Standby power: how significant a problem is it?

David Aaronovitch, in an interesting, if somewhat rambling article on global warming, presents readers with the following challenge: “Here’s a test though. What do readers think would be the reaction of public and opinion-formers to the following: a law to ban the production of electronic equipment with standby buttons? Stolid acceptance of the sense of […]

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Climate change is happening, so how should we deal with it?

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 5 September 2006. Environmental scientists all too often fail to get their message across to the public in terms that will have a positive and lasting impact. The language scientists and lobby groups use can be either opaque, with decontextualised numbers flying all […]

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Argument and consensus on the environment

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 24 July 2006. The Copenhagen Consensus project is a valuable contribution to the debate on environmental policy, but it’s one small part of a wide-ranging discussion involving scientists, engineers, economists, policy makers and the general public. Perhaps the strongest idea to come out […]

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Smoke and mirrors in the nuclear debate

The Liberal Democrat’s energy spokesman, Chris Huhne, writes today in the Guardian’s Comment is Free blog about the government’s decision to back nuclear power. It’s a pretty insubstantial piece, and he appears to be playing the “I am greener than thou.” game, in competition with the Conservative leader, David Cameron. This, is not, however, about […]

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Science education and market needs

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 11 July 2006. In his recent comment on the state of science teaching, Boris Johnson makes some very good points, and I have to agree with him that science education in the state sector is poor. I’ll come to that later, after challenging […]

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On the assisted political suicide of John Prescott

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 7 July 2006. Mired in political scandal, including the “Domegate” affair with billionaire American businessman Philip Anschutz, John Prescott is clearly a dead man walking. The Deputy Prime Minister’s days in office are, I fear, numbered as the hairs on the top of […]

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Israel and the civil infrastructure in Gaza

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 30 June 2006. Yesterday’s Guardian Leader on Israel’s military offensive in Gaza included the statement that the missile attack on the power plant made no military sense. I dispute this interpretation on the grounds that causing short-term civil chaos in urban communities makes […]

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In praise of … John Bolton

This article was published on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website on 12 June 2006. The man who famously said “There is no such thing as the United Nations.” is no diplomat in the conventional sense, despite his job title. John R. Bolton is a neoconservative troubleshooter appointed last year to represent American interests at […]

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