Author Archives: Dustin Benton

About Dustin Benton

Head of energy and resources at Green Alliance. Tweets at @dustin_benton.

Building a circular economy, one smartphone at a time

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are ubiquitous in the wealthy world, and the makers of these devices have their eyes set on selling to the next five billion consumers in emerging markets. And why not? Access to the internet is a … Continue reading

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Why using CCS for industry as well as power makes sense

The case for carbon capture and storage (CCS) is increasingly confused. The IPCC suggests CCS makes quick, low cost decarbonisation much more feasible, and the prime minister recently declared the technology “absolutely crucial.” But a recent UCL study found that … Continue reading

Posted in Green economy, Low carbon energy, Policy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Why greens should embrace digital technology, but not abandon politics

This post first appeared on the Huffington Post. Technological innovation is intoxicating. Digital technologies have evolved so quickly that technology prophets are predicting a ‘digital disruption’, in which vast material bounty is created at such low marginal costs that big … Continue reading

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The cost of a food waste landfill ban? What the Treasury’s sums missed

Earlier this month, the Treasury released its analysis of the costs of opposition policy, including the effect of a landfill ban for food waste on government expenditure. It’s important to understand the costs of green policy, but these Treasury calculations … Continue reading

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What the Green Investment Bank’s first project tells us about funding green infrastructure

‘On time and on budget’ are five words any project promoter loves to be able to boast, especially for a first project. One year and five months after the Green Investment Bank (GIB) was set up, its first project has … Continue reading

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More jobs, less carbon: why we need landfill bans

Our latest infographic below shows the benefits to the UK economy of keeping resources out of landfill. [click on the image to expand]

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Why we need a political strategy to stop resource costs stifling recovery

I wrote recently about how resource extraction is like the Red Queen race in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, where rising environmental pressures mean we have to work much harder and pay more just to maintain production. What I didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Resource Stewardship, Sustainable Economy | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What Alice in Wonderland can teach us about resource scarcity

This post originally appeared on The Guardian. Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass contains a famous passage describing Alice’s attempts to run alongside the Red Queen in a topsy-turvy nonsense world, where cause and effect are reversed:

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Tim Worstall on conflict minerals: good economics but bad politics

Earlier this week, Global Witness, the organisation behind restrictions on blood diamonds, called for an EU law to restrict the use of conflict minerals. This would match a US law, called the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires companies to trace the … Continue reading

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Do we need new products or new systems for a circular economy?

Last week, I attended ‘Redesigning the future‘, an RSA Great Recovery debate on the role of design in a circular economy. Redesign certainly makes circular systems cheaper and more effective. In the case of end-of-life vehicles, design for recycling will … Continue reading

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