Carbon storage: keeping a lid on it

Controlling climate change by long-term storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide will require keeping an extremely tight lid on the sequestered reserves. So says Gary Shaffer, a geophysicist based in Copenhagen who has modelled climate impacts based on a range of carbon leakage scenarios. Carbon sequestration is being promoted by some as a viable tool for […]

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Scum of the Earth

Foreign Policy magazine has just published a rundown of the world’s “bad dude dictators and general coconut heads”. Written by the esteemed Ghanaian economist George Ayittey, the feature is a most useful resource. Printed as hard copy and affixed to cork boards, its illustrations would make excellent dart targets.

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Lewisham on high

The London Borough of Lewisham may not be part of your average tourist itinerary, and the town centre is a dump, but the borough as a whole is a large and diverse district in terms of both physical and human geography, and it contains some absolute gems. I’ve been associated on and off with Lewisham […]

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Logos, mythos and the endless struggle for sleep

My daily journey to the land of nod is seldom an easy one, and it invariably takes a while after laying in my pit before I finally fall asleep. But during that time I occasionally get to listen to some interesting radio broadcasts before the electronic timer kicks in and the wireless switches off automatically. […]

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On the genetics of Jewishness

One more before I unchain myself from the home office desk, and switch off this wretched machine and its incessantly chattering hard drives… Scientific papers on population genetics tend to be hard going for this non-biologist, but to me the subject is so fascinating that I do my best to keep up with developments in […]

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US climate scientists throw ball into politicians’ court

Climate scientists across the Pond recently released three reports on climate change and its mitigation. These lengthy documents, which are part of a five-year study commissioned by Congress and known as America’s Climate Choices, present our current knowledge of climate science, and provide a number of recommendations for limiting and adapting to climate change. There […]

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Cooking the Iraq body count books

Listen to any ‘Stop the War’ spokesman, and you’ll likely hear quoted a number representing the excess mortality count in Iraq since the multinational military invasion and removal of the Ba’athist dictatorship. By excess mortalities we mean deaths resulting from the invasion and occupation, and subsequent terrorist activity carried out by those who refuse to […]

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It’s good to talk (or how to help the Iranians)

It’s good to talk, although maybe not so much to the regime in Tehran. Diplomacy may still have a part to play in relations between Iran and the international community, but events are squeezing the space within which diplomacy can be conducted. I’m referring instead to the call from Iran’s pro-democracy movement for practical support. […]

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“Vote for me, I’m an uncultured git!”

In his failing efforts to become the next leader of the British Labour Party, Gordon Brown’s former sidekick Ed Balls foolishly plays the class card… “We’re not all the same. I didn’t grow up in North London. I don’t come from an intellectual Labour family and neither does Andy Burnham. My grandfather was a driver […]

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