Blog posts

About 'Denying', 'Deniers', and 'Denial'

There has been some discussion about the D-word recently. The Science of Doom blog considered the historical implications of the word, and argues that its use in the climate debate trivialises the deaths of millions, and urged people to stop using it. Keith Kloor...

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Celebs, Comedians, Pop Stars… Climate Whores

While browsing Twitter the other day, I chanced upon this tweet from the Dept. of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)... How should we power London? http://t.co/GixAT5FcJ9 Discussing tonight #powerlondon @jonsnowc4 @JayRayner1 @shappikhorsandi & @prospect_uk—...

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Advocating the Science Cake and Politicising it

The science-advocacy axis has provoked much fraught discussion over the years. Crudely put, there appear to be scientist, activists, and activist-scientists, and scientists-activists. The consensus appears to be that political advocacy and science should not be...

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We Need to Talk About Green NGOs…

NGOs are weird. And green NGOs are even weirder. Even at face value they are weird, precisely because we are supposed to take them and the issues they seemingly speak for at face value, as plainly as we would take the Campaign for the Abolition of Stubbed Toes (CAST)...

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2071 and Counting

I have a review of Chris Rapley's "play", 2071, over at Breitbart London. The latest development in the green colonisation of the cultural sphere is the planet-saving stage play. This year, the Royal Court Theatre commissioned Duncan Macmillian and Chris Rapley to...

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Lewandowsky's Logic

It's Lewandowsky time, again. 'Are you a poor logician? Logically, you might never know', he observes with Richard Pancost over at the Conversation Nonversation. More about that logic shortly... At the Nonversation, of course, comments from Lewandowsky's critics have...

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Why Environmental Correspondents Trip Over Themselves

One of the things I've tried to point out here is the emptiness of the categories and concepts that dominate reporting on the climate debate. In particular, the notion of 'consensus' has become so entirely divorced from its substance that those who invoke it often...

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The Daddy State

Here's my talk from the recent Battle of Ideas festival session -- Kindergarten culture: why does government treat us like children? -- which some readers may find interesting. Some context: it begins with a reference to the proposal to ban smoking in public parks in...

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The Green Blob in Academe

Catherine Mitchell is Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Exeter. She is also one of the academics behind a joint venture between Exeter University and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, called IGov: 'Innovation, Governance and...

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Nuclear power? Yes please. But not this…

This was originally written for Spiked, who haven't yet decided whether or not to publish it. Plans to bring UK nuclear energy out of its torpor were given mild relief last week, as the EU Commission approved the deal between the Government and EDF – the developer of...

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Articles

Political prejudices dressed up as science

Published on Spiked-Online at http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/8508/ Despite the apparent central position of science in debates and policymaking around climate change, more often than not policy responses are tempered by politics first, and science second....

Let’s pick apart this politics of doom

Published on Spiked-Online at http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/debates/copenhagen_article/8057 A sixth of the world’s population – the billion or so people who live downstream of Himalayan glaciers and depend on them for water – must surely be relieved. Just a...

Why Copenhagen was bound to fail

Published on Spiked-Online at http://www.spiked-online.com/debates/copenhagen_article/7912/ December’s Copenhagen climate summit was supposed to be the moment at which nations came together to save the planet. But the attempt to produce an international, legally...

Greenpeace: putting trees before people

At the end of last month, the Guardian’s environment correspondent, David Adam, reported from Brazil on Greenpeace’s allegation that illegal deforestation in the Amazon Basin was linked to a number of giant UK food firms. But were Greenpeace’s claims all that they...

Top British boffin: Time to ditch the climate consensus

Just two years ago, Mike Hulme would have been about the last person you'd expect to hear criticising conventional climate change wisdom. Back then, he was the founding director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, an organisation so revered by...

What would you pay for 400,000 new green jobs?

Good news emerged from the recent Low Carbon Summit hosted by bailed-out £10bn loss-making bank, RBS. Peter Mandelson got covered in custard, and the government announced a new industrial strategy. Apparently 400,000 new "environmental sector" jobs will be created by...

‘We have an extremely selfish population’

In November 2008, the UK’s Climate Change Act was passed, committing the country to an 80 per cent cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. Politicians, NGOs, journalists and activists welcomed the target, but to meet it many far-reaching changes in our working- and day-to-day...

How you pay for tomorrow's scares, today

In a remarkably gullible news item, the BBC reported that 2008 was a ‘huge year for natural disasters’. "The past year has been one of the most devastating ever in terms of natural disasters... climate change [is] boosting the destructive power of disasters like...

There's gold in green: profiting from climate change

Imagine an unpopular, impotent, and fragile UK Government, trying to make political capital out of a looming crisis. To avoid being embarrassed by criticism of its shallow policies, it appoints an independent panel of experts, to which it defers controversial...

The New Green Aristocracy: They don't work for you

An aristocracy is a form of government by an elite that considers itself to possess greater virtues than the hoi polloi, giving it the right to rule in its own interests. Aristocrats were referred to as 'the nobility', or 'nobs'. These days we prefer decisions to be...