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Newsnight Review, 30 March, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 30 Mar 07, 07:30 PM

sunshine203.jpgThe panel discuss: the film Sunshine, which is a sci-fi thriller set 50 years in the future; the novel On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan; Surreal Things at the V&A and Channel 4's drama The Mark of Cain. More details of those on the Review website.

Kirsty is joined by PD James, Rowan Pelling, Michael Gove and Anthony Horowitz.

Watch on BBC Two at 2230 after Newsnight and on the Review website from Saturday.

Friday, 30 March, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 30 Mar 07, 06:18 PM

nathan203.jpgA stand off with Iran over the 15 British military personnel held captive there - this morning Iranian TV broadcast a "confession" by Royal Marine riflemen Nathan Thomas Summers apologising for entering Iranian waters without permission. Peter Marshall reports.

Plus: We'll be discussing what's going on in Zimbabwe; and following death threats famous US blogger Kathy Sierra has called on the blogosphere to combat the culture of abuse online. Should there be any limits in the blogosphere?

Comment on Friday's programme here.

Macavity was here

  • Newsnight
  • 30 Mar 07, 05:30 PM

brownoutline203260.jpgEveryone keeps going on about Gordon Brown having "Macavity the cat-like qualities"; a reference to T.S. Eliot's most elusive of characters. Lord Turnbull did it in a much publicised interview with the Financial Times recently, off the back of which the Guardian reprinted the whole poem. This week it was David Aaronovitch in The Times.

But way back in October last year when there was talk of political subterfuge, efforts to oust Tony Blair and a mass resignation of junior members of government which forced the prime minister to make clear - or clearer - his timetable for leaving office, Newsnight noted the chancellor's absence and made the comparison with Macavity. We even got the actor Bill Paterson to recite a little for us.

Now, we're not ones for saying "pah, we did it first"... we just thought you might all like to enjoy Mr Paterson's mellifluous tones once again. Watch him here.

How ethical is my baby?

  • Justin Rowlatt -
  • 30 Mar 07, 10:39 AM

elsa203.jpgIn the course of my year of living ethically I’ve tried hard to reduce my family’s impact on the environment yet quite a few readers of this blog and viewers of Ethical Man have written in to claim that my family is responsible for something which will out-weigh all my family’s eco-efforts. She’s called Elsa and very lovely she is too.

You don’t need to be John Nash to do the maths. We managed to cut the family’s carbon footprint by twenty per cent in the last year – that’s about two tons of carbon. But Elsa adds a fifth person to the family. When she’s grown up she – like the rest of us Britons – is likely to burn off some three tons of carbon a year. On that basis we are worse off than when we started.

So what I want to know is whether it is ethical to have had little Elsa at all.

The new orthodoxy seems to be that, when it comes to the environment, people are the problem and it is not hard to see why. Baby Elsa, our third child, is one of about 137 million people born last year. Unfortunately only 56 million people died leaving an 81 million surplus.

In short, there’s a population explosion underway. The UN expects the global population to reach 6.7bn by July this year. That’s almost twice what it was when I was born in the mid-sixties and the boom is set to continue. By the time Elsa is my age the UN reckons another two and a half billion people will be sharing the earth with her.

Many people believe that will lead to global catastrophe: “Without policies to reduce world population, efforts to save our environment cannot succeed,” says the Optimum Population Trust (OPT).

Continue reading "How ethical is my baby?"

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