How Did We End Up Here?

As I head towards Doha where through the World Economic Forum I will be continuing the battle to encourage governments and policy makers to be proactive about technology rather than reactive, Andrew Maynard’s excellent posting on the kerfuffle over using ‘nano’ dispersants to clear up oil is more grist to the mill. I often despair when policy on environment and …

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New White Paper – Sustainable Technologies for the Next Decade

Prophets, priests, scientists and environmentalists have been gleefully predicting the end of the world for several millennia but it wont happen. One of the reasons that the human species has been so successful has been our ability to adapt to changing environments, enabling us, like viruses, to colonise almost every part of the planet, and make use of every available …

Cleantech in Melbourne: No Worries!

According to JP Morgan, flying to 21186 miles to Melbourne and back for a clean tech conference generated 5.63 tonnes of carbon dioxide, but unlike most conferences on this subject the hot air emissions were negligible. The Sir Mark Oliphant Cleantech: Mainstream and at the Edge conference was refreshing for the positive outlook on cleantech rather than the self flagellation …

Talking Cleantech In Melbourne

The Sir Mark Olifant Cleantech conference has been a lot of fun so far, from Eric Isaac’s opening overview of the the issues (and solutions) to Stefan Hajkowicz’s analysis of megatrends that will shape our future technology development. I’m still struck by how much cleantech seems to be focused in a few rather obvious areas, something which effectively prices a …

Canadian Organic Associations Ban Nanotechnology (Maybe)

Canada has become the latest country following the UK and Australia to ban nanotechnology in organic food. Dag Falck, organic program manager at Nature’s Path Foods explains: “Genetic engineering is a definable science: splicing genes into crops. With nanotechnology there are at least 1000 different applications, all unregulated with unknown risks.” As the Canadian organic folks don’t seem to have got …

How Long Does It Take For Science To Reverse A PR Setback?

As an adjunct to my previous post, Science today reports on a new report from the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies (The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States) which seems to conclude that biotech crops are good for farmers and the environment, with the usual caveats and uncertainties of course. So fourteen …