's clear he regards biodiversity loss as a clear and present danger - for people, as well as for Earth's other inhabitants - and that he's drawing on a lot more than simple emotion.
The ugly side was represented in the report from the Environmental Investigation Agency and Global Witness on the flood of hard woods coming out of Madagascar's poorly protected forests.
These are species such as rosewood that instrument-makers cherish.
But as we all know... love something that nature provides too much, and you may just love it to death.
China is the main destination for the wood nowadays.
But go back a few years, and much ended up in the US and Europe.
Indeed, Alexander von Bismarck, the eloquent EIA boss, described the presence of these music industry-oriented exports as having "opened the door" - perhaps "opened the floodgates" would have been more appropriate given the other imagery he used - or "broken the levee", given the context.
The US is cracking down on illegal timber more than just about any other importing country in the world.
Last year, it led to a raid on Gibson Guitars - one of the world's most famous marques, its products played by a generation of legends from BB King to Nigel out of Spinal Tap... a story of which we have yet to see the denouement.
Back in 1997, in an expo outside the World Summit in New York, I recall encountering guitars proclaiming their sustainable sourcing - I even played one, a Fender I think it was, endorsed by the Rainforest Alliance as environmentally and socially sustainable.
How that guitar must be gently weeping now.
I totted things up. I reckon my house contains 11 musical instruments of varying characters that use wood in their manufacture.
Do I know where the wood came from? Probably in a few cases, I do - but I don't recall the manufacturers or vendors ever expending any effort on telling me.
In the words of Bruce Cockburn (and others): When a tree falls in the forest, does anybody hear?
Global Witness are making sure that where Madagascar is concerned, we do now. Buyers, as well as sellers, are starting to feel the force.