Progress has been slow on key fronts, however. Billions of pounds spent to bail out airlines, carmakers and oil companies have come without green strings attached. Home heating is the biggest source of emissions from households, but there is still no strategy for insulating Britain’s draughty homes, despite clear evidence that doing so would provide thousands of “shovel-ready” green jobs. Switching from gas boilers to low-carbon alternatives is essential, but at the replacement rate the government proposes, it would take 1,500 years, according to Friends of the Earth. … [Read more...] about UK’s net zero pledge: what has been achieved one year on?
Anak krakatoa triggers underwater landslide
But, soon enough, political considerations got the better of her — as they so often do with this First Minister. When she was taken into the fold via Cobra meetings, she angered No 10 by pre-empting the Prime Minister's announcement of a policy shift from containment to delay of the virus. … [Read more...] about Holiday air-bridge lift-off: France, Spain and Italy are on list of quarantine-free holiday destinations as government FINALLY publishes guidelines
Laura Suter, a personal finance analyst at the investment platform AJ Bell, said: “The lockdown has created a divide in the country, with some households seeing cuts to income, job losses or being furloughed, while others are seeing their finances benefit from an enforced halt to much of their spending.” … [Read more...] about UK consumers repay record £7.4bn of debt in Covid-19 lockdown
Many of us can still remember when the news used to be a pleasant distraction from everyday life, the desk-bound office procrastinator’s preferred form of escapism. Five years ago, the essayist Alain de Botton wrote a book called The News: A User’s Manual – and even then, it was still possible for him to locate the appeal of the news, in part, in its role as a haven from our daily troubles. To consult the news, De Botton wrote, was to discover “issues that are so much graver and more compelling than those we have been uniquely allotted, and to allow these larger concerns to drown out our own self-focused apprehensions and doubts. A famine, a flooded town, a serial killer on the loose, the resignation of a government … such outer turmoil is precisely what we might need in order to usher in a sense of inner calm.” It is remarkable how rapidly things have changed. Today, the news is very bad indeed at ushering in a sense of calm. More and more, it is … [Read more...] about How the news took over reality
Usually the seismic effects of human activity are a mere distraction or nuisance for seismologists. “We think of anthropogenic noise as obscuring the natural signals from the planet that we’re interested in, be they earthquakes or other signals,” said earth scientist Zach Eilon of the University of California at Santa Barbara. So researchers tend to install seismometers far from sources of anthropogenic noise. But some stations are installed within cities, perhaps to monitor the earthquake threat – and these, Eilon said, are now supplying useful information about how human activity leaves a seismic trace. There is now an international effort, involving around 100 seismologists worldwide and coordinated by Thomas Lecocq of the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, to collect lockdown data. … [Read more...] about Why lockdown silence was golden for science