National security needs eclectic view

Your nation’s security faces a wide range of threats: tanks, planes, storms, climate change and pandemics. But cast your net even wider. Dr Kelly applies engineering discipline in his scrutiny of UK national disaster policy. With lessons for all nations.

Published by permission. First published in The Critic July/August 2020

Warming not the only threat

The vast sums spent in the UK and globally on climate change mitigation have never been subject to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis. To date they have had no measurable impact on the climate, let alone climate change and have thus been a colossal waste of money. Recent events have shown us that climate change is just one of many challenges facing our world today, so it is sensible to ask for every pound spent on climate change, how much money should be set aside to prepare us for other threats: Carrington events (solar electromagnetic storms), pandemics, global financial collapse, volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis and more? What is the appropriate level of global insurance, and where is the insurance for poorer countries? Continue Reading →

Problems with Christchurch

open thread

From the earthquakes which devastated its previously stable landscape and brought down its vibrant CBD to horrific repeated flooding, seemingly interminable planning for a new cathedral and a firm civic belief in future catastrophic man-made sea-level rise, Christchurch certainly has problems.

They present the devil’s own difficulties if you’re living through them, but whether you’re trying to deal with them, leave them behind, or you’re simply looking on curiously from afar, you can learn about them here.


The staggering thought we cause storms

a great storm

This is from The Nelson Daily (British Columbia) on 31 Aug 2011. The story tries to induce anxiety about the increased storminess we humans are causing.

The idea is as loony as thinking that sacrificing a virgin to the gods might increase the harvest.

The title is Hurricane Irene and the staggering costs of climate change, and the first thing I notice is that the author, Richard Matthews, has a professional grip on the landscape of global warming and its off-shoots.

Richard Matthews is a consultant, eco-entrepreneur, green investor and author of numerous articles on sustainable positioning, eco-economics and enviro-politics. He is the owner of THE GREEN MARKET, a leading sustainable business blog and one of the Web’s most comprehensive resources on the business of the environment.

He has, in short, very good business reasons to magnify man’s impact on the environment, including our contribution to global warming. Matthews’ opening statement leads the way in brushing aside the need for evidence or logic. Continue Reading →