Is it politically possible to avert dangerous climate change?

The Stockholm Network’s Carbon Scenarios describe 3 plausible futures resulting from 3 different approaches to climate policy at the international level. Worryingly, none of the scenarios provides a policy which achieves climate ‘success’ as defined by the UK, EU and UN (a greater than 90% chance of no more than 2°C warming above preindustrial levels).

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Oil Dollar Euro ULP

I’m interested by the claim repeated in numerous news analyses that “investors are buying oil to hedge against the sliding greenback” – it seems to me to be a tad more significant that world oil demand has exceeded world oil supply for the last several months, and looks like doing so for at least the rest of this year. My forecasts for year end 2008: $145 barrel; A$1=US$1; ULP at $1.87 per litre. Enjoy.

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Oil Prices: where now?

On Webdiary we’ve gone round the the Peak Oil loop more than a few times over the last few years (eg here). A new point of interest has arisen over this week: for the first time in the last few years the oil futures price has come out of its persistent state of contango as it rose back over USD75. What does this mean? Well, the short answer is, for the first time in a long while, oil futures dealers are not on balance convinced that the next move in the oil price is necessarily up.

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How Warm will Warming be?

Mark Lynas’ “Six Degrees: our future on a hotter planet” works systematically through the impact of warming the planet one degree at a time through the range of predictions for the next century. Key sentence: “none of the continent of Australia – except perhaps the extreme north and Tasmania – will be able to support significant crop production in the four-degree world because of heatwaves and declining rainfall.”

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Morality without a God

Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion, says: “If this book works as I intend, religious readers who open it will be atheists when they put it down”. On the face of it, a deeply unlikely ambition, and not one that is borne out by the quality of the writing. Along the way, however, it does raise some important questions about the nature of morality, and the relationship of morality to religion.

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Beyond Left and Right: Frank Furedi’s “Politics of Fear”

David McKnight’s Beyond Right and Left: New Politics and the Culture Wars was reviewed on Webdiary back in October. McKnight is essentially a politician whose analysis of the capture of the parties of the left by the market imperative is used as a basis for a program for regeneration of the left. Almost simultaneously with McKnight’s Australian publication, a very different analysis by a right-wing sociologist, Frank Furedi, was published in the UK: Politics of Fear: beyond left and right (London & New York, Continuum).

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