No plan for green schools – The new building for Hackbridge primary, in Sutton, opens next week as England’s first zero-carbon school, able to produce and conserve as much energy as it uses, and even put power back into the grid. It is the first school in England to meet the Passivhaus Plus low-energy design standard. But only a handful of the 500-plus schools being rebuilt or refurbished are installing renewable energy technology – and the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) recommended designs do not include renewables, writes Liz Lightfoot. In the West Midlands, warmth from canals could soon be used to heat hospitals and tower blocks. A consortium, led by London South Bank University and known as GreenSCIES, plans to install water source heat pumps in the canal through Sandwell near Birmingham. The group already extracts “waste heat” from the Northern line to warm homes in Islington, north London, accessing funds from a government renewables … [Read more...] about Tuesday briefing: Coronavirus ship Britons to be evacuated
Brief history of mankind
Liz Pow, the school’s director of finance and operations, says: “Unfortunately, as the project is managed by the Department for Education, we don’t have any input into the energy efficiency of the build. The topic of renewable energy was raised several times during the consultation process as students, staff, parents and the wider community feel it should be an important feature of any new school.” … [Read more...] about Renewables barely feature in building programme for 500 schools
The steep headland to the south is encircled by a glorious stretch of the 630-mile South West Coast Path, offering exhilarating running and plenty of intriguing history. Running on the soft, springy grass of Revelstoke Drive, a 19th-century carriageway built by Lord Revelstoke, is a delight, with panoramic views from Rame Head in the west past the Great Mewstone to Bolt Head in the east. On a clear day you can even spot the Eddystone lighthouse on its rocky plinth, 16 miles out to sea. … [Read more...] about Six of the best wild trail runs in the UK
This isn’t just a problem in the UK. The failed impeachment of Donald Trump and the impending criminal trial of Italy’s Matteo Salvini for holding rescued migrants at sea both show the risk of backlash inherent in legal challenges to rightwing populism, however justified. Rightwing populists like to invoke a majoritarian conception of “the people”, usually along exclusionary nationalist lines. They pose as its direct and exclusive voice, often in opposition to the checks and balances that exist to uphold the rule of law, or protect the rights of minorities and the vulnerable. Challenge them on this and they will inevitably portray their opponents as anti-democratic. … [Read more...] about For Boris Johnson’s pantomime authoritarians, overt cruelty is a winning hand
Most scientists and health campaigners in the US will have no dealings with the tobacco industry, because of its history of devious marketing practices and underhand tactics. Under the terms of a World Health Organization (WHO) treaty in the early 00s, governments agree not to have any discussions with tobacco industry representatives (over trade terms, for example, taxation, regulation or investment). But anti-smoking campaigners now fear that, by promoting the benefit of their e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking, tobacco companies are acquiring respectability. WHO shares that anxiety and has advised measures to control e-cigarettes. Many countries, including Brazil, Thailand, Singapore, the Seychelles and Uruguay, have banned e-cigarettes as a result, while others have imposed regulations limiting their use. … [Read more...] about The great vape debate: are e-cigarettes saving smokers or creating new addicts?