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The limits of red alerts

When you’ve already declared a “Climate Emergency” based on the belief that we have just eight years left to prevent global warming of two degrees above pre-industrial levels, then it is difficult to find further words to describe the seriousness of our predicament.  This is why lazy media editors around …

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Ill-prepared for the coming shit storm

Thames Water is a stereotype for everything wrong with neoliberalism.  Privatised under Margaret Thatcher, the corporation was meant to bring efficiency and innovation to London’s creaking Victorian water and sewage system.  It didn’t work out that way.   As Gill Plimmer and Javier Espinoza at the Financial Times reported in 2017: …

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The limits of green idealism

Cynics will no doubt point to the coincidence of the UK government announcing a “plan” to decarbonise transport just as preparations for the COP26 conference are gathering pace.  After all, having signally failed to decarbonise the 20 percent of our energy which comes in the form of electricity – fossil …

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A surprisingly honest appraisal

In recent years we have witnessed the Damascene conversion of the Tory Party from the party of big oil to the party of all things green and wonderful.  Boris Johnson now sees the proposed green energy revolution as the means of both leading the world on climate and in “levelling …

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Another crisis you haven’t heard of…

We don’t like to talk about it; but “peak death” is looming in the UK.  More children were born in 1947 than any year before or since.  And so, with a life expectancy of 87 – at least prior to the pandemic – we can expect more people to curl …

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Are you still buying this?

It is nearly a decade since David MacKay delivered that TED talk.  MacKay has since, sadly, passed away. The bright green giant that he attempted to slay has, unfortunately, gone from strength to strength… “… whichever of those renewables you pick, the message is, whatever mix of those renewables you’re …

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Beyond the auction of promises

Two years ago, the Welsh Government declared something called a “Climate Emergency;”  apparently signing up to the Extinction Rebellion proposition that to save the planet – by which, of course, they mean to save our way of life; since the planet would be better off without us – we have …

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Trading safety for peace of mind

In his 1987 book, Our Own Worst Enemy, psychologist Norman F. Dixon introduces the concept of “trading safety for peace of mind.” It describes a phenomenon at the very core of human nature; our tendency to avoid bad news.  It refers to that person who chooses to believe that there …

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Let’s talk CROCI

The one thing that green campaigners share with economists is (with a few notable exceptions) complete blindness to energy.  This may seem an odd claim, given that most green campaigners spend their waking hours arguing for a shift from one source of energy – fossil fuels – to another – …

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Not the answer we asked for

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin is reputed to have said, “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.”  Something similar could be said of the Citizen’s Assemblies that Extinction Rebellion propose as the ideal form of government to shepherd us to the bright green promised land. Although …

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