Posted on February 18, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
The Coalition government of the United Kingdom has decided to abandon its policy of a large scale sale of the forests owned by the government quango, the Forestry Commission. Many people regard this as good news because access to forests for the public will be secured. I think that there is a more important issue than public access. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, biomass, climate change, David Cameron, global warming | Tagged: Annie Lennox, Dame Judi Dench, forestry commission, Melvyn Bragg, renewable heat incentive, sale of forests, sale of woodlands, Woodland Trust | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 17, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
Ecuador has a gross domestic product of around $61 billion in 2010. Ecuador is simply dwarfed by the size of multinational companies like Chevron whose total revenues in 2010 were $200 billion. Between 1972 and 1992 Texaco (now part of Chevron) was active in the small South American republic of Ecuador. (more…)
Filed under: climate change, oil, pollution | Tagged: Chevron, Ecuador, Hague, Internation Arbitration Tribunal, International Criminal Court, Lago Agrio, RICO | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 16, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
I attended a seminar in London yesterday that was organised for lawyers and others concerned with the environmental aspects of science, law and policy. It is easy to underestimate how little policy-makers understand about the environment. They resort to a kind of language that is particularly imprecise and a series of concepts which are often as vague as the language.The catch phrases were all there
- Diversity (in energy applications) is good
- Green jobs
- Investor confidence
- Carbon (when they meant carbon dioxide)
While supporting a concept of diversity with words so far government legislation and tax payers’ money has only properly supported traditional fossil fuels, uranium, wind and PV power. While talking about green jobs many people in green industries have lost their jobs in the past two years. While talking about investor confidence which investors can have confidence about making an investment in a industry which the government lest money flow to, like a child with a tap, turning it on and off.
The three speakers concentrated almost exclusively upon electricity, particularly wind farms. I was struck at how central to policy was wind generated electricity. There was no fundamental commentary upon the limitations of wind power. It is as though the decision to support wind energy has been made and there is no revisiting it, regardless of performance and problems encountered. Government policy is like an oil tanker – very hard to turn and even harder to stop. (more…)
Filed under: biofuels, biomass, carbon dioxide, carbon emissions, climate change, electricity, energy, fuel, global warming, pollution, PV, solar, solar energy, solar panels, targets | Tagged: electricity targets, renewable energy, renewable targets | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 15, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
Mr Greg Barker, the United Kingdom’s climate change minister, is concerned that there is what he calls “a lot of resistance” by householders to fit renewable energy measures. His department proposes incentives to enable householders to do this. The most popular form of renewable energy, solar water heating, which can be easily retrofitted to most homes and where the home itself will enjoy the savings in terms of money and emissions, will soon benefit from incentives under the renewable heat incentive, the details of which Mr Barker’s department has yet to publish. (more…)
Filed under: carbon emissions, climate change, energy, global warming, PV, Renewable Heat Incentive, renewables, solar, solar energy, solar panels | Tagged: green deal, greg barker, Minister for claimate cahnge, renewable heat incentive, RHI | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 14, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
I am glad that the long nights of winter are ending. In London we have virtually ten hours of daylight today, St Valentine’s Day and from now the days will be getting longer by three minutes and forty five seconds (or so) every day. By the time that the clocks change on 27th March I shall be enjoying daylight of more than twelve hours and that will make me feel all is right with the world.
Already the earliest buds and flowers have appeared and it seems that the cold snows and frosts are simply a memory, but in England you can never be too sure what the weather will bring. Whatever it brings, it is good to see the daylight when I go to work and soon I shall see it when I return.
There is something clean and good about the daylight, and although it harbours just as many dangers as the winter, I would live with endless summer, but if not that, then at least welcome the sun as it comes.
Filed under: weather | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 13, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
In the United States of America President Obama is trying to push new laws to control the emissions of greenhouse gases. This is important for the world because Americans are one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gases on a per capita basis (the prize for per capita emissions goes to Australia) and the largest polluter as a nation when you take into account those emissions that America has exported to places like China, where many of the goods it consumes are made. (more…)
Filed under: carbon dioxide, carbon emissions, climate change, climate change deniers, global warming | Tagged: cost of economy for climate change measures, Obama, per capita emissions | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 12, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”, Hamlet told Horatio, when Horatio was being sceptical about ghosts. Certainly there are more things than our philosophy and our science know of, and this was always the case. Although we may be smart today, there are complex philosophical analytics which even a learned philosopher finds its hard work to understand, and equally complex science which no single person can know, and technology which single people can only understand in layers. I understand how to pound the keys of my computer to write these words, and how to post them on the internet, but not the maze of circuits and solid and moving machinery that works within or the codes within codes that flow through the machine. (more…)
Filed under: climate change, global warming, pollution | Tagged: complexity of life, Hamlet, horatio, Most of us live lives that our complex beyond our understanding., population growth, there are more things in heaven and earth | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 11, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
Slowly but surely many of the south east Asian rain forests have been chopped down and converted to growing a cash crop –palm oil. (more…)
Filed under: biofuels, carbon dioxide, carbon emissions, climate change, energy, global warming, oil | Tagged: GAR, Golden Agri Resources, palm oil, palm oil plantations | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 10, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
There is some debate going on in the United Kingdom about bank lending to small businesses. The Government and the Opposition hold the view that the banks are not lending to small businesses. In Kingdom, and I suspect in most other places in the world, small businesses are the major source of employment and most people are employed by small businesses. These enterprises have to create their own capital and need banks to provide lending for their working day to day operations. (more…)
Filed under: banking | Tagged: bank lending, banking crisis, loans banks can make, merline | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 9, 2011 by Robert Kyriakides
When I checked into my hotel in Hattingen in the heart of the Ruhr, I never noticed the roof. It is a modest hotel and I reached it from Frankfurt having taken a bus, three trains and a taxi. Eventually I did notice the array of photovoltaic panels on every part of the free south facing roof space. Perhaps one day all roofs will have photovoltaic and thermal panels as a matter of law, but until then we can see what is happening in a small town in Germany and take heart.
Filed under: climate change | Leave a Comment »