July 14th, 2017

No-fly zone: is low carbon travel worth the effort?

by Sarah Ettlinger

 

I last set foot on an aeroplane in 2015, for a Copenhagen-London round trip. The time before that was the same journey in 2008. Yet during this time I have split my time between Denmark and the UK for reasons of work, study and family, and thus still chosen to travel a lot. These days, my ‘commute’ is to the UK from my base in Copenhagen once each quarter.

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May 10th, 2017

Air cover: politics and the air quality plan

by Dominic Hogg

 

The Government finally published its long awaited revised air quality plan, albeit in draft form, last Friday. Many have expressed disappointment with its lack of ambition, but less has been written about the signs of some key last minute ‘tweaks’. The apparent aim of the late changes was to minimise the risk of a potential political backlash against the plan from angry diesel drivers – but their effect could well be to delay the effective action on air quality that is so urgently needed.

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April 21st, 2017

Waste to wealth in Uganda

by George Cole

 

At home in the UK, I’m used to the council regularly collecting my household waste from the street outside my door. Missing a waste collection is a little inconvenient. You have to keep the waste until the next collection day, by which time you might have more waste than you can fit in your boxes and bins.

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September 2nd, 2016

Beyond the grave: environmentalism and death

by Steve Watson

 

While we may never know for sure if there is life after death, we can be sure that there will be environmental impacts. If it weren’t bad enough that we spend our lives consuming natural resources and steadily accruing huge carbon footprints, thanatophobic environmentalists may add fears of ongoing emissions and land use to the other horrors of the grave.

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August 26th, 2016

Myth takes: the great Pacific garbage patch

by Chris Sherrington and Simon Hann

 

People are increasingly aware of the growing problem of plastic in our oceans. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told, “You know, there’s a great big island of plastic in the middle of the Pacific”. More often than not, they quickly follow up by mentioning that thankfully there’s a project under way to solve the problem by cleaning up the plastic. While it’s good that more people understand that marine plastics are a cause for concern, it’s unfortunate if the only two things they “know” about it are not entirely true.

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March 4th, 2016

Every breath we take…

by Philip Insall

 

Outdoor air pollution, most of it generated by the motors, tyres and brakes of private motor vehicles, is now calculated to be causing at least 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.  Can you imagine the outcry if this sort of mortality rate was associated with – say – kitchen food waste caddies? Other major causes of death, such as smoking (c.100,000 premature deaths) and obesity (perhaps 30,000) are the target of major public health campaigns. So why is government – national or local – so unwilling to act on air quality?

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November 27th, 2015

Something in the air? The Autumn Statement and pollution

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by Dominic Hogg

 

Wednesday’s joint spending review and Autumn statement (SRAS) ought to give us some insight into the George Osborne’s thinking about the current and future state of the economy, and his priorities for how it should be managed. So what environmental and other implications can we infer from the document and the decisions within it?

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