Alternative climate theory in shatters

An alternative theory for climate change based on the influence of cosmic radiation lead to prominent predictions of an imminent cooling of global temperatures. Three years after the book by Fritz Vahrenholt and Sebastian Lüning was a bestseller in Germany and translated into English, its predictions – popular with climate sceptics also in the US –  have been shown to be false. Instead of a rapid cooling since the publication […]

What’s new in the IPCC report

After 4 years of intensive work, the fifth assessment report of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has finally been published. It says that it is urgent to begin reducing emissions, otherwise we will not be able to stay below the articulated limit of two degree temperature rise. Sure, but that was already the main message of the […]

Guarantees of origin and their misuse in carbon footprint calculations

In the development of the international standard for product carbon footprint analysis, there are now forces arguing that so-called guarantees of origin (GO) should be used to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity. This sound innocuous, but one should not be deceived by a misleading term! Guarantees of origin are not what they sound to be: they do not guarantee that the electricity you buy is actually from the source that it is claimed […]

The Environmental Footprint of Biofuels

A new UN report emphasizes the importance of addressing land use, water, and biodiversity impacts of biofuels.
The jury is now in on biofuels: Current government mandates in the United States, Europe and other countries to blend biofuels into ordinary car fuels cause substantial environmental damage, do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and have a questionable contribution to energy security. A new UN report and a new book document many, sometimes fascinating facets of […]

What does the Carbon Footprint mean?

Many people have asked how a country’s carbon footprint compares to the territorial emissions reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)?

In hindsight, it was perhaps remiss of us not to include this data in the paper. However, it was not our motivation.

Focusing on whether the emissions are bigger or smaller misses a large part of the story. The main focus of the paper is on what consumption categories cause emissions […]