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Talking climate in the language of the right

Britain’s general election is underway, and once again the climate is more or less invisible as an issue. Perhaps that’s not surprising when the incumbent abolished the Department of Energy and Climate Change in her first week in office, but it’s not something I’m hearing much about from the opposition either. Other issues are hogging […]

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Book review: People Power, by Dan Jellinek

I picked up People Power: A User’s Guide to Democracy from the library recently. It promises to explain “how democracy in the UK works, in the hope that if we understand it better, we can help make it work better”. The next day the general election was announced, so it feels like a good time […]

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What happened to swappable batteries for electric vehicles?

In 1938 a company called Battery Traction Ltd was set up in Britain. It aimed to speed the advent of electric vehicles by building a network of charging points, and battery stations where you could pull in and swap your depleted battery for a fresh one. The business was overtaken by the Second World War […]

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What we learned this week

I have made a lot of work for a mall manager in Sweden. That post from a couple of weeks ago on the ReTuna mall, where everything is recycled and refurbished, went viral rather spectacularly. When Lars Wiklund told me about it, I Googled it and there were no results in English. Now there are […]

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Is today Britain’s first day without coal?

Coal use has been declining in Britain over the last couple of years, but today could mark another major landmark. Right now there is no electricity from coal going into the national grid. There hasn’t been any all day, and if it continues this way, it’ll be Britain’s first day without coal power since the […]

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Talk: What makes a good life?

This isn’t the sort of thing I normally post, but a couple of weeks ago I was asked to contribute a lecture to a new series that’s running in London. It’s called LDN talks @ Night and it aims to get Londoners out to hear something a little different after work. Other speakers are talking […]

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Make a difference this week with a green microloan

Climate change affects the poor most of all, even though they are least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. So when the opportunity arises to do something that benefits the climate and the poorest, those are opportunities we should take. In the run-up to Earth Day this weekend, Kiva.org are encouraging people to make a climate […]

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Transport innovation of the week: hydrogen trains

This is Alstom’s new zero-carbon train, the Coradia iLint. It is powered by hydrogen fuel cell, and designed to replace diesel trains on regional routes. For many rail routes, the path to lower climate emissions lies with electrification and renewable energy. But on smaller routes it won’t be cost effective to electrify, and that’s where […]

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Building of the week: Chototel

By 2025, an estimated 1.6 billion people will be in substandard and overcrowded housing. That’s an extraordinary number to provide houses for, and it’s hard to know where the funds or materials will come from to deliver them. The existing housing industry, whether private or public, doesn’t look equipped to build that many homes. That […]

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Book review: The Struggle for Democracy, by Roger Mason

I have been, of late, rather disappointed in the state of democracy in the English speaking world. I’m frustrated by partisan divides, the way campaigns can lie with impunity, and parties that only support reform that would directly benefit them. When the British government finds itself in court fighting for the right to make major […]

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