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gpwayne, Graham Wayne

G.P Wayne – (Graham to my friends)

My name is Graham Wayne. I live in Devon, England and I spend as much of my time as I can writing, principally about the science and sociology of climate change. Recently I’ve concentrated on fiction; my first novel, Cities of Refuge, is now published, and there’s another novel already finished (needs a bit of checking) called Life Below Decks, which will be published before Christmas.

My background is a blend of work in the arts, print media, electrical engineering (audio, IT) and business management. I started my working life as a musician – a bass player – where an excess of energy and enthusiasm contributed to my developing both interests and some modest skills in sound engineering (live and studio), arranging for orchestras, and to producing records.

During most of my life, I’ve also been a compulsive writer: I subscribe to Hemingway’s view that a writer doesn’t want to write; he has to write. After getting a bursary to attend a course at the Arvon Foundation (a writing school with four centres in the UK), I’ve enjoyed several spells as a full-time journalist. Writing has also frequently complemented and even broadened my business interests. There’s a quote from Andrew Miller on the Arvon site: “An Arvon course can change your life. It’s as simple as that”. He’s absolutely correct, it changed my life and I remain profoundly grateful to Arvon, and to my instructors John Brunner and Liza Tuttle.

Creatively, after Arvon my creative course seemed to be set – a mixture of experimental writing (terrible!) and making music. Then something happened that changed my life: I met the computer. The bond was instant; I understood exactly what it was doing, was fascinated by it, and started programming straight away.  I altered course in a way I never expected, and after a spell in software publishing, I established one of the first digital (pre-press) design companies in London.

Combining all I’d learned about management in show-biz – quite an ordeal by fire in many respects – and later training at BT, I started advising companies on their IT adoption, on their business methods, and this broad spread of experiences lead to my becoming a full time business consultant, accredited by the (then) Department of Trade and Industry. Eventually, after spells in Germany and Canada in management roles, I accepted the position of CIO on the board of The Mastertronic Group of companies, my last full-time role, which I left in 2006.

These days I’m focused on my writing (with a plan to make more music in a while). I’ve written a lot for my blog, occasional pieces for the Guardian, and for the excellent  Skepticalscience web site. Now it’s time to get my fiction in front of an audience, and to broaden my blogging to address not just climate change, but other issues that concern me.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Graham Wayne permalink*
    January 31, 2011 7:40 am

    Please only post in this section if you want to contact me, or say nice things that make me feel important 🙂

    Regarding contact, it isn’t necessary to include an email address in an enquiry, as the ‘raw’ post contains your email address (which can only be seen in the admin panel of my blog).

  2. December 11, 2014 7:21 pm

    Graham, I’m writing a climate fiction novel in which I would like to introduce a concept that I’d like to bounce past you. You can get an idea about my view of the world on my FaceBook page below. The concept is a genetically modified form of grass that is white instead of green and thus, if adopted in fairly large chunks, would offset some of the albedo lost through melting Arctic/Antarctic/Greenland ice. The concept isn’t central to the book but it would allow me to do lots of fun things. My commitment to myself is that I won’t put anything into the book that isn’t scientifically plausible in the year 2050. So…genetically modified grass? Check. White grass that still functions for photosynthesis? Checking. Maybe it doesn’t matter. White grass that could, in any meaningful way, produce a helpful albedo? Don’t know. It may be sufficient just to make it slightly positive to the extent that someone could make a marketing thing out of it (though I would hope for much more efficacy than that.) I don’t need to know with enough confidence to write a patent application but I also won’t just say, “And then a miracle happened…” Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? Richard

  3. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 12, 2014 9:09 am

    Hi Richard. I don’t believe your ‘white grass’ can work, because chlorophyll has evolved to absorb those frequencies of the EM spectrum it can use most efficiently to produce energy. Changing the colour to white is, in effect, engineering a plant to absorb no light at all; plants are green because chlorophyll absorbs blue and some red frequencies – what we see as green is what is being reflected. If we see white, that is because nothing is being absorbed (which is why albedo ‘works’ for white surfaces).

    On top of that, if photosynthesis efficiency is reduced then plants would convert less CO2 – now the global warming problem has got worse. You’d also need to account for the demand for grassland for agriculture given the rate of population increase, and finally you should read up on albedo, whose direct contribution to the planet’s energy budget is actually quite small. It is the indirect contribution that matters most – where for example a body with a large heat capacity like an ocean is regulated by ice cover. Reduce the ice cover, and more heat is not only absorbed, but stored.

  4. December 12, 2014 5:45 pm

    Bummer. But thanks for your response. Back to the drawing board.

  5. May 14, 2016 10:38 am

    Mr. Wayne, I appreciate your writings on climate change, very insightful stuff. As an American I get to live in the information reduced and modified atmosphere of a nation Hellbent on falling back into the early Iron Age when men were men and women were property. I read a great deal on science issues and climate change is a big one. It occurs to me a couple of things when trying to understand why men and women with a college education would want to turn off their brains and work off emotions. I think it possible that the uber-wealthy see an excellent opportunity in climate change. Billions will die and real estate will soar in price… big cities being abandoned as their subways flood and foundations are eaten away from salt water. People like Trump could become trillionaires and the effectiveness of the government to enforce the law will greatly diminish. We’d be lucky to stop at feudalism. Then there is the concept that floating on enormous yachts the uber-wealthy could simply expect to wait out the exterminations offshore and return when the riots have settled down, expecting their wealth to insulate them from the worst of the effects. This last has such a huge hole in it when you wonder if they expect their wealth to be there when governments aren’t. Unless their wealth is being held in stores of grain and clean water…. that would work and with the collapse of world governments there would be only “market principles” to protect the survivors. Do you think I am too cynical or is there not some logic to these concepts? I’ve been a radical since the 60’s and it sems to me that all of our warnings, ignored by MSM, turned out to be correct: the Viet Nam War was lost, the War on Drug Users has failed, democratic reforms are over with… yet we still get ignored when we shout out about changing climate. Ah well. Again, thanks for the good writing and keep it up.

  6. Graham Wayne permalink*
    May 14, 2016 1:27 pm

    Hi Will (and let’s not stand on formality – call me Graham); You ask if I think you too cynical, but given the state of the nation as it were, it’s hard to find the dividing line between realism and cynicism. I certainly find it likely that the rich and powerful believe their wealth will insulate them from the worst of what’s coming, but I don’t think there’s as much ‘planning’ going on as you suggest – more a case of complacency perhaps. However, there is at least potentially a silver lining to this enormous cloud: in order to build something new, first the old must be demolished. And if the establishment will not willingly knock down the corrupt edifice they constructed for themselves, it might be that nature will do the job for them. Our best hope now, in my opinion, is that out of the ashes of a civilisation that set fire to itself, future generations will build something better.

    Anyway, thanks for the kind and constructive comment. My best wishes to you and yours…

  7. Jeffrey Morrison permalink
    May 17, 2016 7:55 pm

    Hi there. I tried to download the pdf for the Epiphanies essays and the link is dead. Do you still make your book available elsewhere? I like your writing. (Jeff)

  8. Graham Wayne permalink*
    May 18, 2016 6:41 am

    Thanks Jeff – glad you get some enjoyment from reading my work. I’ve fixed the link now, so thanks also for pointing that out.

  9. October 31, 2016 5:38 am

    My review on Amazon should looke like this, 5 stars: ”A cli-fi novel set in a near future world that could become our world tomorrow if we are not careful. Mr Wayne lives in Devon, England and spends as much of his time as he can writing, principally about the science and sociology of climate change. Recently he;s been concentrating on no0vels and his first one, ”Cities of Refuge” is a gripping read of what tomorrow (the near future, that is) might bring. I hope it gets a wide readership worldwide, because the issuse are global. I am also looking for to Mr Wayne’s next novel. ”Life Below Decks,” which is set to published before Christmas.This is a British writer to watch!.This is a British writer to watch!”

  10. Kai permalink
    September 29, 2017 4:17 pm

    I very much enjoyed your writing about the tour with Sham 69. Just thought I’d let you know.

  11. Graham Wayne permalink*
    September 29, 2017 5:53 pm

    Thanks Kai – nice of you to take the time.

  12. As above permalink
    June 4, 2019 11:03 pm

    Your cover for Life Below…jumped out at me. I have an identical pic of the Woolwich foot tunnel in my MN memoir, which is titled Below Decks. Peter Troy. Were you an August baby too? I lived for a while in Torquay. Encountering a coincidence like this makes the globe seem smaller. Be Lucky!

  13. Graham Wayne permalink*
    June 5, 2019 6:13 am

    Hi Peter. Nice to hear from you, although in fact my cover pic is of the Greenwich foot tunnel, which I have to admit looks remarkably like the Woolwich tunnel.

  14. Joris Geelen permalink
    December 11, 2019 8:49 am

    Where can I find a more extensive rebuttal of that “one chart often used to argue to the contrary, but it’s got some serious problems, and ignores most of the data.” on the difference between climate models and satellite data?

  15. Graham Wayne permalink*
    December 11, 2019 12:25 pm

    There’s a layman’s explanation here:

    If you want more detailed discussions of the science, then there’s a good article here:

  16. November 25, 2021 10:46 pm

    can you please drop me an email? I plan to cite your guide to RCPs in our economics of climate change textbook.

  17. November 26, 2021 12:32 pm

    Graham : I have been inspired by your work to make climate change knowledge accessible. I wrote a three part series summarising some key lessons from the IPCC Special Reports on Land and Ocean. You can see the last one here:

    I have read your RCPs guide and I feel that is exactly the sort of “helping people understand” primers we need. But one question is bugging me . The socio economic assumptions behind the RCPs (and the SRES scenarios) behind them seems to assume a generally improving world. Different degrees of improvement for sure but generally improving. Is this correct?

  18. Graham Wayne permalink*
    November 26, 2021 2:35 pm

    Hi Sanjoy,

    The creation of the RPCs did not assume one general pattern for socio-economic trajectories. This is best explained in Van Vuuren’s paper on the genesis of the RPC format:

    “The RCPs were selected from the existing literature on the basis of their emissions and associated concentration levels. This implies that the socio-economic assumptions of the different modeling teams were based on individual model assumptions made within the context of the original publication, and that there is no consistent design behind the position of the different RCPs relative to each other for these parameters. Scenario development after the RCP phase (Section 1) will focus on developing a new set of socio-economic scenarios. Therefore, socio-economic parameters have not been included in the RCP information available for download. Still, this information does form part of the underlying individual scenario development, and thus provides useful information on internal logic and the plausibility of each of the individual RCPs. Here, their primary characteristics are discussed only in this context”.

    You can also find more information on the background and methodology in this free-access paper – The representative concentration pathways: an overview (from which I’ve quoted) on Springerlink:

    Interestingly, the modelling community decided early on to allow for constant updating of the socio-economic projections, largely by ‘decoupling’ them from the RPC baselines so that one was never dependent on the other. Also note that there are trajectories for population and GDP for each pathway, as described on page 18 of the RCP guide, based on UN projections for population, and other literature for the economic data.

  19. Neil Winder permalink
    August 11, 2022 8:03 pm

    Hello Graham

    I miss your insightful and well written blog entries on climate change. I really did find your views accessible, informed and helpful. I’ve sometimes thought that maybe you stopped because it simply become too depressing reflecting on the constant inevitable failure of any meaningful action happening. As still seems to be the case to me.

    All the best to you, Neil Winder

  20. Graham Wayne permalink*
    August 12, 2022 8:17 am

    Hi Neil,

    thanks for your kind comment. In fact, the main reasons I stopped were that, in the first place, I started writing about climate change science – and scientists – in order to offer some defence of science, the scientific method, and those who follow it, from scurrilous, ignorant and pernicious, agenda-driven attacks. At a certain point around 2015, it seemed clear to me that what vulnerabilities the young science of climate change had previously suffered were fast eliminated by the evidence that supported and validated the theory. Science no longer required any defence: it had won the debate.

    The other reason was that I felt very comfortable writing about science. I did not offer opinions; I merely paraphrased the science itself, with commentary for context. My arguments were always as sound as science could make them.

    But then the subject matter changed. To write about climate change after 2016 was not to write about the science and demonstrate the fallacious arguments of climate change deniers. The debate changed; it was, and still is, about what to do about it – and there I can offer opinions about society, politics and economics which, from a debating standpoint, are only as valid as anyone else’s opinions. I could no longer count on the facts of science, the certainty that what I wrote was right because it was based on scientific fact, or theory subject to the rigour of testing. Now, I’m just another opinionated punter, and God knows we’ve already got enough of them on the Interweb.

    And finally, i stopped writing about climate change when i came to the realisation, one that I still hold, that this civilisation is incapable of dealing with the problem. There is no solution – it must run its course – because like all those that preceded it, this civilisation is coming to an end. We are watching the collapse, on a global scale and effecting even the climate itself this time round, but until this civilisation falls into ruin, a new and hopefully better one cannot be built in its place. Those events will take place long after I’m gone, so what I might theorise about it is probably irrelevant. And yet, oddly enough, I did take a stab at the big picture before I started on climate change, and that work – a series of essays – is also available here if you’re interested under the link “essays” at the top of the page.

    All the best,


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