UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from The Great Debate UK:

Oliver Lowenstein on making Cyclestations work


There's nothing new or unusual about the idea of using bicycles to replace cars to help combat the effects of climate change on the environment. Neither is there anything new or unusual about it taking so long to put the concept into practice.

Oliver Lowenstein has spent several years in pursuit of what he says could become an environmentally sustainable network structured around economically viable "cyclestations" or covered rest points, which would help make long-distance travel more feasible for cyclists.

A touring exhibition titled "Riding on Empty: Designing our travel infrastructure for the end of oil" on show in Bermondsey Square until July 4 as part of the London Festival of Architecture includes models of shelters designed by architects Steven Johnson and Alex de Rijke.

The project has been ongoing since before 2005 when it was awarded a 700,000 pound EU Inter-regional grant in a group application led by the University of Brighton.

from The Great Debate UK:

Heather Rogers on fixing “Green Gone Wrong”


How can human production be transformed and harnessed to save the planet? Can the market economy really help solve the environmental crisis?

Author Heather Rogers argues in a new book that current efforts to green the planet need to be reconsidered.

Are you losing faith in climate science?


climatechangeWhile attending a meeting of prominent climate sceptics during the U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December (an anti-COP15, if you will), I listened to each of the speakers put forward their theory on why conventional evidence on the primary causes of climate change should be dismissed as, for lack of a better phrase, complete hokum.

Among their denunciations of widely-accepted truths regarding global warming, greenhouse gases, melting glaciers and rising sea levels was the assertion that a change in attitude was afoot; the public may have been duped into believing the mainstream scientific assessment of climate change, but not for long.

Climate scientists seek to calm storm of doubt


INDIAIf the scientific evidence for manmade global warming is so compelling, why do so many people still have their doubts?

Why do politicians and the media often discuss global warming with such certainty, ignoring the scientists’ carefully worded caveats?

Cash for Trash? Tories offer a recycling sweetner


BRITAIN/On Tuesday, the Tories, still ahead in the opinion polls and widely expected to gain power in an election, which must be held by June 2010, went on a green charm offensive.

It’s unlikely to steal the election, but it nevertheless got heads turning and newspapers gnashing.

Royals go vegan for religious ‘green’ summit



For a man who loves hunting, fishing and shooting, Prince Philip may sound like an unlikely host for a vegan lunch.

But with more than 200 religious leaders representing nearly a dozen of the world’s faiths coming for lunch at Windsor Castle, the Duke of Edinburgh had to be careful what he offered his guests.

from FaithWorld:

Climate change debate spurs warm feelings in London

china-climateIt is rare that religion and science find agreement, but that is what happened when Britain's Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks spoke at a meeting on saving the earth from climate change.

"The great Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson published a book in 2007 called "Creation", subtitled An Appeal to Save Life on Earth," Sacks told leaders of all the major faiths meeting at Lambeth Palace in London on Thursday.

When will Britain bin its plastic bag habit?


Seven leading supermarkets and their customers are finding it slow going to stop using plastic bags.

Over the last three years supermarkets have reduced the number of bags from 870 million to 452 million, just failing to meet a government target to cut the number by half.

Should bottled water be banned?


The residents of Bundanoon in Australia, a picturesque tourist destination southwest of Sydney, have voted to rid their town of bottled water to reduce their carbon footprint. Tap’s good enough, they say.

Organizations like conservation group WWF have long campaigned against bottled water, saying resources are wasted in packaging and transporting a product which may be no safer or healthier than tap water while selling for up to a thousand times the price.

Is police action against protesters disproportionate?


A committee of MPs has warned police they must not impose restrictions on demonstrations “unless it is necessary and proportionate to do so.”

“The right to protest is a fundamental democratic right and one that the state and police have a duty to protect and facilitate,” said Andrew Dismore, chairman of the human rights committee.