What are we reading? February 6, 2020


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



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



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



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



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



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



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