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Thursday
Feb192015

Green shoots of decay

Having eschewed climate change and greenery to a large extent in recent years, the Edinburgh Science Festival has clearly found the lure of Paris too much for them and this year devotes a whole strand to energy and climate issues. Here's what they have to say about it.

We are merely the caretakers of our extraordinary planet; it does not belong to us but its future health depends directly on our current actions. Since the industrial revolution our demands for energy, largely from fossil fuels, have increased continuously, however our ideas about what is plentiful are now altering and we have to deal with the concept of changing our approach to energy while simultaneously dealing with the consequences of our past actions.

In December 2015 the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change will meet in Paris, bringing together the nations of the world with the objective of producing a binding universal agreement on limiting climate change. Looking ahead to this landmark event, we’ll be presenting a series of Energy and Environment events exploring and debating everything from controversial new sources of energy, like shale gas fracking (p.42), to the truth about the future of North Sea Oil (p.52). We’ll also be taking a light-hearted look at energy from unusual sources in a fun packed interactive evening: Unexpected Energy (p.39).

This urgent programme will culminate in an unmissable event The Road to Paris featuring Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in discussion with an influential panel (p.56).

The influential panel consists of Scottish Minister for Environment & Climate Change Aileen Macleod, Hadley Centre boss Stephen Belcher and Corinne Le Quéré from the Tyndall Centre.

Other interesting events for BH readers include a lecture on Scientism from philosopher Mary Midgeley, a discussion with James Lovelock, and bonkers geoscientist Bill McGuire talking about global catastrophes. There are also a couple of  "let's give the floor to the greens" events, one about something called "natural capital" and the other about our future energy supply.

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Reader Comments (27)

"We’ll also be taking a light-hearted look at energy from unusual sources in a fun packed interactive evening:..." We'll see how light-hearted it all is when the lights go out then won't we?

Feb 19, 2015 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

This urgent programme will culminate in an unmissable event The Road to Paris featuring Dr Rajendra Pachauri

I was going to say: "Time to lock up our wives and daughters?"

But it's not funny when there's no chance they'd have any interest whatsoever in the guy.

Feb 19, 2015 at 2:13 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

The Road to Paris featuring Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

I recall a Greenpeace activist being banned from leaving India because of pending court proceedings.

Er, sorry. I've lost my chain of thought.

Feb 19, 2015 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Mcourtney " I've lost my chain of thought."

Isn't it ridiculous that when this whole climate scam falls apart, that it would probably be some sex scandal (involving chains?) that does it. Not some well honed article by Steve McIntyre or any Sceptic proving that the temperature record was corrupted and/or they knew the models were wrong.

Feb 19, 2015 at 2:31 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

MikeHaseler I think was another world class bureaucrat, Strauss-Kahn, who recently said he preferred the swinging chains. I bet he'll also be up for it in Paris.

Feb 19, 2015 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Looking at the funding partners there would seem to be a fair degree of taxpayers dosh flowing to this self-congratulatory event! I wonder if we could persuade an Scotish colleague or two to ensure paoer failure at some crucial point in the proceedings?

Feb 19, 2015 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

What is it with these fairies?

No...we own it until Nature goes out on a real bender!!

Caretaker...yeah, of my 1500 sq mtr patch? la,la,la

Feb 19, 2015 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

Hopefully all of us here know about Malthus and Ehrlich but the average guy does not and I do not think Raj will be telling them anything either ^.^
Originally I believed the story that Malthus made a genuine mistake when he underestimated the ability of human ingenuity to solve problems. Now I know for sure that at least those repeating the Malthus theory today have a different agenda. They can keep running with the starvation theme until it gets debunked again but now they are pinning their hopes on Sustainable Development and the conservation of 'scarce' natural resources. In the UK we are in serious trouble because David Cameron is at the heart of UN thinking on this subject and we all know Dave's penchant for spending our money on leading the world.
ALL the resources we use at the moment are either IN or ON the earth's crust but this only represents 1.8% of the mass of the earth. We are many years away from identifying the location/existence of all these resources and we already have known energy related resources that will last hundreds of years (and thousands of years if you include nuclear) so where did the word 'scarce' come from?
We know that the Mantle contains huge resources of hydrocarbons but we do not yet have the technology to extract them safely does anybody think that will take 500 years?
The moon, asteroids, other planets in our solar system and all those twinkling lights in the night sky? Our future is full of natural resources, dependent only on our technological advances.
Dave Cameron has bought every lame donkey ever offered to him but surely there must come a time when he realises that he is being taken for a complete idiot by people who know that you only have to appeal to his vanity and he will take your story hook line and sinker.

Feb 19, 2015 at 3:32 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, David Cameron is Prime Minister.
He's made it. King of the hill. Top of the heap!

Why should he change what he's doing. It's working for him so far.

This is as good as it gets with Dave.

Feb 19, 2015 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

I agree completely with Dung (Feb 19, 2015 at 3:32 PM) when he/she says "Our future is full of natural resources, dependent only on our technological advances".

There will be an effectively infinite amount of resources, both energy and materials, available to us once we achieve practical access to space via cheap, frequent and reliable/safe space launch systems. Moreover, such access will also enable us to mitigate the real threats to all life on this planet that, unlike CAGW, are a scientifically proven fact (i.e. asteroid and/or comet impacts).

Feb 19, 2015 at 3:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Very grandiose to think that we are caretakers of a delicate planet rather than survivors on a hostile planet. When we are gone the next dominant species could be giant beetles. Their geologists will dig down to the beige plastic layer that represents all we left behind.

Feb 19, 2015 at 4:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

"This urgent programme will culminate in an unmissable event The Road to Paris featuring Dr Rajendra Pachauri"

"The Road to Paris".
At last - a sequel to "Return to Almora"!
My loins are a-quiver.

Feb 19, 2015 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJud

If Pachauri is found to have molested his staff ... I will bet that not a single socialist/feminist/HateNotHoper turns up to protest.

Feb 19, 2015 at 4:18 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

I expect Pachauri is also hoping not to miss, the unmissable event he is booked for. If you are forced to retire early, you might as well go out with a good bang, and not a grovelling whinger.

Has anybody seen the whine list for Paris yet? Whineing and dining is what the green luvvies love the most. Provided some one else is picking up the bill, and handing out millions of dollar ones in return, for doing nothing.

They are just thinking of their childrens school fees, you know.

Feb 19, 2015 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

In December 2015 the 21st Conference of the Parties on Climate Change will meet in Paris, bringing together the nations of the world with the objective of producing a binding universal agreement on limiting climate change.

While I can vaguely believe in the idea that the Earth may be running out of some resources, I would have thought a universal agreement was stretching it...

Feb 19, 2015 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

steveta uk, smally furry creatures from alpha centuri might disagree with you, if someone promised to pay them.

You should be aware that the consequences of increasing CO2 levels, are out of this world. CliSciFi writers are.

Feb 19, 2015 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

@JamesG

The Earth - with plastic. Yep

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W33HRc1A6c

Feb 19, 2015 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterVictoria Sponge

The below link is what I believe we are up against (we is open but it includes me in the specific climate skeptic sense and in the more general sustainability/green/"world order" insanity sense.).

I doubt most of the readers here will be able to get through it all. http://www.resilience.org/stories/2015-02-19/the-degrowth-alternative

Feb 19, 2015 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeC

4 out of 5 Greta lakes nearly frozen: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/19/4-of-the-5-great-lakes-about-to-freeze-over/

'It is an unusual event for 3 of the lakes to freeze over, which only happens once every 6 to 8 years. Four or more freezing is a most unusual event.'

I side with Abdumassatov who has called end 2014 as the start of the new Little Ice Age.

Feb 19, 2015 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC1701E

Sorry: Greta

Greta Garbo

Garbo Chicago

Chicago Lake Michigan

Michigan Frozen Again

Whatever.....:o)

Feb 19, 2015 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC1701E

NCC1701E The freezing of the Greta lakes will be a sure sign of global warming in the next IPCC report.

That you made them up, will go unnoticed by the peer review process.

Feb 19, 2015 at 6:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

with patchi on the panel it can be good fun?

Feb 19, 2015 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered Commentervenusnotwarmerduetoco2

We are merely the caretakers of our extraordinary planet Then we will be stewards. Then enviro-judges. Finally, enviro-inquisitors.

What a modesty.

Feb 19, 2015 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurious George

Patchi's previous incarnation as a guru probably makes him un-jailable:

www.d-boss.com/ipcc/ashram.jpg

Or the bendy Indian legal system will see him 110% innocent, albeit 120% hacked.

Either way, he'll be there.

Feb 20, 2015 at 8:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

If "the planet" does not belong to us, then who is the owner? Did the geoengineering crew get an assignment from the owner? In view of the lack of insight in how "the planet" works the current geoengineering and climate science crews are at the level of ship's doctors of the 18th century. I'm sure that if there is an owner he would not be pleased with these crews hacking in his property.

Feb 20, 2015 at 11:51 AM | Registered CommenterAlbert Stienstra

They're safe. They ate from the tree of knowledge of modeled climate, not the real tree. See, hahaha, we fooled you.
============

Feb 20, 2015 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Paris in December....

France 'de-nuclearising'...

What are the chances of it all going pear-shaped like Copenhagen..?

We can but hope....

Feb 20, 2015 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

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