Why it’s worse to pay too little than too much

“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

John Ruskin

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Why we should celebrate the “goatman”

In the Toaster Project, Thomas Thwaites took a toaster, bought for less than £5, and tried to remake it from basic raw materials. By trying to refine iron to make the element and mould recycled plastic to make the case, he demonstrated how fantastic our materials science and manufacturing expertise has become that we now take these products entirely for granted. He showed how totally disassociated we have become from the supply chain and impacts of our consumption. When you see him spending nearly a day burning LPG to try and reduce iron ore to iron with little success, the reality of embodied energy and the successful efforts of industry to increase energy efficiency become very much more real.
I am sure that the complete change of mindset required to “become a goat” will generate ideas which will stimulate innovative thinkers and designers like Thomas for many years to come. I look forward to reading his book, ‘Goatman: How I took a holiday from being human’.
Thinking outside the box in this way is a skill which should be nurtured.

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Michael Morpurgo on Climate Change and the need to act

A short film written by Michael Morpurgo for the Climate Coalition’s “Show the Love” campaign.

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Floods will worsen across Europe

A new report by the EAA predicts more five times more damage from floods across Europe by 2050 as climate change increases, but also blames where we build, highlighting that our use of flood plains.

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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Climate Change and the Need to act

Speaking at a U.N. Investors conference on 27th January.

Today I call on the investor community to build on the strong momentum from Paris and seize the opportunities for clean energy growth. I challenge investors to double – at a minimum – their clean energy investments by 2020.”

“Sustainable, clean energy is growing, but not nearly fast enough to prevent excessive global warming that would trigger profound economic disruption and human suffering. The investor community is of critical importance if we are to move from aspirations to action.”

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The future of steel…

Very insightful article by Dr Julian Allwood celebrating the achievements of the European steel industry but explaining its problem and how it could move positively into the future.

Of particular relevance to me are the 50% wastage rate for steel sheet, that 66% of scrap is exported, that the best Chinese plant has the same emissions intensity as the best European plants and that India will be building new capacity soon.

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Man and planet

5 videos showing our impact on resources, forests, water, climate and urbanisation over the last 20-30 years, using images from NASA.

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Having fun with ISO Standards!

As seen at Standards Norway’s offices.

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The Creative Community (including David Bowie) on Climate Change and the need to act

Letter on eve of COP21 organised by Julie’s Bicycle

Dear Executive Secretary Figueres and COP 21 President, Minister Fabius,

We, the creative community as represented by the signatories below, ask all those responsible for negotiating the post 2020 climate change f
ramework to agree an ambitious and inspiring international agreement.

The creative community – design, advertising, broadcasting, publishing, film, gaming, fashion, literature, music, the performing and visual arts, galleries and museums – can Continue reading

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Luvvies on Climate Change, and the need to act


Ridley Scott’s film for the Climate Coalition using the lyrics of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 spoken by some of Britain’s best known actors.

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