Read all about it!

Stop the presses, read all about it!  Saudi Arabia does not like Iran! The Royal Family are prone to gaffes! Mr Putin is really in charge of Russia and no one likes America and they don’t care! I have not read any of the top secret cables published by wikileaks on the web, and I do not expect to read any. Many of them from the present reports seem to be statements of the bleeding obvious. Continue reading

Mr Cameron’s Green Agenda

Politicians and leaders of nations have two ways of communicating their ideas to the public. The first is in a speech; they universally like to make speeches and they probably attach too much importance to their effect. The second way is by writing. In writing the words can be studied, and it is easier to form a logical reaction to the words and develop arguments supporting or gainsaying what is written without the interference of emotion that political rhetoric raises.

Mr Cameron, the Prime Minister of Her Majesty’s Government, wrote yesterday in the Observer newspaper about a green economy. He writes “there is a compelling economic case to be made for fighting climate change …The green effort should not be downgraded or swept under the carpet because of spending cuts and austerity…” Continue reading

Is this the energy age?

Ideas govern us, not men. Of course men interpret the ideas, and often corrupt them in their translation into action, but nevertheless ideas are the source of the rules and behaviours that govern us.

Every time period is governed by an idea. Longer time periods are governed by big ideas and are usually too hard to identify until the period it well past. For example those who lived in the Bronze Age never knew that it was the bronze age; only through the filter of history did the name of the age become apparent. Achilles never knew he was a Bronze Age man.

Today I think we live in the energy age, as energy defines Continue reading

Global warming continues and 2010 may be the warmest recorded year

As I am writing this it is very cold, for London, right now and some parts of the United Kingdom are covered in snow. More freezing weather is forecast. In January and February of this year London had one of the coldest winters for many years. But the world does not comprise London or even the United Kingdom.

On a worldwide basis the UK’s Met Office has been looking at data about the climate in 2010 so far. They report that according to NASA 2010 will be the hottest year recorded and according to the UK’s own data (HadCRUT3) the world is heading for its second hottest year. We will not know until the data for 2010 is complete but the previous record hottest year was 1998. The long term warming trend is a rise of between 0.5 and 0.16 Celsius a year, according to whose data is used. However, the data is incomplete because we cannot collect data from everywhere and some regions are poorly represented and the amount of heat energy going into the oceans of the planet is not properly understood.

In summary, global warming continues, but we cannot say that the rate is of warming is slowing permanently or that global warming has reached a plateau.

Cancun will not save the planet

The Climate Change Conference at Cancun, which is due to start on 29th November, is actually not a single event but five separate events all taking place together. If the numbers of conferences alone are enough to save our planet, then Cancun will save the planet. Continue reading

Africa and climate change; no one says it has to be fair

Mark Twain observed that the thing about land is that they have stopped making it. The observation is not quite true, because land is being made as estuaries silt up and volcanoes erupt, but land is also being lost as cliffs are eroded and coastlines fight against sea levels which are marginally rising. If no new land is being made, what is certain is that much land is being spoiled, and spoiled by human activity. Continue reading

The top eight environmental felonies

I wrote about the top ten environmental misdemeanours recently and I now present my list of the top eight environmental felonies, which are more serious environmental crimes than mere misdemeanours. There are hundreds of environmental misdemeanours, but few environmental crimes. Continue reading

Carbon Emission Fell by 1.3% in 2009

Headlines are misleading, and no more so than those that relate to climate change including my headline. Climate change is like something that happens bit by bit and very slowly when measured in terms of a single human life. The very slowness of climate change makes it no less a problem; the mills grind slow but exceeding fine. Continue reading

Bankers playing Russian Roulette with a difference

I wish I owned a bank based in the Eurozone. If I did I would do what some European banks are doing. Iain Dey, Deputy Business Editor of the Observer described their cunning plan in his column on Sunday. This is what it is. Continue reading

Top Ten Environmental Misdemeanours

English Law used to distinguish between three categories of crime: treason, felonies and misdemeanours. Treason is self explanatory. A felony was usually a serious crime; a misdemeanour was less serious. Felonies were tried by jury and usually exacted much harsher punishments; misdemeanours were not usually tried by juries and were usually punished by fines. The distinction was technically abolished in 1967 in England and Wales. You could categorise environmental wrong doing in terms of felonies and misdemeanours. Top of the felony scale would be behaviours such as permitting a coal burning power station. When it comes to environmental crime there are more misdemeanours than felonies. Here is my list of the top ten environmental misdemeanours: Continue reading