I don’t normally write for academic audiences, but after I spoke at the annual conference of the Geographical Association, I was invited to adapt my talk for their journal. It was a bit of a learning curve submitting a paper to a peer-reviewed journal, not least because the online submission process is not set up for writers unaffiliated to a particular university. I got there in the end, it was accepted, and it was published in the Autumn 2021 issue.
Both in its cause and in its effect, climate change reflects racial inequalities. It is disproportionately caused by the majority white citizens of the global North, while the damage it unleashes falls first and foremost on people of colour. The climate crisis reflects racial inequalities of the past, and reinforces them into the future.
The first book to explore these connections for a popular audience, and using a wide range of sources and voices to tell this story through the people and places most affected on our planet.
Burning Down the Houseis a joint report from Tearfund and Youthscape, investigating young Christians’ views about climate change. It’s central finding is that nine of ten young people are concerned about climate change, but only one out of ten thinks their church is doing enough.
The report was based on an extensive survey carried out by The Youthscape Centre for Research, including focus groups. I was commissioned to take the full internal report and distill it into a short and punchy summary for external audiences. I reduced it from 45 pages to 20, presented graphically, and framed around the young people’s own voices.
The report was launched in February 2021 and received national news coverage, including BBC News, MSN, Church Times, The Express and The Big Issue.
A short paper for the Joy in Enough projects, collecting a series of case studies of alternative businesses. These ten businesses demonstrate a healthier approach to people and planet, through employee ownership, co-production, circular economy models, etc.
The report takes an in-depth look at the three very different countries of India, Kenya and Britain, looking at patterns of exclusion and how environmental problems often affect those who are already marginalised. Four shorter chapters then look at similar patterns across the sectors of waste, transport, food and energy. Interspersed shorter case studies highlight projects or businesses that address environmental and equity concerns at the same time, and some of them may be familiar to regular readers of the blog…
I found this a really fascinating project to work on, and I think its message is an important one. Unless we keep an eye on both issues at once, it is easy for environmental policies to compound inequality, or for measures aimed at reducing inequality to produce worse outcomes for the environment. By understanding the inter-connections, it is entirely possible to pursue policies that are both green and fair.
My book with Katherine Trebeck. The Economics of Arrival: Ideas for a grown-up economy will be published by Policy Press in January 2019. It describes the possibilities of an economy where the work of growth is done, and we can work on improving it rather than enlarging it.
A re-telling of the nativity story, Outside/In highlights the role of outsiders in the first Christmas – refugees, foreigners and outcasts who all find themselves at the centre of that first Christmas.
Everyday Wonders was a series on finding wonder in the mundane and everyday world around us. I wrote and recorded seven three-minute episodes on topics such as rain, sun, trees and dirt.
The series was played during Lent on the Sunday morning show on BBC Three Counties in 2016. I have done lots of radio work, including newspaper reviews and business panels, but this was the first time I had written for radio.