What we learned this week

This week I’ve been pondering the problem of all four of us in the house needing to be on laptops at the same time. Not sure this will work for us with my wife’s radio work, but here’s Kris De Decker at Low Tech Magazine and how he runs 15 year old laptops.

On the subject of low tech, there are currently five companies that transport goods by sailing ship, and they are profiled here. An eccentric niche at the moment, but with potentially useful learning going on.

As a little reminder of how little we still know about the planet we occupy, 503 new species were described in 2020, just by the scientists at the Natural History Museum.

With climate change increasing water stress, it’s only a matter of time before we see a major global city face a water emergency. Cape Town had a near miss a couple of years ago. Istanbul looks like it may be next to face the prospect.

Has anyone else seen the meat industry’s TV advert and PR campaign that “highlights the nutritional benefits of enjoying red meat and dairy”? The vegan january thing is clearly working.

This week’s highlights in case you missed them:

How Solar Foods produce food from the air

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” as Arthur C Clarke once said. Solar Foods may qualify as once of those advanced technologies, and they know it. They describe their product as “the magic powder of science”, and it might be one of the most radical ideas I’ve covered on the blog. Solar Foods…

Principles of simple technologies

I recently reviewed Philippe Bihouix’s book The Age of Low Tech, which makes the case for reducing our dependence on technological solutions to climate change. Instead, he argues that we should prioritise low tech solutions. A chapter of the book outlines the kind of thing he means, describing ‘the principles of simple technologies’. This reminded…

Building of the week: Beira Green Park

In March 2019, cyclone Idai blew in from the Indian ocean and hit the city of Beira, Mozambique. It was the second deadliest storm on record in the Southern Hemisphere, and the most expensive. Beira took the full force of the storm and was destroyed. That’s the word the city’s mayor Daviz Simango used, and…

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