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Iran’s renewable energy peace dividend

The idea of a ‘peace dividend’ comes from the Cold War. As the decades of tension eased and the threat of conflict receded, world leaders saw a chance to collectively reduce their military budgets. Armed forces could be demobilized, nuclear weapons destroyed, and expensive programmes drawn to a close. There were potentially huge savings, and […]

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Is the American military underfunded?

This week Donald Trump announced that he was going to increase the US military budget by an extra $54 billion. The money for this will come from ‘dollar for dollar’ cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, foreign aid and other government departments. According to Mr Trump, this will redress the apparent decline of US military […]

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The view from Yemen

Yesterday I wrote about arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and what activists are doing in Britain. It’s a politically contentious idea, taking a government to court over arms sales to a long standing ally. The judge has already voiced his hesitance, and various MPs are unhappy about it. We think in terms of diplomacy, national […]

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Will the courts stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia?

In recent weeks we’ve seen the British government told by the courts to let Parliament vote on the process of leaving the EU – something that should have been obvious in a parliamentary democracy. This week they have been court over another issue that ought to be obvious: arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Under the […]

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Six reasons why Trump could be won over on climate change

There’s been a lot of hand wringing in climate change circles over Donald Trump winning the US elections. Under president Obama, America had finally begun to come round to climate change, at least at the government level. It was very late and hesitant, but finally turning in the right direction. All bets are off with […]

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Moral licensing and extreme politics

Did anyone else listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast series earlier this year, Revisionist History? I’ve been thinking about one of the episodes over the past week. It’s the first, The Lady Vanishes. If you haven’t heard it, you can listen to it on the website. In it, Gladwell looks at examples of female achievement and […]

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On keeping calm and carrying on

So much has been written in the last week about what is happening in the US and why. I’m not sure I need to add much to it today, though there is plenty to say in due course. For now, I wanted to write about our response. And I say ‘our’, for two reasons. One […]

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A history of the news

This is a post that I began writing five years ago. I write more posts than I publish, and this one went in the drafts folder. I revisited it a couple of times and thought there was something there, but it felt a little off topic, and I didn’t know how to conclude it. When […]

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UK closes the Department for Energy and Climate Change

Eight years ago, Britain created the Department for Energy and Climate Change. It wasn’t the first country to have a climate change department. That was Australia in 2007. But it was the first to put climate change and energy together, acknowledging that they couldn’t be separated. I wrote about it at the time on the […]

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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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