Thursday , November 21 2019
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Narrative shift

In early August, American essayist John Michael Greer made the prediction that climate activism was about to lose a great deal of its lustre: “Well, it’s about to happen all over again. I’ve been wondering how soon a certain marriage of convenience in contemporary cultural politics would come messily apart, …

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UK fracking banned until 13 December

It is rare for the entire spectrum of the British press to agree on something.  But a couple of weeks ago they all agreed that fracking had been banned in the UK.  Pro-fracking outlets like the Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported the news as an unconscionable government cave-in.  Meanwhile …

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An anthem for the post-industrial age

Throughout history it has fallen to poets and artists rather than scientists and economists – still less politicians and journalists – to present the true nature of the human condition.  With this in mind, I wondered if there might have been a popular song that sums up our current human …

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The land of make believe

Among many other essential reforms, if the UK is to meet its 2050 climate targets it needs to install 4,000 electric vehicle charging points every day.  That’s according to Keith Anderson, CEO of Scottish Power.  Anderson also called for an equally fantastic effort to replace domestic gas central heating systems …

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System failure

Officially, Britain’s worse power outage in a decade is being recorded as an unusual event that nobody could have reasonable anticipated.  Dig a little deeper into the National Grid report on the 9 August 2019 blackout, however, and we discover an electricity system that has been allowed to become increasingly …

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The Net Energy pincer

Thinking about car ownership in the years before the financial crash, I reasoned that there were two groups of people who fared best.  The first were those rich enough to buy brand new cars.  Although they lost on the rapid decline in the re-sale cost of the car, the price …

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They would say that, wouldn’t they?

Serious questions remain about the failures that resulted in a widespread blackout across Britain on 9 August.  According to Jillian Ambrose at the Guardian, the event was triggered by lightning from one of many storms that crossed the UK that day: “National Grid has blamed a lightning strike for Britain’s …

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The shape of things to come

Despite claims to the contrary, the first task of the agencies involved in the UK power outage yesterday will have been to cover their backs and, if necessary, lay blame somewhere else.  So it is that a story emerged that it was a freak accident coincidentally affecting two separate generators.  …

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Stagnation is the only thing keeping the lights on

Green campaigners will no doubt be cheering the announcement of the closure of the Aberthaw B coal-fired power station yesterday.  As Jillian Ambrose at the Guardian reports: “Doug Parr, the chief scientist and policy director at Greenpeace UK, said the shutdown of Aberthaw should encourage more government support for renewables …

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Why do you hate renewables?

During a conversation with a friend yesterday I was asked why I was so hostile toward “renewables” – or as I prefer to call them, non-renewable renewable energy-harvesting technologies.  My answer was that I am not opposed to these technologies, but rather to the role afforded to them by the …

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