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Why price carbon?

That may sound like a stupid question, but when governments are failing to price carbon pollution at anywhere near the cost of the damage caused to society, it’s a question worth asking, though maybe it would be better to ask the reverse question: why aren’t we are pricing carbon? Why are we effectively subsidising fossil fuels? If you’re a government and there&#8217.

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CCL UK »

Eastern Bluebird
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Twitter to introduce pronoun field

With many users already displaying their preferred pronouns in their profiles, Twitter has decided to introduce a pronoun field which all users will be encouraged to fill. Robots will be required to use the it/its pronoun, with humans having to pass an “I am not a robot” captcha test before being allowed to enter their …

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The political polarisation of climate change

Climate change is often seen as a leftwing issue. Those on the left are more likely than those on the right to see climate change as a major problem. Labour voters are twice as likely as Conservative voters to be very concerned about climate change and to accept that it is caused by human activity. Conversely, Conservatives are twice as likely to be unconcerned, feel that climate change has been &#

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CCL UK »

Steven Pinker during a lecture for Humanists UK
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Enlightenment Now

I went to see Stephen Pinker on Monday night, interviewed by Decca Aitkenhead of the Guardian, talking about his latest book, Enlightenment Now, an argument for science, rationalism and humanism. Bill Gates’ new favourite book apparently, knocking his previous favourite, Pinker’s  Better Angels of Our Nature, off the top spot.

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What’s going to happen to the carbon price floor?

There’s a budget tomorrow, and as we reported recently, some energy companies have been putting pressure on the chancellor to increase the carbon price floor, the UK’s carbon tax, currently set at £18 per tonne, which has helped us reduce the proportion of our electricity we get from burning coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel of them all, though if we want to completely phase out coal burning by 2025…

Source

CCL UK »

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Indulgent purity

Some of us, maybe all of us to some extent, like our principles to be pure, unsullied by the messiness of reality.

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A geeky argument for equality

Suppose you accept the idea of the singularity, that we’ll pretty soon come to a point where machine intelligence equals and then surpasses human intelligence (or if not pretty soon, then at some point in the future if we don’t first destroy ourselves), what would the consequences of that be?

Who would be running the world? Who, or what, would be generating the wealth, and who would be claiming benefits?

Read more on Green Geeks »

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Do we really need a new ism?

And what’s this ecomodern one mean anyway? The eco suggests ecology, but the idea grows out of a disillusionment with the current environmental movement in that the solutions it’s offering up are simply not viable and their approach is often counter-productive, alienating large sections of the public with their finger-wagging, telling us all how we should be living. There’s also the aversion so many have to technologies that could reduce our impact on the planet, such as nuclear power and genetic engineering.

The ism that underlies ecomodernism is rationalism. It’s about finding rational solutions to the problems we face. Of course, many traditional environmentalists would argue that the solutions they propose are entirely rational, that to go for nuclear power or genetic engineering would be insane.

Read more on Ecomodernist »

Earthrise
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When the Earth disappeared

This was a very graphic thought that came to me the other day, which looked like an X-rated party political broadcast, though shot on a Hollywood blockbuster budget. The camera glides around a city, eavesdropping on bits of conversation. We’re drifting upwards, passing through clouds, seeing the coastline of Britain through the gaps, then seeing …

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What is green energy?

This term gets used a lot in stats: how much of our energy is green? How much of Denmark’s or Germany’s or China’s or France’s? It depends what you consider green.

Most people would I think imagine that green energy means renewables. If a company said it invested in green energy projects, would you be surprised if you found out they’re investing in a nuclear startup that wants to build small modular reactors (SMRs)?

Read more on Green Geeks »