What we learned this week

For those of us who have been protesting about the right to protest in recent months, there was some good news as the House of Lords voted down a series of measures in the government’s policing bill.

A frying pan made with entirely recycled aluminium uses 95% less energy to make than one made with virgin metal, according to Swiss panhandlers Kuhn Rikon.

This week the government released its first attempt to calculate climate related deaths and hospitalisations in Britain, in what will become an annual statistic. One interesting finding is that – so far – warmer winters are saving more lives than hotter summers are taking.

I had missed the news of E O Wilson’s death, landing as it did in the quiet days between Christmas and New Year. A remarkable man, and a good excuse to re-visit his books, several of which have been reviewed here in the past. If you’ve never read Wilson, I made a reading list.

Last year I got to meet the Eliot Smith Dance company, who were developing a project around the climate emergency. I thought it was powerful, and if you’d like to support it and their wider community work in the North-East, they’re currently running a crowdfunder.

What can we learn from the world’s first carbon neutral cheddar?

Last week I wrote about the carbon footprint of cheese, which is second only to red meat as a high emission food. So it’s fortuitous timing that while I’ve been pondering the question, Wyke Farms have chosen this week to launch the world’s first carbon neutral cheddar. Since it’s been done well, and certified by…

First steps towards a UK Green New Deal

The idea of a Green New Deal originated in the UK in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It didn’t get anywhere at the time (despite the coalition government half borrowing the term for its ‘green deal’, which it subsequently botched anyway). It’s back on the agenda now after high profile campaigns in the US,…

How billionaires profited from the pandemic

The Covid-19 crisis has led to the fastest rise in billionaire wealth on record, according to Oxfam. While 99% of humanity is worse off because of the pandemic, the richest 1% are better off, and the ten richest men in the world doubled their wealth. As economies went into crisis mode, Oxfam explains, governments quickly…


  1. Bjorn Lomborg has been making the point that cold kills more than heat for a while so not sure why its surprising.

    1. No, it’s not surprising for a northern country. Climate change is global, so the balance of deaths internationally would not be the same.

      Also worth remembering that we can save winter deaths by insulating properly.

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