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‘Pope and the Planet’ talk to take place at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus



With world leaders gathering in Paris next week for the COP21 Climate Change Conference, Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute will examine the role of religion in climate change during a special lunchtime seminar.

Ian Christie, of the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group at the University of Surrey, will present “The Pope and the Planet” on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus on Wednesday, 2 December (1pm).

Earlier this year Pope Francis published his long-anticipated Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’.  This is the first such document from the Papacy on global ecological challenges and sustainability.

The Encyclical has been welcomed by many agnostics and atheists, as well as by Catholics and other faiths, but has also been attacked by ‘denialist’ factions.

Christie said: “The Encyclical is a significant intervention by a figure of global importance.  Although it has been described in the media as a ‘climate change’ announcement by the Pope, the document in fact ranges over the entire field of sustainability.”

The seminar will present and discuss the main ideas in Laudato Si’, and will consider the implications of the reception of the Encyclical by the churches, by politicians, by business leaders and by sustainability scientists and campaigners.

Christie will outline the recent history of engagement by churches and faith communities with environmental challenges, and set out why religion has an important part to play in sustainable development.  He will also discuss the early evidence for a ‘Francis Effect’.

Christie is a Fellow of the University of Surrey, based in the Centre for Environmental Strategy and the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity.  He is an associate of the think-tank Green Alliance and a Fellow of WWF-UK.

He was researcher and lead author of the Church of England’s strategy on sustainability and environment, Church and Earth (2009), and is an adviser on sustainable development to the Diocese of Southwark.

The free public event, which includes lunch, will take place in room 027 of the Lord Ashcroft Building on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus.  For further information, please visit

GSI Seminar


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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