Sustainable Development and Governments

The Sustainable Development Commission is abolished. Its role was to act as a watchdog and bark when the Government did not implement its sustainable development strategy within its own departments. It was supposed to ensure that the government did embed the principles of sustainable development within government decision making. I can understand why it has been abolished. Continue reading

When boasting is not enough

When it comes to renewable energy Ministers in the United Kingdom have always talked a big game. They have claimed for many years that Britain is a world leader in climate change too, pointing out the Climate Change Act which makes it unlawful for governments not to reach emission reduction targets but without any penalty being imposed for the future. Ministers trumpeted the expertise and excellence of Britain’s renewable energy.

If there was a World Cup for renewable energy we would find that the performance of the United Kingdom more lamentable than the performance of England in the real World Cup.  I doubt if we would get into past the qualifying competition. We simply do not have enough of it and we have little expertise in it, which for a resource that will become increasingly important to our safety, well being and economy, is rather an odd situation. Continue reading

Enforcing the law – or ignoring it, depends on whether you are the Government

The Association for the Conservation of Energy together with “Unlock Democracy” have prepared a report which I find rather disturbing. It shows in clear and unequivocal terms just how the Government has ignored the very laws it passed to alleviate fuel poverty and to improve the domestic efficiency in homes.

You may find it rather astonishing that a Government goes to the trouble of passing laws and the simply ignores them and refuses to enforce them. If you have found yourself running foul of any of the 3600 new criminal offences that the Government has created in the past thirteen years you will find meticulous and unnecessary enforcement of them by all kinds of people. If you now enter the United Kingdom with a British Passport Continue reading

David King’s unfounded optimism

David King was the Chief Scientific Advisor to the United Kingdom Government for seven years until 2007. He has many honours and qualifications. He has done a great deal to warn of the dangers of climate change. Writing for the BBC’s website ( he expressed the view that the failure of the world’s politicians to reach agreement at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen should be regarded as an opportunity for individuals to fill the void in carbon dioxide emission reducing measures. He is, of course, just whistling in the wind, or is it whistling in the dark, or just plain whistling Dixie? Continue reading

David Kidney and the United Kingdom’s world leadership on carbon

It is always interesting to visit the House of Commons. It is a fine building perhaps in recent years let down by the antics of its occupants, so when I was invited to an event there by National Energy Action, the fuel poverty charity, I turned up. Continue reading

“facilis descensus Averni” and easy is the descent into climate change

In 118 days time delegates from all the countries in the world will meet in Copenhagen to try and reach agreement on a new climate change treaty. The old treaty, signed at Kyoto, has provided really no more than awareness on the world stage about the seriousness of the potential problem that a changing climate will bring us.

The United States, China and India either refused to sign up to Kyoto or were exempted from its obligations, so it would have been foolhardy to expect Kyoto to make a difference. Ultimately only people will determine whether the planet upon which we depend will be ravaged by a changed climate created by the effects of global warming. Nevertheless treaties may also play part. Continue reading

Time for the climate change talk to stop

To permit the climate to change or not to permit the climate to change; that is the question. You can read, see and hear about the importance of address climate change every day. Most of the talking is done by scientists and politicians. The former group can see the evil of climate change that threatens us and the latter group do the talking, but the talking by the politicians give rise to very little action. Continue reading

Climate change and government inaction

I do not often agree with the Energy Savings Trust, which I think tends to serve as an organisation that gets more public funding than it merits, having regard to its results, but When Phillp Sellwod, Chief Executive of the Energy Savings Trust recently criticised the Government he and I were singing off the same hymn sheet. Continue reading

Who regulates the climate change regulators

When he wrote about the great crash of 1929, Professor J K Galbraith wrote (and here I paraphrase his words) that it is always hard to find a way of regulating the regulators, but even harder to impart wisdom in those who should be wise. I am not going to write about the credit crunch – far too much is being written and broadcast about it in the United Kingdom, it is almost as if the journalists and broadcasters are creating a self fulfilling prophesy for the sake of a good story that sells media. No, I am going to look at Galbraith’s comments in the context of climate change. Continue reading

Reducing emissions in the undeveloped world

As the climate change conference ends in Poznan with the developing countries led by the Europeans deciding that protecting the short term interests of their economies is more important than protecting the interests of their children and grandchildren, we are seeing the nations of the developed world making a choice. It is the wrong choice. Continue reading