Fiona Wattam

189 Flips | 1 Magazine | 4 Likes | 6 Following | 51 Followers | @FionaWattam | IELTS teacher and course creator

Ignoring over-50s ‘threatens skills crunch’

Businesses are being urged to take more notice of older staff as a growing number of EU jobseekers steer clear of UK-based roles in the wake of Brexit. Millions of over-50s feel unsupported by their employer despite rising living costs and insufficient pension savings meaning they plan to retire …

Employment

Park Modern: flats for super-rich leave key workers in the cold

Despite London’s housing crisis, half billion pound development beside Kensington Gardens won’t include a single affordable flat<p>It is billed as “London’s most prestigious residential development” and prospective super-rich buyers are offered the chance to be “neighbours to the new Duke and Duchess …

Housing

Nine best destinations for the ultimate ethical animal experiences

As an animal lover, the temptation to get up and close and personal with wildlife can be strong. While it may be difficult to accept, it’s important …

Wildlife

How you like them apples? Growers could be forced to rip up their orchards as new flavours don’t need apples

In a tradition that dates back more than 700 years, Herefordshire is one of the biggest cider making regions in the world.<p>But a trend toward sweeter flavoured fruit ciders is changing the face not only of the industry, but of the countryside in the West Midlands.<p>A glut of apples means that big …

Cider

From cobalt to tungsten: how electric cars and smartphones are sparking a new kind of gold rush

What’s in your stuff? Most of us give no thought to the materials that make modern life possible. Yet technologies such as smart phones, electric …

Rare Earth

America spends over $20bn per year on fossil fuel subsidies. Abolish them | Dana Nuccitelli

Imagine that instead of taxing cigarettes, America subsidized the tobacco industry in order to make each pack of smokes cheaper.<p>A report from Oil Change International (OCI) investigated American energy industry subsidies and found that in 2015–2016, the federal government provided $14.7bn per year …

Fossil Fuels

No bosses, no managers: the truth behind the ‘flat hierarchy’ facade | André Spicer

The industries with the least in the way of formal rules and regulations are often rife with sexual harassment<p>Imagine working for a company with no bosses. On your first day, you are given a handbook for new employees. This will be “the greatest professional experience of your life”, you read. “We …

Sexual Harassment

Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet

No language in history has dominated the world quite like English does today. Is there any point in resisting? By Jacob Mikanowski<p>On 16 May, a lawyer named Aaron Schlossberg was in a New York cafe when he heard several members of staff speaking Spanish. He reacted with immediate fury, threatening …

Linguistics

Darwin comes to town: how cities are creating new species

From the nut-cracking crows of Sendai to ‘<i>Turdus urbanicus</i>’ (the new urban blackbird), animals are changing their behaviour and evolution in cities – and in dramatic and surprising ways<p>This article is based on edited excerpts from the book Darwin Comes to Town by Menno Schilthuizen, published by …

Moths

Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes

Humanity is devouring our planet’s resources in increasingly destructive volumes, according to a new study that reveals we have consumed a year’s worth of carbon, food, water, fibre, land and timber in a record 212 days.<p>As a result, the Earth Overshoot Day – which marks the point at which …

Climate Change

Starbucks is banning straws – but is it really a big win for the environment?

This month, Starbucks joined a growing movement to ban single-use plastic straws, announcing it would eliminate the items from its stores by 2020. In their place, the company will be introducing strawless lids, which have a sippable protrusion. It will also make alternative-material straws …

Sustainability

Italy’s farmers turn to cow dung to save beloved olive trees

The only thing to do when a bacterium has spread is to find a way to live with it and strengthen trees Professor Marco Scortichini<p>Ciccio Manelli, 81, who owns hundreds of ancient olive trees in the southern Italian province of Brindisi, burst into tears when contemplating the prospect of his …

Farming

Generation Z: ‘We have more to do than drink and take drugs’

Post-millennials have very different attitudes to older age groups, says a new report<p>They drink less, take far fewer drugs, and have made teenage pregnancy a near anomaly. Generation Z – one of several terms used to describe post-millennial youth born after 1996 – prefer juice bars to pub crawls, …

Demographics

Rising global meat consumption 'will devastate environment'

Rising global meat consumption is likely to have a devastating environmental impact, scientists have warned.<p>A new major analysis suggests meat consumption is set to climb steeply as the world population increases along with average individual income, and could play a significant role in increasing …

University of Oxford

Life after coal: the South Australian city leading the way

What’s happening here is going to be happening on the eastern seaboard in the next 10 years. Sam Johnson, mayor of Port Augusta<p>The largest solar farm in the southern hemisphere lies on arid land at the foot of the Flinders Ranges, more than 300km north of Adelaide. If that sounds remote, it doesn’t …

Solar Thermal

Syrian seeds could save US wheat from climate menace

Inside a Kansas greenhouse, a buzzing horde of flies set about laying waste to 20,000 seedlings. But as researchers watched, there was one species of growth that remained untouched – an ancient Syrian grass known as <i>Aegilops tauschii</i>.<p>Now those Syrian seeds, once stored in a vault outside of Aleppo, …

Middle East

Plastic plates and cutlery to be banned from sale under government plans

Plastic cutlery and plates could be banned under plans being considered by the Government.<p>In a move that could signal the return to the traditional picnic basket, The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are investigating what the environmental and economic impact would be if the items …

Students raise £1,500 to send 'epitome of happiness' cleaner on Jamaica trip to see family

University students clubbed together to raise more than £1,500 to send a cleaner on holiday to see family in Jamaica.<p>Herman Gordon, who has worked at …

Why we explored an undisturbed rainforest hidden on top of an African mountain

Atop Mount Lico in northern Mozambique is a site that few have had the pleasure of seeing – a hidden rainforest, protected by a steep circle of rock. …

British Museum given more than 500 'exquisite' ivory figures

The British Museum has defended its decision to accept a donation of more than 500 “exquisite” Chinese ivory figures, saying it did not mean it condoned the ivory trade.<p>The museum revealed on Wednesday that it had accepted the gift of 556 ivory items acquired in the early 20th century by Sir Victor …

Adani coal port under threat of stop order amid concern for sacred sites

Indigenous traditional owners from north Queensland have threatened to try to pursue an order that could shut down Adani’s Abbot Point coal terminal, amid concern that sacred sites in the area have not been properly protected.<p>Guardian Australia can reveal Adani has ignored repeated demands by Juru …

'There is no oak left': are Britain's trees disappearing?

England is running out of oak. The last of the trees planted by the Victorians are now being harvested, and in the intervening century so few have been grown – and fewer still grown in the right conditions for making timber – that imports, mostly from the US and Europe, are the only answer.<p>“We are …

Could seaweed solve Indonesia's plastic crisis?

Indonesia produces more marine plastic pollution than any other country except China. This is perhaps unsurprising: the world’s biggest archipelago is also its fourth most populous. Limited income and cash flow means that poorer communities rely on cheap single-use plastics like bags, water cups …

Sustainability

How Tunisia is finally embracing its Berber culture

I didn’t expect the sky to be white. There’s a sandstorm in the Sahara and I’m at its gateway: a windy hilltop overlooking the arid landscape of the …

Green energy feels the heat as subsidies go to fossil fuels

The number of people generating their own power has almost flatlined, with only one new group formed in the UK last year, according to the body representing grassroots energy organisations.<p>Cuts to subsidies for homeowners to install solar panels and a “hostile planning approach” that has in effect …

What if autonomous vehicles actually make us more dependent on cars?

Cities across Europe are taking steps to become increasingly car free. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is aiming for 80% of all trips to be made on foot, by …

England 'highly likely' to be suffering from deforestation, campaigners warn

England is "highly likely" to be suffering from deforestation, campaigners warned after new figures revealed low levels of new woodlands being …

At least fifth of British mammal species could be wiped out within a decade

Populations of much-loved British mammals including hedgehogs and water voles have dropped by up to two-thirds over the past 20 years, and many more …

Wildlife

Schools cannot be expected to solve the child obesity crisis, Ofsted chief to say

Schools cannot be expected to solve the child obesity crisis, the Ofsted chief is to say.<p>There is “no doubt” that childhood obesity poses a “serious public health challenge” but teachers must not be held responsible for tackling it, Amanda Spielman will tell a conference.<p>Addressing the Bryanston …

Netherlands to build world's first habitable 3D printed houses

The Dutch city of Eindhoven is to be the first in the world to have habitable homes made by a 3D printer, in an innovation its backers believe will revolutionise the construction industry.<p>Of the first five new houses to be put on the rental market next year, the smallest, with two bedrooms, has …

Construction Industry