21 things they never tell you about poor countries

Wonderful article on the state of the global poor.

Emergent Economics

Prompted by Bill Gates’s annual letter and the response from the Overseas Development Institute I thought I’d list some of the things that in my experience seem to be less understood about poor countries. (I wanted to list 23 things like Ha-Joon Chang on capitalism but I couldn’t think of another two). I use the word poor on purpose because although the word risks sounding patronising or dismissive, euphemisms like developing and less-developed can be worse. Thoughts are welcome.

1. Poverty is the rule, not the exception.For most people life just isn’t as good as it is for you and I, the comfortable people from a country rich enough to allow us the literacy, time and Internet access to read blogs written by well-meaning left liberals. Poverty-as-rule-not -exception is difficult to bend our minds around because we tend to base our views about the world on direct experience. If…

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Algaetecture The future of CCS?

Algaetecture The future of CCS?

Awesome proof of concept! I really hope to see this kind of thing adapted and retrofitted to all buildings! There is so much opportunity in the urban environment to provide remediation for it’s impacts if this technology is made more efficient and more refined. I can see this providing shade in the increasing warmth and removing transport exhaust emissions and if engineered to run on AMD we can treat that too or at least find a use for that water in massive oxygen farms!

For more info see: http://www.carloratti.com/project/algaetecture/

Oil Limits and Climate Change – How They Fit Together

Interesting take on drivers I had not considered as being part of the climate change debate but of course this is a truly global problem and the global economy is a massive driver of human behavior, in retrospect it makes a lot of sense. You can’t fight physics… Unless you have unlimited energy and as this article points out, we don’t.

Our Finite World

We hear a lot about climate change, especially now that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently published another report. At the same time, oil is reaching limits, and this has an effect as well. How do the two issues fit together?

In simplest terms, what the situation means to me is that the “low scenario,” which the IPCC calls “RCP2.6,” is closest to what we can expect in terms of man-made carbon emissions. Thus, the most reasonable scenario, based on their modeling, would seem to be the purple bar that continues to rise for the next twenty years or so and then is close to horizontal.

Figure 1. Summary Climate Change Exhibit from new  IPCC Report. Figure 1. Summary global average surface temperature change exhibit from new IPCC Report.

I come to this conclusion by looking at the tables of anthropogenic carbon emission shown in Annex II of the report. According to IPCC data, the…

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IPCC double standards on energy barriers

Stop-gap nuclear energy being down played by IPCC.

Brave New Climate

Advocating energy policy to ecologists…

It’s been quite a while since my last BNC update! My excuse is a heavy travel schedule – first to Moscow to help decide the winner of this year’s Global Energy Prize (see here) as part of the International Awards Committee, and then to Raleigh, North Carolina, to visit a long-standing colleague (Scott Mills and the ‘hare lab’) at NCSU and deliver a couple of talks (one on meta-modelling and another on energy policy – see here for a write-up of the latter talk). I also snuck in a visit to the spectacular Hanging Rock.

Anyway, to the main point of this post. The IPCC have released statements regarding their Working Group III report for AR5, on mitigation, with the full report to be released tomorrow (15 April). Summary for Policy Makers is here. See here for some responses from experts in…

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