Climate leadership: bridging the politics/policy divide – Creative Bureaucracy Festival

Policy is a map, it’s a route map, it tells you how to get from here to there. There are many different routes, and you can examine them all and try to figure out which ones are the best routes. You use quite sophisticated tool to make a map and […]

An Essential Alliance: Climate Change and the Law – UCL

The fate of the climate and the future of the law are intimately entangled. The rule of law is a crucial precondition for the success of climate policy. Climate policy failure is not inevitable but it is imminent. Avoiding failure means an end to the burning of fossil fuels by […]

The Double Jeopardy of the Environment & Democracy – Byline Times

Environmentalist Tom Burke considers why undermining the democratic rule of law would be destructive for the environment and all who want to protect it. Joni Mitchell wrote ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ in 1970, the year the first Earth Day launched the modern environment movement. The song’s refrain – Don’t it always […]

DEMOCRACY, LAW AND THE ENVIRONMENT – UKELA ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2021

This is a speech I gave at the UKELA annual conference 2021. In summary, I argue that the rule of law will not long survive a failure to maintain the ecological foundations of the economy. The climate is the foundation in the most imminent danger. The ecological foundations of the […]

We cannot succeed in making the climate safe without democracy

We cannot succeed in making the climate safe without democracy. Attacks on democracy are therefore attacks on a safe climate wherever they occur. To stay in power despots must destroy the machinery nations use to learn from their mistakes. There is no mistake free path to a net zero world. […]

A CLIMATE OF TRUST

The core argument of this lecture is that failure of climate change policy represents an existential threat to civilisation that will destroy the foundations of trust on which democracy depends. Climate change is a unique problem in human history. Climate policy success demands the local, national and geo-political cooperation that […]

A WAR ON REASON

                Below is a paragraph everyone should read. It will seem quite familiar, if slightly out of true, as if from a half forgotten newspaper article. It is in fact from a 35 year old book. Even so, to grasp the full depth […]

ON MEDDLING WITH EUROPE

                                      ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone Joni Mitchell   The Second World War welded Britain into a united nation. The pre-war divisions so well portrayed in Downton Abbey […]

Tribute to Jo Cox – ‘Where we see intolerance we must drive it out of our politics’

    Here is the full text of David Cameron’s speech. I first met Jo in Darfur in 2006 where she was doing what she was brilliant at, which was looking after and saving the lives of vulnerable refugees. And here we are today commemorating her life that’s been lost. […]

Our own bad habits have brought Britain to the brink of Brexit – The Guardian

By Martin Kettle This article first appeared in The Guardian   Whether voters decide to leave or remain, we must address failures in our media, culture and politics     Trust the people, that’s what I always say to myself. By and large, over the long term, they will do the […]