provides live links for webpages cited in Hell and High Water, as
explained below. I am profoundly grateful
to my copy editor at Birlinn,
Nancy E.M. Bailey, for having helped to compile and check them for
me. To return to the main Hell & High Water page click "Up"
At the foot of the
page is an erratum. It is inevitable that a book of
this range and complexity will contain some technical errors (as
distinct from mere outdatedness). I would be much obliged if readers
would care to notify me of factual matters that might require correction
and I will promptly post corrections. As of December 2008 I have also
included (below) a particularly useful update on
the climate change science and some stats on carbon emissions from
different transport types. Click
here for my email
contact details. in a
Websites referenced in Hell and
High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition, by
Alastair McIntosh, June 2008, Birlinn, Edinburgh
Live Links for Chapter:
Why I have provided web
references in this way:
In writing this
book, many of my sources were from the web as befits up-to-date
scientific material. On p.251 I therefore prefaced the endnotes with a
comment to the effect that rather than print long strings of URLs that
are unsightly and highly prone to transcription errors, I would provide
this page of endnote extensions where readers can click the URLs
directly and thereby get straight to my sources. I hope this will make
things easy for people.
The links given here
were all valid when the book went to press in March 2008 and were
checked for site presence (but not for content) again on 6 June 2008. Unfortunately,
I cannot undertake to run an updating service. The science in my book
will inevitably go out of date, but the implications of it, which is the
book's main thrust, is likely to endure. Where websites migrate it
should often be possible to relocate the material by Googling the source
that I have given in the book. Where available, the source material that
I have provided states the webpage author(s), article and (where
appropriate) journal title, and the date of original posting. The time
of my having accessed the site may be presumed as March 2008 unless
Where the word,
"Text", appears below, this means the reference is to a conventional
hard copy source that is given in the endnotes in the book, and
therefore usually not given as a web link.
Do note that many of the books cited
in my endnotes simply as "Text" can actually be checked online for
research purposes at
www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com
. I find that often Amazon has items in a searchable format on its .com
site that are not searchable (or only present as "look inside") on other
sites. Several of my own books can be consulted via Amazon and it's
worth saying that while I cannot over-ride publishers' legal rights, I
am personally always very happy for people to copy any of my material
for non-profit purposes.
articles have to be paid for I have made the assumption that many of my
readers will not have Athens access, and so I have provided links to
free abstracts or press release pages, from which the full article can
be sourced if required.
2. New Orleans recovery could take 25 years, Bush
administration’, USA Today (30 Mar. 2006).
3. Joel K. Bourne, ‘New Orleans’ Rebuilt Levees “Riddled
With Flaws”’, National Geographic (6 May 2007).
4. Spencer Weart, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’ (Jan.
5. The National Center for Atmospheric Research,
‘Frequency of Atlantic hurricanes doubled over last century, climate
change suspected‘ (29 Jul 2007).
6. Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental
Research (SNIFFER), ‘An online handbook of climate trends across
Scotland – temperature related variables’ (Met Office, 2006).
7. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
Fourth Assessment Report, AR4 SYR Summary for Policy Makers,
‘Observed changes in climate and their effects’ (Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge, 2007). (NB: AR4 = Assessment Report 4; SYR =
This report has now been finalised and the link just given has gone
dead. It has migrated to
the quote in my text may be found there.]
9. Manchester University Tyndall
Centre for Climate Change Research, ‘Living within a carbon budget’
10, 11 & 12 - Text
Chapter 1: Nullius in Verba
1. The original link referred to in the text was no
longer available by the time this book went to press. However, the Royal
Society website is a very useful starting point for the discussion of
climate change. The Climate Change page under the Science Issues link
2 & 3 - Text
www.CharlesinSpace.com (This website dedicated to his space tourism
venture is a fascinating insight into the mind - a narcissistic mind? -
of the billionaire
who funds Richard Dawkins' chair.)
6. The Royal Society, ‘A guide to facts and fictions
about climate change’ (March 2005). Also, ‘Climate Change Controversies:
a simple guide’ (April 2007),
7. Channel 4 TV, ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’,
broadcast 8 March 2007, 9 pm. The quoted material was here on 30 April
2007 but has since been changed. See
9. J.R. Petit, J. Jouzel, D. Raynaud et al.,
‘Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the
Vostok ice core, Antarctica’, Nature 399, pp. 429–36. Press
Release (3 June 1999):
10. NOAA, ‘Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide – Mauna
11 & 12 - Text
13. ‘Christopher Booker’s Notebook’, The Sunday
Telegraph (11 Mar 2007),
14. George Monbiot, ‘The Revolution has been Televised’
The Guardian (18 Dec 1997).
15. Joanne Oatts, ‘Global Warming Swindle’ sparks
debate’, Digital Spy (15
16. One of the first scientific critiques of the
programme was to be found, with commentary, at Real Climate, William
Connolley and Gavin Schmidt, ‘Swindled’ (9 Mar 2007),
17. Steve Connor, ‘The real global warming
swindle’, The Independent (14 Mar 2007).
18. Chris Merchant, ‘Why the C4 documentary “The Great
Global Warming Swindle” is wrong’ (31 May 2007).
19. Richard Black, ‘“No sun link” to climate change’, BBC
online (10 Jul 2007).
20. Crisis Forum email list
posting of 9 Mar 2007, also
www.climatedenial.org on 3 May 2007.
21. Letter from Bob Ward, Senior Manager, Policy
Communication for The Royal Society to Nick Thomas, Esso/ExxonMobil’s UK
Director of Corporate Affairs (4 Sep 2006). The Guardian image
22. Geoffrey Lean, ‘Climate change: An inconvenient
truth... for C4’, The Independent (11 Mar 2007);
See also Carl Wunsch, ‘Swindled: Carl Wunsch responds’ (12 Mar 2007)
23. George Monbiot, ‘There is climate change censorship –
and it’s the deniers who dish it out’, The Guardian (10 Apr
24. Brendan O’Neill, ‘Apocalypse my Arse’, Spiked
(9 Mar 2007),
25. Armand Leroi, ‘Correspondence with Armand Leroi,
Martin Durkin and others’ (9 Mar 2007).
http://ocean.mit.edu/~cwunsch/papersonline/durkinemails.htm NB. I
emailed Martin Durkin on 30 April 2007.
26. Paul Driessen, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black
Death (Academic Foundation, 2006). Quote can be found at
27. Paul Driessen, ‘Eco-Imperialism chapter excerpts’,
Chapter 2 Beyond Tipping Point
1 & 2 - Text
3. Shaoni Bhattacharya, ‘European heatwave caused 35,000
deaths’, New Scientist (10 Oct 2003).
4. David Adam, ‘Does global warming kill 150,000 people a
year?’, The Guardian (19 May 2005).
5. John A. Church and Neil J. White, ‘A 20th century
acceleration in global sea-level rise’, Geophysical Research Letters
33 LO1602 (2006).
6. Catherine Brahic, ‘Sea level rise outpacing key
predictions’, New Scientist (1 Feb 2007).
7. ‘Survey: Glaciers in west China shrink 7 to 18% in
five years’, Xinhua (14 Dec 2007).
8. J. Hansen, Mki.
Sato, P. Kharecha, G. Russell, D.W. Lea, M. Siddall,
‘Climate change and trace gases’, Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. A, 365,
pp. 1925-1954 (2007)
9 & 10 - Text
11. ‘Humans “affect global rainfall”’, BBC online (23 Jul
12. J.R. Minkel, ‘Darfur Dead Much Higher than Commonly
Reported’, Scientific American (15 Sep 2006).
13. United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), Sudan: Post Conflict Environmental Assessment (UNEP,
14. Karlheinz Erb et al, ‘Global Human Appropriation of
the Products of Photosynthesis in 2000’, University of Vienna (Oct
15. Dave Favis-Mortlock,
www.soilerosion.net/ (accessed May 2007).
19. HM Treasury, ‘Stern Review on the Economics of
Climate Change’ (0 Oct 2006).
20. Although an argument can be made that the Stern
Review inadvertently does just that: George Monbiot, ‘Juggle a few of
these numbers, and it makes economic sense to kill people’, The
Guardian (19 Feb 2008).
22. Camille Parmesan and Gary Yohe, ‘A globally coherent
fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems’, Nature
421, pp. 37–42 (2003).
24. Gabriel J. Bowen et al., ‘A
humid climate state during the Palaeocene/Eocene thermal maximum’,
Nature 432, pp. 495–99 (2004).
25 & 26 - Text
27. Walter C. Oechel et al., ‘Recent change of Arctic
tundra ecosystems from a net carbon dioxide sink to a source’, Nature
361, pp. 520–523
28. William Dillon, ‘Gas (Methane) Hydrates – A New
Frontier’, US Geological Survey (Sep 1992).
29. ‘Russia plants flag under N[orth] Pole’, BBC online
(2 Aug 2007).
30. ‘Russia schemes to claim North Pole oil, gas, gold’,
Xinhua News Agency (2 Aug 2007).
31. ‘Canada to strengthen Arctic claim’, BBC online (10
32. Scottish Government, ‘Scotland’s Climate Change
Programme: Annual Report 2007’ (Mar 2007).
33. Andrew Kerr, Simon Shackley, Ronnie Milne and Simon
Allen, Climate Change: Scottish Implications Scoping Study,
Scottish Executive Central Research Unit (HMSO, Edinburgh, 1999).
36. ‘Extinction threat to Scots
bird’, BBC online (15 Jan 2008).
37, 38 & 39 - Text
40. Scottish Government, ‘The Dancing Ladies of Gigha’
(18 Sep 2007).
42. ‘“Zero carbon” homes plan unveiled’, BBC online (13
Chapter 3: Devil’s Dilemmas
1. Proponents include Jeremy Leggett, C.J. Campbell, Paul
Mobbs and Richard Heinberg – see, for example, Richard Heinberg, ‘The
View from Oil’s Peak’ (Aug 2007).
2. ‘UK Fuel Tax: the Facts’, BBC online (21 Sep 2000).
3 & 4 - Text
5. National Petroleum Council, Facing the Hard Truths
About Energy: A comprehensive view to 2030 of global oil and natural gas,
(NPC, Washington, DC, 2007).
7. ‘easyJet supports green air taxes’, BBC online (18 Sep
8. Danish Energy Authority, Energy Statistics 2006
(DEA, Copenhagen, 2007).
9. ‘Natural Gas and the Environment’,
www.NaturalGas.org (2004). This data is taken from EIA – Natural
Gas Issues and Trends (1998) found at
10. Alice Bows et al, Living within a carbon budget
(Manchester University Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research,
2006), p. 162.
11. See the Scoraig website:
12. Wikipedia, ‘Freetown Christiania‘ (18 Sep 2007).
13. Alastair McIntosh and Michel Picard, ‘Who is Your
Enemy? Lafarge, NGOs and the Harris Superquarry Campaign’ in It’s All
Our Business: Corporate Responsibility in a Global World, INSEAD
Alumni Roundtable (2008).
14. Sustainable Development Commission, ‘Tidal Power’
15. ‘Climate Alarmists Consider “The Geritol Solution”’,
NewsMax.com (16 Mar 2007).
17. Energy Strategy and International Unit, Department of
Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), Energy Trends,
(National Statistics publication, Jan 2008).
http://stats.berr.gov.uk/energystats/etdec07.pdf . Generation of
Electricity by Fuel in Scotland and the UK, 2005 and 2005. Source: also BERR,
18. Posiva, ‘Nuclear Waste Management’ (4 Feb 2008).
19. Michael Settle, ‘Total cost of closing down nuclear
sites rises to £73bn’, The Herald (30 January 2008)
http://www.theherald.co.uk/display.var.2003619.0.0.php ; DTI and BERR,
Energy Consumption in the UK (National Statistics, 2002).
21. Masdar Media Centre, ‘Masdar Announces Major Progress
on Future Energy Strategy’ (22 Jan 2008). See the URL below, where the
BBC quotes the cost at $22 billion, which appears to be an update on the
$15 billion shown on Masdar’s website.
22. ‘Work starts on Gulf “green city”’, BBC online (10
Chapter 4: Spirit of the Blitz
2. Ipsos Mori, Tipping Point or Turning Point? Social
Marketing and Climate Change (Aug 2007), pp. 9, 42.
Chris Rose et al., ‘Research Into Motivating Prospectors, Settlers and
Pioneers To Change Behaviours That Affect Climate Emissions’ (2007).
www.britishenergy.com (1 Jul 2007).
4. National Statistics, 'Domestic energy consumption per
household', accessed 5 Feb 2008.
5. Joint Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill,
Draft Climate Change Bill, (HMSO, London, 2007).
6. Stop Climate Change Scotland, ‘SCCS Response to
Climate Bill Consultation Launch’ (5 Feb 2008).
7. Scottish Government, ‘Scotland’s Climate Change
Programme: Annual Report 2007’ (Mar 2007).
8. Roger Bate and Julian Morris, ‘Global Warming:
Apocalypse or Hot Air?’ (Institute of Economic Affairs, 1994).
9. ‘Blair green views “muddle headed”’, BBC online (9 Jan
10. ‘Have Your Say: Can aircraft be environmentally
friendly?’ BBC (9 July 2007). See here for entire online thread:
11. ‘Have Your Say: ‘Have your say: Would you be willing
to pay green taxes on short-haul flights?’ BBC (13 September 2007). See
here for the entire online thread:
12. Artyom Liss, ‘Global warming leaves Russians cold’,
BBC (4 Sep 2007).
13. David Ross, ‘Why Scotland can be a top wine-maker. .
. in 80 years’, The Herald (27 Aug 2007).
14. Brian Donnelly, ‘Nairn: thank climate change for
Scots food’, The Herald (12 Feb 2008), my emphasis,
15. Iain MacWhirter, ‘Scotland could play lead role on
global warming’, Sunday Herald (4 Feb 2007)
16. Richard Sadler, ‘Roads to Ruin’, The Guardian
(13 Dec 2006),
17. David Millward, ‘Bus and train fares zoom past car
costs’, The Telegraph (4 Dec 2007),
18. David Prest, ‘Evacuees in World War Two – the True
Story’, BBC online (5 Feb 2008).
19. Jon Kelly, ‘You’ve got to show the blitz spirit’, BBC
online (22 Jul 2007).
20. Evan Davis, ‘Cost of the floods’, BBC (25 Jul 2007).
21 & 22 - Text
23. Tuvalu TIDC, ‘Tuvalu and global warming’ (8 Dec
Chapter 5: Pride and Ecocide
Agricola online …. Teicher etc. David OWEN p. 114.
1. Text and also, Agricola is online at
http://www.farlang.com/gemstones/agricola-metallica/page_001 and his
2 & 3 - Text. Nb. the David Owen article in the
Sunday Times cited between notes 3 and 4 on p. 115 appeared too late
in the production of this book to be endnoted. However, the source is
David Owen, 'Lord Owen analyses Tony Blair's psyche' (16 Mar 2008)
available on the link below. I note that Owen invents the term "hubris
syndrome", but actually, there is a perfectly good existing clinical
term for all that he describes - narcissistic personality disorder. One
wonders why Owen invented a new term, and whether it might be to avoid
using an existing clinical definition that, being pre-defined, could
have caused him problems in its application to Blair and Bush. For an
excellent therapeutic perspective on personality disorders see
Character Styles by Stephen M. Johnson, W.W. Norton & Co., USA,
1994. Owen's Sunday Times link is:
4. Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews,
Part I, chapter iv, 2, (FullBooks.com, 7 Oct 2007).
5 & 6 - Text
7. Smithonian Institution Human Origins Program, ‘Homo
Sapiens’, March 2006.
8, 9, 10 & 11 - Text
12. Martin Teicher, ‘Scars that won’t heal: the
neurobiology of child abuse’, Scientific American online edition
(Mar 2002), p. 20.
13-21 - Text
22. Gordon Campbell, ‘Empedocles (of Acragas)’, Internet
Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2006).
www.iep.utm.edu/e/empedocl.htm and also Text.
24. Campbell, ‘Empedocles’, as per note 22 above.
25 & 26 Text
27. Vivien Gornitz, ‘Sea Level Rise, After the Ice Melted
and Today’, Science Briefing, NASA – Goddard Institute for Space Studies
28. James Hansen, ‘Huge sea level rises are coming –
unless we act now’, New Scientist 2614 (25 Jul 2007), pp. 30–34.
29. Text, and abstract of Werner Nutzel, 'On the
Geographical Position of as Yet Unexplored Early Mesopotamian Cultures'
with purchase option at
30. K. Lambeck, P. Johnston et al, ‘Late Pleistocene and
Holocene sea-level change’, Geodynamics – Extract from RSES Annual
Report, Australian National University (1995).
www.rses.anu.edu.au/geodynamics/AnnRep/95/AR-Geod95.html . Also
‘Persian Gulf Once Dry, Green, and Inhabited by Humans: Implications’,
SEMP Biot Report 422 (15 May 2007).
31 & 32 - Text
33. Harsh K. Gupta, ‘Artificial water reservoir-triggered
earthquakes with special emphasis at Koyna’, Current Science,
88:10, pp. 1628–31 (25 May 2005).
34. See Michael Le Page's footnote to Hansen on link to
note 28 in this chapter.
35. William F. Ruddiman, ‘How did Humans first alter
Global Climate?’, Scientific American, 292:3 (March 2005), pp.
link consulted 23-9-10)
Chapter 6: Dissociation of Sensibility
1-8 - Text
9. Edward H. Thompson, ‘Bothwell and the North Berwick
Witches: A Chronology’ (accessed 26 Feb 2008).
11. ‘The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft’, Department of
Scottish History, Edinburgh University (2005).
12-15 - Text
16. Alastair McIntosh, ‘Faerie Faith in Scotland’ in J.
Kaplan and B. Taylor, eds., Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature
(2 vols., Continuum International Publishing, New York, 2005).
17 & 18 - Text
19. Text, and T. S. Eliot, 'The Metaphysical Poets'.
http://personal.centenary.edu/~dhavird/TSEMetaPoets.html . There's
also a rather messy version but with the juicy bits usefully
20-22 - Text
23. Thomas Gray, ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’
24. T.S. Eliot, ‘The Hollow Men’ (1925).
25-29 - Text
Chapter 7: Colonised by Death
1 & 2 - Text
3. TIME, ‘Associated Advertising Clubs of the World’ (25
11. See Ernest Dichter, ‘Why Do We Smoke
Cigarettes?’, The Psychology of Everyday Living (Barnes & Noble
Inc., New York, 1947)
12-14 - Text
15. On Bernays, see Michael E. Jones, ‘The Torches of
Freedom Campaign: Behaviorism, Advertising, and the Rise of the American
http://www.culturewars.com/CultureWars/1999/torches.html ; on Dichter,
see note 11 above.
16. Text, and see also Richard Rohr's website at
http://www.cacradicalgrace.org/. He's going to be at the Greenbelt
Festival in Chelenham in 2009 -
http://www.greenbelt.org.uk/ and in the shop section there you can
download his stunning talks from 2006 where he set out his ideas about
the first and second halves of life - something that Verene and I make
use of all the time.
17. The Beatles, ‘Let it Be’ from the album of the same
name (Apple, 1970), quoting Luke 1:38 as in the English Standard
19. Vanessa Thorpe, ‘Culture Vulture’, The Observer
(2 Dec 2001).
20. Stuart Jeffries, ‘What Charles did next’ The
Guardian (6 Sep 2006).
21. ‘Transcript of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s
Farewell Address’, OurDocuments.gov (17 Jan 1961).
Chapter 8: Journey into the Soul
2. Land Rover, ‘Introduction to the Range Rover’,
accessed 24 Jan 2008.
3. Arthur Deikman, ‘Deautomatization and the Mystic
Experience’, Psychiatry 29 (1966).
4. Text, and Audre Lorde's 'Uses of the Erotic' is also
5-7 - Text
8. IUCN, ‘Red List of Threatened Species’, accessed 28
9. Text, but this IPCC report, AR4 SYR, is now
(accessed June 2008).
10. US Census Bureau, ‘Historical estimates of world
population’ (16 Jul 2007).
12. Wikipedia, ‘Extreme weather events of
535–536’, accessed 26 Jan 2008.
14. World Health Organisation ‘Cumulative Number of
Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza A/(H5N1) Reported to WHO’ (24
15. Robert G. Webster and Elizabeth Jane Walker,
‘Influenza – The world is teetering on the edge of a pandemic that could
kill a large fraction of the human population’, American
Scientist 91, Mar–Apr 2003.
16. Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Outlook,
‘Assessing the Impact and Cost of SARS in Developing Asia’ (2003).
17. World Health Organisation, ‘WHO checklist for
influenza pandemic preparedness planning’, (2005).
18. T.S. Eliot, ‘Four Quartets – (East Coker)’,
20. Joanna Macy, ‘The Great Turning’ (2007).
21. Oswald Chambers, ‘The Discipline of Disillusionment’,
SingleVision Ministries (2008).
22. Tyndall Centre, ‘Made in China: Who is responsible
for China’s rapidly rising CO2 emissions. . .’ (19 Oct 2007).
23. ‘Robert Burns’ and ‘James Hutton’, Oxford
Dictionary of National Biography, online:
24. SCRAN, Print entitled 'Burns' first meeting with
25. Keith Stewart Thomson, 'Vestiges of James Hutton',
American Scientist Online 89 (May-Jun 2001).
26. James Hutton, Theory of the Earth (1795), Book
1, Chapter 1. Accessed from
33. Deep Purple, ‘Child in Time’, Deep Purple in Rock
Towards Cultural Psychotherapy
1-11 - Text
12. Camara’s full text is in PDF at
14. Text, but I've since put Manfred Max-Neef's
'Development and Human Needs' online at
15. Text, but see also
See also Jane Kendall and Tom Crompton, ‘All you need is love to protect
the natural world’, The Guardian (27 Feb 2008).www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/feb/27/1
16. See Tom Crompton's groundbreaking 'Weathercocks and
Signposts: the environment movement at a crossroads' report (2007) at
www.valuingnature.org ; also WWF-UK's website at
http://www.wwf.org.uk/core/ge_0000004945.asp . Tom and I worked
closely together as he researched his report and me, this book. The
meetings at Saatchi and Saatchi to which I refer were tied in with this
collaboration. For a disturbing and yet ambiguous perspective from
Saatchi's Kevin Roberts on Lovemarks and the US military in Iraq
that I came across after writing this book, see
17. Fairtrade Foundation, ‘Seven million farming families
worldwide benefit as global Fairtrade sales increase by 40% and UK
awareness of the Fairtrade Mark rises to 57%’, Press release (10 Aug
19. Text, but Ernest Renan's 1882 essentialist lecture,
'What is a Nation?' is also at
21. 500 groups across Scotland that participated in the
‘People and Parliament’ process, 1999. The full technical report
is linked from
www.galgael.org/ . This book was launched from the GalGael premises
on 25 June 2008.
23. Iain Crichton Smith, ‘Real People in a Real Place’ in
idem., Towards the Human: Selected Essays (Macdonald
Publishers, Loanhead, 1986).www.alastairmcintosh.com/general/resources/1982-Iain-Crichton-Smith-Real-People-Real-Place.pdf
25. Nikolai Berdyaev, The Paradox
of the Lie (1939), trans. Fr. S. Janos (2000), The Berdyaev Online
Bibliotek Library, www.berdyaev.com, accessed 3 Mar 2008.
1. European Space Agency,
‘Satellites witness lowest Arctic ice coverage in history’ (14 Sep
Update on the
science and politics of climate change, April 2009
While it is not my intention to run regular updates, the
following report on the possibilities of abrupt climate change from the
US Geological Survey is of particular and authoritative interest.
[Note 2018: In the Trump era, that link's gone dead, but it can now be found at:
In April 2009 I was heartened to read the report of the UK
Government's Sustainable Development Commission, Prosperity Without Growth,
which focuses on growth and consumerism as the driver of climate change -
It is great that his government Commission has tacked
consumerism head on - and ironically issuing their report in the same week as
the G20 in London called for "sustainable global growth"!
Carbon emissions for different types of transport
I got a
Trainline train ticket for London the other day that had on it the
CO2 per km - short haul
0.20kg C02 per km - average petrol car
0.06 kg CO2 per km
the source was given as Defra, I checked this out. I'd been struck
by the closeness to a 1:2:3 ratio that it suggests for rail:air:car,
but quickly hit
on a confusing picture. You google, and it brings up Defra's 2005
figures. Dig further, and the most recent figures I found were for
2008 which are somewhat different. Defra have recalculated using new
methodologies. These shed a worse light on domestic air travel,
though for European and intercontinental air travel the picture
improves if you disaggregate economy from more spacious seating
patterns. Yet again we see that the Earth really cannot afford the
Defra report makes fascinating reading. Its website implies that it
is the most current set of figures - though you never quite know.
What makes the report especially valuable is its transparency in
exploring how complicated it is to work out these figures. For
example, most passenger planes also carry freight. Older evaluations
worked out their emissions on a weight-for-weight basis and produced
a lower passenger per kilometre greenhouse gas impact, but the
latest figures recognise that a kilo of a passenger's rump takes up
disproportionately more of the plane's infrastructure (trolleys,
safety equipment, and toilets upon which to seat that rump) than
does a kilo of Peruvian asparagus tips.
also have to be weighted in - for example, is your bus packed to
standing room only, or is it an "essential service" provision that's
basically over-grown private taxi service to keep alive rural
communities beloved of the likes of myself? (Apropos that, there
have been 2 recent studies of the Isle of Skye's carbon footprint -
one on Staffin and the other on Sleat. The Sleat one if I remember
right from a report in the West Highland Free Press showed that
while the Scottish average emissions footprint was 12 tonnes of CO2
equivalent per person, Sleat was pumping out 18 tonnes. A similar
study by students from Flensburg University mentioned in the Spring
09 issue of Sgleat Glan (A Clean Sleat) shows that community's
emission to be 17 tonnes. The traditional good life only works if
you don't try urbanising it!)
Back to the
Defra report - it is hedged round with caveats such as "... at the
moment there is no agreed methodology for..." The biggest gap that I
see here is the embodied energy of infrastructure of differing
transport types. On the surface of it, UK rail appears to be better
than UK coach travel. But what is the embodied energy of maintaining
the rail system - not just the lines, but also all the people taken
to run it? What about Eurostar's embodied energy of the Channel
Tunnel, complete with all the rock it took out of Glensanda
superquarry? Should these be factored in to future methodologies?
If so, would the low infrastructure requirements of ferries and
planes (because they don't need roads and rails to run on) improve
their relative performance? And yet, while on the matter of ferries
which is the area where data is most lacking - whenever I'm on a
hi-speed passenger ferry like the Seacats going to Ireland as
distinct from Calmac's steamers to the Hebrides, I can't help
wondering if their engine capacity generating up to 30 megawatts (5%
of of one Torness-style nuclear reactor's output) just to thrust all
that metal through water at 40 knots (46 mph) can be more efficient
strikes me most is that to decarbonise we need to cut emissions by
an order of tenfold. However, the difference between most of the
options is not that great. Even that between taking the bus and
going by is only twofold. If we remain fixated on supply side
solutions we'll never get anywhere. Short of nuclear fusion coming
on stream, our energy consumption is just so high that shifting from
car to train or whatever helps but it is still pissing on the roses
while the house burns down. I just don't see how the sums add up -
even the more optimistic renewable sums - to maintain our present
way of living. That is why it puzzles me that we don't hear more
about demand-side solutions - cutting what it is that drives our
unsettledness; our consumerism. Perhaps that's just too hard a
psychological and vested-interest nut to feature on the political
Defra data is really useful. I've pulled it together today for
possible inclusion in an impending book reprint. As some of you too
may have been confused by the statistical shifting sands as I've
been, I hope you'll find it useful and that I've read the data
2008 UK Government data - grams
of CO2 per passenger kilometre
Source: 2008 Guidelines to Defra’s GHG Conversion
Factors: Methodology Paper for Transport Emission Factors,
July 2008: Below, “source” relates to which Table in:
This data has been extracted from the tangle of public
domain statistics for use as a
readers’ resource online
and for the reprint edition of Alastair McIntosh’s Hell
and High Water: Climate Change, Hope and the Human Condition
(Birlinn, 2008/2009). Below is the latest UK Government data
I’ve found as of March 2009. As methodology improves, some
figures change significantly, though Google searches often
point confusingly to older sources as these are the most
linked to and accessed.
Type of Transport
Air domestic (UK)
Long haul average is dragged down by non-economy spacious
seating – see below
Air short haul (Europe)
Air long haul (World)
Air short haul economy
Passenger share of aircraft weight is x3 their weight/bags –
so more business/first seating has huge inefficiency
Air short haul first class
Air long haul economy
Air long haul first class
Defra use a “real world” basis – manufacturers’ claims are
for idealised conditions
National Rail UK
Infrastructure energy embodied not included: Eurostar
electricity mix includes French (nuclear)
Eurostar continental rail
Erratum/additions to Hell &
High Water's 1st Edn for the 2nd edn, which came out in June 2009)
The following listing contains both trivial items to
attend to in any future editions and any items of substance to
which I wish to alert readers.
In the first edition there is some unevenness of
print density on a few of the pages. The publisher is aware of this
problem and it has been raised with the printer - our apologies.
Print size of Chapter 8 & 9 headings is oversize
compared with other chapters - pp. 180 & 210.
p. 14, line 2, change "come" to "become".
p. 23 - this item is in red as it was
not picked up in time for the 2nd edn. But thanks to Billy Fox of
Shetland, the only technical error to be identified so far ... what
I've shown as ppmv for methane concentrations in the atmosphere
should, of course, be ppbv (parts per billion by volume).
p. 24, line 7, add missing word "to" to read "like to
p. 59, line 4, add missing "a" before "challenge".
p. 78 - to clarify the sequence of thought at foot of
page. Where it says, "The definition of an unacceptable risk..."
change to, "But Chernobyl reminded us that one definition of an
unacceptable risk..." In the sentence that follows, insert
"therefore" to read: "The trouble with the once-powerful
insurance argument is that it therefore puts us in a cleft stick."
p. 95 - repair broken line at end of first para.
(Mind that this doesn't mess up remainder of chapter formatting and
p. 99, third line from bottom, start with "While"
instead of "As."
p. 110, 4th line from bottom, for "mere autistic"
p. 137, first line of para 3, comma after "Vostock
p. 142, 6th line from bottom, "focused" in place of
pp. 176 & 186 - standardise spelling to "pedlar".
p. 193, para 2, in line that repeats "consciousness"
twice, change last word to "awareness".
p. 208 - insert missing colon between Ruairi and
p. 244 Where I have, "...
scything, reaping and threshing..." change to "sowing, scything and threshing" (as scything and
reaping more or less repeat one another).
Pp. 155 and index on p. 272 ... correct misspelling
of Hannah Arendt's surname - I've got "Ardent" ... should be
The following update will be added to the existing
Introduction at p. 10:
Credit Crunch Postscript to the Second
Edition: And as this book goes to reprint within its first year, the
science requires no significant revision. Suffice to cite the
Copenhagen Climate Change Congress of March 2009. Here 2,500
scientists concluded: ‘Recent observations confirm that, given high
rates of observed emissions, the worst-case IPCC scenario
trajectories (or even worse) are being realised.’
Meanwhile, in London in April 2009, the G20
sought to re-inflate the same old economy with ‘sustainable global
growth.’ But as the UK Government’s Sustainable Development
Commission said the same week, ‘The myth of growth has failed us.’
To raise 9 billion people up to OECD levels by 2050, according to
its Prosperity Without Growth report, would require a 15-fold
economic expansion. While economists dream on, the ecology unravels.
Everything said about ancient hubris here in
Part 2 applies directly to the economic crisis. Both the credit
crunch and the climate crunch have the same origin. Our resultant
predicament is like a tangled ball of string. Pull on any end, and
all connects – far and wide, outer and inner, ever tighter. It’s
grim, but it’s exciting: for what it demands of us collectively
today is nothing less than visionary depth - the courage of getting
more real; of becoming more fully alive.