By 2050 the UK will have reduced its emissions to less than 20% of 1990 levels. But with an 80% cut, what will actually change about our lives? Regular travellers on London Underground’s Piccadilly Line will be familiar with an artist’s impression of future London, with giant biomes and huge algae farms (for fuel rather than food, I think) but that looks more like something off Battlestar Galactica than the real future. Don’t you love how future-looking fiction always overestimates things? I mean, according to Back to the Future we’re only 3 years away from flying skateboards…
But I digress.

The Government has created an online tool to allow the public to see what the major differences will be by 2050, and to help them understand the scale of the whole operation. You can check it out here:

It’s honestly amazing and as far as I can tell, the science and the figures behind it are pretty accurate. Have a look yourself and see what you can come up with to ge to 80%

Blog entry by: Daniel Lowe

This was actually front page news in October. It’s rather unbelievable that after all these years there are still people that think that climate change is either

a)    Not happening
b)    Happening but it’s not our fault
c)    Happening but there’s nothing we can do about it
d)    A scam dreamed up by the government to rob us of extra taxes
e)    A scam dreamed up by radical lefties who don’t like cars.

The one thing that I did find funny, though, was the fact that the research group in question, which included Nobel laureates, was part funded by climate change deniers (

Now that is newsworthy… or at least Have I Got News For You-worthy.

The reason I’ve chosen to blog about this is not because of what the article says, but because of what its existence says. The fact that reports confirming the existence of climate change still make headline news is disturbing. Why, after all these years, do we still have to convince people? The scientific community has reached far greater a consensus on this than they have on the evolution of the human species, the origin of the universe or what causes cancer, and yet people still don’t listen. Some of my favourite comments on the article are listed below for a laugh but they still do worry me.

The brighter side of this scepticism, however, is that that this government has kept the previous’ promise to cut UK emissions by 80%. The important people have read the writing on the wall and are ignoring the cries of ‘scam’ ‘pseudo science’ and ‘eco-fascists.’ I think it’s time the media started ignoring them too. Either that or can we have an article on ‘racism terrible for communities’ ‘terrorism=bad’ and ‘Pope confirms he is Catholic.’

Blog written by Tobias Allen
 Probably the most annoying thing about environmental campaigning is the conflict. It seems that one wing of environmental concern is constantly pitted against another. Take renewable energy for example. Every environmentalist wants to see more energy come from wind, tidal and solar sources but as soon as you suggest putting up a wind farm someone starts advocating for the biodiversity of birds in the area. Similarly, there is a real environmental principle supporting GM: it can make crops more resistant to drought and needs less land for farming by producing stronger yields… but it isn’t natural and there are risks involved. And of course, don’t forget the land conflicts of growing biofuels instead of food, even though drilling for oil (which we still need for freight and personal transport) killed countless marine organisms in the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s a sad state of affairs. There doesn’t appear to be an agreed hierarchy of importance. Personally, I think steps which prevent a more than 2oC rise should take priority over international development and biodiversity, simply because any greater a temperature rise and more people will go hungry and more species will be extinct. I’m also a pragmatist. I think the radical environmentalists who hold out for a social, economic and agricultural revolution which sees 100% of energy come from renewables and no use of oil, coal or gas (including transport) is too far off a future for us to consider: climate change is a real problem now and we need to stop it now. The amount of effort required to get people to accept much higher costs of living to make the greenest transition will create too long a moratorium and we’ll miss our chance to curb a rise at 2oC.

So that’s my view on priorities: biodiversity takes a back seat to energy issues. But that still leaves a few questions. How do we move to an energy market which is low-carbon enough to stop runaway climate change? What should that mix of sources look like? What are the obstacles?