What we learned this week

Just building all the renewable energy that already has planning permission would offset any loss from Russia’s oil and gas, according to analysis by Carbon Brief. So no need for fracking then.

Greenpeace have a petition to the government on a related note, asking for insulation and energy efficiency measures to reduce our use of Russian gas.

“You don’t get to be willfully ignorant and then plausibly surprised” – Mary Annaïse Heglar on the racist observations out of Ukraine, and how the recurring theme of whose suffering shocks us, and whose suffering is taken as routine.

Climber Alex Honnold explains sustainable banking and why he switched to a new green bank in the called Ando. Not for us in the UK right now, but American readers might want to check it out.

Though Ghana is famous for it cocoa beans, many cocoa farming families cannot afford a bar of chocolate. The Chocolate Has a Name project is crowdfunding now to create chocolate-making workshops in schools in Ghana, where children can make chocolate from scratch and understand their part in the story of a product that the world enjoys. Support it if you can.

How China uses renewable energy to restore the desert

Climate stories out of China often involve big numbers, both positive and negative. This one caught my attention recently though. The latest state energy announcement is for 455GW of new renewable energy by 2030. That’s 10% of the entire globe’s renewable energy capacity right now, but it wasn’t the big number that I was interested…

Where the world’s refugees go

With the question of refugees back in the newspapers in Britain, it’s time for a perennial reminder of who hosts refugees and why. The number of people leaving Ukraine will redraw this map, but this mid-2021 update from UNHCR shows where the world’s refugees are currently living: What this map doesn’t show is internally displaced…

Ukraine and the coming global food crisis

It’s the rising cost of energy that is dominating headlines at the moment, but there is another looming effect of the crisis in Ukraine – food prices. In a run-down of the world’s biggest wheat exporters, Russia is at number one, and Ukraine is at number five. Together they account for around a third of…


  1. What Mary Annaïse Heglar’s describes is not “white supremacy” but humanity.

    She is morally and philosophically correct we SHOULD care about all humans equally. But the objective fact is we don’t. There is a human trait towards tribalism, to care for those closer and more similar to you than others. It is an evolved trait probably older than humanity itself. She is angry at White Europeans being more upset at the fighting in Ukraine than in Syria or Ethiopia but Arabs are more upset by the fighting in Syria than Ukraine, Kenyans by the war in Ethiopia. It that Arab or Aftican Supremacy? She risks falling into Orientalism, judging non-white people by a lower standard than she judges the West.

    I’m not denying there is some racism in the response to Ukraine. Eastern European racist attitudes have hurt the Aftican and Indian students fleeing but to use a broad brush to label responses of British/Americans by those of Poles is the kind of racial generalisation she would object to if applied to other groups.

    1. It’s this bit in Heglar’s article that seemed most pertinent to me:

      “The climate crisis has been tangible in the Global South for decades now, but in the Global North, so many people felt like the crisis just crept up on them in the past couple of years. Why? Because they’re supposed to have droughts and floods and storms below the equator. In other words, their suffering didn’t count. So our media looked away.”

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