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What we learned this week

Up to 70% of a supermarket’s energy use is from refrigeration. Somewhat unexpectedly, the Williams Formula 1 development team have a potential solution. How sustainable is solar power? – a provocative question from Low Tech Magazine. ‘Does watching TV better root you in your culture and the time and place you live in, or distance […]

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An Ecomodernist Manifesto

Having reviewed a book on the postgrowth society last week, I thought I’d mention something that comes from the other end of the spectrum this week. A number of high profile environmentalists released a statement last week called An Ecomodernist Manifesto. Signatories include Steward Brand, Roger Pielke, Mark Lynas, and a number of other academics […]

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passive solar

Three forms of renewable heat

Last week I wrote about the importance of renewable heat, and how heating our houses sustainably receives less attention than renewable electricity, despite being the bigger challenge. If we are to transition beyond fossil fuels, then heating our houses without gas is something of a priority. That means renewable heat, and there are several forms […]

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The Restorative Economy

One of my most interesting freelance jobs over the last couple of years has been a series of background papers for a new Tearfund campaign. I’ve been waiting to see what would come out of it at the end of the process, and last week the campaign finally launched. It’s called ordinary heroes, and it […]

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What we learned this week

I was critical of a campaign on African food sovereignty recently. The Campaign for Boring Development, a blog that specialises on African agriculture, has a good post on the same topic. Did you hear about the CEO who cut his own pay by 90% in order to give all his employees a raise this week? […]

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The Great Burning

An eloquent message from Richard Heinberg, on the end of the fossil fuel era. “If the 20th century was all about increasing our burn rate, year after blazing year, the dominant trend of the 21st century will be a gradual flame-out.” More from Richard Heinberg and the Post Carbon Institute

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the world beyond your head

The attentional commons

Matthew Crawford‘s The Case for Working With Your Hands is one of my favourite books, a work of profound but practical philosophy. I’ve been wondering what Crawford would write next, and it’s now out: The World Beyond Your Head – how to flourish in an age of distraction. It’s about how we steward our attention. […]

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Book Review: The Post-Growth Project

The Green House is a new think tank, established in 2011 to explore green political ideas. One of its main initiatives has been the Post Growth Project, aimed at exploring alternatives to the austerity and growth boosting that has followed the financial crisis. I’ve browsed various reports along the way, and they’ve now been compiled […]

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The importance of renewable heat

When we’re talking about renewable energy, we’re usually talking about renewable forms of electricity generation – solar, wind, and so on. That’s the general impression in the media, and they are certainly the connotations that come to my own mind. In fact, a renewable electricity supply is only one half of the energy transformation, and […]

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Climate change has a 1% too

Kevin Anderson is one of Britain’s leading climate scientists. I was reading one of his papers this week, and found an observation that’s worth passing on: global carbon emissions is subject to the same kind of 1% / 99% dynamic that is often pointed out in talking about financial power. Consider Pareto’s 80-20 rule, which […]

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