Guardian: “Jeremy Leggett among 100 signatories to letter opposing oil firm’s likely influence over university’s climate change studies.” “The veteran environmental campaigners Jonathon Porritt and Jeremy Leggett are among 100 past and present students and staff who are accusing Oxford University of hypocrisy for accepting funding from
About the log and me
The log covers the energy-, climate-, and financial crises, and issues pertinent to society’s response to this “triple crunch.” It consists of selections from one person’s reading experience of the unfolding dramas that most preoccupy him, among the all-too numerous dramas inherent in the human condition. It wasn’t my idea, to be honest. Younger colleagues at Solarcentury told me I should share the essence of my reading. They designed the site for me.
I began compiling in 2006. Until May 2011, I did this in Word files, hoping the word-search tool would make the file useful ammunition for people wanting to follow events, and/or to refresh their memories on the history. From May 2011, I began typing the log direct on the website, using tags. This facility is an improvement in that it gives readers easy access to a list of posts for any major topic. For example, if you want to know about the march of events at Fukushima, just hit the Fukushima tag on any story that carries it.
Before May 2011, only a selection of log entries are tagged posts. The full log of Word files can be found in the Archive tab.
Let me explain why am I worried about oil depletion, climate change, and dysfunctional investment
I researched earth history for 14 years, and so know a bit about what makes up the climate system. I researched oil source rocks for several of those years, funded by BP and Shell among others, and I explored for oil and gas in the Middle East and Asia, so I have a background in the issues relevant to peak oil. And more recently I have been a clean-energy entrepreneur and investor for more than decade, as founder of a solar energy company and founding director of a Swiss venture capital fund, so I have seen how the capital markets operate close to. That experience is the basis for my concerns. The New Zealand Hillary Institute’s site explains further.
Oil exploration, Baluchistan, 1984
Many of the critics who comment on my blogs urge readers to discount everything I say because I am trying to sell solar energy, and so therefore must be in it for the money, hyping concerns about climate change and peak oil in the cause of self enrichment. (As you would). They have it completely the wrong way round. I left a lucrative career consulting for the oil industry, and teaching its technicians, because I was concerned about global warming and wanted to act on that concern. I joined Greenpeace (1989), on a fraction of my former income, to campaign for clean energy. I left Greenpeace (1997) to set up a non-profit organisation campaigning for clean energy. I turned it into a for-profit company (1999) because I came to the view that was the best possible way I could campaign for clean energy – by creating a commercial success that could show the way. The company I set up gives 5% of its operating profit to a charity that also campaigns for clean energy, SolarAid. All that said, I hope Solarcentury makes a lot of money. It won’t have succeeded in its mission if it doesn’t. I’m hoping fewer people will still want to discount my arguments, knowing the history. But then again, an awful lot of bile gets split in some of the comments on my Guardian blog, and I could be being naive.
Penance: the La Coruna oilspill, northern Spain, December 1992
The CNN clip above summarises why I think we need to accelerate the solar revolution already underway. To my amazement, the CNN programme in which it features was paid for by Shell, a company that I think is complicit in brewing the energy crisis while not trying hard enough on renewables. Shell also paid Time and Fortune magazines to carry a full page essay I wrote relaying a somewhat un-Shell-like world view.