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About Caspar Henderson

Caspar Henderson was openDemocracy's Globalisation Editor from 2002 to 2005. He is an award-winning writer and journalist on environmental affairs.

Articles by Caspar Henderson

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Arthur C Helton: a tribute

Arthur C Helton, director of peace and conflict studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a columnist for openDemocracy, was killed in the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003. His colleague and co-columnist, Gil Loescher, was critically injured. Caspar Henderson & David Hayes pay tribute on behalf of openDemocracy.

(This article was first published on 21 August 2003)

'Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet,' Mark Lynas

Climate change is big, complex and scary. While Mark Lynas's new book helps readers get to grips with the issue, Caspar Henderson offers six caveats.

'Coral - A Pessimist in Paradise,' Steve Jones

Mankind is rapidly destroying ancient coral reefs. Why care? Caspar Henderson reviews Steve Jones’s new book on the wondrous ecosystems and finds it wanting.

The president's new clothes

George W Bush's seventh state of the union speech offered a series of measures to increase the United States's energy security. Spin or substance, asks Caspar Henderson.

'In Gods We Trust: the evolutionary landscape of religion', Scott Atran

"The evolutionary and psychological origins of religion."

The metamorphosis of oil?

Can oil companies transform in response to the challenge of climate change? Caspar Henderson sidesteps the blame game and picks out key roles for politics and citizens.

Climate change and law

In the last days of 2005, leading thinkers and scholars from around the world share their fears, hopes and expectations of 2006. As Isabel Hilton asks: What does 2006 have in store? (Part one)

'Climate Change Begins at Home,' Dave Reay

“This entertaining and authoritative book makes the complexities of climatology understandable and challenges readers to rethink their notions of 'doing their bit'.”

'A Brief History of Neoliberalism,' David Harvey

“The political-economic story of where neoliberalisation came from.”

'The Republican War on Science,' Chris Mooney

“A compelling and frightening account of (the US) government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.”

The politics of climate change: a debate guide

openDemocracy’s debate on climate change focuses on four themes – climate politics, science and environment, creative energy, and zero carbon city – with one common focus: the need to understand perhaps the world’s single most important problem. The debate editor Caspar Henderson offers a “cyberwalk” guide to a two-month feature with a century-long perspective.

Arctic dreams

The work of composer Max Eastley and photographer David Buckland makes people think and feel differently about climate change. Caspar Henderson introduces their sound-image collaboration.

What is the carbon counter?

openDemocracy’s carbon counter measures the second-by-second rise of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Caspar Henderson explains how it works.

Portraits from the World Social Forum

Brazilian landless workers, Indian child labour campaigners, Canadian media activists all carried their hopes to the fifth World Social Forum. openDemocracy’s Porto Alegre team – Caspar Henderson, Solana Larsen, Vince Medeiros – talked to them.

Tsunami coming for us all

The tsunami that swept across the Indian ocean on 26 December 2004 was cataclysmic. Our Globalisation Editor Caspar Henderson asks what it means for the future of an interconnected world.

Top ten in 2004

openDemocracy readers voted with their mouse clicks for their top ten articles in 2004. They showed themselves to be concerned above all about Iraq, terrorism and US power, reports Caspar Henderson. Many readers did pause, however, to consider how bridges may be built between cultures.

The marriage of Mars and Venus? Europe's search for human security

A proposed new “human security doctrine for Europe” launched on 15 September 2004 in Barcelona is an opportunity to examine what Europeans can do about massive human rights violations in the 21st century.

A Pacific odyssey

Caspar Henderson visits a remote atoll in the Pacific Ocean state of Palau to help protect coral reefs against the effects of global climate change. In the process he encounters a world of natural beauty, enriching humanity, and surprising history that makes him reflect on life’s fundamentals.

The daze after tomorrow

A new Hollywood disaster film fantasises the convulsive effects of global climate change. But it’s the real world of Haiti and the Dominican Republic that blows Caspar Henderson away.

Cotton wars

Does a preliminary ruling by the World Trade Organisation against US cotton open the way for radical change in the world trade system, indicating that international law can sometimes protect the weak from the strong?

Iraq's past and future: remembering Sayyid Abdul Majid Khoei

In April 2003, the moderate Shi’a cleric Sayyid Abdul Majid Khoei returned to his Iraqi homeland after more than a decade in exile in Britain, and was murdered in the holy city of Najaf. Had he lived, Khoei might have played an important role in political developments in Iraq. Caspar Henderson attended a 2 April event commemorating his life, work and legacy.

Rwanda, Sudan and beyond: lessons from Africa

On the tenth anniversary of genocide in Rwanda, ethnic cleansing and mass murder continues in Sudan. Will international attention come too late to prevent further tragedy in Africa’s largest country? Meanwhile, even greater loss of life from sources other than direct violence is neglected. New thinking and action are needed.

Madrid in the world's eyes

The terrorist atrocities in Madrid on 11 March, and the national election three days later, raise hard questions for Spaniards and Europeans, for Muslims and world citizens. What should they – we – do? openDemocracy invited 100 people from twelve countries to discuss the meaning and implications of these events. Caspar Henderson summarises a quietly passionate discussion.

Barefoot and pregnant

The desperate social needs of women in Iraq are not met by flawed versions of western solidarity, says Caspar Henderson.

Einstein's gravediggers

Does a new Pentagon study indicate that the US government is finally getting serious about climate change?

Unforgettable fire

The Millennium Development Goals cannot be achieved by their target date of 2015 without more US support. Could this be secured by an innovative proposal that combines self-interest and sympathy?

The incredible shrinking bank

What is the World Bank for? More than ever, civil society groups challenge its credibility. Should it dwindle or morph? And what new development policies are needed?

Uganda's hidden war

A delegation from Uganda carries a message about peace, justice and freedom.

Genocide and global citizenship

Can humanity learn a new way of thinking, and thus break the pattern of a century of violence?

Running on Empty

We don’t know whether or not oil supplies are running out. Yet even if they are, the world faces bigger problems.

Saddam and the Fosbury Flop

How high should the bar be set after the fall of Saddam?
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