Laxatives do not make you thin

A few years ago in the United Kingdom every Energy Minister appointed by the then Labour government could not refrain from talking about carbon capture and storage as a way of declining the rapid onset of climate change. Government time was spent talking about the concept and taxpayers’ money was spent on the idea. I have always thought that investing in carbon storage and sequestration was a bit like an obese person trying to cure obesity by taking an emetic once a year and taking a powerful laxative twice a year. By these means the obese person would remain obese, but still have the pleasure of claiming that something was being done about his obesity. Continue reading

Carbon will not be Captured at Longannet

I have always been realistic about carbon capture and storage. The UK government has always been(in public at least) ecstatic about its potential. Whatever your views it must be wrth trying to see if that is a realistic and cost effective way to prevent emissions from reaching the atmosphere from power stations. Continue reading

Emissions savings and Energy savings: time to stop talking about it and start doing it

I have for many years criticised the government for talking about the environment and reducing greenhouse gases, but failing to do much more than talk or set up talking shops and advice centres. In fact the talk has become boring to the majority of those who live in the United Kingdom. Talking about a problem does not solve the problem if there are solutions to the problem staring you in the face. I do not suggest that all the solutions for controlling greenhouse gases now exist, but those that can help now, without innovation and speculation. They key features of emission savings of the last government were:- Continue reading

Carbon sequestration may be pointless

Governments, particularly those Governments of nations which have significant coal power stations, have taken refuge in the concept of “clean coal” imagining fondly that someone will invent a technology which can sequestrate carbon dioxide from coal burning power stations. Continue reading

The Government announce that they will announce an announcement!

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (what a grand title) Mr E Miliband spoke on television about energy. He announced a forthcoming announcement. That is the way Governments do things these days; they throw policy teasers into the wind, then they talk about forthcoming policy announcements and then make the announcement. Having made the announcement they then make it at least three or four times more, so that by the time they are making the policy most people think that this has been the policy all along. Continue reading

Coal Reserves – and the future of coal

Is coal the new oil? There are various grades of coal but a medium grade in North West Europe cost $29 a tonne in 1999, and today costs $149 a tonne. Most grades of coal have increased in price between three fold and four fold in the past nine years. Coal (if counted in terms of energy) is more plentiful than natural gas, oil or uranium. Fortunes will be made in coal, as humans seek more and more energy self gratification, and as their numbers multiply. Continue reading

The Minister for Energy and Climate Changes speaks

“The rich world must act first, but that won’t stop dangerous climate change unless we help the poorest countries to act too.” This was what Mr Ed Miliband said last week. You will remember that Mr Miliband, a gentleman who studied politics, economics and philosophy at university and has spent his working life in politics (apart from a brief early foray in journalism), is the Minister in Charge of the Department of Energy & Climate Change. Continue reading