Steve Webb’s early day motion about fuel poverty and energy prices

If you are member of the United Kingdom Parliament and you want to institute a debate on a matter of great importance, the procedure that you have to adopt is called an early day motion. You write down the wording of the motion and then seek a debate, but very few early day motions are matters that are debated. The Government of the day effective controls the Parliamentary timetable, and squeezes out the motions of back bench members, who are elected in order to try and get these matters debated and thus create a demand for legislation to correct injustices. Instead early day motions are now ways that a Member of Parliament can use to publicise a matter.

One of the pressing problems that will become unfortunately more pressing in the next year is that of fuel poverty. Continue reading

Sustainability and the attempts to compromise on climate change

The present buzzword is “sustainable” although that word is often being used without it being properly defined. Most regard the word when describing a thing as meaning capable of being used in a way that will not restrict its use for future generations, and will not deplete it as a resource. There is also a broader and more accurate definition of “sustainable”. It encompasses a meaning which properly involves not just ensuring that the thing itself is “sustainable” but that using it does not deplete the world of some other important resource.  Other definitions refer to sustainability as the ability of something to keep operating, indefinitely, without adverse or negative effect. Continue reading

Kopernikus, a project that will help us fight climate change

Kopernikus, (or Copernicus) is one of Poland’s most famous scientists and thinkers, although the Germans also lay claim to him. Whatever his ethnicity, he was one of Europe’s most important thinkers in the middle ages, and now a project concerning climate change has been named for him. Continue reading

Gordon Brown’s leadership on Climate Change

 

British politicians are in the habit of “leaking” what they regard as major speeches to the media, who then faithfully report what is leaked, behaving a bit like extensions of the politicians’s propaganda departments as “news”. The report is usually couched in terms of so and so “is expected to say” and there are often extensive quotes from the speech written but not yet spoken, save as to the private rehearsals. Continue reading

Oil will peak in 2020 and we should plan for it now

 Oil exploration is being affected by the drop in oil prices. Although the oil companies cannot turn exploration and an off like a tap, because of the time that new exploration takes, they can and are cutting down on significant new oil exploration, because they fear that it may not be economically worthwhile to invest in new oil development while prices are so low. Continue reading

Happy Christmas to Everyone

hampstead-london-october-20081I would like to wish all the readers of these pages a very happy Christmas, and a safe and prosperous new year.

I wanted to show a Christmassy picture but the chances of having snow in London at Christmas time are very slim indeed. However, thanks to the vagaries of the British climate, affected like climates everywhere by the forces that are changing are climate more rapidly than ever, I have shown you a picture of Hampstead Heath Extension, covered in snow in October this year. the snow lasted for two days and within a week the Heath was basked in warm sunshine.

Happy Christmas.

You need insulation and ventiliation

A critical part of the Government’s strategy on climate change is to persuade people to waste less energy by insulating their homes. In fact this is the Government’s main strategy. The United Kingdom energy bill payers (and that means virtually every householder) have to pay a hidden almost unpublicised levy on their fuel bills. Roughly, this amounts to about £40 per annum, but it is set to double over the next few years. The energy companies collect this money and have to spend it on a limited number of measures. The lion’s share of the money collected is spent on home insulation. Continue reading

Swiss galciers are melting but the Government may lend to Jaguar Motor Cars

Hard on the news that the planet is losing ice in the Arctic and losing sea ice in the Antarctic comes news that Switzerland is losing ice from its glaciers. One study has revealed that glaciers seem to be losing about a meter of thickness every year and that the rate of losing is increasing. Continue reading

Five reasons to add solar panels to your Christmas List

It is not too late to finish your Christmas shopping, but instead of buying presents for your family and friends why not buy a present for the whole planet?

 

Here are five good reasons to add solar panels to your Christmas shopping list

 

  1. If you do not buy them you will spend the money on energy, anyway.
  2. They provide by their savings a tax free return on your investment
  3. They add value to your home
  4. You will be making a significant reduction in your home’s personal emissions
  5. You will be saving the planet for many more Christmases to come

 

What will happen to the climate when oil prices rise and more coal is consumed?

Of all the fossil fuel coal is the most polluting, in terms of dirt affecting air quality and in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, but other greenhouses gases are emitted when coal is burnt, depending on the type of coal. Politicians talk optimistically about sequestrating the carbon form coal as it is being burnt, but this is their vision of the future. Carbon sequestration is not yet a reality and you cannot build a climate change policy on something that has not been invented. Continue reading