miscellaneous

What we learned this week

A striking climate change conundrum has emerged in Namibia, where drought threatens the survival of 200 elephants. The government’s solution? Sell the elephants.

My wife, who is a BBC radio journalist, recorded a special programme on ‘earth heroes’ in our local area. It features activists, inventors, entrepreneurs and more, and you can listen back here.

People have been talking about geothermal power from Cornwall for decades and the potential has never been properly tapped, so it’s great to hear that the first commercial contract has been signed to supply it. (It’s with Ecotricity, once again with another UK first.) It’s only for 3MW of power at the moment – but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Good to read about an amendment to the Basel Convention on waste trading, that will hopefully give developing countries more ways to prevent plastic dumping by overdeveloped nations.

This graph of new car sales in Norway, posted by Robbie Andrew on Twitter, shows how pure petrol or diesel cars are now very much a minority interest. This is a dramatic shift in a decade, and the kind of thing I would hope to see in Britain in the coming years – alongside an overall decline in car sales and increased public and active transport, naturally.

Three of this week’s posts, in case you missed them:

Vegan honey and our relationship with nature

This week I came across an intriguing company called MeliBio that has developed a vegan honey. They have broken down the process that bees use to make honey and then replicated it using fermentation. It’s not a synthetic alternative to honey. It is biologically identical, even though no bees were involved. It is ‘animal free’. […]

Book review: Building for Hope, by Marwa al-Sabouni

Marwa al-Sabouni is an architect from Homs in Syria. She lost her practice in the fighting, but chose to stay in the city with her family and play a role in its rebuilding. Little known outside the region, she became internationally recognised after the publication of her book The Battle for Home, which told her […]

What we learned this week

With the Biden administration looking to set its climate targets, Vox asks what a ‘fair’ target might be – with some suggesting it would be over 100%. “In America, we’re taught from a young age that the coolest thing in the world is to be a big man with a big car who eats big […]

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