What we learned this week

I came back from two weeks of holiday to find my garden looking notably parched and dessicated. While I was doing my best to ignore the news, it turns out that 50% of Europe slipped into drought.

While it won’t raise a huge amount of revenue, Canada’s new tax on expensive cars, boats and private planes sends a clear signal about the social value of such things.

Also on cars, Ford has announced the biggest purchase of renewable energy in US history. It brings forward the company’s aims for 100% renewable production by a decade, upgrading the previous target of 2035 to 2025 instead.

“The baton has clearly been passed from climate deniers to climate dismissers and is slipping into the fingers of the ecofascists—which means it’s important to understand their ideology.” Mary Annaise Heglar on ecofascism, climate and white supremacy. (see recent posts on ecofascism here ICYM)

Economics is too important to leave to the economists – a little article I wrote for the Church Times recently, which appeared while I was away.

If you’re in Luton next week and want to do something with the kids, I’m doing some children’s author events at local libraries. It’s free, and it’ll be fun:

Book review: Property will cost us the Earth

Last year Verso published one of the more controversial climate books of the year, Andreas Malm’s How to Blow up a Pipeline – reviewed here recently. While it’s not as incendiary as the title suggests, the Swedish academic does call for an escalation in tactics. He suggests that it is time to move from protest…

What we learned by getting the train to Sweden

I’m back from holidays this week, having taken the family on a bit of an adventure over the last fortnight. We went to Sweden to visit friends, finally taking up a long standing invitation. After a few days on their farm, we spent some time exploring Stockholm and Copenhagen on the way home. Since we…

How Playmobil is making toys from old fridges

Playmobil was a staple of my childhood. At one point we had a whole village of homes and shops made out of shoeboxes, all populated by colourful plastic families. As an adult, I discovered that Playmobil owes its origins to an oil crisis. In the 1970s, German toy firm Geobra Brandstatter was best known for…

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