Radioactive Daffodils

When the UKgovernment asked for places to volunteer for sites under which high level radioactive waste from nuclear power stations could be buried it was met with a deafening silence. When it added some grant money and the potential for jobs only one place stepped up –West Cumbria, which is one leading a race comprising of only one participant.

The ability to safely dispose of nuclear waste by burial is not yet proven. Much depends upon the local geology and the precise methodology of storage. Radioactive waste is hard to contain unless you have a foolproof system of storing it and there are too many fools around for anything to be foolproof.

The issue is complicated by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) which may take place many miles from the storage site, but which may create weaknesses through which radioactive gases may escape to the surface of theLake District. A new Wordsworth may write

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high over vales and hills

When all at once I saw a crowd

Of radioactive daffodils

The Queen should be taxed like the rest of us, otherwise we are not all in this together.

The budget announcement contained many things of interest to elderly immensely wealthy pensioners. Their age allowances were lowered, higher rate tax was lowered by 10% from 50% to 45%, there was talk of an embryonic mansion tax for properties over £2 million, tax loopholes for people living in mansions that were sheltered from capital gains tax were closed, because in the present economic crisis, we are all in this together. But one immensely rich elderly person is not in this with us all – the Queen. Continue reading

Discriminate Against Canadian Oil from Oil Tar Sands

If you buy food you expect to know where the food was produced and how it was produced. It is reasonable to know, for example, if the food is produced in a way that may be hazardous to your health, or if the food comes from a country which you would rather not deal with. When it comes to buying wood products many people want to know, before they buy and as a condition of their buying, that the wood is produced from sustainable sources, rather than from illegal logging. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Cities

Recently I have visited two cities for short periods. They are both places I have visited before and I quickly got an impression of how those cities were faring these days. Continue reading

Measuring Climate Change – the Warmest Year Ever Measured

You can measure things in different ways and sometimes you find that one way of measuring things can give misleading results, so you must review your measuring methodology and your results. It may sound obvious that some parts of the world have had their temperature measured more frequently and more accurately than other parts of the world. When we put temperatures that have been measured together to see how those measurements create a theory or support a theory if our measurements are incomplete we are likely to get imperfect results. Such has been the case with climate change measurements. Continue reading

Why Should Celebrities Carry the Olympic Torch?

If you live inLondonyou see evidence of the Olympics every day. Roads are dug up so that road world will be completed in time for the games, announcements are made and no doubt there will be a rounding up of the usual suspects and homeless so that our fair city does not outwardly show any stains on its character at a time when the world is watching it. Continue reading

One Fine Day

When I looked out of the window today after I woke up I enjoyed brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies. This made me happy. The apple tree and the pear tree outside my window had flecks of green buds dotted around their gnarled and olden branches, the grass looked greener than it has looked for many months and the tangle of suburban branches will shortly be hidden by a mass of leaves. Continue reading