Climate change denial

13 08 2009

The journalist George Monbiot has challenged climate change denialist, Professor Ian Plimer, to a ‘dual’. Monbiot has taken issue with a number of points made in Plimer’s book, Heaven and Earth, and seeks clarification on them in writing before a public debate begins. Here is a sample of points made in Plimer’s book that Monbiot, quite rightly, questions:

“the last two years of global cooling have erased nearly thirty years of temperature increase.”

“NASA now states that […] the warmest year was 1934.”

“the sea ice has expanded”

“If the current atmospheric CO2 content of 380 ppmv were doubled to 760 ppmv […] [a]n     increase of 0.5C is likely”

“About 98% of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere is due to water vapour.”

“satellites and radiosondes show that there is no global warming.”

“The Hadley Centre in the UK has shown that warming stopped in 1998″

“Volcanoes produce more CO2 than the world’s cars and industries combined.”

“termite methane emissions are 20 times potent than human CO2 emissions”.

See here, for Monbiot’s questions in full.


India: Solar scheme postponed

11 08 2009

Further to post from August 6 on the potential for solar revolution in India, Gaia Vince has reported today that the government’s 20GW energy plan has suffered a serious setback.

The planned $20bn (£12.1bn) of government investment, which appeared in draft documents for such a scheme, has been withdrawn. Whether or not foreign/private investment will be made remains to be seen.

Bonn Climate Change Talks

10 08 2009

The countdown to the Copenhagen Climate Conference has begun. Just 118 days remain until members of the UNFCCC meet to discuss climate change and the task of renewing the Kyoto Protocol.

The August 10-14 Bonn conference is supposed to be an informal meeting of ‘world climate negotiators’. Their brief is to edit many pages of proposals that have been submitted for consideration at Copenhagen.

Michael Zammit Cutajar, who chairs a working group of the UNFCC, told Reuters that the current document is ‘horribly complicated.’

Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UNFCC, was a litte more positive:

We are at an exciting point in the negotiations which can lead us to the turning point in the fight against climate change at Copenhagen.

At the UNFCCC Bonn session in June, the negotiating text was enriched and expanded. At this meeting, governments have a significant opportunity to make further concrete and substantive progress on the text, narrowing down options and simplifying and shortening the negotiating text.

A live webcast will be streamed this Wednesday (12 August, approx. 3 p.m. CEST) from Bonn.

Solar Ferry

10 08 2009

News bite

9 08 2009

Dot Eco:

Rival environmental groups are lining up supporters to try to take control of a new net domain aimed at green groups. At least two consortiums are known to be preparing bids to control .eco.

Full article at BBC technology.


Taking his now-traditional summertime action-man trip – this time to the bottom of Lake Baikal – [Vladimir] Putin emerged from the depths with news that Deripaska could reopen his pulp mill on the shores of the lake, less than a year after it was shut due to environmental concerns.

Full article at Moscow News.


US Secretary of Energy, Stephen Chu, appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” a couple of weeks back. He also uses Facebook. He is, therefore, flavour of the month with the

Bangers ‘n’ Cash

7 08 2009

And in the UK, the ‘cash for bangers’ scheme is also beginning to make waves. It has been reported that one in five new cars registered last month were purchased under the scheme. Since Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, began the scheme in May, 144, 308 new cars have been bought.
A decision on whether or not to renew the scrappage scheme will be made February next year.

Source: Daily Telegraph

Clunkers cash boost

7 08 2009

The U.S. Senate today approved, as expected, a further $2 billion for the ‘cash for clunkers’ program. The extension was approved in the Senate by a majority of 60 to 37.
According to Reuters, sport utilities, pickups and vans have been heavily outsold by more fuel-efficient passenger cars as a result of the scheme.