News / UK and world by Press Association May 30, 2018, 1:58 am FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmail Sign up to our Daily newsletter Caroline Lucas will step down as co-leader of the Green Party in September, saying she would like more of the party’s talent to be showcased. Ms Lucas, the party’s sole MP, has represented Brighton Pavilion in the House of Commons since 2010 and returned for a second spell as leader on a joint ticket with Jonathan Bartley in 2016. In a piece for The Guardian, the former MEP said she had faith that a new leadership team “will step up to the challenge that our increasingly febrile times present”. Under the rules of the party, leaders are elected to serve a two-year term, with the Lucas-Bartley joint ticket securing more than 86% of the vote to succeed Natalie Bennett. She wrote: “I won’t be seeking nominations to be a candidate in this year’s leadership election, when the process starts on … [Read more...] about The power of letting go: Caroline Lucas says she won’t run again to lead Greens
The power of green
IN the fading light on the Glen Road in 1986, Cromac Albion reached the Holy Grail. Sean O’Kane’s late goal that clinched the Amateur League Division 1A title remains the most exhilarating sporting moment in my life. I wasn’t playing. I was just a kid, the manager’s son, the mascot, who never missed a game, who filled the water bottles, who acted as ball boy, and whose dream was to wear the green jersey of Cromac Albion. Probably my most important role at Cromac was ball boy, especially at our home games at the old Cross & Passion school on the Glen Road in west Belfast because there was a steep hill behind one goal where the ball would inevitably roll down and cause a thousand stoppages. If Cromac were behind in games I’d be stationed behind the goal with a spare ball so that the opposition couldn’t waste time. On this balmy mid-week night, the league title race had come down to a straight shoot-out between Killyleagh and Cromac Albion. … [Read more...] about Newry AFC City’s remarkable achievement reminds us of the power of sport
The news from Lancashire (Fracking firm Cuadrilla finishes drilling UK’s first horizontal well, 4 April) came as a disappointment, particularly in the wake of the Observer business leader that suggested fracking companies were running into difficulties in the UK (Fracking industry blows hot and cold amid fuel shortages and false starts, 11 March). Perhaps the easiest method of thwarting them would be for millions of energy customers to switch their accounts away from the big six and other suppliers of shale gas, and towards the smaller, often local energy companies who only supply gas from renewable sources and unfracked gas. There are a number of such companies in the Bristol area, for example, and they are easily identifiable on their websites as they tend to trumpet their green credentials, whereas the firms trafficking shale gas do not mention the source of their gas. The green companies also tend to be cheaper for the consumer. Given the drilling companies’ … [Read more...] about Fight the power of the frackers by changing energy supplier
At Nesta, a U.K.-based innovation foundation, we have a shot at making predictions at the start of every year, and as you can imagine, that means our record is far from spotless. Back when we were looking ahead to 2015, one of us suggested that smartphones equipped with the technology to recreate smells might make smell-o-vision a reality in the near future. It hasn’t happened yet, although who knows what Apple has in store for the next iPhone? Despite the odd setback over the years, we haven’t yet ceded the field to machines. That’s because many of the most important questions about our future lie well beyond the reach of statistical models. It is into this far messier, more uncertain territory which Nesta’s predictors venture forth. This year, several predictions explored the ripple effects of the growing backlash against technology giants and the Silicon Valley elites who run them. We will see further moves to contain the power of these companies on the part … [Read more...] about The art of prediction
Forecasting is a tricky business, but Nesta isn’t backing down from the human-versus-machine battle. Forecasting is a fool’s errand, so why we do fallible humans persist in trying to peer into an uncertain future, especially when machines are outpacing us on so many other predictive tasks? People who should have known much better dismissed the telephone, the car and, famously, the Beatles as fads. That’s because discerning the difference between a flash in the pan and a truly disruptive development is a very tricky art with a long and chequered history. As far back as Nostradamus in the 16th Century, we have long been drawn to the tantalizing idea that we can control an uncertain future by predicting it. While this sense of control might be illusory, it is true that sketching out possible futures is the first step in creating a desired one. At Nesta, a U.K.-based innovation foundation, we have a shot at making predictions at the start of every year, and as you can … [Read more...] about The art of predicting – a human vs machine battle?