What we learned this week

Here’s a neat sign of the decline of fossil fuels. Porsche know that their cars tend to have a long life on the roads, so they’re investing in alternative fuels as a way of providing for Porsche owners who will be running their petrol sports cars long into the transition to electric.

And another – the Navajo Generating Station was one of America’s biggest coal power stations. It closed last year, and its massive grid connection infrastructure could be recycled into a pumped hydro energy storage system to make the most of local renewable energy.

“We can’t have billionaires and stop climate change” argues Jason Hickel in The Correspondent, part of their series on billionaires, inequality and climate breakdown.

Treetime App got in touch this week to tell me about their Kickstarter campaign. A lot of tree planting projects are hard to verify, so they plan to use drones to send you photos of your tree as it grows in a forest in New Zealand. I don’t really want another app on my phone, but I do think it’s a fun and creative approach to transparency.

Another little experiment that I’ll say more about another time, but US based readers can now find all my latest reviews and recommendations at Earthbound Books, a book platform that supports local bookstores. UK version coming soon, and I’ll launch it properly then.

An upcoming event that’s on my radar: The Green Christian festival features Jonathon Porritt, Rob Hopkins, Rebecca Willis, Bishop James Jones, and a wide range of poets, activists and thinkers reflecting on imagination, sustainability and spirituality. I’m facilitating the opening discussion on the Friday evening. You can see the whole programme here.


  1. Do Hickel’s points about billionaires add weight to the idea of windfall taxes like those in 1914-18, 1981, 1997, 2008 (as per this article)?
    It would be interesting to know how those could be formulated, if so? And anything to learn from earlier precedents of previous super-rich people; rail, steel, oil barons and the like? Did anything substantial of their fortunes ever get distributed?

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