Posted on June 14th, 2012 1 comment
Bursting the Nuclear Bubble
The UK Government appear to have seen the light about their, frankly, rubbish plan to covertly invest in (by hidden subsidies) a spanking new fleet of nuclear power reactors.
Dogged by Electricite de France (EdF) as they have been, with Vincent de Rivaz continuing to proffer his begging bowl with outstretched pleading arms, it just might be that before the Energy Bill is finally announced –
when the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) dust has settled – that this new thinking will have become core solidity.
After all, there are plenty of reasons not to support new nuclear power – apart from the immense costs, the unclear costs, the lack of immediate power generation until at least a decade of concrete has been poured, and so on (and so forth).
Gas is Laughing
It appears that reality has bitten – and that the UK Government are pursuing gas. And they have decided not to hatch their eggs all in one basket. First of all, there’s a love-in with Statoil of Norway :-
Then, there’s the new “South Stream” commitment – the new Azerbaijan-European Union agreement, spelled out in a meeting of the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS) on 12th June at King’s College, London :-
Meanwhile, the “North Stream” gas pipeline is going to feed new Russian gas to Europe, too (since the old Siberian gas fields have become exhausted) :-
And then there’s the amazing new truth – Natural Gas is a “green” energy, according to the European Union :-
The UK will still be importing Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from our good old friends in Qatar. Never mind the political interference in the nearby region and the human rights abuses, although NATO could be asked to put a stop to that if Europe needed to bust the regime in order for their energy companies to take ownership of the lovely, lovely gas. I mean, that’s what happened in Iraq and Libya, didn’t it ?
A Fossilised Future
So, despite all the green noises from the UK Government, the underlying strategy for the future (having batted away the nuclear buzzing insects around the corpse of British energy policy), is as Steve Browning, formerly of National Grid says – “gas and air” – with Big Wind power being the commercialisable renewable technology of choice. But not too much wind power – after all, the grid could become unstable, couldn’t it, with too much wind ?
There are several problems with this. First, the commitment to fossil fuels – even Natural Gas with its half the emissions profile of coal – is a risky strategy, despite making sure that supplies are secure in the near term. The reasons for this are geological as well as geopolitical. Natural Gas will peak, and even the UK Government accepts that unconventional gas will not keep fossil gas going forever – even with the “18 years” ultimate recoverable from under Lancashire of shale gas (that’s “18 years” of current gas annual demand – but not all drilled at once – perhaps amounting to about 1.5% of current UK gas supply needs per year, stretched out over 40 years) , and the billion tonnes of coal that can be gasified from under the sea off the east coast of England. As long as Carbon Capture and Storage can work.
Not only will Natural Gas peak and start to decline in the UK, it will also peak and decline in the various other foreign resources the UK is promising to buy. By simple logic – if the North Sea gas began depletion after only 30 years – and this was a top quality concentrated resource – how soon will poorer quality gas fields start depleting ?
Whilst I recognise the sense in making Natural Gas the core strategy of UK energy provision over the next few decades, it can never be a final policy. First off, we need rather more in terms of realistic support for the deployment of renewable electricity. People complained about onshore wind turbines, so the UK Government got into offshore wind turbines, and now they’re complaining at how expensive they are. Then they botched solar photovoltaics policy. What a palaver !
Besides a much stronger direction for increasing renewable electricity, we need to recognise that renewable resources of gas need to be developed, starting now. We need to be ready to displace fossil gas as the fossil gas fields show signs of depletion and yet global demand and growth still show strength. We need to recognise that renewable gas development initiatives need consistent central government financial and enabling policy support. We need to recognise that even with the development of renewable gas, supplies of gas as a whole may yet peak – and so we need to acknowledge that we can never fully decarbonise the energy networks unless we find ways to apply energy conservation and energy efficiency into all energy use – and that this currently conflicts with the business model for most energy companies – to sell as much energy as possible. We need mandates for insulation, efficient fossil fuel use – such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and efficient grids, appliances and energy distribution. Since energy is mostly privately owned and privately administered, energy conservation is the hardest task of all, and this will take heroic efforts at all levels of society to implement.Academic Freedom, Assets not Liabilities, Big Number, Big Picture, Big Society, British Biogas, Burning Money, Carbon Capture, Corporate Pressure, Direction of Travel, Dreamworld Economics, Efficiency is King, Electrificandum, Emissions Impossible, Energy Change, Energy Insecurity, Energy Revival, Energy Socialism, Foreign Interference, Foreign Investment, Fossilised Fuels, Freemarketeering, Green Investment, Green Power, Hydrocarbon Hegemony, Insulation, Low Carbon Life, Marine Gas, Methane Madness, Methane Management, Money Sings, National Energy, National Power, Not In My Name, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Optimistic Generation, Paradigm Shapeshifter, Peace not War, Peak Coal, Peak Emissions, Peak Energy, Peak Natural Gas, Policy Warfare, Political Nightmare, Price Control, Realistic Models, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Gas, Renewable Resource, Resource Wards, Shale Game, Solution City, Stop War, The Power of Intention, The Price of Gas, Unconventional Foul, Ungreen Development, Unnatural Gas, Wasted Resource, Western Hedge, Wind of Fortune, Zero Net
Posted on April 30th, 2012 No comments
One of the key fears of cryosphere scientists, those who study the cold places on Earth, is a scenario where the permafrost and sub-sea continental shelves around the Arctic Ocean become unstable and start emitting uncontrollable quantities of methane into the atmosphere.
Methane is an important by-product of biological decomposition, and is also found in icy deposits known as clathrates – methane hydrates – estimated to be very widespread in marine and geological deposits.
Although it is short-lived, before breaking down or reacting with other molecules, methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, some 23 or 24 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
An ongoing unfreezing of the sub-zero “Northern Wastes” would set up a constant flow of biological methane into the Arctic sky and so the warming would be continuous – a major risk to attempts to limit climate change – because it could not be controlled by altering mankind’s economic and energy activities.
Reports of high levels of atmospheric methane in the Arctic region in the last few months have been mangled by the media headline generation machine to raise their urgency value – making them into “news” – and the reaction from most sensible academics and commentators is to downplay talk of a catastrophhic “Methane Burp”.
Yet the data is interesting enough to warrant continued monitoring and explanatory power – for the methane story is complex and shifting. It may be time for alarm bells to ring, however we’re not sure exactly how much data we need to see before we do so.
The long picture for methane in the air is one of hundreds of years of acceleration :-
In the last few decades however, atmospheric methane started to level off :-
However, since around 2007, methane concentrations have been rising once more :-
Following the recent headlines about high methane readings in the Arctic, there have been a number of online discsusions about what it could signify.
Tamino’s Open Mind doesn’t see a dangerous increase in emissions when looking at a seasonally-adjusted selection of data from the World Data Center for Greenhouse Gases and Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) flask measurements of methane concentrations at around surface level :-
I asked Giovanni to chart recent measurements from the AIRS project, the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder on board NASA’s Aqua satellite spacecraft :-
The months December 2011 to January 2012 show a significant peak in methane concentrations in the area 60 degrees North to 90 degrees North.
This peak seen by satellite does not appear to be reflected in the surface measurement charts I asked the online ESRL tool to plot for me :-
What could be causing the satellite reading peaks to be so high relative to the changes in ground-based measurements ? What is happening in the different layers of the atmosphere ?
Has there been some kind of “detonation” of the chemistry of the air above the Arctic, causing peaks in methane concentrations at high altitudes not seen at ground level ?
Do the AIRS readings need adjustment because of unusual pressure and temperature gradients around the Arctic over the boreal (Northern Hemisphere) winter 2011 – 2012 ?
Has there been a rapid release of methane somewhere, such as from an oil and gas production field somewhere in the region ? Will the international greenhouse gas inventories compiled by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Kyoto Protocol nations reveal anything about this ?
What on Earth is going on ?
A few resources
The starting point for atmospheric methane science is the UNFCCC IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
Some recent research papers on atmospheric methane science :-
SCHAEFER, K., ZHANG, T., BRUHWILER, L. and BARRETT, A. P. (2011), Amount and timing of permafrost carbon release in response to climate warming. Tellus B, 63: 165–180. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2011.00527.x
Seen from the journal page.
Seen from the journal page.
Bousquet, P., Ringeval, B., Pison, I., Dlugokencky, E. J., Brunke, E.-G., Carouge, C., Chevallier, F., Fortems-Cheiney, A., Frankenberg, C., Hauglustaine, D. A., Krummel, P. B., Langenfelds, R. L., Ramonet, M., Schmidt, M., Steele, L. P., Szopa, S., Yver, C., Viovy, N., and Ciais, P.: Source attribution of the changes in atmospheric methane for 2006–2008, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 3689-3700, doi:10.5194/acp-11-3689-2011, 2011 (Discussion Paper)
Seen from the journal page.Climate Chaos, Disturbing Trends, Emissions Impossible, Fossilised Fuels, Freak Science, Gamechanger, Geogingerneering, Global Singeing, Hydrocarbon Hegemony, Incalculable Disaster, Major Shift, Marine Gas, Media, Meltdown, Methane Madness, Methane Management, Near-Natural Disaster, Neverending Disaster, Paradigm Shapeshifter, Peak Emissions, Science Rules, Screaming Panic, Unnatural Gas, Western Hedge
Posted on January 11th, 2012 No comments
Here’s the prime time television where the U. S. Army chief admits that the American military know Iran is engineering at sea – although the General deliberately gets the purpose wrong.
[For an uncorrected transcript of the piece, see below at the end of this post].
He claims that Iran is going to use their engineering to shut the Strait of Hormuz, a major artery of oil transport from the Middle East to the world.
Whereas, in actual fact, Iran has been constructing facilities to mine marine, sub-sea Natural Gas in its territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, and wants to use it to generate electricity to export.
Iran is sitting on Natural Gas – a lot of Natural Gas. And a lot of it is at sea. There have been marine seismic surveys for sub-sea Natural Gas in the Persian Gulf over the last few years, and it seems, other countries have been spying on the Iranian offshore activities.
Clearly, with Iran’s intent to exploit its marine gas, there have been and will be construction ships and construction going on in the Persian Gulf and around the Strait of Hormuz, especially the islands of Kish and Qeshm. This should not be mistaken as a risk to oil shipping. It should not be claimed as indications of Iran seeking to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for economic sanctions.
What is at stake here is no less than Iran’s energy sovereignty – its sovereign right to enjoy the wealth from exploiting its own energy resources.
The international pressure for an end to fossil fuel subsidies would hurt Iranian internal economic development (much like it’s hurting Nigeria, currently), and it would be forced to export oil and Natural Gas – no doubt at low market prices. Iran may end up no better off for trading.
The Iranians bought myths about nuclear power hook, line and sinker, and they believe they have a right to develop civilian atomic energy. Other countries, the United States of America in particular, keep pushing this button and claiming that Iran is heading for developing nuclear weapon capability. This is the most unbelievable accusation since…oh, I don’t know, since the USA accused Iran of a plot for a used car salesman and a Mexican, or something, to kill a Saudi ambassador, which was unadulterated nonsense.
America’s insistence that Iran is a threat because they claim that Iran is working towards constructing nuclear weapons, is so ridiculous, that few seem to have realised it is “deflection” – a propaganda technique to divert you from the real source of tension between the USA and Iran.
What America really doesn’t seem to like is countries like Iran (and Venezuela) making autonomous energy decisions, and creating their own wealth by using their own energy resources in their own way.
Maybe the American war hawks think “Why cannot Iran be more like Iraq, with western oil and Natural Gas companies with discount contracts, crawling over new resources and selling it all abroad ?”
Anyway, what is clear is that the spat between Iran and the USA has nothing to do with nuclear power or idle brinkmanship about controlling the flow of oil as a retaliation against economic sanctions.
NEWS BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT
Bloomberg : 9 January 2012 : Lara Setrakian reports on the outlook for Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz as Europe prepares to follow tougher U. S. sanctions on the country over its nuclear program and the status of a pipeline that would allow oil from the United Arab Emirates to bypass the waterway. The pipeline has been delayed because of construction difficulties, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Setrakian speaks with Linzie Janis on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.”
[Ticker tape reads "AHMADINEJAD TURNS TO CHAVEZ FOR SUPPORT"]
[Linzie Janis] “The Persian Gulf could be closed off to ships altogether, that’s if tensions continue to escalate between Iran and the West. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to meet with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez later on today as part of a tour of Latin America. He is seeking s”upport” as Iran faces tighter U. S. sanctions over its nuclear program.
[Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in translation] We will discuss the intentions of the arrogant system interfering and having a military presence in other countries. We shall coordinate with our friends in Latin America to address this matter.
[Linzie Janis] Well with the very latest Lara Setrakian joins us with from Dubai
Lara itell it looks like the U. S. and Iran could be on a – - collision course here.
[Lara Setrakian] Well moving closer towards it, as Iran inches towards what the U. S. has called “two red lines” – advanced nuclear enrichment at the underground Fordow facility, and shutting the Strait of Hormuz – something that Iran told the A. P. [Associated Press] they’ll do if the E. U. oil embargo goes through later this month. The highest level U. S. assessment to date – that Iran could shut the Strait that would effectively trigger a military confrontation in the Persian Gulf.
General Martin Dempsey, American Department of Defense, United States Army Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman] They’ve invested in capabilities that could [scratches nose - a classic sign of lying] in fact for a period of time block the Straits of Hormuz. We’ve invested in capabilities [rocking body slightly from side to side - a classic sign of swagger] to ensure that if that happens [giving a hard, fixed stare] we can, er, defeat that. [Looks down briefly - meaning that this information was a significant reveal] And so, the simple answer [shrugs shoulders to dimiss the concept] is yes, they can block it. Er… [ Looks down and to his right, our left, indicating a recall of something] And of course that is as well…[blinks to conceal the fact that he's cut something out] we’ve described that as an intolerable act [shrugs shoulders as if to say, those Iranians have got it coming to them] and it’s not just intolerable for us [shakes head from side to side] it’s intolerable to the world [rubs one hand over another, which is a sign of nervousness]. But we would take action and re-open the Straits [shuts lips in beefburger bun clench and nodding as a sign that no more useful information will be forthcoming].
[ Ticker Tape reads : THREATS TO STRAIT OF HORMUZ SHIPPING ]
[Lara Setrakian] Meanwhile it could disrupt the biggest sea lane for the world’s shipped oil, what one analyst called “the ultimate fear in the oil market – it would spike prices”.
[Linzie Janis] So what kind of preparation are you seeing to counter that risk ?
[Lara Setrakian] Well, one of the biggest contigency plans so far has floundered – a pipeline here in the U. A. E. that would run from Abu Dhabi to the Port of Fujairah. It would avoid the Strait. It’s a $3.3 billion dollar project but it’s been delayed – not ready until April at the soonest. And it’s meant to move 1.5 million barrels per day, most of Abu Dhabi’s output, say two days at sea, but the pipeline has been delayed repeatedly by construction issues – one energy analyst Robin Mills pointing also to a pipeline in Saudi Arabia that’s meant to be another backup system [ Ticker Tape reads "FURTHER CONTINGENCY PIPELINES PLANNED"] that could take oil to the Red Sea after 5 million barrels of oil a day capacity and it could be expanded – again, all contigency planning – to keep oil free from any Iranian chokehold in the Persian Gulf.
[Linzie Janis] Lara, thank you very much.Bait & Switch, Delay and Deny, Disturbing Trends, Divide & Rule, Energy Autonomy, Energy Disenfranchisement, Energy Insecurity, Evil Opposition, Foreign Interference, Foreign Investment, Fossilised Fuels, Hydrocarbon Hegemony, Marine Gas, Mass Propaganda, Media, Military Invention, National Energy, National Power, No Blood For Oil, Not In My Name, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Obamawatch, Peace not War, Petrolheads, Policy Warfare, Political Nightmare, Price Control, Resource Curse, Resource Wards, Stop War, The Price of Gas, The Price of Oil, Western Hedge
Posted on July 12th, 2011 No comments
Results from Question 1 : How often do you find articles in the press about “unconventional” energy, which includes shale gas, Arctic oil and tar sands ?
For the Energy Matrix survey “Are We Ready for Energy Change ?” click here.
Corporate Pressure, Dead End, Delay and Deny, Direction of Travel, Disturbing Trends, Emissions Impossible, Energy Change, Energy Insecurity, Engineering Marvel, Environmental Howzat, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Fossilised Fuels, Fuel Poverty, Gamechanger, Hydrocarbon Hegemony, Marine Gas, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Policy Warfare, Resource Curse, Sustainable Deferment, Tarred Sands, Technological Sideshow, Technomess, Toxic Hazard, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas, Western Hedge
Posted on July 12th, 2011 No comments
Results from Question 2 : Are you concerned that Natural Gas may be getting harder to find ?
For the Energy Matrix survey “Are We Ready for Energy Change ?” click here.
Posted on July 8th, 2011 No comments
What’s wrong with this map ? Yes, the same old question. And the answer is again the same – the lack of geographical accuracy in the map reflects the lack of legal accuracy on the part of Israel in appropriating marine Natural Gas that belongs to the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
The map is taken from a new research paper by Brenda Shaffer, of the School of Political Sciences at the University of Haifa, which has been accepted for publication in Energy Policy at some point in the near future :-
“Energy Policy : Article in Press, Corrected Proof : doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2011.05.026 : Israel – New natural gas producer in the Mediterranean : Brenda Shaffer : Received 7 November 2010; accepted 16 May 2011. Available online 2 June 2011″Babykillers, Big Picture, Big Society, Corporate Pressure, Demoticratica, Disturbing Trends, Energy Disenfranchisement, Energy Insecurity, Evil Opposition, Foreign Interference, Fossilised Fuels, Gamechanger, Health Impacts, Human Nurture, Hydrocarbon Hegemony, Major Shift, Marine Gas, Mass Propaganda, Military Invention, Money Sings, National Energy, No Blood For Oil, Not In My Name, Peace not War, Political Nightmare, Protest & Survive, Resource Curse, Resource Wards, Stop War, The War on Error, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas, Water Wars
Posted on April 19th, 2011 No comments
When did Colonel Muammar Gaddafi learn of threats from the world’s major oil consumer countries against his rule ? Was it in early 2011 ? Or was it several years earlier ? On the public stage, he has been deliberately reduced to a figure of fun, and his message advising non-aggression and protection from aggression is being lost. He is now a desperate man :-Advancing Africa, Bait & Switch, Big Picture, Conflict of Interest, Corporate Pressure, Dead End, Disturbing Trends, Energy Insecurity, Fossilised Fuels, Marine Gas, Money Sings, Oil Change, Peace not War, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Petrolheads, Political Nightmare, Renewable Resource, Resource Curse, Social Chaos, The War on Error, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas, Unqualified Opinion, Unsolicited Advice & Guidance, Unutterably Useless, Utter Futility, Vain Hope, Vote Loser BP, Gaddafi, Libya, Resolution 1973, Royal Dutch Shell, Shell, United Nations Security Council, UNSC, We Love Libya
Posted on February 5th, 2011 No comments
The documentary evidence shows that America’s business interests often outweigh its political progress. Yet it’s perhaps more concerning that, increasingly, corporate America is at risk of damaging good environmental governance.
With all the talk of free markets in international trade, the Coalition Government in the United Kingdom has felt the pressure to open up the back door to American energy businesses, whose highly-paid sales representatives in slick suits want us to buy their dirty energy projects – just take a look at the upcoming UK Energy Bill and its proposals for Electricity Market Reform.
American companies seem poised to sweep in and take all our public non-subsidy “support” for building new nuclear power plants. Viewers of a sensitive political disposition should look away now as this is a Wikileak :-
The country that brought you the engineering industry that brought you the giant Gulf of Mexico giant oil spill now wants to bring you unsafe deepwater drilling in Britain’s Continental Shelf – and the UK’s new Energy Bill would let them do that without demonstrating any learning from the BP April 2010 fiasco :-
There’s lots of talk in the energy sector and the financial markets about the American shale gas miracle “gamechanger” and how it can be replicated in Europe and across the world, and not enough discussion about the environmental dangers :-
It’s good to talk about local environmental damage from “unconventional” gas, but what’s not being discussed so widely is that these “new” resources of Natural Gas aren’t really very green, and neither are the “traditional” resources – in some cases they’re not much better than coal :-
We know that the Americans always seek to protect the interests of American-owned businesses – and we know they do that for the best of intentions – to keep America wealthy (except it’s really only a few people in America that have any wealth, but anyway…)
Yet I think there should be a limit to how far we have to bend over backwards to accommodate their needs for economic recovery.
To export all their dirty energy technology to Europe is just not helpful, and I think we should say no, no, no.Be Prepared, Big Picture, Conflict of Interest, Corporate Pressure, Disturbing Trends, Economic Implosion, Emissions Impossible, Energy Change, Energy Insecurity, Energy Revival, Engineering Marvel, Environmental Howzat, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Fossilised Fuels, Growth Paradigm, Incalculable Disaster, Marine Gas, Methane Madness, Methane Management, Neverending Disaster, No Pressure, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Obamawatch, Oil Change, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Resource Curse, Social Change, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas America, USA
Posted on September 17th, 2010 No comments
“Protesters condemn ‘dirty oil’ at World Energy Congress : (AFP) : 14 September 2010 : MONTREAL — Hundreds of protesters demonstrated in the streets of Montreal Sunday, calling for an end to “dirty, risky” oil exploration, ahead of a global gathering of energy experts. A dozen protesters covered in molasses staged a “Black Tide Beach Party,” while dozens of others carried banners that read “Too dirty, too risky, go beyond oil.” A blond baby boy smeared in brown sticky molasses wailed in his activist father’s arms, while protesters used megaphones to slam the provincial Quebec government of Jean Charest for inviting oil companies to the five-day World Energy Congress at the sprawling Palais de Congres. Some 5,000 participants from industry, government and academia, were expected to attend the conference, slated to officially open Sunday evening. The event is expected to tackle global energy issues, such as improving access to energy in the world’s poorer regions and the role of new technologies in ensuring a sustainable energy future. Many protesters directed their anger at BP over a devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year. But Julien Vincent, a campaigner for Greenpeace International, said BP was only part of the problem. “British Petroleum is one part of a big industry that’s got an abysmal safety record and an abysmal record in terms of its obligations toward protecting communities,” he told AFP. “You also have oil from Shell dripping out over Nigeria right now. You have oil spills that have taken place in China that have flooded ports,” he added. “The entire industry needs to be told to sit back and listen up.” …”Be Prepared, Big Picture, British Sea Power, Burning Money, Climate Change, Climate Chaos, Corporate Pressure, Dead Zone, Emissions Impossible, Energy Change, Energy Revival, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Fossilised Fuels, Global Singeing, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Incalculable Disaster, Low Carbon Life, Major Shift, Marine Gas, Oil Change, Peak Oil, Petrolheads, Protest & Survive, Public Relations, Resource Curse, Social Change, Solar Sunrise, Tarred Sands, Toxic Hazard, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas, Wind of Fortune Bearish Petroleum, Beyond Petroleum, Blatant Pollution, BP, British Petroleum, Bullish Petroleum, Energy Change, Oil, Petroleum, Renewable Energy
Posted on September 17th, 2010 No comments
What happened to all that deepwater crude gusher oil, so visible from space, spreading like a magical sheen on the surface of the waters in the Gulf of Mexico ?
It’s now lying as a 5cm layer of gunk on the sea floor, that’s what. That’s where you’ll find Ground Zero for BP’s careless “blame the cement” spill mess-tastrophe :-
If ever there were an advertisement for the campaigns to end the age of fossil fuels, this, I think, is it.Animal Kingdoom, Be Prepared, Big Picture, Dead Zone, Energy Revival, Environmental Howzat, Fossilised Fuels, Incalculable Disaster, Low Carbon Life, Marine Gas, Oil Change, Peak Oil, Petrolheads, Protest & Survive, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Resource Curse, Toxic Hazard, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas
Posted on September 14th, 2010 No comments
Unlike the United Kingdom, where political sensibility can quash the most logical enactment of energy policy, plans for progress voiced so tentatively you can bearly feel a ripple, or hear it over the whispering swoosh of a new wind turbine blade, over in Deutschland, what they say, they intend to happen, and they’re making serious proposals about how that’s going to be done :-
“09/07/2010 : Green Visions : Merkel’s Masterplan for a German Energy Revolution : By Stefan Schultz : Giant windparks, insulated buildings, electric cars and a European supergrid: the German government on Monday unveiled an ambitious but vague blueprint to launch a new era of green energy for Europe’s largest economy. SPIEGEL ONLINE has analyzed the plans…”
It appears to be time to wave bye-bye to German coal, incidentally, even as a strong commitment to renewable, sustainable energy is put on the table.
I wish the British Government could take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror of the future and realise what a bunch of dithering duffers they appear to be.
What we need is a proper Energy Policy, chaps, and since you’re in the hot seat you better come up with it. Elected or not, our ministers and officials need to get up out of their deep leather chairs, extinguish their pipes, don their working breeches and get digging for Britain, and I don’t mean Shale Gas or Old Coal.Big Picture, British Sea Power, Carbon Capture, Coal Hell, Energy Revival, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Fossilised Fuels, Low Carbon Life, Marine Gas, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Oil Change, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Political Nightmare, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Solar Sunrise, Tarred Sands, Technological Sideshow, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas, Wind of Fortune coal, Deutschland, EC, Energy Policy, Energy Storage, EU, Europe, European, European Energy Policy, Geothermal, Germany, Hydropower, marine power, Power Storage, Renewable, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Systems, Renewable Energy Technology, RES, RWE, Sea Power, Solar power, Tidal Power, UK, UK Energy, UK Energy Policy, United Kingdom, Wave Power, Wind Power
Posted on September 8th, 2010 No comments
An e-mail trail with a certain amount of political content…
from: Kate Shepherd
date: Tue, Aug 10, 2010
subject: Climate Week
It was lovely to speak with you today about Climate Week and I’d be grateful if you could pass on the information to the rest of your team.
Climate Week, 21st – 27th March 2011, is a new national occasion on climate change, backed by the Prime Minister, Al Gore and Kofi Annan. During Climate Week, thousands of events will be run by organisations from every part of society to highlight the positive steps being taken to help prevent climate change.
I have attached a document for further information, the document includes a list of supporters of Climate Week, which range from every part of society: from the Chief Fire Officers Association to the Women’s Institute, the Girl Guiding UK to several Regional Development Agencies.Advertise Freely, Bait & Switch, Be Prepared, Big Picture, British Sea Power, Burning Money, Carbon Capture, Climate Change, Coal Hell, Corporate Pressure, Energy Revival, Environmental Howzat, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Fossilised Fuels, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Incalculable Disaster, Low Carbon Life, Marine Gas, Media, Meltdown, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Petrolheads, Political Nightmare, Protest & Survive, Public Relations, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Resource Curse, Solar Sunrise, Tarred Sands, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas, Wind of Fortune Al Gore, Atomic Energy, Atomic Power, Churchill, Climate Camp, David Cameron, EdF, Electricite de France, Firemen, Fossil Fuels, France, Germany, Girl Guides, Gordon Brown, Kevin Steele, Kofi Annan, Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Oil Bank of Scotland, Oyal Bank of Scotland, RBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, Vincent de Rivaz, Winnie, Winston Churchill, Womens Institute
Posted on September 2nd, 2010 No comments
From a conversation with the Claverton Energy Research Group over the leak of a German military study into Peak Oil :-
“09/01/2010 : ‘Peak Oil’ and the German Government : Military Study Warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis : By Stefan Schultz…”
My view on Peak Oil is that it is the tip of the iceberg – and I know that’s a totally inappropriate metaphor.
The art of petrogeology dictates that right on the heels of Peak Oil is Peak Natural Gas, and there is strong evidence for Peak Coal. In the US for example, I understand there is very little good hard anthracite left.
My position is that – since the “conventional” Fossil Fuels are depleting, there are strong moves towards the “unconventionals”, the shale gas, the deepwater oil, the smoky “half peat”, the Lake Baikal hydrates, the frozen subsea wastes of the Arctic [don't forget the Tar Sands !] and so on. People argue for “stop-gap” energy resources, but they carry with them huge risks not only to the Climate, but also the the Economy with the step-change in EROI/EROEI [Energy Return on Energy Invested - that is - how much energy do you need as input to get energy as output] and the “clean-up” costs.
My take on this is that pretending that Peak Conventionals doesn’t exist leaves a veil in front of most peoples’ minds – they believe in the Power of Technology to supply all their Fossil Fuel needs, now and into the future – it’s just that the actual location and form and dirtiness of these new resources will be different than in the past.
And here’s the rub – we need to encourage people to think about the “alternatives”, or rather, the “solutions”.
The only way forward is Renewable, Sustainable Energy resources, because of Peak Oil, Peak Natural Gas and so on, and if people do not learn about that, they will not understand the privation for most people that will surely come with Peak Conventionals.Be Prepared, Big Picture, British Sea Power, Burning Money, Climate Change, Coal Hell, Corporate Pressure, Cost Effective, Delay and Deny, Disturbing Trends, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Global Singeing, Global Warming, Growth Paradigm, Low Carbon Life, Marine Gas, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Oil Change, Peace not War, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Petrolheads, Political Nightmare, Protest & Survive, Public Relations, Regulatory Ultimatum, Resource Curse, Social Change, Solar Sunrise, Tarred Sands, The Data, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas, Wind of Fortune Peak Conventional Fossil Fuels, Peak Conventionals, Peak Fossil Fuels, Peak Oil, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Energy, unconventional fossil fuels
Posted on August 23rd, 2010 No comments
We all love the inputs, but what about the outputs ?
Fossil Fuels have been providing an easy life and easy pickings for the citizens and enterprises of the industrialised world for some time.
People love their jet-fuelled lives. One man will move one kilometre from his home to a restaurant in two and a half metric tonnes of steel and glass believing he is admired for his larger-than-car-sized car. He will wear sunshades, and oil-slicked hair (if he has any) and sport a tan from his recent holiday over the ocean. A life of glory and feeling good about himself.
But what about the emissions ? What, indeed, about the environmental devastation at the places the Fossil Fuels (and metal and glass) were mined and refined and manufactured ?
What do we leave behind ?Be Prepared, Big Picture, Burning Money, Climate Change, Coal Hell, Corporate Pressure, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Environmental Howzat, Financiers of the Apocalypse, Fossilised Fuels, Global Warming, Incalculable Disaster, Marine Gas, Nuclear Nuisance, Nuclear Shambles, Oil Change, Peace not War, Peak Energy, Peak Oil, Petrolheads, Protest & Survive, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, Resource Curse, Sandstorm, Social Change, Tarred Sands, Toxic Hazard, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas Alberta, Canada, coal, coal bed methane, Coal Mine, coal mine tailing ponds, coal mine tailings, environmental legacy, environmental mess, gas shale, Marine Gas, Natural Gas, Nuclear Disempowerment, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Shambles, Oil, oil field, oil shale, Petroleum, shale gas, shale oil, sub-sea gas, tailing ponds
Posted on August 12th, 2010 No comments
There are several journalists out there who simply can’t cope with the real risks posed by dangerous Climate Change.
Following a rather reasonable, rational article by Louise Grey, Tom Chivers gave the “loaded dice” metaphor to straighten her up on language :-
“Pakistan floods: Climate change experts say global warming could be the cause : The world weather crisis that is causing floods in Pakistan, wildfires in Russia and landslides in China is evidence that global warming predictions are correct, according to climate change experts. : By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent : Published: 10 Aug 2010 : Almost 14 million people have been affected by the torrential rains in Pakistan, making it a more serious humanitarian disaster than the South Asian tsunami and recent earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti combined. The disaster was driven by a ‘supercharged jet stream’ that has also caused floods in China and a prolonged heatwave in Russia. It comes after flash floods in France and Eastern Europe killed more than 30 people over the summer. Experts from the United Nations (UN) and universities around the world said the recent “extreme weather events” prove global warming is already happening. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-president of the body set up by the UN to monitor global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the ‘dramatic’ weather patterns are consistent with changes in the climate caused by mankind. “These are events which reproduce and intensify in a climate disturbed by greenhouse gas pollution,” he said. “Extreme events are one of the ways in which climatic changes become dramatically visible.”…”Bad Science, Be Prepared, Big Picture, Climate Change, Delay and Deny, Disturbing Trends, Divide & Rule, Eating & Drinking, Fair Balance, Freak Science, Global Warming, Health Impacts, Incalculable Disaster, Marine Gas, Media, Non-Science, Peak Oil, Public Relations, Science Rules, Screaming Panic, Social Change, The Data, Toxic Hazard, Unconventional Foul, Unnatural Gas, Unqualified Opinion Bill McKibben, Daily Telegraph, Daily Terrorgraph, Dan Gardner, Eaarth, Limits to Growth, Louise Grey, Ottawa Citizen, School of Unfounded Optimism, The Daily Telegraph, The Daiyl Terrorgraph, Tom Chivers
Posted on August 5th, 2010 1 comment
Despite the best early morning wide-eyed televised efforts of Carol Browner this week, the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill story just will not die :-
“Gulf oil spill: White House accused of spinning report : Scientists say it is ‘just not true’ that the vast majority of oil from the BP spill has gone : Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 5 August 2010″
Use all the dispersants you want (or are just about legally entitled to), but an ecological catastrophe like this will not go away and die quietly, even though a large number of marine animals will be forced to :-
“…to use dispersants…doesn’t make the oil go away, it just puts it from one part of the ecosystem to another…”Be Prepared, Big Picture, Environmental Howzat, Marine Gas, Media, Obamawatch, Political Nightmare, Public Relations, Toxic Hazard Barack Obama, Beyond Psychotherapy, Bob Dudley, BP, BP America, BP Colombia, BP Russia, British Petroleum, British Pollution, Carol Browner, David Cameron, GOM, Gulf of Mexico, oil spill, Robert Dudley, Siberia, TNK-BP, Tony Hayward
Posted on August 1st, 2010 No comments
Timeline in the last week :-
1. Something happens to provoke some persons as yet unidentified in Gaza.
2. Some persons as yet unidentified may or may not have fired a Grad missile from the Gaza Strip towards the Israeli town of Sderot.
3. The Israeli Defense Force act “in retaliation” and bomb three locations in Gaza, killing at least one person and wounding eight.
4. Some persons as yet unidentified may or may not have fired a Qassam rocket from the Gaza Strip towards Ashkelon.
You may be forgiven for thinking this is all about simple tactical weaponry exchange, embedded cultural or religious hatred, or revenge attacks.
But you’d be wrong.
This escalation in violence is merely part of what looks very strongly like an ongoing strategy to keep Gaza from economic development, by preventing them from exploiting their largest natural resource – offshore sub-marine Natural Gas.
I am going to give you my first attempt at some history on this matter. I make any and every apology if I have got something wrong. Please correct me by comments below the post.
I have not even started to attempt to address the hypocrisy of the United Kingdom and the United States of America effectively giving weapons to Israel via a system of direct and indirect aid. All that is brilliantly covered by Robert Fisk, so I don’t need to :-
Gaza is being locked down under a “resource curse” – the Gazans are being forcefully detained in an open air concentration camp with scant resources, when all the time, just off-shore are enough hydrocarbons to make them all very wealthy. Many Gazans are succumbing to starvation of the body and mind, and many are unwell and have to endure appalling deprivation.
I should expect that the “final solution”, whatever that will be, will be announced by Israel in the next few years, unless the international community wakes up to the obvious risks that Gaza faces, and does something decisive about it.Big Picture, Energy Revival, Marine Gas, Peace not War, Peak Oil, Political Nightmare, Protest & Survive, Resource Curse, Unnatural Gas America, BG, BG Group, British Gas, Carbon Energy, Deepwater, Energy, Fossil Fuels, Free Free Gaza, Free Gaza, Gaza, Israel, Long live Palestine, Marine Gas, Mediterranean, Natural Gas, Palestine, seismic survey, sub-sea, sub-sea gas, subsea gas, United States of America, West Bank
Posted on July 25th, 2010 No comments
With extra economic sanctions imposed against Iran, and a rise in diplomatically expressed disapproval, recent political engagement from the international community is beginning to take on a decidedly sabre-rattling flavour.
The United States of America, and its allies and press-ganged collaborators, may not wage an actual military assault on Iran, but they may be staging another kind of rout – with the aim of securing Fossil Fuel energy supplies for the industrialised West.
Iran’s “public face” people have still not learned that the Western media are prone to pursuing irritating, provocative lines of enquiry, in order to elicit a scandalous response, in order to back up the “axis of evil” view of the world.
The responses given in the interview at the top of this post show how Iran walks into the trap so easily. Iran cannot correct world opinion, regardless of the logic they use, when world opinion on Iran is so blatantly manipulated by those who manage the Western media.
But there’s more going on here than just media corruption and the demonisation of Iran.
Posted on July 24th, 2010 No comments
Why not bring in a special new executive at BP’s London Headquarters, maybe ex-CEO of BP, Lord John Browne of Madingley, who was rather green, really, or that other Anthony, the ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair, and make them responsible for expanding an entirely new share offering in Solar Power.
Investors would be encouraged to explicitly finance new solar projects around the world by buying “solar shares” in the company, who make a priority of environmental matters, as we all know.
The British Government could offer extensive tax breaks, declining to tax revenues from solar electricity in the same way that BPs’ Oil and Gas sales are tapped for a percentage slice to help the public purse.
And there you could have it, bish bash bosh.
And while you’re at it, rename the company “Beautiful Photonenergy”.
The world could forget about the Gulf of Mexico plumes and seepages and we could all, together, forge a clean, smooth new Low Carbon, Low Dirt world.Be Prepared, Big Picture, Energy Revival, Environmental Howzat, Low Carbon Life, Marine Gas, Peak Oil, Political Nightmare, Public Relations, Renewable Resource, Solar Sunrise, Toxic Hazard, Unnatural Gas, Zero Net Beautiful Photonenergy, Beyond Petroleum, Beyond Psychotherapy, BP, BP America, British Petroleum, GOM, Gulf of Mexico, oil spill, Solar Energy, Solar power
Posted on July 19th, 2010 No comments
Image Credit : Google Maps. Point A shows the location of the Natural Gas discovery announced 5th July 2010. Point B shows the point at which the yacht “The Kingdom of Bahrain” was seized by Iranian Authorities in late November 2009
Iran has been playing a game of gentle brinkmanship with the major military powers over its nuclear ambitions for the last few years. Its civilian nuclear ambitions, that is.
The United Nations Security Council imposed a new bag of sanctions against Iran in June, and since then various Iranian aircraft have been refused refuelling by that paragon of commercial virtue BP, amongst other things :-