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Foreword

Last summer, 2018, was horrendous with heatwaves and associated deaths affecting nearly every corner of the globe.  There is no doubt, in thinking minds, that climate change is well and truly upon us and that the time to act is NOW!  We can no longer afford to "wait" until we take action.  Time for delay is well and truly over.

We all write about issues from our own particular world view point.  It is near impossible not to so the subject of climate change is no different.  I should, therefore, summarise my background and the setting that frames this book.

As a teenager in the 1980s, I had a very religious upbringing in The Worldwide Church of God, which proved instructive in many ways.  As a consequence, a belief in God and The Holy Bible influenced my secondary school studies.  I worked hard and, with the exception of Chemistry and Art, gained A grades in all G.C.S.E. subjects and, subsequently, in A-Level German, Economics and Mathematics although Further Mathematics was a disappointing grade C.

By the end of the decade, following the death of its Pastor General, Herbert W. Armstrong, The Church was troubled with new leadership and more mainstream Christian teachings.  Coincident with this, I began to question statements made by church ministers on matters of economics that were at odds with school teaching.  This was on the subject of debt.  The Church ministers claimed that personal and public debt were out of control while I also believed my economic teacher's claims that controlled debt for the economy was good.

By the time I went up to Cambridge University, I had stopped attending church as too had my family and The Church splintered at about the same time.  At university I read Economics and Management Studies and gained a first.  I then pursued a career in accountancy, private equity (in German property), venture capital (in low carbon businesses) and environmental consultancy.  Subsequently, my business acumen, developed over 25 years, labels me as a capitalist in thinking and I believe strongly that this is the best way to create and sustain wealth in society through developing family-owned businesses nurtured over many years.  Whilst doing an MBA at INSEAD in France in 2006-07, this is what I focused on - strategy for low carbon businesses.  Since then, I have continued to both work in related fields and research climate change.

In recent years, particularly since 2008 at the time of The Financial Recession, I have turned again to Christianity.

Why is this relevant to this text?  Well, since 2006, when I was studying for an MBA and, thanks to my brother, first became aware of climate change, I have researched the subject in depth.  This coincided with the release of Al Gore's book and film, An Inconvenient Truth, which collectively provided an objective global reality check.  In the subsequent decade I have experienced many emotional twists and turns, which have ranged from outright concern to thinking that the subject is too big to comprehend.  I now accept that climate change is real and take as read the views of many eminent scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.P.C.) reports but I do not believe in it!  By this, I mean it is not a religion - it is scientific fact! Rather, I believe in God and, as a Christian, that God ultimately controls the weather.  I reconcile this is my own mind to mean that God is allowing climate change; the product of man facilitating carbon dioxide emissions since the onset of the Industrial Revolution for which we are now paying a hefty price.

The challenge is how to resolve to inimical problem.  Man must now apply his God-given talents and intervene to solve the self-created problem that is climate change.  We are stewards of this Earth.  The answer must lie in economics and business aspiring towards environmentally-friendly ways of working, as well as protecting and nurturing the natural environment around us.  This is the capitalist in me speaking, and market forces work best when there is healthy competition with light regulation (although, as I will later argue, given the timescale for change is so short, heavier regulation than usual may be needed).

Since climate change is a global imperative, a global response is required - although, to begin with, leadership should be shown from the developed nations of the West.  In the analysis that will follow, an equation is used to examine the developed West versus the Rest of the World (R.O.W.) before applying this global perspective specifically to the U.K. and the U.S.A.  The same analysis could be made for other countries.  Indeed, in considering the new technologies and solutions required, examples are given from around the world.

We, the broader public, have been thinking about climate change for well over a decade now, since the publication of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, although politicians and scientists have been concerned for much longer.  There is much talk of promulgating a Plan by 2050 but that is more than three decades away.  On an issue as important as this, we cannot simply keep extending the deadline or, according to scientists, we face almost extinction as a species.  The time for action is NOW, and bold action is required.

This book, in blog format, does not claim to hold all of the answers as to what action is required and by whom.  Instead it is a framework around which we can all play a part to solve collectively this problem.

Over the course of the following months, I will examine the following in turn:

June - The Kaya Identity
July - What is Climate Change?
August - What is meant by Controlling Climate Change?
September - Economic Growth
September - The Relationship between Economic Growth and Climate Change
September - Population
September - The Need for Technology
October - Drawdown
November - What is meant by a Low Carbon Economy?
January - Conclusions

Look out for the new blogposts and, in the meantime, please feel free to comment and share! Thanks!

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