What do cars actually emit in the real world? It's not easy to find out. What started close to home - will my old banger's petrol engine be better or worse than my father's 2009 diesel - led to an emissions investigation with a troubling discovery about recent models.
Climate scientists are like an exotic tribe - fascinating, sometimes hard to understand and rarely visited.
"I am a woodlander; I have sap in my veins," Roger Deakin writes. The late author is on a mission to get to the heart of something huge and elemental - to understand not just trees, but the very essence of wood.
Shortly after his birth, the German media reported that an animal rights campaigner was calling for him to be put down rather than brought up by humans. It prompted a huge groundswell of sympathy for the bear, which never went away.
It's been 16 years since I last set foot in a science lab, and reading this book had a sobering effect.
The common perception of landfill is of a blight on our landscape - this place, however, is a monument to mankindâ€™s ingenuity. But for all its innovation, I am staring at the past. In two yearsâ€™ time Packington will be full.
It was not known as the Thames Gateway when Pip, the narrator of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, described the area's unique environment, "the dark flat wilderness, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it."
A far more devastating eruption 227 years ago wiped out a fifth of the island's population.
A few weeks after â€œClimategate", negotiations in Copenhagen are reaching their conclusion, with no mass lay-offs at scientific institutions and nothing to suggest the layman has given up on climate change. And yet, a sense of unease fills the room when the subject is brought up.
Twenty feet down through the hazy blue of the Caribbean, several lean, grey Zeppelins cruise silently by.