Article list for June, 2009

29 June 2009: A climate business plan

Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and adviser to the European Commission and several European governments, says that the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December should focus, not on targets and constraints, but on a climate business plan.

He is right.

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25 June 2009: UK offshore wind progress

On 24 June 2009, the UK government announced that the UK aims to have installed 33Gw of offshore wind by 2020, generating a quarter of the UK electricity needs. But it won’t be cheap.

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23 June 2009: Can coal ever be clean?

Burning coal is an extremely damaging way to generate electricity. Coal has a very high carbon content, so is a major source of greenhouse gasses. Burning it also results in pollutants that are directly damaging to human health, such as sulphur dioxide.

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Carbon capture and storage

This diagram was taken from the Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage website.

Coal has a very high carbon content, so is a major source of greenhouse gasses and the economic costs of polluting the atmosphere are not borne by the polluter, In economic jargon, ‘the externalities are not internalised’.

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18 June 2009: Politicians debate while business builds

Today, EU national governments are meeting to discuss who should be the next President of the Commission. The current president, Jose Manuel Barroso, wants a second term and will probably be given it. This would be good for the climate.

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16 June 2009: A new look at nuclear

On Saturday, I was on a panel at the World Science Festival in New York, with James Hansen of NASA and three others. Hansen’s position on nuclear can be summarised simply: it’s better than coal.

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11 June 2009: Re-solarisation

The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is usually referred to as ‘decarbonisation’. Jonathan Porritt, the chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, thinks that it is better to call it “re-solarisation”, because this is positive and solar power has immense potential.

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Question: What about nuclear fusion?

Question mark #2

Apart from CCS, there is much good sense on all sides of the debate on measures to reduce carbon emissions. Why haven’t you mentioned the ultimate medium term opportunity – nuclear fusion?

Leighton Upton

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My children’s Primary School


Climate Answers is involved in a project to reduce energy use, improve comfort levels and so improve education at a school in Islington, London.

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8 June 2009: Climate Answers projects

As well as the website, Climate Answers is involved in practical projects to improve energy efficiency, increase the use of renewable energy and also improve the effectiveness of public buildings and their service delivery.

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