News

In this section, you can browse through our wide range of News articles. The most recent news is at the top of the page:

Now this could be something very special. A small British company based in Stockton-on-Tees is producing petrol refined from the carbon dioxide and water vapour that’s naturally present in the air. They haven’t got much of the stuff so far – only five litres – but they reckon they can have a commercial-scale plant producing a tonne of fuel per day up and running within two years.

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I was really saddened today to hear about the death of Terry Nutkins, one of YPTE’s Presidents, who I have known for many years. I remember some highly amusing lunches that I had with Terry, accompanied by the great Johnny Morris, Terry’s co-presenter on Animal Magic and an amazing ambassador for animals. Terry loved life and had a great sense of humour. He and Johnny in the same room meant that anyone else there was going to be spending a lot of time laughing.

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We had a fabulous day at London Zoo on 20 June with around 100 children who were representing the four Regional Champion schools in the Total Green School Awards 2012. The schools were: English Martyrs RC Primary School, from Long Eaton in Derbyshire; Turners Hill C of E Primary School from Turners Hill, near Crawley; Castle Park Primary School from Caldicot, Monmouthshire and Longhaven Primary School from Longhaven, Aberdeenshire.

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It has been a bit quiet here at the YPTE blog for a few weeks. Well, here’s why: At the start of May, most of YPTE’s staff team were involved with an Environmental Discovery Course for 54 Year 5 children from St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School, Guildford. I think it’s the 23rd consecutive year that the school has been coming away with us and believe it or not, I instructed on the very first one and most of the others since! The weather could have been kinder to us, but the children had a great time (as did the adults!) and learned a great deal about the natural world and about the importance of heritage and history in the environment too.

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I’ve been reading today about a new book, ‘Prosperity without Growth’, which has been written by economist Tim Jackson, who is Economics Commissioner for the Sustainable Development Commission. It sounds full of really interesting ideas about today’s society and how we need to change. He argues that our government and media are fixated by economic growth and by rises on the stock markets. If our economy isn’t growing, the perception is that we’re getting less prosperous, and that’s bad. If stocks and shares are low, pension funds do less well, meaning that we have less prosperous pensioners, and that’s bad too.

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Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is launching a new line in loo roll. The cardboard tube inside is having its diameter reduced from 123mm to 112mm, but the number of sheets on the roll will remain the same at 240 and both the cardboard and the paper are Forest Stewardship Council certified, meaning that they are coming from sustainably managed sources. The impact of the new slimline rolls is a big reduction in CO2 emissions, which is achieved by using less cardboard, less packaging and through reduced transportation costs. More of the slimline rolls will fit on a truck, so less HGV journeys will be needed to transport them.

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Some great news today for the environment. Sales of low emission cars are growing in the UK. In fact, almost 47% of new cars sold in 2011 emitted less than 130 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre travelled. To give an idea of how much of an improvement that is, in 2007 just 10.6% of new cars sold emitted less than 130g CO2.

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There has been a trend in recent years to outsource certain elements of UK businesses to operations overseas. Customer call centres are perhaps the most notorious example. Worryingly, it seems that UK consumers have been doing the same, but with the things they buy and the result has been that our carbon dioxide emissions are effectively being outsourced too.

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It would seem that fracking (the hydraulic fracture of shale rock to recover shale gas) is to be permitted in the countryside near Blackpool in the northwest of England after all. A review of the fracking operations, which caused two earthquakes in Lancashire of Magnitudes 2.3 and 1.5 has concluded that further earthquakes are quite likely, but that they will be of a magnitude too small to cause damage on the surface and would be very unlikley to produce an earthquake in excess of Magnitude 3. If I were living in that area, I don’t think I’d find that expert assessment particularly reassuring.

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Did you know that the Young People’s Trust for the Environment had its 30th birthday a couple of days ago? We were so busy we nearly forgot! That’s 30 years of inspiring young people to look after our world and take an active role in protecting our planet for the future.

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