The mercy of Scots Justice

There has been a great deal of anger in the United States about Scotland’s decision to release Mr Megrahi on compassionate grounds. The United States clearly tried to pressure Scotland into not releasing Mr Megrahi for its own political reasons and now that the Scots have decided to let the terminally ill man return home some Americans are calling the decision a political one. Continue reading

Energy Savings Trust – the bias of experts

The Energy Savings Trust are floating an idea that in six years time homes which have an energy rating of “F” or “G” should not be allowed to be sold or rented out. The idea is intended to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from homes, especially emissions of carbon dioxide, and means well but there are a number of disadvantages which need to be thought through. Continue reading

The future of wind energy

In the United Kingdom’s Isle of Wight a wind turbine factory operated by Vestas had to close. That closure in itself got some publicity which was increased when some of the firm’s works decided to occupy the buildings in protest, until they were ejected after court process. There was a striking contrast between a wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight and the Government’s determination to reduce carbon emissions. Continue reading

Methane hydrate is melting in the Arctic

We have had some pretty bad news this August. Many people have died, needlessly, Afghanistan and in Iraq. There have been plenty of examples of the evil that humans inflict upon each other. Politicians still boast as though they have with their expertise, dogma and excellence created the best of all possible worlds, while most of us watch from afar, like seeing an earthquake devastate a city. One item of bad news which has not caught much attention comes from the Arctic. Forgive me for raising it, but I ought to. Continue reading

Anti-freeze agents in solar systems

Modern solar systems work through heat exchange with the high temperatures that the solar panels generate being passed to where the heat is needed through a heat exchange fluid. The most effective heat exchange fluid is water, but water freezes and low temperatures and as it freezes it expands, damaging the pipes in the solar panels. You can use salt water, which in effect lowers the freezing point of the fluid, but salt water will corrode the copper pipes inside the solar panels, so that is not recommended. Continue reading

Using clean renewables, dirty renewables or partly renewable technologies for renewable heat

The United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change seem to need consultants to provide fundamental advice. That is fair enough, providing that they use consultants with genuine expertise. Unfortunately the past few years has seen the growth of many firms consulting in renewable energy that do not seem to have the expertise that they need. Continue reading

What are the aims of the war in Afghanistan?

In the middle nineteen sixties at school we tried to debate the war in Vietnam. At that stage it had not got to be a massive conflict, just a simple case, we were told of preventing the spread of communism. The theory was that if South Vietnam fell to communism then the rest of South East Asia would collapse, like a stack of dominoes. Continue reading