Geothermal has long been hyped as the next big thing in renewable energy, but its breakthrough moment hasn’t happened yet. Barriers to expansion include the elusiveness of sites offering the magic trio of heat, water and permeability and concern for unique ecosystems. Contributor Jessica McKenzie on geothermal energy’s possibilities and challenges and the government funding that may finally fire it up.
When humans began to put down roots, we also started to forge what Giulio Boccaletti calls a “social contract” with water. In his new book, “Water: A Biography,” the London-based scientist explores that relationship through a long historical lens. BookShelf contributor Gary Wilson reviews the volume and finds that political ambitions and economic development are central to the story.
"The UK government has given £20bn more in support to fossil fuel producers than those of renewables since 2015, the Guardian can reveal."
"After Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, European nations faced an onslaught of crippling new challenges - including working out how to swiftly replace the Russian gas that supplied 40% of their energy needs and kept families warm in the winter."
"Meticulously crafted over decades as a major revenue stream for the Kremlin, Moscow's gas trade with Europe is unlikely to recover from the ravages of military conflict."
In our annual analysis of what’s ahead on the environment beat in 2023, there are some things to count on: worsening climate disasters and continued politicking over energy transitions, but also regulatory action on greenhouse gas emissions (not to mention on “forever chemicals”). Other things are less clear: environmental rulings by a conservative U.S. Supreme Court, energy impacts of war in Europe and the effectiveness of COP28 and treaty talks on plastic pollution. Read the full overview and get more in our “2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment” special report.
"Once they dominated much of the landscape but after centuries of deforestation their dwindling remains – just two per cent of the original – are now believed to be facing an existential threat from a combination of factors, including climate change, the planting of non-native species, and artificially high numbers of deer."
"The largest ever outbreak of bird flu is spilling over into mammals, including otters and foxes in the UK."