The Stuff that Dreams are Made on

The news of a scandal about carbon credits in Russia and Ukraine is unsurprising. The whole system of carbon credits involves paying people not to produce something that we do not want. It is an attempt to create a market in something that is both economically useless and dangerous by bribing industries not to produce the stuff.  Continue reading

There is no Free Lunch

It has been suggested that hydro electricity and nuclear energy are better alternatives to burning fossil fuel, because these sources do not provide emissions. Those suggestions are wrong. Continue reading

Reviewing Budgets From an Environmental Perspective

I used to review each UK budget for its impact on the environment. Governments would be keen to announce a series of measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, or to save energy or to any of the myriad things that should be done or could be done to protect what we have now for our descendants. Continue reading

Do You Remember the Stern Review?

Does anyone now remember Sir Nicholas Stern’s Review “the Economics of Climate Change” which made the headlines eight years ago? Mr Stern was respected economist who has worked for the World Bank and the UK Government, as well as holding professorships at pre-eminent universities. The Review comprised 575 pages and drew virtually all of the conclusions that most people who previously studied climate change issue have already reached and widely disseminated. Continue reading

A Bear of Very Little Brain

I wonder why in the United Kingdom the intellectual capacity of ministers and civil servants who deal with energy issues is so low. I know that I am being unusually rude, but energy and the environment are too important issues to have bears of very little brain in charge of policy.

Avid readers of these essays will know that I have always been opposed to wood burning power stations and will know the reason is that they cause terrible environmental damage. Continue reading

That Rubbish Tip at the Back of the Garden

China is a large country where many people live. For the past few decades it has opened factories while the developed nations have closed factories because things can be made cheaply in China. As a result the productivity in China has increased, along with economic growth and as surely as night follows day when rapid economic growth occurs so emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases rise inexorably to increasingly dangerous levels. Continue reading

One Last Binge

According to the European Union’s statistical agency, Eurostat, the carbon dioxide emissions of the United Kingdom have increased from 2011 to 2012 by 3.9%. This increase has occurred despite all the wind turbines that have been installed, despite all the new cars that burn petrol and diesel more efficiently, despite all the PV panels installed and all the other froth and bubble that the UK government uses to try and stem the tide of greenhouse gases that its nation produces. Continue reading