Interviews And Articles by Nick Breeze
Watching the political news coming out of the US is often mind boggling, especially when it involves the Republican Party, AKA the Grand Old Party (GOP), or Fox News, or that complete mentalist Rush Limbaugh. When I first saw statements coming from these sources, I thought it was some sort of surrealist performance art parody of Monty Python. Alas, the whole thing is not a hoax. These people are real and very serious about their own myth making.
For years they have been denying that manmade climate change is real or can be proven, despite overwhelming evidence from climate scientists. During that time we have gone “beyond the limits” of what the Earth can manage in terms of being able to sustain an ever expanding population of humans. Even as I write there are over 200 fires raging in Alaska, a terrific heatwave causing mass deaths in India, crippling drought in large parts of South, Central and North America. The list of extreme weather events goes on and millions of people are suffering worldwide.
Professor David MacKay is the former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). In this important presentation Professor MacKay demonstrates how summers in the coming decades are going to be more extreme than what we are experiencing now, even giving examples of the summer of 2013 where thousands of people died in Europe from the heat.
This presentation gives a view into what 2ºC warming really means.
Lord Rees explains how governments can lead the world in an energy revolution that would change the course of human civilisation by making renewables cheaper than coal within a decade.
Martin Rees says: “Everyone agrees that if the warming gets too severe the net harms will grossly overwhelm the net gains and that’s why it’s been supposed by most people that a 2ºC limit is what we should strive for.”
"The world should take note that the climate summit in Paris later this year (COP21) may be the last effective opportunity to negotiate arrangements that keep human-induced warming below 2-degrees C, and aim to stay well below 2-degree C for safety, yet the current trajectory may well reach a devastating 4-degrees C or higher"
We the undersigned have assembled at the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences to address the challenges of human-induced climate change, extreme poverty, and social marginalization, including human trafficking, in the context of sustainable development. We join together from many faiths and walks of life, reflecting humanity’s shared yearning for peace, happiness, prosperity, justice, and environmental sustainability. We have considered the overwhelming scientific evidence regarding human-induced climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the vulnerabilities of the poor to economic, social, and environmental shocks.
If the answer is “no”, then “good night and good luck.” If the answer is “yes”, then “see you tomorrow (and good luck).”
Whatever decision humanity takes on the next step forward, whether it be to do nothing and allow industrial human civilisation to continue, or to cease emissions and hope that is enough to see us through, or to start actively sequestering carbon whilst attempting to reduce solar radiation hitting the Earth’s surface, each path is in itself a course of climate intervention.
I am a little confused about the notion of Earth Day. The only analogy I can think of is standing over the mutilated body of someone whom I have done grave harm to and saying, “Today I just want to think about YOU!”
Humanity is the runaway species on Earth. Economics is the religion that drives the destruction of each and everyone of us. But how to convey this in a way that is easy enough to understand, honest and not over dramatic?
The excellent documentary ‘Last Call’ focuses on the team of scientists who worked on the ‘Limits to Growth’ research over 40 years ago. It was recently screened at the British House of Commons (the irony was not lost on the audience), the silence that reigned in the ancient room was palpable. This is not a feel good movie but it is certainly one worth watching, perhaps several times.
After writing my review, I was still feeling very moved by the whole notion that such an important warning had been ignored by a so-called civilised global population. It is fairer to say the warnings were derided and ridiculed in favour of corporate, political and individual greed, that has, over the decades, consumed us all.
Nobel Prize winning economist, Amyrta Sen, distinguished philosopher, Onora O'Neill, cosmologist and astronomer, Martin Rees, discuss the difficult subject of Climate Engineering at the Cambridge Science Festival.
The discussion was chaired by Briefings and Essays editor for The Economist, Oliver Morton:
LIVE STREAMING: Engineering the Climate - 12 - 14 March 2015 - Cambridge, UK
Envisionation are pleased to announce that we will be streaming the SRMS 2015 Conference from the University of Cambridge. The important 2 day event comprises a series of keynote presentations through out Friday and Saturday daytime. On the evening of Friday 13th there will be an all-star debate in the Lady Mitchell Hall as part of the Cambridge Science Festival (Chair: Oliver Morton. Panellists: Martin Rees, Amartya Sen, Onora O'Neill, David Keith).
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More posts by Nick Breeze
Angela Merkel’s chief science advisor describes Michael Gove’s comments on climate change as “A false trade off used all the time by the incumbents”
Earlier this week Environment Minister Michael Gove stated that he was convinced “climate change is a danger”, stating that it “is one of the biggest threats and challenges to biodiversity in the UK”.
By localising the issue to the UK, Gove seeks to belittle the global risk posed by climate change. This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief science adviser and founding director of the Potsdam Institute, Professor Schellnhuber was in London speaking at the Royal Society. When I asked him to respond to the Environment Minister’s comments he replied:
Interview: Anton Golub, cofounder of Swiss blockchain exchange LYKKE
In part 1 of this wide ranging interview, Anton Golub discusses why the world needs Lykke, the truth about financial regulators and why only 1% Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s) they assess make it onto the exchange.
Anton Golub: The core vision of Lykke is the vision of Richard Olsen, the founder of Lykke. I am a cofounder. I met him seven years ago when I joined him for an internship.
I sat down to eat my croissant and he sat down next to me and said: “Anton, we have to completely change the financial system. It totally doesn’t work. Everything is broken inside.”
Subsea permafrost on East Siberian Arctic Shelf in accelerated decline
Interview by Nick Breeze with Dr Natalia Shakhova and Dr Igor Semiletov
A new scientific paper published in Nature Communication Journal demonstrates that the mechanisms of destabilisation of subsea permafrost, contrary to previous claims, provide new insights into increased emissions from the worlds largest deposits of methane, that exists in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS).
The subsea permafrost has for thousands of years acted as a seal, restricting the flow of gas through the water column to the atmosphere. This paper clearly shows that permafrost degradation and the occurrence of gas migration pathways are key factors in controlling the emissions.
Christiana Figueres: business must lead us to zero emissions
The lady who ushered in the Paris Agreement now wants to ramp up the pace and ensure the world reaches peak emissions by 2020, leading to total decarbonisation by 2050. The whole campaign hinges on the a new report that cites 2020 as a critical milestone for stemming the effects of climate change.
Christiana Figueres is persuasive and influential but in light of recent world events that include the destabilisation of the EU as a political block, and the openly anti-climate action administration of President Trump, it is very clear that the world has changed since Paris.
Lecture: Data analytics for climate decision-making
Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP): 2017 Climate Change Seminar Series
Science, politics, knowledge management, innovation and markets all play a role in climate change action, but what is the role of the University of Cambridge as an ‘anchor institution’ for these? Bringing together speakers spanning the worlds of research and policy, this series of events will explore how the multifaceted aspects of climate change action can come together to help us make the right decisions for the long run.
Why we need the Cambridge Climate Lecture Series
The window of opportunity is closing… but the price of failure is still too high!
The rate of ecological destruction is now so bad that the fate of our civilisation literally hangs in the balance. The loss of the Arctic polar ice cap, the melting from above and below of Antarctica, the culling and collapse of forests and dying oceans, failing ecosystems, our atmosphere burdened with hundreds of billions of tonnes of extra greenhouse gases, and still each week scientists report more broken links in the chains of interconnectedness that sustain each one of us, rich and poor, on this planet. Despite all this, the great human enterprise built on a foundation of carbon, rumbles on in search of new fixes.