Posted on October 7th, 2010 1 comment
I can’t decide whether I’m inspired or concerned by this little film from Ellen MacArthur.
It seems to focus quite heavily on cars, and one of the collaborators is Renault.
It also talks a lot about electricity, and another one of the corporate names shown is National Grid.
And then it also talks a lot about waste, and the company that sponsored Ellen’s sail around the world was B&Q, the chain that spawned a thousand home makeovers.
None of these companies appear to want to follow the sustainability principles spelled out in the movie.
Is it just a little bit too high-brow to be talking of “closing the loop”, when most people in the world are simply concerned with finding their next meal or coasting towards their next pay cheque ?
Who is this video designed for ? What’s the intended audience and how are they being asked to respond to it ?
Tell me I’m wrong to be ever-so-slightly sceptical.Advancing Africa, Advertise Freely, Corporate Pressure, Design Matters, Disturbing Trends, Energy Change, Energy Revival, Fossilised Fuels, Low Carbon Life, Major Shift, Oil Change, Optimistic Generation, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Public Relations, Renewable Resource, Resource Curse, Social Change, Solar Sunrise, Sustainable Deferment, Wasted Resource, Wind of Fortune close the loop, closing the loop, cradle to cradle, Dame Ellen MacArthur, design, design principles, design principles of sustainability, Ellen MacArthur, purchase, recycle, reduce, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy is Sustainable Energy, reuse, Sustainability, Sustainable, Sustainable Energy
Posted on September 29th, 2010 No comments
In the orange light-filled advertising corner : the oil and gas companies proclaiming new, untold riches beneath the melting Arctic. Technology will make us stronger, less polluting and improve the lives of the countless poor.
In the blue chain-smoking activist corner : Climate Change and Peak Oil are really, really serious, destabilising and horrible and we should all get depressed and go and lie down in a darkened room for a while.
On the other hand, most people don’t fall in one camp or the other. We worry about Climate Change some days, but we’re too pre-occupied with trivia on other days.
We have a natural in-built “happy button”, according to recent research mentioned in New Scientist magazine, so we can’t sustain feelings of doom and gloom for too long unless we’re clinically unwell :-
We’re born to be sunny, optimistic (Teddy Miliband’s favourite word) and relaxed, only reserving adrenalin and noradrenalin for times of stress.
So why does George Marshall try to convince us that everyone is dangerously susceptible to “apocalyptic” language ?
People can cope with being given bad news as long as they have some strategy with which to combat the problem.
It’s not wrong to tell people the truth about Climate Change just in case they get scared and worried.
Alarm is a good thing – I’d rather a fellow pedestrian shouted at me to “look out !” if I’m about to be mown down by a car as I cross the street, rather than just watching on and wincing at the crunch moment.Advancing Africa, Bait & Switch, Be Prepared, Behaviour Changeling, Big Picture, Carbon Rationing, Climate Change, Climate Chaos, Disturbing Trends, Energy Change, Energy Revival, Fossilised Fuels, Global Warming, Incalculable Disaster, Low Carbon Life, Major Shift, Oil Change, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Pet Peeves, Political Nightmare, Protest & Survive, Public Relations, Regulatory Ultimatum, Social Change, Stirring Stuff, Technological Sideshow, Voluntary Behaviour Change 9/11 conspiracy theory, Apocalypse, apocalyptic, chaos, CIA, Climate Change, destabilisation, destabilising, Ed Miliband, Edward Miliband, George Marshall, Global Warming, happy, James Lovelock, just this guy, Michael Ruppert, Mike Hulme, Mike Ruppert, natural high, naturally happy, naturally sunny, Optimism, optimistic, Peak Oil, Teddy Miliband
Posted on September 28th, 2010 1 comment
Really, it should have been Diane Abbott who was elected to lead the Labour Party of Great Britain. She’s forthright, outspoken, gives good telly, and shows us that the central political battleground is rather like a kindergarten of cloned, spoiled infants, all vying for, and whining over, needlessly, one brightly-coloured soft toy covered in lickspittle and Asian flu variants.
Why do the top politicians all have to wear standard office suits, I ask you, with monochromatic ties ? Why do they all have to have short hair and be shaved and male and white, or if not white, then hail from an ex-colony ? Is it that the rich dodderers who actually run the country from their slick, corporate lobbying offices feel more comfortable if there’s a white, beardless man at the helm ?
I can imagine it now, in spit-waxed, leather-armchair, illegally smoke-filled lounges, “Oh, that chap Ed Miliband – he’s one of us, don’t you know. Slightly exotic political family background, but he’s a proper gentleman, knows how to use a handkerchief when he catches a nasty cold, and wear cufflinks, and knew he should frown frostily, patronisingly, even perhaps slightly nauseatedly at Gordon Brown, the day he left office. Excellently phlegmatic – just what we need to serve the purposes of the country’s rich. Don’t listen to that blather about the unions, he isn’t red. Ed’s our man. He’s quite open to big industrial lobbying. We just need to get his party resurrected to power.”
Posted on September 18th, 2010 No comments
We learn from Caroline Spelman, care of Fiona Harvey, that Climate Change could be good for British farming :-
“Climate change could benefit UK farmers : By Fiona Harvey and George Parker : Published: September 17 2010 : Climate change and global food shortages could bring unexpected benefits for British farmers in the next two decades, ultimately relieving taxpayers of the burden of subsidising them, Caroline Spelman, environment secretary, has claimed. Ms Spelman said the UK was unlikely to suffer the severe water shortages that scientists predict will afflict other parts of the world, and that British farmers should be able to exploit greater demand for their produce…”
Note that the argument is not that Climate Change will create better conditions for growing food in the UK.
Instead, the logic is that because we live in North Western Europe, which will see less Climate Change than other parts of the world, our agricultural produce won’t be affected as badly as, say, Asia, so, suddenly British food production will have stronger commercial value as export.
That’s rather perverse, isn’t it ? Profiting at others’ expense never looked so…existential, so morally challenged.
I think that what will happen is that British food production will be increased in order to give it away, in the form of international disaster aid.
The Common Agricultural Policy could become the Crisis Agricultural Subsidy.
In a never-ending rolling disaster, the ethics of meeting basic human needs will surely take precedence over business competition.Advancing Africa, Climate Change, Eating & Drinking, Global Warming, Water Wars agriculture, Aid, Caroline Spelman, Climate Change, Common Agricultural Policy, crops, drinking, eating, Emergency Aid, FAO, Financial Times, Fiona Harvey, Food, Food and Agriculture Organisation, freshwater stress, FT, Global Warming, irrigation, produce, subsidy, United Nations, United Nations World Food Programme, water stress, WFP, World Food Programme
Posted on September 15th, 2010 No comments
People often talk about the weather in relation to Climate Change, but neglect to talk about the possible obvious and inevitable side-effects – hunger and starvation.
Frontline Club will screen the film “The Hunger Season” on 1st October 2010, and follow it with a panel discussion hosted by BOND and Oxfam UK :-
“Across the world a massive food crisis is unfolding. Climate change, increasing consumption in China and India, the dash for Biofuels are causing hitherto unimagined food shortages and rocketing prices. This has already provoked unrest and violence from the Middle East to South America and there is no end in sight in the coming months. The people who are going to be most sorely affected are those already living on the razors edge of poverty, those dependent on food aid for their very survival. As commodity prices have risen by 50%, the UN Agencies have barely half the budget they need to meet the needs of 73 million hungry people they are currently feeding…”
Biofuel targets may not be the only factor behind food price rises :-
“In The Great Hunger Lottery, the World Development Movement has compiled extensive evidence establishing the role of food commodity derivatives in destabilising and driving up food prices around the world. This in turn, has led to food prices becoming unaffordable for low-income families around the world, particularly in developing countries highly reliant on food imports. Nowhere was this more clearly seen than during the astonishing surge in staple food prices over the course of 2007-2008, when millions went hungry and food riots swept major cities around the world. The great hunger lottery shows how this alarming episode was fueled by the behaviour of financial speculators, and describes the terrible immediate impacts on vulnerable families around the world, as well as the long term damage to the fight against global poverty…”Advancing Africa, Advertise Freely, Climate Change, Eating & Drinking, Floodstorm, Food Insecurity, Freshwater Stress, Genetic Muddyfixation, Global Warming, Health Impacts, Incalculable Disaster, Neverending Disaster, Science Rules, Social Change, The Data ADM, Archer Daniels Midland, Bayer, Biodiesel, bioethanol, Biofuel, Biofuel targets, Biofuels, BOND, Cargill, climate transient, climate transients, Deforestation, drinking, drought, eating, El Nino, El Nino Southern Oscillation, ENSO, flood, Food, food market, food market speculation, food markets, food speculation, freshwater, Frontline Club, Genetic Modification, GM, GMO, Hunger, hungry, Kraft, La Nina, market speculation, Michael Tobis, Monsanto, Oxfam, Oxfam UK, Permaculture, smallholding, Syngenta, Transition Towns, WDM, wild weather, World Development Movement
Posted on September 14th, 2010 No comments
[ UPDATE : America might not actually, finally, do something - check the resistance dinosaurs. ]
We have waited long enough for serious action States-side on Global Warming.
The bankers (apparently largely Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan with lashings of Tony Blair) had their chance to talk up the idea of Carbon Trading. What a dead duck that turned out to be !
Carbon Taxation looks like it’s a non-starter with the global economy being a whisker from utter, utter, collapse.
The Clean Development Mechanism isn’t.
(Plus, the CDM hasn’t helped those it was principally promoted to help – Africa).
The global Biofuels targets are reducing rainforest to logpiles.
The Coal Kings have been pushing the idea of Carbon Capture and Storage for well over fifteen years and persuaded…no one.
The nightwalkers from the dark, radioactive side are still scaring people and luring them at the same time. If Iran wanting Nuclear Power was tricky enough, now Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait want it too, and I don’t expect the international dialogue tightrope act to get any easier.
The Congress and the Senate have seen filibuster and deal-breaking and lobbyist handshakes in dark corridors and reneging in bars.
But, at long last, it seems like Barack Obama is going to do what he hinted at, and regulate the bottom line out of Carbon Dioxide emissions, regardless of whether there’s any elected representatives passing bills :-Advancing Africa, Be Prepared, Burning Money, Carbon Capture, Carbon Commodities, Climate Change, Coal Hell, Corporate Pressure, Cost Effective, Emissions Impossible, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Global Warming, Marvellous Wonderful, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Obamawatch, Petrolheads, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Technological Sideshow, Vote Loser America, Anthony Blair, Barack Obama, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, Envionmental Protection Agency, EPA, Formula 1, Formula One, Goldman Sachs, Iran, J P Morgan, Jeremy Clarkson, JP Morgan, Kuwait, Lisa Jackson, Obama, Saudi Arabia, The Pope, Tony Blair, UAE, United Arab Emirates, United States of America
Posted on September 8th, 2010 5 comments
Like my anti-hero, James Delingpole, I am going to make a capitalised comment : THIS IS SO ABOUT THE SCIENCE, JAMES DELINGPOLE :-
“I’m funny: official…the same tired old smears and inaccuracies. Sceptics are funded by Big Oil; they’re a weird, swivel-eyed minority; Climategate was “a storm in a tea cup” which did nothing to shake the underlying science; etc. Am I bothered? More weary than anything, for we have all heard these canards many, many times before (and no doubt will do again in some of the comments below), and I’m not sure it’s a game I can be bothered to play any more…The debate on CAGW, I’ve come to realise, is as futile as the one about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Which isn’t to say I don’t hugely respect the work done by the likes of Watts Up With That and Climate Audit and Bishop Hill to expose the flaws in the Warmist scientists’ dodgy theories. We need such indefatigable seekers-after-truth in this war but what we also need to realise is that this is never an argument that is going to be won on the science alone. That’s because the CAGW craze is and never was about the science, any more than the Eighties “Acid Rain” craze was about the science, or the Nineties BSE craze was about the science. They’re all just branches of political activism…THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE SCIENCE.”
Oh yes it is, Jems dear. It is 100%-a-mento about the Science. And it’s also about the de-Scientising of the Science.
Posted on September 4th, 2010 No comments
A nod in the direction of Michael Tobis, who alerted me to the fact that James “Jems” Delingpole has been attempting to think his way out of the development box again :-
James Delingpole recognises that Boris Johnson has decided to latch onto an easy picking :-
“…Lots of nice, sensible people will have agreed with him, I’m sure. It’s an easy political point to make: like being against chewing gum stuck on pavements or uncleaned up dog poo or boisterous, drunken youths in town centres or battery chickens or bear baiting. Of course we’d all like the world to be less populous…”
After all, those in the world who are busy reproducing are the poor, and it’s easy to promote the idea that they should show more responsibility in fecundity. Because they are over there, and we are over here. And telling other people what to do is always easier than changing ourselves.
Some people even go so far as to base their “overpopulation in developing countries” argument on the notion that all the poor people with their multitudes of poor children are deforesting the tropics for fuel wood – how terrible !
But really, the populous poor have a much smaller impact on the environment than the minority rich. And I’m talking general environmental terms, not just Climate Change.
But if you want to talk Global Warming, it’s the non-multiplying rich people who are causing the significant problem with their unrelenting Greenhouse Gas emissions. For example, the United States with only 400 million people, produces over 25% of global Greenhouse Gas emissions.Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Climate Change, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Peace not War, Social Change, The Data, Unqualified Opinion Africa, Boris Johnson, development, economical with the dimensions, economical with the facts, economics, fertility, income, James Delingpole, Michael Tobis, multidimensional, one-dimensional, poor, poorer, Population, populous, raising incomes, rich, sub-Saharan Africa, The Population Question
Posted on September 4th, 2010 No comments
[ TED Talks : Flashback to 2005 ! Of course, one of the main problems with his "triage" suggestion is that Climate Change affects all the other problems in his prioritisation list, so even if they get solved once, they'll need solving again... ]
Reports of Bjorn Lomborg’s conversion to the truth about Global Warming may be perilously exaggerated :-
“ I note with interest that Bjørn Lomborg has changed his mind on global warming. I also note that he has a book to sell.”
Beside a book, he is also touting a film :-
Has he really changed his tune ? Nope. :-
“…In an exclusive interview with FP’s Elizabeth Dickinson, Lomborg says his views haven’t budged an inch. Rather, he argues that the cap-and-trade approach of Kyoto Protocol fame has clearly failed, and it’s time to try a more creative approach — one that doesn’t involve wasting billions of dollars. “At some point,” he says, “we have to ask ourselves, do we just want to keep up the circus of promising stuff but not actually doing it?”…”
“Lomborg is not a responsible climate commentator.”Advancing Africa, Bait & Switch, Climate Change, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Global Warming, Social Change Bjoern Lomborg, Bjorn Lomborg, Cool It, delayer, denial, denier, Lomborg, obstructer, sceptic, Sceptical Environmentalist, skeptic, Skeptical Environmentalist, Smart Solutions to Climate Change
Posted on August 19th, 2010 No comments
Nick Clegg, the British Deputy Prime Minister says that the international response to the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan is “absolutely pitiful” :-
People won’t be moved. There’s no use hoping for an outpouring of charitable giving and energetic aid organisation – the world is suffering too many ongoing parallel disasters to be able to scramble effectively for this – the biggest ever (probably).
A similar situation exists with Climate Change policy, or rather the incredible inertia against taking the obvious first steps towards meaningful Carbon Dioxide emissions reductions.
People are too busy with their Facebook, their Twitter, their own personal financial nemeses (is that the plural of “nemesis”, really ?) to be able to form a coherent “movement”, as Bill McKibben, Al Gore and others wish us to mobilise into :-
“Why has extreme weather failed to heat up climate debate? The world is experiencing the hottest weather on record but politicians have failed to respond. They need a wake-up call…”Advancing Africa, Climate Change, Disturbing Trends, Energy Revival, Extreme Weather, Floodstorm, Global Singeing, Global Warming, Heatwave, Incalculable Disaster, Media, Neverending Disaster, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Social Change Canada, China, how many countries do you need disasters in to say the Climate is Changing ?, Niger, Pakistan, Russia
Posted on August 15th, 2010 No comments
Of course, Pat Michaels is “right-wing”, but that’s not what I meant.
Some folk will be surprised that I agree with anything that Patrick Michaels says, as he is consistently inaccurate about the Science of Global Warming.
However, he is right that a Carbon Tax is the wrong way to proceed.
Carbon pricing, whether by direct taxation or by a trading scheme, effectively creates a double disincentive for change.
We have a large number of companies and organisations that are highly dependent on the use of Fossil Fuels. Carbon pricing will make these companies and organisations less financially efficient, and they will try anything they can to pass on the costs of Carbon to their consumers and clients, in order to remain profitable.
Carbon Taxation will therefore stimulate cost offsetting, but not Carbon reductions.
Moreover, if companies that make and sell energy are forced to pay for Carbon, they will have less funds available to deCarbonise their businesses; less capital to invest in new lower Carbon technologies.
Carbon Pricing will not alter the patterns of emissions significantly, if at all.
We have to face facts : the economists are largely wrong about environmental taxation. Record fines and levies demanded of Fossil Fuel companies in the last ten years have not stopped the spills, the leaks, the poisonings of waterways; nor have they helped the companies change course and start to develop Renewable Energies.
The pricing of large scale environmental pollution is a failed disincentive.Advancing Africa, Bait & Switch, Be Prepared, Big Picture, British Sea Power, Carbon Commodities, Climate Change, Corporate Pressure, Cost Effective, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Environmental Howzat, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Peak Energy, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Science Rules, Social Change, Solar Sunrise, Toxic Hazard, Wind of Fortune, Zero Net Carbon Taxation, Carbon Trading, China, Climate Change, Climate Change Policy, CNN, coal, Economic Policy, economics, environmental economics, environmental pollution taxation, Environmental taxation, Fareed Zakaria, Gavin Schmidt, Global Warming, Green Investment, Jeff Sachs, Pat Michaels, policy, pollution taxation
Posted on August 7th, 2010 No comments
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has just held its regular half yearly conference to further the working parties of the Kyoto Protocol :-
A number of Press commentators have been critical of proceedings, indicating that there has not been much progress at Bonn, and in fact the conference could show some ground having been lost :-Advancing Africa, Big Picture, British Sea Power, Burning Money, Carbon Commodities, Carbon Rationing, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Cost Effective, Delay and Deny, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Extreme Weather, Global Warming, Low Carbon Life, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Social Change, Solar Sunrise, Utter Futility, Vain Hope, Wind of Fortune Aubrey Meyer, C & C, C&C, Christian Figueres, Contraction & Convergence, Contraction and Convergence, Economy, Energy, GCI, Global Commons Institute, Green Energy, Kyoto Protocol, M & A, M&A, Mitigation & Adaptation, Mitigation and Adaptation, Renewable Energy, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on August 3rd, 2010 1 comment
20 June 2010
Linking Climate Change to Health
During the first few years of my childhood education, I used to walk to and from the school alongside the road that was originally the main highway between London and Cambridge, England.
At that time, the density of cars in that part of town rose dramatically, as did the number of vehicles idling in long traffic jams, and I remember just how much of an impact it had on the air quality, particularly in summer.
This was despite the fact that the road was flanked by a large number of trees, areas of grass and bushes, and even ponds.
My recollection is that what had originally been a pleasant walking route became unbearable and toxic.
One day, I hope that the internal combustion engine is virtually outlawed, so that urban people can start to get some clean air.
At a recent UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) conference, the Claverton Energy Research Group invited Dr Mark A. Delucchi of the University of California at Davis to speak on the “Transportation in a World Based 100% on Wind, Water and Solar Power”, a piece of work that he did in collaboration with Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at Stanford University :-
This chart from the presentation gives a comparison between BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) with the electricity coming from a variety of sources; against internal combustion engine vehicles, either running on two kinds of BioEthanol (E85) or standard Gasoline.Advancing Africa, Climate Change, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Global Warming, Health Impacts, Low Carbon Life, Regulatory Ultimatum, Science Rules, Social Change, The Data, Toxic Hazard baby steps, Black Carbon, Christiana Figueres, Mark Delucchi, Mark Jacobson, Stacy Jackson, Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis, UNFCCC
Posted on July 30th, 2010 No comments
Reflecting further on a PNAS paper by a group of authors that includes Professors Stephen Pacala and Robert Socolow leads me to suspect that elements of its proposed policy framework are unworkable and may have unintended unethical consequences :-
It also leads me to conclude that research partly financed by Oil and Gas companies may be part of the Climate Change policy problem – how to reach global agreement on a way forward.
“Sharing global CO2 emission reductions among one billion high emitters”, by Shoibal Chakravarty, Ananth Chikkatur, Heleen de Coninck, Stephen Pacala, Robert Socolow and Massimo Tavoni, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Volume 106, Number 29, 21st July 2009.Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Carbon Commodities, Carbon Rationing, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Corporate Pressure, Divide & Rule, Emissions Impossible, Global Warming, Low Carbon Life, Regulatory Ultimatum BP, C & C, C&C, Carbon Emissions Reductions, Contraction and Convergence, GCI, Global Commons Institute, Oil and Gas, oil and gas company, one billion high emitters, Princeton, Robert Socolow, Shell, Stephen Pacala
Posted on July 25th, 2010 2 comments
[ Image Credit : ©2009 Aubrey Meyer, Global Commons Institute. "Contraction & Convergence", "C&C" are Trademarks of GCI, http://www.gci.org.uk. Full presentation here or here. See NOTE at end of post for accompanying text. ]
Christian Aid, Oxfam and a wide range of Non-Governmental Organisations have all taken the easy route and outsourced their Climate Change policy work, adopting a proposal for a Global Carbon Framework that will never, ever see the light of day.
I’m talking about Greenhouse Development Rights, a position reasoned by EcoEquity‘s Paul Baer and Tom Athanasiou, which has a less than zero chance of being signed up to by major industrialised governments.
And that’s what makes it wrong.Advancing Africa, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Emissions Impossible, Global Warming, Low Carbon Life, Political Nightmare Aubrey Meyer, C & C, C&C, Christian Aid, Contraction & Convergence, Contraction and Convergence, EcoEquity, GDRs, Greenhouse Development Rights, Oxfam, Paul Baer, Tom Athanasiou
Posted on July 24th, 2010 No comments
In an unguarded moment, I allowed myself to watch television, and found myself watching this campaign advertisement from Oxfam.
The first thing I felt was empathy with the unhappy woman shown in the opening sequence, as the narrator told us that her baby had just been washed away by floodwaters. How dreadful for her. How awful for her child.
The second thing I thought was how shocking it was for an aid and development agency to use this person’s grief as a marketing tool.
The third thing I thought was to ask myself why the makers of the appeal didn’t mention the aggravation to the environment caused by Climate Change, but instead just refered to “more people than ever are dying because of floods, drought and lack of clean water”.Advancing Africa, Advertise Freely, Climate Change, Disturbing Trends, Environmental Howzat, Extreme Weather, Global Singeing, Global Warming, Health Impacts, Peace not War, Political Nightmare, Protest & Survive, Social Change, Unutterably Useless, Utter Futility Aid, aid and development, Appeal, development, emergency, Emergency Aid, Millenium Development Goals, Natural Disaster, NGO, Non-Governmental Organisation, Oxfam, Urgent Appeal
Posted on July 24th, 2010 No comments
File under : “That’s never going to ever happen if the United States of America have anything at all to do with it”.
The illustrious German Advisory Council on Global Change, the WBGU, or “Wissenschaftliche Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveraenderungen” in longhand, have done some excellent work on proposals for a global Carbon framework.
As part of their 2009 paper entitled in English “Solving the climate dilemma: The budget approach” they came to some useful conclusions, but also some startlingly unworkable recommendations :-Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Burning Money, Carbon Commodities, Carbon Rationing, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Emissions Impossible, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Political Nightmare, Realistic Models, Regulatory Ultimatum, Vain Hope America, Aubrey Meyer, C & C, C&C, Carbon Markets, Carbon Trading, CERs, Certified Emissions Reductions, Clean Development Mechanism, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Contraction and Convergence, Copenhagen Accord, emissions rights, equity, ethical, ethical argument, ethics, GCI, GDRs, Global Commons Institute, Global Warming, grandfathering, Greenhouse Development Rights, immoral, Kyoto Protocol, moral, moral argument, morality, morals, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United States of America, USA, WBGU
Posted on July 23rd, 2010 No comments
Who could have guessed that my previous post would not be the final word on “The Population Question” ?
As anybody who has ever looked at this question and its surrounding myths will know, there is layer upon layer of mis-fact, swirl around swirl of supposition and conjecture on the topic of human-to-land density in the imaginings of the newspaper-reading populace.Advancing Africa, Bad Science, Bait & Switch, Be Prepared, Climate Change, Divide & Rule, Eating & Drinking, Emissions Impossible, Environmental Howzat, Extreme Weather, Global Singeing, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Health Impacts, The Data, Unqualified Opinion Climate Change, crop failure, Extreme Weather, Food, Food & Water, Food and Water, Food Security, Food Stress, Global Warming, Growth, Human Population, Human Population Growth, Population, water stress
Over the last ten years, I have attended many public meetings centred on the topic of Climate Change. In my experience, at any one event there will usually be (a) the town madhatter (well-loved, but completely batty), (b) a court jester (the only person in the room who finds the court jester witty) and (c) somebody who deliberately asks or poses what I call “the population question”.
The basic premise of this question is – since the world’s population is rising exponentially, we’re not going to be able to prevent Climate Change unless we force the people in Asia or Africa to stop procreating. Why, already, China’s Greenhouse Gas emissions are already larger than America’s ! And on the back of the diagnosis that the population explosion will ruin our chances of Climate stability, the logical conclusion is that it is pointless for people in the Western industrialised countries to reduce their energy and fuel use, as our emissions aren’t very significant compared to those of Asia.Advancing Africa, Bad Science, Big Picture, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Divide & Rule, Emissions Impossible, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Media, Political Nightmare, Science Rules, Social Change, The Data, Unqualified Opinion Climate Change, ecology, Global Warming, Paul Ehrlich, Population, Population Question, The Population Bomb, The Population Explosion, The Population Question
Really groovy global policy on Climate Change would be more clever and more accurate than assumptions on averages that were foundational to the hep cats who wrote the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Kyoto Protocol.
Why keep up the narrative that there are “developing” nations and “developed” nations ? Some formerly “developing” nations have emissions profiles quite like some “developed” nations today.
Also, why are we taking national averages ? There is stratification of society : the urban and merchant classes in many countries have a much higher Carbon Dioxide emissions count than the poorest in society, even if the countries are wealthy on average.
The wealthy are high emitters, no matter what region of the world they come from. Read the rest of this entry »Advancing Africa, Big Picture, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Emissions Impossible, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Political Nightmare, Realistic Models, Regulatory Ultimatum, Social Change, The Data Kyoto, Kyoto Protocol, Pacala, Professor Robert Socolow, Professor Stephen Pacala, Robert Socolow, Socolow, Stephen Pacala, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Much as, in principle, progress could be made in having an 80% majority push through commitments on Global Warming, as part of the United Nations Climate Change negotiations process, some commentators feel highly uneasy that important voices from the international community, based around the emerging Science, could be drowned out by these “big hitters” :-
“July 19-20 2010 : The first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial will bring together ministers and stakeholders from more than 20 countries to collaborate on policies and programs that accelerate the world’s transition to clean energy technologies.”
“UN in fresh bid to salvage international deal on climate change : Campaigners welcome plans to amend the way Kyoto protocol resolutions are passed : The Guardian, Thursday 22 July 2010…If the UN’s [United Nations] suggestions are adopted, decisions will be forced through if four-fifths of the protocol vote in favour, after all efforts to reach agreement by consensus have been exhausted. The amendments would come into force after six months…”It is surprising and a big, big deal that the UN is suggesting such considerable reforms as a change in the consensus rules,” said [Mark] Lynas…In a further attempt to galvanise the climate change body into motion, the UN also suggested that countries could be forced to opt out of any amendments, as opposed to the current arrangement whereby they must explicitly agree to any decisions tabled…The amendment, which will be presented in Bonn in August, reads: “An amendment would enter into force after a certain period has elapsed following its adoption, except for those parties that have notified the depositary that they cannot accept the amendment.”…But Lynas warned that any changes to the current consensus situation would cause “fury, angst and consternation”. It could, he said, exacerbate the deep mistrust between rich and poor countries that has already bedevilled the global climate talks.”… Read the rest of this entry »Acid Ocean, Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Carbon Commodities, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Corporate Pressure, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Science Rules, Solar Sunrise, The Data, Zero Net Bolivia, C & C, C&C, Cancun, Climate Change, Climate Change Science, Climate Science, Contract and Converge, Contraction and Convergence, COP, COP/MOP, Copenhagen, Framework, Global Warming, Kyoto, Kyoto Protocol, Major Economic Forum, Major Economies Forum, Major Emitters Forum, MOP, Mother Earth, Pachamama, People Movement, Peoples Movement, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Posted on July 15th, 2010 No comments
“…Democratic senators from New York and New Jersey are now calling on BP to suspend drilling operations in Libya’s Gulf of Sidra until an investigation can be completed into whether the company pushed for the release of a convicted terrorist in order to seal a major oil deal. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) decried the release last August of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi a “moral outrage” at a press conference on Wednesday. Megrahi is the only person who has been convicted of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing that killed 270 people in 1988. BP has admitted that it lobbied for a prisoner exchange—they have just not said which prisoners. Now Menendez and three other senators have called on the State Department and the British government to investigate precisely what role BP may have played in negotiating his release, as the company has since admitted that they pushed for a prisoner transfer to help ensure the $900 million oil deal went through. In recent weeks, one of the doctors who gave the dire prognosis for Megrahi that led to his release from a Scottish prison has come forward to say that the Libyan government paid him to make that determination. He now says Megrahi may live for another 10 years, and there are rumors that he has secured a book deal. “If BP is found to have gained access to Libyan oil reserves by using a mass murderer as a bargaining chip, then make no mistake, any money it makes off that oil is blood money,” said Menendez…”
Posted on July 5th, 2010 1 comment
Big green energy news of the month : President Barack Obama of the United States of America has announced direct investment into solar :-
Let there be light in the soul, and solar energy in the land.
This looks like a tipping point. Let’s flip some more trip switches in our personal networks and get the oil-producing bloc in the Middle East to see the value of going wind and solar (instead of expensive, risky Nuclear) :-
“The largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the Middle East is to be built in Madinat Zayed, approximately 120 km (75 miles) southwest of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). When it becomes operational in 2012, the plant, dubbed Shams 1, will feature some 6,300,000 square-feet of solar parabolic collectors, cover 741 acres of desert and will produce enough electricity to power 62,000 households.”
What ? That soon ?Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Climate Change, Cost Effective, Energy Revival, Global Singeing, Global Warming, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Obamawatch, Peace not War, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Renewable Resource, Solar Sunrise Africa, African Solar, African Sun, Barack Obama, Concentrated Solar Power, CSP, Desertec, EU-MENA, EUMENA, North Africa, Obama, Solar Energy, Solar power, Sun Power
Posted on June 29th, 2010 No comments
20 June 2010
Linking Climate Change to Poverty
There will be no global treaty on Climate Change without a solution for the poor.
The poor in every country are generally low emitters, and models of Low Carbon lives; yet because they are poor, it’s easy for their economic concerns to be swept aside in the global efforts to revive the big Energy systems.
One thing is clear, imposing a “dollar economy”, and thrusting international markets traded in American Dollars on the world’s poor is not the same as creating an environment for true social and sustainable development.Advancing Africa, Carbon Commodities, Climate Change, Energy Revival access to energy, Adaptation, Africa, CDM, Clean Development Mechanism, Climate Change, dollar economy, Energy, Green Energy, Green Power, landless movement, mitigation, Mitigation & Adaptation, poor, Poverty, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Power
Posted on June 27th, 2010 1 comment
20 June 2010
Linking Climate Change to Trade
America and China are both “Carbon Intensity” first-movers – competing to make commitments that their economic production has falling associated Carbon Dioxide Emissions. The United States, China and Canada all continue to claim that their commitments on Climate Change amount to reductions in “carbon intensity”, rather than actual reductions in levels of emissions. This is a piece of policy propaganda, as proposed by linguistic strategists. A reduced carbon intensity of production would still allow countries to follow a path of economic growth, and increase carbon emissions overall. What is clear is that lower carbon intensities is not enough.
Behavioural economists, who look at both individual behaviour and collective social responses, have concluded a number of useful facts about humankind and its uses of resources. A good summary of what we know is provided by John Gowdy, writing in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 68 in 2008, “Behavioral economics and climate change policy” :-
Some of his policy “clues” point the way.Advancing Africa, Big Picture, Carbon Rationing, China Syndrome, Climate Change, Contraction & Convergence, Energy Revival, Growth Paradigm, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Resource Curse Climate Change, Climate Negotiations, development rights, economics, Economy, fossil fuel subsidies, G20, Kyoto Protocol, nuclear subsidies, Trade, UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, World Trade Organisation, WTO