This is the place to learn about what’s what and why – the Hitchhikers Guide to Climate Change, a climate-based knowledge base. “Don’t Panic!” would have been a good title, but there’s a certain well-known Swedish person who might object if we said that. Like every complex issue that the public needs to understand, people’s attitudes lie on a spectrum defined by extremes at either end and the best understanding is somewhere in-between, some solid ground somewhere between panic and denial.
The Carbon Watchdog website provides information on every aspect of global warming and climate change and what we need to do to reduce it and adapt to it. There is a long way to go before this becomes the “Encyclopedia Climatica” and the work to fill in the gaps will by its nature never end. It is designed to provide apolitical, non-ideological, practical information.
What’s Happening to Planet Earth
“This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning
Council,” the voice continued. “As you will no doubt be aware, the
plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require
the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system,
and regrettably your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition.
The process will take slightly less that two of your Earth minutes.
Fortunately global warming, unlike a Vogon Constructor Fleet, can be stopped. This section contains information about how and why global warming is impacting the planet.
Carbon Footprints, Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming
The simple definition of carbon footprint: a measure usually in kilos or tonnes of the carbon dioxide or CO2 emissions that result from the person,…
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…
What a Person Can Do
The R Word: Responsibility. Actually rather than meaning “blame”, it stems from the word “response”, as in “response ability”. Most people have it, they just need to know what is happening. People have some great mind tricks for avoiding that.
Does going vegan reduce people’s personal carbon footprints, and if so, by how much? It should be obvious, but with the way agriculture and supply…
This is not the solution you think it is.
The concept: emit CO2 – and pay to compensate for it. If CO2 and climate change are destroying the planet, the idea behind offsetting carbon…
Adapting to Climate Change
Eco Retrofits, Green Build, Low Carbon Homes
The Energy Transition, Nationally and Globally
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…
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 resourcesthe railways and developmentlow prices and infinite availability…
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 billsthe all-important battery, how to treat it,…
I interview Kate Calvert, Superhome creator and North London resident: what happens when you do a green retrofit on a 19th Century terrace housesolar panels, wall insulation, electricity billslocal council planning regulations, bad buildings and bombsholding corporate building developers to their eco promisesis carbon rationing like war-time rationing? Podcast Subscriptionshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOX5NQh2mPo More Info…
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…
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…
Surely This Isn’t Happening
Blocking it out, denial and discourses of delay
Ford would never have discovered it if he hadn’t been busyHHGTTG: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
engineering a mental block himself. He came across a whole slew of
smooth and plausible denial procedures and diversionary subroutines
exactly where he had been planning to install his own. The computer
denied all knowledge of them, of course, then blankly refused to
accept that there was anything even to deny knowledge of, and was
generally so convincing that even Ford almost found himself thinking
he must have made a mistake.
He was impressed.
He was so impressed, in fact, that he didn’t bother to install his
own mental block procedures, he just set up calls to the ones that
were already there, which then called themselves when questioned,
and so on.
Social media’s most powerful algorithm, the one driving climate denial on Facebook, creates streams of posts for Facebook users designed solely and without a single ethical consideration to maximise how long users stay and…
Even if you thought you knew how evil corporate power was, you need to read the New Climate War Prof. Michael E. Mann is not just an eminent and distinguished American climatologist, he is…
Houston, we have a problem. With the governments of the world aiming for “Net Zero by 2050” to rescue our climate but not providing a convincing set of policies to get there, and with…
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…
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…
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…
Business, Industry and the Economy
The economics of climate change, including how we got here, how we can get somewhere better, and the Great Energy Transition as society weans itself off fossil fuels.
“The Limits to Growth” from 1972, explained in this Youtube video, is the single most successful econometric forecasting ever done. It described a crossroads for the global economy. Hindsight says fairly emphatically, the world went the wrong way.
Prof Ian Gough
Prof Steve Keen
I always told myself I should leave the world a better place than I found it. So do a lot of people, including most likely the white-collar workers filling those office spaces in financial districts around the world, and then there’s the business corollary “do no harm” that corporations have adopted. I have much in…
Why are we in a climate emergency? One reason is because the numbers don’t add up. These are the Doomsday numbers: the economic impact of both damage and abatement with a 4°C increase in global temperature would produce only 3.6% less growth by 2100. These numbers are taken from the Nobel Lecture in Economics from…
Social media’s most powerful algorithm, the one driving climate denial on Facebook, creates streams of posts for Facebook users designed solely and without a single ethical consideration to maximise how long users stay and how many adverts they see[ref]”Stewardship of global collective behavior” – US National Academy of Science article on the crisis in the…
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…
Photo by Jack Bassingthwaighte on Unsplash The unprecedented Australian bushfires in 2020 followed the lost 2019 ‘Unloseable Climate Election’ As we enter the new decade, Australia finds itself flooding the international headlines for all the wrong reasons. The record-breaking bushfires that began in December raged for weeks and were only fully extinguished thanks to unprecedented…
Green New Deal
A positive vision of the future from 2019 and 2020 by US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and author Naomi Klein, based on the Green New Deal as the starting point.
The United Nations and International Co-operation
Our personal CO2 emissions might be produced anywhere in the world, with the modern world’s globalised supply chains. Contraction and Convergence (of CO2 emissions) was until 2010 the basis of climate negotiations to make a fair deal between all nations for CO2 emissions reduction. It may well be again soon while the “best effort” approach…
And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man
had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice
to people for a change, one girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in
Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going
wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be
made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work,
and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone
about it, a terribly stupid catastrophe occurred, and the idea was lost
Psychology, Religion and Philosophy
Someone clever once said, we have space age technology, a medieval society, and Palaeolithic brains. What could possibly go wrong?
The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Dalai Lama, Shiva the Destroyer – they all have advice on climate change.
Art, Music and Poetry
These tunes might pick you up when you’re feeling down about climate change.
Vogon poetry is of course the third worst in the Universe.
The second worst is that of the Azagoths of Kria. During a recitation by their Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem “Ode To A Small Lump of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning” four of his audience died of internal haemorrhaging, and the President of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council only survived by gnawing one of his own legs off. Grunthos is reported to have been “disappointed” by the poem’s reception, and was about to embark on a reading of his twelve‐book epic entitled My Favourite Bathtime Gurgles when his own major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilization, leapt straight up through his neck and throttled his brain.
The very worst poetry of all perished along with its creator Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Greenbridge, Essex, England in the destruction of the planet Earth.
For those in need of some decent poetry however, there are these poems collected from around the internet:
Breathe by Lynne Ungar
Breathe, said the wind
How can I breathe at a time like this,
when the air is full of the smoke
of burning tires, burning lives?
Just breathe, the wind insisted.
Easy for you to say, if the weight of
injustice is not wrapped around your throat,
cutting off all air.
I need you to breathe.
I need you to breathe.
Don’t tell me to be calm
when there are so many reasons
to be angry, so much cause for despair!
I didn’t say to be calm, said the wind,
I said to breathe.
We’re going to need a lot of air
to make this hurricane together.
Videos, Films & Documentaries
Even if you thought you knew how evil corporate power was, you need to read the New Climate War Prof. Michael E. Mann is not just an eminent and distinguished American climatologist, he is a gifted communicator, appearing in the media in print and on camera around the world on a regular basis. He is…
There is always a funny side to everything – although this might be quite black.
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…
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: if you look at the science about what is happening on Earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this Earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.Paul Hawken, author of Drawdown
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.Amanda Gorman, US National Youth Poet Laureate 2017, The Hill We Climb
We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!Greta Thunberg, Student Climate Striker, UN Summit, NY 2019 https://www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763452863/transcript-greta-thunbergs-speech-at-the-u-n-climate-action-summit
I would like to overcome capitalism, but it’s not in the relevant time scale. Global warming basically has to be taken care of within the framework of existing institutions, modifying them as necessary. That’s the problem we face.Prof Noam Chomsky, 2020. Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin Interviewed by David Roberts about their new book, “Climate Crisis and the Green New Deal”
The Hitchhikers Guide To Climate Change Miscellaneous
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was published by Megadodo Publications of Ursa Minor Beta on a very sound financial footing. Unfortunately Carbon Watchdog still has some way to go to reach that level. All the work here is only possible thanks to donations via Patreon
Find out more about our dark money funding and other infinite improbabilities here: About Carbon Watchdog