What we learned this week

The Jubilee Debt Campaign have a petition to cancel Ukraine’s debts as a way of supporting the country. It’ll take thirty seconds, so you could right click, open in new tab and do it now. I’ll wait here…

Thanks for doing that. Where were we?

When talking about eating less meat, I have on occasion had the response that vegetarians eat soy, and this destroys the rainforest. (Shrug. What can you do, eh? Guess I’ll just have to keep doing the thing I had no intention of changing…) But as WWF highlight in this nicely presented report, meat is soy too. It was just fed to the animal first.

Ever heard of Cascara tea? It’s made from the cherry skins left over after processing coffee beans. They’ve been drinking it for a thousand years in Ethiopia, but it’s unknown in Nepal. So Practical Action have facilitated a cross-cultural exchange of techniques in order to reduce waste and raise income for coffee farmers.

It’s B Corps month at the moment, which includes a the first B Corps shop in London, a pop-up store showcasing the many different products and services being made by ethical businesses.

Earth Hour is tonight. But if you’re about to roll your eyes and say that switching the lights off for an hour makes no difference to emissions, you have missed the point. It’s a symbol. It’s a moment of solidarity with those without power. It’s an opportunity to talk as a family about the world we share the energy we use. And you can play games in the dark. I wouldn’t necessarily bother if I didn’t have children of the right age, but if you do, try it. Lights out at 8:30.

The inevitable decline of climate scepticism

Climate change is a distressing enough prospect without the hysterical tone of the debate around it. Because extremes generate engagement, online algorithms tend to push everything to one of two sides. Newspapers pick a side to stand on and sneer across the divide. TV and radio reports, until fairly recently, would invite guests from both…

Interview: how to electrify a bike with Swytch

A couple of weeks ago my wife and our ten-year-old son took over the kitchen for an afternoon and turned her bike into an e-bike. They used a conversion kit from Swytch, who will send you a new front wheel with a hub motor. Swap over the wheel, install the battery and wire it up,…

Book review: Race for Tomorrow, by Simon Mundy

Climate change “will remain the biggest and most important story that I, or any journalist of my generation, will get the chance to cover” says Simon Mundy, environment and sustainability reporter for the Financial Times. As a journalist married to a journalist, this is a familiar conversation, and Mundy has invested more in the story…

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