Free-market red tape slashers are pitched against ministers backing a clean, green economy as the UK’s best long term bet. But who will win out?
The cast has changed following Theresa May’s reshuffle, but the play remains the same. It’s a struggle pitching free-market red tape slashers against those backing a clean, green economy as the UK’s best long term bet. The big question is whether this performance will have a different ending.Continue reading...
It’s time to pour our creative energies into imagining a new global economy. Infinite growth is a dangerous illusion
Earlier this year media outlets around the world announced that February had broken global temperature records by a shocking amount. March broke all the records, too. In June our screens were covered with surreal images of Paris flooding, the Seine bursting its banks and flowing into the streets. In London, the floods sent water pouring into the tube system right in the heart of Covent Garden. Roads in south-east London became rivers two metres deep.
With such extreme events becoming more commonplace, few deny climate change any longer. Finally, a consensus is crystallising around one all-important fact: fossil fuels are killing us. We need to switch to clean energy, and fast.
What would we do with 100% clean energy? Exactly what we’re doing with fossil fuels
If we keep growing at 3% a year, that means that every 20 years we need to double the size of the global economyContinue reading...
New study shows humans are influence the growth patterns of plants, but it’s not as simple as ‘greener is better’
The Earth’s climate is changing – in fact, it always changes. But in the current context of human influence, scientists try to decipher how much of the change is natural compared to human-induced.
One clear way humans influence the Earth is through the biosystem. For instance, farming changes the biosystem. By removing natural growth and planting annual crops that are harvested, we change the system in a way that could in turn affect other parts of the Earth system. In addition, the use of nitrogen based fertilizers can increase growth rate and lead to a greening of areas that are subject to fertilization.
The study shows that humans have caused significant hemispheric-scale changes in vegetation characteristics over the past three decades, predominantly through the physiological effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration on plant growth.
About one quarter of the carbon dioxide placed annually into the atmosphere by fossil fuel combustion has been hypothesized to be removed through enhanced vegetation growth and accumulation of organic carbon in land ecosystems. This study provides statistically robust evidence that vegetation growth is enhanced by higher carbon dioxide concentrations. Land ecosystems insulate society from some of the consequences of our alteration of the chemical composition of the atmosphere.Continue reading...
Ex-ministers and environmental groups condemn decision to axe ministry as downgrading action to tackle climate change
The abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change has been condemned by former ministers as a major setback to British efforts to combat global warming.
Decc was closed in a series of sweeping changes to the government unveiled by the new prime minister, Theresa May, on Thursday. Its functions, which include representing the UK at international climate talks, responsibility for meeting carbon targets and levying subsidies for green energy, have been transferred to a beefed-up business department led by Greg Clark.Continue reading...
Emails show the journalist and businessman wrote to UK energy minister to tell him about a US company with ‘fascinating new technology’
An influential Conservative member of the House of Lords has been accused of lobbying the government for the benefit of the coal industry, despite previously saying he does not argue for the industry’s interests.
Viscount Matt Ridley, a journalist and businessman, benefits financially from coalmines on his estate and has used his column in the Times newspaper to downplay the seriousness of climate change.Continue reading...