Christiana Figueres : The Elusive Saucepan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWsQscb6lfM

http://unfccc.int/files/press/news_room/application/pdf/100806_speaking_notes.pdf

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 :-

http://unfccc.int
http://unfccc.int/2860.php

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 :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c9213b40-a180-11df-9656-00144feabdc0.html

Continue reading Christiana Figueres : The Elusive Saucepan

Fiona Harvey : Whoops, Cat !

Now, I’ve met Fiona Harvey, and she gives the general impression of being a reasonable woman, with her own mind, smart, knowledgeable and pragmatic.

What she writes about is Environment in general, but she takes in Policy, Politics, Economics and Science, and her output is normally balanced, accurate, and free from interference from propaganda and propagandists. Well-rounded, I’d say. Informative and straight.

So how come she’s writing a Financial Times article with quotations from extreme Climate Change sceptics and deniers ?

I suspect a heavy editorial hand :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6d1fd25c-9a69-11df-87fd-00144feab49a,dwp_uuid=728a07a0-53bc-11db-8a2a-0000779e2340.html

“Research says climate change undeniable : By Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent, Published: July 28 2010”

Continue reading Fiona Harvey : Whoops, Cat !

Christopher Booker : Sniping Smearduggery

The Liberal Democrat and Conservative Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom spent almost an entire week crafting a political framework for power-sharing after the “hung” General Election.

Those considered the most appropriate people were appointed to positions in the central Cabinet, people from both political parties, with the aim and ambition of working together closely and fraternally.

Back room agreements were painstakingly forged, deals were clearly made, and explained publicly in a transparent fashion. In the day-to-day operation of Government, it is made clear who is speaking on behalf of themselves, their party or the Coalition.

This is probably the best example of cooperative, progressive politics since…I don’t know when. But all Christopher Booker seems to want to do is snipe, moan and smear, and appears to throw in as many factually incorrect allegations and fake statistics about wind power as he possibly can.

I certainly wouldn’t pay him to write such divisive, unreferenced, unverified stuff. What’s he trying to do ? Split public opinion ? :-

Continue reading Christopher Booker : Sniping Smearduggery

Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Image Credit : Gilbert & George, “Nettle Dance”, White Cube

I’m in the Climate Union. Are You ?

Soon we could all be, if the expansionist plans of a group of social campaigners come to fruition.

Taking in the unions, faith communities and the usual rag-tag bunch of issues activists, the Climate Union aims to establish itself as a political force for Low Carbon.

First of all, however, it has to tackle the uneasy and prickly problem of the exact name of the movement, and the principles under which it will operate.

The flag has been flown : a set of principles has been circulated for discussion amongst the “Climate Forum”. I cannot show you the finalised document yet, but I can offer you my comments (see below).

If you want to comment on the development of this emerging entity, please contact : Peter Robinson, Campaign against Climate Change, mobile/cell telephone in the UK : 07876595993.


Comments on the Climate Forum Principles
Jo Abbess
28 June 2010

I am aware that my comments are going to be a little challenging. I made similar comments during the review of the ClimateSafety briefing, which were highly criticised.

I expect you to be negative in response to what I say, but I think it is necessary to make sure the Climate Forum does not become watered-down, sectorally imprisoned and politically neutered, like so many other campaigns.

Continue reading Climate Union : Sharing Principles

Unpicking Kyoto (3)

Unpicking Kyoto
Jo Abbess
20 June 2010

CONTINUED FROM PART 1 AND PART 2

PART 3

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” :-

http://www.sciencedirect.com

Some of his policy “clues” point the way.

Continue reading Unpicking Kyoto (3)

BP’s Chief Economist Flunks Logic

I sometimes read the Foreign Affairs magazine, as the articles are written by influential people, some of whom appear to be remarkably knowledgable and sane.

However, trying to read a recent piece by BP’s Chief Economist Christof Ruehl was a journey with little progress, so I’m sorry to admit I couldn’t bring myself to finish digesting it.

The man’s head appears to have been spun, or he might have had a mission to spin his readership. All the same, it’s worthy of a Koan award (see YouTube on this page).

“Global Energy After the Crisis : Prospects and Priorities” by Christof Ruehl, Chief Economist of BP plc, writing in Foreign Affairs Magazine, Volume 89, Number 2, March/April 2010 :-

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/trinidad_and_tobago/STAGING/home_assets/christof-ruehl-global-energy-after-crisis.pdf

Continue reading BP’s Chief Economist Flunks Logic

James Delingpole : Following The Money

What makes James Delingpole tick ? Why does he take up such an unsupportable position ? Why is he prepared to risk appearing completely absurd ?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100025341/climategate-mad-sunday/

I have been rubbing my chin and hmmming quietly to myself, as I to try to understand it, and I think I might have a thread of an idea : money, or rather, the use of money…

Continue reading James Delingpole : Following The Money

Anthony Giddens : Demonising Environmentalism

The further I read into Anthony Giddens’ “landmark study” on Climate Change politics, the more I want to offer it to a fuel-poor elderly neighbour :-

http://www.metro.co.uk/news/807821-pensioners-burn-books-for-warmth

“Miles Erwin – 5th January, 2010 : Pensioners burn books for warmth : Hard-up pensioners have resorted to buying books from charity shops and burning them to keep warm. Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves…”

I have taken a fat orange highlighter pen to his more tendentious and incensing statements, and am scratching comments in the margins to indicate my extreme displeasure.

What is it about Anthony Giddens’ phraseology that so irritates me ? I’ll pass over the more nebulous, inaccurate rubbish like his mention of “political scientists” – politics is no more science than the study of fine art. And I’ll try really hard not to call him ideologically-challenged, based on his references to unproven economic theories as if they were axiomatic facts.

My key dislike to his approach seems to be crystallising around his dismissiveness of other peoples’ points of view; his loose, callous talk is likely to alienate a good many people, and he needs repudiation.

Continue reading Anthony Giddens : Demonising Environmentalism

Shiny Imaginary Friends – The Dream of Carbon Capture and Storage

This week has seen a flurry of “Yes, We Can” news articles about the Carbon Capture and Storage technology, or CCS.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/solution-to-the-carbon-problem-could-be-under-the-ground-1660002.html

“Solution to the carbon problem could be under the ground : Hope for the fight against climate change as study finds greenhouse gas can be buried without fear of leaking : By Steve Connor, Science Editor : Thursday, 2 April 2009 : Carbon dioxide captured from the chimneys of power stations could be safely buried underground for thousands of years without the risk of the greenhouse gas seeping into the atmosphere, a study has found.”

Continue reading Shiny Imaginary Friends – The Dream of Carbon Capture and Storage

G20 Direct Action : Photographs of Vegetables

I got on the train yesterday evening with a very gentle fellow, who was reading a free newspaper intently.

I noticed he was carrying a camera with quite a large lens, so I said to him, “You can’t believe anything you read in the papers”, trying this gambit to get him to spill about what he was doing.

He gave a non-commital response, and we didn’t strike up.

Continue reading G20 Direct Action : Photographs of Vegetables

Carbon Rationing – A Chance Interview with Andrew Ross at the G20 Climate Camp

Down at the G20 Climate Camp today, I had the opportunity to meet up with people I know from Climate Change work all over the UK and beyond.

Don’t be tempted to dismiss the Campers as sensationalism-seeking wildcats : we’re talking about a collection of some of the finest Science, Policy and Society minds there are, with a bit of the Press mixed in for good voyeuristic effect.

Continue reading Carbon Rationing – A Chance Interview with Andrew Ross at the G20 Climate Camp

G20 Climate Camp – Expect the Best Crackdown Yet

STOP PRESS : Just received a text “Big Brother is turning off CCTV for the day. Don’t forget to bring your own. Please forward this text.” What can go on when nobody is watching ?

I’ve just been at one of several G20 Climate Camp convergence spaces this evening to get the full briefing.

I expected Police presence on the door, and yes, once again they were illegally photographing people coming and going from a public meeting.

Continue reading G20 Climate Camp – Expect the Best Crackdown Yet

Never Mind the Wind Rush

Jonathan Leake, writing in the Sunday Times on 29th March 2009 betrays a certain ignorance, and casual disregard for sound European Renewables policy :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5992864.ece
“Consumers beware the costly spin of wind turbines”

Continue reading Never Mind the Wind Rush

G20 Action : Your Options : Amuse or Annoy

The “protest community” have a very stark choice about options for non-violent direct action and other forms of demonstration this week. Either you do something to entertain and amuse people, or you do something to annoy.

At a stretch you might even manage to do both, but for the most part it is an either-or situation. Do you hold a street party in fancy dress, or do you try to blockade something, lock on and shut it down ?

Do you publish a newspaper pulling apart current Economic, Energy and Climate policy ? Or do you set up a tent outside the London Climate Exchange and refuse to leave ?

Continue reading G20 Action : Your Options : Amuse or Annoy

Carbon Capture and Storage – merely an “Elastoplast” Technology

Lord Ron Oxburgh, formerly non-executive director of Royal Dutch Shell, now honorary president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, today labelled the clean coal technology as an “Elastoplast” – a temporary, transient technology to use in the Energy system until Energy has all been de-Carbonised.

Speaking at the Tenalps Energy and Environment 2009 Conference in Westminster, he derided the 20th Century as profligate in the use of cheap Carbon Energy, oil, coal and natural gas. He said that in the field of Energy, optimisation has been to anything other than fuel use – in other words – the relative cost has always been the driving factor.

Continue reading Carbon Capture and Storage – merely an “Elastoplast” Technology

The Man on the Clapham Omnibus – He Say “Yargh”

LONDON 22:30 – The Man on the Clapham Omnibus reacted strongly to a chickpea curry he ate at lunchtime today. At hand to assist with his sufferings was a comfortably recognisable news sheet.

But all was not as it seemed. This publication was no ordinary newspaper, oh no. This was from a print run far, far away, way into the future, in fact. From 2020, in fact.

Continue reading The Man on the Clapham Omnibus – He Say “Yargh”

Read all about it ! End of the World edition !

Calling all dudes. Calling all honeys. Come and hand out London’s brightest and brashest free newspaper, and give the paid ones a seeing to in the process.

Dudes, remember the glory days of old, handing out trillions of arch and angry political leafletry stamped with cardinal colour logos and smeared with carbon black ?

Bring back those golden, sunny hours of innocent street flirting and lung-gurgling puffs of the harshest baccy, calling out around the world, are you ready for a brand new ideological heartbeat ?

Continue reading Read all about it ! End of the World edition !

Reclaim the Sheets

STOP PRESS: News from the future‏

This week, we’re printing a special publication, urging journalists
and big business to put people first. With 2020 hindsight, we’ll show
how action today made the future possible.

Without radical change, the world will soon be a hostile environment,
unleashing weather of mass destruction on our Age of Stupid. So what’s
stopping us? In simple terms: the economy, stupid.

Continue reading Reclaim the Sheets

Barack Obama’s Automobile Weakness

Barack Hussein Obama is not having a good 48 hours.

He utters a disablist gaffe on big time telly, then has Iran shut the door on him in a chiding huff when he proffers a hand of friendship.

But his biggest mistake of the last week is to throw money at the failing car industry.

Nobody’s buying cars. And the automobile manufacturers are not making many electric models, you know, the personal vehicles of choice for the Low Carbon future. So, what are the car companies going to do with the bailout ? Host cocktail parties ?

Five billion dollars. That’s a lot of good money being wasted.

What ? It will protect some jobs ? But what will the workers do if there are no cars to weld together ?

And Michelle cannot make up for this pointless splurge by planting a kitchen garden, really, noble and right though that is, to Dig for Victory.

Continue reading Barack Obama’s Automobile Weakness

Money Can’t Buy You Carbon Control

In all the flurry of debate about how to control Carbon Emissions, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the goal : Carbon Control.

If we are to “keep our eyes on the prize”, we really need to check how we’re doing and where we are from time to time.

It’s no good submitting to the Uncertainty Principle.

If controlling Carbon is absolutely essential, we can’t put our efforts into policies that have fuzzy outcomes.
Continue reading Money Can’t Buy You Carbon Control

Right on Perils – Wrong on Proposals

Professor John Beddington, the Daily Telegraph’s new favourite bearded authority, the Government’s Chief Scientist Adviser, has been talking up the risks of compounded crises from environmental stress.

I don’t know exactly why the Government has made this beard their new head geek. And I don’t know why the Daily Telegraph has adopted this beard as their new star. But it is definitely something about the beard in my view.

Are beards supposed to make a scientist trustworthy ? What about women scientists ? Do they need to have beards as well ? Or do women never make it to Chief ?
Continue reading Right on Perils – Wrong on Proposals