Michael Morpurgo on Climate Change and the need to act

A short film written by Michael Morpurgo for the Climate Coalition’s “Show the Love” campaign.

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Floods will worsen across Europe

A new report by the EAA predicts more five times more damage from floods across Europe by 2050 as climate change increases, but also blames where we build, highlighting that our use of flood plains.

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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Climate Change and the Need to act

Speaking at a U.N. Investors conference on 27th January.

Today I call on the investor community to build on the strong momentum from Paris and seize the opportunities for clean energy growth. I challenge investors to double – at a minimum – their clean energy investments by 2020.”

“Sustainable, clean energy is growing, but not nearly fast enough to prevent excessive global warming that would trigger profound economic disruption and human suffering. The investor community is of critical importance if we are to move from aspirations to action.”

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The future of steel…

Very insightful article by Dr Julian Allwood celebrating the achievements of the European steel industry but explaining its problem and how it could move positively into the future.

Of particular relevance to me are the 50% wastage rate for steel sheet, that 66% of scrap is exported, that the best Chinese plant has the same emissions intensity as the best European plants and that India will be building new capacity soon.

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Man and planet

5 videos showing our impact on resources, forests, water, climate and urbanisation over the last 20-30 years, using images from NASA.

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Having fun with ISO Standards!

As seen at Standards Norway’s offices.

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The Creative Community (including David Bowie) on Climate Change and the need to act

Letter on eve of COP21 organised by Julie’s Bicycle

Dear Executive Secretary Figueres and COP 21 President, Minister Fabius,

We, the creative community as represented by the signatories below, ask all those responsible for negotiating the post 2020 climate change f
ramework to agree an ambitious and inspiring international agreement.

The creative community – design, advertising, broadcasting, publishing, film, gaming, fashion, literature, music, the performing and visual arts, galleries and museums – can Continue reading

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Luvvies on Climate Change, and the need to act


Ridley Scott’s film for the Climate Coalition using the lyrics of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 spoken by some of Britain’s best known actors.

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Estimated Global Embodied Carbon of Construction Materials

(reposted with original error corrected)

RICS have published an infographic comparing the Embodied Carbon and Production of various construction materials . In my view, an uninformed viewer might assume that the problem materials in relation to Embodied Carbon and Construction are Aluminium and Concrete .

MODUS_Embodied carbon_HR

My issues are as follows:

Firstly, the production figures are global, although this is not specified and no source is given for the figures.

Secondly, timber and brick have been excluded from the assessment.   ICE gives the typical fossil CO2 emission from production of the UK consumption mixture of timber products as 0.31 kg CO2e/kg, and global production of timber is estimated at 3.5 billion m3 (source UNECE).  For brick, global consumption is estimated at 1,300 billion bricks a year (source CATF) and I have estimated the average brick to be 2.5 kg.  ICE gives the average CO2e per kg of brick at 0.24 kg/kg but I have doubled this as most brick production occurs in emerging economies with much less efficient means of production than the UK.

Thirdly, the graph doesn’t show the resulting total Embodied CO2 resulting from global production of each product – the global carbon footprint, and also doesn’t take account of the fact that not all global production is used in construction and infrastructure – the percentages vary widely between products.

Using this data, the graphs look very different, and we should be much more concerned by the embodied carbon of copper, and much less concerned by aluminium.  Steel, concrete and brick impacts globally also look much more comparable, and significant at a global level than in the RICS graph.

Finally, I would note that the Embodied Carbon figures used by RICS, taken from the ICE Database, are per kg of global production for Aluminium, per kg of European production for Copper (global ECO2 is expected to be higher according to ICE), per kg of UK production for concrete, per kg of UK production for Steel (with a European recycled content) (the global figure is 1.95 kg CO2e/kg from ICE), and the geographic scope is unclear from ICE for Iron and Lead.  I have used the timber figure from ICE based on UK consumption and assumed a density of 400 kg/m3, and for brick a figure double the UK figure with an assumed mass of 2.5 kg/brick.

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U.S. Millennials (aged 18-30) on Climate Change and the need to act

Taken from USA Today

“By an overwhelming 80%-10%, those surveyed say the United States should transition to mostly clean or renewable energy by 2030”

A USA TODAY/Rock the Vote Millennial Poll finds an emerging generation that is more pragmatic than ideological and not yet firmly aligned with either political party. Across partisan lines, millennials have reached a generational consensus on some of the major issues that have proved divisive for their elders.

The online survey by Ipsos, the first of four this year in conjunction with Rock the Vote, was taken last Monday through Thursday of 1,141 adults, ages 18 through 34. The credibility interval, akin to a margin of error, is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The top issue by far for millennials is the economy, including concerns about jobs, the minimum wage and paid leave. Their second-ranking issue is specific to their stage of life: college affordability and student debt. That’s followed closely by foreign policy and terrorism, health care and guns. A combination of those who cite climate change and those who cite energy puts that issue in the top rank as well.

Brianne Stone, 29, of Huntsville, Ala., says her biggest concern is global warming. “We aren’t going to take any actions, and by the time that we do, it’s going to be the point that it’s too late,” she says. She wants the candidates “first and foremost to admit that it’s a real thing.”

“If we don’t have a place to live, then it doesn’t really make sense to worry about anything else,” agrees Scott McGeary, 34, of Seattle, citing the threat of climate change to the future of the planet.

By an overwhelming 80%-10%, those surveyed say the United States should transition to mostly clean or renewable energy by 2030, an ambitious goal that would surely require the leadership of the next president. By more than 2-1, they say the government should invest more heavily in buses and rail.

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