PSI sustainability news round-up

Our fortnightly primer on the latest environment and sustainability news. If you would like to receive this newsletter via email, sign up to our mailing list here.

PSI NEWS
Still time to apply for funded postgraduate study at PSI and FABE
The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment (FABE) at the University of Westminster is offering three MPhil/PhD studentships, to start in September 2017. The scholarships are open to candidates with Home/EU fee status only. They are full-time only for three years and include an annual stipend of £16,000 and a Home/EU fee waiver. As part of the studentship, candidates will be required to undertake up to six hours teaching per week.

For example, the ISULabaNtu project team wish to encourage and actively support high quality MPhil/PhD applications in areas that align with those of the project. Read more about the project here and the PhD opportunity here.

The final university deadline for full applications is 5pm on 10 February 2017. PSI is a research centre in FABE, and applications for doctoral study in PSI are eligible for this competition.

PSI researcher delivers course on agent-based modelling
Dr Pete Barbrook-Johnson will be delivering a short course on agent-based modelling at an event, ‘Empowering the Public Sector: Delving into Data Analytics’, run by the Business and Local Government Data Research Centre, and the Catalyst Project, both based at the University of Essex. The course will provide the attendees, from a range of public sector organisations, with a basic understanding of the modelling approach, and why and how it might support and inform their work.

CLIMATE CHANGE
11 Ways to See How Climate Change Is Imperiling the Arctic
National Geographic, 8 January 2017
While the average temperature of the planet is slowly creeping up, the Arctic is warming far more quickly—as much as two to three times faster. 

Climate change in 2016: the good, the bad, and the ugly
Guardian, 2 January 2017
2016 wasn’t all bad news for the climate, but it was ugly toward the end.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY
‘Dysfunctional’ circular economy system leads to £72m Christmas waste costs
edie.net, 9 January 2017
England needs a more consistent recycling system that works for all companies and is fairer to local authorities, according to a new business-led report.

BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
Scotland’s carrier bag charge not reducing litter, study finds
CIWM Journal Online, 4 January 2017
A new litter study reveals a 1% increase in litter since the Scottish Government launched its new approach ‘Towards a Litter Free Scotland’ in 2014.

Fighting climate change may need stories, not just data
Economist, 8 January 2017
Facts and figures are important, but convincing people of the need for climate change action requires compelling narratives, too.

ENERGY
Renewables investment in UK will fall 95% over next three years – study
Guardian, 4 January 2017
Analysis reveals extent of decline because of subsidy cuts and raises concerns about Britain meeting emissions targets.

US could become ‘energy independent’ by 2026, report finds
Time, 5 January 2017
The US could become a net energy exporter by 2026 as crude oil and natural gas production continues to increase in the country.

Cuadrilla’s work begins for shale gas extraction
BBC News, 5 January 2017
Work to prepare the first horizontal fracking site in the UK for shale gas extraction has begun in Lancashire.

Record number of oil and gas firms go bust as renewable energy revolution begins to bite
Independent, 4 January 2017
The world’s largest private power production company warns the sector that renewables could drive the oil price as low as $10 a barrel.