Monty Python’s Black Knight Redux – energy policy version

October 23, 2012

“I am Arthur, King of the Guardian Readers. I seek the finest and the bravest knights in the land to join me in building my Clean Energy Camelot. Will you join me?” Musings on UK energy policy, with acknowledgements to Monty Python.

Read More

BAA Terminal 5 Feedback

October 22, 2012

On my last trip through London Heathrow Terminal 5 BAA was (un)wise enough to ask me for feedback on the experience. I so much enjoyed writing down my thoughts that I decided to replicate them here.

Read More

How to Save the Planet: Be Nice, Retaliatory, Forgiving & Clear

September 17, 2012

Five years ago this week, I published a white paper entitled “How to Save the Planet: Be Nice, Retaliatory, Forgiving and Clear”. In it, I postulated that climate is a prisoner’s dilemma, but one one which will be played repeatedly, not just once. The difference is critical: instead of shooting for an unachievable top-down climate deal, we should focus on accelerating the inevitable emergence of domestic action on climate change. Since then we have seen the failure of Copenhagen, and the emergence of strong national responses. Is it time to look again at the game theory behind climate change?

Read More

Mail Online creates fake wind farm to make fake point

September 16, 2012

On 8 September the Mail Online carried an article entitled “Are wind farms saving or killing us? A provocative investigation claims thousands of people are falling sick because they live near them”, by well-known seeker of truth, James Delingpole, known to be “right about everything”. So why did he use a faked photo of a wind farm to make his point?

Read More

A customer enters a climate conference…

September 15, 2012

“Look, matey, I know a dead Protocol when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.” “No, no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Copenhagen Blue, innit, eh? Beautiful plumage!”. Musings on the Kyoto Protocol, with acknowledgements to Monty Python.

Read More

Opensource and crowdsourced data offer hope for developing world energy modelling

June 25, 2012

My second academic paper, which has been submitted for peer review, looks at the use of open-source software, open and crowd-sourced data to support the energy planning process, in particular in the developing world. OK, it’s not everyone’s idea of a page-turner, but eight other authors and I thought it was an important topic!

Read More

“Sunset Credits” – A Tool for Removing Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Sunset Credit schemes offer an innovative approach to removing fossil fuel subsidies, avoiding the risk of popular discontent, while at the same time attracting investment for renewable energy and energy efficiency. This White Paper describes an innovative approach to removing fossil fuel subsidies, without triggering popular backlash, while at the same time supporting the introduction of modern renewable energy technologies and building capacity in developing economies.

Read More

The Emptiness of Doebbler – a Davos Conversation Misrepresented

February 6, 2012

During this year’s Davos meetings, I made sure to visit the Occupy WEF camp. There I met Curtis Doebbler, professor of law at Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland. At the time I did not know his rather colourful hsitory of anti-americanism. We had an animated and fascinating discussion: he supported the ongoing UNFCCC process, drawing on his knowledgeable of international law; I argued it needed reform, drawing on my knowledge of investment activity in climate solutions. So far so good. What was not good was that he went on to misrepresent my position in a piece entitled “The Emptiness of Davos” in Al Ahram newspaper.

Read More

Blogging Davos 2012

January 25, 2012

For five frantic days at the end of January the jeweled ski resort of Davos transforms itself into a fantasy concption of the centre of world influence. A five-year Davos veteran, this year I transformed myself into Davos Man, or rather Davos Blogger. I have tried to give some idea of what it’s actually like to attend: the rigid pecking order, the circles within circles, the transport chaos, the missing constituencies, the Occupy WEF movement, the Ukrainian presidential bodyguard who tried to manhandle me out of the toilets. Only problem is, it took so damn long to write each night that I didn’t go to a single party. So not that realistic after all…

Read More

Ya Basta: Stop the UN Climate Charade

November 26, 2011

In November 2011 it was Durban’s turn to host the annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This was the 17th such annual meeting. The following article, which first appeared on, explains why I think these annual meetings are counter-productive, and proposes a different approach.

Read More