14th July - Today's News

Father and son survive being sucked up by a tornado (this was the same tornado in Ontario that killed 2 other fishermen, with a third still missing)

Bill Gates wants to control hurricanes.

Climate scientists warn of wild weather in the year ahead as El Nino begins - oh my god! A whole newspaper report mentioning climate, scientists and extreme weather - and not a single mention of global warming or CO2 to be seen. The deniers* won't like that!

* who seem to think everyone else thinks all weather is caused by carbon emissions!

Carlos strengthens agin over the Pacific

Heavens turn crimson over Britain as Russian volcano erupts - which is actually rather old news as we've been watching and photographing the eerie dust clouds at sunset for the past couple of weeks. But there's a nice picture by my friend Mark Humpage. Sadly, there's not been any sunsets here for a few days now due to cloud - which has also been obscuring some good noctilucent cloud displays.

Mystery mechanism drove global warming 55 million years ago - again not really news. We know the PETM occurred. We don't know exactly why. But the clathrate gun remains a good guess.



Windy News

Number of wind turbines to quadruple under renewable energy strategy

Ministers have put wind power at the heart of a Renewable Energy Strategy, which is due to be released on Wednesday. It will outline how Britain is to meet its target of a 34 per cent cut in CO2 emissions by 2020.

The Government’s plans are likely to include more than 4,000 additional onshore turbines by 2020, many built at beauty spots and on high ground which would make them visible across miles of open countryside.

I wonder how much CO2 these turbines will produce, through construction, installation of massive concrete platforms to stand them on, construction of huge roads across fragile moorland, destruction of upland bogs, construction of thousands of miles of new power lines to carry any electricity generated form the upland sub-station to the town on the other side of the country ...... Okay, thorium nuclear power stations will also result in considerable CO2 emissions from their construction. But they are reliable, can be built close to the places where electricity is needed, and do not destroy Britain's greatest assest (well, not if they build them close to cities rather than as far away in areas of outstanding natural beauty!)

It's not all bad news though

The CBI has also thrown its weight behind the anti-turbine lobby by calling on the Government to focus less on wind power and more on building new nuclear power stations and coal plants with carbon emission-capturing technology. It said Britain was sleepwalking towards an unhealthy reliance on gas for electricity generation if the wind targets could not be met.
Also of interest is the fact that

Britain’s only wind turbine factory, in Newport on the Isle of Wight, is due to close this month with the loss of 600 jobs. Any new turbines are likely to be made abroad.
So if the government are so determined to cover the UK in turbines, why are they not bothered about them being built in Britain? Maybe in part because in 2005:

Nigel Doughty, a venture capitalist, gave Labour £250,000 after a dinner with Tony Blair held for potential donors earlier this year. His investment company owns LM Glasfiber, the world’s biggest wind turbine manufacturer, which is likely to profit from the huge expansion of wind power under Labour. It has already won many major contracts in Britain.
LM Glasfiber is a Danish firm with a number of factories around the world but whilst keen to sell it's products to the UK government clearly has no intent in building them here.

Reuters also pick up the news from the CBI, adding that:

The CBI's "Decision Time" study, published on Monday, examined various scenarios for Britain's energy future.

The CBI said that if its recommendations were not followed, Britain's power generation would be reliant on gas-fired power stations and only 64 percent of Britain's energy would be generated by low carbon methods by 2030.

So it's the CBI, Local Councils and the British People against the Labour Govt and their financial backers ....... You know, I'm not so sure Brown and co are going to win this one. Be interesting to see what the Conservatives do when they come to power next year.

Of course, there is another way to cut carbon emissions (whether we really need to or not is another matter!) and that is: switch the bloody lights off at night! Easy. All we need do is invent an 'off' switch and train people how to use it ...... It saves us a huge sum of money too. But that would just be silly. Right?



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