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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Special report: Catastrophic drought in the Amazon

Region set to outstrip US as CO2 emitter

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.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific