The Inter Academy Council (IAC) has published its review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s work. The review has found that most of the IPCC’s work is of a very high standard (although this has somehow translated into “Climate Fraud” headlines by a news hungry August press) but that more rigorous review is required in publishing some data and some projections. The IPCC is not a curate’s egg, bad in parts, but more of a wholesome meal with too much salt added to some parts of the dish, which while it does not spoil the un-over-salted parts, it does leave a lingering taste in the mouth. (more…)
The British Royal family will be installing photovoltaic panels at Clarence House, in London. Clarence House is one of the many large palaces maintained for the Royal family and its size and nature means that its maintenance must require a great deal of energy. The Prince of Wales lives there with his wife, in the heart of London.
Most of the energy “used” by Clarence House must be heat energy, and its greatest emissions inevitably come from heating the place, There can be no cavity wall insulation, doubly glazing and probably precious little roof insulation in a building built in 1825. In buildings of this nature the emissions from heating the building and hot water are usually three times the emissions from electricity use.
For some reason (probably just fashion rather than common sense) the Prince has opted to install PV panels. The electricity generated, when it is not being used by the building, will be fed into the grid, which may or may not need it. (more…)
Brazil has been thinking of building a dam across a northern tributary of the Amazon on the Xingu River, close to a place called Belo Monte and also close to where the Jurinia people of Paquicamba live. There has been a tortuous legal process which has been followed in Brazil but now the appeals have resulted in permission for building the dam to be given. It will be the third largest dam in the world and may be no more successful than any other dam. (more…)
Whichever way you look at the problem of global warming you have to conclude that the human influence is significant and substantial. It is perfectly possible that there are many influences that are making the climate warmer – I have written about virtually all of them on these pages and the list has ranged from sun activity to magnetic polar shifting. However as humans, as powerful as we think we are, we cannot change the sun or influence the earth’s magnetic polarity. The only element that we have the means to control is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that we create. (more…)
I like poetry, but I am not particularly fond of the Romantic Poets or of one of their most famous people Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelly lived for only thirty years, dying fashionably young. He wrote one poem called the Mask of Anarchy about the Peterloo Massacre, in Manchester. The poem speaks against those that Shelly thought were responsible for the deaths of people in a very fledging trade union movement, who were mistakenly and unnecessarily killed by soldiers.
These days we have progressed; we can kill far more people than we could two hundred years ago, more efficiently and with greater carelessness. That set me wondering whether I could adapt Shelley’s work for the modern era. (more…)
It is late August and this is usually a quiet time for people in Europe. This is the season for holidays, including public holidays. Most politicians are on holiday and those left behind to mind the shop are enjoying a quiet life. The newspapers seem weary and even the radio and television journalists have lost their bite.
Most years late summer is a time for regrouping, unwinding and preparing for the times to come. Some years – 1914 and 1939 in particular- late summer was a time when there was no peace or relaxation, but a time for frenzied activity as a precursor to war.
The environment has been largely ignored in this time of economic crisis. It is as though the people of the world had decided that they must regroup, get wealthy, increase economic activity so that they can spoil the environment more effectively, then they will start worrying about it. Perhaps this will happen when summer eventually ends. Summer may end with cooler weather in a a warmer climate.
The words of the poet run through my head:
Summer’s almost gone
Summer’s almost gone
Yeah, it’s almost gone
Where will we be
When the summer’s gone?
(James Douglas Morrison)
Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy, has discovered, using the Freedom of Information Act, a scandal of an arbitrary decision by then Housing Minister John Healy, concerning parts F and L of the Building Regulations. It is a complicated scandal so bear with me while I explain. (more…)
In China after weeks of heavy rain, exceptionally heavy rain, the River Yalu, close to the Korean border, has burst its banks. Half a million people have so far been moved from their homes and already 1500 souls have perished in the flooding. The levels of rainfall are unprecedented. (more…)