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Westmill Solar farm  AGM 2013

One week to invest in community energy

If you’ve thought about investing in community energy in the past and never quite got round to it, this is the week to bite the bullet. There’s just one week left for many community energy projects to get funding, and after this latest round, there may well be far fewer and less attractive opportunities for […]

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How climate change can undo development

Progress on extreme poverty has been a success story over the past 20 years. Though it has happened faster in some places than others, millions have been lifted out of poverty and are enjoying better health, education and life expectancy. Unfortunately, climate change threatens that progress. According to the World Bank, climate change could push […]

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E4 – the four crises of the 21st century

There have been a few attempts to sum up the interlocking problems we face as a human race. The UNEP proposed ‘21 issues for the 21st century‘, which is too many for most of us to get our heads round. The World Economic Forum maps global risks across five broad categories. Some talk about the […]

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Britain to phase out coal by 2025

Yesterday Britain’s energy minister Amber Rudd made a big speech aimed at ‘resetting’ Britain’s energy policy. Coming good on the joint promises made during the election, one of the key aspects of the plan is to phase out coal entirely by 2025. This, for a change, puts Britain ahead of the pack. As far as […]

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Drip irrigation for the 90%

Last year I wrote about an IFPRI report that outlined 11 technologies to feed the world in the coming decades. They’re all relatively straightforward things that, if widely adopted, would make a major difference to soil stewardship and food production. One of the simplest on the list is drip irrigation, which is a system that […]

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What we learned this week

Do subatomic particles play? David Graeber wonders if play is a fundamental principle of science in The Baffler. I tend to give politicians the benefit of the doubt on these things, but the letters between David Cameron and his local council worryingly suggest that the Prime Minister literally doesn’t know what his economic policy is […]

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Building of the week: Bosco Verticale

I mentioned this building back in 2011 when construction had just started, and now that it’s complete, I thought it was worth featuring in detail. Bosco Verticale is the world’s first ‘vertical forest’, a pair of residential tower blocks in Milan that have been planted with hundreds of trees. They look spectacular, but the trees […]

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Halfway to 2 degrees

There is broad agreement that if we are to keep the climate manageable, we have to stay within two degrees of global warming. This month the MET Office warned that 2015 will be the first year that will be 1 degree hotter than the pre-industrial era. This year is going to be a warm one […]

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utah tar sands

The significance of the Keystone XL victory

Because the Keystone XL pipeline is an American issue, we haven’t heard much about it here in the UK, and certainly haven’t had the opportunity to join in the protests in the same way. So it’s easy to miss just how significant the whole affair has been, in building the US climate movement, and in […]

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The energy companies bailing on coal

In November last year, the energy company E.ON made a significant announcement: it would focus on clean energy and energy retail, hiving off its fossil fuel assets into a separate company. This is the kind of thing we’d expect energy companies to have to do as their profits are squeezed by high production costs and […]

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