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.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam