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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August 19th, 2016

Full BREEAM ahead: raising the BAR on low carbon building

by Quentin Scott

 

It’s a sad fact that there has been more bad news than good on sustainable building in the UK in recent times. After the scrapping of the Green Deal without replacement, the unexpected reversal of the Zero Carbon Homes policy and the defeat of efforts to reintroduce building standards through the Housing and Planning Act this year, there’s been little to cheer for those interested in improving the carbon efficiency of our built environment.

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August 12th, 2016

Turning up the heat on energy strategy

Pilot Light

by Adam Baddeley and Rob Reid

 

Although heating accounts for almost 50% of UK total energy consumption, it remains strangely absent from the renewable energy debate. Former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd brought it up last November, but only as a begrudging admission that slow progress was putting us way off track to meet 2020’s 15% Renewable Energy Directive (RED) target. Yet just a week later, Rudd’s ‘policy reset’ speech contained no major goals on renewable heat – instead, it signalled renewed support for gas to replace coal-fired electricity generation backed by streamlined regulatory and consenting requirements for hydraulic fracturing.

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August 5th, 2016

Parking restrictions? Undervaluing green space in the UK

by Ayesha Bapasola

 

It’s rare that a parish council decision causes an outcry that permeates the upper echelons of Westminster. However, Stoke Gifford Parish council in South Gloucestershire hit the headlines when it voted to charge Parkrun for the use of Little Stoke Park early this spring. The council has stuck to its guns, though, and continues to do so, even after securing £750,000 to upgrade facilities at the park and ‘increase sports participation for the local community’.

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July 29th, 2016

Ought we to protect the environment?

by Peter Jones

 

Can we say that we ought to protect the environment? Is there a moral obligation on us to do so? In other words, is environmentalism a branch of ethics?

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July 22nd, 2016

Pick-up point: where should we target litter clean up?

by Chiarina Darrah

 

Isonomia has been covering questions around both marine and land-based litter for some time. To judge by recent press coverage, one of these is really interesting right now, and the other isn’t; the first being the domain of surfers and cool outdoorsy people and the second of the curtain twitching neighbour.

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