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.

Fight for the Borneo rainforest: Gordon Brown celebrates the role of journalist Clare Rewcastle

I have a declaration of interest to make at the outset. Clare Rewcastle is my sister-in-law. She is also a journalist who has had a lifelong fascination with the environment. She was busy raising a family – and was not hunting for the next big exposé. But, as she researched into the community where she had been brought up, she stumbled upon what is probably the biggest environmental crime of our times.

Cyclone puts cassowary in greater peril

The 6ft bird was at risk before the storm hit Australia. Now its survival is even more doubtful

Why drugs are destroying the little Amazon

Traffickers will do anything to get their priceless cargo into the US – including razing pristine forest, writes Huw Hennessy in Honduras

In 2011, there are 100 uncontacted tribes worldwide

After a remarkable picture of an isolated people was unveiled, Joanna Eede tells of another newly discovered native group

Sport on TV: Trekkie boldly goes where no sane friends will follow him

When Ed Stafford hatched his plan to become the first person to trek the entire length of the Amazon and asked his friend Luke Collyer, an "expedition leader", to come along, he must have been excited. But after 100 days, Collyer decided to go home when it suddenly dawned on him that he wouldn't see his girlfriend for two and a half years. The fact that this eventuality had passed him by in the planning process suggests he's not the best expedition leader in the world. A trip down to Tesco sounds like the limit of his abilities.

Special report: Catastrophic drought in the Amazon

Region set to outstrip US as CO2 emitter

Through the Language Glass, By Guy Deutscher

This dazzling work on "the most down-to-earth level of everyday language" starts by quoting WE Gladstone: when he wasn't being PM, or rescuing fallen women, he was an expert classicist.

A taste of the tropics at Kew

With even snowdrops shy of emerging in the garden so far this year, a profusion of orchids, bromeliads and other exotic forest blooms at Kew are bringing a touch of warmth to the winter.

Carlos Peres: Unthinkably, wild fires are breaking out in rainforests

Not so long ago it was thought that tropical rainforests in the Brazilian Amazon region were immune to fire thanks to the high moisture content of the growth beneath the top tree cover. But the severe droughts of 1997-98, 2005 and 2010 have changed that.

Leading article: Beware the collapse of the planet's lungs

Amazon drought is consistent with what scientific models predict for a warmer globe

Where the weird things are: Meet the finger-lickin' odd aye-aye

If Madagascar is the kingdom of the weird, then the aye-aye surely wears its crown. Just one glimpse of those bulging orange eyes, naked bats' ears and crooked witches' fingers explains why this creature is, for many islanders, the stuff of the heebie-jeebies.

Dirk Gently: Appliance of science is the stuff of fantasy

Can a TV drama with a detective who uses quantum mechanics to solve cases be a success? Gerard Gilbert investigates

Michael McCarthy: The Bono factor... big business should fear a famous name

You could call it the Bono effect. Or the Sting effect. Or the McCartney effect. It's the effect of the intervention of celebrity on worthy causes, environmental or otherwise. And one thing you can say about it is that it's certainly effective.

As President Kennedy put it: Viva Costa Rica!

The phrase 'pure life' is on everyone's lips in this exotic Central American haven. Welcome to a nature-lover's paradise, says <b>Richard Arghiris</b>

Longleat Estate: From little acorns, mighty oaks grow

One of my favourite areas of woodland is the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire, near Warminster. It is probably better known for its safari park, but that's not for me. Since January 2009, Longleat has also been home to 200 oak trees planted as a growing monument to the evolutionary thinker Charles Darwin.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried