The Sustainable Futures Report-logo

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




Extreme Weather - Extreme Warnings

This is an extra edition of the Sustainable Futures Report. There's so much comment, reporting and news that this is an attempt to keep you up to date. There will be another edition on Friday as normal!



Rewilding to address the climate crisis: I talk to Ria Rocha of Mossy Earth. And there's news from Ireland of creative climate action.


Extreme Weather

Floods in Edinburgh and London, floods and fatalities in Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, India and China; wildfires across North America, heatwaves in Europe. Is this our final wake-up call?


China - The Climate Crisis and Other Challenges

I'm talking to Jason Szeftel about China's role in solving the climate crisis, and how the West has exported much of its manufacturing, its carbon footprint and its rubbish to China. We look at economic stress and strains within the country, its desire for secrecy and the ever-increasing surveillance of its population.


Sustainable Business

Sustainable business plus extreme weather, continued warnings, Belgians have their day in court and so does the Transport Action Network, (more) climate-warming plans from the UK government, what is Amazon throwing away? And the BBC has a change of heart. All this and more in your latest Sustainable Futures Report.


Sustainable Futures

This week Climate Action staged the Climate Innovation Forum 2021, a three-day event. I got a press pass and I’ll share my review of some of the sessions. Also on this week’s agenda: more on the nuclear plant at Taishan, extreme weather in North America, shortfalls in the UK, and the future of the Sustainable Futures Report.


Moving Forward

Last week the leaders of seven powerful nations met in the UK. Let’s look at what they said and indeed what they didn't say. I also have the usual miscellanea to share with you, and some thoughts on the future of the Sustainable Futures Report.


G-7 and More Loose Ends

No clear theme this week. G-7 is still going on so I can only report on speculation rather than outcomes. We look at a potential pitfall of trade deals, analyse rain in Newcastle, I'll draw your attention to some events which look interesting and there is more, yes more, about bitcoin. In the Amazon region they have been living in harmony with nature for some 5,000 years. Then civilisation happened.


Net Zero - Naturally

Last week Business Green staged an important conference - Net Zero Nature. I share some of the insights I gained. In other news, some thoughts about G7 - the upcoming intergovernmental conference, a missed opportunity for green recovery, more reaction to the news about Shell, blowing hot and cold on energy storage, is public transport the way forward? And a bit of mining in the West Midlands.


It's Political!

Should the Nord Stream 2 pipeline face sanctions following this week’s air piracy by Russian ally Belarus? Oil company Shell faces continued protests and car manufacturers - and other industries - find the chips are down. In the hunt for rare metals, mining may come back to the UK. Will it cause as much pollution as mining for bitcoin - now opening new markets for coal-generated electricity? Restaurant chain Nando's announces plans to go carbon neutral by November while McDonald's is under...


The Nuclear Option

This week Fatih Birol, a leading energy economist and currently executive director of the International Energy Agency, said that exploitation and development of new oil and gas fields must stop this year and no new coal-fired power stations could be built if the world were to stay within safe limits of global heating and meet the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Meeting net zero is one target, but meeting increasing energy demand is another. How do we do this without fossil fuels? Is...


The East Yorkshire Oilfield...

A lot more stories, actually. I'm trying to get to grips with the stories that I haven't covered over the last four or five weeks. Links to all the sources, as usual, below. There’s a whole range of issues which I’ve loosely grouped into Energy, Science and Warning Signs, Managing the Message, and Inconsistencies, Greenwash and Counter-Intuitive ideas. With that last category in mind, we'll look at the East Yorkshire Oilfields. First I'm pleased to announce that the Sustainable Futures...


Net Zero - Impossible Dream?

One year on I'm talking again to James Dyke of Exeter University. This time our discussions ranged from Chelsea tractors to carbon sinks in the Arctic and the Amazon, the mystery of the missing methane (missing from the stats, that is, there’s too much of it in the atmosphere), why injecting sulphuric acid into the stratosphere might be a good idea and why it might not be. We reflected that peat takes centuries to form and only days to destroy, and asked why fossil fuel companies like...


Much Ado About Summit

Joe Biden hosted a climate summit last week. Greta Thunberg accused leaders of still talking and not doing, and nine women were arrested for breaking windows at the HQ of HSBC, a major investor in fossil fuel industries. Talk Radio wanted to know what I thought about it all. You’ll hear what I told them.


Dangerous Times

We are living in dangerous times, but the good news is that people - powerful people - are talking about the climate crisis. They are talking about actions they’ll take to deal with the climate crisis. But at the same time, climate protestors are being criminalised across the world. Newspapers reporting on these prosecutions have withdrawn articles in the face of threats of legal action. Yes, here in the UK.


Solar Impulse

This week, a follow-up to Fukushima, COP26 - why Greta won’t be going, why she certainly won’t be going in an SUV, Seaspiracy- that Netflix film, Ade Adepitan on the front line, lab-grown meat and growing your own pan scourer. And an interview with Bertrand Piccard, the man who flew round the world on solar power and now has assembled 1000 solutions to climate problems.



A brief look back at my 14 years of podcasting.


Earth Hour

It's Earth Hour on Saturday and stories this week include riots in Bristol, time running short to get a grip on the climate crisis and calls to speed up renewable energy growth. Health risks from oil, British government cuts electric car grants, puts climate change at the heart of its integrated strategy and announces more nukes. There's greenwash, and Ecotricity is drilling.


Good News & Bad

The good news is that there's no bad news, just challenges and new opportunities. Here's a selection of the sustainability stories that have crossed my desk recently.


Waves and Beaches

Over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. The beaches, the boundary between the oceans and the other 30% of the surface where we live, is constantly battered by waves. This week I had a conversation with Kim McCoy, author of the third edition of Waves and Beaches. Kim has recently completed an Ironman and will continue to swim, dive, surf, sail, rock-climb and paraglide until motion stops, viscous drag ceases, buoyancy is lost, and gravity ultimately wins.