The BEST climate change vid I've seen


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You toadally MUST watch this...

(I sound more like my kids every day) BUT this is toadally superb. In fact there's a follow-up video in which he mops up a small flaw in his argument - but I prefer this one for its cleanliness. Perfect for dinner parties over Christmas when the fat wanker in tweed starts slurring about climate change all being a load of baloney anyway...cos there've always been climate cycles...and it's probably a lefty conspiracy to get slavery banned through the back door and why don't we bring back fagging and what's wrong with the KKK?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

This Could Be Huuuuuuuuuuuuuge

I'd say this movie is perhaps (I haven't seen it yet but it comes VERY highly recommended) a breakthrough-maker - all reviews welcome :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

TRAGILARIOUS - Otto Shows His True Colours

This year's Frankfurt Auto Show (the presenter's American so it sounds as if he's saying it's 'Frankfurt Otto Show') has a theme: Green Cars, says our host. He then guides us through a range of supercharged dildos from Porsche (200 mph); Mercedes (an ingenious new eco-technology that allows the car to burn both petrol AND diesel); Jaguar (V6 engines ditched - you can now choose between two different V8s); a new V10 family saloon from Audi and a few others now upgraded with more powerful engines, the non-obscene gas-burners having been made extinct.

Ottoman then mentions that, despite the declared theme of the show, he has noticed that there isn't in fact much evidence of, erm, green vehicle technology.

Thank the gods the theme of the show wasn't high-octane wankwagons.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Truth Stranger Than Fiction

So the Russians discover that, thanks to global climate change and ice thinning, they can now take a sub all the way to the North Pole. Then everybody else with a 'claim' to this land gets uppity because in planting a flag there, the Russians might be laying claim to any oil that's found lying beneath. "Stop thief! We've burnt far more oil than you ever have. We're the ones who got that ice down to navigable proportions. If it hadn't been for us you could never have got the sub down there in the first place. If anybody has a right to extract and burn the Arctic oil as well, it's US. Fair's fair, comrades."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Time to Trim the Hedges?

I seem to recall that Abraham was called upon to sacrifice his first-born son Isaac but he and God sorted it all out and Isaac lived. It was close though. I hope we can negotiate our way through the next few years so that our children come through. However, things are not looking good at this stage.

If it's not enough that we're selling off the family silver to fund our oiled-up partying, it seems that now, as dusk settles over the old mansion, we're setting fire to the furniture and wrecking the Rembrandts as well.

Food, shelter, security, health and freedom from poverty are among the basics of life. All are threatened by our profligacy and denial.

As the confused and betrayed children look over the parapet of the smoking home, what do they see? They see Mummy and Daddy haggling with strange men in suits.

It was recently announced that investment bankers UBS had launched the world's first Global Warming Index. By means of this ingenious device, they suggest, purveyors of winter clothing or ice cream can hedge against climate-related damage to their profits.

Cool. But isn't this a little like taking out insurance on the life of a once-wealthy, sick but long-ignored aunt whose trust fund we've already drained? One might not be able to resist the temptation to forget to feed the old dear - or even to slip a little caustic soda into her morning muesli.

Surely, if I stand to gain from negative impacts on the world's climate, I'm doing myself a favour if I drive around all day in a gas-guzzler and start commuting by air to a job on a different continent? Perhaps I might start investing in coal-fired power stations - or even move out of fur coats and into selling Hummers.

There's a fortune to be made here - I can't see why we're not all piling in to make a killing.

But it's our kids we're killing.

Still, prospects were looking pretty dire for the poor little buggers anyway...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Superb News for British Tourism

This view of Trafalgar Square today caused consternation among Londoners and overseas visitors alike. The British Tourist Board, sponsored by Magnum Oil plc, announced that it may have to do with holidaymakers failing to wash the sand from their feet after visiting the beaches of southern England. "At least we'll have something in which to bury our heads," commented a passing ostrich, on its way to a strategy meeting at Populist Media Inc. An Egyptian dignitary seemed indignant at the threat to tourism in her country: "De Nial has always been uniquely popular in Egypt," she said; "now it seems we have serious competition."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

General Electric Hits the Eco-Jackpot - Are YOU Still Vacillating?

Don't let anyone tell you there are no commercial opportunities in this game. General Electric has just announced that its sales of environmentally friendly goods have DOUBLED IN TWO YEARS! They have added $6 billion to their sales in this area alone (this doesn't take account of all the other benefits this policy has delivered).

GE has also announced that it now (very sensibly) has a massive $50 billion of such projects in the pipeline.


Sends a generally electric tingle down my spine...

Economist Intelligence Unit Exposes Corporate Intelligence Shortfall

The following is the conclusion of a study published last month by the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by UK Trade and Investment. Its findings suggest that UK corporations are not only running high risks in numerous areas of their businesses but are missing out on potentially important market opportunities too.

"Scientists calculate a 60% uncertainty in predicted global temperature increases. The foreseeable impact of CO2 on the political sphere is far clearer. As governments seek to reduce national output of CO2, business will be called on to do its share.

Companies have not yet risen to the challenge. But the public expects it. Although consumer choices do not yet strongly reflect this, reputation and brand damage await firms that do too little, and investors show signs of starting to appreciate this.

Given the relatively small net costs, it makes sense for firms to raise their game now. Carbon reduction is a complicated area, with many experiments and innovations taking place. Entrepreneurial companies will be far better prepared when governments bring in tighter carbon restrictions and are far more likely to find ways to tap into new markets when consumer choices become more closely aligned with the concerns of the public as expressed to their political representatives.

The latter have a key role to play too. If business is to take carbon reduction seriously, it needs a clear set of rules within which to work. Without a proper regulatory framework, with market-based incentives to reduce CO2, carbon reduction will never become the integral part of business operations that it needs to be if it is to have a positive effect on climate change."

Let's see what next week's G8 deliberations bring...

The full report - 'A Change in the Climate' - can be found here:

Monday, June 04, 2007

Citigroup Sees The Writing on the Wall

Here's the introduction to an interesting document, "Climatic Consequences", created by Citigroup Research, a division of Citigroup Global Markets Inc. They emphasise the point that, regardless of dispute over the science, investors need to take climate issues VERY seriously. They also focus on the fact that there are going to be winners and losers in this game. Hate to say I told you so...

Investment Implications of a Changing Climate

➤ Investment Issue — For investors, the issue is not whether climate change is occurring. Today a variety of entities (governments, regulators, corporations, and individuals) are reacting to the perceived climate change threat, creating a number of near-term opportunities.

➤ Physical Implications — While physical implications may become apparent over the long term, there may already be some repercussions today — warmer winters and hotter summers in the U.S., droughts in Spain and Australia, and an increased frequency of intense hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

➤ Regulatory Implications — There has already been a move to regulate greenhouse gases, ranging from international conventions sponsored by the United Nations, to legislation at the state level in the U.S. Importantly, companies with international operations are increasingly subject to various emissions regulations and standards in key markets, most notably today in the EU.

➤ Behavioral Implications — Even when not facing imminent regulation, a growing number of corporations are pursuing various climate strategies.

➤ Who Will Benefit? — We identify 74 companies (across 21 industries and based in 18 countries) that seem well positioned to benefit from these trends.

You can read the entire report here - enjoy:

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Elephant in the Oval Office

"The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking."

This is a statement which headed the Executive Summary of a report on Peak Oil by leading scientists, commissioned by the US Department of Energy in 2005. The statement was buried by the White House as being too scary and not political history's leading vote-winner. The possible consequences of this burial could prove a very large vote loser but I suppose it will be a later administration that suffers. Not much later though, according to many of the best-informed researchers: some say we have just passed the peak and price turbulence is rumbling; others that it is imminent. Maybe we need to be focusing on this issue even more urgently than on climate change itself...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lloyds of London in Climate Change U-Turn

Lord Peter Levene, Chairman of Lloyds of London, is not known for bleeding heart liberalism. He now has U-turned on his former climate change denial. Here's the report that featured in the world's media:

Global business leaders must respond urgently and decisively to mitigate the accelerating risks of climate change, said the Chairman of the Lloyd's insurance market on Friday. Lord Peter Levene warned that vast storms bigger than Hurricane Katrina are likely to strike in coming years, with devastating effects.

"Today the insurance industry faces the prospect of a 100-billion-dollar mega-catastrophe twice the size of Katrina," Levene said in a speech at Washington's National Press Club.

Levene, formerly a skeptic on climate change, runs the world's biggest insurance market at London-based Lloyd's. Lloyd's manages some of the world's most complex insurance risks, from celebrity body parts to oil rigs, and extends billions of dollars in global coverage.

The market expects to pay out six billion dollars in claims related to the record-setting 2005 US hurricane season, largely due to the devastating impact of Katrina on southern states like Louisiana and Mississippi.

Levene said Lloyd's is planning for fresh disasters, but questioned whether US lawmakers are seriously heeding the dangers posed by climate change.

"We cannot risk being in denial on catastrophe trends. So, two years after Katrina and one year away from a national (US) election, where's the public debate on catastrophe trends?" he said.
"Over the coming years, with warmer sea surface temperatures making wind-storm landfall more likely, particularly destructive storms are a likely scenario."

The insurance market chief called for tougher US building codes in coastal areas and said public awareness should be raised about the risks of more volatile weather patterns.

"We can expect the storm season to lengthen, and we will be at risk over a wider geographical area than ever before."

Levene argued against "political interference" in the pricing of risk premiums and expressed confidence that most "natural perils" can be insured if free market forces are allowed to prevail.
However, large US home insurers including State Farm and Allstate are refusing new business along wide stretches of the US east coast amid mounting concerns about bigger hurricanes.
Allstate is not issuing new homeowner policies in New York, where millions of people live just above sea level, and some insurers are refusing to pay Katrina claims, arguing that damage was caused by flooding instead of wind.

Generally, only the federal government offers US homeowners insurance against flood damage.
Levene criticized US regulations which he said discriminate against foreign insurers, requiring them to post collateral equal to 100 percent of their gross liabilities. In Lloyd's case this equates to over eight billion dollars. "Domestic reinsurers have no such obligation," Levene chafed, calling for such "discrimination" to be ended.

The administration of US President George W. Bush has abandoned the Kyoto Protocol against climate change, but Levene said many state and local governments were working to reduce their own carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Levene said addressing climate change is good for the environment and a company's earnings, citing an initiative by US chemical group DuPont to slash its emissions of warming gases and lower its energy costs. "Even if we stop all man-made CO2 emissions now, we would still endure 30 years of warming before the effects take hold,"

"But we must not use that as an excuse not to act. History and future generations will surely not forgive us if we do."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Scientist Slays the Climate Change Sceptics

For anyone who's struggling with those lemming-dinosaur types (the genetically modified dinosaurs who insist on running blindly off the edge of the flat Earth), here's an excellent summary of trustworthy climate change science from the New Scientist:

After a punchy summary, it goes on to knock down all the most common climate change denial tricks, strike after strike, like ninepins.

These lemming-dinosaurs are just dodo-ostriches - or am I feathering my nest with mixed metafurs?

Time for a Change in the Business Climate

One thing that always amazes me about business is that so many of its practitioners are completely rubbish at it. At the conclusion of a strategic environmental assessment, my colleagues and I recently submitted our findings to one of the most 'successful' companies in the world. In addition to fulfilling the client's brief, we had identified possibly the biggest commercial opportunity this corporation has seen so far this century. Not only that, they already have the tools for delivering this massively profitable deal to the world's governments and people. No development costs, no establishing credentials, just articulate the problem to a very willing audience and deliver the solution, extremely profitably, from stock. Climate change is the problem, the company has a completely scalable means to reduce it by a vast amount, among hundreds of millions of end-users all over the world.

"They bit your hand off," I hear you say. Wrong. They're not all convinced that climate change is for real and they aren't confident they've got their own house in environmental order. They're therefore worried about seeming hypocritical when selling a climate change adaptation and mitigation tool.

A couple of thoughts:

1. This means they go on polluting while missing a huge profit opportunity. Not only that, they're in a 'clean' industry and could tidy up their own house in no time and at little cost. I'm reminded of a story I heard a few days ago. At election time in Indonesia it seems wealthy families buy up blocks of votes, a neighbourhood at a time. When asked why he didn't just take the money and then vote for a different candidate, one voter replied: "That would be unethical!"

2. I'm not entirely sure that Donald Duck is real. It doesn't stop Disney making billions out of him though, does it?

The whole thing's a bit Mickey Mouse if you ask me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Heated Exchange

I've had it with the climate sceptics. They're killing us. They are complicit in genocide and attempted geocide. Ignorance is no excuse, particularly the ostrich variety. How would you feel if the babysitter told you: "I didn't hear the murderer break in and behead your child - I was listening to loud heavy metal on the headphones."

I've been working on sustainability with corporations, governments, NGOs and academics for nearly twenty years. We've covered energy use, reporting, child labour, packaging, water use, transport and a dozen other topics, again and again. I've written books about it, published articles, facilitated workshops, chaired conference sessions. I've gone back to university, researched, studied and gained a specialist masters degree in it. I've played expert witness, debated on radio, appeared on television, lectured at seminars, coached leaders, delivered trainings for international government groups. My family became the local sustainable household darlings in regular features for the local newspaper; we co-launched the UK farmers' markets movement; we converted a gorgeous 4x4 to run on rapeseed oil; we opened the first eco-hotel in the UN Heritage City of Bath, England.

What have we achieved? Nothing. It's all rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. If we don't address the climate issue with a hugely increased dose of urgency, focus and decisive action the entire game is up. We're all going under, and the irony is, there won't be any icebergs to warn us.

So come on all you climate change sceptics, challenge me. I'm pissed off, frustrated and fuming like a power station chimney stack. I could do with a good intellectual wrestle to work it all out of my system. But be warned - you may lose the debate. However, before long, you - and your children - may thank you for doing so.