Monday , March 18 2019
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Tim Watkins

The green deal is hopium

Climate strike

The immediate urgency of Brexit has helped the UK avoid much of the “green new dealism” that is currently exercising our cousins on the other side of the Atlantic.  Along with school students around the world, ours are taking time out from classes to protest the imminent arrival of an …

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Brexit to last indefinitely

Brexit crackpot realism

Having succeeded in uniting the UK parliament in the only way possible, Theresa May has resorted to running down the clock in the vain hope that when MPs stare into the economic abyss of a no-deal Brexit they will recoil in horror and reluctantly vote through her deal.  The trouble …

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Turning low-EROI oil into no-EROI oil

US oil invasion

There is a story – possibly apocryphal – about a conversation between former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson and then President George W. Bush at a swanky Washington dinner party in 2003, in which Tillerson is reputed to have remarked: “FFS George why do you want to invade Iraq?  Why not …

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Caught in the trawl net

The economic net is closing in

On both sides of the Atlantic there has been a growing public recognition of a gathering “retail apocalypse” as famous name chain stores have been plunged into bankruptcy.  The crisis, however, has only made its way into the consciousness of the mainstream media and onto the agenda of the political …

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An unknown unknown

Fracking damage

In order to secure licenses to carry out fracking in the UK, the oil and gas companies involved signed up to a tight regulatory framework.  In part, this was done to sell fracking to a highly sceptical population.  Given Britain’s long history of extractive industries poisoning land and water courses …

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Economic musical chairs

Economic musical chairs

Sometime last year we reached the high tide mark for the latest economic cycle.  Between 2010 and 2018 and despite anaemic growth in the real economy, stock markets had been on an uninterrupted upward march.  By the end of 2018 that had changed.  Volatility was back, producing wild ups and …

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A dangerous exercise in self-delusion

Brexit delusion

Writer and one-time political candidate Upton Sinclair famously observed that: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”  With this in mind, we might want to consider the ongoing Tory blindness to the way their own actions have completely …

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For Britain’s energy future look at its railways

Train overcrowding

If there is one thing that Britons like to complain about more than the weather it is the state of the trains.  An overwhelming majority of us in poll after poll believe that things were better back in the days before the unnecessarily complex Tory privatisation in 1996.  The current …

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Climate change denial (the other sort) is alive and well

Yellow vest protestors

There is broad agreement that 2018 was the worst year yet for the environment.  According to the New York Times “The Story of 2018 Was Climate Change;” while the Washington Post informed us that: “Extreme weather in 2018 was a raging, howling signal of climate change.”  Meanwhile on this side …

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The end of the Eloi


There is a scene in H.G. Well’s book The Time Machine when, far in the future, the time traveller encounters a group of people called the Eloi.  These people appear to live an idyllic lifestyle in which all of their needs are catered for.  But as the traveller moves toward …

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