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Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Mr Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been jailed for a further 6 years in Moscow. He has already served 7 years in jail. Vladimir Putin pronounced his guilt before his trial had ended. His main ‘crime’ according to many – including some Kremlin insiders – has been to criticise the Kremlin and Putin in particular. Many of […]

Less cynical views on Cancun

I wrote a cynical piece on the outcomes achieved from the Cancun climate negotiations a while back. Most of the time on such issues I rely on the Bridges email newsletter – it offers about as much sense as anything – on this occasion too it delivers sound insight. Its not much of an advance […]

Beijing traffic planning revisited

I wrote a brief note earlier this year on how Beijing should resolve its traffic problems. The interesting news over the past few days is that the Beijing administration has announced a whole set of anti-traffic congestion policies. The Vice-Mayor of Beijing in charge of traffic ‘resigned’ the day the measures were introduced and is […]

Xmas in Beijing

Christmas – although a Saturday – is a normal working day for most Beijingers. Classes are held at Peking University although I am not teaching that day. There are Christmas decorations in most of the stores in Beijing and in many restaurants. I think most people enjoy the chance for a celebration even if the […]


It’s my last month in China and I am trying to cram a lot into the last few weeks. Currently in Shanghai and enjoying it’s magnificent seafood and southern cuisine. It’s a cliche but true – this is the Paris of the east -a vibrant, modern European-style city with, yes, a Chinese twist. Shanghai has […]

Phony optimism at Cancun

I cannot see where the claimed ‘breakthroughs’ at Cancun are. Others think the same. (Update – here also). If readers out there in the blogosphere can detail them to me I’d sincerely appreciate it. Maybe I am missing the subtleties or just being a bit obtuse. I had a brief say at Club Troppo (in […]

Global trends in CO2 emissions

This purely descriptive report from the IEA (here) on CO2 emissions from fuel use is useful for those thinking about climate agreements. There is a longer report from which this selects highlights but plenty of information in this report alone. Data runs to 2008.

In 2008 emissions of CO2 from Annex 2 countries exceeded those […]

China & the Koreas

I found this Guardian article by Chun Lin on the crisis in the Koreas interesting. The island on which the North Korean attack was launched is in disputed territory. The caution China is displaying in criticising North Korea will be partly driven by the huge scale of the joint US-South Korean naval exercises taking place […]