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living-planet-index

Charting the decline of the world’s wildlife

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the Living Planet Report and wrote that it contains two of the most important graphs in the world. The first shows the earth’s biocapacity and how we are overshooting it. The second is this one: This is the Living Planet Index. The index takes trends in 10,380 different […]

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battery storage

Building of the week: the Tehachapi battery

Renewable energy technology is moving fast. The price of solar PV has plunged in recent years, and the cost of wind turbines is falling too. Grid parity beckons, but the more renewable energy there is in the grid, the more balancing there will need to be to cope with intermittency. The output from solar panels […]

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equality

The gap(s) between rich and poor

Today is Blog Action Day. The theme is inequality, and thousands of bloggers will be looking at the topic today. Since it’s something I write about regularly, I thought I’d join them and write about Church Action on Poverty. We often hear about the gap between the rich and poor, and how it needs to […]

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shell-ad

Why are the oil companies on a PR assault?

On my commute this week, I couldn’t help but notice that in the streets I walk through in London on my way to the office, there are no fewer than five billboards for four different fossil fuel companies. Shell have one of their much parodied ‘let’s go’ ads, with a picture of a girl reading […]

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aral sea 2014

The Aralkum desert

In his book Water: Life in every drop, Julian Caldecott describes the Aral Sea as “one of the most spectacular ecological disasters of the Twentieth Century”. That disaster is now in its final stages, as new satellite images revealed this month that the whole eastern lake is now gone. What we have in its place […]

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pathway-to-a-lowcarbon-economy

How fast can we decarbonise without breaking the economy?

Last week I wrote about the difficulties of reconciling ongoing economic growth and a safe climate. Here’s another reason. The graph below is taken from PwC’s Pathway to a low carbon economy. They’ve calculated that global carbon intensity needs to accelerate from an average of 0.9% a year to 6.2% a year all the way […]

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simple living in history

Book review: Simple Living in History

Simple living, paring back our lives to focus on the things that matter most, is not a new idea. All through history people have advocated simpler living – for happiness, for virtue, for God, or for the earth. It’s always been there in our wisdom traditions. It may be more important now than it has […]

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learned-this-week

What we learned this week

UK house prices have increased by 230% in thirty years, while German house prices have fallen by 10% – as planned. Yesterday I wrote about Gujarat’s solar canals, but Britain recently saw its first solar installation on water too. Floating them on a reservoir doubles up on infrastructure and saves land that could be used […]

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solar-canal

Building of the week – the solar canal

1.2 billion people in the world don’t have access to electricity, and therefore lack the life-changing technologies of electric light, refrigeration, power tools, or computing. A quarter of those 1.2 billion unconnected people live in India, and providing electricity to them is one of the government’s big priorities. It’s a major challenge – imagine bringing […]

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header-02-copy

The Great Seed Festival

This week I got an email from the organisers of The Great Seed Festival. I like the idea of celebrating something overlooked, and I’ve never heard of an event quite like it, so I’m going to give it a guest post: Our entire lives depend on seed. Almost all of the food we eat starts […]

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