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:

What we learned this week

A news update first: this week I signed a book deal with Icon Books. Is Climate Change Racist? is slated for publication in early summer. For those who have been waiting for it, thanks for your patience! It’s on its way. AFP Factcheck, the largest journalistic verification operation on the internet, has put together a […]

Building of the week: Preston Bus Station

Whether you appreciate its aesthetic or not, there’s no doubt that Brutalism gave us some of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings. Named after the french word for raw or untreated, the architectural movement used exposed concrete to create stark and angular buildings. Done badly, it meant grey soulless monoliths, ugly and unloved and hardly […]

The weight of the human world

2020 may have marked a strange symbolic moment: when the weight of the human world overtook the weight of the natural living world. A paper in the Nature journal has attempted to quantify and compare these two measurements. On one side is the weight of all the world’s living things, the forests and the plants […]

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