What we learned this week

The idea of ‘sobriété énergétique’, or energy restraint, is gaining traction among local authorities in France. As this article points out, radical energy efficiency presents something of a challenge to growth economics.

More evidence that electric cars are better even if charged on coal power. And as the article points out, an internal combustion engine’s environmental performance is more or less fixed at the point of manufacturing. An electric car can potentially get greener over time as the grid itself transitions to cleaner energy.

As investors and partners bail on Britain’s new nuclear power stations one by one, it’s beginning to look like they are unbuildable. This leaves a huge hole in our national energy strategy. We can meet climate targets without them, but not without some serious re-thinking at government level. Carbon Brief investigate.

The Re:Tuna shopping centre for secondhand and upcycled goods features on the BBC’s ‘People fixing the world’ podcast this week.

This week we’ve had the launch events for The Economics of Arrival in Scotland. WeAll Scotland have a little write-up. We’ve also been writing more guest posts, such as this one for the Rapid Transition Alliance, and this excerpt in Bella Caledonia.


  1. Glad to hear some local authorities in France are beginning to embrace energy restraint (conservation). So different than efficiency, and really why can’t we just not have all the bright lighting. Or have institutions and homes a little lower temperature…. voluntary simplicity (aka sanity). Reading about your symposiums and book launch reminded me how bugged I am when I hear politicians here in Canada say we have to “grow the economy”….. like its a vegetable or a fruit. And , this is coming from Prime Minister Trudeau, who is supposed to be a climate leader. I don’t want to be too cynical though . Reading how your book. is showing a new way, the economics of well being… this is so exciting and hopeful…. the conservor society we dream of. Good luck in this good work…. Fritz Schuamcher’s of the 21st century. i

    1. Yes, it’s such a huge assumption that everthing must grow, without ever asking who benefits and who loses, and whether there is ever a point of enough. It’s a brave politician who says otherwise, and that’s why we need more positive ways of talking about the end of growth – like maturity, or arrival.

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