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Reductio ad absurdum

Power Station by Martin Kelly

One of the advantages of being a rocky island in the northeast Atlantic, right underneath the Gulf Stream is that you get to deploy record amounts of offshore wind turbines to delay the day when your economy grinds to a halt.  This is the reality of modern Britain – a …

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Not so good news

Eneco wind farm North Sea

Protesters today intend bringing central London to a standstill by blockading several major arterial roads into the capital.  For once, this has nothing to do with Brexit.  Instead, it concerns the increasingly urgent call for government to “do something” about climate change.  Exactly what that “something” is that must be …

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Jevons paradox is alive, well and in my local DIY store

Battery lawnmower

Easter in the UK marks the start of the gardening season for the mass of the population (hardened gardeners never stopped).  The long weekend provides many working people with their first holiday since Christmas.  And with spring in the air, even the most reluctant of us are persuaded to get …

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A tale of two grids

Renewable electricity prices

Britain is currently a land where anything can exist as long as it remains solely in the minds of the increasingly deranged individuals who believe it.  No, for once I am not talking about our politicians’ inability to understand Brexit.  This time I am talking about two diametrically opposite views …

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Solve this or you solve nothing (1)

Limits of technology

A few miles from where I live there is a cycle track that is – apparently – spoiled by a series of stone slabs placed about a metre apart over a couple of miles.  They are, in fact, what remains of the world’s first steam railway sleepers across which in …

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Turning low-EROI oil into no-EROI oil

US oil invasion

There is a story – possibly apocryphal – about a conversation between former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson and then President George W. Bush at a swanky Washington dinner party in 2003, in which Tillerson is reputed to have remarked: “FFS George why do you want to invade Iraq?  Why not …

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An unknown unknown

Fracking damage

In order to secure licenses to carry out fracking in the UK, the oil and gas companies involved signed up to a tight regulatory framework.  In part, this was done to sell fracking to a highly sceptical population.  Given Britain’s long history of extractive industries poisoning land and water courses …

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For Britain’s energy future look at its railways

Train overcrowding

If there is one thing that Britons like to complain about more than the weather it is the state of the trains.  An overwhelming majority of us in poll after poll believe that things were better back in the days before the unnecessarily complex Tory privatisation in 1996.  The current …

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Fracking done… for now

Fracking on hold

It would be an understatement to suggest that the UK government is in crisis.  Brexit has become a kind of political black hole that is fast consuming the political energy of government and opposition alike.  It seems increasingly likely that the Tories will reap the disapprobation of the electorate – …

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The real threat from AI

Killer AI

Killer robots really are coming for your children… expect to be plunged into a new Dark Age! Am I thinking of some kind of dystopian sci-fi future in which an army of Terminator-type robots arrives to exterminate humanity?  Or maybe I am imagining a near future in which Jeff Bezos, …

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