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Showing posts from December, 2020

An Energetic Future for the 2020s?

During the autumn one of the weird arid plants in our front garden began to grow a seed pod like something out of Jack and the Bean Stalk. The neighbours, who have been here for eons, exclaimed that they’d never seen anything like it before. It topped out at about 5 meters, waving in the winds the buffet this part of the Sussex coast. As Christmas began to loom my small son declared that we needed some Christmas lights at the front of the house, and I had a brainwave. I bought some cheap solar string lights off a well-known online shop, wobbled up a ladder and created what I think must be the only illuminated Desert Spoon plant in England.  Why am I telling you this? Well, those solar string lights cost about a tenner and, after a sunny day, light up beautifully until well into the night. They’re a product of three different technologies that have advanced enormously in recent years. A similar system would have cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds only twenty years ago. The lights

No Climate for Kids: Are Parents to Blame for Climate Change?

If you’re ever in a debate and want to use emotion to triumph over logic you might implore, “won’t somebody please think of the children?”. In the Simpsons it was Helen Lovejoy’s catchphrase , used to justify crack downs on bears, illegal immigrants and anyone else she had it in for. But it is not just an emotional argument. In decade spanning, global problems such as climate change the impact on our children is one of the key reasons why we fight. Bequeathing a damaged, overheated planet to future generations is simply morally wrong. Some people are so worried about this that they have decided not to have any children at all .  In recent years though a new viewpoint on children and climate change has emerged. This one suggests that children are not just the victims of climate change, but also the cause of climate change. It’s all very well reducing fossil fuel use, but by far the best thing any of us can do for the climate is have fewer or no children. I’ve noticed this argument incre