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

Mindless Renewable Energy Targets

In the almost mindless race to meet the United Kingdom’s emission targets the government has decided to subsidise, at taxpayer’s expense, the generation of electricity in a way which will mean the creation of far more greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading

Dirty Old River

When I was a boy I lived in London’s Docklands. Then there were real docks in the East End, working docks which handled imports and exports from London. Despite living in the midst of docks and having many friends whose fathers were dockers, lightermen or watermen, I could only see the river occasionally as most of it was obscured from view by high walls. One of my friends’ father was a policeman, serving on the River police, and he told me that if you fel in the Thames you would have your stomach pumped out, such was the state of the water, filled with poisons and pollution. Continue reading

Cough it up: No relief from Air Pollution

Air is all around us. If you pollute one part of it the pollution moves to another part or spreads itself thinly over the whole world. In places air pollution is particularly bad. One of the most polluted places in London is the Euston Road, which runs on the north central part of the city. The East India Dock Road is also heavy with air pollution. We ought to control air pollution but we are not controlling it. The pollution arises from two sources – production of energy and transport. Both sources can be controlled to some extent but it is more expensive to control them properly and while we seek to control air pollution we permit technologies which will inevitably add to air pollution but will be hard to control, like biomass power stations and wood burning heating systems. Continue reading

Answering Questions on the Renewable Heat Incentive

The long awaited, long overdue Renewable Heat Incentive finally looks as though it will be launched. The Department of Energy and Climate Change Minsiter, Greg Barker and I have been having some indirect correspondence through my MP, Mike Freer, in an effort to persuade DECC to get their act together and get the RHI up and running. 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

Climate Change Policy – the Curate’s Egg

The UK Treasury does not attach enough importance to climate change issues. Joan Walley, a labour MP has argued that by the Chancellor making statements that emissions will not be cut at the expense of British business the Treasury is undermining investor confidence in low carbon industries. Greg Barker talks about the need to review the system to ensure that we are not simply shipping emissions abroad and Mr Cameron wanted this government to be the greenest ever. These statements show the current muddle of British climate change policy. Continue reading

Warmth in a Changing Climate: more thinking required

I have always wondered why a think tank is so named. Is it supposed to be like a military tank, that trundles through battlefields and cities firing shells or a fish tank in which in a special environment sheltered for the protection of the thinkers the thinkers can operate. Perhaps it is a water tank, with thinkers encapsulated inside, shielded, but that cannot be it. Continue reading

The air that I breathe…

“Sometimes, all I need is the air we breathe and to love you” the Hollies sang, but although we need a bit more than air, we do need air to be clean, free from pollution and of high quality. In the United Kingdom, in the face of the fresh westerly winds that gather moisture and discharge moisture and particulates into the Atlantic Ocean, we should have cleaner air than many places, but our air quality is declining and our people are increasingly suffering from disease and mortality caused by poor air quality. Continue reading

Burning the Forests

It was nice to see that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds are now almost coming to the view that I expressed about burning biomass some three or four years ago. The RSPB are a powerful lobby group and when they speak people listen. The RSPB has over a million members (the British love birds) and when in theUKa society with more than a million members speak, the establishment listens, at the least. Continue reading