Tuesday, October 28

National Grid warning indicates renewable energy is underinvested

Today the National Grid has given a warning about the margin between total grid capacity available this winter and demand. The margin has narrowed because of the recent Didcot power station fire, numerous other problems with various other power stations and scheduled closures of various coal fired power stations.


What does this indicate?

Large Power Stations

Well firstly if shows that large centralised power stations can pose a significant risk to electricity security.

In the past they have been the targets of union campaigns against government policy, resulting in long black outs as a result of strikes.

Large power stations also have to be taken off line regularly so that they can be maintained and worked on, this can have a significant impact on their availability. It is a fantasy and a myth to think that a power station is available 100% of the time every year. They can be available for as little as 50% to 60% of the year.

They also potentially present a greater 'defence/terrorism' security risk because they are centralised and present large easier to hit targets.

Putting your eggs in a small number of baskets isn't a particularly sensible idea.

Finally, fossil fuel and nuclear power stations require imported fuel or fracked gas. This poses a potential risk both economically and militarily.

Renewable Energy

The first advantage of renewable energy is that it is massively distributed. One wind turbine or a solar panel on the neighbours house becoming defective, has no effect at all on overall grid performance.

The massive distribution of renewable energy also means it is more secure. It would be very hard indeed for an enemy to 'take out' hundreds of thousands or millions of distributed renewable energy installations. Potentially renewables can serve a similar purpose that the original internet was designed to do, basically a secure and tolerant system that is difficult to destroy or harm.

Renewable energy also tends to require less maintenance. Solar panels are solid state with no moving parts, whilst wind turbines are automated and can be left to run with little human intervention. This reduces potential disruptive action such as strikes interfering with supply.

As well as those issues, renewable energy reduces carbon emissions and does not depend on imported or 'fracked' fuels. Renwable energy is (apart from the eventual success of nuclear fusion) the only long term energy solution and one of many essential technologies that are required to tackle our climate change problem.

Thursday, October 16

Oh dear - Owen Paterson shows his true colours...

I haven't blogged much about Owen Paterson but have always considered this trouble maker a serious problem for us all. I always suspected he blagged his way into DEFRA.

How did he ever become Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs?

Only two scenarios that I can think of:

1. He kept his anti-climate science and climate change denial a secret and misinformed his colleagues. I use the word denial instead of skeptic because I assume, like in the past, he hasn't told the full truth about is belief system.

2. He didn't keep it secret and the Conservatives knew full well that they had placed a bull in a china shop.

Whatever the case, he set out to cause trouble once he got into DEFRA.
How can anyone trust this person? Over time he has gone from alleged environment lover, to wind farm hater and now climate science attacker.

Why do politicians believe they know science better than scientists?
Why are so many politicians so arrogant that they believe they can rewrite science, history, statistics and goodness knows what else!

He apparently claimed today that there has been no global warming for the last 18 years. This is of course plainly wrong, for many reasons. One is that it has warmed, two is that trends are more important than relatively short snap shots and three is that the science calculations show it is warming. The measurements match the theory!

Facts from NASA:
Global Temperature anomaly 18 years ago (1996) = 0.33 degrees C
Global Temperature anomaly in 2013 = 0.61 degrees C

The temperature has gone up, so why would Paterson make misleading statements suggesting it hasn't?

Monday, September 29

Manufacturers want to stay in the EU

If manufacturers want to stay in the EU, that implies that UKIP and many Conservatives are anti-manufacturing. Thus condemning us to a continuing product trade deficit with countries like China and continuing an unbalanced economy biased to support traditional Conservative membership.

Salvador Caetano/Wadham Stringer ends up as a Sainsburys. Go figure...


Sainsburys update

Sainburys large store (above) is due to open this winter. My mother who once didn't really mind or understand it's impact is now of the same view as me. It will have a negative impact on Waterlooville. What Havant Borough Council and others choose to ignore is that it effectively disrupts the flow of activity that was once present along Hambledon road into Waterlooville and effectively adds another 'block' to the traditional access of Waterlooville. The view is that Waterlooville will be cut off because many now won't bother going into the centre, especially in from the Hambledon road route.

The history of development and the cut off of Waterlooville started when the bipass was built and Hambledon road was cut off just below St Georges church. Following that event, Havant Borough Council sold the part of Hambledon road servicing Wadham Stringers to private investors. This eventually led to the retail park being developed and the road being turned into a feeder to the retail car park (above)

And so Havant Borough Council continues it's anti-local business agenda that supports mass car use and the monopolies of big business. In the photo above is Sainsburys attempt - that is fully supported by the council- to provide access to cyclists and pedestrians. The fact is it highlights the pro-car agenda the council has. The car park is a nightmare to get through for pedestrians and cyclists even now years after it was created and the ramp is just another meandering attempt to bodge another solution.

Pedestrians and cyclists are the leaders of sustainability and healthy life styles that reduce costs for the council, yet Havant Borough Council continue to push the car onto us with ideological intensity.

Sunday, September 7

97 climate scientists speak out for 97 hours

The 97 Hours of Consensus project starts today with the launch of an interactice web app that displays a qoute from a climate scientist every hour for 97 hours.



The application itself is quite cool and shows the outline of each scientist in a crowd, as each hour passes, a cartoon of the scientist is revealed and when clicked on their quote is revealed.


Friday, August 29

Formula E racing starts soon...

Get ready to tune into ITV4 to watch the first ever season of Formula E electric car racing.
Starts on 13th Sept:

Friday, August 22

Visit to South Downs Planetarium

Recently visited South Downs Planetarium in Chichester for one of their public shows. Unfortunately it wasn't impressive, I think the presentation was aimed at school kids and families, so was pretty basic.

Instead of a professionally designed recorded presentation, the narrative was conducted by (I assume) an amateur scientist or a teacher from the local school. He had a really loud and aggresive voice which was disconcerting.

As well as that issue, the images that were projected over the star field were poorly edited (with the exception of a photo of the moon that blended well with the background), in one case a photo of the earth was badly cropped so that the north and south poles were missing, in another example the edge of the film could be seen, complete with sprocket holes.

After about 10 minutes I was thinking I have to sit through another 50 minutes of this and I would have learned more by watching a Horizon documentary on BBC TV.

That's the point really, the planetarium is competing with HD TV and Imax cinemas, it basically can't compete if the presentations are poorly produced by SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), they just don't have the skills to put together an engaging narrative or the skills to produce the media.

If the Planetarium can't afford such presentations, then it needs to seek volunteer designers that can help. People that are happy to spend a little time to improve the quality of the presentations. Even small changes to the images projected would be a huge improvement.

They appear to be spending money on the building, but that seems to miss the point. People go there to be impressed by the presentations, that is the attraction, a better looking building isn't going get me to return.

Sunday, August 17

Robert Llewellyn electric car talk at Chichester

Robert Llewellyn - the android Kryten in Red Dwarf - is talking about electric cars at Chichester Inn, West Street, Chichester on Tues 2nd Sept, at 7.30pm.

The title of the talk is 'Electric Cars Are Rubbish Aren't They?'

Tickets are £5.

More info:
Also watch Roberts videos on Fully Charged

BAe site development - status

BAe site on 3rd may 2014, so far no trees have been felled...

BAe site on 17th August 2014, note on the right a number of trees have been felled and a big pile of rubble at the centre.

It is unclear at this stage if any of the trees will remain although in a prevous article in The News, an artists impression shows trees at the entrance.

Saturday, July 26

Baffling changes to First X9 bus service on 27th July??

Well First Buses as usual have made the changes they are making to the route of the X9 tomorow as clear as mud!

But my interpretation of the cryptic time table and supporting information is this...

The X9 that stops/turns around in Hambledon will not go down the old Sunnymead Drive and Milton Road route, but will instead go down the Hambledon Road and stop at the old Charlesworth Drive bus stop on the Hambeldon Road. It will also start serving the new Berewood estate.


The X9 that stops/turns around in Denmead will not stop at the Charlesworth Drive bus stop as mentioned above but instead will take the old/current X9 route down Sunnymead Drive and Milton Road. As above it will also start serving the new Berewood estate.

In both cases the Brambles Industrial Estate will no longer be served directly, which means it will be a bit of a walk to the swimming pool and leisure centre, as well as all the factories/offices. But I guess it's not that far, but doesn't make good reading for those thinking of driving less to work.

We shall see how this develops, what with the new Sainsburys and a bowling alley etc being built.

Saturday, July 19

Electric bike association

Yep, the electric bike industry is so big now that it has it's own association:


Looking at buying one myself in the not to distant future.

Monday, July 14

Guat boots resoled

Got me Guats resoled - after about 6 years since the original purchase - for £42 .

Nice job and the boots are restored to their former glory.

Could have gone to a local shoe repair shop, but I trusted the original makers to do the best job so sent them back to Guat in Sheffield.

Sunday, July 13

Nissans electric van/taxi/minibus

Robert test drives the Nissan e NV200, he points out that maintenance costs are about a quarter of the cost of running a diesel van:

Sunday, June 22

Climate Change the state of the science

Good video produced by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme showing the current state of science on the subject of Climate Change:

Saturday, June 21

Try a bus

New web site encourages you to try a bus:

With leather seats, wifi, automated bus stop announcements and BBC news on display, I certainly find it a better experience now.

More homes on Taylor Wimpey site

A failure of Taylor Wimpey and Havant Borough Council to create a hybrid and sustainable development has led to HBC councillors agreeing that no empoyment properties (other than shops) will be built at Wellington Park. Instead HBC councillors have approved the building of more homes and the councillors say there will be employment at the Dunsbury Hill Farm development.

It appears that developers and councillors are forcing the unsustainable developments of the past onto us today, they put little effort into creating new sustainable developments and instead fall back onto the idea of large housing estates built miles from any work place. Thus people are forced to drive to work which in turn requires the upgrading of unsustainable infrastructure to make it work.


Sad news in Waterlooville

Big old tree chopped down in Waterlooville:
Also the Waterlooville Model Shop has closed.
The notice in the shop window says that the lease ran out and Paul the owner is looking for premises in Portsmouth. Sort of sums up Waterlooville, greedy landlords are shaping our future along with supporting councillors. What happened to the Conservatives 'localism' agenda? we seem to have the locally run councils just implementing the national government policies. The exact opposite of what they claimed localism is about.

Review of Faces film

Here is a Portsmouth 'News' article about Kye Wilsons and Helenas WWI 'Faces' film, premiered last night:


Thursday, June 19

A trip to Cowes Classic Boat Museum

Did another day trip to the Isle of Wight recently.
This time I took the fast passenger ferry to Ryde pier. From there I took the number 4 bus to East Cowes.
Bus rides on the island are great fun because of the rural nature of the island.

Anyways the idea was to visit the Classic Boat Museum and Gallery. The bus stopped outside Waitrose and from there it was a short walk to the gallery.

The gallery is in the old British Hovercraft Corporation factory and is like a museum as well, with photos, paintings, newspaper articles, models and videos.

It's a short walk from the gallery to the museum where they have some unusual exhibits including the Bembridge Kestrel which has a propellor instead of a sail.

A rescue boat that was dropped from aircraft in WWII to save air crew and sailors who couldn't be reached quickly by ship.

A remote controlled motor boat that was used for bombing practice.

Wednesday, June 18

Premiere of 'Faces' film on Friday

Faces film will be premiered at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard this Friday evening. Kye Wilson (a successful local video artist) and Helena Eflerová created the film, so go and check it out. It will also be on show at various other locations later, including on the Big Screen at Portsmouth Guildhall Square.



Sunday, June 8

Fareham based Isentropic - how their energy storage system works

The brilliant Isentropic have posted this educational video about their new energy storage invention:

Remember though, if you vote UKIP, you are effectively voting against British innovations like this. A shut down of renewables development will see this type of innovation go elsewhere, like countless other British projects in the past.

Saturday, June 7

Cycle Carcass

Locked up cycle carcass in Waterlooville. A few weeks ago (or months?) it had wheels, saddle and handle bars, but not a lot remaining now. When I first saw it, the frame was bent. I guess the nocturnal scavengers have been at it, communicating with their mobile antena and nibbling at the remains when the opportunity arises.

I assume the owner wasn't bothered as the frame was damaged, but how did the frame get bent like that? Why lock it to the cycle parking bar, knowing the frame is bent? Why not take it to the recycling centre instead?

Wednesday, June 4

The Government sticks to outdated economics...

...and takes a wrecking ball to the environment.

Sticking with anti-science economics, the government pushes ahead with numerous 'brown' policies that ignore the facts that science presents us.

Todays policy announcements include the degrading of house building standards (having already been degraded in previous changes), which is probably the worst possible thing that could be done considering that any new housing stock will be around for a long time. Any reduction in standards would help increase/maintain carbon emissions for the period that the homes would be in use. The original plans were to get to a point where new homes would save emissions and reduce energy bills to about £40 a year.

On top of that they are pushing through law changes to allow fracking and associated pipes to be run under our homes without our consent. As I previously pointed, if the government pushed ahead with building the gas fired power station capacity previously outlined and used them like 'normal' power stations, carbon emissions would increase.

Far from giving more rights to us locally and allegedly being the greenest government ever, they prefer to resort to 1980s economics and increased fossil fuel use.

The coalition is full of broken promises and continues to appease it's ideological predators on the fringes. Most of which bury their heads in the sand to avoid thinking about the consequences of their actions.


Friday, May 30

Time to re-sole me Guats?

The tread on me 6+ year old Guat hand made boots (made in Sheffield) is looking a bit smooth.
Will probably get new soles stuck on this summer.

Wednesday, May 21

Interesting interview with the CEO of Fareham's Isentropic

Here's a link to an interview with James Mcnaughten, CEO of energy storage company Isentropic.


Isentropic are developing a revolutionary method of storing large amounts of energy using relatively common materials. The idea being to store energy produced by renewable energy when the ouput is higher than the demand, thus smoothing out the variability when renewables are used on a larger scale. Because the materials used are not exotic, the costs are predicted to be similar to hydro-electric pumped storage systems.

Saturday, May 17

Richard Noble test drives the latest Nissan Leaf

Richard Noble (world land speed record until 1997) joins Robert and test drives the latest version of Nissan Leaf:

Monday, May 5

Waterlooville the building site

As previously mentioned, Waterlooville has been turned into a big building site this year. Here are some of the other projects...

The old BAe/Marconi office block has almost completely gone, after a number of weeks of demolition work. Thankfully this time it looks like the trees will survive??
Let's not forget (like we don't forget those that fell in wars) that the land behind that fence was once farm land.

Hambledon parade is also getting a makeover, with new shops being built on the opposite side of Hambledon road on the Taylor Wimpey Wellington Park development.
Again the land where the new shops are being built was once farm land, another fallen victim.
More concrete!

Sainsburys chop down trees for a petrol station

As Waterlooville is being turned into a building site (thanks to the Conservatives dumping any ideas of being environmentally aware) Sainsburys is duplicating Asdas actions by chopping down green things so that they can build a petrol station. This time it is trees that were originally a part of an old and established hedgerow that ran along the original path of Hambledon Road.

As a part of the plan to build a big store, Sainsburys is 'upgrading' the roundabout, thus allowing more cars to interfere with the pedestrian route into Waterlooville. Both the petrol station and roundabout developments have resulted in numerous trees being felled and ground being laid to waste.

Both Asda and Sainsburys seem to have plans for increasing green house gas emissions in the area, supported by the Brown party, namely The Conservatives.

Robert investigates the oil refining industry

Robert Llewellyn compares energy use in electric cars and fossil fuel powered cars and the oil refining industries use of coal fired power stations:

Asda put fuel sales before plant life

In the race to supply fossil fuels to the public and with the prospect of Sainsburys building a petrol station to compliment their new store, Asda has built a petrol station in the car park near the Asda store.
The car park has had thick vegetation and trees planted around the perimeter to visually hide it from public view and this has worked for many, many years. The West of Waterlooville has been quite green with vegetation for a long time now, but it seems that marketing, bad planning and profiteering is overriding common sense.

The 'hedgerow' that once surrounded the car park has now been thinned out, but not thinned all around the car park, just the bit that was hiding the Petrol station from public view. From the photo you can see the vegetation at the back is thicker than in the forground. To the right you can see the roof of the petrol station, the vegetation has been cleared so that cars approaching Waterlooville along the dual carriageway can see the Petrol station.

It's sad, but this imitates the larger picture we have today, where the environment is not integrated into economic, community and political thinking. A large American corporation is putting petrol sales and the production of green house gas emissions above wider community interests and the environment.

The silly thing is that it is far more noticeable because they only thinned out a section that was clearly blocking drivers views of the Petrol station!

It's a pity that Asda can find the money to chop down bushes and other vegetation, but can't find the money to pick up the garbage dropped by it's shoppers and is a direct result of their operational policies.

But then their corporate mentality and the people they employ at the top are not interested in integrating nature into their business model.

Wednesday, April 30

UKIPs dangerous environmental policies

UKIPs election leaflet was delivered recently in my area and apart from the usual rhetoric and misinformation, there is some bullshit about EU 'inspired' green taxes.

The taxes and regulations that UKIP refers to are not inspired by the EU at all, they are inspired by science, so logically if UKIP want to dispose of them, then they are denying the truth that science presents us. That is a very dangerous path to take considering the huge amount of evidence regarding climate change and the fact that we are responsible for the current changes in climate.

As the EU and UK 'green' policies are based on science, then it is a requirement of any political party to put in place verifible policies that will cut Carbon emissions. It doesn't matter whether we are in the EU or not, we will have policies to cut green house gases and they may or may not be expensive.

The question is, why do UKIP continue to deny the truth about climate science?
They have the evidence to read, produced by thousands of scientists, there is also an established history of climate and atmospheric science that started in 1800.

They also have easy access to numerous business reports from companies like Apple and the insurance industry, all of which understand that humans are responsible for current changes in climate.
They can see the damage done by recent flooding, they can see that the Arctic ice is in a downward spiral, they can see that seasons are changing, they can see some species are struggling, they can see the oceans are getting more acidic, they can see the higher frequency in extreme weather.

Despite all these things, they continue to advocate a policy of gambling with peoples lives. Any sane politician would admit that their knowledge of science is minimal and would accept advice from those that know better. Instead, UKIP sell a narrative that is packed with misinformation to suit a political ideology.

Monday, April 21

Trussel Trust Donations up after attack by The Fail on Sunday

After the Mail on Sunday attacked the Trussel Trust, the number of donations have increased from 250 since January to 4,282 in the last 24 hours!

At the time of writing £50,447.00 has been raised.


A few words from a newspaper driven by political ideology more akin to a foreign country and the British public give their opinion. A big thumbs down for the Mail and a big thumbs up for the Trussel Trust.

Saturday, April 19

Take a look at My Electric Avenue

This is a really interesting video by Robert. He investigates a new project that is looking at how the electricity grid at a local level can handle the increasing use of electric cars, solar panels etc.
The use of Smart Grid technology allows local substations to monitor local use and 'smart' car charging points in homes can be turned off for short periods when demand for cooking and other energy uses is high.
Basically it is energy management that avoids impacting on everyday life and the cars still get their batteries charged, in fact the cars have the potential for storing energy from the grid when there is an excess of supply.

The project involves a number of volunteer 'clusters' around the UK. For example a street of families (a cluster) would all have the use of a Nissan Leaf while the project is running and have the special car charging points installed at their homes.

Here's the video:

Monday, April 7

Robert test drives the e-Golf

These are such good videos, I just have to post them!
Robert test drives the new electric VW e-Golf:

Sunday, March 23

Day trip to Bembridge

Bembridge village centre

Decided to take a day trip over to the Isle of Wight using the hovercraft service. The passenger capacity on the original SRN6 hovercraft in the 1960s/70s was quite small, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how big the passenger cabin was. Despite the passenger waiting area being quite full (I wondered if we all would get on), once everyone was onboard, there were still about 2/3 of the seats free.

Hovercraft passenger cabin
Hovercraft 'birthed' at Ryde terminal

The experience of travelling in the new hovercraft was similar to that of the old SRN6, but I think the new vessels are quieter.

The trip over to Ryde from Southsea was quite smooth and quick. The trip back was a bit choppy so the ride was a bit bumpy.
However compared to my bus journey on the island, the hovercraft was generally smoother!

Shelter with seats removed

From the hovercraft terminal at Ryde it's a short distance to the bus station and the long Ryde pier.
Along the pier the old style Victorian shelters were still present (maybe modern replicas?), but the seats have been removed and access around the shelters is blocked! Plus there are ''No Fishing" signs on the shelter windows.

I guess they had problems in the past with youths and others? Still seems like a great shame to not have seats. Another issue maybe that cars can drive along the pier to the car park on the piers ferry terminal, so maybe seats would be a safety issue?

Ryde pier (pedestrian and vehicle side), looking
back towards the town
It was a breezy day but nice and sunny, so walking to the pier head and ferry terminal was pleasant.
Train just departing at Ryde pier station
(beneath is the sea!)
At the end of the pier I picked up some tourist leaflets at the ferry terminal and took a look around the facilities and train station. The Isle of Wight railway is unique in that it uses old London Underground railstock and the trains run to the end of Ryde pier where passengers can catch a train, straight off the ferry.

Holy Trinity Church, Bembridge
The Bembridge bus was a double decker so I decided to take a seat at the front on the top deck.
Wow! That was a rollercoaster ride. The islands roads are full of pot holes and the tarmac in some places is non existent. On top of that, the roads haven't changed a lot since I was last there, so it was a very hilly and meandering journey.

But great fun! If you want to see the island in all it's architectural glory, take a bus and sit at the front on the top deck.

Bembridge windmill
Eventually we arrived at Bembridge which hasn't changed a lot since the 1960s. The village school next to the church is now a library, the shops have changed hands, but apart from a Cooperative store and a small Boots store, the other shops are small independents, selling fish, local farm produce and tasteful gifts/housewares.

After looking around the village centre it was time to visit the windmill which is now owned by the National Trust. It's a great example and I was told that they get it working occasionally to make sure the mechanism is in working order. At the entrance kiosk, they sell tickets for the windmill, ice creams and gifts. There are also plenty of walks in the area.

Friday, March 14

Newlands Solar Farm

Photo is a part of the Newlands Solar Energy farm between Fareham and Gosport. The size of the development was eventually cut down but it is still quite a big solar energy installation. The bigger Southwick Estates installation near Waterlooville has had no work started yet.

Also Ecotricity have announced that they are continuing to freeze energy prices through Spring and Summer this year, having started the freeze in September last year.

Thursday, March 13

Cycle ride at the weekend

Had a bike ride down some local country lanes at the weekend, stopped at some fields to take a break and near one of the gates to the fields I spotted that fly tippers had been busy:

The result of high carbon living, piles of tyres have been dumped presumably by a cowboy business or businesses.

Tyres can be reused and recycled but of course brainless jerks that do this don't have the neuron capacity to do anything useful with their lives.

Would it be to difficult to leave a camera at the location to capture the crooks in action?

Something like the Swann OutbackCam is designed to be left on site and is triggered by animals that move into range.

On a positive note...
On the way back I came up close to a Nissan Leaf!
It had stopped at a junction and when it drove off, it made a pleasant hum noise which reminded me of the vehicles featured in science fiction TV and films.

Sunday, March 2

Robert Checks Out The Latest Nissan Leaf

Robert checks out the new version of the Nissan Leaf and visits the Sunderland plant where it is manufactured...

Roberts Welsh Electric Road Trip

Robert seems to be busy producing videos. Here he does a road trip around Wales in his electric Nissan leaf. He visits some hydroelectric schemes and the Centre for Alternative Technology...

Sunday, February 16

Sticky jet stream and persistent weather

Back in 2012 when we last had significant amounts of flooding and weather patterns seem to be stuck for weeks on end, Jennifer Francis a professor at Rutgers University studying Arctic climate put forward the idea that the warming Arctic was forcing the jet stream South and making it stick there.

The type of weather that resulted depended on how far south the jet was pushed. But more importantly the jet was sticking in a relatively fixed position for many weeks or months.

The evidence is growing that the jet is often shifting as a result of the warming Arctic. It's interesting to note that at the time of writing the sea ice extent appears to be heading for a record winter minimum this year (see graph in right hand column).

At the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2014 meeting Jennifer Francis again presented work that shows that as the Arctic gets warmer the temperature difference between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes is reducing, making the jet stream weaker and meander more.

The result... Extreme and persistent weather. The big climate experiment continues. Do you want to continue? You don't have to.

2012 Yale article by Jennifer Francis:
Linking Weird Weather to Rapid Warming of the Arctic

Wavier jet stream means changing weather patterns

Warming Arctic May Be Causing Jet Stream To Lose Its Way

Tuesday, February 11

Ed Miliband - climate change will result in more flooding

BBC Article about Ed Milibands visit to flooded areas:

Labour has been more concerned about the high cost of energy bills than they have about climate change, the slow down in renewable energy support or the watering down of many green policies.

The flooding events have pushed out the election arguments about energy prices and tax increases or tax cuts. When is Miliband going to push climate change and carbon emissions to the front again?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to cut carbon emissions now than to deal with floods on this scale (and worse) on a regular basis in the future?

Meanwhile, globally 2014 could be the warmest on record thanks to ENSO and on Channel 4 News this evening, Nigel Farage said he has no idea if CO2 emissions are responsible for climate change. (or very similar).

Maybe he should spend some time learning about it then? It seems like an important thing for a politician to learn! Or alternatively he should take the majority of scientists support for anthropogenic climate change as fact and develop policies to reduce carbon emissions.

Sunday, February 9

New Fully Charged video - London to Edinburgh in a Nissan Leaf

Met Office Chief Scientist links current storms to climate change

Julia Slingo the Met Office chief scientist has linked current storms across Southern England to anthropogenic climate change.

Which highlights the tragic confusion caused by irresponsible policies that attack the establishment of renewable energy in favour of short term 'get rich quick' schemes involving fossil fuels.
Sadly farmers in Somerset, villagers in Hambledon, and train users in the South West (to name a few) have the idea that flooding, gale force winds and overflowing rivers can be fixed permanently with Environment Agency action and government spending.

The FACT is, these events will not only become normal in the future, but also will become more EXTREME!

In public Julia Slingo and her colleagues have to be very cautious, she knows the truth about climate change and the impacts it will have, but she has to word her public anouncements with care, hence the statement:
"There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events." 
Which is code for 'we believe and worry that climate change is responsible'.

So what can people expect?

Well the Somerset levels and Hambledon village down the road will likely flood more regularly and the flooding will probably more extreme. We either spend ever increasing amounts of money to defend against flooding rivers, rising ground water and sea level rise, or we abandon these places. We also have to cut carbon emissions, beacuse ultimately that is the only lasting solution.

Climate change is going to be hard. Even with defences, some people will have to migrate from flood risk areas and green spaces will have to be built on to accomodate those that have to migrate. If areas do flood regularly then homes should be built that can handle to flooding. People around the world build floating homes or homes on 'stilts'. In order to survive we have to change and adapt.

Blaming the Environment Agency and stirring up trouble won't achieve anything. Ye old cottages and boring boxes are the past as far as housing is concerned.


Monday, February 3

Water, water everywhere

In a time when flooding in Somerset became a 'major incident' we shouldn't forget that it was under 2 years ago that the nation was experiencing major flooding events.

The Environment Minister, Owen Paterson, claims that he is doing everything possible to help those affected by flooding. Well everything accept tackling carbon emissions, which is steadily increasing the probability of being flooded. The reason he has so many problems with flooding and his successor will have flooding and other extreme weather events to deal with in the future, is because many misinformed politicians don't want wind farms in their constituencies. Do they really believe flooded farm land and countryside is more useful than wind farms?

Inland flooding caused by rain and bloated rivers isn't the only problem. The sad fact is that at the end of this century, sea levels will be about 1 metre higher than today because of carbon emissions already in the system and carbon emissions being emitted now. The consequences of this change will be that the coastal towns battered by storms, surges and high tides in the last two months won't just have repairable sea front damage with debris thrown across roads and sea defences dislodged.
Instead, at such times at the end of the century, the sea will infiltrate the towns roads, waves will smash the sea front buildings to pieces and coastal councils will have to manage a dignified retreat. 1 metre may not sound much, but imagine 1 metre higher sea levels on top of the current spate of storm surges and extreme weather. Plus, 1 metre is just the start!

The other flooding problem and one that wasn't expected as much as other types of flooding, is ground water rising and failing to disperse because of persistent rain for weeks and months, on top of record levels of rainful accumulated in previous years. This could be a serious consequence and outcome in the UK as a result of anthropogenic climate change. A bumper UK apple crop this season doesn't compensate much for the loss of apple trees cause by the flood water logging the trees roots and trunks.

Amongst all this, the BBC has failed the nation by not mentioning climate change in the last two months in connection with the flooding and storms. Google 'Climate Change BBC' and the only articles about it since the storms began in December are about Penguins, Prince Charles attack on deniers and Camerons 'suspicions'.

Just down the road - ground water flooding in Hambledon.
Add a metre to this.

Saturday, January 25

Lovely Milton Road Bus Stop

I don't really understand people that just throw rubbish onto the ground.
It doesn't take much effort to retain crisp bags and drinks bottles until you have reached a public waste bin, I do it whenever I buy a food product that I want to consume immediately, or alternatively save money and don't buy a product that has plastic packaging. When it comes to paper and card (or hybrids that can be seperated, such as card and plastic sandwich packaging), I try and take it home to recycle.

Fixing the economy won't stop this, if anything a booming economy with fewer and fewer green policies will increase the amount of garbage, in hedgerows or in our bins. Picking it up and burning it isn't a solution either, that just moves the problem from the ground into the climate (carbon emissions).

Manufacturers and retailers are providing the product and using plastic, it isn't a question of blame, it's a question of identifying the source and those that have the capacity to change (retailers and manufacturers).

Saturday, January 11

Waterlooville Solar Farm

Apparently the big solar farm planned on the Southwick Estates got approval.
Been busy so not had the opportunity to blog much as I moved into full-time work.

Hope to get some photos of the solar plant when it is finished.
It's great news and it's difficult to believe that Hampshire has quite a few solar farms now.

Meanwhile a team at Harvard Uni has improved flow battery design, one of a number technologies that are important in large scale energy storage.

As Cameron recently linked the storms to climate change (well done!) there is a call for more money to fund research into an attribution system to test the links between climate change and extreme weather frequency.