Burning forests around the world and burning coal in Washington

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported that the growth in greenhouse gas emissions over the past forty years has largely been down to increased use of energy. They mean by energy both power and heat, not just electrical energy. Continue reading

The Committee on Climate Change – Will Mr Miliband try to compromise with the laws of physics?

 

The United Kingdom Committee on Climate Change, an independent body set up by law  under the Climate Change Act has advised the UK government that the United Kingdom ought to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 21% of the 2005 figure for emissions by 2020 – in twelve years time. It sounds such a modest reduction especially when you consider that just to leave carbon dioxide levels the same as they were in 2005 the whole planet will have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% today. Because the greenhouse gas builds up cumulatively, a future reduction will not do much, especially by such a low figure. Continue reading

A new eco friendly standard

It is easy to become an eco sceptic because so many firms are claiming an environmental benefit of using their products in an effort to sell more by pricking the public conscience. Until recently the epithet “eco” or “eco friendly” is used with impunity; the Advertising Standards Association is getting complaints and is ruling on whether it is honest to make a whole series of eco friendly claims.

A recent claim by Scottish & Southern Energy under scheme claimed that their tree planting program would “balance out the CO2 that your gas heating and house waste produces.” Continue reading

Predicting the future climate

Fortune telling is the preserve of entertainers and charlatans but predicting future climate changes is a science, albeit one in its infancy and that is a paradox, considering just how complex this infant is. Nevertheless this infant science is all that our leaders have to guide them in making the decisions that they make today. Those decisions will shape our future in ways far more fundamental than decisions ever made throughout human history. Continue reading

Gordon Brown, markets and the need to cage the beast

Gordon Brown thinks that markets (and this this context he really means the financial markets) must reflect society’s values which include fairness, stewardship and co-operation. He is wrong on both counts, Markets actually never reflect society’s values, but operate on a value system of their own. All markets have to be competitive, uncooperative and only interested in stewardship in so far as it may affect the perceived interests of those operating in the markets. Continue reading

Taking the long view, for banking and the environment

For the past few weeks the main problem that has been exercising governments has been dealing with the crisis of confidence and trust in the world wide banking system. It has been an immediate problem and one that had to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. It looks as though, now that the various governments around the world have put in place measures that will lead to a bettered ordered safer banking system. Continue reading