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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    

Did the UN Summit Shift the Dial?

The UN Climate Summit has come and gone and leaders from many countries have made announcements, pledges or at least offered moral support. But are we any better off as a result? Reflecting on the last few days of meetings, events, panels and...

Posted September 29, 2014    

Climate Summit: Double Talk or Straight Talk

With the UN Climate Summit today, there has been a push to have new thinking and material ready for the event. One high profile release on September 16th was the report from The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, or Better Growth, Better...

Posted September 23, 2014    

Energy Reality Meets Climate Reality

In its enthusiasm to spread the word about the rapid uptake of renewable sources of energy, the Climate Reality Project recently circulated the picture below. It references the amount of wind energy, in particular, that is now being generated in the...

Posted September 19, 2014    

EU Bans and the Hairdryer Conundrum

Last week the UK media put a lot of effort into reporting on the EU ban on the sale of the most powerful vacuum cleaners and then extended the discussion to possible future action on other high end appliances that consume a lot of energy, such...

Posted September 10, 2014    

MIT Takes a View on a New Climate Agreement

In my most recent post outlining ten reasons why the global 2° C goal is more difficult than most commentators imagine, I referenced a new MIT report, Expectations for a New Climate Agreement, which looks at the prospects for the expected Paris...

Posted September 1, 2014    

10 Reasons Why 2°C Will Be Tough to Achieve

A recent story in The Guardian expressed some optimism that “humans will rise to the challenge of climate change”. Ten reasons were given to be hopeful, but not one of them mentioned the climate basics such as a carbon price or carbon capture...

Posted August 13, 2014    

Can an Economy Develop Without Coal?

While all fossil fuels are contributing to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, coal stands apart as really problematic, not just because of its CO2 emissions today (see chart, global emissions in millions of tonnes CO2 vs. time),...

Posted August 5, 2014    

The Complicated World of Methane

As governments struggle to find practical routes forward with positive outcomes for CO2 mitigation, attention is turning to dealing with other greenhouse gases, particularly methane. A number of methane emission initiatives are now underway or being...

Posted July 21, 2014    

Some More Pieces of the Paris Jigsaw?

As we head towards COP21 in Paris at the end of 2015, various initiatives are coming to the fore to support the process. So far these are non-governmental in nature, for example the “We Mean Business” initiative backed by organisations such as WBCSD...

Posted July 14, 2014