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Contraction and Convergence in Practice?

The in-tandem announcement last week by the USA and China caught many by surprise, resulted in lots of applause and back slapping and then raised questions as to which country has the tougher or easier deal. A bit of simple analysis offered below...

Posted November 24, 2014    

Two Views on Mitigation Economics

The annual Forum held by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change is always an interesting event, with excellent presentations and lively debate ensuing. The recent Forum held in Boston in early October was no exception...

Posted November 18, 2014    

Reflections on the IPCC Synthesis Report

The release of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report Synthesis document on Sunday was a useful reminder of the wealth of measurements, observations and science behind the reality of the anthropocene era and the impact it is having on global ecosystems....

Posted November 5, 2014    

A Bit of Thermodynamics

In conjunction with the ADP meeting in Bonn last week, the UNFCCC held a Technical Expert Meeting (TEM) on Carbon Capture and Storage. It was really good to see this critical technology finally getting some airtime at the UNFCCC and even more...

Posted November 3, 2014    

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