What we learned this week

There’s a first time for everything, and here’s a link from the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute, who are asking this month if economic growth can continue forever. My friend Katherine Trebeck is among the contributing essayists as they look at arguments on both sides.

The US food website Epicurious announced this week that they would no longer feature beef in recipes or features. It’s a climate inspired decision that I’d love to see replicated more widely. It’s not telling anyone what they can and can’t eat. It’s just declining to promote a food that is disproportionately destructive to our liveable atmosphere. Here’s their explanation and a Q+A.

Is it time to retire Earth Day, asks Andrew Couts at Gizmodo. He mentions the PR emails that inundate environmental journalists, and I agree – it’s definitely the busiest day of the year for greenwash emails.

Tanmoy Goswami reports on some research into the effects of the Bolsa Familia, a form of basic income that operates in Brazil. As a mental health specialist, Goswami focuses on something that doesn’t get mentioned very often in discussions around basic income – its effect on mental health and suicide rates.

What will a good life look like when the coal is gone? Really good article from BBC Future Planet on rehabilitating Germany’s coal regions as production winds down.

Highlights from the blog this week in case you missed them:

When is it time to abandon a place?

Have you been watching Climate Change: Ade on the front lines? It’s a three part BBC series in which Ade Adepitan travels to visit communities already facing the devastating impacts of climate change. It’s on the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service if that’s available to you, or see these educational resources otherwise. In the series, Adepitan…

What White People can do next, by Emma Dabiri

I haven’t reviewed all the books on race that I’ve read over the last few years, but I thought I’d make an exception for this one, Emma Dabiri’s What White People can do next. The title suggests a kind of to-do list for white people who want to make themselves useful in the struggle against…

In defence of electric vehicles: roadside air pollution

Electric vehicles are a strangely contested technology. In some circles they are celebrated, many are supportive but hesistant, and some downright hate them. What I find interesting about the hatred is that it comes from completely opposing directions. Men who like their cars to go ‘vroom vroom’ hate them, with Jeremy Clarkson the iconic leader…

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