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Michael Gove backs comprehensive 'all-in' deposit return system for plastics

Again, one of the great problems of our governmental system is that we are living an increasingly science dominated society, but the government is pretty well devoid of scientific knowledge, and of the even the basics which would allow it to take scientific advice. The easily recognised and universal polythene milk bottle is easily kept separate and reprocessed. So is the transparent polyethylene terephthalate drinks bottle. Nearly all other domestic plastics are so complex a mix that separation is not to be contemplated. Burn all this is custom built power stations. But this is a national enterprise, and disposal is in dozens of private hands which must all be required to act together as one system, or be bribed. What do you think?? Richard Phillips

Michael Gove backs comprehensive 'all-in' deposit return system for plastics

"All or nothing" springs to mind. Either instigate a Deposit/Return system for every type of container or don''t bother at all. However the emphasis should not be just on recycling. As Hugh showed on TV recycling makes no difference when the waste just gets shipped somewhere else and burnt. The emphasis should be on reducing unnecessary packaging and waste in the first place, reusing packaging where possible/feasible or available (Why can''t we clean, sterilise and reuse plastic 1litre milk bottles for instance?), repurposing (can we use Mr Morrison''s very nice plastic fruit juice bottles for other things - like storing rice or dried pulses in?) with recycling being the last resort once items can not be reused anymore. PET Bottles, used for soft drinks, can be made into fleece jackets, jeans and a number of other products but why can''t the bottles be returned, cleaned and reused several times before being sent to be recycled? Lastly any D/R scheme has got to be workable. The supermarkets have got to be onboard to take these items back when we come in to do our weekly shop. The local store (Co-op/Tesco Metro/Arkwright''s) has got to be onboard and assisted if necessary to make it work. It should become second nature to clean our containers/packaging/bottles/cans etc and drop them in the "returns" bag to take them to the shop next time rather than just throw them in the bin.

JLR, VW & Ford accelerate electric vehicle development

And the power to drive them will come from........where??? Do tell Richard Phillips

Michael Gove backs comprehensive 'all-in' deposit return system for plastics

"while also warning that time is running out to avert the climate emergency" I wonder where the scientific knowledge comes from which enables Mr Gove, an English graduate, to draw his conclusions. And where did this "emergency" come from. Rather like a rabbit out of the hat! There is no "emergency", but there is a very considerable need for those making decisions upon energy policy matters to understand the physical basis upon which those decisions are made. It could be noted that a considerable number of leading academics from the Universities of both Italy and Brazil, have written long technical letters to their Governments, rejecting the thesis that CO2 is responsible for the global temperature increases over past decades. All is accounted for by natural phenomena. Notable also is the finding by official US government Attorneys, that the statement that 97% of scientists support the concept of anthropogenic Global warming, has no basis. The statement is totally rejected. Use of the media for the propagation of dubious information was well developed in 1930s Germany. Propaganda in fact, and the public lapped it up!!!! Richard Phillips .

UK Government provides ?250m climate aid package for Africa

This is peanuts compared with how much the Conservative Government are giving our hard earned taxes to building fossil fuel power stations in the Third World. We must have prosecutions for this criminal act, our money is supposed to be spent on improving life, not ending it.

Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities

I can understand their concerns - and I share them. However disruption has its own climate cost and I''m especially concerned if they have , in the current weather conditions, young children who may not have enough protection from the heat. Please protect yourselves and your families from immediate harm, we still have some time to prevent disaster globally - some -not a lot- but some

Coca-Cola and Merlin Entertainments extend on-the-go plastic recycling initiative

Method for Disposing of Single Use Plastic Found The ''Daily Mail'' 11 July 2019 reports that single use plastic can now be turned into electricity and hydrogen, both important in a near-zero CO2 economy, it can be used on dirty or mixed plastic, and leaves no residue. The University of Chester, in partnership with PowerHouse Energy, has come up with the process and Waste2Tricity is the exclusive developer in the UK and South East Asia. They intend to stop plastic being dumped in rivers and oceans by making it valuable, paying $50 a tonne to be put in their kilns. The process includes cutting the plastic into 5cm strips, the air is squeezed out, and heating it in a kiln at 1,000 degrees Centigrade which instantly melts and gasifies it. This syngas (synthetic gas similar to natural gas) has very low CO2 content and goes into a pressure swing absorption (PSA) which extracts hydrogen at two tonnes a day. The remainder of the gas is used to generate electricity in a gas engine. It is hoped that the patented technology will soon power the plant at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, 7,000 houses on the grid in a day, and 7,000 hydrogen cars in two weeks. As excess energy from solar and wind turbines will have to be stored for peak use and for night time use, hydrogen is an instant way of providing such energy on demand, and the more the better. PowerHouse Energy say they have received a letter of support from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry about their DMG technology, which is the thermal conversion of carbonaceous organic materials, which is converting complex molecules into simple, safe, molecules. In the letter the Japanese Government Ministry said it considers the DMG technology has many environmental advantages, and views it as a major competitor within the low-cost production of hydrogen industry. Professor Joe Howe, Executive Director of Thornton Energy Research Institute at the University of Chester said: We are extremely excited to be hosting the prototype demonstrator here at the University of Chester. The technology converts all plastic waste into high quality, low carbon hydrogen syngas which can then be used to power gas engines. A by-product of this process is electricity, meaning waste plastic can not only fuel cars but can also keep the lights on at home. Surely the world must wake up to this technology. It will make waste plastic valuable with it being able to power the world''s towns and cities, and most importantly, it can help clean up our oceans of waste plastic now.

Citizens Advice: Government lacking 'credible' plan to decarbonise heat

All very interesting but the key precursor to any discussion on heat supply should be heat demand. Where are the methods, incentives and targets to significantly reduce heat demand, particularly for the existing housing stock?

How sustainable is Wimbledon 2019?

Almost any event that attracts large numbers of the public will have a larger carbon footprint than if those same members of the public stayed at home and watched it on TV. However, event managers can - and must - make sure that food & goods they sell have a lower impact than if all those TV-watchers consumed similar produce (so should ensure efficient cooking of pizzas and locally sourced strawberries as far as possible in SW19). Avoiding idling is a small step, but if it leads to behaviour change by taxi drivers elsewhere, may have a larger impact. In the end, there''s always a narrow line between genuinely trying to do the right thing and greenwash. It''s interesting that the article doesn''t mention BS ISO 20121 "sustainable events management" which might have helped Wimbledon out.

Citizens Advice: Government lacking 'credible' plan to decarbonise heat

Heat networks sound great and in principle if installed in new build developments can be very effective ways of heating as long as the homes they are supplying are built to the Platinum standard of energy efficiency and insulation and not the brass standard currently aimed for (and often missed). There''s a new 400 home development alongside a new hospital and STEM centre near me. An ideal opportunity to put in a district Ground Source Heat Pump and Water Source Heat Pump (Loch Linnhe is less than a mile away with copious amounts of Gulf Stream heat to use) but the houses are going to be built to the bare minimal standard and there''s no talk of district heating. Wasted opportunities meaning householders will probably be faced with large upgrade bills in the future. Then there is the question of how do we decarbonise the existing housing stock? I''ve looked into alternatives to my oil fired heating (A rated condensing boiler before anyone screams) and frankly it is out of reach financially. I''m looking at in excess of 10,000 so until my boiler packs in I''m not even going to think about it. To install an Air Source or Ground Source system I need to replace all the piping and radiators or try to install underfloor heating. Then there is the question of heating the 300litre hot water tank. I could simply switch the electric immersion on but that will take twice as long and cost nearly 4 times as much (not to mention where does the electricity come from - in my case renewably sourced and probably hydro electric given I live in the Highlands). I''m not prepared to freeze in winter as the "warm and fuzzy" feeling isn''t going to be enough to heat my home so until there is a proper system in place to help ALL households decarbonise (not just those on benefits) I will continue to buy my oil from a company that plants a tree for every 1000 litres purchased to offset at least some of the emissions.

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

Dominic, the Forcing Effect is used by both the IPCC and the Met Office to explain the effect of CO2. It is postulated that a small effect in the heat generated from CO2, evaporates more water which has a large effect. When examined in a little more detail it begins to fall to pieces. Richard Phillips

National Grid: Electric cars could form battery hubs to store renewable energy

First this assume we will have 35 million EVs, 2nd that they will all be plugged in when not in use and 3rd that owners will be happy to let the grid take the power from the vehicle in the first place. The last is like saying to Tesco that they can borrow the petrol from your tank while you do the groceries as long as they promise to refill it when you need it. And that AIN''T going to happen. Come on really? Would anyone be happy to allow their car''s range to be reduced while it sits in the drive? What happens if there is some urgent need to drive and your battery is sitting at half or less because the grid needs power? Are you really going to sit there waiting for an hour or more to charge up? A totally unpracticable idea that should be buried in the compost heap of good intentions and recycled as plant food

Scottish Power boss: Onshore wind and energy storage policy key to net-zero transition

50MW of battery storage? Is that all, that will last about an hour if we are lucky. The only realistic grid scale energy storage is Pumped Storage Hydro but there''s no desire to invest in that or even upgrade existing hydro schemes such as Inverewe. We need GWs of storage to cover the prolonged periods when wind doesn''t blow, at night and when it is foggy (so there''s no solar input either). Hydro storage will last generations whereas batteries will maybe last a decade before they need replacing. What about investing in tidal stream generation as well as just putting more and more bloody wind turbines everywhere. A tidal turbine or a river flow turbine can sit and churn away producing reliable power all day everyday and doesn''t impact the visual environment. How about redeveloping Longannet power station into the UK''s first grid scale cryogenic or compressed air storage station? Infrastructure is already in place and it is an area desperate for new development. There''s space and a ready supply of water to use as a both an electrical and heat source from the tidal Forth. Time to start thinking outside the wind/chemical battery box. Open your eyes to every technology, invest in some radical R&D and come up with something new instead of trotting out the same, flawed, stuff all the time. Be bold.

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

No, Andy, disagree absolutely! The biggest renewable is wind. Since the 19th of last month, the 20+GW of wind power has suffered periods of 4.5, 6, and 6 days when the generation did not rise above 5Gw and was at or below 1GW for some 3.5 days. This is not untypical. A source as unreliable as that is only a liability; it has to have an equal back-up on tap, gas generation. Because this is an uneconomic way to run gas generation, it has to be subsidised!!! It is all in private hands , don''t forget. Solar is no better, nor are tidal lagoons, wave power is hopeless. Hydro, is now about at its maximum, little more there. Put your 10.5 billion into nuclear, this can work for weeks on end at near full design power if need be. In the 1962/3 winter, it was at 98.5% of design power for some 5-6 weeks when the UK temperature never went above zero, and coal was arriving at the power stations full of ice, not good news. I remember it very well, a new Dad, in a prefab, on top of the Berkshire downs! Renewables--- Bah- Humbug!!!! Richard Phillips

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

Coal subsidies in the UK are 10.5 billion a year, we should be spending it all on renewables.

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

"how CO2, at about one fiftieth of concentration of the principal greenhouse gas, water vapour, manages to punch so much above it weight, hugely above??" Well it doesn''t, others such as methane are even higher per part and together contribute as much as CO2 so it''s hardly hugely ''above its weight'', just we use CO2 equivalent as the measurement as it is the largest single contributor due to larger amounts of that than others...

E.ON now supplying all customers with 100% renewable electricity

Interesting as a month ago when I was looking for a new deal, and E.On were my supplier, their tariff would only give you renewable electricity if you paid an extra 2 a month. Needless to say I switched to a smaller, independent supplier who offered 100% renewable at no extra cost and saved me over 100 a year.

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

Yes, Nick, theatre. Ordinary people can do little or nothing, we just have to put up with the great body politic "fighting climate change", now apparently an "emergency". A totally unexplained emergency, but that is because Green body politic understands little, but shouts ever louder!!! Now Ken. We are not yet at double pre industrial levels, which I understand to have been 280ppm, and we are now at about 415ppm. we have some way to go. The IPCC favour a figure of 3 degrees as the result of doubling. Note "favour", no proof, just preference. This figure is the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity. Measurement of its value from historical data, ie in the recent past, indicates a value of about 1.4 degrees. The "heat in the atmosphere is measured by its temperature, there is no hidden heat. There has been little if any increase in global temperature during the last two decades. Richard Phillips

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

Nice theatre - so what do ordinary people need to do?

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

Granted, water vapour is a more powerful greenhouse gas that Carbon dioxide and is a greater component of the atmosphere. That said, it is part of a cycle which is currently in reasonable balance, although ocean warming is increasing evaporation and that can be part of the reason for more violent storms -though I don''t have exact figures. In the case of CO2 we are now at double the pre-industrial CO2 content of the atmosphere, and the research of well over a century ago concluded that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 content would lead to an increase in average global temperature of 2deg Celsius. that''s where we''re heading. We''ve added huge amounts since Al Gore presented "An Inconvenient Truth" and the increase doesn''t seem to be slowing down world-wide. If, as also seems to be happening, there is enough extra heat in the atmosphere, melting of permafrost can lead to ground emissions of methane, 20 times more powerful than CO2. The key is not just "How much is there?" but "How sensitive is the system?"

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

Sir David Attenborough: 'Radical' battle against climate change can be a 'huge opportunity'

Throughout the report, there is not a single mention of just how, if we abandon coal, gas and the fossil fuel needed for transport and heating, we are going to obtain the energy we need. This energy must be, in this situation, electricity. The problem of generating a reliable supply, far greater than the present network, is never mentioned in any of these learned discussions. Did I say learned??? Sir David is a zoologist, and a very fine one, he also studied geology; he is not a physical scientist, chemistry of physics, or an engineer. But energy is these latter, it is not zoology . The only other named individual is MP Mark Pawsey, who has a degree in Estate Management. When is somebody going to appear, anywhere, and propose a scientifically demonstrable mechanism to explain how CO2, at about one fiftieth of concentration of the principal greenhouse gas, water vapour, manages to punch so much above it weight, hugely above?? Richard Phillips

Government commission necessary for 'just' transition to net-zero, trade unions argue

I read the TUC Report, and note the comments made by various people. The Report contained not one word on just how this conversion to a zero carbon economy would actually get its energy, nor did any of the people named above, who are all non technical. It has long been axiomatic in the field of technology, that the foundation science of any proposed scheme of work has to be demonstrably true, and that the ensuing engineering has to produce an economically viable process. Nature will not be thwarted by Acts of Parliament! Fine words are all very well, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts, that, is all they are. None of the upper echelons seem to notice the scale of the proposed policy. Nor does it seem to be realised that renewable energy is far too unreliable to pay any significant role in the undertaking. There is only one solution, that is a predominantly nuclear power generation system. This necessitates a complete regeneration of the Grid and all local supply systems. The political side of infrastructure does not have a clue of what is involved. I do not believe that it will come about. Richard Phillips

Official EU petition calls for minimum carbon price

I hope Eddie will publish the petition for us to sign once it is available.

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