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How the Refill app is cutting plastic use

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a distinct uptick in the amount of attention plastic waste is getting. We’ve known about ocean plastics and recycling for years, but it suddenly seems to be on the agenda. I overhear conversations on bottle deposits or microbeads. A growing number of businesses are getting involved, from […]

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Is the world ready for a music streaming co-op?

Among the various personal interests that I don’t write about on the blog is music. I dabbled in music journalism during and shortly after my student years, traveling round the Midlands to review gigs and interview bands. I particularly enjoy discovering new music. Nowadays that mainly happens online, and mostly on Spotify. I always resisted […]

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Exploring Britain’s greenhouse gases

Last week the DECC updated their series of factsheets on Britain’s ‘greenhouse gas inventory’. It’s one of the ways we measure and report carbon, in this case for the UNFCC. If you need all the numbers on Britain’s carbon emissions in one place, this is a useful site to bookmark. Here are Britain’s CO2 emissions […]

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Cryptocurrencies for good

Since the release of BitCoin a few years ago, there has been an explosion of interest in alternative online currencies. A host of cryptocurrencies has followed, with dedicated exchanges, forums, apps, and even ATMs. For those that don’t move in that world, it’s been hard to keep up. I admit I don’t know my DogeCoin […]

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Run your own carbon pathway

There are lots of different ways to decarbonise the economy, cut emissions and fend off dangerous climate change. Lots of different people have put forward strategies or scenarios for getting to climate safety – the UN, the International Energy Agency, Shell, Friends of the Earth, and many more. Each agency brings its own solutions. Shell […]

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The Seven Deadly Sins of banking

All is not well in the City, and last week saw the latest in a string of banking scandals. Despite the regular declarations from the industry and their apologists, none of these scandals have seen any serious change either to banking behaviour or to the way the industry is regulated. The banks are caught, fined, […]

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Temperature records on Google Earth

This month global temperature records were added to Google Earth, making climate change data easy to view for anyone with an interest. The dataset used is land surface air temperature dataset CRUTEM4, from the University of East Anglia. It is publicly available already, but browsing it through Google Earth is much more user-friendly and interactive. […]

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CarbonStory and complexities of online calculators

A few years ago I was trying to assess my carbon footprint, and had got conflicting advice on how big it actually was. I sat down on a rainy day and clicked my way through eight different online footprint calculators, giving me estimates of annual emissions between 1.5 and 9.4 tonnes. Clearly not all carbon […]

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The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr

The internet has been the defining technology of my generation. We grew up without it, but were the last generation to do so. It is now ubiquitous, deeply embedded in the way that we work, rest and play. It has revolutionised communication, business, entertainment, education, and much else besides. It has brought unimaginable benefits, but […]

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Picture a tonne of carbon

One of the confusing things about climate change is the conversation around carbon. For starters, greenhouse gases, carbon and carbon dioxide are all talked about interchangeably, though they are different things. Then you get carbon footprints, which is a funny way of expressing a quantity of gas, especially since we then measure that footprint in […]

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