How To Solve World Hunger – Eat Yourself

Lab-grown meat, created from cells, is advancing at an exponential rate, so much so that Singapore has just become the first country to approve it for commercial use.

It won’t be too long before it’s no longer necessary to cultivate animals for food. Not only is that great for animal welfare, it’s also key to tackling the climate emergency.

(Although I mainly eat a plant-based diet, I say this as someone who enjoys a good steak from time to time. Hawksmoor is the best for that in the UK, in my books.)

To show the diversity offered by lab-cultured meat, a recent experiment created meat from the cells of endangered species – no animals were harmed – blue whale, tiger, gorilla.

The eventual aim is that people will be able to make meat in their own kitchen in a device the size of a microwave.

And the easiest way to get cells to grow meat is from your own body. So I could tuck into a nice juicy Chadbourn steak, or burger, or sausage. That lip-smacking flavour of surly midlander and political discontent.

It’s coming soon.

Food From Thin Air – The Game Has Changed

Eating our way out of the climate crisis? This is a fantastic discovery that could solve a whole host of problems all at once.

From an initial idea at NASA, we’re now seeing the development of nutrient-rich protein powder from carbon capture air.

One solution to tackle the climate emergency, world hunger and creating food for interplanetary travel.

More On The Lost Civilisation

I’ve written before about archaeologists gradually uncovering a mysterious lost civilisation that pre-dates civilisation as we know it (and had statues of six-fingered people).

Here’s some information on new discoveries including a three-dimensional human-snake carving with eyes designed to follow you when you walk in the chamber.

There’s also evidence of a deep mythology. Keep watching this one. It’s going to rewrite history.

The Climate Crisis Is Now

The Climate Emergency isn’t some distant threat. It’s tearing the world apart now. And if you want to see what the future holds for everyone, turn your attention to Pakistan.

Pakistan has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. It currently stands at a staggering 220.9 million in a country that is just twice the size of California. The economy simply isn’t keeping pace. Many will be born into – and live their entire lives in – poverty.

For the last few weeks, Pakistan, and its neighbour India, have been living through a devastating heatwave that is getting close to the limit of human survival – 122F/50C.

That’s not going to be a one-off.

Too many people think of the Climate Emergency as a matter of temperature rise. They don’t see the knock-on effects that reach into every aspect of life – a nation unable to feed itself, a lack of water, the failure of the power system and more.

What happens when you get millions of people unable to survive with even the basics? This is what Pakistan, and India, is looking at in a very short time frame.

Many will die. But others won’t stay there and suffer. The population – and the problems – will be displaced.

What’s happening now will engulf the world unless drastic action is taken immediately.

We live in an age of multiple unfolding crises, and one thing we know is that one crisis always whips up the blaze of another one. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause global food shortages on a scale we haven’t seen before. That’s going to slam up hard against failing crops and dying cattle in Pakistan, India and beyond.

This year, next year, not in 2050.

Our leaders aren’t doing enough. Regardless of party, many are simply not up to the job. Change has to come fast.

Stories Change The World

Stories change the world around us. Sometimes the changes are small, sometimes huge and powerful. This is currently known as the Sideways Effect, which is widely studied by academics.

The novel Sideways – and the subsequent film featuring Paul Giamatti – included a tirade against Merlot. It changed the wine industry forever, reducing Merlot’s market share from 20% to just 6% while boosting Pinot Noir and creating an entire tourist industry in the valley where the book was set.

Small: there was never an NYPD choir until a Christmas song had them singing Galway Bay. Now there is.

Storytelling is a meme generator. A creator’s dreaming seeps into the mind of a reader or viewer and changes the way they think as if they’d been infected by a virus. And when their thoughts change, their actions in the world change, and that changes the world itself.

Storytelling is hugely powerful. It shouldn’t be treated lightly.

Electric Battery Breakthrough

This is worth your time – how an accidental discovery could revolutionise electric cars (and planes and ships) and help tackle the climate emergency.

“Every now and then, revolutionary technology seems to spontaneously appear out of thin air and change our world. Dynamite, penicillin, X-ray machines, and even microwaves are all examples of such revolutionary accidental discoveries. 

Well, this year we may have had yet another. However, this time it is set not only to revolutionise the way we live, but potentially save our planet from looming climate change by unlocking an elusive technology: lithium-sulfur batteries.”

Back In The USA

The world has changed completely in three weeks. None of the old rules apply, none of that twentieth century thinking counts for a thing any more.

What is the new world going to look like?

I’d been working on a new book that set out to answer that question. Now it has a different context and an added, perhaps desperate impetus. We need to start thinking through that question fast because the pace of change, if anything, is accelerating.

I used to work as a national media journalist in the UK – print and TV. That has left me with a lot of excellent contacts in foreign affairs, defence and intelligence. I’ve been putting them to good use on my personal Facebook page where I’ve written extensively about the Russia-Ukraine conflict. If you’re interested you should be able to find it easily.

And we thought we were getting a break after the pandemic, right? This world comes at you hard.

But at least it’s a little easier to travel now. I’m heading back to the US shortly for a two-year delayed trip. Triple vaxxed with booming T cells thanks to a ‘rona infection just when I thought I’d dodged the bullet, I’ll still be wearing a mask for travelling.

There’s going to be a whole lot of new stories to tell. New thinking to be done. New answers to be found. Let’s all do what we can.

Industrial Gothic

There was a sense that first arose in the eighties of something I call Industrial Gothic, a romanticism settling on places of terminal decline, abandoned coal mines, ship yards, crumbling factories, polluted wastelands.

They’re haunted places, filled with ghosts of better times, but there’s also a beauty in those industrial spaces, like ivy-festooned medieval churches settling back into nature.

That mood infected films and TV and books from the eighties on, capturing a unique feeling that revelled in the misery yet also found glamour.

I’ve always been fascinated by industrial sites, that strange beauty of lights in the dark, a scale that makes humans seem insignificant. The Humber Refinery, pictured above, has the grandeur of a cathedral.

Soon it’ll be obsolete and that mood will settle deep into the concrete and steel.