What we learned this week

We kept four tortoises in Madagascar, along with many other pets of various kinds, so I have a soft spot for them. Here’s an unusual story about conserving them in the Mojave Desert, using 3-D printed booby-trapped decoy tortoises.

Can’t make it myself, but I like the title of the Ad-Free Cities conference happening today in London: Beyond Consumerism – reducing the brain pollution from advertising.

Is it better to be vegan or give up flying? I mean it’s not an either/or, but it’s a good and direct question from Flight Free.

Good arguments for doing both include the fact that the latest CO2 concentration data from the Mauna Loa observatory crossed 420ppm for the first time. It means that for all the increased attention on climate change, the world as a whole has yet to turn a corner on emissions and get them on a downward trend.

I know some readers are regulars at the Greenbelt Festival, which is back this August bank holiday. I’m on the programme twice this year. I’ll be doing a climate and racism talk in the grown-up literature tent, and then switching hats for a children’s author event the following day in the family venue.

Fashion is wasted on me and this is aimed squarely at female readers, so I’m not going to get around to reviewing Lauren Bravo’s How to Break Up with Fast Fashion. But I did want to give it a mention, because this is a really fun book – full of self-deprecating humour, and a non-jugdgemental guide to shopping better, swapping, repairing, and generally doing away with the idea of fast fashion. And all without giving up on style or a love of clothes.

I’m in school teaching creative writing this coming week, which is a bit of a new venture. It means I won’t be online, so you’ll have to forgive a reduced posting schedule over the next few days.

People want to cycle more

44% of people in the UK would like to cycle more than they do, according to a survey from Ipsos Mori. It’s a positive endorsement of policies for active travel, which is an important part of reducing transport emissions. A few years ago transport overtook power generation as the main source of Britain’s carbon emissions.…

Why climate action starts with the richest

When I talk about climate justice, I often compare carbon footprints across countries. My go-to comparison is per capita emissions in Madagascar (0.16 tonnes) and Australia (16 tonnes), two countries that I have a connection to. The annual climate impact of an average Australian is a hundred times larger than a Malagasy citizen. Or to…

Living bridges and botanical architecture

I expect most of us have at some point crossed a river or a ditch using a tree – either a fallen one, or a tree in just the right place. But at the Our Time on Earth exhibition last week at the Barbican, I was rather impressed with an exhibit that learns from the…

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