Incoherence in Government

A story in this morning’s Guardian perfectly illustrates the policy incoherence that runs to the heart of the current government. It concerns Britain’s National Cycling network, a linked chain of over 16,500 miles of cycleways which are used by half the number of people who currently use the trains each year. Sustrans, the organisation responsible for […]

Climate disaster and how to avoid it

Today the IPCC came out with its sternest warning yet about the dangers the world faces if global warming isn’t held to 1.5degC. The thing is, we already know how Governments can do this. They tax the things they want less of and incentivise the things they want more of. This is simple and it […]

Climate Change: too true to be good

Great summary today at the RSA of climate change from Environment Agency head Sir James Bevan. He was concise and chilling on the enormity of the challenge of climate change and the catastrophic consequences of failure to act decisively.  Sir James Bevan Sadly, but predictably, he was less impressive in his assessment of the progress […]

More promise for solar breakthroughs

The 3D solar towers being developed by MIT illustrate just how much further we have to go in stretching the still new technology of solar power. These experimental towers are up to 20 times as efficient as today’s flat roof panels. If the British Government needed any further evidence that the plans for Hinkley Point are misguided, […]

Electricity self-sufficiency

Now here’s an idea: make it compulsory for all new buildings to be built with enough rooftop solar capacity to make them electricity-neutral throughout the year. At a stroke this would double the rate of growth of rooftop solar. According to Government figures published in January 2014 there were around 500,000 rooftop installations of solar panels in the UK […]

Ignoring the Elephant

Over the weekend I wrote a post called The Elephant in the Room where I talked about the tendency of journalists to ignore the issue of climate change when reporting energy stories. As if to prove the point Terry Macalister, the energy editor in this morning’s paper managed to write about Lord Browne’s plans to build a […]

The climate change narrative 

Winning the “carbon war” will be more about narratives than policy initiatives. That seemed to be the message of Jeremy Leggett, former Green Peace activist, and academic, current chairman of The Carbon Trust and founder of Solar Century, as he spoke to a meeting of the London Futurists. And key to these narratives are what he […]

The Elephant in the Room

It is great to see Alan Rusbridger driving a major push on Climate Change at The Guardian. Generally the coverage of the issue itself is good on The Guardian. But they suffer from a common problem. When journalists cover energy related subjects – say the trials and tribulations of the North Sea oil industry or […]

The Government’s paradoxical approach to the climate

This week saw two significant climate change events. Firstly climate scientists from NASA and NOAA officially confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Most scientists now believe that the world is on track for warming of 4C or 5C by the end of the century – and nobody knows what sort of a […]

Invisible Carbon Dioxide

Two stories in the press today illustrate magnificently the size of the mountain we still have to climb to climate change awareness, let alone decisive action. First the FT writes about the resurgence of interest in coal in the UK by Australian investors, then the Guardian writes about the Labour Party’s commitment to tighten up […]