I told you so

According to a new study published by Chatham House burning wood pellets is not carbon neutral and creates more emissions than burning coal. I told you so and have been telling you so on these pages for many years.
Governments do not listen. I told them so too, but they obviously thought they knew better. The UK government created a Renewable Heat Incentive based around burning wood pellets under which they subsidised the fuel and the subsidies, paid out of our taxes were very high indeed. In fact in Northern Ireland the RHI became a source of income as the subsidy was greater than the cost of the fuel.  Continue reading

Climate Change Deniers – why am I wrong?

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,Newtontold us. With climate change writingNewton’s law does not invariably apply. I know that sometimes when I post some ideas about climate change, someone else posts on this blog some ideas which are opposite, but not necessarily equal. That is the fine thing about climate change writing. The opposite views are not necessarily equal. Continue reading

The great land grab

The big money may be moving out of stock markets across the world and it may be worried about the security of bank deposits but one thing is sure; it is rushing into investing in land, arable land, around the tropical and sub tropical world. In the past ten years Oxfam reports that 227 million hectares of farm land have been bought or leased by big business and investors. Continue reading

The Energy Tipping Point of Mr Laidlaw

Mr Sam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Centrica, said at the recent Economist Energy Summit that he believes that we are rapidly approaching a tipping point in energy. Presumably a tipping point occurs when the old regime of there being sufficient energy to meet the world’s needs changes to there being insufficient energy to meet the world’s needs. Mr Laidlaw points to three factors that are creating this tipping point. The first is dependence on volatile world markets for fuel, the second factor is climate change and the third factor is affordability. Continue reading

Biofuel to burn a planet

In June Oxfam this year launched a campaign to prevent more starvation. The problem that Oxfam’s campaign is highlighting is one that I have written about previously in these posts: growing food for fuel is making some food prices so high as to create more starvation because so much fuel is being sourced from grown food. Continue reading

Biofuel Madness

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is made up, at the last count of 15 professors and four doctors whose talents and knowledge range over many specialities and disciplines. Professors have knowledge and my hope is that the Council’s report will be heeded by policymakers as they have set themselves the task of identifying and defining the ethical questions that are raised by the rapidly advancing field of biological science. Genetic modifications, advanced breeding techniques and synthetic biology (rather a contradiction in terms) are like much of science moving forward more quickly than the ethical understanding of how such advances should be used for the benefit of humanity. It was always the case. We move our knowledge more quickly than our understanding. Wisdom fails in keeping pace with the movement of change. Continue reading

Biochar Madness?

You might run across the term “biochar”. Inventing a word which is prefaced by “bio” give the word an impression of green, sustainable and environmentally friend, like biofuel and biomass, but these words have been hijacked to create an impression that does not accord with reality. Continue reading