Leverage, confidence and the credit crunch

My proposition is about the economic circumstances that now prevail. I think lack of confidence created a fall in prices, which by the process of leverage operating more quickly in reverse in turn created a lack of liquidity (or money) the so called credit crunch, which is really a confidence crunch. Continue reading

Can plankton help us fight climate change?

The planet is now only able to store away half the carbon dioxide that is put into its atmosphere each day. The carbon dioxide that is not stored remains in the air for around a hundred years, creating an ever increasing barrier of insulation around the planet that prevents heat from escaping, causing global warming.  A moment’s thought tells us that we must not hold emissions at any level, but constantly decrease them to below 80% if we are to reverse climate change. Continue reading

Carbon trading – should we bother with an Emissions Trading Scheme?

The European Commission thinks that a global market for trading carbon should be part of a way to tackle climate change and is working to create a worldwide carbon trading market. Climate change is so serious that we should welcome anything that we help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but I have fears that global or indeed any market in carbon dioxide emissions will not help reduce emissions but will have the opposite effect. Continue reading

Has the climate changed irreversibly?

Whether the changes to our planet’s climate become irreversible is not a question that has until recently bothered too many people; most scientists have been warning that the climate changes are in a process which, if nothing is done to arrest or reverse them will become irreversible and most agree that we have not yet reached a “tipping point” beyond which the changes cannot be reversed by human intervention.

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Lord Truscott and the scandal of Phase 2 Low Carbon Building programme

Lord Truscott has been in the news recently. He is not terribly well known and I had not heard of him when I made a complaint to Alistair Darling about Phase 2 of the Low Carbon Building programme two years ago. Mr “framework” concept of approved suppliers but did not bother to notify the solar thermal industry’s trade association, the Solar Trade Association that a framework was being initiated and companies could submit a tender. That Darling was then Secretary of State at the Department of Trade & Industry and the Department had devised a scheme to provide 30% subsidies for renewable energy for not for profit organisations. They had decided on a meant that most of the solar thermal industry was unaware of the framework until it was too late. Genersys found out after the framework had been decided and I wrote to Mr Darling complaining and Mr Darling referred my letter to his then almost anonymous Energy Secretary, Lord Truscott. Continue reading

Who regulates the climate change regulators

When he wrote about the great crash of 1929, Professor J K Galbraith wrote (and here I paraphrase his words) that it is always hard to find a way of regulating the regulators, but even harder to impart wisdom in those who should be wise. I am not going to write about the credit crunch – far too much is being written and broadcast about it in the United Kingdom, it is almost as if the journalists and broadcasters are creating a self fulfilling prophesy for the sake of a good story that sells media. No, I am going to look at Galbraith’s comments in the context of climate change. Continue reading

A renewable heat consultation and the renewable heat expertise of the Energy Research Establishment

When I started Genersys I used to do many presentations of solar thermal to a wide range of audiences. My last slide has a simple slogan “We need an energy policy, not an electricity policy”, because then, only four or so years ago, energy, climate change and emission discussion, legislation and policy centred wholly on electricity. That demonstrated a lack of common sense; heating produces 47% of the United Kingdom’s carbon dioxide emissions and renewable heat technologies are both more cost effective and more mature than renewable energy technologies.

I questioned Ministers about their approach Continue reading