Monday , February 19 2018
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Environment

A coal-free publicity stunt?

Coal Power

News that Britain enjoyed its first coal free day since the start of the industrial revolution was broadly welcomed last week.  But check behind the headlines and it is not clear that the UK really was coal-free after all. Most obviously, industrial users including the UK’s steelworks were still burning coal, …

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Sinclair’s law in action

Sinclair's Law

American author and occasional politician Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. once famously observed that: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” Nowhere is the truth of this observation more clearly seen than in Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s recent dismissal of …

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The EU considers ditching its energy targets

EU Climate targets

The European Union is considering lowering its energy saving targets after 2021 according to Robert-Jan Bartunek at Reuters: “The text drafted by the Maltese presidency of the European Council proposes new annual energy savings targets of 1.4 percent through 2030, down from 1.5 percent proposed by the European Commission. “A …

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Ice melt and sea level rise accelerate

Polar ice melt

Polar weather events earlier this year have contributed to the lowest Arctic winter ice maximum since records began.  At the same time, Antarctica has the lowest summer sea ice ever recorded.  According to Maria-José Viñas from NASA’s Earth Science News Team: “This winter, a combination of warmer-than-average temperatures, winds unfavorable to …

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Electric cars will not save the day

EV spaces

We won’t be getting our shiny new electric cars anytime soon, according to Cuneyt Kazokoglu in the Financial Times: “The popular claim that a surge in electric cars will hasten the arrival of peak oil demand is undermined by the data. “The majority of the world’s cars will remain powered …

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Renewable Germany not so green after all

Green Germany

Germany is the poster child for renewable electricity.  Its rapid deployment of vast arrays of Chinese wind turbines has propelled it to the top of the European green energy league table.  But the German claim to be leading the way on clean energy hides a dark secret… German carbon dioxide …

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Are cities the key to curbing climate change?

Green city

For several decades, the focus of climate campaigning has been on securing international deals such as the recent Paris Agreement.  To achieve this, campaigners within each country expend a lot of energy trying to push reluctant national governments into honouring and extending agreed international action plans. But are national governments …

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Trump’s environmental reality check

Norfolk Navy Base

It is hard to know what, if anything, Donald Trump really thinks about climate change.  In many public speeches he has claimed that climate change is a hoax.  On the other hand, this did not stop him applying to build a sea wall to protect his golf course on the …

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Biomass fuel is adding to global warming

Wood burning

Using biomass as a replacement for coal in electricity generation was a seductive idea a decade or so ago.  Pellets made from scrap timber, sawdust and shavings could be used to fuel our power stations.  And since these came from trees that could be replaced, they were to all intents …

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