Arts and Entertainment

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Palm oil deal 'a threat to the rainforest'

EC's Renewable Energy Directive will allow greater mix in petrol and diesel

Leading article: Sceptics have their uses

The climate change sceptics have done us all a favour. This may seem a curious view for a newspaper so committed to the cause of environmental sustainability. But, by challenging the consensus view of global warming, the sceptics have tested the flabbier assumptions of that consensus and forced the proponents of the majority view to sharpen their arguments.

Best for Harley heaven: California

There comes a time in life, normally when hair starts thinning and waistbands begin to stretch, when a man's thoughts turn towards a motorbike. Specifically, they turn towards a Harley Davidson, those roaring kings of the open road upon which we can deludedly dream of being transported back to free-spirited days of our youth.

My Week: Lucy Hawley

One of the keepers at London Zoo reveals how the small furry animals in her care reacted to the snow that gripped the country this week

Review of the Year 2009: Climate change

The heat of the moment

Queensland: The Sunshine State offers a taste of sun, sea, sand - and the Outback

Australia's most diverse territory has it all

Best children's books for Christmas

Composing new nursery rhymes that actually work is no easy matter, but Faustin Charles has done so in The Selfish Crocodile Book of Nursery Rhymes (Bloomsbury, £6.99). With a CD included, the book has characters that range from Little Jack Zebra to Twinkle Twinkle Butterfly, all riotously illustrated by Michael Terry. Joanna Skipwith's I Choose You! (Silver Jungle, £5.99) also comes off well. Illustrated by Lisa Jones, each of its creatures has its own rhyme. Order it directly from www.silverjungle.com and £1 will go to help preserve monkeys in the rainforests, away from the pet trade.

Swann the shining light as pace men struggle

England 329-8 dec South Africa XI 167-7 <i>(Match drawn)</i>

Small Talk: Asian Plantations to bring palm oil to Aim

This newspaper has done a sterling job in the last few months highlighting the destruction that is being done to many of the world's rainforests so we can all consume more palm oil.

On The Road: Trials of a rainforest trek, on the hunt for an elusive bird

A loud rustle came from the undergrowth at the edge of the boardwalk. I stopped and waited, holding my breath as I listened. The noise came again, louder this time. Expecting a bush turkey but hoping for a bigger bird, I craned my neck to see more. From under the dry leaves crawled a monitor lizard.

Norway and Guyana sign rainforest deal

Report in <i>The Independent</i> key to $250m investment, says Guyana President

Leading article: A climate change warning we ignore at our peril

Alarming new temperature forecasts show the need for urgent action

Claude Levi-Strauss: Intellectual considered the father of modern anthropology whose work inspired structuralism

Claude Lévi-Strauss was the most famous anthropologist of his generation, and one of the leading intellectuals in post-war France. His writings inspired a major intellectual movement, and at least two of his books have already become classics of French literature. He was largely responsible for the development of social anthropology in France.

Top food firm switches to sustainable palm oil

A leading food manufacturer says it will switch to a "sustainable" source of palm oil for its most famous brands, such as McVitie's, Jaffa Cakes and Penguin.

What lies beneath the rainforest

You want the Amazon to survive? Then pay us not to pump the oil, says Ecuador. Huw Hennessy in Quito reports on a bold initiative
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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice