Tips on climate, planning and the economy | Brussels Blog

Tips on climate, planning and the economy

posted by on 17th Jul 2020
17th,Jul

Not ordered by importance.

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Free from unfriendly posh neighbours

posted by on 8th Oct 2020
8th,Oct

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Consumers choose to be “free from”

With money in the bank, a trip to the supermarket becomes a simple example of the economics of consumer choice: Stroll down the aisles choosing what you can afford. Economist would say your choices are “maximising your utility” – within your budget.

Now even in the less-posh supermarkets, there are ”free from”  aisles where the goods are free from gluten, dairy, nuts, refined sugar, meat or pesticides. Could there be “free from” neighbourhoods, which were free from neighbours with lifestyles we don’t like?

Here the law has a say. Certain types of “free-from” neighbourhoods are illegal. In England & Wales, when housing is being rented or sold, it is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of disability, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion & etc.  So, it may be difficult to choose to live in neighbourhoods “free from”, say, Methodists. Quite right too.

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Nothing else seems to work so give my proposal to create jobs a look.

posted by on 24th Sep 2020
24th,Sep

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My mantra …

“Subsidise goods that use lots of labour.
Tax those that don’t.”

This has been a mantra of mine for the past 50 years.

Despite a research project funded by the European Commission, an article in the Guardian and letters in the FT, no government has taken this simple idea to heart.

The rationale is simple, if there is unemployment, there is spare labour . A good way to use that labour is to consume goods that use it. A policy that could bring this about is to “subsidise goods that use lots of labour and tax those that don’t”.

I proposed a change to VAT to do this: Raise the nominal rate of VAT but balance it by giving a rebate for every worker employed.

This scheme is designed to create employment at the bottom of the labour market, which by increasing demand will increase the lowest wages. It does this because the rebate is flat rate so has more impact on low paid work. (Example below.)

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The CCC: Optimistic and business friendly?

posted by on 22nd Sep 2020
22nd,Sep

This piece doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the work of the
Committee on Climate Change – in what I imagine are difficult circumstances.

This note argues that the Committee on Climate Change should inform the UK Government that:

1. The Paris Agreement sidelines the cumulative effects of global warming like sea level rise and melting tundra.

2. Climate models with missing climate feedbacks should not be used in policy formation.

3. The UK’s proposal for measuring greenhouse gases changes the defintion of net-zero emissions in a perverse way.


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Earth’s Energy Imbalance and Greenhouse Heating

All the energy that enters or leaves the Earth does so via radiation at the top of the atmosphere. Before the Industrial Revolution, usually assumed to start in 1750, incoming radiation was balanced by outgoing radiation (with the exception noted in Deeper Earth below). Since then, triggered by emissions of greenhouse gases, less energy is leaving the Earth than entering, causing the Earth’s Energy Imbalance (EEI), which has been described as “the most fundamental metric defining the status of global climate change”.

Here, the Earth’s Energy Imbalance will be referred to as ‘greenhouse heating’ and  the extra energy stored in the Earth since 1750 will be referred to as ‘greenhouse heat’. The extra energy is stored as heat. This includes latent heat that has melted ice.

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Paris Agreement dodges cumulative effects

posted by on 28th Aug 2020
28th,Aug

This post uses a thermal model of the Earth, divided into two parts. Instant Earth that reacts immediately to greenhouse warming and Cumulative Earth that accumulates the effects of greenhouse warming.

Conclusion: The cumulative effects of global warming are not being taken seriously enough.

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Earth’s Energy Imbalance

All the energy that enters or leaves the Earth does so via radiation at the top of the atmosphere. Before the industrial revolution, e.g. 1750, incoming radiation was balanced by outgoing radiation. Since then, triggered by emissions of greenhouse gases, less energy is leaving the Earth than entering, causing the Earth’s Energy Imbalance (EEI), which has been described as “the most fundamental metric defining the status of global climate change”.

Here, the extra energy stored in the Earth since 1750 will be referred to as ‘greenhouse heat’ as it is stored as heat (including latent heat from melted ice).

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Energy, waste and sustainable lifestyles

posted by on 29th Jul 2020
29th,Jul

Climate economic studies convincingly show that one of the best investments to fix climate in the medium run is to invest heavily in green R&D.

Bjorn Lomborg in The New York Post, a Murdoch paper

Lurwick Energy from Waste plant

The No Time to Waste report

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Cut methane emissions now

posted by on 13th Jul 2020
13th,Jul

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Sea level, methane and a false assumption

Heat in the oceans is causing se levels to rise

The Paris Agreement central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

UnitedNations, Climate Change: The Paris Agreement

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Take climate policy from the UK business department.

posted by on 6th Jul 2020
6th,Jul

Here is one of my submissions to the Labour Party Policy Forum. It argues that climate policy should be taken from BEIS and a new Department of Climate Change should take over this brief.

Climate Change and The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Part 1: The Recent history of UK climate change policy

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Methane emissions and the Committee on Climate Change

posted by on 30th Jun 2020
30th,Jun
Persuading the Committee on Climate Change to quickly reduce methane emissions


I admire the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and welcome their recent report to Parliament. However, I read the report with the knowledge that the CCC is sponsored by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). I think that BEIS values business interests over climate climate change. (I have made a submission to the Labour Party Policy Forum, Climate Change and BEIS.)

BEIS also appoint the members of the CCC.

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Let’s think of a plan for Labour to split

posted by on 28th Apr 2020
28th,Apr

First published on DontLookNow.org 15thMarch 2017.

Seems relevant once again.

I’ve been a Labour Party member since 1964. Never liked “the Party” much but have liked many fellow members. I still pay my dues because the alternatives are worse.

What abut a split?

Then both sides won’t be so dogged by the sins of the past. Like …

  • Blair’s academy schools
  • Browns PFIs
  • Milliband’s failure to oppose Universal Credit that is impoverishing section of the poor. (Labour Party Lord: ” They knew. As useful as chocolate teapots”)
  • Limp action on climate change. (Blair sacked Michael Meacher remember.)

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