COVID-19 and climate change

This is just a drill. What is reassuring about the COVID-19 pandemic is the fact that we humans have prior experience of pandemics. We, as a millenia old global society, have learned from the suffering of so many before us, and can reason about the course of this outbreak as it traces the scars of pandemics past. It is this knowledge which allows our scientists to confidently inform our responses to the challenge we presently face. Contagion factors, mortality rates, exponential curves – these are all intuitive factors in the relatively straightforward science of viral transmission.

Despite this prior experience, and despite an intuitive and relatively simple mathematical foundation for modelling the impact of a viral outbreak, society has struggled to respond in a coordinated, cohesive and intellectually sound manner. And as such the disease has killed thousands, spread globally at a rate which continues to grow exponentially, and has caused economic damage running to trillions of dollars.

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Sunset picture of wind farm in distance with fields of crops in the foreground

The other side of sustainable energy governance

A stark reminder this week that there are two sides to the renewable energy revolution: supply and demand. Whilst we in Denmark can be proud of our record on the supply side of this equation, the recent increase in interest from big tech in locations with good renewable credentials does suggest that governments may be called upon to impose some control on the demand side also.

The problem is that Denmark’s green energy has its limits. There is no way that existing renewables facilities could hope to meet the prospective demand from data centers.