What we learned this week

I noticed that the queen mentioned climate change the other day. “It does mean we are going to have to change the way we do things really, in the end” she said, in possibly the most token words ever uttered on the subject.

“I have been called the father of critical race theory, although I was born in 1982, and critical race theory was born in 1981”. Ibram X Kendi responds to the bizarre paranoia around the theory, and the fact that those most paranoid about it don’t know what it is.

The Bristol Pound will close this year. It was the most successful of a spate of local currencies launched around the country a few years ago, but ultimately couldn’t overcome the preference for cashless payments during the pandemic.

“Can we resolve the fundamental conflict between the quest for limitless growth and the consequent environmental destruction?” Scientific American tackles the delusion of infinite economic growth.

Lydia Millet is a Pulitzer nominated novelist with a background in environmental policy, and this week I read her novel A Children’s Bible, which paints a rather bleak allegory about disaster, denial and intergenerational justice. Whether that sounds like your kind of thing or not, I’ve added it it to my list of fiction relevant to the themes of this blog, which you’ll find on Earthbound Books.

Don’t fight plastic, fight the producers

It’s Plastic Free July at the moment, a campaign run by a charity in Australia. According to the website, it’s a “global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution… Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?” I have two reactions to…

Book review: Our Biggest Experiment, by Alice Bell

Alice Bell is a science writer and communications director at Possible, and describes herself as “part-time historian of the apocalypse, part time campaigner for a better future.” I’ve been looking forward to her book for a while, and here it is: Our Biggest Experiment – A history of the climate crisis. I notice that in…

Carbon importers and exporters

When nations calculate their carbon emissions, the internationally agreed method is to count domestic emissions. That means you only count up greenhouse gas emissions that occur within your geographical boundaries. Certain things get left out when you do this, such as aviation and shipping. Imports and exports also complicate the picture. The UK runs a…

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