Should Mr Blair be President?

No one quite knows precisely what the job of President of the European Council will be or into what it will develop. Theoretically it is no more than a Chairmanship. Being a Chairman is an important job and it is influential; agendas are set, milestones are proposed and a Chairman must aim to achieve consensus among the members of the Council. Being a President is a different role. Not only do you set agendas but you formulate policy and lead others. I suspect that many politicians think that the Presidency of the Council will morph into a Presidency of Europe, and certainly that seems to be the thinking of the United Kingdom Government, who is touting Tony Blair for President of the European Council. Continue reading

Hindering the low carbon economy

I listened to Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday. It is a ritual at which the leader of the opposition and other members of parliament ask the Prime Minister questions, which the Prime Minister usually fails to answer. Instead he uses the question as an opportunity to criticise opposition policies or statements by way of an answer. This procedure is in the worse traditions of the British constitution. No one is held to account or made to answer questions. Continue reading

Is the Green Fiscal Commission a waste of time and money?

One of the four principles of energy use that I set out in the Energy Age was that polluters should pay. In terms of energy use the pollution that energy creates as its by-product is devastating and in the case of emissions of greenhouse gas which causes climate change the effects might be so overwhelming that eventually there may be no polluters left to pay. Continue reading

Signing up to targets at Copenhagen will be meaningless

As the world’s nations prepare to negotiate at Copenhagen in December the specific negotiators will be concentrating on targets. Each major nation will have a different idea about which target is right for it, and each small nation will have more ambitious targets than each large nation.I expect that at the end of the negotiations various leaders will attend and as a result of their attendance claim credit for a deal that has saved the world because the nations of the world will have signed up to a series of targets. Hooray! Unfortunately most of targets will be Continue reading

Professor’s MacKay’s nuclear vision

It is difficult for a nation to plan its energy requirements for the future and that difficulty is made harder when that nation cannot decide upon a settled energy policy. In the United Kingdom there are so many conflicting policy proposals that I despair of the United Kingdom ever establishing an energy policy which secures energy and keeps emissions from energy to a minimum. Continue reading

Energy Perfomance Certificates – measuring the wrong things!

Energy Performance Certificates are part of Home Information packs and perhaps they were the rationale for Home Information Packs. The idea was to build a database of the energy performance of homes across the United Kingdom so that at some stage, no doubt when it was too late a cynic would argue, the government could target homes that need to improve their energy efficiency. Continue reading

The Recession – what the reason now Mr Brown?

The United Kingdom is having the longest recession it has ever recorded. For the past year and a half there has been “negative growth as the size of the economy has shrunk month by month. All of the other major developed nations have done better. Most, if not all of them, are out of recession, although in some cases they went deeper into recession than the United Kingdom but bounced back higher. Continue reading