Quite An Achievement

In the Western hemisphere, and now in the Eastern hemisphere each new generation has lived a more prosperous, safer and better life than the preceding generation. But that trend of improvement in life expectation has reversed, and now in many if not most, nations the younger generation will be less prosperous than the generation that begat them, and what challenges will future generations face as a result of climate change, today barely considered and kicked firmly off the back burner into the long grass? Continue reading

Migration: we broke it and therefore we bought it

If the environment where people live is destroyed or degraded then the people who live there will move elsewhere. The most important factor in destruction or degradation of the environment is humanity. By greed humanity destroys the environment in particular places; it cuts down forests, it creates vast quantities of carbon dioxide as a by-product of the things it does to satisfy its greed and it makes war for reasons of fear and greed. Continue reading

Silence – the electric car is coming

 

I am not a great fan of electric vehicles. They are still in the development stage, mostly requiring frequent re-charges of electricity in order to be useful over long distances unless you can afford to buy a super expensive model. In cities electric cars simply move the pollution to the power stations, although they do improve city air quality because their use is emission free, although their recharging is very emission intensive.  Continue reading

Too Much and Too Little

Many people have died recently as a result of exceptionally heavy monsoon rains in Burma, Vietnam and south eastern India. The rains have caused landslides, polluted water courses and even though there is water everywhere it is undrinkable.  Continue reading

A Big Battery

There are very few genuinely innovative energy products. The problem with energy is that the laws of physics limit what can be done and when it can be done. In the case of electrical energy we have the means of generating electricity from non fuel sources, – wind and light – but until now no really easy means of storing the electricity that we can generate. Attempts to feed solar and wind generated power into a grid fail to be effective in large emission reductions; because of the intermittency of the source of energy we need to have large power stations running on standby by, wasting fuel and creating emissions, to cover the times when the wind does not blow and the sun produces no light. Continue reading

Don’t Tell Mr Barroso That!

All the big oil companies claim to be aware of global warming and all claim to be fighting it in their own ways. It is good publicity for them. The truth, of course, is that all oil companies want to see their businesses prosper and unfortunately if we were to do anything to reduce emissions their businesses would fail, or else reduce in size quite considerably. It should therefore come as no surprise that Shell have been lobbying the European Union very aggressively and it seems persuasively to reduce renewable energy targets. This was part of the negotiations which led to an EU wide climate agreement in October 2014 which the then European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, said was “real progress” in the fight against climate change. Continue reading

Cold Comfort

The International Energy Agency has calculated that annual global carbon dioxide emissions in 2014 were 32 giga tonnes. This figure is significant because if the figure is right it shows that the growth is emissions has remained stable for the first time when there is no global economic crisis. Continue reading