Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary

Interview with Peter Read


About the Cyberlibrary

The Tiempo Climate Cyberlibrary was developed by Mick Kelly and Sarah Granich on behalf of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the International Institute for Environment and Development, with sponsorship from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

While every effort is made to ensure that information on this site, and on other sites that are referenced here, is accurate, no liability for loss or damage resulting from use of this information can be accepted.

Peter Read

Peter Read discusses the potential of bioenergy and the broader role of the biosphere in controlling the composition of the atmosphere. He also comments on George Monbiot's critique of biomass as a fuel source.

Find out about Peter Read's global warming priority (low or high bandwidth streaming video)


To listen to the streaming audio or video files, you will need RealPlayer or Real Alternative, both free downloads


Streaming audio

What is the potential of bioenergy?

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You're advocating a holistic approach to the carbon cycle in responding to global warming. Just what do you mean by a holistic response?

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Can you give an example of this approach?

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Is this an approach the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change, the IPCC, with its rather technocentric approach to the climate problem, would advocate?

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Are there any potential drawbacks to the widespread use of bioenergy?

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The commentator George Monbiot has described the adoption of biofuels as a humanitarian disaster, committing land to energy rather than food production. What do you think of his critique?

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Should governments in the North be adopting this approach?

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And what of the South?

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On the Web

In the Policy Debate on Global Biofuels Development, various authors debate George Monbiot's controversial view that the adoption of biofuels would be a humanitarian and environmental disaster (0.5Mb download).


Peter Read is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Applied and International Economics at Massey University in New Zealand. He was awarded a PhD in Engineering at Cambridge University and worked in Whitehall on energy policy, before emigrating to New Zealand in 1980. He is author of "Responding to Global Warming", published by Zed Books.

Contact information

Peter Read, Department of Applied and International Economics, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Fax: +64-6-3505660. Email: p.read@massey.ac.nz. Web: econ.massey.ac.nz.

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Updated: May 15th 2015