Categories
Housing Podcast Policy

UK Schools need Low Carbon Buildings

I talk to Robin Nicholson, who is an architect at Cullinan Studios, an architecture co-operative which has been designing innovative low carbon buildings for 65 years, some of which are now listed, using design strategies such as passive solar as early as 1970. He was a key force in the creation of the Edge Debate, […]

Categories
Policy Energy Housing Podcast Transport

The Cumbria Coal Mine Debacle, UK Climate Policy & Other Snafus – with Chris Friedler of Decarbonise Now

Chris Friedler is a UK environmental lobbyist with Decarbonise Now with an extensive working knowledge of the UK climate policy – if that’s what it can be called nowadays. We talk about climate policy ranging from the new Cumbria coal mine (Britain’s first in decades) to energy policy, housing, transport, electric cars and everything in […]

Categories
Transport Economy Energy

Growth of Low Carbon Freight on UK Railways during COVID-19

The drop in passenger numbers on trains due to COVID-19 is boosting UK low carbon freight – they’re running 10% longer trains, with 10% more services and arriving 10% faster due to lower network congestion. One freight firm is running carbon-free across 2/3 the length of the British Isles, from Glasgow to Daventry, although they […]

Categories
Podcast Climate Justice

What is Climate Justice?

Kelo Uchendu is a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, an activist pushing for Climate Justice and an organiser of the MOCK-COP. This was the youth climate movement’s answer to the vacuum left by the UN’s delayed COP26. Kelo is a member of Gray 2 Green Movement in Nsukka and Students Organising for Sustainability. […]

Categories
History Economy Energy Podcast Psychology

Days of Coal in Calgary, Canada

Hugh Archibald White was born and brought up in Calgary, Canada in the 1940s and 50s. He gave me a run-down on their almost universal dependence on coal, illustrated with some great anecdotes about his grandfather, a coal and gas merchant, including: the vastness of Canada’s natural resources the railways and development low prices and […]

Categories
Climate Denial Climate Science

Top Proven Climate Denials for Everyday Use

Nobody asked for climate change and global warming, melting ice caps and rising sea levels. Which climate denial can you relate to? Here are my top denials, ranked by order of daftness on a Douglas Adams scale. Climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party, the Club of Rome and a satanic […]

Categories
Podcast Energy Transport

How Green is my Tesla?

This week I persuaded my old friend from Germany, Dirk Carstens, to give me the run-down on the pros and cons of owning a Tesla. He’s a trained physicist so there’s not much about the EV technology that phases him. Some of the stuff we discussed: the low bills the all-important battery, how to treat […]

Categories
Podcast Carbon Capture Economy Reefs, rainforests, glaciers Trees

Mangroves – vital coastal forests – with Bremley Lyngdoh of Earthbanc

Dr. Bremley W.B. Lyngdoh is Director Microfinance & Ecorestoration of Earthbanc, which enables smallholders to plant mangroves and build sustainable livelihoods by investing capital from their savers via microfinance. He’s made a career out of bringing people and organisations together to create environmental and agricultural projects. I caught up with him online in his home […]

Categories
Reefs, rainforests, glaciers Climate Denial Climate Science Podcast Psychology

Oceans – the #1 Most Important Natural Resource in the Fight against Climate Change

My guest on this week’s podcast is Danny Badger, fisheries scientist, educator, jellyfish nerd and general oceans expert, who’s worked at the New England Aquarium in Boston, USA and the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI). We discuss everything (almost)! from the size of sea-lions to dead zones talking to angry people […]

Categories
Energy Housing Podcast

Green Retrofit – turning a Victorian London House into a Superhome

I interview Kate Calvert, Superhome creator and North London resident: what happens when you do a green retrofit on a 19th Century terrace house solar panels, wall insulation, electricity bills local council planning regulations, bad buildings and bombs holding corporate building developers to their eco promises is carbon rationing like war-time rationing? Podcast Subscriptions More […]

Categories
Psychology

Shifting Baseline Syndrome

Finally some proof that if things happen slowly, we’re less likely to notice them. It’s called the Shifting Baseline Syndrome. This is one of the root causes of many of the issues which society faces today. Previously known as humans’ innate adaptability, what allowed us as a species to dominate the planet is now proving […]

Categories
Reefs, rainforests, glaciers

Coral Reefs

Coral reefs worldwide have been hit hard over the last few years, but they are far from lost. The survival of these amazing ecosystems will be the real test of whether society is in control of its future or not. People don’t realise how our oceans dominate the planet. The oceans absorb 90% of the […]

Categories
Transport Economy

All the electric vehicles

In the USA, the UK and the countries of western Europe, about 80% of adults own a car. These must all become electric vehicles in short order if the world is to avoid catastrophic climate change – the figures below show why. After 3 or 4 generations in everyday life, the car is now embedded […]

Categories
Climate Science

The Carbon Budget Made Simple

When student climate striker Greta Thunberg talks about “simple maths”, she means the carbon budget and how the 2015 Paris Climate Accord (and a normal 2050) is impossible under current policies. I personally don’t believe Paris 2015 is out of reach, because there are still so many possibilities of what might happen over the next […]

Categories
Economy Energy

The Humble Flywheel – Energy Storage part 2

The flywheel, feature of every Industrial Revolution museum, could save the electricity grid with its energy storage capabilities. If you’re not an engineer (which I’m not), then you too might have got confused by the recent headlines saying that the humble flywheel is actually an ingenious green invention, a “huge step forward” in running the […]

Categories
Carbon Capture Economy

Heavy Industry CO2 Emissions

BBC Futures ran an article on carbon capture from aluminium smelting in Iceland. Heavy industry CO2 emissions make for a heavy carbon footprint and it’s not just from burning fossil fuels: there are massive CO2 emissions from cement production, steel and aluminium smelting and the chemicals sector. I spoke to an engineer who worked in […]

Categories
Personal Carbon Trading Economy Trees

How to Reduce a whole City’s Carbon Footprint by 25%

In 2017 the Finnish city of Lahti declared they would become carbon-neutral by 2025. Now they must get each citizen to reduce their annual carbon footprint to 1.8 tonnes. While there are a few important omissions from their carbon footprint data e.g. flights, Lahti has quietly forged ahead in recent years weaving a kind of […]

Categories
Economy

COVID-19-driven Green New Deal

There are two big “Green New Deals” on the table: the US Democrats want one and are planning to bring it in next year, assuming they can win the November election and there’s the European Green New Deal, championed by Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission. The BBC ran an […]

Categories
Personal Carbon Trading Economy Policy

Personal Carbon Trading

Personal Carbon Trading or PCT is a mechanism for increasing flexibility and efficiency in a carbon rationing or cap-and-trade scheme, In a quota system where each participant receives a fixed amount of carbon rations that allow the emission of a certain amount of CO2, there are two problems where PCT helps: participants with an already […]

Categories
Personal Carbon Trading Energy Policy Transport

Lahti, Finland – Carbon Rationing in Action

The city of Lahti in Finland is running an experimental personal carbon trading scheme, with voluntary carbon rationing or quotas helping citizens reduce their carbon footprints as part of city-based sustainable transport programme. The city won almost €0.5 million from the European Union to run the project and hopes it will feed into the transformation […]

Categories
Trees

Ecosia really is Effortless Climate Action

Ecosia is the search engine that promises to use the advertising revenue they make from your searches to plant trees for the sake of the climate. I heard about this years ago but illogically refused to believe it and just ignored it – after all, planting trees alone wasn’t going to stop climate change, and […]

Categories
Energy Climate Denial Economy

The Energy Storage Issue

Houston we have a problem. It turns out that all those climate deniers who didn’t want us to invest in renewable energy were right – you can’t make electricity when the wind’s not blowing or the sun’s not shining. Actually the problem at the moment is the other way around. This sunny, windy weekend outside […]

Categories
Podcast

ABC Radio Australia podcast on Carbon Rationing

Had the chance of talking on ABC Australia radio about carbon footprints and carbon rationing on the Future Tense programme, along with a representative from the Finnish city of Lahti where they are running a prototype personal carbon trading scheme – here’s the podcast.

Categories
Carbon Capture Energy

Goodbye Coal

It’s got to go. There’s basically no overlooking the fact that coal releases 20% more CO2 emissions per kilowatt of energy produced than oil, and 60 to 70% more than natural gas. It’s the #1 climate destroyer. And there’s no overlooking how polluting it is in terms of local air quality, bringing never-ending respiratory problems […]

Categories
Climate Journalism Climate Denial

Jeremy Clarkson finds climate bashing too tempting

Back in November 2019 last year Jeremy Clarkson, lifelong petrol-head and scourge of the environmental movement, had a ‘green’ epiphany. He spoke of his experiences on the Mekong, confronted by one of the world’s great rivers reduced to a state that forced him and his team to cancel their plans. He gained praise from multiple […]