What we learned this week

Fairphone have worked with the Open Source community to provide a seventh year of software support for their Fairphone 2. That’s a new record for an Android device, and while that sounds niche and geeky, this is exactly the kind of thing that needs to become standard if we’re going to have gadgets that don’t die after two years.

If you’re still moping a little bit after COP26, here is 350 Europe’s round-up of seven climate wins from 2021.

New Harvest is an organisation to follow if you want to keep up with the latest on cultured meat, for both where the industry is at the moment and where it might go in the future – such as, you know, 3D printed meat.

Plug-in vehicles accounted for 28% of new car sales in November. That’s what a petrol shortage scare will do for EV sales.

Who pays the price for Amazon’s massive expansion? Consumer Reports have investigated the locations of new warehouses and how they affect communities.

It’s been a quieter week as I’ve had a book deadline to meet. It’s a fast-tracked project (again), and we’re compressing an 18 month schedule into four months, with Christmas in the middle of it. So there may be more quiet weeks ahead… It’s a kid’s book this time, it’s funny, and it has practically nothing to do with the themes of this blog. But I’ll let you know about it when it comes out.

Last speaking engagement of the year: on Wednesday 15th I’m talking to Green Christian about The Economics of Arrival, and you’re welcome to join. 7pm GMT on Zoom, details here.

Book review: Regeneration, by Paul Hawken

Drawdown is one of my favourite climate books, an extensive study into the top fifty ways to reverse climate change, edited into an accessible and inspiring book by Paul Hawken. Regeneration is similar. It’s presented in the same attractive but slightly unwieldy format, halfway between a paperback and a coffee table book. There’s a similarly…

Investigating failure demand

Imagine you run a website. You look up the most popular pages and you discover that the ‘help’ page gets more traffic than any other. Do you congratulate yourself on writing such a magnificent help page? Or do you ask what’s wrong with your website that so many people need help? That’s a classic example…

Reduce traffic, not just combustion engines

Electric cars are an important part of the government’s plans for a low carbon transport system. It’s in Boris Johnson’s ‘ten point plan’, though we await the specific policies that will accelerate the take-up of EVs. There’s no doubt that they will play a significant role, but electric vehicles are not enough on their own,…

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