What we learned this week

Considering the CEO of Ryanair used to be one of the most outspoken climate deniers in the business, it’s interesting to see the airline’s change of tune on the environment. This week they announced their plans to be carbon neutral by 2050 – with some actual details on how that will work.

A while back I wrote about ten climate podcasts to try, and there are of course more than ten I could have chosen. This week the team at MIT got in touch to recommend TILClimate, which I’ve been listening to this week. Standing for ‘today I learned’, their short and snappy 15 minute episodes look at one subject related to climate – trees, farming, fusion energy, etc.

The Ecologist reports on how Rio Tinto have destroyed a lake ecosystem in Madagascar by discharging their mine tailings pond into a lake. It was done to protect a dam during a cyclone, making an unfortunate connection between climate change and pollution.

This week I sent the March edition of my Zero Carbon Luton newsletter. The monthly email tells the remarkable true story of how Luton gets to net zero, and this time we look at LED streetlights and action on idling cars.

Easter break started yesterday, so I’m away for next week and the blog is on holiday posting schedule. I’ll be offline for a few days, and reading some fiction. (Specifically, Courttia Newland’s A River called Time, which I’ve been waiting for in paperback.)

Rebellion – the documentary

A new documentary was released in selected cinemas last week, and on Netflix from today. Called Rebellion, it tells the inside story of Extinction Rebellion, how it got started, the thought processes behind it, and its current relevance. Here’s the trailer: Directed by first-time film-makers Maia Kenworthy and Elena Sánchez Bellot, this is all about…

We need to pay for climate adaptation in Africa

Here in the temperate north, climate change can feel like a distant threat. It sort of hovers there as an abstract concern. We know we ought to do something about it eventually, but many find it hard to treat climate change with any sense of urgency. This is what I call climate privilege, because in…

Energy savings at the base of the pyramid

Energy costs in Britain are rising, and so is the number of households struggling to keep up with their bills. I’ve written before about how energy efficiency could help, and how governments have repeatedly failed to raise the efficiency of homes. The blind spots of government were well summarised in a briefing from the energy…

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