Not targets but U-turns: reflections on the IPCC report

Released today, the report, which summarises scientists’ understanding of what is happening with climate change, warns that Earth will unavoidably hit the critical threshold of 1.5°C warming due to climate change within the next 20 years. This is a combination of natural processes and human emissions. This is regardless of how radically global governments cut greenhouse gas emissions. This article urgently proposes a new framing approach: a pivot.

Continue reading “Not targets but U-turns: reflections on the IPCC report”

Energy Slaves

Reposted from the site for teachers maths4sustainability. This particular problem might be of interest to regular readers – it presents the idea of energy slaves which is one of the biggest challenges facing circular economy.

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We are not running out of energy; capitalism is.

Stephen Hinton 2016, photo Maj-Lis Koivisto

Most of the energy used in the world economy comes from non-renewable sources. Analysts fear that the expanding extraction of energy will not keep up with the expanding economy and …well… the the economy will deflate like a balloon and everyone will be worse off. Worst for the poor who have very little already. Or they fear that the climate will collapse because we are pouring too much carbon dioxide into it just to stay alive. Either way, the economy is so dependent on energy, they say, that we will go into a period of recessions and undermine peace is many ways. Not strictly true in my opinion  that there is too little energy: there is enough energy to keep everyone fed and housed within planetary boundaries. It’s just that there is not enough to keep capitalism going. And it is the failings of capitalism that we need to address if we are to make this peace project real, not energy supplies. Continue reading “We are not running out of energy; capitalism is.”

If climate change were a comet about to hit earth how would you plan?

Video of Professor Krumdieck answering the question “the largest challenge”



The Professor create the Global Association for Transition Engineering, an academic group to effectively manage the risks of un-sustainable resource use and environmental impacts by implementing changes and adaptations in existing engineered systems

We have to do something else with what we have left

In order to ensure that the climate does not flip to a situation where human life would be drastically reduced, we need to keep warming under 2 degrees. To do that we need to restrict release of climate  gasses into the air. Stopping the burgeoning of fossil fuels is one major part of that. But there is some wiggle room, we could maybe burn a little more……. The question is, what are we going to burn it doing?

If you ask me, ( a few do), I would say we need to use it to create sustainable communities that are far less dependent on transportation of goods to and from them. These communities need to have their own renewable sources of energy, and be designed so food and fiber production is carried out close by without the need to burn fossil fuel.

The diagram below explains how much is left. Anyone got a detailed idea of what we could do with it?

Carbon budget

Fossil Phase-out: Strategies for a new energy age

Are you working with strategy and planning, especially with value chains? We map latest understanding of fossil fuel industry and how phasing out fossil fuels will affect the economy and consider scenarios and strategies to manage them.

Fast Facts:

  • Main Theme: managing fossil-fuel intensity reductions value chain
  • Main audience: managers involved in creating scenarios and strategies for a future of uncertain energy supply
  • Main benefits: get fast insights and strategies to manage risk and opportunity
  • Length: 60 mins
  • Price: 49 Euros
  • Register: follow this link
  • Available: 19th August 12:30 CET and 20th August 19:30 CET

Continue reading “Fossil Phase-out: Strategies for a new energy age”

Municipal Matrix

The energy transition challenge is so huge that it requires every sector of society – civil society, corporations and authorities to be involved, separately and together.

And because every place is different, with its own demographics, geography, climate and installed base of infrastructure  – not to say culture – we believe there is a good case to convene a municipality- wide  cross sector collaboration.The scale of change presents opportunities too, to create the culture we want.

One of the instruments we are developing to assist this development is called the sustainable municipality matrix.

The matrix is a set of 25 dimensions, values on the horizontal axis and capital on the vertical. Addressing these dimensions will give stakeholders a view of the capability of a municipal area or similar to embrace change to sustainability. The horizontal axis represents human values and the vertical axis represents key capital categories including human, biological and social capital. Continue reading “Municipal Matrix”

White paper explains how pollutant fees can finance transition

Stephen Hinton
Anders Höglund
Published online 17 June 2013

How Flexible Emissions Fees Can Drive Transition to Fossil-free and Sustainable Living


June 2013 Version 4.02

The latest version of the white paper connects the need to exert control of the economy’s handling of carbon,  phosphorus and nitrogen as well as ecological maturity with price. Updated from previous versions, this version now connects emissions fees with the transition to the circular economy and offers more in-depth coverage of ecological maturity and the process of introducing the fee mechanism.

Read the abstract below, or download for free Continue reading “White paper explains how pollutant fees can finance transition”