Highly Cited Researchers

Thompson Reuters (who produce the Institute for Scientific Information journal impact factors) have released the first update of Highly Cited Researchers in the sciences and social sciences since 2004.

I’m happy to report that I (Barry Brook) made the new (2014) list, which is easily searchable by name, institution or other keyword (it’s flexible) — so find your favourite scientist! (perhaps…)

I note that Australia is well represented in the Environment/Ecology field of research in particular.

The background and methodology of “Highly Cited” is explained here. In brief, it’s derived from Essential Science Indicators data, and is based on the number of top  1% cited papers (in the peer-reviewed literature), by field and year, that a scientist has accumulated over a 10-year period (as indexed in the Web of Science).

You can see my ResearchID profile here and my ORCID here, which shows all my publications. I also have a Google Scholar profile, which is based on a different method (not as rigorous as ISI, as it is prone to picking up various web-based [non-peer-reviewed] citations).

4 million views on BNC

Today this modest climate + energy blog passed 4 million page views.

My thanks to all the regular guest posters and commenters on BNC for building up and critiquing the archives of content — 550 posts and rising.

This blog has been dedicated to the enormous challenge of replacing fossil fuels by mid century.  That goal continues. Whatever our core future energy generation sources turn out to be –  nuclear or renewables – if we can solve the ‘sustainable energy problem’, the possibilities for humanity are many and exciting.

So let’s keep thinking, and debating, and advocating, for good policy and smart use of technology. The biosphere depends on us getting this right. As does the prosperity of our own species. Onward!

Scott Ludlam’s viral video

Guest Post by Geoff Russell.

Scott Ludlam is a Western Australian Senator with a last minute reprieve after losing his seat at the last Federal election. Ludlam will get a second change when WA has a fresh Senate election next month after the now infamous electoral office bungle which saw some 1,400 ballot papers lost. This makes him a very lucky boy.

A few days ago Ludlam rose to an empty parliamentary chamber in the nation’s capital and delivered a speech that has gone as close to viral as serious politics ever goes. When I say “empty”, I’m just rounding down from the one person present. But when I say “viral”, I don’t need to round up because his you tube clip is at 461,698 views and rising … with thumbs up dominating the thumbs down.

It’s a great speech and I share Ludlam’s contempt for our compassionless Government. But one small section sticks out as being just plain ill-informed. Unfortunately many Greens take their beliefs as a package deal and don’t respond well to criticism of particular components, but that’s the thing about the real world, it’s full of exceptions to rules and cases where general principles need to be put aside in favour of actually thinking through the problem. Energy production is one such area and Scott would do well to follow is own advice and dump his anti-nuclear slogans. They don’t work as policy.

Consider the way Ludlam lumps gas fracking in with the nuclear electricity industry without understanding that the two are inversely related, meaning that the reason we have fracking is because nuclear power got blocked by the anti-nuclear movement. If the nuclear roll out of the 1970s had continued, there’d be little or no gas fracking today.

It’s not complicated, you just need a little history.

Gas fracking and the whole grab back of unconventional oil technologies (shale oil, tar sands, coal-to-oil conversion, etc) have exploded during the past couple of decades on the back of the US struggle for energy independence. Natural gas production in the US fell during the decade from 1973 to 1983 and then it began to rise. Thirty years on, and it’s at an all time peak. Consider the dates. That decade of gas decline was when the US was building it nuclear fleet. And the minute that fleet roll out got scuppered by the anti-nuclear movement … gas production was back in business. Prior to the nuclear roll out of the 70s, the US burned bucket loads of oil for electricity. The nuclear roll out stopped that and it never restarted because oil got priced out of that market. But when the nuclear builds were stymied, and conventional oil supplies became more expensive to find, then unconventional oils got their chance. Australia mirrors these events except that we never had nuclear.

By rejecting both gas and nuclear as a package, Ludlam is throwing the baby out with the fracking bath water.

And what does he want in it’s place?

Quote … “infinite flows of renewable energy”,.

This from someone who claims to value “education, innovation and equality” in addition to biodiversity and (presumably) minimising the destruction to the natural environment.

Continue reading

BNC 2.0

2013 was a quiet year for the Brave New Climate website.

After a number of years of heavy blogging from 2008 to 2011 (averaging about 150 posts per year), I guess I’d run out of steam by 2012, and that lack of activity just got worse in 2013. Although my Twitter feed (@bravenewclimate) remained vibrant, the blog itself got only a drip feed of occasional guest posts (though of high quality, I would argue!), and saw increasingly long intervals between updates.

I also switched over the the BNC Discussion Forum and closed comments here, which was a mixed success at best.

For 2014, I’ve hit the reset button.

The blog visuals have been given a fresh coat of paint (new, clean, simplified theme), most of the old links, images and organizational structure have been thrown in the bin, and various pages have been updated or removed. (The old post/comment content is all still in the archives and searchable, so nothing important has disappeared).

More importantly, my approach to blogging will be revitalised, with the aim of re-building (and, over time, expanding) the once-flourishing BNC community:

  • I will write more regularly, but typically in shorter, punchier, single-topic posts.
  • The scope of topics covered will be extended, particularly around technology solutions to global change, forecasting (futurist), and space exploration.
  • Commenting on the blog posts will re-open (but remain moderated, with participants expected to following the commenting rules).
  • The external discussion forum will remain active and integrated with the blog, for when you want to create your own topics that are not related to my blog posts.
  • Guest posts will continue to be hosted, if they are related to the theme of the blog and fit with its style and function.

Spread the word (see social media links at the foot of this post). BNC is back, and will be better than ever!

‘Pandora’s Promise’ documentary movie in Australia

For my Australian readers, October 2013 is THE month for green energy. It’s at last time to book your tickets to see Pandora’s Promise!

You can get further details at the Antidote Films/Cinema Ventures website, here.

I’ve been involved with the movie, in various small ways, for the last few years — I guess ever since the core ideas for it really started crystalising in (Academy-Award® nominated Director) Robert Stone’s mind around the time of a dinner party and discussion at Tom Blees’ house back in 2010. I provided some advice (along with many others) during production and promotion, and recently got a chance to help Robert out during the St Petersburg (Russia) première back in June. As proof of my aid, I even got a signed version of the above poster from Robert, which is now proudly up on my office door! So the movie definitely has the BNC Stamp of Authenticity. This is the real deal. The movie that all aspiring ‘Promethean environmentalists’ (even if you don’t know you are one yet) NEED to see.

Some more details:

HERE is a PDF brochure that you can download and distribute.

Please attend. Bring your family and friends.  You really owe it to yourself to see this deeply thought-provoking and highly entertaining movie.

You also owe it to the pro-nuclear environmentalist community in Australia to make damned sure that every screening across the country is jam-packed with enthusiastic people who create an atmosphere throbbing with admirable neo-green fervour! Indeed, I think that if we are ever going to get an effective social movement mobilised in this country around the critical issue of  ALLOWING clean, zero-carbon nuclear energy to compete and flourish in Australia, we need to show that people care. And we need to educate them. Watching this movie is a terrific step along that road.

Tickets are available to purchase online below, or at the door. They include a complimentary drink and entry to the screening and exclusive Q&A with Robert Stone and others:

Melbourne: 8/10/13 Classic Cinema, Elsternwick. Buy tickets.
Adelaide: 9/10/13 Mercury Cinema, Morphett St. Buy tickets.
Perth: 10/10/13 Luna Palace Cinemas, Nedlands. Buy tickets.
Hobart*: 10/10/13 10th State Cinema, Elizabeth St. Buy tickets.
Canberra: 11/10/13 The Arc Cinema, McCoy Circuit. Buy tickets.
Sydney: 12/10/13 Hoyts, Moore Park. Buy tickets.
Sydney: 13/10/13 Hoyts, Moore Park. Buy tickets.
Brisbane: 14/10/13 Bemac Cinema, Kangaroo Point. Buy tickets.

* Robert Stone will not be attending Hobart screening


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