Planet

An Evolutionary Arms Race

Charlotte Kerr, Laura Higham FAI Farms, Oxford & Øistein Thorsen FAI Farms
Around 700,000 lives are lost worldwide due to antimicrobial-resistant infections every year. Without viable antibiotic treatment options we are likely to return to a relative dark age of medicine – a time when common infections or injuries could kill, and common surgeries and immunosuppressive therapies may become unfeasible.
10 June 2017

Solving an age-old riddle: Can inertial confinement finally deliver fusion?

Edward Hill Imperial College London
With an ever-increasing energy demand, the world is in need of a powerful and inexhaustible energy source. Nuclear fusion, presenting the additional advantage of being a clean source of energy, is the ideal candidate. Inertial confinement could solve the remaining challenge of producing high enough temperatures and pressures to hold the fusion material together.
1 June 2016

Keeping the Lights On

Raphael Heffron Queen Mary University of London
The possibility of the UK exiting the European Union, or Brexit, could have a significant impact on national energy policy and infrastructure. The EU referendum could define whether the UK will meet its Paris COP21 targets, and what energy resources are utilised.
22 April 2016

Are Pro-Government Political Militias Evidence of a Strong State?

Roudabeh Kishi University of Sussex, Ciara Aucoin ACLED & Clionadh Raleigh University of Sussex
The growth of pro-government political militias and unidentified armed groups has traditionally been associated with weak state capacity however, new research suggests this may be a method of institutional management and can be seen as evidence of a strong state rather than a fragile one.
13 March 2016

Measuring Global Success

Michael Weatherburn Imperial College London
Much debate surrounds the choice of indicator used to determine economic performance and stage of development for governments, businesses and citizens.
24 January 2016

Solar Radiation Management Can Only Work if it Works for the Poor

Tim O'Brien Harvard University
A promising technology that aims to reflect a small percentage of sunlight back into space called Solar Radiation Management (SRM) could complement mitigation and adaptation in the fight against climate change.
1 December 2015

Why carbon pricing will not succeed

Peter Lang Member of Institution of Engineers Australia
Is ‪climate‬ modelling for carbon pricing based on theoretical assumptions that are unlikely to hold in the real world? The benefits of carbon pricing are highly uncertain, and hence it is likely not the most effective way to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.
26 November 2015

Climate Change, Health, and Migration

Anna Brach & Khalid Koser Geneva Centre for Security Policy
In 2003, one million people fled Beijing during a SARS outbreak. In 2009, tens of thousands fled Zimbabwe during an outbreak of cholera. Anna Brach and Khalid Koser discuss how health crises arising from climate change are a significant driver of mass migration.
20 October 2015

Is Guilt a Good Motivator for Pro-social Behaviour?

Simon Hedlin Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Automatic enrolment to pro-social programmes is popular but unlikely to always be the optimal policy. New behavioural economics research suggests that whether a policy breeds guilt or resentment helps determine if it will be effective or not.
9 October 2015

Living above the Arctic Circle

Ilan Kelman University College London
Climate change affects everyone. For Arctic communities, the unpredictable nature of the changes is having a profound impact on health and entire livelihoods. The Arctic people know they’ll need to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape, one in which dependency on the seasons can no longer be relied upon.
30 September 2015

Coping with Air Pollution in an Age of Urbanisation

Marguerite Nyhan Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In order to tackle exposure to air pollution emissions in urban environments, policies should aim to keep people away from the most polluted areas rather than focusing exclusively on containing the root of the pollution itself.
24 June 2015

Global Risk: the Wildfire in the Commons

Sebastian Farquhar Global Priorities Project
What distinguishes many of today's problems from those faced by former generations? The interconnected nature of global issues like emerging bio-technologies and climate change raises the possibility of 'wildfire risks', where the actions of one can have a great impact on many.
24 June 2015

Marine Energy: Somewhere Beyond The Sea?

Arjav Trivedi Imperial College London
Marine energy has the potential to play a key role in the UK's energy mix in the coming decades, benefited by both its geography and its historical expertise. It is now critical that the necessary steps are taken to enable the technology to progress to the commercially viable stage, and realise its full potential.
22 June 2015
Opinion

Power to the People: Building local energy capacity

Carl Lee University of Sheffield
The challenge of moving towards a low carbon future is one now embraced by the political leaders of the G7, but how that path will unfold is still a live political debate. Local energy co-operatives offer a viable and progressive path to sustainability.
22 June 2015

The Gathering Storm

Steve Trent Environmental Justice Foundation
A rights-based approach to protecting victims of climate-induced displacement is needed; one which recognises entitlement to assistance and protection, and leverages opportunities for safe and dignified migration.
15 May 2015

Catastrophe models could transform disaster resilience

Catherine Ansell Risk Management Solutions
Catastrophe models are an emerging tool for governments, NGOs and international aid agencies to assess and prepare for the risks posed by natural disasters.
9 April 2015

Hope for Humanitarianism

Lydia Tanner & Jennie Thomas Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust
Can humanitarian aid ever really be non-political? How far should NGOs go to avoid being drawn into the power-struggles inherent to warfare? And what happens when international organisations are denied access, and local communities become the only humanitarian actors?
1 October 2013

International Cooperation and Competition in Space

Emily Baldwin Science Writer
International collaboration in space exploration has provided a platform for immense technological innovation and research that has benefited a range of scientific disciplines.
1 October 2013

A WMD Free Zone in the Middle East

Ziad AbuZayyad & Hillel Schenker Palestine-Israel Journal
Nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is high on the regional and international agenda. Fear of a nuclear arms race in the region driven by tensions between Iran and Israel, and continued mistrust surrounding the Iranian nuclear programme, threaten preparations for the upcoming Helsinki conference.
1 October 2013

Astrobiology: Searching for Life in Space

Louisa J Preston The Open University
The human mind is fascinated by the possibility of other life in the universe. From as early as the fifth century B.C, science fiction and science fact have been intricately linked driving forward innovation and imagination.
1 October 2013

Geo-Science Versus the Nuclear Industry

Shigeyuki Koide
The Japanese government and their domestic nuclear industry are facing a serious dilemma. While geologists caution about the risk of active seismic faults the electric power industry is pressing the need to restart nuclear power plants.
1 January 2013

Sunny Side Up: Photovoltaics of the Future

Jenny Nelson & Christopher Emmott Imperial College London
Until now only a fraction of 1% of energy has been provided by direct conversion of solar energy, but that is set to change: International Energy Agency projections anticipate that some 11% of electric power will be provided by solar technologies by 2050.
1 October 2012

Why Our Nuclear Waste Isn't Going Anywhere

Philip de Grouchy Cornell & John O'Neill
The answer to nuclear waste disposal may lie in deep underground geological storage, yet this strategy faces strong ‘Not In My Back Yard’ opposition.
1 May 2012

Arsenic: Mass Poisoning in the 21st Century

Flo Bullough Geological Society & Chris Moffatt
Access to clean water is a fundamental human need. We must find low-cost ways of analysing toxic contaminants in the field, and develop cheap and effective remediation methods.
1 May 2012
Opinion

Accra Invaded

Franca Hoffmann University of Cambridge
High rates of urbanisation and population growth has led to housing and infrastructural incapacity in Ghana, threatening the country's economic success story.
1 January 2012
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