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Giving it all away

This weekend Tim Cook announced that he would be giving away his fortune. As the head of Apple, that’s a lot to give away, but he’s not the first extremely wealthy individual to make that choice. A few years ago Warren Buffett declared that he planned to give away 99% of his wealth, and he […]

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What we learned this week

If you’ve got time for a longer read, this is a great article about the two friends who have spent decades trying to make the former Iron Curtain no-man’s land into a nature reserve. David Graeber’s 10 part series for Radio 4, Promises, Promises: A History of Debt, is well worth catching while it’s online. […]

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Forest elephant congo

The elephant gardeners of the African forest

Yesterday I wrote about the volunteer gardeners of Elephant and Castle, but that reminds me of something tangential but interesting. In some places, Elephants are known as the ‘gardeners of the forest’. Until recently, most of us believed there were two kinds of elephants – African ones and Asia ones. Then in 2010 a study […]

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The gardeners of Elephant and Castle

On my way to my London office, which I frequent a couple of times a week, I get off the train and walk through Elephant and Castle. It’s a distinctive and slightly odd part of the city, dominated by a down-at-heel shopping centre and an enormous roundabout. I actually quite like the shopping centre, which […]

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Cryptocurrencies for good

Since the release of BitCoin a few years ago, there has been an explosion of interest in alternative online currencies. A host of cryptocurrencies has followed, with dedicated exchanges, forums, apps, and even ATMs. For those that don’t move in that world, it’s been hard to keep up. I admit I don’t know my DogeCoin […]

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Building of the week: WWF’s Living Planet Centre

If you’re an environmental charity and you’re commissioning a new office, you’re going to want to live up to your own standards and deliver a low-impact, highly efficient building. That’s the challenge WWF faced with their new offices in Woking, which incorporates a wide range of sustainable construction technologies. To reduce the use of steel […]

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The best and worst of charity ads

A couple of years ago I wrote about the Rusty Radiator awards, which name and shame the most exploitative, cliched charity ads – and honour those doing something different, respectful and inspiring. Out of curiosity, I looked them up again to check out this years winners and losers. I won’t give the oxygen of publicity […]

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Why cheap oil is as problematic as expensive oil

The oil price continues to bump along – today it’s at $42 a barrel, as low as it has been since the financial crisis. For some commentators, this is a good thing, a boost to a flagging global economy. But cheap oil is a problem too, something Samuel Alexander explores in his Simplicity Institute paper […]

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Keep it in the ground

Earlier this year the Guardian announced that it was going to be putting climate change ‘front and center‘ in its news  coverage. Editor Alan Rusbridger explained that the media, his own paper included, has struggled to do justice to climate change. “We prefer to deal with what has happened, not what lies ahead” he wrote. […]

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china wind power

China has a third of the world’s wind power

One of the common objections to lowering carbon emissions is that anything we do as a country or an individuals will be pointless if China keeps opening a new coal power station every week. We should update the cliche, because China is building renewable energy faster than anyone. Its wind energy capacity grew so fast […]

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