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Surviving climate change, resource depletion, the energy crisis - and staying profitable

Surviving climate change, resource depletion, the energy crisis - and staying profitable
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Surviving climate change, resource depletion, the energy crisis - and staying profitable




Any Change, Guv?

This month’s episode is all about change. (OK, not that sort of change) The government is making it easier for fracking and plans to make it more difficult to own a wood burning stove. It's cleaning up cars, eventually, (although it's told us that once already) and it's promising world-beating environmental standards post Brexit, but a lot of people don’t believe it. Carbon capture and storage is back. Is neoliberalism the enemy of social change? Oh, and don’t buy an electric car. But...


It's All Rubbish

First of all there's news of a net improvement in the volume of plastics in the oceans. Barclays are still banking on fossil fuels and I can tell you about the enchanted forest which made some environmentalists very disenchanted indeed. Spurs, the football team plans to kick single-use plastic into touch. In Scotland there is a new tidal project, in Sweden there’s an electric road and in California there’s an electric Apple. BP says it's going greener, the Filipinos are going to law, EDF...


April Showers

In this episode I'm looking at pension funds, plastics and population. There's good news and bad news on fracking, there is controversy in Canada about clean water, and ISDS, which I mentioned last time, has had a day in court. It seems that no one can stop Juliana, not even Donald Trump. Since the last episode we've had World Water Day, Earth Hour and Easter, that festival of packaging. WWF warns that climate change may be about to change our diets. And on the energy front there’s...


Beautiful World

Introducing this episode with Goodbye Beautiful World by Michael Anzilotti. This time I'm going to talk about rubbish, about free solar panels and batteries and cars in space. About growing food in the desert, about Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary, and agricultural standards after Brexit. About who’s getting pressure from Greenpeace and who’s giving pressure to Avaaz, another campaigning group. There are straws in the wind - plastic ones - more in some places than others. Can we...


Manifesto 2018

A few of the Sustainability stories which have come up since the last episode and my plans for 2018. That includes preparing for SSCC19 and researching for a PhD. More at and the text of this episode is at


Touring the Archive

Have a look at the 43 episodes I produced this year.


George Monbiot: Out of the Wreckage

Campaigner, environmentalist, author and journalist George Monbiot talks to Manda Scott about his latest book.


The Copper Opportunity

Challenges and opportunities for the copper industry and its role at the centre of the low carbon economy. Balancing environmental constraints with the growing demand for the world's best conductor of electricity and heat. Text at


Lighter than Air

It's lighter than air, it burns without a flame, it can pass through metals. Is hydrogen the fuel of the future?


Baby, it's Coal Outside!

Coal, CO2, Disruptive Innovation, Worried Scientists and Pacific Warriors. Find the full text and links at


A Fair COP?

COP 23, the annual climate conference, is running in Bonn, Germany. We have a report from a man on the ground. The US is not participating, at least not in a positive way; the UN is warning of an emissions gap while levels of CO2 and methane are racing ahead. Should we be driving electric cars? They’re clean, aren’t they? Some claim that they are just as dirty as combustion engined vehicles. Client Earth is still trying to get the UK government to clean up the air, water fountains are...


What's it All About?

The history and purpose of the Sustainable Futures Report as it nears its 200th edition.


Time for T in London?

In London it could be time for tea, or you could be better off on a bike. Yvonne Teo tells us about her sustainable adventures on a bike. Have you checked your carbon footprint? Best foot forward!


A Clean Growth Strategy

This week the British government published its Clean Growth strategy. Australia updated its energy policy as well. Both will be controversial. One of the major oil companies has seen the light and finds it’s electric. Talking of seeing the light, a famous journalist seems to have had a Damascene conversion. Will the Daily Mail allow him to write for them ever again? Would you like a nuclear power station at the bottom of your street or would you prefer to rely on the tides? But there are...


Outlook Stormy

So what's new and sustainable? This week it’s about Our Ocean and the Prince and the plastic bottles, billions of them. More about plastic straws, too. Could the wind be changing? Had you heard that the war is over? That’s the American war on coal. It seems the EPA is fighting a rearguard action. In Siberia they’re using wood - too much of it by all accounts. And they’d rather you went away. Probably a good idea in case you fall down a sinkhole. On the way down you’ll pass the methane -...


Planet B

This week: Plan B.Earth and why another group is out to sue the governmentNo fracking in ScotlandWhy London’s mayor is putting out firesEnergy from evaporation Electric planesMore on drinking strawsWhy the diesel market is all at seaLet’s bring back heavy metalAnd Drawdown. Is this the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming?


Sustainable Truth

The Met Office says the slowdown in global warming is over, but does everyone believe it? Is climate change a really urgent issue? Carbonbrief takes issue with the Daily Mail over this. Are we doing enough recycling? The Marine Conservation Society sees straws in the wind, but sadly they’re plastic. The British government announces a Green Finance Taskforce. Haven’t I heard of something like that before? And then there’s the Green Supply Chain. Listen up before you eat that chocolate!...


The Four-Ton Life

In this wide-ranging discussion with Anthony Day, Karl Coplan talks about measuring your carbon footprint and sharing it with friends, whether hurricanes are caused by climate change, whether the US administration will change its position on the climate and how he lives the good life with a carbon footprint of only four tons.


Don't Shoot the Storm!

Shooting the breeze or shooting the hurricane. Is that a good idea? We’ll find out. Whatever you do, don’t mention climate change. At least not at the EPA, although perhaps you should mention it in the confessional and it may be brought up in court. Careful how you cross the road! Carbon Tracker believes that those electric cars could be arriving more quickly than you thought, although Shell is not so sure. More on Hinkley C. Free solar panels for social houses. It’s all in this week’s...


Reaching for the Stars

Time to mine the asteroids for scarce resources or should we be developing a circular economy closer to home? Or is space travel for holidays? Virgin Galactica passengers have paid their $250,000 fares but have been waiting in the departure lounge now for some years. Meanwhile, back on earth the future’s electric (should I buy a new car?) inner-city vertical farms are starting to deliver locally-grown food, at least in New York, and a succession of tropical storms and hurricanes is surely...