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Pollutant-trapping pavements and electric rickshaws: The best green innovations to tackle air qualit

"Contrary to popular belief, carbon isn't inherently evil" It is truly extraordinary that such a statement could ever see the light of day. There is nothing "evil" about carbon; it is the very staff of life. Firstly, the uninitiated speak of "carbon" mean carbon dioxide. Carbon is a solid element, better known as graphite, (in our pencils), or diamond. And the gas, CO2, is utterly vital to life itself. Below a concentration of about 150ppm, photo-synthesis ceases. No plant life, no vegetable matter, no animals, no food. We would never ever have evolved. During the last thirty years or so, CO2 increases have made our planet greener by about 13%, this includes better crops. And it is a far weaker greenhouse gas than water vapour, being some sixty times less abundant. It is reputed to punch far above weight as a greenhouse gas. The "explanation" of this, by an ex-chief scientist from the Met Office, is as difficult to justify as the very incomplete radiational explanations of the IPCC, whose temperature rise forecasts are so hugely variable. The subject is not well understood at a scientific level. So lets be a little objective for a change. Richard Phillips

Pollutant-trapping pavements and electric rickshaws: The best green innovations to tackle air qualit

I am so pleased to see SEAT moving forward with the NOX reducing concrete technology, I remember giving a sustainability presentation on this technology with Ecopurer to one of the worlds biggest construction and project management companies and one of the worlds biggest oil companies 20 years ago and they laughed me out of the building. Its a shame that are approach to environmental problems is still often a reactive one as opposed to a proactive one.

Hydrogen bikes and electric 'delivery dogs': The best green innovations of CES 2019

Hydrogen Bikes? Compressed Hydrogen between your knees? Really? That''s like sitting with a compressed Hindenberg inches from your delicates. And what happens when you get "volvo''d" and the tank ruptures? Hell, Road, Intentions, Good, Paved, to, is, with - rearrange accordingly

Valentine's Day: How the cocoa supply chain is falling in love with ethical practices

Olam Cocoa procures more than 9.5 metric tonnes of cocoa every year,----- factor of a million or so out?

Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run, says study

Okay, a couple of points that need to be clarified in this report. Firstly what is the cost of the electricity that is used in the analysis? public charging points can range from 12p per kilowatt hour to 35p per kilowatt hour. Not everybody can recharge at the lower UK domestic rate of around 6p per kWh. Secondly there is a big difference between the cost of an electric vehicle and the profitability of the electric vehicle. They will only achieve mass market when the manufacturers Make the same profitability as they get with traditional cars. No one seems to be addressing this current differential. If battery prices are dropping how come LG have just increased the prices to Audi for the new model? Finally nothing is taken into account of the loss of fuel duty revenue and how that will be recovered from the owners of electric cars which in turn will affect the running costs of those vehicles. There is still a long way to go before we have a profitable transition to electric vehicles.

Electric cars are already cheaper to own and run, says study

Okay, a couple of points that need to be clarified in this report. Firstly what is the cost of the electricity that is used in the analysis? public charging points can range from 12p per kilowatt hour to 35p per kilowatt hour. Not everybody can recharge at the lower UK domestic rate of around 6p per kWh. Secondly there is a big difference between the cost of an electric vehicle and the profitability of the electric vehicle. They will only achieve mass market when the manufacturers Make the same profitability as they get with traditional cars. No one seems to be addressing this current differential. If battery prices are dropping how come LG have just increased the prices to Audi for the new model? Finally nothing is taken into account of the loss of fuel duty revenue and how that will be recovered from the owners of electric cars which in turn will affect the running costs of those vehicles. There is still a long way to go before we have a profitable transition to electric vehicles.

Palm oil: Certified but NOT sustainable - The Changing Markets blog

Palm oil: Certified but NOT sustainable - The Changing Markets blog

I am very pleased to see this article as I was very disappointed to read JP''s thoughts. It seems to me there is growing concern regarding the use of certification schemes and what they actually mean in practice. This particular scheme seems to be masking other issues, such as why has palm oil become so prevalent (because it''s cheap, maybe..? and why is it cheap, I wonder..) the issue of how we will feed a growing population. Why is there a need to de-forest at all? Calling slowing down of habitat destruction, or doing it ''more thoughtfully'', seems like a nonsense to me. Because of this I don''t buy in to some these schemes as a consumer; there is a danger that schemes that are actually delivering benefits will be overlooked as a result.

Palm oil: Certified but NOT sustainable - The Changing Markets blog

I am very pleased to see this article as I was very disappointed to read JP''s thoughts. It seems to me there is growing concern regarding the use of certification schemes and what they actually mean in practice. This particular scheme seems to be masking other issues, such as why has palm oil become so prevalent (because it''s cheap, maybe..? and why is it cheap, I wonder..) the issue of how we will feed a growing population. Why is there a need to de-forest at all? Calling slowing down of habitat destruction, or doing it ''more thoughtfully'', seems like a nonsense to me. Because of this I don''t buy in to some these schemes as a consumer; there is a danger that schemes that are actually delivering benefits will be overlooked as a result.

Lord Deben: Closed-loop plastic system 'perfectly possible' with revamped policy

New research in the Journal of Industrial Ecology from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) shows that, when accounting for the plastic quality and presence of impurities, less than 55% of post-consumer plastic can be recovered with contamination levels low enough for further recycling. The researchers estimate that only about 40% of our plastic loops can be closed using current technology and recycling systems. If we truly wish to close our material loops, we need to rethink the way we recycle plastic. See the article at https://rdcu.be/bb1qL

#ThisIsACrisis: 7 harsh realities of the global climate crisis

Alice C, I respect your criticism, but these comments are hardly the place to give such references. I mentioned Paul Homewood as his "Not a lot of people know that" website explores the full data behind these alarmist statements. I have found them convincing without knowing anything of Mr Homewood himself. He relies on published data that often goes back to 1760 or so. "Since records began" might just mean the satellite records of no more than 40 years! For what it''s worth, I have four degrees in agricultural engineering, including a PhD in agricultural pollution, and retain a very sceptical frame of mind - especially when viewing the sort of stuff Grantham puts out. I have no axe to grind. Others often want to change the basis of our society. Hence their enthusiasm for EVs or hydrogen as a fuel, without any appreciation of the source of the energy needed, or an understanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which I used to teach!

#ThisIsACrisis: 7 harsh realities of the global climate crisis

Ken, I trust that you have scientific or peer-reviewed articles to base your critique off. No the IPPR is not a scientific report, however it does reference a large number of peer-reviewed articles which I can only assume you also have to back up your statements. I don''t think Paul Homewood (the retired accountant with no biographical information on his blog) quite ticks the box here. Surely we are too intelligent and well-informed to regard your comment as worthy of note (without any credible sources).

How meeting the Paris Agreement will improve global economic growth

The report also looks at the future of the transport sector - the UK s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting sector last year, accounting for 28% of national emissions. Under the scenario, local authorities would need to create legislative frameworks that ensure electric vehicles (EVs) are a mainstream mode of transportation by 2020. A proportional tax on vehicle registration related to their carbon emissions per kilometre would also need to be introduced immediately. I know we are not supposed to take any of this stuff seriously, but even so, 2020 has to be a typo. That''s next year!!! And EVs need to be the mainstream mode of transport??? And it begs the question of where the energy comes from. On a windy day like today, renewables are providing 33% of our electricity needs. So, multiply that by 3 to replace the CCGT, that is offering half of our needs,and all the other sources. Oh, and then add enough to power all those EVs - 20-30 million of them. At this point, you just decide that the lunatics have taken over the asylum - or at least that green environmentalists failed their GCSE maths!

#ThisIsACrisis: 7 harsh realities of the global climate crisis

I trust that readers of edie are too intelligent and well informed to regard this stuff from IPPR as worthy of note. Most of what they say is wrong or at least questionable. 1. Extreme weather events are not getting more frequent 2. What is the "dangerous destabilisation" to be caused by CO2 levels? They claim that the levels are "stagnating" at 405 ppm. Pretty serious effect for a 16% increase over the ideal of 350 ppm, and about one third the optimum level for plant growth 3. Does anyone believe that 58,000 species are becoming extinct every year? 4. The soil has been treated the same way for generations. East Anglian soil is disappearing because it is peat - and that oxidises when disturbed. Has done for generations. 5. Ocean acidification much mentioned. It used to be pH8.3. Now it is pH8.2. That is still very alkaline. Neutral is 7.0 and it is a logarithmic scale. The word is totally inappropriate, and only used to scare the ignorant. 6. Plastics are universal and essential. We just need to dispose of them properly - ideally by incineration, to liberate heat and electricity. 7. Crop yields have been increasing continually for decades. We eat better now than ever. What is wrong with people eating a lot of maize, wheat and rice? Note that NASA says the planet is getting greener, as we grow more forests and crops. This IPPR report is a political statement referring to Jeremy Grantham''s asset management company''s report and not scientific papers. Read Paul Homewood for a comprehensive debunking of the whole scare story...

How meeting the Paris Agreement will improve global economic growth

There appears to be a contradiction in terms here. The Paris agreement/COP 24 States quite clearly that we need to have a 50% reduction in fossil fuel use within 15 years and achieved zero fossil fuels by 2050. Though this is caged in terms of fossil fuel emissions on the dream basis that CCS will deliver all and thus implies that there is a business as usual element to it. The bottom line on GDP is that it does not measure wealth, well-being, or even include debt. What it actually primarily measures is gross (Direct and embedded) fossil fuel consumption. Thus to potentially nail global warming to 1.5 C (and this avoid catastrophic climate change) we need to deliver zero fossil fuel consumption and also achieve an increase in GDP? Contradiction in terms? Or maybe we need to develop a metric for a well-being index to replace the nonsense of GDP?

Living Lagom in London: Inside Ikea's new 'leading' sustainable store

Thanks for the article, hope this is going to be the template for NZ''s first ever IKEA... #liveinhope

Drax begins capturing biomass carbon emissions in 'world first'

Quite so, Kieron. Drax already receiving large subsidies, paid for by all in heir electricity bills, just how much this "new" process will cost is anybody''s guess. The process does not seem to fundamentally different to those already attempted, without economic success. The difference lies in the adsorber. The scale of plant to be constructed, running costs in plant operation and final disposal costs cannot be radically different from fore-runners. The CEO of Drax, Will Gardiner, is quoted as exalting the technology, but hardly an engineer or scientist. In LinkedIn his graduate qualifications are quoted as International Relations and Economics, and Soviet Studies. Excellent in their field, no doubt whatsoever; but involving not too much thermodynamics. And should we be felling whole forest areas in the USA just to feed out power stations? Wood is a poor fuel for this purpose, mainly a carbohydrate, cellulose, half of its weight is water, chemically combined. This is boiled off by the combustion of the carbon, the steam produced is heated to about 190oC, and blown up the chimney! Our domestic gas "boilers", have to recover this heat, condensing boilers; not Drax, we pay them to do it. Oh dear! Richard Phillips

Drax begins capturing biomass carbon emissions in 'world first'

Seriously? Drax to be the first negative emission power station? Do you really expect us to believe that garbage? Firstly factor in the oil used to cut down the trees, then the power used to process the wood into pellets then add in the fuel oil used to transport the pellets thousands of miles across the sea, now add in the fuel used to transport the pellets to Drax to be burnt. Finally add in the power used by this BECCS unit. OK so how much Carbon Dioxide will Drax have to remove to be negative emissions? Now I am not saying the technology itself is bad, far from it. If it works then it may well help but until the true energy cost of Biomass is taken into account there is no way it can ever be called "green".

Adidas to double production of ocean plastic trainers in 2019

Good afternoon Sarah. I just wondered if Adidas is planning to reduce the quantity of its other trainers produced - or is there simply going to be an increase in the quantity that it produces. Also how does the life cycle of the trainer compare with other trainers. Also could you find out what happens to the trainer at the end of its life - can it be recycled? Thank you!

Plastic waste: UK should not pass buck to world's poorest, say MPs

The UK has no coherent programme for the manner in which all plastic waste should be disposed. Until HMG controls the whole of the system, a hotch-potch of means of disposal will be used which provides for that particular operator to work at a profit, irrespective of the landfill or export consequences. But Mr Gove''s heart, indeed the poicy, is set against a uniform government policy. The real answer is to separate distinct streams, and burn the rest. These streams could be milk-type bottles and clear bottles. Richard Phillips

Jonathon Porritt: Silence 'no longer an option' for business sustainability

The end of life on earth as we know it today is being forecast, he added, so silence really is not an option any longer and ignorance as to these things is certainly no longer an available excuse. Does anyone reading this column actually believe this? We have had warnings like this for decades, and they have all proved false. This one, be it from Jonathan or the IPCC, is no different, just more shrill. It would be good to take a poll of readers of edie to see how many have done anything to seek to achieve the sort of result Mr Porritt and the IPCC want to see - in the next 12 years...

Call for decentralised energy optimisation as FIT regime due to end

The electrical generating system seems to be going back 100 years. The Electricity Supply Act of 1926 dictated the generation of electricity to be from large centralised power stations, all connected to a country-wide Grid of high voltage of 132KV, (later 250 and 400KV). We all had the same current, no additional corrective devices were needed. And the whole change paid for itself in efficiency, and prices fell. Now every turbine and solar panel needs own system before it contributes to our power system. And it all costs more, but the costs, including subsidies, which we all pay, are hidden, just included in our bills. These monies, moreover go to predominantly overseas companies. But it is all dominated not by Electrical Engineers but by finance, because the object is not to generated useful power, but money. Richard Phillips

Carbon Brief: UK's emissions could have doubled since 1990 without renewable energy

This a very helpful analysis from Carbon Brief.Just a couple of real world observations. The first is that most of the emission savings in buildings have come not from changes in electricity usage, but from the decline in natural gas consumption( down 28% since 2005). The main use of energy in buildings is for heating- where gas has an over 80% dominance. Electricity is critical just for appliances, particularly lighting and white goods - where there have as reported been quantum improvements in energy efficiency The second is that particularly over the last quarter century, there has not been that significant a change from heavy to light industry. It is commercial services and the public sector which have seen growth, and less efficiency gains than there should have been. There remains enormous potential to decrease consumption way further, without damaging productivity. The French call it energy sobriety!

Carbon Brief: UK's emissions could have doubled since 1990 without renewable energy

Could have, would have all meaningless phrases when we know they haven''t.

EV100: Corporate demand for green fleets now outstripping charging infrastructure improvements

The technically knowledgeable was warning of the problem of establishing charging points, years ago. But do the administrators listen; only with an airy wave of the hand, "It will all work out". It still does not seem to have sunk in; huge numbers of these points have to established in order to meet demand. This is not a simple "stich up the post" affair. that "post" has to be connected to the mains, at a high demand rate. That means heavy cabling. And that means an upgrade in the local transformer point; which then has to take its current from the Grid. It all means a lot of digging in the roads, and the placing of more copper in the ground. And to back it all, more generation. And we have just lost the construction of two major nuclear plants, which would have generated some 5,500,000 megawatts between them. Vehicles on the road, some 3 million cars unless I am mistaken, and then the heavies, and there may be 145,000 EVs by 2030.??? By that time we may be realising, when the voice of the more rational elements of scientific view of climate change begins to be heard, that CO2 does not punch with the outrageously heavy hand proclaimed at the moment, and we realise that perhaps the sun has something to do with it. I will still have my nice clean diesel and will fill up for 500 miles in five minutes flat. Richard Phillips



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