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The Sustainable Futures Report


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

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


United States


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




Save Our Seas

My guest this week, Leonardo Zangrando, wants to save the oceans and wants to inspire 100 million people to help him do that. Sounds a lot, although given that world population passed 8 billion last year is it really a lot? The oceans, he tells us, are the lungs of the planet. Forget the tropical rainforests - the oceans are far more significant. Everything, everything we do, affects the oceans. And the oceans affect us.


Forest Planet

Trees are good for the planet. Hank Dearden explains how trees do so much more for us than just sequester carbon. We can all help too!


Shift to Clean Energy - on Land and Sea

Today I'm talking to Paul Hughes about new applications for batteries. How they can store energy, save energy, save money and cut carbon emissions.


The Time is RIPE

There are now 8,000 million people (8 billion) across the world. Every one of those has to be fed. The RIPE project has been ongoing for decades at sites in different parts of the world. Its aim is to adapt plants to the harsher future that climate change is creating, to safeguard food supplies. I spoke to Steve Long, Project Director


rePurpose Global and your Plastic Footprint

In the final part of our series on the management of waste I bring you an interview with Peter Wang Hjemdahl of rePurpose Global. As I mentioned last week, his organisation aims to help you get your plastic footprint under control. The headline on the website is “Together, rePurpose Global’s coalition is recovering 14,228,074 pounds of plastic each year - will you join us?”


Christmas Review of the Year

This week I’m looking back on 2022. I’ve published 62 episodes over the year - about 150,000 words. Thank you for listening and thank you for your feedback. In this episode I’m going to look at what concerned us this time last year and what progress we’ve made since then. In December last year we were talking about COP26, which had just ended in Glasgow. There were complaints about fossil fuel subsidies, an Insulate Britain protester on hunger strike, profound wisdom on climate mitigation...


The Texas Trash Talker

Waste has a cost. It's a cost to the environment in terms of pollution. It's a cost to the world as lost resources. Increasingly it's a cost to the producer, through the cost of disposal or even through fines. Stacy Savage is Founder & CEO of Zero Waste Strategies. Here's how she helps her clients address the problem.


Special Edition - Barclays Seven Found Guilty

In April 2021 seven women took hammers and chisels to the office of Barclays Bank in Canary Wharf, London and cracked the glass panels of the facade. They put up posters saying, “In case of climate emergency break glass.” They then waited to be arrested. All seven appeared in court this week. All seven were found guilty of criminal damage. One of those arrested was Zoe Cohen, who spoke to the Sustainable Futures Report only last month. She told me why she did it, and what sentence she...


The Material Library of India

The idea of the circular economy is to use, reuse and recycle materials to minimise the amount that we have to take from virgin resources. In an ideal world there is no such thing as a waste. When something is finished with it becomes an input to a new process. We are very far from achieving that, but there are people working hard to make it a reality. People like those at the Material Library of India. And it’s about a lot more than just collecting things up after they have been thrown...


Cossham on Carbon (and many other things)

To give you some pointers on how to control your carbon footprint I'm talking this time to John Cossham. And not just about being green and cutting carbon, but our wide-ranging discussions included population, changing the system, being vegan or vegetarian, the steady-state economy, doughnut economics, gross domestic happiness, tipping points and positive feedback, climate anxiety, near-term human extinction and why we should be doing good now – it's the right thing to do. And never, ever...


COP27 - It's All Over

It's over. Cop 27 has finished even though it ran on for several days after its scheduled closing. An agreement was reached at the last minute! But where have we heard all this before?


All Change in Australia

I've been promising you a review of what's been going on from an environmental point of view since Anthony Albanese's Labor government took office in May. I spoke to Dr Simon Wright. He’s Director at Simply Sustainable Consulting and Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at the Orange campus of the University of Technology, Sydney.


Highway to Climate Hell

This week the United Nations climate conference, cop 27, opened and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres set the tone with the warning that, "We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made a U-turn and decided to attend COP27 after all, maybe because he heard that Boris Johnson was going. Sunak turned up for the opening day but didn't stay long. The main part of today's episode is a wide-ranging interview with Zoe Cohen who...


Best Foot Forward

Measuring your personal carbon footprint is a first step towards taking action to combat the climate crisis. It's a first step and a small step and there is much more to be done. Recent reports make that abundantly clear. So what's your carbon footprint? (I'll show you mine if you show me yours.) This week we also look at preparations for COP27, and whether PM Rishi Sunak will U-turn and decide to attend after all. Maybe he'll let the King go too!


Meat: the Future

Can we produce meat without farming and without slaughtering livestock? I spoke to Daan Luining, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Meatable.



In the news this week: .. a couple of protests and plans for a further crackdown on protesters. Could there be yet another government U-turn, this time in favour of sustainability? There is a video you should see and I'll tell you about upcoming interviews planned for the next few months. Finally, what is sustainability anyway?


Sustainable Oceans

An interview with Daniela Fernandez, founder of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance. Image by


Good News!

I've called this one Good News for two reasons, one is that I want to attract your attention and secondly because I don't want the Sustainable Futures Report to be seen as a litany of bad news.


On the Brink

We're on the brink of massive changes. This week I'm going to talk about the UK government, though not about its financial management. There is a report from the world meteorological organisation as more extreme weather events are reported. A new academic study warns that palm trees face extinction while in Finland more and bigger buildings are being built from timber. On the energy front the UAE is stepping up oil production, and is hydrogen the ideal clean solution for home heating, or...


Moving On

As I write this on the day after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II there's little I can bring you in the way of sustainability news from the United Kingdom. The world didn’t stop, of course, and we are in the middle of a series of extreme weather events.