Arts and Entertainment

"It is my experience of the countryside that I am trying to convey to the public"

Revealed: the secret battle for the riches of the Arctic

Leaked cables show how nations are carving up pristine wilderness

Environmental activists occupy Arctic oil rig

Greenpeace activists climbed aboard an oil rig off Turkey today in a bid to prevent it from leaving for Greenland to begin deep-water drilling in the Arctic.

Investment Column: Await deal clearance before buying Cairn

Xaar; Severfield-Rowen

Market Report: Hopes of share buyback see Cairn Energy advance

Investors in Cairn Energy had their fears calmed yesterday over the proposed sale of the group's controlling stake in its Indian unit, with analysts telling them instead to look forward to possible cash returns worth as much as $6.5bn.

Nature Studies by Michael McCarthy: Why winter is a time to savour small pleasures

One of the compensations of the cold months in this country for anyone who enjoys the natural world is the great arrival from the north of wintering wildfowl, of wild ducks, wild swans, and above all, wild geese. Britain is a winter haven for hundreds of thousands of these waterbirds which breed in what the naturalist and writer Mark Cocker calls "the crown of the planet" – the halo of land around the Earth's northern latitudes, below the Arctic, from Canada, through Greenland, Iceland, Northern Scandinavia, Siberia, and back to Canada again.

Greenland, NT Lyttelton, London<br/>Less Than Kind, Jermyn Street, London<br/>Accolade, Finborough, London

Drama-by-committee is always doomed to inconsistency. But at least the National Theatre isn't afraid to dive into the great issue of the age

You won't dip your toe in the sea, but you'll still get a tan

It's not an obvious choice, says Mark Steel, but Greenland has its attractions &ndash; friendly people, great views, and a polar bear nailed to every wall

Greenland, National Theatre: Lyttelton, London

Enter pursued by a (polar) bear. There's a wonderful moment in Greenland where this white ursine creature lopes in, to the consternation not just of the geographers on the Arctic island where, because of global warming, the Inuits are having to invent a noun for "robin", but of the policy wonks with their laptops who are preparing for a global summit on this issue. The piece goes in for that kind of conceptual compositeness. The creature noses around and then exits pursued by no one.

People power: BBC's 'Human Planet' provides a dramatic insight into humanity and the natural world

This week sees the start of 'Human Planet', a new BBC series focusing on our place in the natural world. As these extracts from the book by Dale Templar and Brian Leith that accompanies the programmes reveal, it's a dramatic &ndash; and colourful &ndash; story

Public warning of big freeze deliberately delayed to spare Met Office 'embarrassment'

The Met Office warned the Government that the start of this winter would be "exceptionally cold" but did not immediately inform the public.

Steve Connor: Recent harsh winters are not yet a pattern &ndash; but all signs point that way

To have one bad winter may be considered a misfortune, to have two on the run could be construed as a pattern. In fact, what we are experiencing now is well within the bounds of natural variability, even in a globally warmer world.

Leading article: The cold offers no comfort on climate change

Climate scientists frequently point out that the weather and the climate are not the same thing. Indeed, they often sum up the difference by saying that the climate is what we expect and the weather it what we get. The climate operates over long periods, often too long for us to remember with any accuracy without the help of good-quality records. The weather, meanwhile, is very much the here and now and is, as a result, at the forefront of our minds, which is the case now.

The UK may be cold, but it's still a warm world, says Met Office chief

She may have been one of the many thousands of people who failed to get to work yesterday because of the snow, but Professor Julia Slingo, the Met Office's chief scientist, is adamant that the current cold weather is merely a natural fluctuation – and does not mean that global warming is all a myth.

Birdman's tale inspires National

Play based on lone scientist's 40-year study of Alaskan guillemots
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future