Archive for Philip Lowe

Social science has an active role to play in driving positive consumer choices, says Philip Lowe.

Philip Lowe

Governments, including the UK’s, have signed up to the Kyoto Protocol and brought in domestic legislation with ambitious carbon reduction targets. But before we sit back and congratulate ourselves, shouldn’t we be thinking about exactly how we are to achieve real carbon reduction?

At the moment we are not only in danger of simply exporting our responsibilities by trading our emissions with less industrialised countries, but also failing to address the overall contribution that agriculture makes to climate change – at present the industry is responsible for 38 per cent of UK methane emissions – the vast majority from livestock management.
Continue reading Kind words butter no parsnips

Even in the UK, where we have shown little anxiety about our access to food supplies since the days of rationing in World War 2, food security is back on the agenda.

Climate change could, it seems, be the trigger that makes us overcome our squeamishness about genetically modified crops, according to debates in the popular press. The recent Royal Society report “Reaping the benefits: science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture”, urges universities to work with funding bodies to reverse the decline in subjects relevant to the sustainable intensification of food crop production.

But is technology really going to provide everything that we need or are we simply hoping once again for a quick fix to an extremely complex problem?

Continue reading The human and technological dimension