Posted on May 14th, 2011 No comments
The European Commission, ooh, way back, decided that Biofuels were just what was needed to start the de-carbonisation of transportation. The original plan looked rather yellow and green – farm after farm of oilseed rape – what the Americans term “canola”. Suddenly schoolchildrens’ crayon renditions of the landscape were not as primary in colour as the actual fields.
The first target was for 5.75% of all transport fuel to be biologically sourced – from plants. What the European legislation didn’t figure was that some very dodgy dealers would take the long haul to Indonesia and Malaysia and start selling up the idea of marketing palm oil to Europe to make BioDiesel to meet the Biofuels Directive obligation. So goodbye rainforest and goodbye orangutans out in Asia. And goodbye good carbon intentions – replacing the rainforest with oil palms created net carbon emissions – so Biofuels failed to take the carbon out of motoring.
Some very bad ideas have followed on after. Several companies are still struggling with the idea that algae could turn out, could, I emphasise, be the thing that starts a genuine BioOil market. We’ll see – but most of the designs need an input of carbon dioxide – which would probably come from a fossil fuel-burning power station – so not very renewable, then.Renewable Gas Algae Bio-Diesel, Algae Biodiesel, Bio Compressed Natural Gas, Bio Energy, Bio Gases, Bio Synthetic Natural Gas, Bio-Ethanol, Bio-gas, Bio-Methane, BioCNG, Biodiesel, BioEnergy, bioethanol, Biofuel, Biofuels, Biofuels Directive, Biofuels Obligation, Biogas, BioHydrogen Bio Hydrogen, Biomethane, BioOil, BioSNG, BioSynthetic Natural Gas, canola, Car, cars, CNG, Compressed Natural Gas, de-Carbonisation, deCarbonisation, methanated, methanation, Methane, oil palm, oilseed rape, orangutan, palm oil, rainforest, rapeseed oil, Renewable Energy Directive, Renewable Gas, Renewable Hydrogen, SNG, Synthetic Natural Gas, Vehicles
Posted on September 15th, 2010 No comments
People often talk about the weather in relation to Climate Change, but neglect to talk about the possible obvious and inevitable side-effects – hunger and starvation.
Frontline Club will screen the film “The Hunger Season” on 1st October 2010, and follow it with a panel discussion hosted by BOND and Oxfam UK :-
“Across the world a massive food crisis is unfolding. Climate change, increasing consumption in China and India, the dash for Biofuels are causing hitherto unimagined food shortages and rocketing prices. This has already provoked unrest and violence from the Middle East to South America and there is no end in sight in the coming months. The people who are going to be most sorely affected are those already living on the razors edge of poverty, those dependent on food aid for their very survival. As commodity prices have risen by 50%, the UN Agencies have barely half the budget they need to meet the needs of 73 million hungry people they are currently feeding…”
Biofuel targets may not be the only factor behind food price rises :-
“In The Great Hunger Lottery, the World Development Movement has compiled extensive evidence establishing the role of food commodity derivatives in destabilising and driving up food prices around the world. This in turn, has led to food prices becoming unaffordable for low-income families around the world, particularly in developing countries highly reliant on food imports. Nowhere was this more clearly seen than during the astonishing surge in staple food prices over the course of 2007-2008, when millions went hungry and food riots swept major cities around the world. The great hunger lottery shows how this alarming episode was fueled by the behaviour of financial speculators, and describes the terrible immediate impacts on vulnerable families around the world, as well as the long term damage to the fight against global poverty…”Advancing Africa, Advertise Freely, Climate Change, Eating & Drinking, Floodstorm, Food Insecurity, Freshwater Stress, Genetic Muddyfixation, Global Warming, Health Impacts, Incalculable Disaster, Neverending Disaster, Science Rules, Social Change, The Data ADM, Archer Daniels Midland, Bayer, Biodiesel, bioethanol, Biofuel, Biofuel targets, Biofuels, BOND, Cargill, climate transient, climate transients, Deforestation, drinking, drought, eating, El Nino, El Nino Southern Oscillation, ENSO, flood, Food, food market, food market speculation, food markets, food speculation, freshwater, Frontline Club, Genetic Modification, GM, GMO, Hunger, hungry, Kraft, La Nina, market speculation, Michael Tobis, Monsanto, Oxfam, Oxfam UK, Permaculture, smallholding, Syngenta, Transition Towns, WDM, wild weather, World Development Movement
Posted on July 31st, 2010 No comments
20 June 2010
Linking Climate Change to other Environmental Problems
The Greenhouse Gas Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from humankind’s activities is accumulating very rapidly in the Atmosphere, and this is why the international Climate Change negotiations and Climate Change Science focus on it so heavily.
The warming response of the Earth’s surface correlates strongly with the rise in Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere, so Global Warming can be treated almost entirely as the Earth system’s reaction to rising levels of this one gas.
Other Greenhouse Gases, such as Methane (CH4) and high level water vapour (H2O), are increasing in line with the rise in Carbon Dioxide.
Logic and experiment dictates that they are doing this in response to the rise in Carbon Dioxide, so their rise is a feedback effect in the Earth system – a reaction to rising temperatures – caused by the warming due to increasing airborne Carbon Dioxide.
However, Carbon Dioxide is not the only Greenhouse Gas that humankind is pumping into the Atmosphere in excess of natural levels – a rather famous example being that growing numbers of livestock are belching Methane that is adding to the up-tick on concentrations of Methane in the Atmosphere.
There are still high levels of various gaseous industrial pollution, some of which is in the form of Greenhouse Gases.
In addition, Global Warming is not the only environmental problem, although it is exacerbating other environmental problems.
Climate Change is an added stressor on natural habitats that are being degraded by pollution, bad land management and deforestation.
It seems obvious to take a step back to the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 and mesh together once more the environmental threads of the United Nations conventions : on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Desertification.Acid Ocean, Big Picture, Climate Change, Disturbing Trends, Emissions Impossible, Environmental Howzat, Global Warming, Regulatory Ultimatum, Science Rules, The Data, Toxic Hazard Acid Ocean, acid rain, agricultural, agriculture, agrochemicals, Amazon, Biodiesel, BioEnergy, Biomass, Brazil, Carbon Sinks, Carbon Stores, chemical, chemical industry, Climate Change, combination problem, complexity, crosslinking, dead zones, environment, environmental, Environmental Policy, Erik M. Conway, factors, farming, fertilisers, Global Warming, Indonesia, industrial, interactions, interrelationships, Kyoto, Kyoto Procotol, linking, Malaysia, Merchants of Doubt, Montreal, Montreal Protocol, Naomi Oreskes, oxygen, ozone depletion, palm oil, pesticides, petrochemicals, phytoplankton, rainforest, run-off, stressor, UN, UNFCCC, United Nations, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, vectors
Posted on June 18th, 2010 No comments
Burning things wastes a lot of energy – even burning waste.
1. Plain Old Inefficiency
The systems and infrastructure for the generation and distribution of electricity in the United Kingdom is extremely poor, nigh on immorally wasteful. See the diagram above from the Zero Carbon Britain 2030 report :-
There are so many things that could be done to improve on that enormous loss of energy, and save on Carbon Dioxide Emissions at the same time.Burning Money, Climate Change, Emissions Impossible, Energy Revival, Health Impacts, Low Carbon Life, Marvellous Wonderful, Methane Management, Regulatory Ultimatum, Renewable Resource, The Data, Toxic Hazard, Wind of Fortune, Zero Net AD, Anaerobic Digestion, Biodiesel, Biofuel, Biogas, Car, cars, Claverton, Claverton Energy, Claverton Energy Research, Claverton Energy Research Forum, Claverton Energy Research Group, Climate Change, coal, Coal-fiired, Combustion, Energy, Energy Transformation, Energy Transition, Freight, ice, Incineration, infernal combustion engine, internal combustion engine, Mercury, Renewable Energy, Renewable Fuel, Sustainable Energy, Thermal Combustion, transport, Transportation, UK Energy Research Centre, UKERC, United Kingdom Energy Research Centre, Vehicles