What we learned this week

400 parts per million is the concentration of caffeine in coffee, NASA tweeted this week – and of course the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. I will be stashing this comparison for future climate science training events.

“Aid funding for climate disasters isn’t charity,” argues Alec Luhn in Vice, in a powerful article on Somalia’s drought and climate justice.

Cornwall is trialling e-bikes for police and cargo e-bikes for paramedics, both with very positive results so far.

We found out about Germany’s €9 train ticket campaign over the summer while we were travelling through. It was offered as a way of saving fuel and cutting transport costs, and it cut 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 as more people took the train rather than driving.

There has been a rush into firewood and wood-burning stoves in the run-up to winter. People are hoping to avoid high gas prices and possible disruption, but it’s a move that may have unintended consequences.

Another children’s book to mention – this summer I’ve been reading Geraldine McCaughrean’s book The Supreme Lie to the kids. It’s about a teenager who is drafted in to impersonate a dictator, during a catastrophic flood where the powerful are seeking to save themselves at the expense of others.

It doesn’t hold back on describing the natural disaster of the floods, and we had some good conversations about that. My favourite thing though was the addition of newspaper stories in-between the chapters. It’s not until halfway through the book that you realise there is more going on in them than you think, opening up some interesting questions about truth, propaganda, free speech and control of the media. Not typical children’s book topics, but really useful for children to know a little about.

Renew Hub: Manchester’s centre for reuse

Britain’s biggest reuse and repair centre has just celebrated its first birthday. In its first year of operations, Manchester’s Renew Hub has renovated and sold on 50,000 items – including 953 bikes, almost two thousand electrical items and six thousand items of furniture. In total, this has diverted over 500 tonnes from landfill, playing an…

Which appliances cost the most to run?

As price rises drive people to look for ways to save energy, there is suddenly a wealth of well presented information about energy use in the home. One of my favourites that I’ve seen recently is this chart from Bloomberg, which details the price of a variety of household appliances. It shows how much it…

Who will deliver us from this growth obsession?

Britain has another Prime Minister this week, Liz Truss, selected on behalf of the nation by the Conservative Party’s 172,447 paying members. In her acceptance speech she promised that “we will deliver, we will deliver, we will deliver”, as if her new job was with Uber Eats. Confusing as this was, it rather reminded me…

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