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The Sustainable Futures Report


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


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




And finally - time to move on.

This is the Sustainable Futures Report for Thursday, the 30th of November, and finally, it's time to move on. This is the 477th episode and the final episode after 15 years of publication. After careful consideration I’ve decided that the Sustainable Futures Report will not return. Before I go I’ll take the opportunity to comment on COP28, which starts this week, to suggest some books which you should put on your Christmas list and there's a couple of videos which you really must watch, one from Dave Borlace and another one from Oblivia Coalmine. Find all the details on the website.


Having a Think - Back in January

I need to take stock and make the Sustainable Futures Report as relevant and interesting to you the listener as I can. I'm going to develop ideas for the theme and the content. To do that I'm taking a break and aiming to be back in January.


The Greenpeace Debate with Anthony Day on TalkTV

This is an unexpected bonus edition of the Sustainable Futures Report for Thursday 17th August. Last Saturday, I was asked if I would appear on TalkTV to talk about the Greenpeace action when they sat on the roof of the prime minister's country house in North Yorkshire. You can hear what I said, what the other panellist said and what the public said as well.



Sharon Lashley, managing Director of Climate Action North, explains how to make a difference. Choose things you can achieve. Attempting the impossible will only make you want to give up.


Why Just Stop Oil calls Rishi Sunak worse than a War Criminal

"Sunak is worse than a war criminal," says Just Stop Oil. "He knows new oil and gas will impose unimaginable suffering and destroy the lives and livelihoods of billions of people. He knows that it will push the world past irreversible tipping points, meaning that the consequences and suffering will echo for centuries. He is risking nothing less than the collapse of human civilisation."


How Businesses Can Fix the Future

I talk to Solitaire Townsend, co-founder of Futerra, author, sustainability expert and optimist. She explains how the professionals in PR, Marketing, Accountancy, Lobbying and the Legal profession can smooth the way for the fossil industries and major polluters, or use their power to oppose them. Some are doing both, as she explains. Other businesses have got the message and are doing all they can - but they're "green hushing". You'll find out what that is.


Solving the Climate Emergency - is it too late?

Thoughts on managing the message, political indifference, the UK's skills and infrastructure problems and a plea to the UN to act on inequality. Also the problems with charging your EV and startling insights from my barber.


Graphite: why this form of carbon is vital to a low-carbon future.

Everyone knows about lithium, and about how it’s used in batteries for almost every electronic device, but lithium is only part of the story. I talk to John DeMaio, CEO Graphex Technologies and President of Graphene Division of the Graphex Group Ltd.


Just Stop Oil - Right or Wrong?

Just Stop Oil. Are they getting it right or are they getting it wrong? I have a view from inside the oil industry. Can protest and free speech survive in the face of new laws, and legal procedures which can bankrupt protesters without even taking them to court? And a minister resigns just before the PM sacks him, but he claims it’s for a completely different reason


Net Zero Transition

This week I'm talking about transitions with a webinar from Business Green and a warning from energy company, Ithaca. There's a report and a letter to the prime minister from the Climate Change Committee, and what did happen at that Paris Finance Summit? More worrying news about climate tipping points and a new film to cheer you up. Or not.


News from All Quarters

There are still many people who are determined to deny the dangers of the climate emergency with refusal to face facts or even by supporting censorship. There are lots of stories at the moment about the climate, principally about soaring sea temperatures, but also about the legacy of wildfires in Canada and the effect of temperature on solar panels. Are we counting the cost of the climate crisis correctly? A paper in Nature Sustainability suggests that we are counting the money cost and ignoring the human cost. How will we achieve a transition to net zero? Is Just Stop Oil the answer, or will it make things worse? And finally how good are you at thinking on your feet, when faced with tricky climate questions? There’s a new online club to help you with that. First, though, we'll look at some political policy issues.


Watery World

Today we have a follow-up on last week’s methane story, a reminder of World Refill Day and I reveal why we’re burning more coal this week. In other news I ask who’s in the driving seat, or is the seat driving? There's a podcast about the end of the world, but first, let's talk about the warming oceans, the biggest heat sink on the planet.



Today, I'll bring you items about electric cars, about Western Australia's personality of the year, and about the controversy over the President of COP 28. First, though, I'm going to talk about methane.


The Global Good

If you work hard on making your organisation sustainable, isn't it nice to be recognised? Karen Sutton founded the Global Good Awards. Here's how it happened.


Net Zero - and Other Stories

A wide-ranging interview with James Murray, Editor in Chief of Business Green. Our conversation included the role of China, carbon capture and storage, the resignation of the CEO of Verra (the offset certification body) and even the sponsorship by Drax Power of the upcoming Net Zero Festival.


Getting Warmer

The WMO warns that we will hit 1.5℃ within the next two or three years. How is the legal profession approaching climate issues and climate-damaging clients, and why are cyclists bad for the economy?


Locking On

Yes, the King’s coronation has taken place and we’ll hear more about that a bit later. Well, not so much about the coronation itself as about what went on on the sidelines. If you can't stand the heat take it out of the kitchen with new technology which may not be quite as new as some reporters suggest. We hear from Naomi Klein on the hallucinations of artificial intelligence, and from Zoe Cohen, friend of the Sustainable Futures Report, addressing the annual general meeting of Barclays Bank. Nuclear fusion is the immense reaction which powers the sun. Now some Israeli scientists want to replicate it in a shipping container. And there’s advance notice of the Net Zero Festival which takes place in London next October.


Consumer is King (or Queen)

This week I talk to Tim Clover, CEO and founder of Glow, a consumer research technology company, about how ESG influences consumer choices. Comments also on that book - How to Blow Up a Pipeline - and a warning about the potential dangers of AI.


The Big One

Extinction Rebellion held a four-day demonstration in Whitehall last weekend. Will it make any difference? Or should we blow up a pipeline?


Food for Thought

An interview with Leo Taylor, CEO of YumBug. A man who is bringing insect-based cuisine to a pub or restaurant near you.