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Pigeon fancier receives lifetime ban for cheating in race

Eamon Kelly, 52, from Didcot, disqualified for cheating in Tarbes Grand National race after sending decoy birds

A pigeon-racing champion has received a lifetime ban from the sport after allegations that he cheated to win one of the most prestigious competitions in the sport’s calendar.

Eamon Kelly, 52, from Didcot, was accused of cheating by registering 14 birds for the Tarbes Grand National race but keeping them at home and sending decoys instead.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Circulate on Fridays: squid teeth enable self-healing clothes, first circular economy MBA and more…

Every Friday, Circulate closes out the week with a selection of some of our favourite circular economy-related news from the week that was. Read on for news of self-healing squid tech, the first circular economy MBA graduate, and how Jaguar Land Rover and Novelis are building new material loops. But what did we miss this week? Let us know in the comments.

Why we need systems thinking today

Diagrams_ a new dynamic_2 copy
Most of our real-world systems aren’t simple and linear or completely disordered, but somewhere in between. Image taken from the book ‘A New Dynamic 2: effective systems in a circular economy’

The growth of interest in the circular economy has been linked to our understanding of the world not as linear and predictable, but as complex and intertwined. As a result, we need up update our thinking to build a prosperous economy. That’s a view shared by Samuel Arbesmn in his new book, Overcomplicated. Arbesmn’s research primarily focuses on software and computing, but don’t think this is a book for the IT department – with more and more of our economy relying on or being disrupted by digital technology, as Arbesmn says, “it’s incumbent on us to have a better understanding of these systems”. The so-called ‘Age of Entanglement’ perhaps plays to the negative impacts of this complexity, but there’s an opportunity to harness digitally-enabled feedback to build a circular economy: check out Ken Webster’s Circulate feature for more on this topic.

Say hello to the world’s First circular economy MBA graduate

So there are signs that our understanding of the world is being updated, and education will be an enabling factor that will support the transition to a circular development path. Some pioneers are taking the lead, and this week Gin Tildridge of DIY retailer B&Q became the first person in the world to gain an MBA in Innovation, Enterprise and Circular Economy, via the University of Bradford. Following completion of the three-year course, Gin will apply her thinking to the real business context, and aims to evaluate and improve circularity across B&Q’s products and supply chain.

Squid’s teeth key to self-healing clothes

The idea of ‘make do and mend’ for clothing may bring up nostalgia, but it’s a sad truth that most of us can’t cut it with a needle and thread. What’s more, the take-make-dispose model has made buying cheap replacement clothes a common temptation. Repair is a crucial ‘inner loop’ of the circular economy, but what if clothing could repair itself? In ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces this week, researchers have identified a protein from squid’s teeth that can give ‘self-healing’ properties to fabric. By simply pressing together two scraps coated in the protein and adding water, clothing could be repaired in a matter of minutes. It’s currently in development and could be used in military equipment, so don’t expect to find this tech in your next pair of jeans – maybe for now you’re best off taking matters into your own hands after all.

Jaguar Land Rover and Novelis build high-quality aluminium loop

Traditional recycling practices often in low-grade materials, but the collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover and aluminium supplier Novelis is now helping the car manufacturer to move towards a more circular business model for their high-performance vehicles. Having increased the use of internally-produced scrap metal in the design of the XF and F-PACE models, the company are now looking outside their own supply chain to access new reserves of aluminium for high-quality recycling. This means sourcing alloy from scrap cars and sorting and reprocessing it in a way that avoids loss of quality, as Adrian Tautscher explained to Maxine Perella at a recent update event for the REALCAR project: “as long as you keep the aluminium stream clean and segregated, you can recycle it again and again.” As Maxine points out, the REALCAR project is an example of successful collaboration around scaling circular economy activities, and one that other ambitious businesses could learn from.

The post Circulate on Fridays: squid teeth enable self-healing clothes, first circular economy MBA and more… appeared first on Circulate.

Source: Circulate News RSS

Why the Guardian is spending a year reporting on the plight of elephants

Elephant herds face an uncertain future – over the next year we’ll be taking a closer look at what can be done to help

Welcome to the elephant conservation hub. Over the next year, with the support of Vulcan, Guardian journalists will be taking a closer look at the situation of elephant herds around the world.

Elephant conservation has been a particular focus for Vulcan, a private company set up by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to look for solutions to problems like endangered species, climate change and ocean health. The future of this particular species is precariously balanced. Although in some areas (a very few) elephant herds are expanding and thriving, the overall picture is one of decline, with falls of as much as 60% in elephant population in countries such as Tanzania.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Grouse shooting's rich, influential backers join forces to fire on critics

Supporters are trying to improve sport’s reputation through a campaign group with no members that is funded anonymously

With the Glorious Twelfth, the 2016 grouse season is under way – and the first birds will be served up in many a country house on Friday night. But after raising a glass to the late Duke of Westminster, who owned a vast acreage of grouse moorland, the shooters may also toast a colourful and remarkably influential group of people trying to improve the tarnished reputation of their sport.

They include the retired cricketer Sir Ian Botham, a billionaire hedge fund owner who houses his chickens in a coop that supposedly cost £150,000, and a lobbyist who boasts of his role advising a Russian oligarch.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Club owned by Shell blocks small Thames hydropower scheme

Club succeeds with an appeal to stop planning permission for the west London project that would power 600 homes

A proposed small hydropower project in west London has received a further setback, as court judges allowed an appeal by a club owned by Shell against the granting of planning permission to the site.

The project, at Teddington lock and weirs, would deliver enough electricity to power about 600 homes. It is proposed by a local cooperative group, run by volunteers, who have raised a potential £700,000 to build the plant, which the proponents say would not have any damaging effect on fish in the Thames or other local wildlife.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Chris Packham using BBC role to push grouse-shooting ban, Ian Botham says

Wildlife presenter accused of extremism in clash with former England cricketer as grouse-shooting season begins

The former England cricketer Sir Ian Botham has accused wildlife presenter Chris Packham of being an extremist and using his position at the BBC to promote his views on restricting grouse shooting.

The pair clashed in a joint interview on Radio 4’s Today programme on the opening day of the grouse-shooting season, – or the “inglorious twelfth” as Packham called it.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Tasmania rules out halving 'insurance population' of disease-free devils

About 600 Tasmanian devils untouched by facial tumour disease will stay in sanctuaries as insurance against animals in the wild becoming extinct

A controversial proposal to halve the insurance population of disease-free Tasmanian devils has been scrapped.

But the state government said it would continue to support the staged release of some of the animals as part of a vaccine-testing program.

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Source: Guardian Environment