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E.On Is Stalking Me

Image Credit : Baby Creative

Over the last couple of years, almost everything I have been involved with, the E.On Energy supply company has sought to get its big coal-dust grubby hands on. It seems. The latest twist in this saga involves the Claverton Energy Research Group.

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Drax Coal Train Protesters

Photo Credit : sitefeed

So, what do you think would be appropriate Community Service orders for the 29 men and women who held up the coal train to Drax “the Destroyer” power station in June 2008 ?

Should they be sentenced to build a straw bale, lime and mud community centre in Liverpool ? Should they be required to host Permaculture seminars in inner London ? Should they be asked to take part in leafletting and campaigning for the 10:10 campaign ?

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A Very Crude Analysis
“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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Coal : Burning the Future

Here’s one for all my States-side buddies, because nobody in Euroland will get to see this for a while (please correct me if I’m mistaken) : the trailer for the film “Burning the Future”. It’s all about the toxic, dirty nature of Coal Energy :-

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Triumph Voluntary : Bigger than Coal

In the hallway supping on orange juice and ice, I turned off the Sky Eternal Non-News on a fat, loud TV because I saw someone standing in front of it in a hynotic trance. He complained, but didn’t demand the show turned back on. Thankfully that provided the quiet for us all to talk some to each other and read a little.

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Number Crunching #1 : Jobs Flooding in, Homes Flooded out

In the best Private Eye style, I will merely present to you two statistics and let you deduce the relationship between the two.

If you really don’t understand what I’m driving at, do get in touch :-

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Clean Coal Capture Economics

Everywhere you look this week there’s news about Coal, and how we need to pay to clean it up, and how wonderful this idea is.

I don’t buy it. But I’m going to be forced to pay for it through my electricity bills regardless :-

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Irony Bryony Worthington

[ UPDATE : Some of you have mentioned that you thought this piece was rather biting. So I put it under Bryony’s nose and offered to change anything that she felt was inaccurate, personally distressing, or that she disagreed with or objected to on professional grounds. Changes are bolded. ]

At the The Guardian Climate Change Summit in London’s Russell Square’s Hotel Russell on Monday 15th June 2009, there was a large banner marked out with the name of the key sponsor of the event, E.On, but nobody at the large table underneath it to schmooze the attendees.

Perhaps they thought that the info pack in bright friendly red, orange and yellow colours would suffice in terms of communications. Perhaps they thought that they had enough of a hold on the event’s messaging by having their Chief Executive Officer Paul Golby speaking at one of the morning sessions.

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The Best A Man Can Get : The Tales Of Two Gillettes

You can take the soul out of an engineer with a boring, stressful or ethically suspect career, (like the Manhatten Project), but you can’t take the engineer out of a soul.

I have a persistent interest in things engineering, and some say I waste too much of my time thinking about systems engineering and the Laws of Physics.

I also have a persistent interest in the minds of engineers. How do we work ? What makes us tick ? And do we have an overview on social organisation that could be useful ?

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The Promised “Summer Strategy”

David Kennedy, the chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change announced today, almost in passing, at the The Guardian Climate Change Summit, that the “Summer Strategy” regarding all the Government’s choices on Climate Change technologies, as articulated by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will be published within the week.

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Cheering the Truth; Regretting the Twist

At the London School of Economics last Friday 5th June 2009, there was a conference called “The politics of climate change : from economic crisis to business revolution”.

In the afternoon, after Adair Turner spoke, we were treated to the pragmatic realism of Andy Duff, the CEO of RWE npower, the Energy group.

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Adair Turner Fidgets While Coal Burns

Adair Turner must be a bundle of nerves, sitting, as he does on both the Financial Services Authority and the Climate Change Committee.

He’s often asked to speak on behalf of ideas that are shaky, like cracking down on the banks with stronger regulation, whilst avoiding blaming the banks themselves for the financial crisis :-

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Climate Change : Meeting in Passing

Last week’s conference “The politics of climate change : from economic crisis to business revolution” was a great opportunity to bump into people I only normally read about.

Trouble is, although they irritate me at a distance by what they have said, or spent, or decided, or spun, when I meet them my anger has subsided and I just can’t get the venom together to be rude.

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Carbon Offsets : Dangerous Distraction

Well, Friends of the Earth are not to be found beating around any bushes or mincing any words today. It’s up front and confrontational on the matter of Carbon Offsetting coming out of the Clean Development Mechanism, and how it’s going to fail us. The new report is titled “A Dangerous Distraction : Why Offsetting is Failing the Climate and People : The Evidence” and its language is brutal :-

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Stern Remarks #1 : The S-Curve on Technology Progress

[ Comments on “A Blueprint for a Safer Planet” by Nicholas Stern ]

So, I might be promoting sales of Nicholas Stern’s book with this post, but actually I think we should all read this book, just to be conscious of how Neoliberal Economics hasn’t evolved to encompass reality, even if it thinks it has.

There are many statements, assertions and hopes about the progress and possibilities of technology in Nicholas Stern’s book “A Blueprint for a Safer Planet : How to Manage Climate Change and Create a New Era of Progress and Prosperity”.

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Ahead of the McKinsey Curve

I remember the second time I saw this graph. It was shown to me by that enthusiastic young guy Guy Shrubsole, who waved a printed copy under my nose and asked me if I’d seen it and knew what it meant. I had and I did :-

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Carbon Capture and Storage : Basket of Tricky Questions

Last week’s announcement by the UK Government for up to 4 “demonstration” projects for Carbon Capture and Storage [CCS] at new coal-fired electricity generation plants raises some serious questions.

Not least amongst that basket of tricky and serious questions : is CCS being used to justify the use of coal fuel, when less Carbon-intensive fuels are available ?

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Carbon Capture and Storage : Today’s Trojan, Tomorrow’s Turkey

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has been just the wisp or filament of an idea for so long; and never really taken on a bodily form. It’s still ectoplasmic, in the worst of ways. Despite the various attempts around the world to drag it kicking and screaming into a corporeal existence.

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The Carbon Bank of England

Debating about Carbon policy outside the Bank of England this rainy London afternoon, was, I thought, rather appropriate.

My opponent was weaving the great Al Gore, James Hansen, ExxonMobil line, “so…why don’t we just have a flat Carbon Tax ?”

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Climate Camp. Who’s Really Listening ?

It seems that the not-so-secret Security Services and Police so-called Intelligence have been listening in at Climate Camp national gatherings and spin-off direct action groups (colour me un-surprised) :-

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Shiny Imaginary Friends – The Dream of Carbon Capture and Storage

This week has seen a flurry of “Yes, We Can” news articles about the Carbon Capture and Storage technology, or CCS.

“Solution to the carbon problem could be under the ground : Hope for the fight against climate change as study finds greenhouse gas can be buried without fear of leaking : By Steve Connor, Science Editor : Thursday, 2 April 2009 : Carbon dioxide captured from the chimneys of power stations could be safely buried underground for thousands of years without the risk of the greenhouse gas seeping into the atmosphere, a study has found.”