Archive for March, 2015

Charlie’s Biogasser blog: My 25-year Latin American love affair …

March 31, 2015

Hugh Paxton’s Blog likes Latin America. Somewhere in my maze of a blog is an account of my heroic descent from the heights of La Paz to the depths of the Amazon.

My beloved grandfather (who never left England apart from a brief trip to Canada where he witnessed a dreadful shipping catastrophe) was hot stuff in the travel advisory department.

Here’s a poem for Charles and for Hugh

Who both went to visit Peru,

The chief of the Inca,

A regular stinker

cooked both of them into a stew.

Charlie Clarke lacks my Gramp’s fondness for memorable poetry. But he’s an enthusiast. And it’s fun. Read on!

From: charlie.clarke []
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 3:48 AM
Subject: Charlie’s Biogasser blog: My 25-year Latin American love affair …

Hi all

Anyone who once packed a rucksack and set off on a gap year may enjoy this bit of nostalgia. Or anyone who has a Latin American thing! It’s my reflections on …

My 25-year Latin American love affair …



charlie clarke


email: charlie.clarke


twitter: @biogasser

Thai Days: A dog poem!

March 29, 2015


It’s eaten my bacon

It’s gulped down my eggs

My dog is a belly

Equipped with four legs.

Every kid needs a dog,

That’s what people say,

They are welcome to come here and take it away.

By Hugh Paxton.

Sweet Home Louisiana: FW: Slime mould

March 29, 2015

Hugh Paxton’s blog is really daunted, thwarted, ashamed, by our lack of strange wildlife. Yes, we’ve got monitor lizards, giant turtles, snakes but not very often, birds, bats, rats, small things that run away. Lots of furtive reptiles. I like them. But there’s nothing new!

My beloved brother is in Louisiana and every day something turns up and is interesting. Here we have a slime mould. His! I can’t compete with that! We do have some squirrels and there’s an eel (but I haven’t seen it). My brother intends to make a documentary. I think it might be rather good!

A king cobra might rear up tomorrow but I doubt it. No, the crown for now sits on the proud heads of the denizens of Louisiana!

It is, I must say, very slime. But intriguing. Why is it? What does it do? Is there fun in its life?

It doesn’t look nimble and Charles is there. I hope that he will find out more about his temporary resident swamp thing.



From: Charles Paxton
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2015 2:17 AM
To: Hugh Paxton
Subject: Slime mould

As promised, here is the longest slime mould I’ve ever seen. It is growing along a vine by the largest spring and dripping itself down on to the leaf litter.

All springs are flowing at the moment and two frogs were sighted down there. Watch out for ‘Slime mould – the movie’. Coming soon.

Love from Barles XXXX

Charles Paxton

Websites and content

Int. Tel. 1 318 368 4834 (6 hrs behind GMT)

Skype name: thewebcat

for websites and web content of quality

New post Low Carbon Growth A Modern Reality – UK Emissions Drop As GDP Rises DECC Says

March 29, 2015

Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that this might be far more interesting than it might look at at first sight. Give it a go?

I’ll stick some naked women up tomorrow to maintain a sense of balance. Or a cute dog. Or something that will raise a smile. This Blog doesn’t want to be too serious. We don’t want to get more serious here than we are already.

Cheers! Hugh in Bangkok.

From: Wild Open Eye – Natural Vision, News from Wild Open Eye []
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2015 11:02 PM
Subject: [New post] Low Carbon Growth A Modern Reality – UK Emissions Drop As GDP Rises DECC Says

charlespaxton posted: " Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister, Rt. Hon. Ed Davey MP released news on their blog today (Source) that "UK CO2 emissions fell by nearly 10% in 2014, while the UK economy grew at well over 2% annual growth. This represents the largest e"

Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on Wild Open Eye – Natural Vision, News from Wild Open Eye


Low Carbon Growth A Modern Reality – UK Emissions Drop As GDP Rises DECC Says

by charlespaxton

Bleached Brain Coral, Hol Chan Reserve, Belize. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

Carbon dioxide has been linked to higher temperatures that can kill marine coral through ‘bleaching’. Bleached Brain Coral, Hol Chan Reserve, Belize. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister, Rt. Hon. Ed Davey MP released news on their blog today (Source) that "UK CO2 emissions fell by nearly 10% in 2014, while the UK economy grew at well over 2% annual growth. This represents the largest ever fall in UK emissions while the economy is growing, turning low carbon growth into a modern reality in Britain."

Having recently agreed the EU’s climate pledge for the Paris climate summit to be held this December, Davey says "the UK government has made the first climate pledge from any of the world’s major economies and sets the bar of ambition high." How high?

"A domestic emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030."

He rightly describes this goal as ambitious, and it could be within scope when you consider progress made so far.

According to DECC the largest proportion of the CO2 savings were due to increases in efficiency within the energy supply sector, represented by a 15% drop in their emissions, this was coupled with a 20% increase in renewable energy generation, greater energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy and low carbon power increasing to become 38% of the energy mix.

Unabated use of coal, "the most polluting and carbon intensive form of energy production" fell by more than 25% according to the blog.

Mr. Davey says "the UK is well on course to meet our national GHG targets, and to phase out unabated coal power almost entirely by the mid-2020s."

He said that a recent joint party statement will guarantee that "the UK will remain a leading voice for ambitious climate action and for driving unabated coal emissions out of our energy system."

He elaborated on the collective European agreement to create an Energy Union for Europe, "which will make it cheaper and easier to decarbonise our economies by enabling low carbon power to flow freely across national borders in the future. And we are actively working closely with our partners in Europe to substantially strengthen the EU’s Emissions Trading System, a critical tool for driving investments away from polluting fossil fuels and towards low carbon technologies."

The Paris Conference on Climate sounds very promising, Davey says, "France is showing the leadership the world needs to ensure that the Paris Climate Summit this December delivers something extraordinary: the world’s first genuinely global climate agreement."

Wildopeneye is very pleased by the sense of growing momentum within European efforts to ameliorate climate change.

charlespaxton | 28/03/2015 at 4:02 pm | Tags: Andy Luck, climate pledge, Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister, domestic emissions reduction target, Ed Davey, Emissions Trading System, Energy Union for Europe, EU’s climate pledge, global climate agreement, low carbon growth, Paris climate summit, UK CO2 emissions | Categories: Climate Change | URL:

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Thai Days: Books. Pendergast and the Cave of the Glowing Skulls Douglas Preston Lincoln Child

March 29, 2015

Hugh Paxton’s Blog hates these two guys! Douglas Preston! Lincoln Child! I spent this morning waving a copy of Still Life with Crows under my daughter’s nose and ranting. “I can’t write this!” I explained. “They can!”

“Have you been drinking, Daddy?”

“No. But it’s a very fine idea. I’ll start now. Where’s the bottle? Look at it!”

She had a look and was what she is. An eleven year old girl. Not impressed. There was a crow on the cover and she couldn’t understand the title.

I kept the book and as we met a Bangkok traffic jam I decided to give her a taste of chapter one. Perhaps it was my melodious voice, the enthusiasm, the frail attempts at a Kansas accent (I’m English sound pompous and there’s damn all I can do about it) but my daughter was caught. She was alert, hungry for more, she suggested that I stopped trying to be American, and I agreed. The sheriff started speaking with a pompous English accent. Everybody else in Kansas did too. It all became very Oxford English. But Annabel didn’t give a hoot. She wanted the story. It could have been delivered in Gaelic, or with a rough Fenian Turf Lodge snarl, or a Cumbrian plod, a frisky bit of Geordie or a Millwall chant, it could even have been American. She wanted the story. And that’s why I hate Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. They keep getting it right! And I keep buying all their books. Annabel wants chapter two. In a perfect world she would get all the chapters in one go. I’ve bundled her into bed and we’ll see how chapter two gets on tomorrow. I know what will happen. She’ll want chapter three. Then four.

I read lots of books. If nothing goes wrong I can read four in a day. When a book is good I treasure it but then feel an urge to lend it to somebody. They don’t return it. They probably don’t read it. I must stop this behaviour!

But this partnership Lincoln and Child is in my opinion unique. They thrive on the unusual, the historic, the horrors and pleasures of life. They know how to tell a story, they lace it with facts and personal observations. And they keep doing it. Time after time, book after book. Nothing quite like them and what I really like is the way they answer emails. It must be a tremendous irritation. I sent one, just to see if it worked, and it did.

Their books are good. Really good. Mine are, by comparison, OK. Sort of. Here comes another!

Give it a go!

You won’t be disappointed!

From: Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child []
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2015 11:56 PM
To: paxton.bkk

Subject: Pendergast and the Cave of the Glowing Skulls

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Greetings to our valued readers,

This is Doug writing to you this time. As some of you may know, I recently returned from an expedition into a valley deep in the Honduran jungle. We explored an unknown and mysterious Pre-Columbian city that had been first spotted in 2012 from the air. I wrote a short news item for the National Geographic website and I’m now working on a longer article about the subject.

While in Honduras I visited a place near Catacamas called Las Cuevas de Talgua, otherwise known as The Cave of the Glowing Skulls. About a half a mile into the cave system, up in a narrow gallery reachable only by several precipitous ladders, is a necropolis containing some two hundred ancient skeletons, encrusted with gypsum crystals that glitter in the flashlight beam. The photo at the top of this newsletter is one I took of a burial almost completely shrouded in crystals. Can you make it out?

You may wonder why I am telling you this in a newsletter devoted to A.X.L. Pendergast. Here’s a little known fact: one of Pendergast’s more eccentric ancestors (and he had some truly unusual ones) was Lt. Col. Percival Harrison Fawcett, the famed South American explorer. Fawcett and his so disappeared in the Amazon jungles in 1925, searching for the legendary "Lost City of Z." Their fate remains unknown to this day. Because of this ancestor, Pendergast has long taken an interest in such things. In the not too distant future, we have been informed he may take a holiday in the jungle, to investigate a long-standing mystery of perplexing depth and intricacy. This enigma may involve a necropolis very like the Cave of the Glowing Skulls… Stay tuned for more.

While I was traipsing around in the jungle, Linc was putting the final touches on our latest Pendergast novel, due to be published this November. We submitted it with the usual trepidation. To our relief, our editor tells us he absolutely loves it! The only problem is, Linc and I haven’t yet been able to think of the ideal title for the book. (In the case of TWO GRAVES, you may recall, the final title was suggested to us by a couple of outstanding readers.)

Speaking of outstanding readers, one such, Chris Royal, who just returned from his sixth tour of duty in Kuwait and Iraq (thank you, Chris!), has written a most amazing cookbook of the various foods mentioned in the Pendergast novels. It’s called Beyond Riverside Drive: Recipes Inspired by the Pendergast Novels.

Based on this cookbook, Pendergast has asked Mrs. Trask to prepare a selection of recipes for his tasting pleasure (or displeasure, we aren’t sure which). In the next newsletter, Pendergast will share his notes — and some of the more interesting and unusual recipes — with you. So stay tuned.

With warm regards,

Doug and Linc

Some rather good links:

To pre-order signed, first-edition copies of Linc’s upcoming solo novel, The Forgotten Room, click here. It should be noted that there are limited quantities, so if you want one, please order now….

To buy the "Dark and Bloody Guide to Florence", an historically accurate guidebook which Doug contributed to, for the adventurous tourist only…

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God is Dead

March 28, 2015

Hugh Paxton’s Blog had had rather a tiresome day. My wife had ordered me to leave forever, the drains were belching and emitting terrible smells. My daughter skipped school and that seemed to be my fault. Something to do with a friend’s birthday party and a missing rabbit cushion present. By ten o’clock things seemed calm. I had a look at the Netflix suggestions and there it was! God is dead! A bit of a stupid title – if God is dead then he must have been alive before he died. But the synopsis suggested an encounter between an aggressive atheist professor and a young Christian believer. Personally I am not religious. I don’t believe in any of it. But that’s just a passive sort of approach. If somebody believes in something why not if it doesn’t involve explosions. I like churches, mosques, pagan ruins, and religion has generated wonderful music. But this film got on my tits!

For the first twenty minutes I was rooting for the young heroic Christian and hoping he’d daunt the horrid atheist prof. Nothing to do with logic. Just I didn’t like the prof and the idealistic young Christian seemed bullied.

Fair play. But I began to feel that things weren’t cricket. The movie began to smell.

Then it stank. I watched it all and was filled with admiration for its makers – it is the neatest and most convincing piece of cinema I have ever seen promoting God and Jesus.

It’s all there. Rock and God and Rock and Roll! A nasty Muslim. Caring priests. A black guy who loves everything. Especially Jesus.

I took a brief break. Our dog had eaten a half kilo of Christmas cake, was allergic to raisins and was vomiting blood. My gals were screaming. It doesn’t help, really doesn’t. Off to the vet. Car windows open. I suggested that it was the dog’s fault. More screaming. At me. Fair enough. Nobody else to scream at.

Chaos, noise, vet bills, dog fine, back home. And back to God is Dead.

The terrible thing about a movie or a person with an agenda is that the agenda might be sweetly packaged, might have jokes and music, good looking heroes, despicable villains, but if you have a brain you see through this charade and in a way, or in my way, rather resent their stupid assumption that we believe what we see. God according to this movie isn’t dead. There’s a music festival to prove it. The atheist professor gets run over by a car and converts to Christianity. God doesn’t put in an appearance. He doesn’t do that sort of thing. Or if he does I’ve not seen it. It could have been a very clever film. But it succumbed to temptation and thought the viewers were less clever than them. And God. It’s gentle viewing. Not a bad film if you are religious and like a bit of creativity in a cinema.

I’ll stick with this:

“First I wasn’t

Then I was

Now I ain’t again.”

A gravestone in England.

Thai Days: Dog and daughter – revolting!

March 27, 2015

I’m about to turn in but before I do, here’s a dog and my daughter. Revolting!


Hugh in Bangkok

Reaction to FWS issuing black rhino trophy import permit

March 27, 2015

Hugh Paxton Blog promises something a little more titillating tomorrow. A cop fired a warning shot through a big biker’s head after the biker ran a road block. That sort of thing! But for the time being you are stuck with rhinos! And the usual arguments.

From: Raul Arce-Contreras []
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 12:57 AM
Subject: Reaction to FWS issuing black rhino trophy import permit


US Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Black Rhino Trophy Import Permit

Decision Criticized by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International

(March 26, 2015)—The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has indicated that it will issue import permits to two American hunters who each applied to import a trophy of a critically endangered black rhino killed in Namibia.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International’s parent organization, issued the following statement:

“With rhino poaching on the rise—more than 1,200 were poached in 2014 including two dozen in Namibia—it is the worst sort of mixed message to give a green light to American trophy hunters to kill rhinos for their heads. When the global community is working so hard to stop people from killing rhinos for their horns, we are giving a stamp of approval to a special class of privileged elite to kill these majestic animals as a head-hunting exercise. The inconsistency is startling, and upends our moral authority.”


Media Contact:

Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301-721-6440, rcontreras

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated most effective by our peers. For 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 100,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read more about our 60 years of transformational change for animals and people, and visit us online at

If you would rather not receive future communications from Humane Society International, let us know by clicking here.
Humane Society International, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 United States

Rhino Horn or is it?

March 27, 2015

Hugh Paxton’s Blog reckons this is quite an idea! Let’s fake rhino horn! Nothing else seems to be working.

To: Hugh Paxton
Subject: FW: Rhino Horn

What do you think?

Subject: Rhino Horn

Interesting approach –

Critical conference maintains global momentum to curb wildlife crime

March 27, 2015

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is fairly sure nobody will read this. I did but only twice. Hot air, fat politicians, first class flights declarations. Bulky African bellies to the bar. Bullshine! These people are going through the motions and they call this a critical conference! And the organisers call me a media professional. Ridiculous! I have never been professional in my life! And they have the nerve to address me as Dear. Dear!

Gimme a kiss darling! You jerks!

Global momentum to curb wildlife crime! Where is it? Where is this global momentum?

Tell this momentum to the thousands of pangolins heading north daily to the cauldrons of China.

These pompous gits are not in the least bit interested. It is black African corrupt incompetent leaders on a fat freeby reading a speech written for them by a Danish intern, World Bank copying ideas from my wife, bland well meaning fools “I love black people because I am afraid of them and they are … and minorities and colonialism is to blame ” from liberal democracies, and a few NGOs paying their own air fares and weeping in private.

Give me another break!

Enough yak!

My point is this,

We are in an era of talk , trembling and PC cowardice. These twerps in The Critical Conference don’t know where they are. Critical for them is they have problems with their hotel facilities. The water is not hot, I’m a Vegan, the bed is not in the right place, I’m very busy right now, yes I’ll take a herbal tea – green, no sugar, I said no sugar!!!

It doesn’t work for me! These government people have no passion, no interest, they are just pretending and it makes me feel bored.

Get off your fat arses folks and sort these things out!

This is no triumph! It is a waste of time and resources.

Hugh being critical!


From: Richard Thomas []
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2015 12:04 AM
To: Richard Thomas
Subject: Critical conference maintains global momentum to curb wildlife crime

Dear media professional,

Please find below a joint media release on behalf of TRAFFIC and WWF concerning the Kasane Statement on illegal wildlife trade, issued today by represenatives of 31 government representatives meeting in Botswana. I trust you find this information of interest.

Best regards Richard

Critical conference maintains global momentum to curb wildlife crime

Kasane, Botswana 25 March, 2015 – Heads of State, ministers and officials from 31 governments meeting today in Kasane reaffirmed their determination to scale up their response to the global poaching crisis, and adopted crucial new measures to help tackle the unprecedented surge in illegal wildlife trade.

During the one-day meeting, governments reported on their progress since the London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in February last year, when 41 countries and the EU agreed to take urgent and decisive action to combat wildlife crime, which threatens national security and sustainable development as well as populations of iconic species, such as elephants, rhinos and tigers.

Key successes in the past year include increased levels of law enforcement action, especially in Africa, which have led to a rise in ivory seizures, while some countries have started to improve their domestic wildlife-related legislation. Last month, 13 tiger range countries in Asia committed to a zero poaching framework and toolkit, which could be used as a blueprint for curbing poaching worldwide.

“World governments demonstrated here in Kasane how they are turning the commitments in the London Declaration into tangible actions on the ground and strengthening their resolve to see the job through,” said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.

The Kasane Statement builds upon the commitments in the London Declaration to eradicate the market for wildlife products, ensure effective legal frameworks and deterrents against wildlife crime, strengthen law enforcement, and support sustainable livelihoods.

Countries adopted a number of additional measures, including focusing on tackling money laundering and other financial aspects of wildlife crime.

“The commitment to follow the money is a huge, innovative step that provides a mechanism to bring down the trafficking kingpins by hitting them where it hurts – in their pockets. It should also help to stamp out the corruption that so often undermines enforcement actions,” said Broad.

The Statement calls for the engagement of relevant community groups and the appropriate retention of benefits from wildlife resources by local people. Participants also agreed to engage further with the private sector, including logistics and transport companies, which are uniquely placed to stem the flow of illicit wildlife products but often find themselves an inadvertent vector for wildlife trafficking.

At the consumer end of the trade chain, extra impetus will be injected into understanding the motivations and behaviour of users of illegal wildlife products.

“Wildlife criminals have been reaping big profits for very little risk for too many years but the commitments agreed to in London and now Kasane could change the game by drastically increasing the risks for traffickers while also reducing their rewards,” said Carlos Drews, WWF Director Global Species Programme. “The Kasane Statement also provides important backing for an ambitious United Nations General Assembly resolution on wildlife crime, which would raise the stakes even higher and encourage a more concerted global drive against transnational organized crime.”

A strong UNGA resolution would be the ideal mechanism to monitor and report on the implementation of the commitments made in London and Kasane, which will be vital to the long-term success of global efforts to reduce the illegal wildlife trade.

“It’s a year since London and while the tide is slowly turning against wildlife criminals, more effort is urgently needed because poaching levels are still far too high,” said Drews. “Important progress has been made but the war against illegal wildlife trade will only be won if governments continue scaling up their efforts and working together to turn these commitments into concrete results.”

Notes to editors:

London Declaration on the Illegal Wildlife Trade: Review of Progress: The report is available on the UK government website:

The following 31 countries participated at the Kasane Conference: Angola, Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, UK, USA, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe

For more information and interviews with WWF and TRAFFIC delegation in Kasane, please contact:

Richard Lee, WWF, Communications Specialist, Wildlife Crime Initiative; Tel: +41 79 691 4018; rlee

Richard Thomas, TRAFFIC, Global Communications Co-ordinator. Tel. +44 1223 651782, Mob +44 (0) 752 6646216, Richard.thomas

About WWF

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. for latest news and media resources


TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, is the leading non-governmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of WWF and IUCN.

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