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Aeolienne

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About Aeolienne

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  • Birthday February 21

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    Leamington Spa, Warks
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    Baroque music, green issues (esp. renewable energy), hillwalking, Quakerism, reading (astronomy, fiction, popular science), practical conservation, art exhibitions, royal-watching

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  1. (Not written by me) Showman Milly Ayers has become the first student from a travelling family to win a place studying Classics at Oxford, hailing the prestigious place as “a win for the entire fairground community.” A showman from Chertsey has become only the third student from a travelling family to win a place at Oxford, having taught herself Classics after leaving school at 13. Milly Ayers, who has worked on fairgrounds since she was three years old, will join St John’s College this September, and hailed the news as a victory for Showmen. “My success is a win for the entire fairground community, and if any good comes out of that, I’ll be over the moon,” Ayers told the Oxford Mail. “Perhaps while I am there I can show people that showmen and travellers in general aren’t these stupid Neanderthals like the stereotypes suggest.” Ayers was raised as part of a traditional travelling Showmen family, and spent most of her childhood helping both her parents and grandparents operate rides, strikers and food stands. Despite attending primary school, Ayers – who has autism and Asperger’s – found that the secondary school system was not “a good fit,” and left school in order to give herself an education beyond the state syllabus. “It wasn’t a traditional education by any means, it was very flexible, but I suppose because I’d always had that love of education, of learning, I was able – with the help of my parents and everything – to find a way that suited me.” Over the next three years, Ayers taught herself the GCSE syllabus by studying books, watching documentaries, and visiting museums and historical sites, and though she dismisses the grades she achieved as “pretty average,” her studies allowed her to pursue A-Levels in English, History and Classics at college. With higher education a long-time goal, Ayers then looked to Oxford, and found support through mentoring organisation Zero Gravity – which paired Ayers with a Cambridge PhD student during the admissions process. “I’m really excited to be able to go and learn there,” Ayers told Steph McGovern during an interview on Steph’s Packed Lunch. “I think it’s a good opportunity not just for me but for the entire Showmen community, to put our voices out there and show that we do exist, and we are capable.” Milly Ayers made her national TV debut on Channel 4 recently explaining life on the road and her self-education journey to Oxford University. “It’s a good opportunity to put our voices out there,” she explained to a live audience. “We’re a community, now recognised, and I want to try to educate people about who we are.” Well, Milly is an intellect who decided to leave school at 13 due to autism and went on to pursue her ‘love for the ancient world’ by studying classics. From the age of three, she has lived the fairgrounds, travelling the country opening up and down working the markets and fetes. “We’re primarily businessmen,” she explained proudly. But education, and a switch to one of the world’s top five universities, has drawn the fairground teenager. But it hasn’t all been comfortable. That journey, she explained, has included insults and signs daubed outside the yard her family live in. But she’s going to work on that: “That’s what I want to change,” she confirmed. And no doubting she will. An engaging character, Milly has attracted a wave of support from the travelling community and beyond. Her blog Antigine Journal includes a Showman’s Odyssey, and her Channel 4 interview drew widespread plaudits: “So inspiring and a fantastic representation of our community”; “You’re a credit”; “a wonderful advert for showmen and women.” Ayers certainly rocks. Source: Coinslot A more detailed article about Milly Ayers has appeared in the Daily Express, according to PressReader, but I'm unable to access the article directly. Fairground traveller Milly wins a place at Oxford
  2. What does your son plan to do after his chemistry degree?
  3. (Not written by me) EXCLUSIVE: Plymouth killer's school teacher tells how he was obsessed with guns and had a history of compulsive disorder and anger issues - so how is it possible he was allowed to have a shotgun? Jake Davison, 22, shot dead five, including a girl, 3, and her father, before killing himself in Plymouth rampage Police removed his shotgun licence but returned it mere months before the deadly attacks on Friday evening Experts have called for an urgent overhaul of firearms licensing laws, said police decisions were failing public By Jonathan Bucks and Scarlet Howes and Nick Constable for The Mail on Sunday Published: 22:12, 14 August 2021 | Updated: 07:40, 15 August 2021 A teacher who knew Plymouth killer Jake Davison expressed his fury and disbelief last night that his former pupil was allowed to own a shotgun – and revealed that he had been obsessed with firearms from a young age. In the wake of Davison’s terrifying rampage – during which he massacred his mother, a three-year-old girl and her father, a dog walker and a bystander – stunned teacher Jonathan Williams described the decision to grant him a gun licence as a ‘catastrophic mistake’. Mr Williams, who taught English, drama and music to Davison at Mount Tamar special school in the city said: ‘You have to ask, what the hell were they thinking giving him this licence? ‘If you ask anyone who was involved in Jake’s schooling whether giving him a licence was a good idea, they would all tell you absolutely not. ‘How is it possible that a police officer read Jake’s history of obsessive compulsive disorder, anger issues and depression and concluded he should be allowed to own a firearm? ‘It was a catastrophic mistake with utterly tragic consequences. Something went badly awry and you can’t help but feel this whole tragedy could have been avoided. There will be serious questions now about who is responsible for all this happening. ‘I’m imagining what we, his teachers, would have thought about the prospect of him requesting a gun licence. We would probably have laughed in disbelief to be honest.’ Mr Williams, who taught the killer when he was aged 14 to 16, recalled how Davison’s obsession with guns developed as a boy. He said: ‘He used to have books and books about guns. Whenever I put a film on in class which had a gun in it, he would instantly recognise it and knew the exact make and model. I remember him saying: “Oh, that’s a Glock” and he would be right. ‘His mum Maxine and I decided to try to help him get into the Army Cadets as an outlet for his fascination. She was extremely supportive and only wanted to do the best for him, and I remember going out to help get him boots.’ Mr Williams said Davison’s autism diagnosis should also have barred him from holding a shotgun licence. He questioned whether the 22-year-old had been receiving adequate care in recent years and believed that the killer would have had a ‘bright future’ if he had been given the right support. He spoke of his shock that the boy he once described as the ‘success story of the year’ had gone on to shoot dead five in Britain’s first ‘incel’ mass shooting – named after a misogynistic online subculture of ‘involuntary celibates’ unable to find a sexual partner – before turning the gun on himself. He said: ‘It is utterly horrifying and tragic. My heart goes out to Jake’s friends and family, as much as to those of his victims. ‘For me, having spent so much time with him and done all I could to help him, for it to end like this is heartbreaking. Jake would have had an education, health and care plan, which means the State would be required to provide support up to the age of 25. Was he really receiving the support needed?’ Mr Williams’s comments came as Devon and Cornwall Police faced mounting criticism over their decision to return Davison’s shotgun licence after an alleged assault last December. Friends of the killer’s victims, as well as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Plymouth MP Luke Pollard, called for urgent answers as to why the permit was given back to him last month after attending an anger management course. In a 12-minute massacre, Davison first shot dead his 51-year-old mother, then killed three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her adoptive father, 43-year-old Lee. His two next targets – Ben Parsonage, 33, and his mother Michelle, 53 – both survived. He then killed 59-year-old Stephen Washington, who was walking his two pet huskies in a nearby park. His final victim was Kate Shepherd, 66, who was smoking a cigarette outside a hair salon. In further developments related to the tragedy yesterday: The Independent Review of Terrorism Legislation said the Government could start treating ‘incel’ shootings as terrorism incidents; It was warned that there are 10,000 people in Britain with ‘incel’ views; Home Secretary Priti Patel laid flowers at the scene of the massacre and described the killings as ‘tragic beyond words’ – but declined to answer questions about gun control; Mourners also left hundreds of bouquets; A former leading prosecutor said Davison was ‘exactly the type of person’ the authorities should have had on a watchlist; Last night, Mr Williams added that despite Davison being well-built as a teenager, he never had to physically restrain him. ‘We often had problems with some students, I don’t remember ever having to use physical force with Jake,’ he said. ‘He was never violent. In fact, he was often very gentle and kind with his classmates. ‘He liked to get people involved with class activities and he was witty too. He had fantastic creative writing skills too and was just very thoughtful. It is just utterly tragic to think what has happened.’ Meanwhile, a relative in Shetland where 51-year-old Maxine’s family came from, who asked not to be named, criticised the authorities. Another unnamed relative added: ‘The family members up here in Shetland are traumatised, we struggle to string a sentence together as we are all devastated not just for our family, we are grieving for every single person that was affected by this – and we have to live with that for the rest of our days.’ Survivor Ben Parsonage is a former junior boxer whose strong character will help him cope with Davison’s murderous rampage, a family friend said last night. The friend, who asked not to be named, said Ben was a promising teenager fighter who had boxed at shows across the West Country. He said: ‘He was well respected at junior level. His mum Michelle used to travel with him and watch him ringside. ‘He is a strong character and he knows how to look after himself. I do feel he will come through this, though. He has a good family and a lot of good friends ready to support him.’ Speaking to community leaders in Keyham, Ms Patel said: ‘The impact of this will be long-standing. It’s a very sad time, very tragic. I think in the aftermath, so many people will be affected. ‘People will have seen things that, quite frankly, in all our lifetime we would never, ever want anybody to witness or experience. ‘It’s very hard. But you are not on your own, there is a great deal of support.’ Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West Nazir Afzal told BBC radio that there were 10,000 people with ‘incel’ views like Davison in the country. Mr Afzal said: ‘How many of them, a small minority, are a threat? We have to recognise that we have a responsibility to identify them and share that information. ‘He was exactly the kind of person that you would be keeping an eye on or the authorities should be keeping an eye on.’ Meanwhile, the Government is likely to consider treating so-called ‘incels’ as terrorists if there are more attacks like the Plymouth shootings, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has said. Jonathan Hall QC told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘The question is really whether or not the authorities want to treat the incel phenomenon as a terrorist risk. That would involve diverting resources or putting resources into it. ‘If we see more of these sorts of attacks, then I have got no doubt that it will be treated more seriously as terrorism.’ SO WHAT TURNED THIS 'COMPASSIONATE' BOY INTO A MASS MURDERER? Gunman Jake Davison was praised as ‘compassionate’ and a ‘success story’ in a glowing school report. His former teacher Jonathan Williams wrote that classmates had warmed to ‘his exceptional sense of humour, compassion, readiness to accept the rules and to help others’, and that he had ‘learned to ‘develop strong friendships’. The report, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, contrasts starkly with the disturbing YouTube videos Davison recently posted in which he railed against women, claimed he had been ‘defeated by life’ and that he was ‘fat and ugly’. Mr Williams, who taught autistic Davison for three years at Mount Tamar special school, wrote in 2013 that Jake had been ‘the success story of this year’. He wrote: ‘At the beginning of the year, much of Jake’s attitude and behaviour were typical of children with his condition. ‘Something seems to have had a terrific effect on Jake, as over the year he has made exceptional progress, both on modifying his behaviour and putting in a much harder effort with his work. ‘His grades have increased considerably in literacy and other subjects. ‘The real change, however, has occurred in Jake’s social skills, where he has learned to develop strong friendships. ‘It is particularly pleasing to see Jake involve himself in Army Cadets, and the support he has received at home should ensure that this becomes a rewarding and valuable part of his training. ‘I’m really pleased with Jake this year, and look to him to set the example to other students next year.’ Last night, Mr Williams said: ‘I really thought Jake had a bright future ahead of him. I just can’t believe that the kind young man with such a bright future turned out like this. It’s an utter tragedy.’ Weapon licensing laws in need of urgent overhaul, says expert A firearms expert last night called for an overhaul of gun licensing laws in the wake of Jake Davison’s murderous rampage. Under the current system, would-be gun-owners are assessed by their local police, who judge whether they have a ‘good reason’ to own a firearm and whether they pose a threat to the public. But an expert last night said police forces were failing to visit people in person at home, and that there were insufficient mental health checks. Weapons expert Mike Yardley said: ‘There is a glaring error in the way the licensing system works. We need to have more people laying eyes on people in their own home.’ Davison, 22, who was autistic, was stripped of his shotgun licence last December, following a violent altercation with his father Mark. The gun was returned to him in July after he attended an anger management course. A month later, he blasted to death five people – including his mother -– before turning the gun on himself. It is unclear what checks were made on Davison before his licence was reinstated, but Mr Yardley said someone would have had to vouch for him. He queried why vetting officers had overlooked Davison’s disturbing YouTube videos, in which he described himself as a ‘Terminator’ and said he had been ‘defeated by life’. He said: ‘This was clearly a disturbed young man. It does not take an awful lot of research to work that out. How on earth could he be given a licence? There will be a lot of questions for everyone involved.’ Source: The Mail on Sunday
  4. (Not written by me) Ryanair sorry it made autistic Harlow boy take Covid test Ryanair staff in Spain made an autistic boy have a Covid test before boarding a flight, despite having an exemption letter, his mother has said. Katy Hollingsworth, who was travelling to the UK from Valencia with her son Callum, 12, said he was "petrified". "They said if you don't have a Covid test you can't go home, so we had no choice," said Ms Hollingsworth, who is from Harlow in Essex. The airline has apologised and says it "regrets to hear of the stress" caused. Callum, who also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), had struggled with lockdowns, so the family wanted to take him for a break to his "happy place" in Spain. Ms Hollingsworth said his one previous test in January had been "a nightmare", so his doctor had provided a medical exemption letter. He did, however, have a test before he left the UK, but his family said they spent two months preparing him for this. Government guidance says people with medical conditions which mean they cannot take a test, do not need one to travel to the UK, providing they "present a note from a medical practitioner at check in". 'Not our problem' On their return on 3 August, the family was told at the airport that Callum must have another Covid test in order to return to England, despite showing Ryanair staff the letter. Ms Hollingsworth said Callum "lost it" and had a "meltdown because he thought it was his fault". "He started hitting the chair and then started hitting himself," she said. "The staff were just ignoring us. All they kept saying was 'it's not our problem'." Ms Hollingsworth said while they were not "rude or aggressive", voices were "raised" and police were called to help. "My husband then had to physically restrain my son with two members of staff to try to get him to have a test," she said. "Callum tried to be brave but he was petrified. "The fact that he didn't need this one made it even worse because we'd told him the previous one was going to be his one and only test." A spokesman for the airline says it "regrets to hear of the stress" caused to the family. "Ryanair fully complies with EU and government travel restrictions, which are constantly changing in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic," a statement said. "We continue to make improvements and implement procedures to ensure the health and safety of our passengers and our crew is prioritised while complying with each country's government guidelines at all times." Ms Hollingsworth said she now hoped it would not happen to others with hidden disabilities. "If my child was in a wheelchair or had something you can see, I don't think they would have treated him the way that they did," she said. Source: BBC News
  5. Churchill also foresees genetic engineering: Microbes, which at present convert the nitrogen of the air into the proteins by which animals live, will be fostered and made to work under controlled conditions, just as yeast is now. New strains of microbes will be developed and made to do a great deal of our chemistry for us. Including lab-grown meat: With a greater knowledge of what are called hormones, i.e. the chemical messengers in our blood, it will be possible to control growth. We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium. And artificial wombs: There seems little doubt that it will be possible to carry out in artificial surroundings the entire cycle which now leads to the birth of a child. Winston Churchill, futurist: Fusion, artificial wombs, and lab-grown meat
  6. Please could you unmix your metaphors?
  7. Responsible Travel have produced a guide to Holidays for people with cognitive issues.
  8. Co-presenter Robyn Steward has been mentioned elsewhere on these forums: "This is not a disability gig": the musician putting on inclusive nights to break down barriers Compare and contrast with Robyn's first (AFAIK) appearance in the mainstream media ten years prior. No mention of any musical talents, nor even her nine other disabilities. How did she manage to go from computer technician turned job coach to a contender for the Glastonbury Festival? Employing adults with autism: Don't write them off
  9. As a woman with autism you're likely to receive a diagnosis much later in life than if you are a man with the condition. Why is that and what impact does a late diagnosis have? Kim Chakanetsa is joined by two autistic women who are speaking up about their experience of the condition and seeking to help others. Morénike Giwa Onaiwu is part of the Autism Women's Network in US. She says many of her early symptoms of autism were dismissed or ignored because she is Black and explains how autism can amplify stereotypes around Black women. Sara Gibbs is a British comedy writer and autistic. Labelled as a cry baby, scaredy cat and spoiled brat – she finally got a diagnosis in her thirties. She has written a book, Drama Queen, about trying to fit into a world that has often tried to reject her, and says that being on the spectrum doesn't have to be a barrier to a happy life full of love, laughter and success. The Conversation
  10. Mieczysław Weinberg (1919 - 1996), Clarinet Sonata Op.28
  11. I'm currently reading Sacred Economics: Money, gift & society in the age of transition by Charles Eisenstein.
  12. Also check out this thread: Book prize winner tells how autism helped her succeed
  13. (Not written by me) Greta Thunberg: ‘It just spiralled out of control’ Three years after bursting on to the global stage, what’s next for the most famous climate activist of her generation? Leslie Hook March 31 2021 Greta Thunberg turned 18 a few months ago but occasionally she forgets that. “I actually can vote now,” she grins. But the words “we children” still sometimes slip into her sentences, out of habit. She is sanguine about the change, but it is a bigger shift than she lets on: that phrase has been a core part of her message. Thunberg became the world’s most celebrated climate activist on the back of this idea: that children have to wake the world up to the reality of climate change. She was just 15 when she started the “school strike for climate”, for which she skipped classes and sat outside the Swedish parliament — at first alone and later with dozens, then hundreds of others every Friday. As the movement grew, aided by Thunberg’s speeches, millions of students joined in. She took a year off school, led protests all over the world and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times. But today, the world is very different. When we speak in mid-March, most of Europe is under some form of lockdown. Thunberg is at her family home in Stockholm — her dad’s exercise bike and some houseplants form the backdrop of our Zoom call. She’s also back at school, and isn’t cutting classes on Fridays any more: protests during the pandemic have been mostly virtual. Searching for an upside to the current situation, I ask whether she sees any silver linings from the crisis, which caused global emissions to drop by 6 per cent last year. “The corona pandemic brought nothing positive,” she says bluntly. “The emissions reductions we could see were temporary and accidental . . . They didn’t occur due to us actually trying to reduce emissions. So this has got nothing to do with climate action.” But the pandemic does contain a lesson, she says: “It proves that the climate crisis has never once been treated as a crisis. It just puts it in a different light.” Thunberg became the face of the climate movement when it was enjoying a great deal of success. In the past two years, dozens of countries have announced targets of “net zero” emissions by 2050, which would mean virtually stripping fossil fuels from their economies. China and the US, the world’s two largest emitters, have both made climate change a diplomatic priority. Many of the world’s dirtiest companies have pledged to cut emissions. And images of thousands of children marching through streets in protests inspired by Thunberg have galvanised a political focus on climate change that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. "We need to stop focusing on dates and numbers and acknowledge that we need to reduce our emissions right now" “The Greta Effect” has become a phenomenon with a life of its own. It has also become the subject of study and debate, not all uncritical, by activists, academics and executives. They are asking how much of Thunberg’s impact is personal and how much is due to timing; where she goes next; and how long-lasting, in slow-changing economies and industries, her impact will prove to be. And these are questions that Thunberg is also asking herself. Why does she think she became famous? “I don’t know,” she says. “I guess it was just the right thing at the right timing . . . People were ready for this kind of thing, and then it just sort of [took] off. And one thing led to another and, yeah, it just ­spiralled out of control . . . or at least, out of what was reasonable.” The last time we met was two years ago, when we had lunch together in Stockholm. Although Thunberg is outwardly similar, over the course of our conversation it becomes clear how much she has grown up. She is much more confident and relaxed, and gives long and complicated answers when it comes to her favourite topics, such as the pitfalls of net-zero targets. She still struggles a bit to make small talk, common among people who have Asperger syndrome, a form of autism. What is it like being back at school? Very different from before, she says. What does she think of the recent climate targets set by major economies? “[My views are] completely irrelevant . . . We shouldn’t be focusing on whether individuals think it is enough or whether I think it is good.” But after a slightly prickly start we settle in. Thunberg begins to work on some embroidery as she talks — a piece she has designed for a friend who is a climate activist in the Netherlands. “I can do these things during online classes,” she explains, as a red thread slides across the video screen. “I concentrate better when I do something at the same time.” I ask how her message has evolved in the past few years. Thunberg has long avoided detailed discussion of what the solutions for climate change might be — she insists that is for other people to figure out. But is it time to start thinking more about the solutions now? “If I would start talking about, like, taxes, or things like that, since I have such a big reach, that would send a signal that the climate crisis is an issue that can come down to party politics. And that really minimises this crisis,” she says. “We need to stop focusing on dates and numbers and actually accept and acknowledge the fact that we need to reduce our emissions right now. We can talk about 2030 or 2040 as much as we want. But it is what we are doing now that really matters.” The Paris agreement of December 2015 prompted countries to gradually set more ambitious targets, and the rise of social media meant that a new type of protest movement could spread among a younger generation. But there was also something special about Thunberg herself. In one of her most famous moments on stage, she addressed the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September 2019. “How dare you?” she asked the audience of assembled grandees, with what looked like tears of rage in her eyes. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” Thunberg’s speech went viral, dominating headlines about the summit. Did she really feel that angry or was she putting on a bit of a show? “Well, I mean — both,” she says. “I knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I better make the most out of it. So I allowed myself to let the emotions take over.” She seems bemused, though, that the popular image of her as an angry teenager has persisted. “I never get angry,” she says with a small chuckle. “If you ask anyone who is in my close environment, they would probably laugh at that statement.” Online, Thunberg’s wry humour comes through in her tweets, and she has taken down her critics, including former US president Donald Trump, who accused her of having an “anger management problem” in 2019 and told her to go and see a film to relax. After the US election she turned his own words against him: “Donald must work on his Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Donald, chill!” Her sense of humour seems to be thriving under lockdown. Other young activists inspired by Thunberg say that her voice was one they identified with. “What she did was just monumental, it really kickstarted the youth movement,” says Dominique Palmer, a British student and climate justice activist who joined the Fridays for Future demonstrations. “In the speeches that she gives, she says everything very clear-cut and exactly like it is. That was very refreshing for a lot of people.” The effect that Thunberg has on her audience is one of the things that is unique about her, according to a study published this year in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. “There are a lot of people who think she has done nothing,” says Anandita Sabherwal, lead author of the paper, "The Greta Thunberg Effect", and a doctoral student at the London School of Economics. “Our research shows that is not true, that she has changed [people’s] mindset.” Sabherwal’s paper found that people who had heard of Thunberg were likely to feel a stronger sense of “collective efficacy”, the belief that they could make a difference by acting together. The sample size was small — about 1,300 US adults — but Sabherwal thinks the effect may be even more pronounced in young people, who were not included in the survey. The surge of youth activism has already had some real-world impacts, including court cases over climate change brought by children. A recent legal challenge in Australia seeks to stop fossil-fuel extraction in the country on the grounds that the government is violating its “duty of care” to protect young people from climate change. (A similar case in the US was dismissed last year.) In the corporate world, too, Thunberg’s name has been ubiquitous. “A year ago, I could not have gone into a boardroom without someone referring to her, to Greta specifically, or to the movement,” says Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. “Greta and her movement have played an incredibly important role in raising awareness.” A search through transcripts of corporate presentations shows that Thunberg’s name pops up in unlikely places. The chief executive of Deutsche Börse, the German stock exchange group, cited her when introducing its work on sustainable finance. The head of a large uranium mining company pointed to Thunberg when giving his prognosis for the future of the nuclear industry. A tractor manufacturer referred to her as it outlined its plans for low-emissions farm vehicles. The list goes on. “She is a presence — sometimes explicit, always implicit — in the debates that are taking place, about the societal concern over climate change and the need for companies to be seen as good actors,” says Mark Lewis, chief sustainability strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management. Some think Thunberg gets a bit too much credit. Mike Hulme, a professor of human geography at Cambridge university, likens Thunberg to the polar bear as the latest climate icon. “Fifteen years ago, wherever you looked, the polar bear popped up . . . And for a period, wherever you looked, Greta Thunberg seemed to be on stage.” But Kingsmill Bond, energy strategist at Carbon Tracker, a climate change think-tank, says: “The big thing that is different now to any other time in the last 50 years, in attempts to take climate more seriously, is that the economics now work. And that is the big shift that has happened. So instead of pushing water uphill, we are now pushing water downhill.” In many parts of the world, renewable energy is now cheaper than its fossil fuel equivalent. The cost of solar panels has fallen more than 80 per cent over the past decade, while the cost of batteries is one-seventh of what it was 10 years ago. The affordability of renewable energy has in turn prompted many governments to promise to cut their emissions; by one count, around two-thirds of the global economy is covered by some form of zero emissions pledge. “She seized the moment,” Bond says. “It could have taken a very long time. You could say the same about any leader — that change would have happened regardless — but you do actually need people to do it.” Thunberg doesn’t expect her fame to last. “I’m surprised that it has stayed so long,” she says. “I’ve not really still grasped it, in a way . . . You have to keep yourself distant from these kinds of things, you can’t let this occupy your personal life. Because when all this focus [on me] disappears, which it will very soon . . . then that could be a hard thing to handle.” One thing she is grateful for is that she can still go about her daily life in Stockholm undisturbed. “I’m very lucky in Sweden, we have this thing called Jantelagen . . . no one comes up to you,” she says. “If I go to another country, even if it’s just Denmark or Norway . . . then I can’t walk down the street without people stopping me. But here in Sweden no one even looks at me. I can see in their eyes that they know it’s me, and that they recognise me, but they don’t stop me. Which is quite nice, actually.” She is unsure what the next steps will be for the climate youth movement. “We have learnt during this last year that nothing can be taken for granted, that we can’t plan things in advance.” Even though she is not a child any longer, she says her primary tool has not changed — using the moral high ground to ask the adults to do the right thing. “People say that we shouldn’t be using morals, or like, shaming people, or using guilt or whatever. But since we don’t have any globally binding agreements, that’s all we have . . . It’s the only resource we have available at hand.” In many ways Thunberg’s platform shows the great power that protest can have — but also its limitations. Making demands can go a long way. But the child activists will grow up. And the next steps in the climate movement are likely to fall to scientists, policymakers or engineers. With the UN climate summit, COP26, coming up later this year in Glasgow, I ask if she thinks it can make a difference. Thunberg has attended several recent climate summits, first as a little-known activist in Katowice, Poland, in 2018, and the following year as a celebrity in Madrid and New York. She says she will probably go to Glasgow, “if it doesn’t get cancelled again, and if I get invited”. But she thinks the previous summits all failed — and Glasgow won’t be any different. “We can hold these conferences and meetings for eternity, over and over again, as many as we want. That still won’t lead to any change. Unless we . . . actually start acknowledging this crisis and admit that we have failed thus far.” Her dogs, Roxy and Moses, are barking at the door, and her embroidery has paused. I ask if she knows what is next and whether she thinks she’ll keep working in the field of climate change. “Unfortunately, yes,” she tells me. “The wish would be that everything would just be all right. And that there wouldn’t be a need for climate activists. But to be realistic, that’s probably not going to be the case . . . One thing is for sure, we are still going to do everything we can, based on the circumstances. And continue to communicate the science, and to be a pain in the ass for people in power,” she says with a little laugh. Leslie Hook is the FT’s environment and clean energy correspondent Source: Financial Times
  14. Interestingly, the Israeli army has a specialist autistic unit: The Israeli Army's Roim Rachok Program Is Bigger Than the Military
  15. Camilla Pang is on Radio 3's Private Passions next month. Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of eight, Camilla Pang struggled to understand the world around her; in fact, she asked her mother if there was an instruction manual for humans that could help. Twenty years on – after taking her PhD in biochemistry and embarking on a career as a scientist – Camilla has herself has written that manual. She’s called it “Explaining Humans” and it won the Royal Society Prize in 2020 for the best science book . A highly original blend of scientific theory and personal memoir, it gives a real insight into what it’s like to live with autism. In a fascinating conversation with Michael Berkeley, Camilla Pang talks about how she’s learned to thrive in a world which can seem very overwhelming. One of the issues for her is the sensory overload that people with autism spectrum disorder can experience. She’s very sensitive to certain sounds, and the morning commute to work can jangle her senses to such an extent that it takes much of the morning to recover. Music, on the other hand, restores mental calm. Camilla sings and plays the piano; although she has never learned to read music, she can “catch” a tune after hearing it only once. She did this first as a very young child, hearing her mother’s favourite Michael Nyman track and reproducing it straight away on her toy xylophone. Camilla shares the music that has sustained her over the years; we hear Hubert Parry’s great coronation anthem “I was glad”; Michael Nyman’s music for The Piano; William Byrd’s “Ave Verum Corpus”; Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”, and Teardrop by Massive Attack. On BBC Radio 3 at 12:00 BST on Sunday 2 May, and thereafter available to listen again on BBC Sounds.
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