Press Articles

Climate change optimism is justified – a complete transition from carbon to solar and wind power looks practical and affordable within a generation (published in The Guardian on 19 January 2017).

My first book on climate change was published 10 years ago. I looked at how responsible individuals could choose to run their lives to cut their carbon footprint.

Inevitably minimising your carbon footprint meant making some uncomfortable choices – stopping eating meat, for example, or giving up flying. Hair-shirtism, in short. In 2009, I advised individuals on how they could cut their carbon emissions by 10%.

I then disobeyed some of my own recommendations, flying to the US to visit a daughter at university, for example. Over the subsequent years, it increasingly seemed to me that changing western lifestyles in the way my first book suggested was going to be an impossible struggle.

This is a call for the world-wide move to phase out of fossil fuel energy systems and a global moratorium on new coal fired reactors; local, regional and worldwide closure of coal mines, and for the rise of a renewable economy and industry, at an equitable, steady-state economic development trajectory. To help preserve valuable financial assets, all plans for new nuclear assets and the misguided carbon capture and storage CCS should be reassigned to renewable system deployment: a far more practical, economical and rapid path to carbon sanity.

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