would be difﬁcult to detect in the coming decades. Nevertheless “warming will eventually occur, and the associated
regional climatic changes ... may well be signiﬁcant.”
The foreword by the chairman of the Climate Research Board, Verner E. Suomi, summarizes the conclusions with a
famous cascade of double negatives. “If carbon dioxide continues to increase, the study group ﬁnds no reason to doubt
that climate changes will result and no reason to believe that these changes will be negligible.”
10The litany of probable drastic effects of climate change – I’m sure you’ve heard it before. See [ ] if not.
12Breakdown of world greenhouse gas emissions by region and by country. Data source: Climate Analysis Indicators
Tool (CAIT) Version 4.0. (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 2007). The ﬁrst three ﬁgures show national totals
of all six major greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, PFC, HFC, SF6), excluding contributions from land-use change and
forestry. The ﬁgure on p14 shows cumulative emissions of CO2 only.
14Congratulations, Britain! ...in the table of historical emissions, per capita, we are second only to the USA. Sincere
apologies here to Luxembourg, whose historical per-capita emissions actually exceed those of America and Britain;
but I felt the winners’ podium should really be reserved for countries having both large per-capita and large total
emissions. In total terms the biggest historical emitters are, in order, USA (322 GtCO2), Russian Federation (90 GtCO2),
China (89 GtCO2), Germany (78 GtCO2), UK (62 GtCO2), Japan (43 GtCO2), France (30 GtCO2), India (25 GtCO2), and
Canada (24 GtCO2). The per-capita order is: Luxembourg, USA, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany,
Estonia, Qatar, and Canada.
–Some countries, including Britain, have committed to at least a 60% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.
Indeed, as I write, Britain’s commitment is being increased to an 80% reduction relative to 1990 levels.
15Figure 1.8. In the lower scenario, the chance that the temperature rise will exceed 2°C is estimated to be 9–26%; the
cumulative carbon emissions from 2007 onwards are 309 GtC; CO2 concentrations reach a peak of 410ppm, CO2e
concentrations peak at 421ppm, and in 2100 CO2 concentrations fall back to 355ppm. In the upper scenario, the
chance of exceeding 2°C is estimated to be 16–43%; the cumulative carbon emissions from 2007 onwards are 415 GtC;
CO2 concentrations reach a peak of 425 ppm, CO2e concentrations peak at 435 ppm, and in 2100 CO2 concentrations
fall back to 380 ppm. See also hdr.undp.org/en/reports/global/hdr2007-2008/.
16there are many other helpful sources on the internet. I recommend, for example: BP’s Statistical Review of World
Energy [ ], the Sustainable Development Commission www.sd-commission.org.uk, the Danish Wind Industry
Association www.windpower.org, Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy www.ecolo.org, Wind Energy Department,
Risø University www.risoe.dk/vea, DEFRA www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics, especially the book Avoid-
ing Dangerous Climate Change [ ], the Pembina Institute www.pembina.org/publications.asp, and the DTI (now
known as BERR) www.dti.gov.uk/publications/.
17factual assertions and ethical assertions... Ethical assertions are also known as “normative claims” or “value judg-
ments,” and factual assertions are known as “positive claims.” Ethical assertions usually contain verbs like “should”
and “must,” or adjectives like “fair,” “right,” and “wrong.” For helpful further reading see Dessler and Parson (2006).
18Gordon Brown. On 10th September, 2005, Gordon Brown said the high price of fuel posed a signiﬁcant risk to the
European economy and to global growth, and urged OPEC to raise oil production. Again, six months later, he
said “we need ... more production, more drilling, more investment, more petrochemical investment” (22nd April,
2006) [ ]. Let me temper this criticism of Gordon Brown by praising one of his more recent initiatives, namely
the promotion of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. As you’ll see later, one of this book’s conclusions is that
electriﬁcation of most transport is a good part of a plan for getting off fossil fuels.