They’ve Got the Whole World in their Hands

Mr Xi and Mr Obama run the two wealthiest countries in the world. The former is undemocratically elected and the latter elected by a very flawed democratic system. Both have power and can use their power for good or for evil. Continue reading

Bio Madness

Some years ago I reported on a study by the University of Berkeley which found that ethanol from corn created more environmental damage in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than excavating for oil. The study was largely ignored as the power of the vested interests lobbied for ethanol from corn and matters have reached a stage where more than half of American corn is grown for biofuel production, damaging the environment and sending the prices of the staple higher than they should be. Continue reading

Flying into an Environmental Crisis

Greenhouse gas emissions from air traffic are entirely uncontrolled. Aircraft emit greenhouse gas at a high level in the atmosphere and it is believed that these emissions are particularly damaging. Aircraft fuel is entirely untaxed, so there is a limit on making the polluter pay. Air Passenger duty is becoming increasing used as a means of taxing civil aviation flights, but it is a crude measure the proceeds of which go to the general fund of tax collected rather than to any anti greenhouse gas measures. Continue reading

Emissions Trading – a triumph of hope over reality

The European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme was doomed from the start. I have always held that you cannot use the devices of the casino to reduce emissions. You can tax emissions, making them more costly to produce and creating an incentive to encourage ways of using clean renewable emissions, but to set up a system where emission producers can speculate on the price of carbon dioxide, which is a commodity that no one wants and no one can use, as a way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, will make no difference to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are produced. Continue reading

The Shrinkage of the Green Economy

Mr Stern now thinks that he understated the consequences of climate change when he wrote his report. He also thinks that the government should engage the private sector in developing economic growth without increasing emissions. I cannot disagree but is not that what the government has been pretending to do for the past four years? Continue reading

Feeding at the trough of Public Expenditure

It is useful to the environment that states and entities, like the European Union, should finance energy saving projects. The problem with state funding is that there are so many pigs at the trough and they eat so much money to fatten themselves, rather than to help the environment; it is as though a target to increase renewable energy has become an end in itself rather than as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and particulate emissions. Continue reading

Time to Kick Start the Renewable Heat Incentive?

I do not have much time to write a considered essay today, Luckily I have a lot of work to do and tonight will listen to what Mr Greg Barker, the Minister responsible for the Renewable Heat incentive, has to say about it. There will be many people concerned in microgeneration that will listen with interest to what he says.  Continue reading

Update on Energy

Readers of these pages will know that for years I have been arguing that the United Kingdom’s energy policy is little more than a collection of words and ideas, rather than a real policy. It has tended to revolve around the generation of electricity, rather than understanding that heat is at least as important as electricity. We tend to worry that the lights will go out, rather than the fire going out. Today there are rumours that energy policy is going to be put on a more rational basis, but I am not too excited about the rumours. Continue reading

How to Save All the People in the World and Life as We Know it

It is very simple; the people in the developed world eat too much and use too much fossil fuel energy. This is creating rapid climate change and food shortages through droughts and flooding. Many more people than normal are going hungry in the world while much of the developed world is over fed and close to obesity. Further there amount of people in the owlrd is placing stress on the planet and its resources. Continue reading

Biomass Power Station Burns – I told you so!

When the first proposals to build a biomass wood pellet burning power station in the United Kingdom were mooted (Port Talbot in South Wales was chosen for this dubious honour) I wrote on these pages warning about the project and generally explaining that biomass power stations seemed to be to me to have environmental disadvantages in terms of massive carbon dioxide emissions as well as potential dangers in that wood pellets were liable to spontaneous combust when stored in large quantities. Continue reading