Gunk Zero

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 :-

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2010/09/oil-layers-two-inches-thick-coat-gulf.html

If ever there were an advertisement for the campaigns to end the age of fossil fuels, this, I think, is it.

Liberate Tate : Pouring Oil on Troubled Relationships

http://www.youandifilms.com/2010/09/crude-2010-oil-painting-protest-over-bp-sponsorship-in-tate-modern-turbine-hall-liberate-tate-calls-for-footprint-of-art-museum-to-be-free-from-big-oil/

http://twitter.com/liberatetate

https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B2JesScn-l6lM2E2OTU2MGEtZmEzYy00NDZmLWE0YWMtYzY4Zjg5YmUxZTVi&sort=name&layout=list&num=50&pli=1

What Germany Says, Germany Means

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 :-

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,716221,00.html

“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.

Continue reading What Germany Says, Germany Means

Caroline Spelman Shrugged

The British Government is about to announce that the people be left to the ravages of Climate Change and cope by heaving-ho and a rolling-up of the sleeves and display war-time grittedness through voluntary “Big Society” :-

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/britain-must-adapt-to-inevitable-climate-change-warns-minister-2077175.html

“Britain must adapt to ‘inevitable’ climate change, warns minister : As experts call for action now, the coalition withholds green funding and appeals to private enterprise : By Matt Chorley and Jonathan Owen : Sunday, 12 September 2010 : Britons must radically change the way they live and work to adapt to being “stuck with unavoidable climate change” the Government will caution this week, as it unveils a dramatic vision of how society will be altered by floods, droughts and rising temperatures. The coalition will signal a major switch towards adapting to the impact of existing climate change, away from Labour’s heavy emphasis on cutting carbon emissions to reverse global temperature rises. Caroline Spelman, the Tory Secretary of State for the Environment, will use her first major speech on climate change since taking office to admit that the inevitable severe weather conditions will present a “survival-of-the- fittest scenario”, with only those who have planned ahead able to thrive. Adapting to climate change will be “at the heart of our agenda”, she is expected to say…”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7997668/Climate-change-is-inevitable-says-Caroline-Spelman.html

“Climate change is inevitable, says Caroline Spelman : Britain can no longer stop global warming and must instead focus on adapting to the ‘inevitable’ impacts of climate change such as floods, droughts and rising sea levels, Government ministers will warn this week. : By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent : Published : 13 Sep 2010 : For the past few years Government policy has concentrated on trying to make people turn off lights and grow their own vegetables in an effort to bring down carbon emissions. But as global greenhouse gases continue to increase, with the growth of developing countries like China and India, and the public purse tightens, the focus will increasingly be on adapting to climate change. The Government will set out plans to protect power stations from flooding and ensure hospitals can cope with water shortages during dry summers….”

Continue reading Caroline Spelman Shrugged

Christopher Booker : For Once, I Agree

Even only semi-regular perusers of this little web log will be astonished, galled and maybe even venomously upset to discover that for once, and probably only the once going on past evidence, I actually agree with Christopher Booker :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7969102/The-Clean-Development-Mechanism-delivers-the-greatest-green-scam-of-all.html

“The Clean Development Mechanism delivers the greatest green scam of all : Even the UN and the EU are wising up to the greenhouse gas scam, “the biggest environmental scandal in history”, says Christopher Booker. : By Christopher Booker : Published: 28 Aug 2010 : …The way the racket works is that Chinese and Indian firms are permitted to carry on producing a refrigerant gas known as HCF-22 until 2030. But a by-product of this process is HCF-23, which is supposed to be 11,700 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. By destroying the HCF-23, the firms can claim Certified Emission Reduction credits worth billions of dollars when sold to the West (while much of the useful HCF-22 is sold onto the international black market). Last year, destruction of CFCs accounted for more than half the CDM credits issued, in a market that will eventually, it is estimated, be worth $17 billion. Of the 1,390 CDM projects so far approved, less than 1 per cent accounts for 36 per cent of the total value. Even greenies have become so outraged by this ridiculous racket that the Environmental Investigation Agency has described it as the “biggest environment scandal in history”…”

I would commend Mr Booker to get his chemical acronyms sorted out, by substituting “HCF” with “HFC”, or “HCFC”, but apart from that, which was fairly easy to unpick, it is quite an honourable description of the problem.

None of the money-based “flexible mechanisms” sewn into the Kyoto Protocol appear to be working, and that’s because they are (a) money-based and (b) not economy-wide.

Continue reading Christopher Booker : For Once, I Agree

Peak Everything

From a conversation with the Claverton Energy Research Group over the leak of a German military study into Peak Oil :-

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,715138,00.html

“09/01/2010 : ‘Peak Oil’ and the German Government : Military Study Warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis : By Stefan Schultz…”


Hi Clavertonians,

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.

Continue reading Peak Everything

Spill, Baby, Spill

It’s OK to spill.

That’s the message handed to Royal Dutch Shell in the form of their fine for spilling oil in the Niger Delta – only 10% of their spillage will be counted :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/22/shell-niger-delta-un-investigation

Environmental fines don’t work – because the oil and gas and coal companies have well-paid and persistent lawyers :-

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/industries/energy/stories/DN-valdez_26bus.ART.State.Edition2.4e176ea.html

Money can’t buy you a clean environment. Take note.

Rethink Fossil Fuels

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 ?

Continue reading Rethink Fossil Fuels

Come On Over For Lunch

Shock ! Horror ! Major Climate Change Scientist spotted at Climate Camp…ah, but which one… ? How to distinguish one dressed-down, unwashed individual with dishevelled locks from any another ?

Any sign of Climate Change sceptic-denier Andrew Montford, as affectionately known as “Bishop Hill” ? Can’t make him out, but he might have responded to the banner appeal to “Come On Over for Lunch”. You never know. That might be him chopping potatoes, right in the thick of it.

Continue reading Come On Over For Lunch