Dr John Constable currently directs the environmental charity, Renewable Energy Foundation (REF) and writes for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) in London. He read English at Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1983-1986, receiving a doctoral degree in 1993, and has taught at both Cambridge and Kyoto Universities. Dr Constable is a leading scholar of the thought of the philosopher of aesthetics and language, I. A. Richards, whose letters (Clarendon Press, 1990) and writings 1919–1938 (Ten volumes Routledge, 2001) he has edited. Working with the Japanese physicist, Hideaki Aoyama, he also devised and published (in two linked studies in Literary and Linguistic Computing) the first rigorous and mathematical distinction in any language between verse and prose.
As director of the UK charity, Renewable Energy Foundation (www.ref.org.uk), Dr Constable has is a prominent commentator on current energy policies, appearing before several parliamentary select committees, including the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee and the House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs. He is a frequent invited and plenary speaker on energy and climate policy to both mixed and specialist audiences. In 2009 he delivered the Alworth International Lectures at the University of Minnesota, and in 2015 he was a plenary speaker at Kyoto University’s ‘Global Energy Problems’ conference (2015). In 2016 Dr Constable delivered a Newcastle University “Insight” public lecture, now published as Energy, Entropy, and the Theory of Wealth. In 2021 he was a invited plenary speaker at the Mont Pelerin Society annual conference (MPS 2021).
Dr Constable writes for the popular press on a regular basis and has published OpEds in papers as different as the Sun, the Daily Express, The Times, and the Daily Telegraph.
Dr Constable has also worked with the Hartwell Group of international climate policy experts, being an author in the third Hartwell study, The Vital Spark (2013).
Amongst Dr Constable’s many other publications on energy are the monographs, Hydrogen: The Once and Future Fuel? (2020), The Brink of Darkness: Britain’s Fragile Power Grid (2020), Energy Intensive Industries: Climate Policy Casualties (2016), and the co-authored Offshore Wind Strike Prices: Behind the Headlines (with Gordon Hughes and Capell Aris, 2017). He is also the author of Shortfall, Rebound, Backfire: Can we rely on energy efficiency policies to offset climate policy costs? (2012), and Energy Policy and Consumer Hardship (2011. Amongst his recent publications are Europe’s Green Experiment (2022), published by the GWPF in London, and “The Energy of Nations”, co-authored with Dr Debra Lieberman and published at the online journal Quillette, both of which focus on the nightmare of falling energy consumption.