Category “Themes”

Projected global electricity sources in 2035


Source: Vivian Scott, Stuart Gilfillan, Nils Markusson, Hannah Chalmers, R. Stuart Haszeldine (2013) ‘Last chance for carbon capture and storage’, Nature Climate Change, 3, pp. 105 – 111.

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Out, damned plastic! Out, I say!



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The Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

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Global Climate Destabilisation

Frequency of occurrence (y axis) of local temperature anomalies (relative to 1951–1980 mean) divided by local standard deviation (x axis) obtained by counting gridboxes with anomalies in each 0.05 interval. Area under each curve is unity.

Source: James Hansen, Makiko Satoa and Reto Ruedy (2012) ‘Perception of climate change’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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Mull on This

Source: David J. C. MacKay

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Apocalypse, Technofix or Back-to-Nature?

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CO2 leads Temperature during Pleistocene deglaciation

J. D. Shakun et al., 2012. ‘Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation’, Nature, 484: p. 49-54.

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The Law’s Majestic Equality


Optimism about the use of laws, constitutions, and rights to achieve social change has never been higher among practitioners. But the academic literature is skeptical that courts can direct resources toward the poor. This paper develops a nuanced account in which not all courts are the same. Countries and policy areas characterized by judicial decisions with broader applicability tend to avoid the potential anti-poor bias of courts, whereas areas dominated by individual litigation and individualized effects are less likely to have pro-poor outcomes. Using data on social and economic rights cases in five countries, the authors estimate the potential distributive impact of litigation by examining whether the poor are over or under-represented among the beneficiaries of litigation, relative to their share of the population. They find that the impact of courts varies considerably across the cases, but is positive and pro-poor in two of the five countries (India and South Africa), distribution-neutral in two others (Indonesia and Brazil), and sharply anti-poor in Nigeria. Overall, the results of litigation are much more positive for the poor than conventional wisdom would suggest.”

Daniel M. Brinks & Varun Gauri (2012) ‘The Law’s Majestic Equality? – The Distributive Impact of Litigating Social and Economic Rights’, Policy Research Working Paper 5999, World Bank Development Research Group.

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The Spice of 21st Century Life

Source: British Geological Survey (2011)

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Deaths by Cause

Butler (2012), ‘UN targets top killers’, Nature, 477, p. 261.

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