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Finding the Way to Paris from Lima

With the choice of a high road and a low road from Lima to Paris, the Parties seem to have selected the dirt track off to the side, replete with rocks, obstacles, difficult terrain and an uncertain destination. However, the map they have crafted in...

Posted December 16, 2014    

COP 20: Reality and Distortions in Lima

Wandering the COP20 campus, listening to side events and hearing senior political, business and NGO representatives talk about the climate issue results in a mild reality distortion field impairing your judgement; you start to feel sure that we must...

Posted December 11, 2014    

Brazil is Back; But Are They a Decade Late?

COP20 in Lima ended its first full week on a mixed note, but with some positive signs for the ongoing process. The detailed discussions on the role of carbon markets under the SBSTA ended in disagreement and postponement which was disheartening, but...

Posted December 9, 2014    

Getting Going in Lima?

COP 20 is now underway in Lima and I have been on the newly created site for two days. Less than three months ago this was apparently an empty piece of land in a large Peruvian government complex, but now it is a bustling and well fitted out set of...

Posted December 5, 2014    

China and Coal: The Reality Distortion Field is as Strong as Ever

In a post earlier this year I compared the endless claims around renewable energy to the famous “reality distortion field” (RDF) that was first employed by the Talosians in the original series of Star Trek, but was later linked with the...

Posted December 4, 2014    

Contraction and Convergence in Practice?

The in-tandem announcement last week by the USA and China caught many by surprise, resulted in lots of applause and back slapping and then raised questions as to which country has the tougher or easier deal. A bit of simple analysis offered below...

Posted November 24, 2014    

Two Views on Mitigation Economics

The annual Forum held by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change is always an interesting event, with excellent presentations and lively debate ensuing. The recent Forum held in Boston in early October was no exception...

Posted November 18, 2014    

Reflections on the IPCC Synthesis Report

The release of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report Synthesis document on Sunday was a useful reminder of the wealth of measurements, observations and science behind the reality of the anthropocene era and the impact it is having on global ecosystems....

Posted November 5, 2014    

A Bit of Thermodynamics

In conjunction with the ADP meeting in Bonn last week, the UNFCCC held a Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) on Carbon Capture and Storage. It was really good to see this critical technology finally getting some airtime at the UNFCCC and even more...

Posted November 3, 2014    

Still No Sign of the Rational Middle?

The Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, turned up in Queensland very recently to open a coal mine (the $US3.4 billion Caval Ridge Mine in Central Queensland, a joint venture between BHP and Mitsubishi which will produce 5.5 million tonnes...

Posted October 20, 2014    

Comparing Apples with Oranges

The Climate Group has posted an interesting story on its website and has been tweeting a key graph from the piece of work (below) with the attached text saying “From 2000 to 2012, wind and solar energy increased respectively 16-fold and 49-fold”.The...

Posted October 13, 2014    

Explaining Carbon Capture and Storage

My new book, Putting the Genie Back, goes to some length picking apart the climate issue and then explaining why carbon capture and storage (CCS) is such a critical part of the solution set. It eventually becomes clear when you really think it about...

Posted October 6, 2014