Climate Change

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On Friday 1st August 1834 the Slavery Abolition Act, which had been passed the previous year in Parliament, came into force.  The gradual freeing of slaves throughout the British Empire began and was complete by 1838 (except in India which was a few years later).   The Act was principally passed not for economic or…

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Twitter can be a fine thing. A while ago I chanced upon Peter Kalmus, author of ‘Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution’ and climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I was drawn to follow him because of his positive messaging about how our individual lifestyle choices do indeed count. He…

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Is technology constraint the main reason we have been unable to drive carbon out of the economy? Is there a stark choice between on the one hand cutting back on our high carbon burning lifestyles in the West and on the other hand allowing global warming to damage the most vulnerable? Or are there viable…

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When evangelical Christian Katharine Hayhoe is asked ‘do you believe in climate change?’, she answers, ‘no’. You’d be forgiven for thinking she’s just another religious climate denier. But you’d be wrong. Canadian-born Katharine is a professor of atmospheric science, number 15 on this year’s Fortune World Greatest Leaders list and scientific adviser to Citizens Climate…

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8th November 2017

Motivating Energy Reduction

In my last post, I wrote about how we would be more inclined to fight climate change if we focused on an immediate threat we could see: pollution. However, acting to reduce consumption only on obviously polluted days is just not enough to make a meaningful dent in UK emissions. In reality, the air in…

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How can we make people care about climate change? Do we show them polar bears perched atop wobbly icebergs? Do we warn them about melting glaciers in Greenland? This seems to work, at least while we’re having the discussion. But then, they forget. They go back to their old ways. Ultimately, humans simply don’t have…

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Investment company, Goldman Sachs’ recent research forecasts renewable energy to be cheaper than other forms of power by 2020. Alberto Gandolfi, from Goldman Sachs Research said, What started as a decarbonisation process – thanks to better technology – is about to become a process driven by costs and the economics. This sounds like more proof…

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The climate problem presents a profound challenge to the current economic paradigm. Markets have largely evolved as systems for rewarding those who externalise the most. Pricing in the environmental cost of burning fossil fuels will entail a system-level reworking of the global economy. There’s also the problem of what kinds of policy are politically viable.…

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The Carbon Price Floor was introduced in 2013 in order to ensure that the price on carbon in the UK remained in line with our decarbonisation targets – the carbon price the EU Emissions Trading Scheme was delivering wasn’t (and still isn’t) high enough. The original target was to achieve a price of £30 per…

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It was anounced yesterday that David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have signed a joint pledge to tackle climate change. (1) The joint declaration states. “Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today. It is not just a threat to the environment, but also to our national and global…