The Great Debate UK

from UK News:

Are you losing faith in climate science?

climatechangeWhile attending a meeting of prominent climate sceptics during the U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December (an anti-COP15, if you will), I listened to each of the speakers put forward their theory on why conventional evidence on the primary causes of climate change should be dismissed as, for lack of a better phrase, complete hokum.

Among their denunciations of widely-accepted truths regarding global warming, greenhouse gases, melting glaciers and rising sea levels was the assertion that a change in attitude was afoot; the public may have been duped into believing the mainstream scientific assessment of climate change, but not for long.

There was something in the air, the sceptics said, and soon people would begin to question their trust in the majority view.

I’m no scientist and am in no position to comment on the validity of any of the evidence on show; as journalists we were there to make sure both sides of the argument were being heard. This group of climate outcasts were in every sense on the fringes of COP15, but after a series of controversies in recent weeks it seems they were right about one thing at least -- the public conviction about the threat of climate change is slipping.

from The Great Debate:

Emissions prices in 2020


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-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

Uncertainty about the future cost of emissions allowances for greenhouse gases is one of the biggest obstacles to winning consent for a cap and trade or cap and refund programme in the U.S. Congress. To have any realistic prospect of passing emissions legislation, lawmakers must find a way to reduce it.
Proponents argue a trading programme would ensure emissions reductions are achieved in the most cost-effective manner. They point to the success of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Acid Rain Program in cutting sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions much more quickly and at a fraction of the expected costs during the 1990s.

Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) 1990 established a trading programme for SO2 emissions from power plants. Phase I, beginning in 1995, covered the 110 dirtiest coal-fired electricity generating facilities.

Time to invest in Europe’s bio-clean tech delta

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Luuk- Luuk van der Wielen is at BE-Basic and Delft University of Technology; Roger Wyse is Managing Director, Burrill & Company, San Francisco. The opinions expressed are their own.-

Today the global megatrends of food security, energy security, global climate change and sustainability command the attention of nations worldwide.  Confronting these challenges will test political systems, drive policy and stress international relations.

from FaithWorld:

Pope says gay marriage threat to creation

gay marriage

Argentinans exchange rings in Ushuaia, 28 Dec 2009

Pope Benedict on Tuesday linked the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to gay marriage to concern about the environment, suggesting that laws undermining the differences between the sexes were threats to creation.

Creatures differ from one another and can be protected, or endangered, in different ways, as we know from daily experience. One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes," he said at his annual meeting at the Vatican with ambassadors to the Holy See. 

John Reid on climate change and global security

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johnreid- John Reid MP, formerly UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Defence, is the Chairman of the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies at University College, London. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Barack Obama’s announcement that there will be no all-encompassing protocol agreed at Copenhagen underlines that climate change is perhaps the most complex issue facing the world today.  In part, this is because it involves long-term thinking and modeling which our existing political, financial and economic institutions and governance frameworks are ill-designed and configured to grapple with and resolve.

from Environment Forum:

Trade lessons for climate negotiators

- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own --

As hopes for reaching a binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the Copenhagen summit die, climate negotiators could learn useful lessons on how to structure the negotiations from the multiple rounds of trade talks within the GATT/WTO framework.

Climate negotiations are about limiting carbon dioxide emissions, but the negotiators are also hammering out a complex economic instrument that will define the distribution of production, energy use and income in the next few decades. It is the agreement's profound economic effects that are making it so hard to reach a final deal.

Overpopulation is the biggest threat to our climate

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photo-roger – Roger Martin is a former diplomat and leading environmentalist. He is now Chairman of the Optimum Population Trust. Any views expressed are his own -

I’ve been an environmental campaigner for 20 years, and can confidently summarise all our problems as ‘too many people consuming too much stuff.’ But in all those worthy meetings about all those worthy green projects, I’ve noticed that everyone talks about the stuff, like consuming less energy rather than providing more; and no-one talks about the people, the number of consumers.

In the fight against climate change, carbon capture is crucial

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chalmers_small- Hannah Chalmers is a postgraduate researcher at the Centre for Environmental Strategy at the University of Surrey. All views expressed are her own -

This week the International Energy Agency launched a series of detailed technology roadmaps covering 19 technologies that are expected to be important in mitigating the risk of dangerous of climate change. One of these was for carbon capture and storage (CCS).

We Need a Fresh Approach on Climate Change

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Bjorn Lomborg
- Bjorn Lomborg is adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He is the organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which brings together some of the world’s top economists, including 5 Nobel laureates, to set priorities for the world. The opinions expressed are his own. -

In this blog, I would like to share with you some of the best – and worst – ways to fix climate change. This is important because the Earth is warming up, increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide are contributing to this warming, and humankind is dumping ever-increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

from The Great Debate:

Davos debate: What happens to development and sustainability amid crisis?

davos-delegatesDavos leaders have traditionally looked to the long term and have largely been keen on helping all nations of the world to benefit from economic development. But with politicians and businesses tied up with short term concerns about the economic crisis there's a risk at least that efforts to spread development and to ward against the threat of climate change may go on hold, at least for a time. Reuters News asked delegates at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting to share their thoughts on whether we should be concerned about development and sustainability slipping down the global agenda.

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