Is the Saudi state oil company Aramco finalising its much-delayed share offering just as financial markets are losing faith in the future of fossil fuels?
Manuela Saragosa speaks to energy geopolitical analyst Indra Overland, who says that the transition to electric vehicles could happen much faster than expected, posing a direct threat to what is the world's biggest oil company. Meanwhile Andrew Grant of the think tank Carbon Tracker says that big institutional investors are beginning to take the financial risks posed by climate change far more seriously.
But according to oil industry consultant Cornelia Meyer the highly profitable Saudi company could still prove an attractive proposition for Western investors.
(Picture: A Saudi petroleum plant silhouetted at dusk; Credit: Scott Peterson/Liaison)
Concrete's dirty secret
Cement and concrete have one of the biggest carbon footprints of any industry, and eliminating it is no easy task.
By volume concrete is the most heavily used resource by humanity apart from water. Our houses, offices, dams, roads, airports and so on all depend on pouring vast quantities of this magical, versatile material. But not only does making cement - the glue that binds concrete - involve huge amounts of energy. The chemical process itself also produces carbon dioxide as a bi-product, and nobody yet knows how to avoid that.
Manuela Saragosa speaks to three people who offer partial solutions. Architect Simon Sturgis of pressure group Targeting Zero wants to design most of the concrete out of buildings, and recycle what's left. Benjamin Sporton, chief executive of the Global Cement and Concrete Association, is trying to coordinate global research efforts. Meanwhile Professor Mohamed Saafi of Lancaster University says the answer may lie in carrots and sugar beet.
(Picture: A shoe print in the cement of a sidewalk; Credit: Morgan Frith/Getty Images)
How China slam-dunked the NBA
Does the China-NBA bust-up mean that the Chinese are falling out of love with US basketball - and US business in general?
One thoughtless tweet in support of Hong Kong protestors by Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets Basketball team, has kicked off a diplomatic storm, with Chinese TV stations cancelling the planned airing of NBA exhibition basketball games. It certainly reflects a much more prickly, nationalistic mood in China at a time when the country feels under attack from the US government's trade sanctions. Fenella Barber of China business consultancy Bao Advisory says it is typical of the cultural misunderstandings that still occur when Western businesses try to break into the country's gigantic fast-growing consumer market.
But Andrew Coflan of geopolitical strategists Eurasia Group says the kerfuffle says a lot more about internal Chinese politics than the business environment, which Beijing is actually working hard to make more foreigner-friendly. Meanwhile journalist and businessman James MacGregor explains why so many US companies are thinking about exiting China - and it's not just because of the escalating trade war.
(Photo: Lakers fans with Chinese flags at an NBA game in Shenzhen. China: Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
Is the West really meritocratic?
We hear the arguments of leading US academic and author, Daniel Markovits, whose book The Meritocracy Trap argues that meritocracy in the United States and other Western free-market economies is a myth that fuels inequality.
Temba Maqubela, the head of The Groton School - one of America's top private schools - outlines the role that elite establishments such as his could play in helping less advantaged students. Meanwhile Samina Khan, director of undergraduate admissions at Oxford University, says top universities like hers are working hard to target a more diverse range of applicants. Plus Kiruba Munusamy, an advocate at the Supreme Court of India, describes how a system of positive discrimination helped her get a top job despite India's caste system.
(Photo: Signposts for Yale and Harvard, Credit: Getty Images)
How to be angry
From hotheads to curmudgeons, is anger always bad for business? Can anger management techniques help? Or should we put our wrath to profitable use?
Laurence Knight speaks to an entrepreneur who hit the headlines following an air rage incident about his chronic fits of rage. Anger management expert Dr Gina Simmons explains why he may want to consider doing press-ups.
We also hear from Mustafa Nayyem, who helped initiate the bitter Euromaidan protests that brought down Ukraine's last government. Plus evolutionary psychologist Aaron Sell explains the circumstances most likely to bring out our inner beast.
(Picture: Frustrated businessman screaming of disappointment and looking up; Credit: skynesher/Getty Images)