What are we reading? February 6, 2020

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Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.

 

Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor: 

John le Carré was awarded the Olof Palme Prize last week. The novelist’s acceptance speech is one of the most thoughtful, reassuringly human things I’ve read in a long time. – Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/01/john-le-carre-breaking-heart-brexit

 

International trade expert Kirsten Hillman stands a good chance of being appointed Canada’s ambassador to the United States. If she is, it will signal that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “is looking to take politics out of the Canada-U.S. relationship in what is destined to be a crazy political year in Washington,” says columnist Susan Delacourt. – Star

https://www.thestar.com/politics/political-opinion/2020/02/03/justin-trudeau-eyes-a-different-kind-of-ambassador-for-washington.html

 

Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

The construction industry, being a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, apparently needs to add more fungi to its diet. – The Conversation

https://theconversation.com/how-fungi-can-help-create-a-green-construction-industry-128041?utm

 

Renewable energy optimism rising: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, wind, solar and other renewable energy will displace natural gas and coal as America's leading power generation source by 2045. – The Hill

https://thehill.com/changing-america/sustainability/energy/480702-renewable-energy-predicted-to-surpass-natural-gas-in?utm

 

In need of Academy Awards data to flaunt at your neighbourhood awards viewing party? Have a look at this stats inventory from the United States Census. – United States Census Bureau

https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/2020/academy-awards.html?utm

 

Nelson Bennett, reporter:

The zero-emission house that just won’t sell. A builder in New Brunswick built a home so energy efficient it produces no emissions, but he just can’t sell it. At $495,000, no one is buying. Maybe he should have built it in Vancouver. – CBC

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/energy-efficient-environment-greenhouse-gas-solar-grid-electrical-net-zero-1.5452840

Extremophiles are organisms that can survive in extreme temperatures or thrive on food sources that are toxic to most other living things. But here’s a fungus that takes the cake – the yellowcake. Scientists have identified a fungus growing in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant site that not only thrives in a highly radioactive environment – it actually absorbs radiation as an energy source. – Popular Mechanics

 

https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a30784690/chernobyl-fungus