What we learned this week

Steven Donzinger is a New York lawyer who has been working to fight American oil companies pollution in indigenous lands in Ecuador and elsewhere since the nineties. He won a $9.5 billion case against Chevron in 2011. He is currently under house arrest, facing a highly dubious private prosecution brought by Chevron. A campaign has emerged to support him and protect those who take on the oil companies.

Does your local council invest in fossil fuels through its pension funds? A new data portal from Platform and Friends of the Earth allows you to check, so that you can write to them and ask them to divest by COP26.

I’ve written before about solar panel recycling, and how industries are gearing up for the afterlife of PV. Here’s an update on Australia, which has a higher percentage of homes with solar panels than anywhere else in the world.

Ocean Refresh wrote to tell me about their shoes and flip-flops made from recycled ocean plastics, which I will bear in mind next time in the market for such things.

Ecosia is the internet search engine I use, with its promise to use its profits to plant trees. Ethical Consumer investigates how their claims stack up. (HT Marcus)

Book update: Climate Change is Racist will be out in June in paperback and ebook, and this week I heard about plans for an audiobook too, which I’m quite excited about.

Some highlights from this week:

A washing machine for a circular economy

I recently wrote about how France is investing in a culture of repair, as part of a broad shift towards a circular economy. New standards for repairability and durability will help to push manufacturers to improve the quality of their products, and one company has already been running with the idea. L’Increvable – which translates…

What we can learn from Wangari Maathai

On Monday I reviewed Wangari Maathai’s biography, Unbowed. But Wangari Maathai Day is actually today and I wanted to reflect a little more on what we can learn from the life of Kenya’s best known environmentalist. Maathai hailed from the Rift Valley, where I spent some very formative years myself. I witnessed the majesty of…

Book review: Unbowed, by Wangari Maathai

Africa celebrates Wangari Maathai Day every March, on the same day as Africa Environment Day, in honour of the continent’s first female Nobel Peace Prize Winner. There are particular reasons to note it this year, as it is the tenth anniversary of Maathai’s death and a good time to remember her legacy. With that in…


  1. I am surprised that Australia has got the highest PV concentration in the world. On our visit to Perth, Melbourne, Sidney, etc. in 2007 we did get the impression that the Aussies hadn’t got the hang of the solar benefits. Maybe they caught up over the last 14 years.

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