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In a new paper the IMF estimates global subsidies for fossil fuel energy implied by the underpricing of supply and environmental costs at a staggering $5.2 trillion in 2017, or 6.5 percent of world GDP

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Last Sunday I stood beneath an 80m tall wind turbine—its blade tips rushing past at 100 mph. It was a dramatic sight but the loudest sound I could hear was the singing of skylarks. This was quite striking as, a few days before, I’d been reading objections placed in 2015 against placing of a wind…

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A common refrain among those who oppose action on climate change is something along the lines of “Why should we take action? It won’t matter what we do, if China doesn’t do anything.” There is a superficial logic to this statement, but it lacks a proper understanding of the root causes of many global emissions…

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28th April 2019

Why price carbon?

That may sound like a stupid question, but when governments are failing to price carbon pollution at anywhere near the cost of the damage caused to society, it’s a question worth asking, though maybe it would be better to ask the reverse question: why aren’t we are pricing carbon? Why are we effectively subsidising fossil…

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Over the past two centuries we’ve added as much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as it already contained, and the amount should have doubled. However, the concentration has gone from just below 0.03% to just over 0.04%—about half the increase expected!

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It’s all very well demanding that Wiltshire Council declares a Climate Emergency but what can it actually do? The reaction of several councillors was a request that we set out concrete, practical steps. That seems reasonable to me and here are some ideas. To start with, we need a target. How many tonnes of carbon…

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Wiltshire produces more solar-electricity than any other county in the UK but we’re joint 190th for wind energy. In fact, we produce about 6000 times more energy from the Sun than we do from the wind. That’s quite a contrast and we could do better. Of course, many people find wind farms ugly and don’t…

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So the first rule of attending a conference on climate change and what we can do about it is not to add to the carbon emitted by getting there. So, Milly, Dave and I all traveled up by train to Lancaster to the Climate Emergency conference. (I love trains but at £118 for the journey,…

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31st March 2019

Climate Canary

We are about to lose all our shallow water tropical reefs. From Australia’s Great Barrier to the shifting shoals of the Bahamas, the world’s warm-water ecosystems are facing total destruction—possibly within ten to twenty years. The only way to avoid this catastrophe is to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 centigrade. There are many reasons…

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27th March 2019

The Hundred Tonne Diet

Don’t take my word—or anyone else’s—for anything. You don’t need to. The data is so clear that you can see, for yourself, the reality of human-induced climate change. The graph above has two curves. The first, in blue, shows the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide that we’ve put into the atmosphere since 1880 whilst, in…