James Delingpole : Recycling Silliness

I think somebody should take James Delingpole quietly to one side and have a little word in his ear about the ineptitude of recycling silly stories :-

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100028631/what-dave-and-his-chum-barack-dont-want-you-to-know-about-green-jobs-and-green-energy/

“What Dave and his chum Barack don’t want you to know about green jobs and green energy : By James Delingpole Politics : March 6th, 2010 : Green jobs are a waste of space, a waste of money, a lie, a chimera. You know that. I know that. We’re familiar with the report by Dr Gabriel Calzada Alvarez of the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain which shows that for every “green job” that is created another 2.2 jobs are LOST in the real economy…”

Here Mr Delingpole, you are on the shakiest of grounds from my point of view. Your writing suggests that in the field of Energy Engineering you have even less knowledge about the technological and economic data than you do about Climate Change Science, and what you have acquired is apparently deeply misinformed. With only the briefest of Google searches, you could have discovered what the Huffington Post uncovered on 2nd May 2009 :-

Continue reading James Delingpole : Recycling Silliness

Do Hold Your Breath

If I had a eurocent for every time a Climate Change denier-sceptic told me that if I really, truly believe that Carbon Dioxide causes Global Warming I should just stop breathing…well, I’d be rich enough now to afford to buy the whole of Belgium, or at least most of economically-depressed Wallonia. Mmm…Waffles.

But seriously, holding your breath in the form of Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) is one of the big flashing signs for the future of ReSmoothing, smoothing Renewable Energy supply, that is.

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British Sea Power Supergrid

“Supergrid”. Sounds a bit 1986-ish, really. But it could save Europe from industrial collapse as Carbon restrictions start to bite.

“Sun, wind and wave-powered: Europe unites to build renewable energy ‘supergrid’ : North Sea countries plan vast clean energy project : €30bn scheme could offer weather-proof supply : Alok Jha : guardian.co.uk : Sunday 3 January 2010”

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Toilet Power Trumps Nuclear

Image Credit : NowPublic

I still don’t know what all the fuss is about Nuclear Power, when the BioMethane from all the toilets, farm slurry, hospital and food waste in the country could trounce the amount of power available from atoms by 2020.

Without all that nasty radioactive leftover, massive expensive building projects, social tension, election nightmare and increasing security issues.

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Gore Was Mostly Right

Al Gore speak at the December 2009 Climate Talks in Copenhagen this week, and you would not believe how he got mauled by the Media and the Denier-Sceptics. Watch and listen to the links below and consider if you can detect the part that stuck in the throat of those who resist putting a halt to Global Warming.

Continue reading Gore Was Mostly Right

OPEC Compensation

You can bet your bottom petrodollar that there will be some bailouts at Copenhagen.

There will be the obvious benefactors, in the form of the Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, which will be set up to get money flowing from the industrialised countries to the developing countries, to enable the developing countries to buy technologies from the industrialised countries, to save the developing countries from Global Warming.

But behind the headlines, there will be some other deals being cut, in fact, one in particular may already have been sliced, judging by this article (OPEC = Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) :-

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_resources/article6926219.ece

Continue reading OPEC Compensation

Some People Never Change

So I’m talking to some people and someone says that people don’t care about the fact they’re wasting Energy, that people just don’t think.

Even though they know about Global Warming and the risks of dangerous Climate Change, and they know about the connection between burning Fossil Fuels and Global Warming, they just don’t care about how much Energy they’re using.

And I know this is heresy to say so, but I said that people shouldn’t have to think about Energy, that they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about using Energy. I said that the Energy that is provided to them should be Carbon-free and responsibility-free. People shouldn’t be forced to act against their nature. Energy is effectively free at the moment. It’s way cheap, even cheaper than food for a lot of people. So people use it. People love using Energy.

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David Miliband : Expecting Someone Shorter

To be honest, he was taller than I expected, and more Eastern in appeareance, a kind of lanky version of Mehmet behind the deli counter at my local Turkish International Food Emporium.

David Miliband was also considerably thinner than I would have liked, considering he might one day rule the New Labour Party, who might just rule my country again. We wouldn’t want him blown away by the slightest breeze, surely, would we ? He needs feeding in my opinion.

Continue reading David Miliband : Expecting Someone Shorter

If It’s That Good, Why Aren’t They Doing It Already ?

When discussing Renewable Energy technologies with associates, acquaintances and relatives, I often hear tones of scorn and the invariable question : “If it’s that good, why aren’t they doing it already ?”

This anti-sense meme from Classical (Neoliberal, Chicago School) Economics boils down to a perception problem. The obvious reason why Renewable Energy technologies are not already widely in use is due to the first-mover problem – it takes time to establish and roll out new technologies. People just don’t like change. And they have to get over the “investment bump” – spending the money to install new technologies.

Continue reading If It’s That Good, Why Aren’t They Doing It Already ?

A Path to True Enlightenment

One of my relatives takes the Scientific American magazine on subscription, postal strike notwithstanding, so I was privileged to be able to read an article in the November 2009 edition even before it hits the shelves in WH Smith at the major train stations in London, or Waterloo at least, where I looked for my own copy yesterday evening.

An uplifting, positive plan to green the world’s energy, composed by two Marks, one Delucchi, one Jacobson, both in American academia, yet not dreamers; their practical brains fully switched on and their souls engaged.

http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/susenergy2030.html

“A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030” contains some excellent mythbusting material as well as practical proposals for turning over all our Energy supply to truly sustainable sources.

A full-colour PDF is available online :-

http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/sad1109Jaco5p.indd.pdf

New Nuclear Is Not A Climate Policy

The rumour mill about the propsects for new Nuclear Power is quite active, a kind of underground semaphore.

About a year ago, the idea that the United Kingdom would be burdened with eleven new Nuclear Power stations entered the mill and popped out all over the shop, being greeted with ridicule, dismissiveness, anger and despair.

When the Energy Supply companies started going into “free capital” meltdown over new investments, owing to issues concerning insurance and the general Economy, there was concern that they wouldn’t come along with the new Nuclear plan.

The Government kept pumping out the information that we should have at least four new Nuclear Power stations. How critical this project was ! How bright and shiny new Nuclear would be ! The unwritten back room understanding that any new Nuclear Power plant could expect State support in one form or another. However, the public statements were that there would be no Public Money for new Nuclear build.

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The Investment Bump

Image Credit : Bankside Press

The big problem with re-tooling for the new Low Carbon world is not so much about changing Energy consumption behaviour, although that plays a part.

It’s not even really Energy supply behaviour, although that is probably more significant.

No, the key to the door to the greener future is investment behaviour.

Continue reading The Investment Bump

Claverton Energy Conference 8

The Claverton Energy Group will be holding its 8th Conference from 23rd to 25th October 2009 at the headquarters of Wessex Water, Claverton Down in Bath, England.

Advances in Energy technologies old and new will be presented amongst a wide-ranging and influential forum of engineers. The focus, as ever, will be the development of new infrastructure, within the context of the urgent need to de-Carbonise Energy supply.

http://www.claverton-energy.com/8th-claverton-energy-group-conference-2325th-october-wessex-water-bath-ba27ww.html

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Everybody Dance Now !

Dancing with Bicycles

Whenever you hear government ministers or public figures telling the people that technology will save us, remember this : the word “technology” is synonymous with the word “business”.

“Technology” is Big Engineering, and this is what is done by large companies and corporations. Large organisations that make profit by selling manufactured products and Energy always have a surplus set aside for their communications budgets, and that includes persuading government people that their business is invaluable and needs promoting.

Continue reading Everybody Dance Now !

Poor People Gonna Rise Up

Talking About a Revolution : Tracy Chapman

When are the intellectual and political ranks going to stop trying to apply universal guilt ? The real question to ask is not, “how are we going to get average emissions down ?” You can’t treat all the people in the United Kingdom as one blurred lump. Around 20% of consumers are conscious. Another 20% to 30% are going to be hit directly by any measure designed to put an environmental tax on Carbon, and will have no choice about responding.

Climate Change worldwide is affecting the poorest first and hardest – an expression used by everyone from Nicholas Stern through to Christian Aid. But it’s a stratification of impact that isn’t just global. The poorest in the industrialised countries are suffering hardship too : people who cannot get their homes renovated after floods, people who have to apply for Fuel Poverty assistance.

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A Very Crude Analysis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or-TyPACK-g
“A Crude Awakening – Trailer”

I watched the film “A Crude Awakening” for the third time this week with the good people of Transition Waltham Forest.

Several people in the room were strongly affected by the footage of the deserted oil fields of Texas, Baku and Venezuela.

In the discussion after the film I challenged the Green Party activist in the room (hopefully without hurting anyone’s feelings), asking where Energy is in the list of electoral campaign policy priorities. I said I don’t hear strong concern from any political party. It’s a subject that’s just not there.

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Camped On Your Doorstep

What would you do if you met a Climate Camper face to face ? And how could you be sure ? Would they have dreadlocks ? A facepainted clown face, raggedy, dirty clothes ? Would they be shouting ?

More to the point, would they be getting in your face ? Or in your way ? Would they be threatening or violent or extremely negative ? Or would they offer you a cup of tea and a nice wholemeal organic flapjack ?

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Feel The Greater Burn

I cannot offer an opinion about the validity of this research, because I haven’t read the science paper with the calculations, I haven’t spoken to the researchers, or entirely understood their model from the news report, but I’ve got to admit the results appear intriguing.

The authors speak to my key annoyances : the proposals for new Nuclear Power and Carbon Capture and Storage. And they say we shouldn’t do it : the net heat from “thermal” power generation is going to be dangerous regardless of what we do with any resulting Carbon Dioxide.

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Joan Ruddock : Flashback 2008

Notes from PA21 Meeting with the Under-Secretary of State for the Environment

Meeting Date : Tuesday 25th March 2008
Meeting Time : 14:05 – 15:00
Meeting Venue: Whitehall

Attendees

Joan Ruddock MP, Under-Secretary of State, Environment
Annette Brooke MP
Tony Hamilton PA21 Chair
Theresa McManus PA21 Secretary
Naomi Matteson

Notes from Meeting

Continue reading Joan Ruddock : Flashback 2008

Wind Turbines Give You Apoplexy

Reactions to the article “Wind Turbines Give You Spots” is encouraging, if contentious. Looks like we’ve mined a thick vein of dispute. Could a simple, happy, smiley Public Relations campaign to promote Wind Power counter this ? I think not !

Continue reading Wind Turbines Give You Apoplexy

Wind Turbines Give You Spots

I don’t know whether to laugh or shed tears in comic agony at this, which looks like the latest in a very long line of environmental “hoaxes”.

A person allegedly a paediatrician from New York claims to have diagnosed a new disorder, with a wide range of symptoms, relating to Wind Turbines.

Provisionally named “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, this “visceral vibratory vestibular disturbance” can be detected in folks unlucky enough to be living within the spinning shadow of new wind farms.

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Eleven Practical Ideas to Combat Climate Change

Very little of what follows is original thought. But after much reflection, I feel these ideas are worthy of attention, and so I have expanded them for your consideration.

1. Contraction & Convergence Video Conferencing

Yet another international meeting on Energy Efficiency, Climate Change, Renewable Energy. Yet another brace of airline tickets for big speakers, engineers, policy-makers and scientists (and reporters) to fly in and confer.

In order to demonstrate the Contraction & Convergence framework in action, the delegates at all these meetings and conferences should reduce their carbon emissions to be in line with the lowest emitter of them all. Everyone will contract their carbon emissions, and everyone will get in line. Equal rights to pollute. The Principle of Equity.

There is enough cable and wire laid under all the world’s oceans and through the world’s rivers and soils to hold every single meeting by videoconferencing. And so it should be done.

No more flying for people of green persuasions. Follow Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute and the UNFCCC papers for development of Contraction & Convergence.

Continue reading Eleven Practical Ideas to Combat Climate Change