Monday, 23 April 2007

Summary of George Monbiot, Heat: How to Stop the Planet from Burning

(Toronto: Doubleday, 2006). Numerals indicate page numbers
Photo: Burtynsky, Sudbury nickel tailings #34.

Introduction to Canadian edition

x. Sustainable limit for carbon dioxide emissions per capita is 1.2 tons; Canadians produce 16 times that.

xi. Bush's Asia Pacific Partnership is not a substitute for the Kyoto protocol. It was deliberately conceived by Bush and Howard's administrations as a counterweight. It is pure greenwash.

xxi. We have to cut CO2 emissions by 90% . See page 16

xxi. Organic gardening should do the least economic ecological damage and makes the best use of resources; this does not include heated greenhouses.

Chapter 1 A Faustian Pact

3. major greenhouse gases are methane and CO2. Concentration of CO2 rose from 280 ppm in Marlowe's time to 380 ppm today most late in the last 50 years, the largest increase in a century during the past 1000 years.

4. There are 4 basic scientific postulates: the atmosphere contains CO2, this raises average global temperature, the trend will be increased by adding more CO2, and is due to human activity [anthropogenic].

5 Until 2005, there was one remaining scientific doubt: Spencer and Christy in 1992 satellite measurements found cooling in the troposphere. Three studies in 2005 disproved this reading of the data, Christy admitted.

6, 9. Current threats: Recent studies of collapse of Antarctic ice shelves, glacier retreat and accelerated melting of the Greenland icecap suggest climate warming may be happening even faster than suspected. Permafrost in Alaska and Siberia, frozen since the last Ice Age has started to melt. Parts of the Amazon rain forest are turning to savanna; trees cannot survive the heat. Coral reefs in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific have begun to die. The WHO estimates that 150 000 people a year are dying because diseases spread faster -- all this with .6° of warming.

7. Famine: Tropical crops are already close to their limits e.g. 35° C. for one hour will sterilize rice pollen; and rice yields fall 15% for every degree of warming. This threatens 40 countries with 2 billion population. Ozone levels in the rich nations are rising once 2% per year due to car, plane and power station emissions. A 2005 UK study of future CO2 and ozone concentrations effect on crops showed little gain due to CO2, and 20% loss due to ozone. Levels are expected to be highest in major crop zones: Western Europe, Western and Eastern US, and eastern China. The expected ozone increase by 2020 will cut China's corn, rice and soybean production 30%. Such if reductions in yield would cancel out the effects of higher temperatures and higher CO2.

8. Another UK study points out that plans release less water as CO2 rises, thus reducing the local rainfall. The resulting crop loss has not been included in the standard climate models.

9. Research on five continents in 2004 found that 15 to 37% off all the world's species will die out by 2050 if temperatures rise to the middle of the expected range.

10. Positive feedback was not fully considered by the IPCC when it predicted that the temperature would rise between 1.4 and 5.8°

xii, 11. permafrost catastrophe: methane has a warming effect 23 times greater than carbon. The West Siberian bog which started melting in 2005 contains 70 billion tons, the equivalent of all 73 years of man-made CO2 emissions.

xvii, 6, 9, 10. If in 2030, CO2 concentrations remain as high as today the likely result is 2° C. warming, a point beyond which major ecosystems began collapsing, or start "positive feedbacks" e.g. oceans stop absorbing and start releasing CO2, permafrost releases methane, thermohaline circulation weakens or stops, turning northern Europe to tundra; water shortages and desertification in the tropics; disease vectors increase; oceans acidify and wipe out plankton upon which the marine ecosystem depends; all Arctic sea ice melts in summer killing polar bears, walruses and much of the ecosystem.

11. thermohaline circulation catastrophe: used to be thought unlikely, but Nature reported in December 2005 that "a decrease of the oceanic overturning circulation is well underway". The system could flip suddenly.

13. The dimming effect of industrial pollution: Paul Crutzen estimates that temperature could rise 7 to 10° when particles settle out of the air.

13, 17. Uncertainty of warming estimates: a simulation by Stainforth , D. et al in Nature 27 January 2005 shows that doubling CO2 could lead to temperatures 1.9 to 11.5° above preindustrial levels. At 6° the Permian extinction ended most of the Earth's life almost instantaneously. It was the world's greatest mass extinction. The Potsdam Institute estimates a 67% chance of holding warming below 2° at 440 ppm; for a 90% chance it would have to be 400 ppm. At present levels there is already a 30% chance that warming will rise above 2°. The longer we delay, the worse the chances and the greater the costs [diagrams page 18]. See page 41.

15. At 1.5° warming another 400 million people are exposed to water stress and 5 million to hunger,18% of the world species will be lost, and complete melting of Greenland ice is triggered.

16. Loss of carbon sinks: UK met office predicts that by 2030 the biosphere's capacity to absorb carbon* will fall from 4 billion to 2.7 billion tons, a global reduction of 60%. With an expected world population of 8.2 billion this means carbon emission per person cannot exceed .33 tonnes. This means an average cut of 90% in the rich countries. 83% in the US, 94% in Canada and Australia. By contrast the Kyoto agreement calls for a 5.2% cut by 2012.

*This is the carbon component of CO2; to obtain the required CO2 tonnage multiply by 3.667

Chapter 2 The Denial Industry

CC deniers include: Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, Melanie Phillips, Daily Mail. Michael Crichton, David Bellamy of the University of Durham, Lyndon Larouche. There is strong evidence of conservative funding by corporations: Dr. S. Fred Singer and his wife Candace Crandall of, Singer and Frederick Seitz of the Science and Environmental Policy Project. Arthur B. Robinson Of the Oregonian Institute of Science and Medicine, Competitive Enterprise Institute, National Center for Public Policy Research, Advancement of Sound Science Coalition. ExxonMobil funds the Oregonian Institute and George C. Marshall Institute, TechCentralStation, Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, National Wetlands Coalition, National Environmental Policy Institute, Hudson Institute, Frontiers of Freedom Institute, Reason Foundation Independent Institute, and American Council on Science and Health. Many of these repeat outdated studies such as Christy [p5]. The denial industry uses the tactics of the Phillip Morris spin doctors of the 1990s [Ellen Merlo "our overriding objective is to discredit the EPA", Steve Milloy, Thomas Borelli] in  denying the effects of tobacco smoke and delaying legislative action: its TASSC, The Advancement for Sound Science Coalition, received Exxon funding in 2000-2002 and founded and Milloy now writes for Fox News and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Seitz worked for tobacco company R.J. Reynolds and now TASSC. An ExxonMobil fax to a White House environmental official after Bush's election suggested that the IPCC be muzzled.

39. The professional denial industry has delayed global action on climate change by several years.

41. In the UK too, politics trumps science. The government's chief scientist Sir David King uses 550 ppm as a "reasonable" target for stabilizing CO2 [in 2030], saying anything lower would be "politically unrealistic". But Simon Retallack of the Institute for Public Policy Research shows that at this level there is only 10-20% chance of preventing more than 2° of warming.

Chapter 3 A Ration of Freedom

44. Monbiot says rather than fees, rebates, or prohibitions, rationing is a less coercive system whose fairness is immediately apparent, as was shown in World War 2. Hillman and Fleming devised a simple system for just two commodities: fuel and electricity. Based on the fuel-electricity % of the country's carbon emissions, each citizen would receive a per capita ration. The remaining percent of the country's carbon budget would belong to the government, to be auctioned to companies wanting to buy fuel or electricity, or to carbon brokers. Such carbon rationing would be in effect a new currency: the entitlement to pollute will be accounted, saved, spent and exchanged much as money is today. It is a much fairer plan than the European Union's emissions trading scheme. The EU in 2005 gave free emissions permits to big companies the worst polluters got the most permits UK government consultants calculated power firms would make a windfall profit of 1 billion pounds while doing nothing. The ETS is a classic act of enclosure; it seized something which should belong to all of us and gave it to the corporations.

47. Carbon rationing automatically stimulates low-carbon technologies, such as public transport and renewable energy. It is therefore less statist than its competitors. It must be accompanied by a massive upgrading of poor people's homes. As some northern countries do now, in exceptionally cold weather government should give an allowance to the poorest to help pay their fuel bills.

xii. Ontario's Smart Meter Initiative and Canadian R-2000 building codes are a model.

ix. While European emissions were falling, in Canada they have been rising for 10 years. Canada must cut her carbon emissions by 94% by 2030.

48 We must break the link between carbon and energy. No democratic government could impose a 90% energy cut.

48. And at. There still will know all the target for GE asked. The cuts under Kyoto bear no relationship to the scale of the problem.. Like EU ETS, Kyoto entitles a country to pollute, proportional to the amount of pollution it already produces. The all and convergence should be applied: an equal division of the planet's capacity to absorb pollution. The best estimate of the planet's total carbon sink and toilet 2030 it will change but the targets can change with it. With an equal global carbon allocation countries will no longer able to claim they can't act because others are not obliged to act.

49. Models have flaws: Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001) argues the costs of stabilizing global temperatures are greater than losses due to climate change. [disproved by Stern] His figures: business as usual $4820 billion, $8553 billion to stabilize at 2.5°, 37632 to stabilize at 1.5° above 1990 levels, roughly what I'm arguing here. But these costs are estimated as if we had to pay them all at once, not discounted over time. Because the global economy grows two to 3% per year, stabilizing carbon emissions would merely delay by a few years after 2030 the point at which we become 10 times richer.

50. Economic statistics are insufficient: hurricane Katrina's 75 billion-dollar cost does not reflect the suffering of people who were drowned or whose homes were destroyed. The 1996 IPCC estimates put a life lost in poor nations at 50 000 $ , a life lost and in in rich nations at 1.5 million. This was based on the preventive measures that would save their lives.

51-56. Some argue that the same amount of money should be spent on aid to save more lives amongst the world's poor: to relieve hunger, supply clean water, prevent AIDS or other diseases. Two questionable assumptions. 1) that the climate change budget must compete with foreign aid. 2) that the rich are already doing everything they can to help the poor -- when in fact very few now meet the OECD DAC target of .7% of GDP for foreign aid. Meanwhile the 30 richest countries paid perverse subsidies: $2.6 trillion [5 times their declared profits] in direct subsidies by US taxpayers to US corporations during the 1990s, a handout in 2005 by the Bush administration to its friends of $2.9 billion to the coal industry and $1.5 billion to oil and gas companies, EU subsidies in 2001 of €13 billion to coal and €8.7 billion to oil and gas, UK €1.4 billion a year to oil and gas. The real decision is to choose between state spending on climate change our state spending on coal, oil, roads, farm subsidies, environmental destruction and unprovoked wars. Why is it so easy to raise money required to wreck the biosphere?

56. Stiglitz' "very conservative" 2006 estimate for the war in Iraq was $1-2 trillion.

( full costs may be $406 trillion to date, rising by $1000 a second.

60. The supersonic jet is possibly the most environmentally damaging technology ever developed. There will never be an eco-friendly F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

57. US DOE Peaking of World Oil Production [2005] concludes that waiting for peak oil before taking "crash action" leaves the world with a "significant fuel deficit for more than two decades". "The economic, social and political costs will be unprecedented" and could include the worst economic depression the modern world has ever known.

Chapter 4 Our Leaky Homes

59. A 90% cut means that every sector must cut its emissions by roughly that amount. I will try to show how this can be done in all sectors.

61. The danger of the rebound effect or Khazoom-Brooks postulate named for two economists (Energy Journal 1980) is that energy efficiency can increase energy use. [Similar to the freeway effect: build more freeways and traffic increases until gridlock results again]. This postulate tells us that energy-intensity programs, ie, technology to save energy and carbon, such as the Jan 2006 Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate [and the Harper proposals of 2007] cannot possibly work. People and industries will simply use more energy more efficiently, eg, air travel.

63, 65, 71. In housing, strict building rules would enhance human freedom. UK homes are energy sieves. A carbon cap without proper building regulations is like forcing people to huddle round a smoldering log to keep warm.

67. Even new homes. Building code inspection is so lax that insulation is often left in lofts tied up in bales. When inspection is privatized, to ensure future business inspectors want to please the building companies not the government. Builders have no incentive to comply with energy efficiency rules. And the chances of being found out our low and they don't get prosecuted. Due to lobbying by developers, the UK government shows no sign of complying with energy efficiency, and is currently being prosecuted by the EU.

[Is the Canadian inspection regime any better?]

68. The German passive house has a staggering potential for reducing energy use. All its heating is produced by sunlight and by the body heat of those who live there. Additional building costs are 10% or less of the total. If every house met this standard we would come close to our 90% target for housing. Complete replacement is unlikely, but properly enforced reno rules [eg, R-2000] would save 40-42% energy across the whole housing stock, a "conservative" estimate by House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology 2005.

70, xxii. Other possibilities are shown by Bill Dunster's BedZed Zero Energy Development using efficient heating and cogeneration. However his 2005 proposal for wind turbines would destroy the houses to which they were attached.

77. A program that helped single elderly people to leave big drafty homes and move into smaller warmer flats would reduce the pressure for new building and cut the number of winter deaths

73. From 1974-2005 the use of electricity for lights and appliances in UK homes rose 2% yearly. CFLs use only a quarter as much as incandescent lamps. LEDs even more efficient than CFLs, are still almost impossible to buy.

74. Standby mode, plugged-in but not operating, itself uses 2% of all electricity.

75. Energy labels: EU regulations for energy-saving appliances were flouted; the manufacturers simply added two new categories above A, so people buying A equipment think it is top of the range. The US, China, and South Korea are trying to persuade the WTO that all energy labels are an illegal barrier to free trade. There are no labels for TVs and computers.

75. Because electricity is so cheap the potential of new technology is mostly squandered, e.g. vacuum insulated panels for a fridge or freezer would use 88% less energy.

78. The Environmental Change Institute estimates that maximum reduction of energy in housing by 2030 will be 30% about one third of the target most of the cut will have to be made by changing the sources of the energy, fuel and electricity whose carbon content is as low as possible. See the next three chapters.

Chapter 5 Keeping the Lights On

79. Energy production must be calculated for peak demand, and cannot be easily stockpiled.

81. Sources of fuel for electricity generation in UK [what are they in Canada?] [total capacity? per capita?]

84. Carbon capture and storage [scrubbing or stripping CO2 from smokestacks, followed by sequestration underground] could cut carbon emissions by 80-85%, by UK government estimates.

87. Clean coal is largely a myth disseminated by strip miners. Underground coal gasification with carbon capture and storage has possibilities. It makes economic sense only in very large power stations. The plant must be within the 500 km of the place where the carbon will be buried. Still to be developed, it is an "emission mitigation tool from 2030" for developed countries.

90. Three criteria for judging alternative energy sources: environmental impact, feasibility and cost.

90-94. Nuclear risks: danger of nuclear war, hidden dumping at Sellafield and Dounreay, more people likely to be killed by climate change, emissions and toxics from mining, no insurance and impossible-to-estimate costs of accidents to the state, likewise costs of decommissioning and waste disposal.

95. Various cost estimates. If nuclear power was really cheaper you'd expect companies to be replacing redundant plants of other kinds with atomic power stations. But the last one to be built in the UK was Sizewell B 1981-1988.

97. The earliest date and for nuclear power would be 2021. This also demolishes the case for wind farms, new railway lines better car engines, etc. but as war production shows if governments decide climate change is an issue of the same urgency, change could be much swifter. To meet carbon targets we have to replace 50% of UK electrical plants by 2018 and 90% by 2030.

Chapter 6 How Much Energy Can Renewables Supply?

102. estimates are for UK: onshore wind 8, offshore wind 100, waves 53, tidal stream 2, solar photovoltaic 5, hydroelectric 7: total 170.5 Terawatt hours by 2025.

105. Solar photovoltaic electricity generated in the Sahara could supply all of Europe, the Gobi could power China, and the Chihuahuan, Sororan, Atacama, and Great Victoria deserts could electrify their entire continents. Another promising technology is solar thermal electricity in which heat is focused by a tube or mirror to drive steam generators.

129. solar cladding on tall commercial buildings not shaded by others to produce electricity and reduce air-conditioning costs.

110. 99% of the electricity produced by wind power would be carbon free. Civil engineers quibble about wind speeds. The Royal Academy of Engineers inflates the costs of wind energy. [Why are engineers so often opposed?]

111. The British prime minister's office estimates onshore winds will be the cheapest form of electricity and 2020, offshore wind competitive with conventional generation.

112. Wave and tidal power are likely to remain more expensive than wind, estimates on page 112.

114. Covering peak demand: energy losses from pumped storage, pumping water from a law reservoir to a high one, are about 20- 25% compared to losses of 60% or more from possible alternatives.

116,127. smart plugs attached to fridges or washing machines would switch machines off when the marginal price of electricity rises and switch back on as it falls. And peak use could be reduced by setting washing machines and dish washers to start at noon.

117, 125. UK estimates: Montbiot meta-guesses that 50% of energy generation could be renewable, and 50% by gas-steam with exhausts stripped of CO2, for an overall reduction of 90%. But this does not answer the heating problem, 24% of Britons' energy consumption. [higher in Canada and USA]. Better insulation of buildings would allow a carbon cut of about 40% by 2030. 50% more has to be found by changing heating. Possible answers: 1) fast-growing trees, wood chips -- offset by transport costs, 2)passive solar heating such as PV roof tiles, 3) geothermal, 4) heat pumps, 5) biogas, eg, methane from garbage dumps, 6) micro wind turbines [Greenpeace].

Chapter 7 The Energy Internet

124,132,139. micro-generation or the energy internet: Greenpeace and FOE (WhisperGen) have proposed using mini power stations [a domestic combined heat and power plant] to produce heat and electricity in winter, and passive solar in summer, with four industrial or that acid batteries to store power. Your host the reliant on gas would become independent of the grid. Eight sold is linked to its neighbors in a generateding island, in turn to surrounding mini-grids, a network in which electricity can be automatically traded with the help of smart meters.

125. claims for photovaic cells are inflated. They pay for themselves after 25-35 years but they have a life expectancy of 25-30 years. At the moment you cannot make your money back. This may improve with silicon spheres dye-sensitized cells and nanotechnology. We one.

131. Chris Donovan has shown that our demand for heat is roughly equal to heat wasted by thermal power stations.

133. District heating systems e.g. in Germany where it the Reichstag uses heat pumps.

134-140. Hydrogen electrolysis. Dave Andrews suggests wind-powered mini-electrolysis in the home with waste heat used for warming. But would have to be stored. The Tyndall Center estimates hydrogen fuel cells may be economically viable by 2009.

141 A microgeneration system using solar panels and either hydrogen boilers or hydrogen fuel cells would supply homes with heat and electricity. They could make hydrogen from electricity supplied by the grid or a pipeline. About half of grid based electricity could be supplied by a few very large power stations burning methane, the other half by offshore wind and wave.

"Everything I have proposed here is, as far as I can tell, already technically possible and more or less economically feasible. The question is whether it can be done in time."

Chapter 8 A New Transport System

144. "The growth in driving is one of the primary reasons for the libertarianism now sweeping through parts of the rich world. When you drive, society becomes an obstacle."

145. Rebound effect: with rising GDP, the cost of driving has fallen. Since 1975 in the UK, coach fares have risen in real terms by 66%, train tickets by 70%, but the cost of owning and running a car has fallen by 11%. Yet use of public transport has been rising. This is the worst of all possible worlds. Instead of replacing cars, trains and buses are supplementing them. In the last 10 years, walking has fallen 20%, cycling 6%.

146. Voluntary agreements with car manufacturers for reducing carbon emissions have failed.

147. CO2 emissions per passenger (kg): car 36.6, train 5.2, coach 4.3 in the UK. This means you save 88% percent of carbon emissions by switching from car to coach. Japan shows LRT trains improve savings. UK freight trains are 92% more efficient than truck transport: 180 compared to 15 gr per ton per km.

148-151. The new transport system proposed by economist Alan Storkey: move the coach stations out of the city centers to the junctions of the motorways, integrate arrival and departure schedules with trains, subways, the city buses. He estimates with 200 coaches on the M25 waiting time would be two or three minutes; inner-city waiting time would be five minutes or less. High occupancy coaches on dedicated lanes would offer limousine luxury, moving much faster than the the automobile. Motorway capacity would be improved more than 10 times. Car lobbyists speak of costs, but conveniently forget policing ambulances and health costs due to their favored transport. Storkey's plan would only work with 1] Carbon cap and rationing, and 2] road space cap and rationing. It would also be necessary to avoid gridlock due to property development at the hubs; the government would have to refuse planning permission for new superstores, service stations and housing 'integrated with public transport'.

154-156. Auto manufacturers and consumers still insist on performance at the expense of efficiency. The HyperCar is possible.

157-161 The biofuel dilemma: recent US and EU laws encourage it. There is only enough waste cooking oil in the UK to meet 1/380 of our requirement. Green fuels would require a 4 1/2 times the amount of arable land available in the UK, or all the cropland in the EU. "The cheapest commodity is palm oil or this means is that biofuel production is a formula not only for humanitarian disaster but also for environmental catastrophe". Citing clearances in Malaysia Kalimantan he shows that the felling and burning of tropical forests, and oxidizing of peat when the planters drain the ground, releases CO2 in vast quantities: in 1997 Indonesian forest fires equalled 13-40% of the world fossil fuel consumption. Bio-diesel is the world's most carbon intensive fuel.

[Some of these palm oil plantations receive carbon offset credits under the CMD rubric! -- DM]

162. The US National Academy of Engineering estimates that 60% of new vehicles in 2034 could run on hydrogen fuel. Problems include lying statistics by automakers, lack of filling stations, dangers and slow filling of high-pressure tanks, boil-off; this costly fuel production "can neither be powered by renewable energy nor accompanied by carbon burial". The HyperCar is preferable.

163. Electric cars with exchangeable batteries at filling stations, charged from offshore wind farms, carbon costs roughly zero, surplus wind power would not be wasted.

166. Increase bus use: free tickets, cross-subsidization, bus booking by phone, bicycle racks and cycle lanes.

167. Increased teleworking can cut travel 10 to 20%: studies in California, Netherlands and Germany. But if your boss can allow you to work from home, he can also send your job to Hyderabad.

168. Car sharing and carpooling would be greatly boosted by a carbon rationing system.

169. "A universal switch to HyperCar technologies or electric vehicles and a return to lower speeds and lower standards of performance, accompanied by car sharing, telecommuting, a car free shopping scheme, better public transport and better facilities for cyclists and walkers, could cut emissions by more than 90% across the journeys that Storkey system could not replace. But the problem is political, not practical."

Chapter 9 Love Miles

170. Responsible travel is a myth. Air travel is expected to double by 2030, becoming a the greatest factor in global warming. Emissions trading and tree planting do not offset this effect.

173. A trans-Atlantic flight produces 1.2 tons of CO2 per passenger; this would use up their total ration for a year after a 90% cut in omissions has been made. What is worse heat trapping by jet engine exhaust in the upper troposphere results in a warming effect 2.7 times that of CO2 alone. The effect of supersonic military planes flying in the stratosphere is 5.4 times that of CO2.

174. International flights do not currently count against national inventories of greenhouse gas emissions. There is no international agreement. "A child could see that you simply divide the emissions by half" between the departing and arriving country. Aviation effects may be incorporated under the EU ETS by 2008

175. Fuel taxes would not counter other trends, and any case are prohibited under the Chicago Convention.

176. "The problem is that if government policy is still driving the growth of the airlines, and low prices continue to stimulate demand, either the emissions from every other industry... must contract at a much greater rate... or it will break the system."

176. Governments must limit the capacity of airports instead of the current 'predict and provide' policy of anticipating demand. Airports are still planning expansion. FOE passed to the Tyndall Center to determine their impact on greenhouse gases: aviation would account for 50% of the UK government target of 550 ppm by 2050; aviation would produce 101% at Montbiot's target of 450 ppm. The IPCC (under-) estimate is 3-10% of global carbon emissions by 2050 (amplified 2.7 times). This is wildly unsustainable.

177. Caused by the rich in the rich nations: the CAA found that people in social classes D and E hardly fly at all; people with second homes abroad take an average of six return flights a year.

179-181. There is no techno fix. The only technology currently known to reduce emissions is the propeller plane. Promises of hollow-wing design, fuel efficiency and new fuels are dodgy. Hydrogen planes at supersonic speeds in the stratosphere would be "an environmental disaster". "A 90% cut in omissions requires not only that growth stops, but that most of the planes which are flying today are grounded."

184. High-speed trains could be part of the solution if they run on electricity at speeds below 180 kph. High performance and low consumption are again at odds. Fast passenger ships are not the answer. Car ferries and short-haul shipping are extremely polluting. Blimps with better engines or hydrogen fuel cells may be the best kind of transatlantic transport.

187. "I don't pretend that this will be easy, or that my finding will win many friends. Those whose freedoms must be curtailed happen to be members of the world's most powerful classes. Worse still, they happen to be us."

Chapter 10 Virtual Shopping

191. Comparative costs of space heating and electricity (kWh/m2): warehouses 64 and 81, local government offices 95 and 39, commercial offices 147 and 95, factories to 45 and 47, retail 185 and 275. Big box retail is the public enemy number one of sustainability.

192. A retail chain spends 20-25% of its energy budget on lighting. Energy is also wasted by heating spaces with open doors, heaters vs freezers, air conditioning vs lighting.

194. Green savings claimed by supermarkets are highly suspect.

195. A 90% carbon cut could be achieved by turning superstores into warehouses, with 'virtual shopping' home delivery orders on the Internet (e.g. Tesco). Developers and big box stores will fight it: their profits depend on the scarcity of sites. But prices to consumers would be lower. The solution would require rationing and/or government regulation.

198-203. can 90% reductions be achieved in cement manufacture, a major source of CO2? Montbiot discusses various technologies: sequestration, silica out, fly ash, gassing with supercritical CO2, magnesium carbonate, and finally geopolymeric cements similar to Roman pozzolan. Men should manufacture of last name produces 80-90% less CO2.

Chapter 11 Apocalypse Postponed

207. Prophets of the techno fix: "my only defense is to ask them for an article in a peer-reviewed journal, whereupon I never hear from them again."

209. The problem with business as usual: if we fail to bring about alternative energy regimes, while failing to do anything to prevent peak oil, "we could find ourselves facing catastrophic climate change and an unprecedented global depression" and. Peak oil could exacerbate climate change by increasing the action from oil sands and coal.

210. Carbon offsets are the modern equivalent of the indulgences of the Middle Ages (Montbiot cites historian J.M.Motley): "the source of large fortunes to the high priests" while changing none of the insults to society: incest cost 36 livres 3 ducats, perjury 7 livres 3 carlines; killing your father 1 ducat 4 livres 8 carlines. "You can leave your windows open while the heating is on, drive and fly while endangering the climate, as long as you give your ducats to one of the company selling indulgences. I will not attempt to catalog the lands seizures, conflicts with local people, double counting and downright fraud that has attended some of these schemes. That has been done elsewhere." [fn refers to books by Larry Lohman; Kevin Smith, Hoodwinked in the Hothouse; Esteve Corbera, Carbon Forestry] there.

211. CDMs: tree planting absorbs little carbon during the trees' establishment phase and a negative, vigorous absorption due to maturity may take 20 to 60 years. Giving people in poorer nations better stoves or energy-efficient light bulbs also takes time. "At best these scheme and merely delay the point which emissions are saved. At worst, they allow us to believe that we can carry on polluting..."

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