City dwellers should not be so carbon smug

It is often thought that people who live in cities have a smaller carbon footprint than countryside dwellers. Reasons for this include the greater need in rural areas for private motor transport, and the distances involved in transporting goods and services to the point of use. From a study of urban and suburban population centres […]

Read More →
Climate inertia could be the death of us

Procrastination over climate change will likely not result in mass deaths of rich, overfed and over-domesticated westerners, but it may foreshorten the lives of millions in the developing world. That’s politics for you. Or rather politics and money. This is my cynical reaction to an article in the New Zealand Herald, kindly pointed out to […]

Read More →
Anglo-Saxon piss and wind

Martin Kettle in the Guardian, that bastion of liberal democracy and internationalism… “The question facing Europeans is therefore this. Not to forge an ever closer union in which, for all the EU’s successes, the word forge seems unhappily to be increasingly appropriate. But how to manage the now foreseeable breakup of the EU in a […]

Read More →
Ein Engel geht vorbei

Now that I’ve posted this short clip from Wim Wenders’ “Der Himmel über Berlin”, as a kind of micro-obituary for actor Peter Falk, I shall open a bottle of wine and watch the whole thing on DVD. It is a film I rate very highly indeed. Likewise the follow-up, “In weiter Ferne, so nah!” I […]

Read More →
The Wikileaks saga continues – get your tickets now!

But only if you a staff journalist working for an established media company. Wikileaks supremo Julian Assange‘s extradition hearing will resume on 12 July, and up to 100 hacks will be allowed access to this spectacle of judicial theatre. The catch is that the Assange hearing is a ticket-only event, and likely to be heavily […]

Read More →
IBT says broadcasters failed to prepare for Arab Spring

As part of the publicity for its “Outside the box” report, the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT) has damned UK broadcasters for failing to prepare audiences for political upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East. Looking in particular at non-news programming on the principal channels, such as those of the BBC, ITV and Sky, the […]

Read More →
Europe joins forces in space and defence

It has been more than a decade since three wise men appointed by the European Space Agency (ESA) first met to discuss the evolution and enlargement of the organisation which coordinates the space activities of most EU member states and a few others besides. Among the topics discussed by Carl Bildt, Lothar Späth and Jean […]

Read More →
Happy solstice!

It’s mid afternoon, and I’ve only just risen from my pit, having led a cycling circuit of of London yesterday evening, as part of National Bike Week, and then taken part in the Midsummer Madness nighttime ride to greet the solstice dawn on Primrose Hill. Midsummer Madness is a ride created by the late Barry […]

Read More →
What is Mandarin for “Paul Staines is a cunt”?

I think highly of Index on Censorship, but I cannot for the life of me understand why it gives space to a bloggertarian gossipmonger and convicted drunk driver who habitually refers to himself in the third person, adopting the moniker of a 17th century terrorist whose aim was to replace one despotic regime with another. […]

Read More →
Loukanikos and the Hellenic Spring

English ex-pat in Greece Peter Ryley talks of his adopted country’s “Dog days”, and quotes favourably from the comments of Columbia University historian Mark Mazower. To my mind, some of the most thoughtful English comments on the Greek situation come from Newsnight‘s residually trottish economics editor Paul Mason. In Mason we have a proper journalist […]

Read More →
fff