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Growth and the endless war on carbon

Last week I wrote about the New Climate Economy report and its confidence in the compatibility of economic growth and a safe climate. I suggested that politicians and the media were hearing what they wanted to hear without actually reading the report, because it doesn’t actually promise to halt climate change. But there’s another thing […]

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climate for development

No end to poverty without climate action

“Climate change is rapidly becoming the greatest threat to poverty eradication” according to a new report. It’s from a coalition of NGOs that includes environmental groups such as WWF and Greenpeace, alongside those better known for their campaigning on poverty, such as Practical Action, Christian Aid and Oxfam. The UN is in the process of […]

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the internet

A picture of the internet

You know those photos of the earth from space at night? The ones with streetlights of the global north aglow? Hang on, I’ll go and get one. Thanks NASA. You’ve probably seen that before, but I recently came across one that looks rather similar. Anyone want to guess what this one shows? This is the […]

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WikiHouse

Building of the week: Wikihouse

Architecture has been a bit of an elitist subject, historically. It tends to be richer people who can pay for good architects and get the benefits, while cheaper houses tend to be built to a template, whole streets looking the same. But what if houses were modular, and you could plan your own home from […]

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gravity light

Light your home with gravity

A third of the world’s population lacks cheap electricity, and one of the most basic benefits they’re missing out on is electric light. It’s bright, steady, and safe. It’s also cheap. Buying kerosene for lamps is one of the biggest cash expenses in many unconnected African households. Since those lamps are also a fire risk, […]

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growth-and-climate-together

Better growth, Better climate – but not better enough

With Ban Ki-Moon’s climate summit kicking off tomorrow, we’ve had a spate of climate related reports over the last week or so. I might do a round-up at some point, but the one I’ve been browsing on the train is the New Climate Economy report, from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. I’m […]

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learned-this-week

What we learned this week

This week was International Ozone Day, and the story of the Montreal Protocol remains the best evidence that the international community could act on climate change if wanted to. And the good news on the ozone layer itself is that it is on the mend. A French designer is experimenting with deliberately inconvenient furniture – […]

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tiny house

Building of the week – the tiny house

In Britain, the pressure of the current housing crisis has led to smaller homes. Developers are packing more homes into the same space, and the average house size is shrinking. In some cases, especially for families on lower incomes, this can lead to overcrowding and that can be serious. More often it’s just an inconvenience. […]

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yes

Scotland – it’s about democracy

I’ve thought about it a lot over the last few months, but I’ve chosen not to engage in the Scottish independence debate on the blog. I’m not Scottish, don’t get a vote, and since I think Scotland wins either way, I haven’t felt the need to add my comments. But a couple of readers have […]

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emissions imports

EU emissions – decoupling or outsourcing?

Over the couple of decades, the EU’s carbon emissions have fallen, with some countries reporting fairly significant declines. This is what was hoped for, and indeed promised, through the Kyoto Agreement. As the world meets again to try to come to a new international climate agreement, the EU will be keen to champion its successes. […]

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