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'There's no planet B'
Interview with Robert Newman (Audio and Podcast, 41 mins.)
Paul Hamilos, Guardian
Robert Newman made his name back in the 1990s as part of the Mary Whitehouse Experience, and later as one of half of an award-winning, record-breaking comedy act with David Baddiel. Then, in 1993, he gave it all up, and all but disappeared from the public eye. Since then he has written three novels, and though he continues to tell jokes, his targets have changed - now his sights are set on big business, politicians and his overriding concern, the damage that we are doing to the environment.
He returns to your TV screens next month with a one-off show, Robert Newman's History of Oil, in which the comedian looks at the importance of oil as a motive for global conflict, the myths that surround the history we learn in school and the dangers of climate change.
I spoke to him about his work, his concerns about the planet and how difficult it is to write jokes about global warming. Fans of his comedy shows as well as those who support his political and environmental campaigning will recognise his rambling style, and the sincerity of his convictions.
(31 March 2006)
Robert Newman's "History of Oil" will be shown on More4 on 12 April at 9pm.
Interview at Carbon Trade Watch (March 20)
Heinberg in Peoria
("Ecologist says oil-supply peak nearing")
Kate Hawley, Peoria Journal Star
PEORIA - The world's supply of oil will peak in just a few years, plunging the world's economy into recession, ecologist Robert Heinberg told about 165 people at the Holiday Inn City Centre on Saturday.
The United States, heavily dependent on foreign oil, will be particularly affected, said Heinberg, a faculty member of the New College of California, where he teaches "Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community."
..."Obviously, many people consider this a radical idea," said Dave Thompson of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council, which invited Heinberg to Peoria for the daylong talk.
But there's a growing number of believers, bolstered by analyses including a 2005 report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy. Widely known as the Hirsch Report, it warned of the dire consequences of a global oil peak.
(2 April 2006)
'Era of cheap oil is over'
Reuters via News24
Algiers - Hope of rescuing Africa from poverty may vanish like "snow in sunshine" if high oil prices continue, the 53-nation African Union (AU) said on Sunday.
Alpha Oumar Konare, chairperson of the AU Commission, told an African oil and gas conference the continent's new dreams of development, inspired by a recent rise in aid, greater foreign investment and fewer wars, were at risk from $60 a barrel oil.
"The era of cheap oil is over," he said. "What then becomes of our ambitions and our dreams to see Africa take the path of harmonious development?"
(2 April 2006)