Much of my work involves carrying out research, and then writing about that research – either as an article, report or, occasionally, a book. This section of the site provides access to my various writings.
Fracktured Accountability, Paul Mobbs, March 2015
World in Chains: Nuclear Weapons, Militarisation and their Impact on Society, Angie Zelter (editor), Luath Press, June 2014
A Practical Guide to Sustainable ICT, APC/IDRC, June 2012
Energy Beyond Oil: Could You Cut Your Energy Use by Sixty Percent?, Matador Books, June 2005
Participating With Safety Toolkit, APC, March 2002
Civil Society Internet Rights Toolkit, GreenNet/Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, 2000
I am a freelance researcher, author and lecturer on energy, environment and public policy issues – how I use that core set of skills depends upon the issue I am working with at the time.
Fundamentally my work involves finding information from a wide variety of sources and then mapping the content to produce an illustrative view of a single issue. My specialty is studying large quantities of digital or hard copy records, public registers and documents.
Tied to that specialism are my skills in using computers, databases and on-line systems in order to support that work – and occasionally to teach others those skills.
The final part of that skill-set involves communicating the results of my work to its target audience. That is usually the general public, or the groups who hire me to carry out research on particular issues – whether that be just general research, or to produce a case for a public inquiry or other official process.
However, since I began working as a freelance professionally in 1992, the aim of the work has changed. During the 1990s my work was largely responsive – following the ecological agenda. Since the end of the 2000s I have shifted towards working on "future" issues – identifying issues of public concern before they hit the media and flagging them up to the communities involved.
For want of a better label, I call this shift in the focus of my research, Ecological Futurology – either by research, writing and journalism, identifying and explaining critical issues of public interest before they become part of the mainstream media and political agenda.
If you would like to employ my skills to assist your work, please get in touch. In the meantime, this site will give you access to the wide array of issues I have covered over the past twenty-five years of work.
Below is a selection of recent research reports. For a full guide to reports, handouts and other publications view the Work Archive.
USAF Croughton, Networked Warfare, and the Intelligence-Fusion Complex
In commerce, data is the new financial ‘gold’. On the back of the Web, on-line shopping and social media, data has become a resource for those trading in goods or public opinion. This same transformation has been underway in the military and intelligence services too. Here though, the use of data has serious political and cultural overtones – which imperil our civil liberties, and threaten to create an ever-more illiberal surveillance state where certain types of public dissent are labelled as ‘suspect’. In Britain, one site exemplifies this global shift in the focus of the military and intelligence services – USAF Croughton. Construction will begin soon on NATO’s Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre. Based on the ‘intelligence-fusion’ systems developed in the USA in the wake of 9/11, the JIAC brings the use of digital surveillance and wide-ranging data analytics to Europe. This development appears to be going ahead with – at least in public – the willing ignorance of the British government. There is no official recognition of the practices which are carried on at Croughton today, nor of those which the new JIAC development will enable in the future.
Download Croughtonwatch report
The Free Range Do-It-Yourself 'Feral' Stick-Fire Cooking Grate
Cooking outdoors is a fun skill to learn to expand your ecological awareness and personal resilience. Cook well outdoors from fresh or foraged food, and you can cook well anywhere. Problem is, where do you find the 'ecologically sound'/fossil-fuel free kit? The Free Range Stick-Fire Cooking Grate is a small, light-weight, trestle-style cooking grate designed to burn small sticks which, with a few tools and components, you can easily build yourself.
A3 summary poster
Whitehall's 'Fracking' Science Failure: How the Government has misled Parliament and the public on the climate change impacts of shale oil and gas development in Britain – A report for Talk Fracking
This report seeks to explain how the debate over the gaseous emissions from 'fracking', and their impacts on climate change, has changed over the last few years – and precisely why that debate is critical to how the Whitehall Government has justified, and promoted, onshore oil and gas extraction in Britain.
Original Paul Mobbs/MEI research report
Talk Fracking's published version
A3 poster summarising the report
Fracktured Accountability: A study of political decision-making and unconventional fossil fuel interests in the Coalition Government
'Fractured Accountability' represents the outcome of just over two years research on the the Government's role in promoting unconventional gas and oil in Britain; specifically, whether their actions are 'legal'. More importantly, it is not a report about "fracking" per se, but rather the highly questionable relationships between policy-makers in Government, the industry developing fracking, and the finance and PR industries supporting them.
The 'Fracktured Accountability' web page
This page collects all the 'Fracktured Accountability' resources together within a single page.
'Fracktured Accountability', the report
This is the detailed report on the the alleged 'misconduct in public office' by ministers in Britain in relation to their policies on unconventional oil and gas development.
The Frackogram 2015
This page outlines, and provides a browser for, the 'Frackogram 2015', an 'organogram' which illustrates the relationships between the government, fracking/fossil fuel companies, finance and academia.
'Fracktured Accountability', a.k.a, 'The Frackogram'
This poster describes the 'Frackogram', and how it was created. Where the 'frackogram' is reproduced as a large poster, this A3 PDf is desgined to sit alongside to provide a more detailed explanation of the 'organogram'.
'Arrest the Cabinet'
A video of my efforts to 'arrest the cabinet' for the offence of 'misconduct in a public office', Downing Street, 5th March 2015.
Frackademics: A study of the relationships between academia, the fossil fuels industry and public agencies
This study, produced on behalf of 'talk Fracking', examines the relationships between academia, the fossil fuel industry and public bodies – and how these relationships might influence the public debate over "fracking". The purpose of reviewing the connections between different agencies is to understand the nature of the environment which defines and constrains those decisions, and to explain the context within which recent decisions or policies have been framed. It traces the potential mechanisms by which the public debate over unconventional gas and oil may be manipulated, and how that fits in to the Government's promotion of their policies on unconventional gas and oil. In scientific debate, all issues should be open to objective examination.
'Frackademics' – the report
'Frackademics' case study 3 – The Mackay-Stone review
'Frackademics' case study no.4 – The Science Media Centre
'Frackademics' case study no.5 – Guardian Open Letter
'Frackademics' case study no.6 – The Task Force on Shale Gas