February 2021

Get a Heat Pump

If you’re like me, you know that getting rid of your car is one of the best things you can do for the climate, and also that you will never do it. This is a car-oriented country, and a car-oriented time.

26/02/2021 The Atlantic

Thames Water hopes to harness human 'poo power' to heat homes

Thousands of homes in south-west London could soon be warmed by the waste from their local sewage works as part of England’s first poo-powered district heating scheme.

26/02/2021 The Guardian

A solar panel in space is collecting energy that could one day be beamed to anywhere on Earth

Scientists working for the Pentagon have successfully tested a solar panel the size of a pizza box in space, designed as a prototype for a future system to send electricity from space back to any point on Earth.

24/02/2021 CNN

Block Party Aims To Be A 'Spam Folder' For Social Media Harassment

In part because of her own experience being targeted with online harassment and threats, Tracy Chou launched Block Party, a startup that aims to help people feel safer on social media.

23/02/2021 NPR

'A role model': how Seville is turning leftover oranges into electricity

In spring the air in Seville is sweet with the scent of azahar, orange blossom, but the 5.7m kilos of bitter fruit the city’s 48,000 trees deposit on the streets in winter are a hazard for pedestrians and a headache for the city’s cleaning…

23/02/2021 The Guardian

Climate Corps America: The urban farms transforming how America’s most vulnerable communities eat

In the second part of our series exploring how President Biden’s idea for a nationwide Civilian Climate Corps might work, Louise Boyle looks at an urban farm in Baltimore helping to feed low-income communities and building resilience in the face of…

23/02/2021 The Independent

I have the solution to climate crisis anxiety – radical optimism

The past year was hard enough, even before Nasa announced it was the hottest year on record. Discussion of the climate crisis is often dominated by terrifying statistics that we see on the news and share on social media.

21/02/2021 The Independent

Manhattan makeover for London with floating green walkway plan

New York was revitalised by the High Line, a ribbon of parkland floating above Manhattan on a disused elevated railway that has become one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions.

21/02/2021 The Guardian

Why France’s New Tech ‘Repairability Index’ Is a Big Deal

This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Our electronic devices take a serious environmental toll, and one of the best ways to mitigate that is to use them for as long as possible before replacing them.

20/02/2021 Wired

Meet Elizabeth Ann the ferret: The first endangered American animal to be cloned

Scientists have cloned an endangered US animal for the first time, creating a black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann from the frozen cells of an ancestor in a landmark achievement that boosts conservation efforts.

19/02/2021 CNN

3 technologies poised to change food and the planet

Year round local food production is within our grasp, and will slash agriculture's climate impact — but only if we embrace agricultural technology.

18/02/2021 The Conversation

Magnets, vacuums and plant-based nets: the new fight to clean plastic from our seas

When it comes to microplastics, there’s rarely good news. Researchers continue to find the tiny plastic fragments everywhere they look.

18/02/2021 The Guardian

Pollution-catching ‘super plant’ ideal for busy roads, scientists say

Experts have identified a “super plant” commonly found in the UK which can help soak up pollution on busy roads.

18/02/2021 The Independent

Rewilding: Jaguars return to Argentina’s wetlands 70 years after local extinction

Reintroduction of ‘keystone species’ will control populations of prey species and boost biodiversity, UN says

17/02/2021 The Independent

‘I’m converting Silicon Valley money into forests’: Ex-Reddit CEO reinvents himself as climate warrior to plant a trillion trees

Yishan Wong, the former Reddit CEO who sensationally quit Silicon Valley in 2014, has resurfaced with a plan to ‘reverse climate change’

17/02/2021 The Independent

How businesses could cut plastic waste with a track and trace system

While many businesses ground to a halt at the start of the pandemic, the market for disposable packaging was forecast to grow by 5.5% as the demand for single-use plastics soared. Before COVID-19, the market was already projected to grow by 4% a…

16/02/2021 The Conversation

How to transform 100 million hectares of hostile desert to a flourishing, welcoming savannah

Complete regeneration is one of the most challenging tasks – the key is to engage local restoration groups and communities in the area

16/02/2021 The Independent

Bendable concrete and other CO2-infused cement mixes could dramatically cut global emissions

Researchers are developing ways to lock captured CO2 into cement. It could help rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure and deal with climate change at the same time.

14/02/2021 The Conversation

Building sustainable cities with wooden skyscrapers

More Than half the world’s population dwell in cities, and by 2050 the UN expects that proportion to reach 68%. This means more homes, roads and other infrastructure. In India alone, the equivalent of a city the size of Chicago will have to be…

11/02/2021 Economist

‘Nothing like it really exists’: the Paris ‘bio house’ made mostly from organic matter

With the construction industry the greatest creator of waste in Paris and elsewhere, what can be learned from the city’s new ‘bio-house’?

10/02/2021 Positive News

Airlines can now pick their own routes across the Atlantic. Huge fuel savings could follow

Airlines are poised to reduce their emissions and reap huge fuel savings on transatlantic flights in the coming weeks as air traffic controllers experiment with giving pilots free rein to chart their own paths across skies that have been cleared out…

10/02/2021 CNN

Ocean energy about to ride a wave

Tidal and wave energy is a greatly underutilized renewable power source that could be the missing link in the bid for a carbon free future.

09/02/2021 Deutsche Welle

How Sweden is taking back parking spaces to improve urban living

It was a couple of parking spaces a few days ago. But now the area outside Malin Henriksson Talcoth’s gourmet sausage shop in Gothenburg has a bench, a picnic table and racks for cycles and e-scooters.

08/02/2021 The Guardian

Man invites homeless people to live in his front yard

Less than five minutes' drive from downtown Salt Lake City sits the quiet neighborhood of Fairpark. The area hosts an annual state fair, a regional campus of Utah State University and modest homes with small yards.

06/02/2021 CNN

Africa's Hit Science Show For Kids Is Coming To The U.S.

African TV execs say it's unlike any show for kids that's been produced and broadcast on the continent — especially with its focus on women presenters and scientists.

05/02/2021 NPR

Why helping others is good for you

People who volunteer report higher levels of wellbeing, greater life satisfaction and less depression. But your motivation can impact how happy helping makes you feel.

04/02/2021 Deutsche Welle

Denmark strikes deal on £25bn artificial wind energy island

Denmark’s government has agreed to take a majority stake in a £25bn artificial “energy island” which is to be built 80km offshore, in the middle of the North Sea. The island to the west of the Jutland peninsula will initially have an area of…

04/02/2021 The Guardian