I have much admiration for those climate scientists who publish cutting-edge research in their respective fields but at the same time feel a moral imperative to engage with a general audience over the dangers of global warming. Professor Andrew Dessler is one such soul, and in this short presentation (via Skeptical Science) he explains the concept of ‘decision-making under uncertainty’ and how it pertains to climate change—a subject close to my heart.
Last week I mentioned how even The Financial Times was talking up the competitiveness of solar on the back of the steep drop in panel prices (here). In a similar vein, The Guardian just published a lovely article on how sections of the American right were adopting solar as part of the ‘off grid’ movement that seeks independence from big government and big corporations.
The New York Times published some stunning satellite images onunder the title “Gorgeous Glimpses of Calamity“. Unfortunately, as the the title of the article suggests, all is not well with the planet.
Earlier this month, The New Scientist carried a special report called “Frack to the Future”. Unfortunately, it’s behind a pay wall, but hunt down a hard copy from a library if you have time. The conclusion of the article is that shale gas will have only a minor role in moderating CO2 emissions and should not be seen as the much-hyped bridge to a renewable future.
The four main swing producers in the global oil market are Russia, the U.S., Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Production trends in the first two markets are relatively transparent. Iraqi output, by contrast, is difficult to forecast, but a recent article by the The Financial Times article notes that current targets are being missed by a considerable margin. Given instability in a number of smaller producers like Nigeria, Libya and Southern Sudan, the responsibility for keeping the oil market in balance without the need for price spikes rests with Saudi Arabia. Whether Saudi has the spare capacity to carry out this role is a matter for debate, but Stuart Staniford at the Early Warning blog does a great job of tracking Saudi production and rig count.