The past week saw student occupations of UK universities across the country, from Glasgow, to Liverpool, to London, calling on these institutions to "Decarbonise, Decolonise and Democratise". Occupiers insisted that universities stop actions which are fuelling the climate crisis and global injustices. Instead, they called for the development of new structures which create awareness and … Continue reading Occupy Education
Unpopular decisions Nowadays, the manifestos of most political parties (rightly) include a target year by which they aim for their country to reach 'net zero' carbon emissions. Whilst these numbers can vary by multiple decades, there is an overall consensus that this is something we need to achieve soon, for the sake of our continued … Continue reading Electric cars are not the answer
Do you really need that? How many items of clothing does a person need? One hundred items? 66? 33? Fewer? It is an interesting exercise to examine how many clothes you own and to try and determine how many of them you actually need and how many you are holding onto just in case. To … Continue reading Buy. Wear. Wash. Repeat: The True Cost of our Clothes
[Sequel to the March 2017 piece titled Don't Just Wait For a Movement.] Regression The final piece in Rebecca Solnit's collection of essays advocating a positive approach to tackling what often feel like overwhelming problems, Hope in the Dark, is quite memorably titled Everything's Coming Together While Everything Falls Apart. In this excellent essay, Solnit … Continue reading Don’t Just Wait for a Movement (part 2)
In August earlier this year I started an internship just outside Chicago, where I will be until December. In order to get to the US, I had to take an (almost) inevitable Transatlantic flight from the UK, despite efforts to book a room on a freighter ship. Fine, I thought, at least I am taking … Continue reading Exoneration for environmental sins?
The topic of this blog piece is probably the most controversial I have covered so far. It is a topic which frequently upsets and angers people when brought up, but which is nonetheless important to discuss. In fact, its taboo nature means its discussion is even more important. In this blog, various strategies have been … Continue reading The most effective way to cut emissions
That the hedonic treadmill of modern life can be so unfulfilling is indicative of the fact so many of us have lost our mooring to the natural world to which we owe our existence.
As of 2011, the top five biggest commodities in the world were (in descending order) crude oil, coffee, natural gas, gold and Brent oil. As a first note, the presence of three fossil fuels in this list means that there is still a long way to go in the transition to a low carbon economy. … Continue reading Eco-espresso?
I recently read J. G. Ballard's book of short stories 'Vermilion Sands'. This 1971 modern classic is set in (what was then) the near future, in an imaginary town after which the book is named. Vermilion Sands is an extravagant resort town in the desert, complete with casinos, not dissimilar to Las Vegas. Additionally, Vermilion … Continue reading Possible near futures
Possible reasons why Boxing Day 2015's flooding of the North was so much worse than usual.