This week’s environment news.

News for this week from Low

Scottish Power turns on largest onshore wind farm in Europe
Europe’s largest onshore wind power project has commenced operation in Scotland.
Bacteria used to create ethanol for biofuels   Bacteria used to create ethanol for biofuels
US research suggests that the answer to the world’s fuel problems could lie in bacteria.
Funding awarded under Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme   Funding awarded under Scottish Biomass Heat Scheme
Scottish businesses have been given funding to install biomass heating systems.
Rannoch River hydro project approved in Scotland   Rannoch River hydro project approved in Scotland
Scottish ministers have given the green light to a hydro-based renewable energy scheme in the Highlands.
US couple offer advice on giving up CO2   US couple offer advice on giving up CO2
The Hrens have written a book about their efforts to adopt a fully carbon-neutral lifestyle.
UK DECC is least green of all government buildings   UK DECC is least green of all government buildings
Headquarters belonging to the UK government’s climate change department are among the least energy efficient in the public sector.
EC inviting bids for energy stimulus funding   EC inviting bids for energy stimulus funding
The EC has launched a call for funding proposals from energy projects across Europe.
Obama fuel efficiency targets welcomed by environmentalists   Obama fuel efficiency targets welcomed by environmentalists
Fuel efficiency targets for US cars could have a significant impact on reducing the nation’s carbon footprint.
UK car scrappage scheme dealt severe blow   UK car scrappage scheme dealt severe blow
Two leading car-makers have pulled out of the scrappage scheme but the industry remains confident of its impact.
Electronic gadgets contributing to rising emissions   Electronic gadgets contributing to rising emissions
Increasing usage of electronic devices needs to be addressed if global carbon emissions are to be tackled.
UK government accused of underestimating smart meter costs   UK government accused of underestimating smart meter costs
Ernst & Young has suggested the UK’s smart meter scheme will cost much more than the government expects.
Conservative Party backs geothermal technology in the UK   Conservative Party backs geothermal technology in the UK
The leader of the Tories has pledged his party’s support to developing deep geothermal power in the UK.
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10 Responses to This week’s environment news.

  1. the Grit says:

    Hi Matt,

    You do realize that over the last decade, while CO2 levels continued to rise, global temperatures didn’t? In light of that fact, it’s kind of difficult to continue to promote individual sacrifice to stop Global Warming isn’t it, given that it’s not happening? Really, it’s pretty much obvious at this point that the man made climate change thing is a hoax. Sure, our Government is still pushing the idea, but that is just to increase the power of the Federal Government and has nothing to do with science. After all, as our liberals say, one should never waist a crisis, even if it’s manufactured.

    the Grit

  2. the Grit says:

    You might also want to note:

    The National Weather Service has issued a frost/freeze warning for much of New York State because temperatures will dip into the low 30’s tonight.

    My, but it does look like Global Warming is dead. Not to fear, however, we – the United States – are still going to spend several trillion dollars to stop something that isn’t happening. On the bright side, at least for once we’ll have a successful Big Government program 🙂

    the Grit

  3. Pete Smith says:

    Oh Grit… do you really believe that a local unseasonable frost is proof that the world is getting colder all over? How about the idea that as the amount of heat in the environment (atmosphere, oceans etc) increases, more of it is translated into powering convection currents which allow air from one place to be more quickly and easily transferred to somewhere else. A bit like those flasks of liquid we used to heat over a bunsen burner at school… peer through the glass and you can see the convection currents getting bigger and stronger as the temperature rises.
    For every place that complains it gets a frost in June, there will be others complaining that it’s their hottest day ever. It’s just good old-fashioned common sense.

  4. theGrit says:

    Hi Pete,

    Of course it’s not proof of any world condition. On the other hand, it definitely indicates that Global Warming must be happening somewhere else, because the US is getting cooler. Oh, I forgot, according to NASA the global average temperature has been going down for the last decade while greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing, so it’s just good old fashioned common sense to suspect that the science isn’t as settled as the environmental fanatics, the UN, and Al Gore would have us believe. Add to that the fact that all the “solutions” involve someone making money off people to let them do what they were doing for free before, and the term “con game” should come to mind. If it doesn’t in your case, email me and I’ll set you up with some shares in Madoff’s investment company.

    the Grit

  5. Pete Smith says:


    We live on a very small and vulnerable planet. To say “Global Warming must be happening somewhere else” ignores the complex interconnectivity of the Earth’s climate systems. We are all in this together.
    I would love to know where you saw this “according to NASA” stuff about “global average temperature” going down, because everything I read on the NASA website says the opposite. Is that air temperature, sea temperature, or a synthesis of the two?
    And no, I don’t regard any of the work being done on climate change as a “con game”, but as a completely justified correction after the biggest and longest resource-consuming binge ever. If that brands me as a simple-minded dupe in your eyes, hey, I can live with that.

  6. Pete Smith says:

    Oh, THAT graph. Sorry I couldn’t make the leap from “some guy at NASA says the world is cooling” to a JPG file on your blog. Feeble of me. Still can’t establish the exact provenance, though, seems to be a subset of this on the GISS site. I admire the way your blog truncates the right hand side (in my browser, anyway) to avoid showing the substantial rise in 2008.
    In case anyone is worried, no, we’re aren’t in a new Ice Age, the vertical axis doesn’t represent actual temperatures, I’m sure we would all have noticed if the thermometer was hovering around freezing all the time. Rather it shows the ‘temperature anomaly’, the variance from 1980 values. So we’re still ahead of the game.
    Why choose 1980 as a base? Well, any statistician will tell you that the longer the time period you plot graphs over, the better chance you have of telling true. Which is why the little graph you published is so misleading, because it excludes events before and after the chosen timeframe. Yes, over the period 2002 to 2007 the trend (such as it is) is downwards. Unsurprisingly, since it charts a relative cooling after the highs of 1998, the third warmest year on record, when temperatures were boosted around 0.2 degrees Celsius by one of the strongest El Ninos of the century. Coupled with a moderate La Nina in 2007, solar intensity in 2007 was slightly lower than average because the year was a minimum in the 11-year solar sunspot cycle. The combination of these factors would normally produce cooler temperatures, yet 2007 was still one of the warmest years on record. Although of course, the graph you chose to publish suggests otherwise.
    And I have never blocked you or anyone else from reading my blog. Dammit, I don’t get enough readers as it is. I wouldn’t even know how to if I wanted to, so I guess that means I don’t know how to tell if something is blocking you on my behalf. I shall investigate….

  7. Pete Smith says:

    Oh, and Grit, I don’t call people names, here or on my own blog, or indeed anywhere and I am not a fanatic. That label is best reserved for climate deniers who insist on shouting “scam” and “hoax” in the face of all the evidence.
    And I also resent the implication that only conservatives value personal freedom. I read Thoreau, I proudly wear a ‘NO2ID’ t-shirt protesting against the UK’s proposed national identity card scheme, and I shall NOT be queuing up with the rest of the sheeple for my compulsory swine ‘flu shot when I am ordered to.

  8. the Grit says:

    Hi Pete,

    I’d just love to carry on this most interesting conversation, but my comments seem to be vanishing. Since you replied to my comment on the 13 or 14th, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t imagine that I left it. Which is an important point from my perspective as I’ve done that in the past.

    Anyway, I’ll be most happy to give reply in the hope that it will make the grade to be seen in your most excellent blog. And I do truly like this blog in general. Even though we disagree on some points, we have common feelings on others, and I find it a most useful source of information.

    So, where to start? How about the who values personal freedom point? List me a handful of liberal policies that don’t involve having the Government make people do something, and perhaps I’ll change my opinion. Oh, and have your power hungry liberal friends quit trying to get the government, through the threat of force, make people quite smoking, eating, breathing, driving large cars, holding to their religious beliefs, saying what they want, hiring who they want, making what products they want and so on and so on. Oh, and if anything that comes out of the Government includes “compulsory” and also is connected to conservatives, I am all in favor of having them shot. Of course, I should mention that I’m more of a libertarian than a conservative.

    As to the graph, the point of that is, if the global warming / greenhouse gas theory is true, then given increases in the evil gases there should be corresponding increases in global temperature. This has not happened over the last decade, so, unless we admit that the science is NOT settled, the whole concept is proven wrong. And, if we do admit that the science is not settled, then it’s really pretty stupid to spend trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we aren’t really sure exists.

    Also, you should note that, even though I made reference to Hansen’s data, it was only to save time. Truly, the best case against the Global Warming hoax is to look at the base data, which is totally inadequate to model the planet. If you bother to look into it, you’ll find that they are using data from one weather station to represent a radius of 500 km on land, which is obviously absurd. They are also merging ocean water temperature data, taken from random passing ships, at sort of the same place, and at maybe the same depth, with atmospheric temperature data, and that just doesn’t cut it from a scientific point of view. Apples and oranges and all that. The whole thing is crap. There’s also the question of what value does the high and low temperature readings have in respect to changes to average global temperature? Really, that’s not enough data to measure the total average heat difference at a given point over the stated period of time. For instance, if here at my house the high temperature was F and the low was 70F, and those stats were the same today, but yesterday we hit 90 at noon and it stayed there until midnight, but today we didn’t hit the max until six o’clock, then it’s obvious that yesterday was warmer than today, but in the global warming analysis both days would be the same. At best, it’s really, really poor science.

    On the scam front, just follow the money. Hansen, massive increases in research funding. Gore, hundreds of millions of income from selling books and carbon credits. Government, trillions of dollars of extra income and vast expansions of power. And if they save us from the beast, we won’t have an average warming of two or three degrees over the next century. It’s just selling snake oil on a larger scale.

    As to name calling, if I did that I blame it on being drunk while typing, although I can’t look back and see if I did as my previous comments aren’t being displayed. I’ll take your word for it that this is a technical glitch, of which I’ve seen all too many. High tech reliable communications my ass!

    On your general liberal values and ID cards and such, I can only point out that if you buy the head of the horse, the ass comes with it. If I recall my history correctly, that’s how Mussolini and Hitler got their starts – one lost bit of freedom at a time.

    I would also point out that this discussion is rather moot, as the United States is now a fascists state, and no opinion other than that of our new ruling elite will matter. Well, at least until after the shooting begins, which, since we have had the right to own guns until just recently, will be a nasty fight. On the bright side, those of you outside the US will have some great things to write about once the shooting starts.

    the Grit

  9. Pete Smith says:

    Hi Grit,

    First, and most important, this isn’t my blog, it’s Matt’s. I blog elsewhere, have done since late 2007, over here I am just a humble reader and occasional commentator just like your good self. And yes, I did see that your entire comment had been removed, as had a section of my subsequent reply, which kinda ruined the flow of the exchange, but there you go. I suppose we aren’t allowed to use the F word any more.

    “Even though we disagree on some points, we have common feelings on others, and I find it a most useful source of information”

    I absolutely agree. These conversations over the garden fence are so stimulating, even though nowadays they seem to be more about opinion, belief and personal taste than fact. Both sides of the climate change argument use the same (admittedly not totally reliable) data nowadays, just putting a different ideological spin on it.

    “List me a handful of liberal policies that don’t involve having the Government make people do something, and perhaps I’ll change my opinion”

    Oh how I laughed when I read this. That’s what governments do, isn’t it? Singling out liberal policies seems a bit, well, selective. When did you, or I , or anyone, have a government that just said “off you guys, do your thng, we’ll just sit here and watch”? I guess I’m a bit of a Libertarian too, in a twisted British fashion. Nothing would please me more than a society where everyone just rubbed along without the need for government intervention. Sadly, it ain’t gonna happen.

    “if you buy the head of the horse, the ass comes with it”

    If I read that correctly, you’re saying that if I vote for a government, I deserve everything I get. You’re assuming of course that I did in fact vote for our current UK government. But anyway, given the huge basket f policies that our politicians bandy about at election time, any decision on where to cast one’s single vote is inevitably a compromise. Because I vote Labour on healthcare or environmental issues, doesn’t mean I approve of their policies on ID cards or invading Middle Eastern countries.

    “If the global warming / greenhouse gas theory is true, then given increases in the evil gases there should be corresponding increases in global temperature”

    If those were the only variables in the mix, yes. However, one of the reasons why the science isn’t settled is because fresh complicating factors keep crawling out of the woodwork. Hence my mention of the La Nina and El Nino phenomena. It’s no longer good enough to look at the atmosphere in isolation, or even in conjunction with the surface layers of oceans, because massive planetary-scale systems are at work bringing colder water up from deep ocean and affecting surface temperatures. Not to mention the Sun’s influence, sunspots, solar wind etc.

    I agree with you, the science is not settled, and the data is inevitably less comprehensive than we would like. On balance, I consider that there is some credibility in the anthropogenic climate change theory, and I choose to modify my lifestyle to make a small contribution to fixing it. Nobody is telling me to do that, it’s my choice, although I agree that in the near future ‘The Government’ will be imposing these things on all of us. As an early adopter, I get a warm glow of self-satisfaction from doing the right thing, and I save money too.

    There you go… do I still sound like a fanatic?


  10. the Grit says:

    Hi Pete,

    I’d love to chat, but if Matt wants to censor his readers, it really doesn’t seem worth the effort. Typical liberal reaction to the truth.

    My last comment here,
    the Grit

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