- the historic Indigenous Peoples’ Global Summit on Climate Change and its implications for the UN climate talks in Copenhagen at the end of the year
- the Arctic’s central position in the climate tipping point story and
- the rush to exploit the fossil fuel resources in the Arctic opened up by the sea ice melt
We also hear from Vietnam vet and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge campaigner, Robert Thompson, about the potential impacts of an oil spill and about the oil company tactic of bribery that has attempted to split and buy-out local opposition to oil drilling.
In a recent Guardian newspaper poll, nine out of ten climate scientists said they did not believe political efforts to restrict average global warming to 2C would succeed. However, two new papers in the 30th April issue of Nature magazine show that it is still technically possible to conceive of an emissions trajectory that would make it likely (ie give us a 75% chance) that we would keep within 2C of global warming compared to pre-industrial times (the threshold defined by the EU between acceptable and dangerous climate change). However it is a tiny budget – less than a quarter of the remaining proven fossil fuel reserves. We speak to one of the lead authors of the studies – Myles Allen of the Climate Dynamics team, University of Oxford – to draw out some of the implications for national and international policymakers.
- We can release 1,000 GtCO2 between 2000-2050 if we want to have a 75% chance of staying below 2C
- We have already used up a third of this budget (2000-2008)
- Our remaining budget (700 GtC02) is equivalent to less than a quarter of the remaining proven fossil fuel reserves
- James Hansen’s 350 ppmC02 scenario will give us a higher chance of staying below 2C since it is based on a lower emissions budget
- An emissions budget should be the focus of the UN talks rather than a stabilization target (such as 350ppmCO2) or a long-term target (such as 50-85% global cut in CO2 by 2050)
- The Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Country blocs (together representing 100 countries and around 1 billion people) are calling for temperature rise to be limited to 1.5C rather than 2C
- George Monbiot (The Guardian)
- Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party)
- Jeremy Leggett (Solar Century)
- Leila Deen (activist)
The new series of “The 300-350 Show” kicks of with a recording of the presentations given at the launch of the “Climate Safety” report last Autumn. The Public Interest Centre’s “Climate Safety” report gives a clear and simple summary of the latest science, and shows how our current handling of the problem has exposed us to serious and growing risks. With Arctic sea ice melting away faster than anyone had predicted, the climate seems more sensitive than almost anyone thought, placing us in the middle of a climate emergency that cannot be ignored or brushed aside.
The report delivers a clear message that to have any chance of maintaining a safe climate, we must rapidly decarbonise our society, preserve global sinks, and address the problem with an unprecedented degree of seriousness. Even with a commitment to 80% carbon cuts by 2050, “Climate Safety” warns that our current policy response does not match up to the scale of the challenge.
At this launch event, recorded last Autumn, the panelists discuss how we can get beyond “politics-as-usual” and achieve a full, emergency response.
Many thanks to film-maker Beth Stratford for the use of her sound recordings.
Special 45-minute programme celebrating the launch of a major new independently produced climate change documentary-drama, The Age of Stupid. Made by the producer of McLibel and financed by “crowd-funding”, the film stars Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite living alone in 2055 in a world devastated by climate change. He looks back at archive footage and asks “why didn’t we act when we had the chance?”
The programme takes a look behind the scences and features exclusive interviews with producer Franny Armstrong and head of animation Leo Murray, various audio clips, plus appearances from Postlethwaite and Caroline Lucas MEP. This is an edit of a 60-minute live Clear Spot programme on ResonanceFM.
- The most eminent US scientist and head of Nasa, Dr James Hansen, has said that we have passed the tipping point for Arctic and Greenland ice loss. This has dramatic implications for the possible accelaration of the rate of climate change
- He says we now need to stabilise levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere below 350 parts per million (ppm) – lower than they are today (ca. 387 ppm)
- He says to have any chance of doing this, the first thing we need is a moratorium on new coal fired plants that do not have carbon capture and storage
We discuss all this with Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of Scientists for Global Responsibility, who was a reviewer on the IPCC’s 2001 Report; and with Richard Hawkins of the Public Interest Research Centre, who is preparing a UK edition of Climate Equity’s Climate Code Red report for publication.
We consider whether our programme needs to change its name from The Two Degrees Show to The 350 Show in the light of the latest scientific findings…
We launch our new series by revisiting some of the results and implications of last year’s IPCC Report as well as looking at the recent observations from the Arctic. Our guides this week are two scientists who have acted as expert reviewers for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Joanna Haigh, Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London and Dr Stuart Parkinson, Exectuive Director of Scientists for Global Responsibility.
- None of the IPCC scenarios keep us within a 2C global average temperature rise (compared to pre-industrial times) which has been defined by the EU as a dangerous level that must not be exceeded
- The climate computer models used by the IPCC have been underestimating Arctic ice loss – recent observations suggest that there is now a 50% chance that the north pole may be ice-free this summer
In the words of IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri (November 2007): “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two or three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”
- George Monbiot – Guardian columnist and author of “Heat: How to stop the planet Burning” (Penguin)
- Richard Hawkins – co-author of “Zero Carbon Britain” (Centre for Alternative Technology) and
- Sophie and Olly from the Climate Camp
Both George Monbiot and the Centre for Alternative Technology have worked out what the UK needs to do in order to play its part in the global challenge of avoiding dangerous climate change. New scientific findings are telling us we need to act faster than we previously thought and move rapidly to a world without fossil fuels by reducing our energy usage and powering our remaining energy use from renewable sources.
– How can we galvanise the political will to make it happen?
– How will these changes affect the way we live?
– Can we, in fact, live better with less?
Recording by Indymedia.
Programme produced by Phil England.
The new series of programmes produced by Climate Radio springs into life with an interview with Mark Lynas, author of “High Tide: News from a warming world”, “Collins Gem: Carbon Counter” and “Six Degrees: our future on a warming planet”. An informal interview taking in Mark’s review of the scientific literature on the impacts of global warming and how his own low carbon lifestyle affords him a “supreme” quality of life. A kind of “ghost of Christmas future” apparition before we concentrate on the green shoots of our post-carbon future.
The first of two programmes featuring interviews with speakers featured at the RSA “No Way Back?” conference on arts and ecology.
We had the good fortune to speak to:
Professor John Schellnhuber – chief advisor to the German government on climate change
- What does he regard as a responsible level of global mean temperature rise?
- What level of greenhouse concentration in the atmosphere does he suggest we aim to stabilise at?
- If 550ppmv is dangerous and likely to lead to amplifying feedbacks, why is the UK government keeping this outdated target?
- What will be the chief messages he will be giving to the German government over the coming critical year?
Ed Gillespie, Creative Director, Futerra Sustainability Communications
- What is the current public understanding of climate change?
- How do we communicate for behaviour change?
- Around the World in 80 Ways – Ed’s globe trotting project which explores the joys of travelling without flying
and James Mariott – co-founder, Platform
- London as an oil city
- Dismantling the network of institutions that comprise the Carbon Web
- “And While London Burns” – Platform’s new operatic soundwalk around the fossil fuel institutions of the City of London
The new series kicks off with a refresher on the science from a leading authority and a look at the scale and urgency of the challenge now facing us. David Griggs is the Director of the Hadley Centre (the Meteorological Office’s Centre for Climate Prediction and Research). He talks us through the basic science of climate change – what we know and what we don’t know. Dr Alice Bows of the Tyndall Centre is co-author of the “Living Within A Carbon Budget” report which was commissioned by Friends of the Earth and Co-operative Bank and published in July 2006.