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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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1125coral

A world without wildlife?

Of all the things I’ve written about on the blog, this statistic stands out as one of the most stark: since 1970, the world’s wildlife populations have halved. That’s an extraordinary thought. The figure is from the WWF’s Living Planet Index, and it is derived by monitoring the numbers of over 10,000 different populations. Some […]

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news

The rise of solutions journalism

Why is the news so negative? It’s the very definition of a truism to point out that bad news always dominates the headlines, but why is this? Some might say it’s because the media is cynical and they know that bad news sells papers. But that cuts out the customer. It’s a matter of supply […]

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welcome-badges

You are welcome

Something a little different today. This time two weeks ago, the result of Britain’s EU referendum was announced, and that we would be leaving the union. Within hours there were reports of people being harassed in the street and told to ‘go home’, racist graffiti, and general anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim sentiment. How much of this was […]

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giving

What’s the most good you can do?

A growing number of the world’s richest people are pledging to give away their fortunes, with some of them able to aim game-changing quantities of money at pressing global problems. But what about the rest of us? How much of a difference could our own giving make? Benjamin Todd has a theory, which he has […]

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m-power shop microgrid

Kiva celebrates ten years

I’m a big fan of Kiva, the peer-to-peer micro-lending platform, which is marking ten years since its founding. Kiva’s innovation was to bring two major trends together into one – crowd-funding and microfinance. Their website allows ordinary people to chip in towards a small business loan for an entrepreneur in a low income country. Since […]

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basic-income

Can you help to pilot the basic income?

I write about the basic income (or citizen’s income) from time to time on this blog. It’s an idea that is being discussed quite seriously in a number of places at the moment, but we’re a long way from seeing it implemented in Britain. You can support the idea elsewhere, however. If you’re an advocate […]

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Edward Loure TZ

Safeguarding tribal lands in Tanzania

Land-grabbing is one of humanity’s most ancient sins. It occurs when land that previously belonged to everyone or no-one is put into private hands, and it’s a recurring them through history. Britain had the worst of it during the run of Enclosure Acts that accompanied the Industrial Revolution, driving people off the land and into […]

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eco church

Two ways to engage your church in climate action

Over the last few years there has been a growing engagement with climate change in church circles, including the Pope’s intervention and the church getting involved in divestment. 2016 has started strongly too, with two initiatives looking to mobilise UK churches in climate action. The first is Eco Church, which is an award scheme for […]

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15811610084_a9fae66c14_z

Communicating the climate visually

A few years ago I ran a short series on communicating environmental issues visually, looking for original ideas. We all know the cliches – polar bears, melting ice, the earth from space. These images aren’t good enough. They are distant, abstract, and unengaging. They don’t suggest that climate change has anything to do with us, […]

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