The renewable energy and waste industries: 21st century confederates in changing the global economy


A slightly extended version of my column this month in Recharge Magazine:

Familiar transformative technologies such as the telephone, car, and air conditioner mostly disseminated slowly in the 20th century. They took decades in America to reach 50% of households and move beyond. In the 1990s, the computer, cellphone, and internet travelled much faster growth curves. Such accelerated technology takeup seems likely to continue in the 21st century, as renewable energy, batteries, and electric vehicles are in the process of demonstrating.

Two things are changing alongside this speeding up of product... read more...

State of The Transition, September 2016: “Anyone who does not understand what is going on is not in the right place.”


September began with the USA and China symbolically ratifying the Paris Agreement in time for the G20 Summit, and ended with French Environment Minister Ségolène Royal tweeting “victoire!” as she and her peers agreed that the EU can ratify collectively without waiting for individual member governments. At the time of writing, the treaty seems to be within days of coming into force. The doubters have been proved wrong.

Many businesses need no further persuasion of the writing on the wall. Six hundred multinational companies are now factoring the Paris Agreement into their business plans, according to CDP. Unsurprisingly, utilities... read more...

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Latest blog posts

“The solar revolution is coming… fossil fuels could be facing extinction”: BBC Click

screenshot-2016-10-01-12-49-23 ...

In the UK’s scramble to “keep the lights on”, the new government should listen to its favourite newspaper


A slightly extended version of my column this month in Recharge Magazine:

Given that energy is the essential bedrock of a healthy economy, it is both frustrating and bewildering to watch a protracted national debate like the one accompanying the Brexit referendum and its aftermath and see how little time and attention is allotted to energy policy. In the run up to the... read more...

State of The Transition, August 2016: Tailwinds for clean energy and the Paris agreement, deepening doldrums for the incumbency


It was vaguely wonderful watching Presidents Obama and Xi cement their bids for a place in history, via climate change, by announcing American and Chinese ratification of the Paris Agreement on 3rd September 2016. These two nations, so far apart on so many issues, have erected glass walls around the shared climate threat and worked hard together for four years to fight it. They do so now buoyed... read more...

State of The Transition, July 2016: Might the fossil fuel industries implode faster than the clean energy industries can grow to replace them?


In a memorable recent statement, some of Germany’s top scientists argued that “controlled implosion of fossil industries and explosive renewables development” can deliver the targets in the Paris agreement on climate change. Taking this premise at face value, and setting aside the thought that other factors might also be needed, the course of events in July does not offer much hope... read more...

Read more blog posts >>

The chronicle which accompanies The Winning of The Carbon War

Act de Triumph

Paris - Triumph

On Saturday December 12th, 2015, I witnessed something that nothing else in human history comes close to, in terms of scale and stakes. Most of the nations on Earth, 195 of them, adopted the world’s first universal agreement to fight an existential threat to civilisation and indeed life, as we know it, on the planet.
Going into the Paris Climate Summit, there were three possible outcome... read more...

The full Chronicle >>

The Paris Climate Summit begins. The world watches. And my Chronology of the Carbon War, charting the years running up to this unique event in human history, closes. But for one more entry.

Paris - atmosphere over

With this image of the atmosphere over Paris at night, this is the penultimate entry in my Chronology of the Carbon War. The last one will be made after the summit ends, with its outcome hopefully clear. The drama that will no doubt unfold in the next two weeks I will describe in the last few chapters of The Winning of the Carbon War, to be published as a free-download e-book in the first week... read more...

Latest interviews, presentations, videos and Tweets

Selected interviews:

“The solar revolution is coming… fossil fuels could be facing extinction”: BBC Click

BBC TV News’s popular Click programme summarises the state of play in solar, and how step-changes in cell efficiency could be “icing on the cake”, as I put it.… Read-morescreenshot-2016-10-01-12-49-23

More Interviews >>