Corporate Climate Change leaders provide poor advice

The United Kingdom Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change is a body sponsored by the Price of Wales and they are concerned with climate change.  They believe that there is an urgent need to establish new and long term strategies for dealing with climate change. They are right. There is such a need. These “leaders” agree that incremental change is not going to work, and that action would benefit business by creating new opportunities so they think we need a cross party consensus on policies to cut emissions. Continue reading

How plants become net emitters of carbon dioxide

The Desert Research Institute is a highly active body that has been trying to understand, amongst other things, what happens to plants when we get unusually hot weather. Plants are, of course, an important way in which carbon dioxide is extracted from the air, which the plants use in the process of photosynthesis to enable them to grow and store the processed carbon in their structures. Continue reading

Economic growth and a steady state for the planet

Several years ago Mr Czech kindly wrote a short review of “the Energy Age”. I asked him to do this because in the course of my research I thought about economic growth and reached the view that economic growth is what everyone aspires to, but the aspiration is misguided. We have to go beyond the concept of sustainability, which is about not abusing resources, and try to target our economies to be self sustaining. Brian Czech has come up with a concept that he called “the steady state economy”, which seeks to move economies away from growth targets. For every government and most economists Mr Czech’s concept is heresy. Continue reading

Unhealthy air tight buildings and how to cope with living in them

The desire to save energy and emissions as cheaply as possible has led to homes being very highly insulated and being built to “high” standards of air tightness. In the United Kingdom air tightness is a critical component of “SAP” the standard assessment procedure with which new homes must comply. Air tightness of the inner building skin is supposed to be critical but should we have high standards of air tightness at all? Continue reading

When the electricity no longer works

It should come as no surprise to readers of these posts and of “the Energy Age” that people are now talking about a lack of proper energy capacity in the United Kingdom in about five years time. A report by Fells Associates reaches the same conclusion that I reached (although obviously with much more research and care than I was able to devote) – that the United Kingdom will in future experience power cuts and energy cuts. Continue reading

A solar panel for one million pounds

Even though banking and finance is in trouble, many people are losing their jobs and many more are worried about the safety of their financial futures there is still plenty of money around in the possession of the rich folks. In fact Mr. Damien Hirst managed to sell many of his works at Sotheby’s auction house in London a few days ago for the rather astonishing figure of £111 million. Clearly the credit crunch does not affect his customers. Continue reading

Older generations

Cyprus is one of the countries that I love. It is dusty, very hot and full of friendly people to whom hospitality is an integral part of their lifestyle.  The island was named after the copper that came from there in ancient times, and was used by the ancient Greeks to make their armour and weapons of bronze. 

My father came from Cyprus and he was brought up in a village called Amiandos, Greek for asbestos.  The old asbestos mines were created at the turn of the last century and the village of Amiandos established to serve the mines. In those days the health problems associated with asbestos were not well known and as a young boy my father, in common with other villagers mined asbestos for a Danish company that owned the mine. Continue reading