By George Monbiot
Evidence for flowing water on Mars: this opens up the possibility of life, of wonders we cannot begin to imagine. Its discovery is an astonishing achievement. Meanwhile, Martian scientists continue their search for intelligent life on Earth.
We may be captivated by the thought of organisms on another planet, but we seem to have lost interest in our own. The Oxford Junior Dictionary has been excising the waymarks of the living world. Adders, blackberries, bluebells, conkers, holly, magpies, minnows, otters, primroses, thrushes, weasels and wrens are now surplus to requirements.