What we learned this week

Heatwaves over land get noticed because people live through them. Heatwaves at sea, not so much. The European Space Agency has been tracking the marine heatwave that affected the Mediterranean recently, and its consequences.

You saw that Yvon Chouinard has given away his company Patagonia? “As of now, Earth is our only shareholder,” he writes in a letter explaining how the Patagonia Purpose Trust will channel all profits to environmental action.

The EU has published new standards for repairability of phones and tablets, that will hopefully reduce emissions by a third. It’s a useful step that could have gone further, says the campaign coalition Repair.eu.

Tearfund’s new campaign on climate finance encourages people to send a coin to the Prime Minister, as a reminder that they’re not delivering on their funding promises.

Speaking of prime ministers not delivering on things, the Conservatives have overturned a manifesto pledge to allow fracking for gas in Britain again. Amidst the protests about that (even the founder of the fracking company Cuadrilla says it won’t work) you might have missed that they also lifted their planning restrictions on onshore wind in England.

Can Polestar deliver a zero carbon car?

There are a number of examples of companies working to reduce the emissions from the cars that they produce. This summer Ford announced that their Michigan plant, the mother of all car factories, would be carbon neutral by 2025. Bentley claim to have Britain’s greenest car plant, but they make the least efficient petrol cars…

Why does chocolate have a high carbon footprint?

The list of the top five most carbon intensive foods reads like this: I’ve written a fair bit about the relative carbon footprints of foods, and I have mainly focused on meat and dairy. I’ve written specifically about beef and about cheese in the past, so it’s probably time I thought about the next one…

What we owe the future, by William MacAskill

William MacAskill is a pioneering thinker, and one of the movers and shakers behind the Effective Altruism movement. His book Doing Good Better is a brilliant introduction, and I’ve written a fair number of posts about the movement here on the blog in the past. I’ve learned a lot from Effective Altruism, been inspired by…

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