Carbon Nation

carbon nation is a documentary movie about climate change SOLUTIONS. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or just don’t buy it at all, this is still a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how SOLUTIONS to climate change also address other social, economic and national security issues. You’ll meet a host of entertaining and endearing characters along the way.

  • carbon nation is an optimistic, solutions-based, non-preachy, non-partisan, big tent film that shows tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national & energy security and promotes health & a clean environment.
  • Public opinion is sliding the wrong way – far fewer people are concerned about climate change than even a year ago. We’ve made carbon nation to give a majority of people an entertaining, informed and pragmatic primer about why it’s incredibly smart to be a part of the new, low-carbon economy: it’s good business.
  • carbon nation’s optimism and pragmatism are appealing across the political spectrum. While other good films have been about problems, blame and guilt, carbon nation is a film that celebrates solutions, inspiration and action.

Here’s the official trailer.

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FRACKING – Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Independent 26 March, 2012

Published with only slight modification on 17 April, 2012.

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-fracking–only-a-ban-will-do-7654717.html

Lord Browne, the former head of BP and now head of Cuadrilla, has joined a  list of powerful but scientifically illiterate individuals who have been persuaded by the fossil fuel lobby that Shale Gas is the answer to the world’s future energy needs.  (“Fracking could bring UK 50.000 jobs”, says Browne 26 March.)  In his State of the Union address in January this year, President Obama stated : “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years, and my Administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.”

Osborne followed suit in his budget statement last week: “Gas is cheap, has much less carbon than coal and will be the largest single source of our electricity in the coming years”.

The problem with shale gas is that fracking results in atmospheric releases of methane twice that encountered with conventional gas. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 70 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20 year time frame. In order for shale gas to be environmentally friendlier than other fossil fuels, it is necessary to keep methane emissions from fracking below 2%.  Current operations release around 10% and in the US the fossil fuel industry is strenuously resisting methane control legislation by the EPA.  It appears that they have the key politicians on their side.

Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath

Friends of the Earth Advert

Letter to the Independent, 15.04.12

Sir,

It is testimony to how far climate change has sunk down the political agenda that an environmental pressure group feels it necessary to pay for a full-page ad in the Independent in order to rebut the nonsense being propagated by the Daily Telegraph (Advert by Friends of the Earth, 14 May). The truth is that the climate change contrarians, led by Nigel Lawson and his shadowy think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, have outfought, outwitted and out-manouvered  scientists world-wide and the NGO’s in this country.  Now even the BBC seems scared to touch the climate change issue, or if it does it seems to think that a balanced debate is the best approach. So the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and all of the reputable scientific journals in the world say that two plus two makes four. Then along comes Lawson and says “no it’s not. The answer is five”.   And the BBC behaves as if the answer is four and a half.  As the editors of the British Medical Journal and Lancet wrote on 24 January (Guardian Letters): “Denying the link between greenhouse gas emissions and  man-made climate change  is akin to denying the link between HIV/Aids and unprotected sex, smoking and lung cancer, or alcohol consumption and liver disease. In each of these cases, well-funded deniers have had to be exposed and confronted before appropriate health-promoting legislation was put in place”.

Yours sincerely

Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath

Chair Planetary SOS

Christopher Booker

Letter to the Telegraph, 15.04.12 (not published)

Sir,

Amongst all the heat and furore generated by the climate change contrarians, one fact stands out like a beacon: Christopher Booker is no scientist (In the Eyes of “Nature”, Warming Can’t Be Natural).   His article states, “When the Earth was emerging from the last ice-age, 15,000 years ago, it was temperatures that rose first, later followed by rises in CO2“. This is the exact opposite of the article published in Nature whose title reads :  “Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide concentrations during the last deglaciation”.   I’m not sure if Mr Booker has a scientific credential to his name, but if he failed his physics O-level, then it is not hard to see why.

Yours sincerely

Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath

Chair Planetary SOS

NUCLEAR AND SHALE GAS

Letter to the Times, 15.04.12

Sir,

It is pretty obvious that big business prefers Shale Gas and Nuclear rather than Energy Conservation and renewables as an answer to the world’s future energy requirements.(The Nuclear Option, April 10 and American Fears Over Fracking Make Weir Group Investors Tremble, April 14).  However, it is not just earthquakes that render Shale Gas unacceptable.  The problem with fracking is that it results in atmospheric releases of methane twice that encountered with conventional gas. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 70 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame. In order for shale gas to be environmentally friendlier than other fossil fuels, it is necessary to keep methane emissions from fracking below 2%. Current operations release around 10% and in the US the fossil fuel industry is strenuously resisting methane control legislation by the EPA.

As for nuclear, it is prohibitively expensive to the tax-payer. Official figures put the cost of disposing of our current nuclear waste in the UK in excess of 100 billion pounds. In addition, HMG has recently agreed to underwrite the costs of medical claims arising from a nuclear accident in the UK.  In any other business that is called a subsidy.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath

Chair Planetary SOS

Final letter to PCC – 9.04.12

Press Complaints Commission

Halton House

20/23 Holborn

London EC1N 2JD

 

Dear Ms Cobbe                                                                                           April 9 2012

Your reference:  115482

I am now responding in detail to your letter dated February 29 in relation to my complaint against The Times and The Financial Times (previous letters from me dated 11 November  2011, 21 December 2011 and 30 January 2012 plus accompanying documents).

I am going to address in more detail the mistakes contained in the two articles by Matt Ridley published in The Times  on 31 August 2010 (This Discredited Science Body Must Be Purged) and 1 November 2011 (Seven Billion People Is Nothing To Be Scared Of). Continue reading

Response to Matt Ridley’s article in The Times

On 1 November 2011, The Times published yet another appalling article on climate change, by the maverick and somewhat deluded commentator Matt Ridley, entitled ‘Seven Billion People Is Nothing To Be Scared Of’. Apart from dismissing the importance of a rising world population, Matt Ridley made the extraordinary claim that humanity’s carbon footprint could be lessened by switching from coal to natural gas.

I wrote a detailed rebuttal of this Alice in Wonderland scenario, but The Times refused to publish it, despite email correspondence directed to The Times Letters Editor Jeremy Vine. Indeed, The Times did not publish any letter in response to Matt Ridley’s illiterate article.

To: letters@thetimes.co.uk

Subject: Fwd: Letter For Publication: Corrected Response to article by Matt Ridley. Attention Jeremy Vine

Dear Mr Vine, Thank you for agreeing to reconsider my response to the article by Matt Ridley which I feel cannot go unchallenged. Just out of interest, I have reviewed my contribution to your letters column over the past 30 years. From 1980-1990 I had 17 letters or articles published in The Times FT or TES mainly on the subject of lead in petrol and ionising radiation (Nuclear discharges and leukemia clusters).   Since then I have had 22 letters or articles published in The Times mainly on the subject of global warming/climate change and the majority of these were first letters.  I can send you the full CV if you are interested.

Yours sincerely

Robin Russell-Jones

Begin forwarded message:

To: letters@thetimes.co.uk

Subject: Letter For Publication: Response to article by Matt Ridley.

Sir,

Matt Ridley paints a rosy picture of the world with a population peaking at 8 billion and then possibly falling back to 6 billion by the end of the century (Seven Billion People Is Nothing To Be Scared Of, 1 November, 2011). He also makes the extraordinary claim that humanity’s carbon footprint “will fall as gas replaces coal and oil”.  A dose of reality is required in this Alice in Wonderland scenario.

Up until 2009 world carbon emissions were approximately 7 gigatonnes annually which works out at one tonne of carbon per head of population per year. In the US the figure was higher – 5.5 tonnes per year per head of population, whereas in the developing world it was lower – 0.5 tonnes per year. For China the figure was 1.0 (and rising fast) and for India it was 0.3 (likely to rise even faster). Emissions of CO2 world-wide have risen 40% since 1990, the base-line year for the Earth Summit in Rio. However, figures published last week by the US Department of Energy show that carbon emissions worldwide have increased by a further 6% whilst emissions from China have leapt by 10% during 2010 alone, the highest year on year increase ever recorded (The Very Latest Figures from Peters et al in Nature Climate Change 4 December, 2011 show an increase of 49% since 1990).

In order to stop catastrophic global warming it is generally agreed that levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere must be kept below 450 parts per million (ppm). In pre-industrial days it was 280 ppm and is currently almost 390 ppm. To keep levels rising above 450 ppm by century’s end it is necessary to limit emissions of CO2 per capita to 0.6 tonnes per year by 2050 and to 0.3 by 2100. In other words the carbon footprint of individuals in the most industrialised society, the US, must fall to the level of the least industrialised, India. This is not going to be achieved by changing from one fossil fuel such as coal, to another such as gas. If CO2 levels are not kept below 450 ppm then the Greenland ice sheet will eventually melt raising sea-levels by 7 metres which will terminate financial centres such as London and New York.

Matt Ridley was a non-executive chairman of the UK bank Northern Rock from 2004 to 2007, in the period leading up to the bank’s near collapse. It would appear that Ridley’s grasp of science is on a par with his financial acumen.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Robin Russell-Jones MA FRCP FRCPath

International Conference Organiser

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How Do The Greens Solve Global Warming?

This article was written in response to an article in the Guardian by Damian Carrington. – The Guardian’s head of environment – on 14 September 2011. He posed the question ‘Why are the environmental campaigners who changed the world in the 1980’s not winning the debate on global warming?’ This article seeks to answer that question. It was submitted to The Guardian in September 2011 and rejected by Damian Carrington on 10 October  2011.

How do the Greens solve global warming? Continue reading