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« Royal Society hits the big time | Main | Pointman on the state of the debate »
Saturday
May112013

Diary dates

13 May 2013

5.30 – 7.00pm

Fulton A Lecture Theatre
University of Sussex

Public lecture: Capitalism, carbon and climate change

Prof Michael Jacobs, LSE

This event will be followed by a drinks reception to which all are welcome

Public lecture
All welcome

Michael Jacobs is a Visiting Professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, and in the School of Public Policy at University College London. He is a former Special Adviser at the Treasury and 10 Downing St.

About the lecture

Climate change is now upon us: the science is incontrovertible.  But the economic downturn has turned public and political attention to more immediate concerns, and climate policy in Britain and the EU is going into reverse.

In this keynote lecture, Michael Jacobs will draw parallels between the financial crisis and the crisis of climate change, both rooted in a failure of orthodox economic theory and political debate to understand the systemic risks built up by an under-regulated capitalism.  Tackling both crises will require a new way of thinking about economic value and economic policy, and a reassertion of the role of politics in securing the public good.

Details here.

20 May 2013

Jubilee Library, Brighton
7.00 – 8.30pm

At a time of rising unemployment, energy and food costs, many families are struggling to heat their homes. But can fuel poverty be tackled without tackling climate change? And will tackling climate change – and other planetary boundaries such as water and land use – and keep the planet safe but make the poor poorer?

This debate will use the local issues such as fuel poverty and fracking to look at the global issues of environmental sustainability, poverty and social justice.

Speakers:

  • Kirsty Alexander, Head of Communications, Nuclear Industry Association
  • Thurstan Crockett, Head of Sustainability, Brighton and Hove City Council
  • Doug Parr, Chief Scientist, Greenpeace
  • Jim Watson, Research Director, UK Energy Research Centre

Details here.

2 December, 2013
6pm, The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Speaker

Professor Colin R McInnes FREng FRSE, Director, Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Strathclyde

The growing availability of energy dense fuels since the industrial revolution has been an overwhelmingly civilising and liberating influence. By replacing carbohydrate-fuelled human labour with hydrocarbon-fuelled machines, many of us have been freed from the land to think, innovate and create. This lecture will explore how energy has enabled us to re-arrange matter into organised structures, imprinting our ideas on the physical world. Contrary to contemporary limit-setting views, it will be argued that our ideas and enterprise can deliver a future of shared prosperity which can flourish into the deep future.

Details here.

 

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Reader Comments (24)

Blimey, this Jacobs chap is obviously from a parallel universe..."climate change is now upon us.."
Who knew? When did an absence of any change in climate or temperature other than natural variation amount to climate change?
The financial crisis was caused by unregulated capitalism? Is he mad? What capitalism?

May 11, 2013 at 8:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterPH

It would seem that the one in Edinburgh is the only one based on reality, not religious belief, and would be worth going to.

May 11, 2013 at 8:21 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

It's Brighton for me. I want to see how SPRU and STEPS divide the speakers into debating teams.

May 11, 2013 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

I wonder how much Thurstan Crockett is costing the Council Tax payers of Brighton & Hove, especially since their "Senior Sustainability Consultant" has a £30 grand salary?

May 11, 2013 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

" a reassertion of the role of politics in securing the public good."

For my part I would be happier if politicians were a little less ambitious

May 11, 2013 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Jacobs is a pretty important guy and played a central role in the Stern Review.

May 11, 2013 at 9:16 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Public lecture: Capitalism, carbon and climate change

Prof Michael Jacobs, LSE

This event will be followed by a drinks reception [...]

Hmmm ... assuming that Michael Jacobs is this Michael Jacobs, perhaps the organizers should have considered adopting the Mary Poppins principle* ... and preceded "the event" with a drinks reception.

* for youngsters: "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"

May 11, 2013 at 9:18 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Jacobs is like a dream come true. No possible cliches seem to escape him: atheist, enviro, greenie, communist, the works. Even having capitalistic money pay for his musing against capitalism.

I can't wait to see Bernie Madoff lecture at Brighton on the importance of ethics.

May 11, 2013 at 9:29 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

ps what is this Itinerant Farming about? Is James Hansen trying to recast himself as Charles Bronson?

pps Bronson the actor I mean

May 11, 2013 at 9:33 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

At what point in the proceedings will they ask the audience to stamp their feet and shout ‘Tinkerbell’ so the green fairy won’t die?

What the heck is “under-regulated capitalism”? Will we have to apply to the Department of Restrained Capitalism for permission to buy things? Please include 5000 word justification of why you need the item you are about to buy and photographs of any broken item to be replaced. Will we be issued with carbon ration books?

To define excessive consumption they first have to determine what is ‘enough’. Would it vary person to person, place to place? And like communism, if you reach your maximum level of consumption, what is there left to urge you to excel? The huge differences between East and West in technology at the end of the Cold War say it all. Capitalism is the peace maker – it allows people, who are not born to luxury, to attain it without resorting to violence. If we are to remove the opportunity for luxury we either have to agree globally that it must happen and everyone becomes equal or we return to the days of nobility and the majority of us become peasants and labourers. Even if such social revolutions were possible it would take extraordinary evidence/force to facilitate such changes.

We all have our moments when we think how much happier people would be if they weren’t blowing their money away on stuff they’ll throw away but when have we ever come up with an answer on how it could be stopped? I can’t say for sure but I suspect none of the speakers in the first two events have the answer.

May 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Not only is the job a total irrelevance but, with a name like that, the question is;

Do you still love your parents?

Thurstan Crockett, Head of Sustainability, Brighton and Hove City Council

It could only happen in Brighton. Is that an old Saxon name?

May 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM | Registered CommenterGrumpyDenier

We have to remember that Brighton is the only place to have elected a Green Party MP. Thus the council is doubtless full of climate/sustainability officers doing nothing of any added value.

May 11, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

"... options for making governments do their job "

Hansen has extensive research experience in this?

May 11, 2013 at 12:40 PM | Registered Commentershub

Professor Colin R McInnes FREng FRSE, Director, Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Strathclyde

I would enjoy listening to a Lecture by Prof McInnes, at least would make sense. I'm afraid the other gossiping groups would lead me to having paroxysms of giggling, or more likely exasperated rage....... and worse.

May 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

http://www.niauk.org/nia-biographies
Kirsty Alexander was a Senior Press Officer for Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott for four years, and was also seconded to the Prime Minister’s press office at No.10 Downing Street in 2003.

http://www.zircon-mc.co.uk/2011/06/10/going-green-in-the-workplace/
“Value of Eco Psychology”, Going Green Working Group Event 2011, presented by Thurstan Crockett.

Jim Watson joined UKERC in February this year. He was previously teaching Post-Grad courses at Sussex, MSc in Climate Change and Development, MSc in Climate Change and Policy.

Career opportunities:
There is a rapidly expanding market for climate change professionals. Graduates are suited for employment in:
• Government ministries
• International organisations (e.g. the UN)
• Nongovernmental organisations (NGOs)
• Regulatory agencies
• Environmental sectors of private enterprises
• Energy sector
• Financial services
• Environmental management & consultancy
• International development agencies
• International media or journalism
• Research (or doctoral study).

Michael Jacobs - As the Bishop mentions, influential in the Stern Review, but he is also a former General Secretary of the Fabian Society which has had a major "behind the scenes" influence on UK social and economic policy for decades.

"Michael was Special Adviser to UK Prime Minister (and previously Chancellor of the Exchequer) Gordon Brown from 2004-10, with responsibility for energy, climate change and environment policy."

Gordon Brown is a former vice-president of Socialist International, as was Tony Blair, (Brown was succeeded by Harriet Harman). Neil Kinnock is an Honorary President. Socialist International is the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties. Its membership includes 170 political parties and organisations from all continents. “Over 60 member parties of the International, in over 55 different countries and territories, are currently in government."

Check out "United Socialist Nations"
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/un_progress_governance_via_climate_change.html

Its headquarters are in London, UK, having developed out of the 1920’s Fabian Movement of Sydney and Beatrice Webb. Webb also founded the London School of Economics, where Lord Stern is chair of the Grantham Institute and Sam Fankhauser is Co-Director and also a member of the Climate Change Committee under John Gummer and Chief Economist of GLOBE International, whose President is also John Gummer.

In 2007, “The Socialist International Commission for a Sustainable World Society” was established. “to articulate from the world of progressive politics a way forward to address global environmental concerns, climate change and the issues of governance required to deal with these common challenges.”

Their first meeting was hosted in London, on 19 November 2007, by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, leader of the British Labour Party. It was held in advance of the UNFCCC COP 13 in Bali in December 2007.

Pre-Copenhagen they produced a report saying: “The challenge is to create a common world energy policy that takes into consideration the varying levels of economic development at the national level.”

“Putting an appropriate price on carbon emissions and ensuring that it is paid is fundamental to promoting the change from high-carbon to low-carbon energy while ensuring the security of energy supply necessary for sustainable economic development.

Other regulatory instruments on emissions that could be put in place on a worldwide scale must be considered, including a tax on greenhouse gas emissions at both the national and global levels.”

These are the people pushing our energy policy and they operate out of "climate institutions" such as LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, Tyndall and its offshoots and the myriad of new institutions that spring up all the time.

May 11, 2013 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennisA

GD,

Bristelmestune is an old Saxon name, but the scion of a raccoon fur hatted defender of the Alamo is a sight to behold. It wud seam 'e worz a ginger! Hiz pubic profile is on Spotify.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Thurstan+Crockett&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

He's a member of 10:10, yet does he also sustain two houses? Brighton electoral roll 2003-06 & 2010-13. Where was he for four years?

http://www.192.com/atoz/people/crockett/thurstan/

Surprising number of Rebecca Crocketts.

http://www.192.com/atoz/people/crockett/rebecca/

Ye gods, they are extreme nutters in Brighton.

http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=12546

May 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM | Registered Commenterperry

Now, as the oracle's Sybil at Delphi once told me, "seeing into the future will lead you to no good" - she was right.

But permit me to make a prophesy or two.

In this keynote lecture, Michael Jacobs will draw parallels between the financial crisis and the crisis of climate change, both rooted in a failure of orthodox economic theory and political debate to understand the systemic risks built up by an under-regulated capitalism. Tackling both crises will require a new way of thinking about economic value and economic policy, and a reassertion of the role of politics in securing the public good.

Will it be a critique of Gordon Brown's light touch regulation regime spend, spend, spend policies?

Ah no, I guess not.


"A new way of thinking".....?

Indeed, prof Jacobs I can predict where you are going with this - trouble is with all of your ILK and its consensus of rambling guff - we already live in a command economy - that is what the EU has become.

"and a reassertion of the role of politics in securing the public good"

Crikey that's a chilling phrase - subtext being: "you naughty children - you must do as you're told, don't you know momma Gaia is burning!"

So, prof Jacobs - I predict, that you will proffer more of the same, to cure the problems a command economy created in the first place - you should join the British Marxist Party Miliminor's crew - Labour because that is just what they offer the British and by extension - it is their world view and doubtless Jeremy's too.

May 11, 2013 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

It would appear Prof Jacobs knows as much about economics as he knows about global warming.

May 11, 2013 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

This is not really different from a religious rally where preachers take turns whipping up the faithful and offering stories and parables to inspire and sustain faith.

May 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

From the blurb about Hansen's appearance at the LSE
-"The unfolding human-made climate crisis seems almost surrealistic from a scientific perspective"

Damn right it's surreal. That probably wasn't actually written by Hansen, but I expect Hansen will at least actually turn up at the event, unlike a climate crisis created by humans. We've already been waiting for decades, so I doubt the evidence will change much in the next five days.


-"As knowledge of a climate emergency improves..."
There they go again. Proclaim an emergency first, and then start collecting data and trying to understand it.

The politics of ignorance it is. Not Science.

May 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

"The science is incontrovertible" - they really do love that phrase don't they and the more they scream it at us the more suspect we know it to be.

And don't you just know that "a new way of thinking about economic value and economic policy" will lead to gross distortions as they apply grossly subjective views on what should or shouldn't be included and as for " a reassertion of the role of politics in securing the public good" no doubt it will be the subversion of democracy to the appeal of authority. All for the good of future generations of course, ahem. And no doubt will need some form of 'global governance' which the UN will happily oblige us with, as they tighten the noose around us!!!

May 11, 2013 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

The Colin McInnes lecture is probably well worth a visit. He has an excellent blog at http://colinmcinnes.blogspot.co.uk

May 12, 2013 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Brady

Given that CO2 levels have reached 400 ppm, shouldn't these events be cancelled we will all be burning up?

May 12, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeon0112

Many of these postings show a fascinating insight into the undemocratic workings of our political class. What is interesting in particular is that this groupthink includes both left and right, thrown together by their perceived "war" against climate change. The mind boggles that these witchdoctors have such influence over PMs and Presidents ( who have been elected) and gives validity to the suspicion of supranational machinations far from the grasp of any electorate. The calibre of our professional politicians is low and the fact that they rely almost entirely on special advisors ( who themselves know relatively nothing) points to their inadequacy.

Aug 14, 2013 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTrefjon

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