What we learned this week

The Royal Institute of British Architects has declared a climate emergency, highlighting the role that architecture plays in climate change. They aim to make sustainable practice the norm within five years.

Another British institution, The National Trust, announced this week that it will divest its billion pound investment portfolio from all fossil fuels. The National Trust is an agency in charge of Britain’s national heritage of both buildings and landscapes, including 780 miles of coastline. It is therefore vulnerable to climate change, and this is a sensible step.

Ipsos Mori’s latest bulletin on ‘what worries the world‘ is worth a browse. Britain tops the world for concern about the rise of extremism, for instance.

More neutral observers have been saying fracking isn’t profitable for a while, but as DeSmog reports, the industry itself seems to be recognising it now. For investors, “the shale gas revolution has frankly been an unmitigated disaster”, former shale gas CEO Steve Schlotterbeck told a recent conference. “The amount of shareholder value destruction registers in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The industry is self-destructive.”

Ecosia is a renewable energy powered search engine that plants trees. I remember trying it a few years ago and not getting on with it. I tried it again recently and it’s improved enough that it is virtually indistinguishable from the mighty search empire that shall not be named. I love the way it is totally transparent, and is planting trees in Madagascar and Kenya.


    1. Excellent. I was sceptical, as Google have been streets ahead for 20 years now. Pleasantly surprised to find that Ecosia works well, especially since it is based on an enhanced version of Bing, which I find completely unworkable.

      1. Interesting feature of Ecosia by Ethical Consumer, illustrating the network of relationships that seems so much a feature of our world today. Makes it challenging to achieve the rapid positive changes we need…

        1. Thanks, I’ll drop that in the links round-up today. If revenue depends on ad clicks, I suspect I haven’t made them pennies and planted no trees, it transpires! But as long as it works, its going to be better than the alternatives.

          1. Yes i realised the same for me. But at least we are boosting Ecosia’s ‘total user’ statistics which could help their marketing etc (I think?). Thanks for the ‘hat tip’ in your ‘what we learned….’

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