Burning Things Is Wasteful

Centre for Alternative Technology

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 :-

http://www.zcb2030.org/

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.

Continue reading Burning Things Is Wasteful

Zero Carbon Britain 2030

I’m sure you’ll be interested to know that the second Zero Carbon Britain report from the Centre for Alternative Technology is now available for free download from this website :-

http://zerocarbonbritain.org/
http://zerocarbonbritain.org/downloads/ZCB2030.pdf

Here are a few articles about the report release :-

http://neweconomics.org/publications/zero-carbon-britain-2030
http://www.cat.org.uk/news/news_release.tmpl?command=search&db=news.db&eqSKUdatarq=37990&home=1
http://www.greenbang.com/uk-carbon-from-637m-tonnes-to-0-possible-by-2030_14526.html
http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/06/453523.html

Enjoy !

The Price of Carbon

The Price of Carbon

by Jo Abbess
20 April 2010

1.   Introduction

Policy strategy for controlling risky excess atmospheric greenhouse gas (Gowdy, 2008, Sect. 4; McKibben, 2007, Ch. 1, pp. 19-20; Solomon et al., 2009; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 6, pp. 205-208) mostly derives from the notion that carbon dioxide emissions should be charged for, in order to prevent future emissions; similar to treatment for environmental pollutants (Giddens, 2009, Ch. 6, pp. 149-155; Gore, 2009, Ch. 15 “The True Cost of Carbon”; Pigou, 1932; Tickell, 2008, Ch.4, Box 4.1, pp. 112-116). Underscoring this idea is the evidence that fines, taxes and fees modify behaviour, reigning in the marginal social cost of “externalities” through financial disincentive (Baumol, 1972; Sandmo, 2009; Tol, 2008). However this approach may not enable the high-value, long-term investment required for decarbonisation, which needs adjustments to the economy at scale (CAT, 2010; Hepburn and Stern, 2008, pp. 39-40, Sect. (ii) “The Consequences of Non-marginality”; MacKay, 2008, Ch. 19; Tickell, 2008, Ch. 2, pp. 40-41). Continue reading The Price of Carbon

Renewable Synergy

The news is that there is continuing progress towards a fully Renewable Europe. It is, after all, the only means to ensure a sustainable Economy into the future, given the twin blended threats of Climate Change Carbon Mitigation and Peak Fossil Fuels.

Dr Gregor Czisch’s meisterwerk is being translated into English for publication this Summer :-

Scenarios for a Future Electricity Supply: Cost-Optimised Variations on Supplying Europe and Its Neighbours with Electricity from Renewable Energies

You would never know from the plainspeaking title just how exciting this is : seriously cheap Energy and peacemaking collaboration all in one shot !

The management consultants PriceWaterhouseCooper (couldn’t they think of a more speakable name ?), have just published their own view on Europe and North Africa combining to provide a one hundred percent renewable Energy solution :-

http://www.pwc.co.uk/sustainability/

http://www.pwc.co.uk/eng/publications/100_percent_renewable_electricity.html

Continue reading Renewable Synergy

Sustainable Future for Education

Today, I’m going to talk to you about education, and no, it’s not about the ongoing “Texas textbook massacre”, where they want to teach children about “alternatives” to the Theory of Global Warming :-

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/science/earth/04climate.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/texas-schoolbook-massacre-rewrites-american-history-1929320.html
http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2010/03/26/why-you-shouldn-t-worry-about-texas-textbook-changes.aspx

Continue reading Sustainable Future for Education

Wishful Thinktanking

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After the accusations and counter-accusations of the attribution of blame, can we at least start moving on from who was responsible for the failure to obtain a global treaty at the United Nations Climate Change UNFCCC conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 ?

None of us have a complete awareness of the ideas and thoughts of others. International negotiations are bound to be limited by lack of knowledge and understanding, clashes of personality and conflicts of national, social and corporate interests.

It is important, however, to try to comprehend the starting points, the foundational ideology, of those we are attempting to negotiate with.

Here it is very important to keep our feet on the floor and our ears to the walls. Why exactly, did the AOSIS, the Small Island States bloc reject the Copenhagen Accord ? Why did the elite group of nations that signed the Copenhagen Accord dismiss the AOSIS and their demands for 350 ppm atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Why was China so resistant to the Copenhagen Accord ? Could it have anything do to with their fears of economic loss ?

Continue reading Wishful Thinktanking

Democracy : Alive & Kicking

Sheepishly creeping in late, (well I got lost, right, because my Google Map was on the wrong scale without the street names, OK ?), I attended my second Copenhagen de-briefing meeting of the year, with strong signals of properly functioning democracy all the way through.

I learned a lot more about the poor state of international negotiations, how disadvantaged peoples and nation groups were not heard, how the official news feeds were edited, how attempts to communicate from the public assembly at the Klimaforum into the Bella Center using video streaming were met with empty delegate seats, how the elite negotiating teams from the industrialised world failed to collect enough support for their position, how people got left queueing in the freezing cold…

Continue reading Democracy : Alive & Kicking