There was a reason Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, chose to announce his support for an initiative to forgo exploiting the Tiputini, Tambococha and Ishpingo oil fields under the Yasuni National Park - home to indigenous peoples and one of the most biodiverse places on earth - on 5 June 2007: 5 June, today, is the United Nations' 'World Environment Day.'
Humans love extremes. Extreme sports, extreme weather and extreme places. Higher, harder, longer. Hotter, wetter, deeper. No one recalls the second-lowest point on earth, but everyone knows the lowest - the Dead Sea. Go extreme or go home. There's no place for also-rans in this blog post: only the extremest of the extreme.
Assange must be pressing his tongue masochistically hard into the inside of his bottom lip, gurning with angry, frustrated groans at his own idiocy in failing to make it to South America proper but rather getting trapped in a glorified office building in West London. Edward Snowden could be dancing the Sanjuanito along La Costa by now, enjoying a well-deserved break from an undignified international manhunt.
As I sit typing on my laptop, I'm aware of an irresistible urge: to check my emails; check social networking sites; check whether there's been any update since I last checked five minutes ago! The thing is, I'm not crazy about technology, but if you're anything like me, you'll know it's easier said than done escaping it.
Government after government across Europe has been thrown out since the great recession began to drive back living standards. Whether on the centre-left, such as Gordon Brown and Zapatero, or on the right with Berlusconi and Sarkozy, political rejection has started to look inevitable. But Rafael Correa's massive re-election win in Ecuador yesterday was a reminder to his European counterparts that political defeat is no iron law of politics.