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The steep path to 1.5 degrees

At the Paris climate talks last December, the international community recommitted itself to keeping below two degrees of global warming, with a stretch goal of 1.5 degrees. We’ve already had one degree of warming, so 1.5 is a much tougher target. As I’ve mentioned before, the difference between the two is much bigger than the […]

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How Islabikes are embracing the circular economy

Islabikes is a British company that specialises in children’s bikes. Their USP is that they go the extra mile in designing bikes for the particular needs of smaller riders. Their bikes are notably lighter than their competitors, and every part has been appropriately scaled down – no regular sized brake levers or chains used to […]

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The legacy of a nuclear power plant

While we were on holiday in Wales this summer, we passed Lyn Trawsfynydd and despite the protestations of my wife, we paused to take in the view: That’s Trawsfynydd nuclear power station, a name I can neither pronounce nor spell. It’s the only nuclear site in Britain that was built inland rather than on the […]

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What we learned this week

As Halloween approaches, could you run a Pumpkin Rescue event and highlight the issue of food waste where you are? Should I be nervous about lab-grown meat? asks Time magazine – a question a few people are asking at the moment. Not many of these around – an MP willing to ask postgrowth questions while […]

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Building of the week: the solar PV greenhouse

I’ve featured greenhouses before in my building of the week posts, including the passive solar greenhouses that are common in China. Here’s an other form of solar greenhouse, produced by a Cambridge-based company called PolySolar. At first glance it is indistinguishable from a traditional British greenhouse. That unfortunately includes all the usual design flaws that […]

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How rewilding can help to stop floods

Every year flooding costs Britain around a billion pounds. As the climate warms and extreme weather events become more frequent, floods could be more common and more expensive. Severe floods in 2015 have prompted a debate about how to address this growing problem, with the government publishing a new National Flood Resilience Review last week. […]

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effective altruism

The world’s least glamourous charitable cause?

One of the lessons of Effective Altruism is that we can make a bigger difference by directing our donations towards overlooked causes. When a natural disaster hits the news, an appeal may often raise hundreds of millions of dollars. Other causes might get celebrity backing or be able to afford prime time TV or radio […]

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Doing Good Better, by William MacAskill

I’ve written a little bit about the Effective Altruism (EA) movement. For ordinary people who want to make a difference with their time and money, it’s one of the most useful ideas out there. If you’re such a person and haven’t come across it, I hope to convince you to look into it. The concept […]

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ellen macarthur foundation logo

The ReSOLVE framework for a Circular Economy

In reading Tearfund’s report on the circular economy in developing countries last week, I was reminded of a useful summary of what the circular economy entails: the ReSOLVE framework. Developed by McKinsey, the framework takes the core principles of circularity and applies them to six actions: Regenerate, Share, Optimise, Loop, Virtualise, and Exchange. Here’s a […]

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What we learned this week

Grist on wild playgrounds movement. I’m pleased to say we have one of these near us. STIR magazine describes how railway co-operatives could serve as a middle ground between the privatised network we have today and the national rail of the past. The IUCN‘s World Conservation Congress included a dialogue on Spirituality and Conservation for […]

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