Two and a half cheers for the COP21 climate talks outcome

George Monbiot got it about right with his assessment of the COP21 outcome:

By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster.

But no matter what, the Paris Agreement does mark a turning point, and sends by far the strongest signal yet to banks, investors and industry. One might ask where they have been looking in the past decade if they haven’t already read the signals. Has it been gross negligence or haven’t they read their own disclaimers that past performance should not be taken as an indicator of future returns on fossil fuels? How can it be that they’ve wilfully ignored the risk of stranded assets?

As May Boeve – Executive Director of – put it:

“This marks the end of the era of fossil fuels. There is no way to meet the targets laid out in this agreement without keeping coal, oil and gas in the ground. The text should send a clear signal to fossil fuel investors: divest now.”

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Why I’m drinking fair trade organic Ethiopian coffee

Ah. The Aussie summer. Catching waves. Watching cricket. Fresh local fish. Friends. Sleeping in. Coffee.

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A funny thing happened on the way to the (Fairtrade) market…

A few years ago I was in a meeting which had a pre-release view of the now ubiquitous fairtrade label seen on coffee and tea around the developed world. When it flashed up on the screen I actually burst out laughing and blurted ‘looks like a dead fish!’. It also on quick reflection looked like an animated little enzyme that regularly ran across our black-and-white TV screens in Australia in the 60’s (yes I’m that old) gobbling up germs to advertise some cleaning product or other. Continue reading