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Wednesday
Apr152015

Ecomodernism

Sometimes you find support for your position in the most unlikely places. In the New York Times, Eduardo Porter has been looking at the "Eco-modernist Manifesto", a document produced by a group of (mainly) academics including several from the Breakthrough Institute and Mark Lynas as well.

Here's the introduction to the manifesto.

To say that the Earth is a human planet becomes truer every day. Humans are made from the Earth, and the Earth is remade by human hands. Many earth scientists express this by stating that the Earth has entered a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans.

As scholars, scientists, campaigners, and citizens, we write with the conviction that knowledge and technology, applied with wisdom, might allow for a good, or even great, Anthropocene. A good Anthropocene demands that humans use their growing social, economic, and technological powers to make life better for people, stabilize the climate, and protect the natural world.

In this, we affirm one long-standing environmental ideal, that humanity must shrink its impacts on the environment to make more room for nature, while we reject another, that human societies must harmonize with nature to avoid economic and ecological collapse.

Remarkably, Porter seems to accept these views and even suggest that depriving destitute Africans of the benefits of fossil fuels is not actually a good thing to do.

Exciting times.

Tuesday
Apr142015

Tory comedy

Not that the Conservative manifesto is much better. Here are some excerpts. First up is a proposal to put a non-endangered species on the endangered species list:

 

We will press for full ‘endangered species’ status for polar bears and a ban on the international trade in polar bear skins, as well as for greater attention to be paid to the impact of climate change on wildlife and habitats in Polar Regions in the Arctic Council and other international fora.

Then there is a case of highlighting "things we have done nothing to change":

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr142015

Comedy greenery

Many people of my generation lament the state of British comedy, so it's nice to have the Green Party to restore faith in our ability to raise a laugh. The party's manifesto, released today, must rank as one of the funniest things I've seen since Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Opening with the observation that there is a big problem with fuel poverty, Ms Bennett announces that the problem must be addressed by a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. That's by 2030. With full conversion to a zero-carbon economy by 2050. Oh yes, and this is going to be achieved through better energy efficiency, a massive investment in renewables, phasing out nuclear and coal and a ban on domestic production of gas from unconventional sources. Simples.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr142015

Tyndale's pragmatism

Stephen Tindale, the former head of Greenpeace UK, has a post up at the RTCC website. Tindale has come to the attention of this blog before, you may recall, because of his newfound level-headedness on environmental issues now that he is no longer trying to keep a big green scaremongering machine solvent.

In today's post he is speaking in similar vein, taking environmental campaigners to task for their lack of pragmatism. This is welcome, of course, although unfortunately his idea of pragmatism seems somewhat different to mine. So while he takes his fellow greens to task for their visceral anticapitalism and their on-off hatred for technological advancement, he seems remarkably keen on carbon capture and storage, an idea that could best be described as "rather far-fetched". His suggestion that renewables are the best source of energy is similarly preposterous.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr142015

The Salby lecture

Murry Salby's recent lecture in London can now be seen on YouTube.

Monday
Apr132015

The headline and the detail

A headline at lefty smear site DeSmog:

Two funders of Lord Lawson's climate denial charity linked to energy industry.

The funders concerned are Lord Cavendish and Bryan Bateman. Their energy industry links are detailed later in the article. Lord Cavendish:

...recalls being the first person in Britain to build wind farms.

while Bateman is

a former engineer working on nuclear power stations.

So those links are to the low-carbon energy industry then.

Monday
Apr132015

Science and power

A fascinating speech by New Zealand chemist Nicola Gaston on the subject of scientists relationship to the public reveals someone who is thinking deeply about the trials and tribulations of publically funded scientists and the role that power plays. I don't think she is quite there, but this certainly represents a step forward.

Gaston notes firstly that politicians have power over scientists in a way that often prevents the latter from speaking freely, but then moves on to consider the power that scientists have over the public:

[T]he use of expertise — or rather, the misuse of academic status as a proxy for expertise on a particular question of public interest, is an exercise of power. The exercise of such power is at its most blatant when it happens along the lines of ‘trust me, I’m a scientist’ and at its most useful when the scientist involved is willing to explain the science. But there is always a power dynamic in any form of science communication, and understanding that has to be a prerequisite to doing it well.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr122015

Diary date - FOI tribunal edition

This is a guest post by David Holland

At 10 am On Friday 17 April, in Northampton, I have the dubious pleasure of squaring up for the second time against the Met Office over Zero Order Drafts of an IPCC Assessment Report. I am no Perry Mason and the hearing was not my idea, so I am not recommending that anyone turn up for a stellar performance from me. But if anyone in the area is contemplating an appeal of an FOI decision, it is an opportunity to see an oral hearing.

As you may know at the first oral contest with the Met Office, over the seven AR5 ZODs that had not been leaked, I lost.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr112015

What's your view?

 I have noticed an increase in references to hydrogen as fuel in the press lately.

Here are a couple for your comments - one appears dubious, while the  other enthuses about wind-powerd hydrogen storage facilities.

TM

Thursday
Apr092015

Diary date- Royal Society

A meeting at the Royal Society next week.

Are the greens after the chemists now or have they been  infiltrated already?

 TM

Thursday
Apr092015

Greenpeace oil wars

I missed this article on WUWT yesterday. illegal and dangerous actions by Greenpeace once again. Not foolhardy enough to try it on the Russians this time.

As one of the commenters points out- what do these activists  think their ship powered by?

TM

 Updated 13.44  9 April 2015 In case you wondered about their supply ship the Esperanza, here are some details. So glad to read they have an efficient diesel electric system.....

 Updated 8am 12 April 2015  

Six Greenpeace activists who scaled an Arctic-bound Shell oil drilling rig in the middle of the Pacific Ocean abseiled down on Saturday, with the oil giant securing a restraining order against the environmental group.

 Read it here.

TM

Thursday
Apr092015

Diary date - Berlin

 I shan't be going to this, will you?

How many more of these non-elected organisations are there beavering away demanding that the planet be saved - or else?  I suspect the Greek debt could be paid off if in its entirety if these pressure groups were all deprived of the money they receive to operate.

TM

 

 

Wednesday
Apr082015

Green children.....

News from Balcombe

To paraphrase Ignatius Loyola: Give me child  while he is still at school and I can make him think the way I think he should.

TM [LInk repaired]

 Update 8.40am  12 April 2015

It is alarming to see that the Australians schools are at it too, in what appears to be a more organised way

See  the article from Quadrant on GWPF

Tuesday
Apr072015

Diary dates, not to be missed edition

I recently became aware of a seminar taking place in London at the end of the month. Run by the Central London branch of the British Universities Industrial Relations Association, it looks as if it absolutely should not be missed.

Central London BUIRA Seminar

Climate Change, Work, Labour and Trade Unions, with Professor Fred Steward (Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster) on Labour and the Green Economy and Dr Paul Hampton (Fire Brigades Union) on Trade unions and climate change in the UK: prisoners of neoliberalism or swords of climate justice?

Followed by round table discussion on what trade unions can do with Sarah Pearce (Unison), Graham Petersen (UCU), Igor Diaz and Jairo Quiroz from the Columbian coal miners’ union SINTRACARBON, and Christine Haigh from Global Justice.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr062015

'Conversation that Matters' with Freeman Dyson

Click the image to take you to wonderful video of Freeman Dyson in conversation with Stuart McNish - it's twenty minutes of refreshing brilliance.

H/t Hilary Ostrov.

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