What we learned this week

Nice to see The Economics of Arrival get a mention in the New York Times this week, thanks to the world-changing work of my co-author Katherine.

I know this will leave traditionalists with their heads in their hands, but I love this proposal to rebuild the Notre Dame Cathedral roof in transparent solar panels.

Meanwhile, I have my head in my hands over government proposals to hike VAT on solar panels to 20%. Coal and gas enjoy VAT rates of 5%. More evidence, in my mind, of a government that talks about clean energy but is actively anti-renewables in practice.

On the subject of disasters, I wrote after the Grenfell tower fire that we shouldn’t turn our backs on tower refurbishment. Late in the day it may be, but the announcement that the government will pay for new tower cladding is welcome.

You may have already noted how much thought has gone into the aesthetics of the Extinction Rebellion protests, including graphics based on woodcuts to give them a more natural texture. This is the work of Clive Russell, who talks to Design Week about how they have defined the movement visually.

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