What we learned this week

Yesterday China’s long awaited emissions trading scheme launched. It’s the biggest carbon trading scheme in the world, incorporating 12% of global emissions, and its success or failure has truly global implications. In terms of significance, if not coverage, it’s one of the climate stories of the year. FAQ from Carbon Brief here.

I wrote last year about the possibilities of using old coal mines as a source of renewable heat for British homes, so it’s good to see the topic investigated by BBC Future Planet.

If you missed Rivercide in its live incarnation on Wednesday night, all is not lost and you can catch up with it on their website. It’s very good.

Also very good is David Olusoga on football, racism and nationalism. “This team is what Britain in its twenties – rather than its forties or its fifties – actually looks and sounds like” he says hopefully.

My favourite book of last year was All We Can Save, a collection of essays edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson. It hasn’t been available in the UK until this week, so if you’ve been waiting for it, now’s your chance to pick it up. You can get it from Earthbound Books of course.

School’s out and I’m away for a couple of weeks in Wales. I’ve scheduled a post or two, but I won’t be online to respond to comments.

7 ways to reduce the urban heat island effect

With heatwaves in the news again, there’s been a bit of a wake-up call on the growing risk of heat. Cities will want to consider how resilient they are to the increasing threat of heatwaves as the climate warms – especially as exposure to heat is a matter of justice. Those most vulnerable to heatwaves…

The pandemic has widened the wealth gap

Usually a recession makes people poorer. The Covid-19 induced recession hasn’t. Because people have been saving, and because house prices have continued to grow, wealth has increased even as economic growth took a dunking. As households have saved money, many of them will come out of the pandemic with lower debts. However, the distribution of…

Madagascar’s famine is climate injustice

Famines are complicated things. Amartya Sen’s studies, recognised in his Nobel prize, showed how they are political, to do with distribution as much as food availability. It’s not usually that there isn’t enough food to go around, but that it’s in the wrong places or those who need it can’t afford it. Many famine situations…

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