Spreadsheet data, charts and sources and look at this too.
Spreadsheet data, charts and sources and look at this too.
I’ve moved to the Sudan… and I’m sitting under a fan in Khartoum writing this… I’ve now been here a couple of weeks and am no longer totally lost. I’ve a new job as the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Representative for Sudan. We hail from UNEP’s Post-Conflict and Disaster Management Branch, which addresses the links [...]
I don’t want to do a full scale critique of biofuels – not least because that would be to enter an already crowded field [see Biofuelwatch and Global Subsidies Initiative, for example]. But it’s worth looking at how narrowly-focussed, bottom-up policy-making now means we have somehow put the most financial support into [...]
My otherwise peaceful morning slumber was disturbed by a radio interview announcing that social scientists Steve Rayner and Gwin Prins want to ‘ditch the Kyoto Protocol’. In a Nature commentary, Time to ditch the Kyoto Protocol, they have a go at the Kyoto Protocol and claim that ‘political correctness’ is inhibiting proper criticism and [...]
Sometimes you can be wading through a report and hit something that abruptly tells you it isn’t really worth reading on: the report is mad and you are wasting your time. And so it happened when reading through the SDC report Tidal Power in the UK, and coming across Table 33 on page 119 [...]
Once it was famous only for the ’70s Mod-revival band, The Merton Parkas. And, frankly, it wasn’t that famous even for them. But now the London Borough of Merton is famous for the eponymous ‘Merton Rule’. As the map left shows, local government across the nation [list] is at various stages of implementing [...]
There’s speculation in the papers [last weekend's Guardian, earlier in the Independent] that the government is to back the Severn Barrage. This huge project would capture renewable energy in the tidal movement of water in the Bristol Channel – the tidal range is one of the highest in the world: up to 15 [...]
One of the big questions for me is whether we devote too much land to farming and not enough to land use for wildlife, wilderness, woodland, places to walk and places to live etc. that is land for its ‘amenity’ value or for development. About 70% of England is given over to farming and only [...]
Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) argues that richer countries should be able to buy as much as all their emissions reductions through investments in emission reductions in developing countries [see BBC / interview]. Given the global atmosphere is indifferent to where on the surface the [...]
The Guardian exploded with indignation this week [Revealed: cover up plan on energy target; leader; letters], at the discovery of a leaked government memo discussing how the UK might wriggle out of a European Union renewables target – to reach 20% of EU energy consumption from renewables by 2020. In fact, the real [...]
We’ve had some horrible urban flooding impacts recently. But the outlook is pretty bleak too – the chart is from the 2004 Foresight Report Future Flooding, showing both potentially high future costs (rising from £270m to up to £15 billion) and large uncertainties involved. Now we have been reminded how bad it can [...]
As an employee of the Environment Agency, I am increasingly asked “what an earth is going on with all this flooding?”.
Is climate change to blame?
Maybe, but only maybe – and maybe not. There has been highest rainfall in parts of England since records began in 1766 (Met Office stats), but many have leapt [...]
Another day, another broadside against carbon emissions trading. The FT’s Martin Wolf offers advice to the new Chancellor, including:
While simplifying tax, he should also take a close look at green taxation. Simple taxes that apply across-the-board are what is needed. The grant of valuable rights to big polluters through systems known as [...]
Are you tired of trying to understand the 600-page Stern Review (eg. this perplexing graph showing a 13.8% loss of GDP in 193 years from now!)? Luckily, the government’s finest minds are rumoured to be preparing a simplified version in limerick form. Here’s my effort:
I ended my last post noting some recent critical commentary from the FT and Economist about emissions trading being an inferior approach to a carbon tax. Here they are again….
+ FT – Undercover Economist: Emission impossible 13 April + Economist – Cleaning Up – 31 May + Economist – Business and climate [...]
On May 23rd we had a new Energy White Paper and a new Planning White Paper. Both part of the government’s efforts to bring forward new nuclear power stations. The new energy policy makes a case for nuclear on energy security and climate change grounds. In fact nuclear dominates the energy white paper [...]
There is emerging conventional wisdom that people are concerned about the environment as never before, but are unwilling or unable to do much about it – for example, from last week’s Independent… Britons unwilling to change despite climate change. And that’s not unusual… but how realistic is it?
As one seasoned observer, who must remain anonymous, described Britain’s approach to climate change, “we have the best words in the world“. And, as an example, the Prime Minister’s speeches on climate change really are quite brilliant [example]
So, what is the UK Government doing? We have led the world in setting a bold plan [...]
There has been a kind of omertà over talking too much about adapting to climate change – to do so would surely be an act of resignation, a distraction from reducing emissions and effectively a ‘gated community’ mentality by rich countries that would look after themselves and build walls to keep out the poor.
Just looking at the text of the EU Council Presidency Conclusions from 9 March. The bit about renewables is to the left with some scrawl from me. I’ve already argued that this is a mad way to do policy [Renewables - why is the EU involved?] – it would be more sensible just to set [...]
I awoke today to the depressing sound of an eminent climate scientist arguing that other eminent climate scientists were going too far in making alarming statements about climate change. The self-styled purist was gathering at a Sense about Science meeting and was heroically guarding the pristine truths of science from the barbarians of the American [...]
Good speech and blog by David Miliband last week – opening up what should be big questions for everyone involved in the environment: what do we want to do with our land?
The vast majority of land in England, perhaps up to 87% is ‘green space’ – farming, forests and urban green space… see chart [...]
The politics of the now-closed road pricing petition have been terrible for the environment and quality of life, with 1.8 million people given a space to vent mob rage and duck difficult choices. Progress will slow, unjustified concessions will be made, and hesitation and equivocation will be the order of the day – at least [...]
I do occasionally enjoy an early morning BLT sandwich at Paddington station en route to the Bristol head office of my employer – a small comfort before what inevitably lies ahead. But imagine my horror to be informed that the humble bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich may have 31,000 “food miles” embodied in it (and [...]
The European Union has been busy setting out ambitious ideas for energy and climate policy – see Energy for a Changing World, and the climate change and energy announcements made in January. But is it trying to do too much of the wrong thing in trying to determine member states’ approach to renewables? I think [...]
A new system for citizens’ petitions on the Prime Minister’s web site has attracted well over 1 million signatures for a motion to: “Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy“. Extensive news coverage [BBC] and ministerial response [BBC] have followed. Despite a recent speech on Winning the debate on road pricing, Transport Secretary [...]
In many ways the IPCC 4th Assessment Report (known by aficionados as ‘AR4′) from the physical science working group confirms much we had already taken to be established beyond reasonable doubt (see summary). A huge impulse (greenhouse gas increases) is being applied to a complex physical system (atmosphere, oceans and carbon cycle) and modellers are [...]
I’ve already blogged on the completely dreadful economics of solar power… now it’s time to have a look at micro wind power, of the type favoured by David Cameron (see Guardian article)
First the basics… underpinning the physics of wind power is a ‘cubic law’ – the power output of a wind turbine is approximately [...]
Here are candidates for the most troubling graphs I came across in 2006. These are from the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre publication Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect [PDF] with my titles. The top chart shows very different possible paths for emissions of greenhouse gases for the rest of the century – depending on [...]
Time for another look at the Stern Review and what people have said about it. It’s received much critical acclaim: Stern even lined up five Nobel laureates and other notables to applaud at the launch [see here] and the BBC canvassed largely favourable expert opinions [here]. And I think it is an incredibly important [...]
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