Here’s an idea for a disruptive technology, a service that tweets blog updates at fixed times of the day. Instead we get services such as http://twitterfeed.com/ that “update” every 12 hours, whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Or is there such a service and I’ve just not come across it?
Anyway, once Keith Kloor has paid me my 100 bucks on June 10th I will be back on Twitter to harass and enlighten my followers once again, and my efforts at self publication will reach mid season form.
“There are no technical barriers for a future without oil, gas or coal”, according to Martin Faulstich, Chair of the German Advisory Council on the Environment. Continue reading
One of the simple lessons from the history of energy forecasting is that we are pretty awful at it. However as with all types of prediction there is a market for it, and it is not going away. Such predictions often take a central place in the debate over whether the UK should set a target to de-carbonise its electricity grid by 2030. Roughly speaking this would require the equivalent of 10% of UK electricity to come from gas, and the rest from nuclear or renewables (the exact number will vary depending on levels of Carbon capture and storage etc.). A difficult task quite clearly.
This decision is often made appear quite easy by claiming that it would be cheaper than relying on gas for electricity. Why oppose something that cuts bills and carbon? And this seems to be the argument put forward by the Labour Party’s Shadow Environment and Climate Change Secretary in today’s Independent: Continue reading
Chris Nelder, a self described futurist and polymath (not a good sign), has a piece countering the propaganda and energy illiteracy of those who criticize Germany’s Energiewende. However, if you want an example of propaganda and energy illiteracy I could think of no finer example of what Nelder has written. Continue reading
“Next time someone tells you China is building a new plant every week, you can pleasantly respond: bullS*%@!”
Or so claims the Sierra Club’s Justin Guay in what I can confidently and pleasantly call a bullshit piece in the Puffington Host about the China coal bubble supposedly bursting. Continue reading
Today’s Telegraph has a piece by Geoffrey Lean arguing that wind farms do not need fossil fuel back up for when the wind doesn’t blow.
Occasionally I feel the need to shill for decent books, so here are a few I have read lately
Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open, by Allwood and Cullen
A really good look at how to reduce the environmental impact of materials, focusing largely on steel and aluminium. Continue reading
Anyone who spends enough time reading clean tech websites knows there is often a general format to a story: get a hold of a press release about some new technology, and hype it up some more. Reading through the pages of something like Clean Technica you could easily imagine that every business doing anything green will be and is a success. Yet, most of them aren’t. This kind of uncritical reporting is the norm, for there are one too many true believers writing this stuff. Continue reading
Based on this not particularly unbiased Guardian report there is an outbreak of mild hysteria around the discovery of some “rogue” GM wheat in a US field. Japan has banned imports, as has Korea. And apparently Taiwan has put its ports “on alert.” Continue reading
Up until now Germany has largely exempted energy intensive industries (and increasingly some not so intensive industries) from paying the price of renewable energy. In essence the costs of subsidising renewables is added on to energy bills in the form of a surcharge, but this is not applied to companies that use a large enough amount of electricity. There are good arguments for and against doing this. In favour you have the limitation of “carbon leakage.” If industries are hit too hard they may just move somewhere else and release even more carbon dioxide. It also helps politically to limit big business’s opposition to renewables. Continue reading