The curve that reveals our true performance

Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

mlo_full_recordThe only measure of our progress on climate change with any integrity is the record of atmospheric concentration of CO2. None more so than the series of readings that have been taken in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii which have been taken uninterrupted since 1958.  This is the Keeling Curve, named after Charles Keeling who initiated the measurements. On May the 9th these readings passed a milestone – they reached 400 parts per million for the first time.

The last time atmospheric CO2 was at this level was some 3M years ago in the Pliocene geologic era. At that time the temperatures were 2-4 degrees C higher than today and sea levels were between 5 and 40 meters higher.  The geological record gives us an insight into the long-term physical outcome of current CO2 concentrations. What is does not tell us is the impact on our biosphere, the countless living organisms on which we depend and which is facing an unprecedented rate of change in temperature.      

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Free Lighting Hours tool available

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Blog, News | 0 comments

LightingHoursThumb Just to let everyone know that I have uploaded my new Lighting Hours tool, which is free!

This was jolly fun to develop as it is a “mashup” between some code that Greg Pelletier developed which uses astronomical data to calculate sunrise and sunset at a given latitude and longitude, and some additional code from Jamie Bull which does a sexy internet lookup of a place name, postcode, landmark etc via Google Maps and returns a latitude and longitude. Add into the mix some nifty working out of TimeZones and Daylight Savings dates (e.g. First Sunday in March) for any given year and you end up with something which – IMHO – is quite neat. Hopefully useful too!

Click the link above or select Lighting Hours from the Excel Tools menu to learn more. If you want to download it you will need to give me an email address but you can opt out of marketing or future communications. Enjoy!


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Mottainai! PWC report indicates we are too late for two degrees.

Posted by on Nov 17, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

The Japanese have a word Mottainai which “reflects a sense of regret concerning waste” which can “lead to anger or protest when the person who is observing the utter waste is incapable of holding back their emotions”. Well that sure sounds like a polite way of describing how I am feeling just now….

Why? Well I have just read a new report from PWC: Too late for two degrees? which makes very sobering reading.

We know that each year that we allow CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to accumulate in the atmosphere means that subsequent reductions need to be greater.

Back in 2000, in order to have a 50% change of global temperature rises not exceeding 2 degrees Centigrade, we needed to decarbonise our economy at the rate of 3.7% per annum to 2050. Today that target has risen to 5.1% a year because we have wasted the last decade with an average global rate of decarbonisation of just 0.8% a year.

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The Global Energy Assessment – is it a book or a weightlifting aid?

Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments



An Amazon courier arrived at my house last Friday with one the usual book-shaped boxes. When he handed it over I almost dropped it – instead of  the usual light package I was hefting 5.2 kg  – yes really! – of a single title, the Global Energy Assessment. This huge tome runs to an incredible 1900 full-colour glossy pages which look to contain a veritable cornucopia of energy facts and figures. It was launched at the Rio +20 conference and “is the first ever fully integrated energy assessment that analyzes energy challenges, opportunities and strategies, for developing, industrialized and emerging economies.

This is one book I certainly won’t be reviewing (I read all the books I review cover-to-cover). However I will give some feedback on my own thoughts as to its usefulness at some point in the future.

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New website!

Posted by on Sep 26, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Welcome to the new Sustain Success Website. I have gone for a site that will allow more regular updates with articles, sections from my new book and a blog on topics that I hope energy and resource efficiency practitioners will find useful.

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