Big Picture Energy Revival Extreme Weather Peak Energy Pet Peeves

British Winter : Power Struggle

Yesterday’s news : there’s nothing to worry about with Natural Gas supplies :-

“Energy: UK has enough gas for another 65 days : By Sarah Arnott : Thursday, 7 January 2010 : …The National Grid insisted that the unprecedented consumption levels will not leave Britain short. “We are absolutely not going to run out of gas,” said a spokesman. “The UK is well supplied.” The shadow Energy Secretary Greg Clark stoked energy security fears on Tuesday by claiming that Britain had only eight days of gas left in storage. But the National Grid dismissed the calculation as a “meaningless number” because it ignored both the amount of gas imported and that nearly half of UK demand is met by North Sea production.”

Today’s news : factories are getting rationed :-

“1970s-style rationing as National Grid cuts off gas to factories : Exclusive: Severe weather and creaking power infrastructure lead to first tangible sign that fears over energy shortages are translating into supply disruption : Terry Macalister, energy editor,, Thursday 7 January 2010…”

This sorry tale happens every time a real Winter comes around… Who to believe ? What to do ?

Well, if the National Grid was obliged by regulation to produce BioMethane from a tie-up with the Waste Water Treatment companies and the Farms, then we could be producing our own gas from yesterday’s curries, pig slurry, straw, hospital waste, and old hens…

Bait & Switch Behaviour Changeling Big Picture Climate Change Pet Peeves Social Change Voluntary Behaviour Change

Anthony Giddens : Blaming Consumers

Anthony Giddens, as a “key architect of New Labour”, disappointingly brings to the table a less than razor-sharp understanding of what is responsible for Global Warming Pollution.

He seems to be content to be cynical about the Consumers in the Free Market Economy, without questioning the role of the Producers of the Energy and goods consumed.

Behaviour Changeling Climate Change Pet Peeves Political Nightmare Voluntary Behaviour Change

Anthony Giddens : The Politics of Habit

The habitual trend in politics is to utter without having done sufficient research, just relying on cultural assumptions, watercooler talk, hearsay and what you read in the newspapers, which is dumbed down and always resorts to cultural prejudices.

At least Anthony Giddens in his book “The Politics of Climate Change”, attempts to get beyond that kind of gutter press and move into the heady air of the moral mountain heights. But he takes with him some extraordinarily unhelpful baggage, Classical Economics being part of it. Plus, an inability to see the wood for the trees.

Allow me to quote from his Introduction :-

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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 : : Sunday 3 January 2010”

Climate Change Energy Revival Pet Peeves

Time to Care

It’s time that we all cared about what is happening to Life on Earth. Nobody in an alien spacecraft is going to come crashing through the clouds to save us with miraculous Energy technologies, or brand new Chemistry that beats the Laws of Physics to capture Carbon Dioxide right out of the air in the amounts we are emitting it.

Energy Revival Pet Peeves

Speak Freely, Children

Lots of shouting young people clamouring for Green Energy “in the USA” in Copenhagen. How sweet and cheerful ! Let the Free Speech continue, children, even if someone steals your banner :-

Big Picture Climate Change Energy Revival Peace not War Peak Oil Pet Peeves Renewable Resource Solar Sunrise Wind of Fortune

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) :-

Energy Revival Pet Peeves Wind of Fortune

Wind Turbines Give You Spots (3)

I haven’t noticed any of the major medical agencies coming out with statements of their own regarding Nina Pierpoint’s theories about the health disbenefits of wind turbines. That rather leads me to suspect there’s not much to this supposed problem that she documents :-

Energy Revival Technological Sideshow

Techno-Lemon of the Month

Why do we see so many news articles praising technologies that clearly have limitations in terms of ability to perform, complexity to implement, obvious flaws, long time delays to perfection or just look plain crazy ?

If this question has ever shambled across your mind, casting a shadow of indeterminate length or duration, be encouraged to know you are not alone.

Behaviour Changeling Big Picture Carbon Rationing Climate Change Emissions Impossible Pet Peeves Renewable Resource Social Change Wind of Fortune

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.

Bad Science Bait & Switch Behaviour Changeling Big Picture Climate Change Energy Revival Low Carbon Life Media Non-Science Obamawatch Peace not War Pet Peeves Political Nightmare Protest & Survive Public Relations Renewable Resource Social Change Technological Sideshow Unsolicited Advice & Guidance Unutterably Useless Utter Futility Vote Loser

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.

Climate Change Contraction & Convergence

Carbon Leakage : Europe Compromises Again

The European Parliament, far from closing down Big Carbon, has just agreed a whole raft of exemptions to the Emissions Trading Scheme.

The original plan was to have all Carbon Allowances auctioned as of 2013. That won’t be happening now.

There will be more Carbon Dioxide floating away into the skies. And less revenues from the sale of Carbon Permits to finance Carbon Capture and Storage (which was part of the original plan).

Energy supply and Carbon-intensive industry : protected once again from serious change over Global Warming.

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The Carbon Capture Begging Bowl

Colin Challen MP [Member of the United Kingdom Parliament], the author of “Too Little, Too Late : The Politics of Climate Change” has told the nascent Carbon Capture industry to stop bleating for funding, effectively a bailout for the Coal industry :-

“CCS industry should support itself, claims MP : Wednesday 04 November 2009 : Labour MP Colin Challen believes the CCS industry should fund itself : A Labour MP has called on the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) industry to stop giving a “sob story” about needing government investment and instead fund new projects itself. Colin Challen, the MP for Morley and Rothwell, made the comments at today’s (November 4) Energy and Climate Change Committee meeting at Westminster, which was held as part of its inquiry into low carbon technologies. Responding to calls from industry body representatives for more government help in developing CCS plants, Mr Challen said: “It seems to me that research and development (R&D) has plummeted to a fraction of what it was. This industry has had billions of pounds out of the consumers’ pockets but yet we get this sob story about needing more money.” However, the director of technology and external affairs at Alstom – which builds integrated power plants – Philip Sharman, argued that utility companies have been investing in CCS, but said that the larger scale projects would need government help…”

Behaviour Changeling Big Picture Climate Change Energy Revival Pet Peeves

Copenhagen Is All Wrong

Many people around the world are praying and crossing their fingers for some kind of Climate Change treaty to be signed at Copenhagen.

Practically all the nations of the world will have their United Nations delegations in Denmark’s capital this December, and many governments are hoping for a breakthrough of one sort or another on the form of words, the financial commitments and the political drive to get things done.

Trouble is, the nations can promise and sign and agree all they like, but nothing will happen, because the wrong players are in the room.

Big Picture Energy Revival Peace not War Peak Energy Pet Peeves

The Sun Shines Bright

A truly epoch-changing story is evolving underneath the radar of the mainstream media, and out of sight of the Internetistas.

For some years now, Peak Oilmen (and women) have been trying to draw attention to the problems with the subsiding gushers in Saudi Arabia.

The Oil Drum, who confidently assert they know everything to cast accurate future projections for oil production, say that Saudi Arabia peaked in 2005 :-

Apparently the wells are pumping more water than crude these days.

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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.

“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 :-

Nuclear Nuisance Nuclear Shambles Pet Peeves

Engineering the Return of Nuclear Power

Image Credit : Quiet Corners

Despite the continuing list of problems with existing Nuclear Power plants, a committed group of highly-financed representatives from mining and construction companies carry on plugging away with the public relations for a new global fleet of Atomic Energy.

The crisp, tinted, glossy promotion packs from the Nuclear industry lobbyists pop up at every conference, meeting and ministerial intray, and certain public persons continue to preach the glow-in-the-dark gospel, glossing over the cracked history of this nightmare Energy industry to date.

The diagrams depicting the “next generation” technologies are always full four-colour, precise, attractive. The propagandists always well-dressed, well-remunerated and clean-shaven.

Public Relations

Impactless Advertising

Image Credit : Gemeente Utrecht

Brussels, Eurostar Departure Lounge, 14:00 CET : Face to face with a huge glass-fronted display of crumpled blue bottled-water bottles, red soft drinks cans, white paper plates, paper cups, serviettes and assorted detritus. All shaped to form a Union Jack. Tasteful. A “Never-Mind-The” punk cut-out letter style message in the centre reads “Welcome to Green Britain”. Reflected in the glass : advertisements for Fossil Fuel companies Total (“Our energy is your energy” – yeah, at a cost) and ExxonMobil (“We’ve always looked for new energy…” – yeah and you’re not finding it so much these days).

My questions. First : why does “green” have to be associated with “recycling” ? Why is “green” always associated with “recycling” in the British public mind ? Who made sure that the concept of “green” was so strongly associated with the activities of “recycling” in the British public mind ? “Recycling” is so strongly connected with “green” in the British public mind, that people don’t think about anything else (like walking instead of driving).

Secondly, why do the major Fossil Fuel companies have to advertise ? What do they hope to achieve ? Why do they need to be so “current” in the British public mind ? Their products aren’t “new” or in the realm of “new formulation”. Their “discovery” quota keeps going down, and there’s no real “refinement” of the technology. It really is a mystery why they think they need to get their names on the wall…”Train now boarding…”

Big Picture Low Carbon Life

Tesco Town : What The People Want

Image Credit : White River Valley Museum, Auburn

The people have spoken, but the people still have more to say. This Tuesday, 13th October 2009 at roughly 6.30pm, the people of Highams Park will once again climb the steps of Walthamstow Town Hall demanding the Council Planning Committee agree a smaller footprint from the proposed Tesco development.

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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.

Climate Change

Global Warming : Public Nuisance

The floodgates of change may well open in the United States of America. It appears that power companies can be brought to court for the public nuisance of Global Warming…

“September 30, 2009 : Yowsa! Major Environmental Ruling in Greenhouse Gas Case!”

“Corporate polluters have been getting hauled into court for many years for lotsa reasons, one being that their dirty activities are a “public nuisance”…”

“Well now, thanks to a landmark New York federal court ruling, this “public nuisance” theory has been applied in a major global warming case brought by eight states, New York City and environmental groups.”

“In a nutshell, the court panel (which consisted of two Republican appointees) found that the nation’s largest coal-burning utilities could be held accountable for global warming.”

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A Subsidy By Any Other Name

There’s the real world. And then there’s “Daily Telegraph world”, a fantasy mindscape, it seems to me.

In yet another piece that seems to be written for the sole purpose of attacking wind power, massaged in under the banner of standing up for the fuel poor :-

is this outstanding piece of reporting about Atomic Energy in the United Kingdom :-

“Nuclear, by contrast, is unsubsidised.”

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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 ?

Bait & Switch Carbon Capture Climate Change Emissions Impossible Technological Sideshow

Spot The Fatal Flaw #1 : Oil From Algae

ExxonMobil have a plan : harness the natural lifecycle of billions of little photosynthetic critters and make oil, oil, lots of lovely, slimy, rainbowy algal oil.

Bait & Switch Climate Change Emissions Impossible Technological Sideshow

Ed Miliband : Lost in TV

It’s a huge shame that the person charged with decisions about Energy in the UK doesn’t have a science or engineering background.

He can’t determine truth from fiction, that’s why.

We can produce report after report and datasheet after datasheet showing how ridiculous it will be to continue with Coal and Nuclear, and he won’t be able to see the wood for the trees.

This is yet again proof of why it is pointless trying to engage with the decison-makers. They don’t have the mental framework to be able to deal with the facts and figures.