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Monthly Archives: March 2017

The dark shadow that still haunts banking

Shadow Banking

The digital economy has largely been welcomed as a “disruptive force,” obliging old fashioned businesses to compete for custom with new lean internet companies like Uber and Google.  But disruptive businesses in banking may not be the positive development intended.  As Leonid Bershidsky at Bloomberg points out: “In a rivalry …

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That Scottish oil discovery in context

Scotland oil

Earlier this week the Hurricane Energy discovery of “up to a billion barrels” of oil in the North Sea was reported as some kind of energy miracle.  After 17 years of severe production declines, Scottish oil is back.  Suddenly IndyRef2 looks far more likely to deliver a vote for Scottish …

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Is it time for an alternative energy strategy?


While media attention was focused on the economic consequences of triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK economy quietly suffered a far greater shock.  Tucked away in the business pages was the news that Toshiba is placing its Westinghouse US nuclear unit into bankruptcy protection. At face value, …

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Ice melt and sea level rise accelerate

Polar ice melt

Polar weather events earlier this year have contributed to the lowest Arctic winter ice maximum since records began.  At the same time, Antarctica has the lowest summer sea ice ever recorded.  According to Maria-José Viñas from NASA’s Earth Science News Team: “This winter, a combination of warmer-than-average temperatures, winds unfavorable to …

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Electric cars will not save the day

EV spaces

We won’t be getting our shiny new electric cars anytime soon, according to Cuneyt Kazokoglu in the Financial Times: “The popular claim that a surge in electric cars will hasten the arrival of peak oil demand is undermined by the data. “The majority of the world’s cars will remain powered …

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Renewable Germany not so green after all

Green Germany

Germany is the poster child for renewable electricity.  Its rapid deployment of vast arrays of Chinese wind turbines has propelled it to the top of the European green energy league table.  But the German claim to be leading the way on clean energy hides a dark secret… German carbon dioxide …

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UK energy predicament deepens

Power Station by Martin Kelly

New government energy projections show Britain running out of energy before new capacity can be brought on stream. Most obviously, coal generation is due to be phased out by 2022.  Less obviously, the government is projecting that its favoured gas generation is expected to fall significantly in 2017 and to …

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Are cities the key to curbing climate change?

Green city

For several decades, the focus of climate campaigning has been on securing international deals such as the recent Paris Agreement.  To achieve this, campaigners within each country expend a lot of energy trying to push reluctant national governments into honouring and extending agreed international action plans. But are national governments …

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Trump’s environmental reality check

Norfolk Navy Base

It is hard to know what, if anything, Donald Trump really thinks about climate change.  In many public speeches he has claimed that climate change is a hoax.  On the other hand, this did not stop him applying to build a sea wall to protect his golf course on the …

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