14th November - Today's News: Solar Eclipse Witnessed in Queensland

Thousands gather for stunning total eclipse over Australia  (as usual, the Daily Mail has the best pictures!)

Electricity from burning trees is 'dirtier than coal' - but only if  we take into account the 'cost' of transporting the wood to Britain from New Zealand (and half of it comes from Britain anyway).  Not a fair comparison at all.   And whilst coal produces CO2 that would otherwise remain sequestered in the Earth for millions of years, wood produces CO2 that was only removed from the atmosphere a few years ago and would have ended up back there before long anyway.  It also produces far less other toxic substances both in the extraction phase and in burning.   Not sure what they are getting at really?

Lonely 'homeless' planet found for the first time - although to be honest, it sounds to me more like a small, faint brown dwarf given its size and temperature.  In any case, it sounds like a gaseous planet, so no life as we know it on board.

Oh, and James Delingpole, Wattsy and co are up in arms about the fact that one of a series of BBC training seminars in 2006 concerned how best to report on climate related stories (presumably by dumbing them down!) and involved representatives from organisations that also engage in lobbying on the subject of climate change.  Rather than scientists.   A bit like wetting your pants because a train driver was taught how to drive a train by someone who had been driving trains for years rather than the guy who designed the engine.   They'd previously misused the FOIA to try and get hold of the list of attendees.   Not even the gods know why. 


  1. "Not sure what they are getting at really?"

    I think the issue is that as Drax will need more waste wood than the UK, as a whole, is capable of producing, (a) there will need to be a whole load of wood shipped in from around the world and (b) there is considerable scope for timber being specifically logged to be fed in. Not looked into it much though.

    There is a point about burning old growth trees though, as the CO2 released will not be taken up fully for a good hundred years or so - CO2 take up by trees is long term. It's better to plant for fuel first.

    "Not even the gods know why."

    They've got nothing on the science front (Delingpole's even too stupid to understand the dumbed down stuff), so they have to make issues over the PR side. After all, what do they think the scientists would have told the BBC, and what would their reaction been had some of the bigger names in climate science attended?


    1. It could be argued that if the biomass burned is the left over waste from forestry operations, then we planted for fuel before we even decided to use the fuel.

      But it's fair to say I'd rather off-cuts from forestry operations in NZ were burned to provide electricity in NZ rather than the UK .....

    2. Yes, what happens to the supply of waste wood when the source countries suddenly realise they're a good asset to use locally? Suddenly the UK power stations face a massive reduction in supply. What do they do then?


  2. This week's Material World has an interesting section on the wood burning issue.


  3. This week's Material World has an interesting section on the wood burning issue.



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