Sunday, August 12, 2012

Green In The Media 13th - 19th August

Without any fanfare, the World Service have decided to stop broadcasting their environmental programme One Planet. It's been a welcome and much-loved (by me at least) mainstay on the channel since 1997. While others were ignoring environmental stories, One Planet gave them airtime. I'm very disappointed. If you want to hear the last episode, which is a round-up of their "Greatest Hits", it's on Monday and for the next week on the iPlayer.

Monday 13th August

One Planet
On: BBC World Service Radio
Time: 11:32 to 11:50
One Planet looks at how we use our planet.

Tuesday 14th August

Costing the Earth
On: BBC Radio 4
Time: 15:30 to 16:00 (Also Wed 2100)
Britain in 2060 - The Land.
The latest predictions of climate change give a clear picture of the UK in 2060. It is going to look very much like Madeira. Tom Heap asks what that means for the way Britons live.

Thursday 16th August

In Business
On: BBC Radio 4
Time: 20:30 to 21:00 (Also Sun 2130)
Coal Comfort.
Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel and the dirtiest. With insatiable demand from growing emerging economies, it is here to stay. Peter Day asks if coal can ever go green.

Excerpts taken from DigiGuide - the world's best TV guide available from
Copyright (c) GipsyMedia Limited.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Week In Green Numbers


- date the UK government will start burying nuclear waste #


- working women in Nepal employed in agriculture #


- wolves in France, which some environmentalists want to cull #


- air regulation violations in the last 5 years of the Chevron oil refinery which caught fire last week #

50 GW

- installed wind power capacity in the US #

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

US Urges Abandoning 2C Limit

American Flag
Photo by ctj71081

America's chief Climate Negotiator has raised the possibility of removing the requirement to keep climate change below 2C.

To be honest, I can see his thinking: remove the legal requirement and you're more likely to get agreement at climate talks. But what kind of agreement would you get?

A wishy-washy one. We would end up with a document saying that climate change is bad and we'll do all we can to avoid it. And in reality, every country would do bugger all while telling the lie that they're doing all they can. if there's no legally-binding agreement, then governments feel that they're not being held to account - particularly when their career in politics is transient. We're talking a fight which will take decades, not years, and politicians aren't very good at working on those timescales. They generally can't see past their next election.

Which is why I hope the US negotiator is just politicking for domestic consumption. With an election just a couple of months off, perhaps he's been given instructions not to spook the American people that they may have to sign up to something that would require them to play a full part in the human race.

On the other hand, Obama has disappointingly done bugger all about climate change so far. So perhaps this does signify a new US strategy - they'll sign nothing and do nothing.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Green In The Media 6th - 12th August

Monday 6th August

One Planet
On: BBC World Service Radio
Time: 11:32 to 11:50 (Also Fri 1930, Sat 0430, 1030, 0130)
One Planet looks at how we use our planet.

Greening the Military
On: BBC Radio 4
Time: 20:00 to 20:30
By their very nature war zones are hazardous locations, subject to extreme destruction. Angus Crawford asks if the army can do its job while also respecting the environment.

Tuesday 7th August

File on 4
On: BBC Radio 4
Time: 20:00 to 20:40 (Also Sun 1700)
After years of suspicion, diesel emissions have now been officially linked with cancer. Julian O'Halloran asks why more has not been done to curb this form of pollution.

Excerpts taken from DigiGuide - the world's best TV guide available from
Copyright (c) GipsyMedia Limited.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

The Week In Green Numbers


- increase in the number of Farmer Markets in the US this year #


- this year's US corn crop rated Poor or Very Poor due to drought #

285,000 tons CO2

- carbon footprint of Facebook #

600 million

- people left without electricity in India after the power grid failed #

246 feet

- world's largest wind turbine blade #

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

This Is George

This film was part of a "Green Screen" contest in Australia this year, for amateurs to produce a short film with a positive message about tackling climate change. It actually came second in the competition, but it's my favourite.

You can see the winner and the other films here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

De-Scepting the Sceptics

News broke yesterday that the long-awaited Koch brothers-funded review of climate science had actually found in favour of the scientists. The reviewers, led by Professor Richard Muller, a previous sceptic of anthropogenic climate change, concluded that the science is robust, the world is warming, and that humans are to blame.

Of course the big story isn't that yet another study has concluded this. The big story is that this study was funded by sceptics and conducted by sceptics. Sceptics who, it has to be said, are now being denounced by the sceptic community using the same tactics they've always used against climate scientists.

A few weeks ago I finished Michael Mann's book The Hockey Stick And The Climate Wars, in which he details the tactics that sceptics and the big oil companies have used against him since he first published the "hockey stick" graph showing global temperatures over the last thousand years. Time and again, challenges to the science have been found wanting and sceptical arguments have been proved to be wrong, but still they attack him personally and lie about his actions. James Hansen details much the same fight against him in his book Storms Of My Grandchildren.

And yet, still the sceptics come. In fact, as another book - Merchants Of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway - shows, the "vested interests" aren't all that interested in disproving the science. Like they did with smoking, they're only interested in sowing doubt. And in that, they have succeeded. Arguments like "climate is always changing" to "it's cold this summer" have entered the public consciousness and once in there they're hard to shift, despite having been explained many, many times.

If you've always been puzzled by one of these arguments, the excellent website Skeptical Science has answers to any question that's ever been asked, usually with detailed science to back up their answers - or in a lot of cases, quotes to show that the "argument" is a complete lie.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Centre or Park?

Quite what the difference is between a Marine Energy Centre and a Marine Energy Park, this article doesn't say. But the expansion of the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, into the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park is to be welcomed.

Wave and tidal energy is still in it's infancy. Some of the devices which are tested in Orkney waters will eventually be abandoned as unworkable in the real world. But it's nice to see an industry which we're going to be relying on in the future being nurtured rather than left to it's own devices.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Green In The Media 30th July - 5th August

Monday 30th July

One Planet
On: BBC World Service Radio
Time: 11:32 to 11:50 (Also Fri 1930, Sat 0430, 1030, 1830)
One Planet looks at how we use our planet.

Thursday 2nd August

Protecting the Arctic Committee
On: BBC Parliament
Time: 09:55 to 11:50
Recorded coverage of the Environmental Audit select committee session on protecting the Arctic with evidence from Chatham House, the Department of Transport and the International Chamber of Shipping, from Wednesday 13 June. 

Excerpts taken from DigiGuide - the world's best TV guide available from
Copyright (c) GipsyMedia Limited.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Week In Green Numbers

I've been on holiday mode, so haven't done one of these in a couple of weeks. So, here's all the numbers I'd stored up, some from a few weeks ago.


- drop in plastic bag use in Wales after a 5p charge was imposed #


- fires on British nuclear submarines in the last three years #


- high temperature records broken in the US in June #


- proportion of the US in drought #

€15 billion a year

- what extreme weather costs the EU transport system #

3.3 years

- global oil supply which is sitting offshore in the Arctic #