Almost everyone is in favor of advancements in green energy. But we’re still a long way off from cleaner sources being able to take over from more traditional forms of energy, like fossil fuels. If we were to make the switch now, it would inevitably mean moving from a high-energy society to a low-energy society. But what would this mean in practice?
Today we’re speaking with the IEA’s Head of Education, Dr Steve Davies. Steve paints a picture of radical changes that would have to be made in order to adapt to a low-energy society. Two major changes include a return to agriculture focus in local areas, with over 30 per cent of the population needing to return to the farms to make sure communities could be fed. Furthermore, it would almost certainly mean the return of traditional gender roles, as it was the many advancements in energy in particular, that enabled women to liberate themselves out of the home and into the workforce. And while many people who advocate for a low-energy society seem to think that the things they like will continue, while the things they loathe will be scrapped, Steve argues that many conveniences, and indeed miracles, of modern society – like international plane travel and use of the internet – would be wiped out almost completely, with only the world’s elite having access to such luxuries.
Peter Aiers is Chief Executive at the Churches Conservation Trust, and he has had a life-long interest in history and conservation. His organisation maintains over 300 historic places of worship and he manages 80 people and a multi million pound fundraising pot. He’s spent 12 years at the organisation and took over as CEO seven months ago. He’s always worked in conservation (apart from a stint working in a chippy!) and says it was refreshing being given ‘the push to make something happen and to prove myself’ when he was appointed the first conservation officer for the Church of England. He loves the outdoors, Manchester rock music and new challenges.
How would you feel about compulsory three year tenancies? Would they provide essential security of tenure for families or pose too big a risk for landlords? The government has appointed the third housing minister this year. What will Kit Malthouse bring to the table and how confident are you that housing really is a priority for ministers? Will the Bank of England end nearly a decade of ultra low interest rates and increase them this August? And we discuss a new initiative to help student landlords support tenants with mental health issues. Richard Blanco is joined by Chris Norris, Director of Policy & Practice at The National Landlords Association and and Carol Lewis, Deputy Editor of Property and Personal Finance at The Times.
Some projections suggest a third of UK jobs are at high risk of computerisation. The impact of technical progress has been debated since Karl Marx predicted advancement of the means of production to the point where abundance would end the division of labour. J. R. Shackleton, Professor of Economics at the University of Buckingham and Editorial and Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, considers the modern debate in Robocalypse Now?. Prof. Shackleton argues that estimates of the number of jobs-at-risk are excessive; that regulatory and legal barriers to automation will result in slower than anticipated change, and that the last 200 years show how new employment opportunities are created to replace jobs lost to automation. We consider these various debates and ask whether the emergence of AI and robotics mean that, this time it’s different.
There are troubling signs that the new data-driven economy is inheriting all the same problems as the old one: power imbalances, monopolies and a lack of accountability. How gloomy should we be? Will technology inevitably lead us to a digital dystopia? Or could there be a whole range of potential futures, some of them shiny and welcoming, others dark and scary? Hanna Wheatley is joined by New Economics Foundation researcher Duncan McCann, and Carl Miller, research director for the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos. The award-winning Weekly Economics Podcast is brought to you by the New Economics Foundation.
Adam talks to Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe, an expert on medical conditions related to radio frequency and Brian Stein of the Radiation Research Trust about the growing scientific evidence that mobile phone radiation and WIFI are now linked to various cancers. They discuss why there is an unwillingness to talk about the dangers as mobile phones and WIFI is often ranked as the things we want and need most in our lives. They discuss why the government and the telecoms industry have a vested interest in not warning people of dangers and what you can do if you’re worried about the health risks but still want to keep using WIFI and your phone.
As the UK's MPs head off for their summer hols, political commentator Mike Indian looks at the latest Brexit developments including Justine Greening's call for a second referendum, the Lib Dems absence from a Commons vote and Jeremy Hunt's debut as Foreign Secretary. He also examines what the row about antisemitism and the Labour Party demonstrates about Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and looks at what Boris Johnson has been up to since leaving the Foreign Office.
Steve Caplin looks at car locks preventing drunk driving, at a 3D printable gun, at Amazon's patent for fulfilment centre robots throwing objects to each other, at Uber fraud, the bluntly honest HiMirror, at the world's largest 3D printer which can make houses and at the Spanish submarines too heavy to float!
James Cameron-Wilson casts his eye over a revived UK box office, with the new Mamma Mia film storming into the No. 1 spot, pushing the highest grossing US animated film ever, Incredibles 2, into second place. With a Spitfire documentary producing an extraordinary per-screen average, James also looks at the DVD release of Filmworker, a highly-recommended documentary about Stanley Kubrick and his longstanding right-hand man.
Graham Spooner of The Share Centre discusses recent numbers from Shell and ITV and looks at the latest supermarket market share numbers. He also looks ahead to results forthcoming from Barclays and RBS as well as from Centrica and Taylor Wimpey.