This week the government published a major environmental improvement plan for England. It has pledged that every household will be within a 15-minute walk of green space or water, the restoration of 1.2m acres of wildlife habitat, and that sewage spills will be tackled with upgrades to wastewater treatment works. Madeleine Finlay speaks to the Guardian’s environment editor, Fiona Harvey, about the state of nature in the UK, what this plan promises to do, and whether it’s ambitious enough to halt and reverse damage done.. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
How to spot the exotic green comet (and what might get in the way)
This week star gazers will be hoping to catch sight of an exotic green comet that last passed by Earth 50,000 years ago. But, unlike the view our Neanderthal ancestors would have had, light pollution will make witnessing this celestial event an impossibility for many. Ian Sample speaks to astronomy journalist Dr Stuart Clark about how best to see the comet, and why it’s time to rethink our relationship with the night sky. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
How will ChatGPT transform creative work?
ChatGPT has been causing a stir since its launch last year. The chatbot’s ability to produce convincing essays, stories and even song lyrics has impressed users, and this week attracted a multibillion-dollar investment from Microsoft. Ian Sample speaks to Prof John Naughton about how ChatGPT works, hears from author Patrick Jackson about how it will change publishing, and asks where the technology could end up. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Overcoming burnout: a psychologist’s guide
Last week, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation, saying that she “no longer had enough in the tank” to do the role justice. Madeleine Finlay speaks to cognitive scientist Prof Laurie Santos about the symptoms of burnout, what causes it and the best ways to recover. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod
Could the return of El Niño in 2023 take us above 1.5C of warming?
Scientists have predicted the return of the El Niño climate phenomenon later this year. Its arrival will result in even higher global temperatures and supercharged extreme weather events. Ian Sample speaks to environment editor Damian Carrington about what we can expect from El Niño and whether we’re prepared. Help support our independent journalism at theguardian.com/sciencepod