New video commentaries covering four decades of research

The Policy Studies Institute has filmed a series of 8 short video commentaries by Mayer Hillman. They will cover the main themes of Mayer’s research since 1970, including:

  • Making the most of daylight hours
  • Cycling – one of the greatest inventions of all time
  • Climate change
  • Children’s independent mobility
  • The efficacy of cycle helmet wearing

Time to face up to the realities of climate change – an appeal to the professions

Very few people appear to have recognised the full implications of the ‘elephant in the room’ of global climate change – the unquestionable need for a speedy transition to near-zero carbon lifestyles and human activity is an ecological truth that dare not speak its name, says Mayer in a new article in Town and Country Planning.

Response to Naomi Klein in The Guardian

Naomi Klein acknowledges that the carbon emitted into the atmosphere remains there for hundreds of years. Yet progress around the world continues to be measured in terms of carbon reductions which, however impressive when revealed as efficiency gains, energy-renewables switching or low-carbon developments, make no contribution to reducing its concentration. It can only reduce the rate at which the concentration goes on rising.

Evidence of ice melting in the polar regions indicates that the tipping point beyond which this process can now be reversed has already passed. The Global Commons Institute’s recent carbon budget allocation tool reveals the outcome of any proposal in relation to any budget under consideration. Sadly, there is no escape from coming to terms with the model’s figures on, for instance, sea-level rises, acidification and temperature increase.

Dr Mayer Hillman
Senior fellow emeritus
Policy Studies Institute


Letter published in The Guardian, 11 March 2015

 

Climate change overtakes us

Ed Miliband highlights the need to “cut the growth of greenhouse gas emissions” as the basis of the global agreement to be reached in Paris in December (“Climate change is more than an environmental issue”, Comment).

However, to appreciate the dire trajectory on which we are already travelling and the rate at which we need to change this, look at the Carbon Budget Accounting Tool on the Global Commons Institute’s website. It makes clear that his target date of “net zero emissions globally some time in the second half of this century” will have to be brought forward considerably if we are to have reasonable odds of arresting the accelerating rates of climate change that we are already experiencing.

Dr Mayer Hillman
Policy Studies Institute
Senior Fellow Emeritus


Letter published in The Observer, 1 March 2015

 

We’re still in the dark ages when it comes to time zones

Sir,

In acknowledging the benefits of the extra hour of daylight in the evening on every day of the year if our clocks were put forward by an additional hour, your Leader then expresses sympathy for the Scots in the far north, where incidentally about 1 in 1500 of the UK population lives, as the sun would not rise there until 10am in the depths of winter (Winter Time, 26 October).

Would not this sympathy be better placed because at present clocks on GMT result in the sun setting there at that time of year before 3pm? This means that, as well as going to school in the dark, children also have to go home in the dark – a far more dangerous time of the day than the morning owing to the higher volume of traffic. Surely, sunset at 4pm would be preferable?

Dr. Mayer Hillman
Senior Fellow Emeritus
Policy Studies Institute


Letter published in the Observer, 2 November 2014

New videos available in the New Year

The Policy Studies Institute is filming a series of 10 videos of Mayer Hillman, which will be available on this website in early 2015. They will cover the main themes of Mayer’s research, including:

  • Making the most of daylight hours
  • Cycling – one of the greatest inventions of all time
  • Climate change
  • Children’s independent mobility
  • The efficacy of cycle helmet wearing

Is it time to stop putting the clocks back?

Sir,

Lighter evenings rather than darker mornings are cited in your leading
article (Time’s Up, October 25) as an outcome of the proposal to put our clocks
one hour ahead of their current setting in both summer and winter.

The benefits of doing so are far greater than this statement implies. The
extra hour of daylight in the evenings would be enjoyed on every day of the
year but the gloomier hour in the mornings will only have to be put up with
on the days of winter. For most of the year, at present, the great majority
of the population in effect waste between 200 and 300 daylight hours because
they are still in bed – even in Scotland!

Dr. Mayer Hillman

Senior Fellow Emeritus
Policy Studies Institute


Letter published in the Times, 27 October 2014