A very stupid thought

So, the various copies of the Lotus 7, Caterham, Westfield, LoCost and so on. Go like shit off a hot shovel, acceleration is superb given low weight of the total machine. Motorbike on 4 wheels sorta stuff.

Electric cars accelerate very well indeed. Battery weight a bit of a problem.

Hybrids, when on their batteries, accelerate like electric cars, actually better given low battery weight.

So, when does someone put a hybrid into a Lotus 7 copy to gain the acceleration? Umm, yes, I know, different drive train and all but when does this start to happen?

Can you imagine the furore?

China has successfully produced natural gas from methane hydrate, also known as “flammable ice”, in an experimental project in the South China Sea, the land and resources ministry said on Saturday.

Fracking for methane hydrates?

Still, look at the good side, Swampy will end up getting a wash as he tries to picket the site.

No, really, just no

Wet springs hamper battle to save capercaillie from fate of the dodo

The dodo became, as we know, extinct. There is no risk of this for the capercaillie. what could happen is that there are no capercaillies in Scotland. As has happened before and then they were reintroduced. Because, you know, there are other populations out there.

Quelle surprise

EDF has reignited fears over its troubled new nuclear project at Hinkley Point C after admitting it will cost the French energy giant over £20bn and could be delayed by almost two years to 2027.

An internal review of the project by senior executives at EDF confirmed fears that the state-backed group will not be able to deliver Hinkley in line with the protracted timeline or its multi-billion pound budget.

It revealed that the cost of building the UK’s first new nuclear plant in a generation had climbed by £1.5bn in two years to £19.6bn after a string of delays to the project. A further delay of fifteen months could add a further £700m to the spiralling costs to push them over £20bn.

The real problem with this being not actually the cost of this one plant. It’s that it’s so damn expensive that it gives every other barking mad idea – Swansea Barrage, we’re lookin’ at you – the ability to say “But we’re only a little more expensive than Hinkley Point.”

This is an interesting question

Some of his customers appear less happy. For Mr Vince’s company is accused of hiking up prices at electric car charging points while at the same time ploughing millions of pounds into his football club.

On Monday, Ecotricity, which has the monopoly on motorway service station electric charging points, will introduce a new pricing scheme for electric vehicles.

Critics claim the new charges will make it as expensive to charge up an electric car as put petrol in a conventional, fuel-efficient vehicle.

I have absolutely no idea what the cost of filling up an electric vehicle should be. Not a scoobie as to even magnitude.

‘Leccie is 10 p a kW? So, how many kWs are they trying to stuff into a battery?

And how much cheaper than petrol should this be? If it should be at all?

Ecotricity, which used to offer free charging to encourage the take up of electric cars, will change to its new tariff from tomorrow. Motorists will have to pay £3 connection fee and then a further 17 pence for every unit of electricity used (kWh). Previously the company charged a flat fee of £6 for 30 minutes of charge.

OK, bit more than that but doesn’t seem like an outrageous price at all.

Erm, maybe electric cars just do actually cost as much as petrol? You know, even after all he tax petrol pays?


The government’s building safety experts warned last year that the drive for greater energy efficiency meant more and more buildings are being wrapped in materials that could go up in flames.

In a report compiled before the Grenfell Tower disaster on Wednesday, the Building Research Establishment, which works for the Department of Communities and Local Government on fire investigations, said attempts to innovate with insulation were leading to an “increase in the volume of potentially combustible materials being applied” to buildings.

Don’t think that’s going to be part of the left’s general story about this, is it?

Oh my

Fears were raised that green energy concerns were prioritised ahead of safety as it emerged that cladding used to make the building more sustainable could have accelerated the fire.

Say it ain’t so. Say that a society carried away wi’ the fairies in an extraordinary popular delusion wouldn’t do such a thing.

The bollocksy economic argument for veganism

The traditional three arguments in this field are around health, ethics and the environment – I just wanted to have a fourth perspective, which was economics,” he says. “If I can reach people through another set of arguments they may not have heard before then there’s just one other way to open the door.”

The figures Simon puts forward are so big as to defy comprehension: he says the externalised cost of America’s animal food system is US$414bn annually. Three-quarters of that is expenditure on healthcare relating to the “epidemics” of obesity, diabetes and heart disease that Simon says are driven by high rates of consumption of meat and dairy.

As we all know it’s sugar, an entirely vegan product, which produces those things. Thus the argument must be wrong, right?

Consumption has skyrocketed because, Simon says, of the system of government subsidies, legislation and regulation he outlines in Meatonomics that allows animal food producers to keep output high and retail prices artificially low. If the industry were forced to cover its total costs, instead of imposing them on taxpayers, animals and the environment, a US$4 Big Mac would cost about $11, he says.

Hmm. That’s from a lawyer trying to do economics. Not willing to pay for the book but would like to see his model there.

Horrors, eh, just horrors

An oil well off Australia leaked for weeks last year. We just found out about it.


The leak began in April 2016 and lasted about two months. All told, it spilled nearly 2,800 gallons of oil into the ocean.

50 gallons a day. Into the ocean. Which is filled with bugs that eat oil.

Just, the horror……

But what actually is the problem?

Nearly 40 million people in the UK are living in areas where illegal levels of air pollution from diesel vehicles risk damaging their health, according to analysis commissioned by the Labour party.

The extent of the air pollution crisis nationally is exposed in the data which shows 59% of the population are living in towns and cities where nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution breaches the lawful level of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre of air.

Is it that the pollution is too high? Or is it that the definition of what’s a legal pollution level is too low?

This is one of my myriad areas of ignorance. What is actually a reasonable pollution limit for NOx? I have absolutely no idea at all whether 40 microgrammes is reasonable or whether Scrobodnik would be better. Or elebenty tonnes.

Although it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find that the EU set levels were something not really achievable in an industrial society…..

What I want to know is why are these people lying to us?

The effect on wellbeing of exposure to nitrogen dioxide, a gas mostly produced in diesel fumes, is comparable to the toll from losing a job, ending a relationship or the death of a partner, research suggests.

I’m perfectly willing to run with the idea that NoX is dangerous, that the concentrations in cities are more so and even that diesels are a major source in cities. But that’s not the same as being willing to agree to that dreck:

The largest human source of nitrous oxide emissions is from agriculture which accounts for 67%

Fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes are an important source of nitrous oxide emissions. These two combined are responsible for 10% of human emissions which equals 700,000 tonnes of nitrous oxide per year

A substantial amount of nitrous oxide is caused by biomass burning, which accounts for 10% of human-caused emissions.

Atmospheric deposition is another substantial human source of nitrous oxide emissions. Human activities release nitrogen compounds into the air which eventually falls back down to the Earth’s surface.

As with animal waste, human waste is a significant source of nitrous oxide emissions. Sewage plants and septic tanks are used to store and treat wastewater. Many of these systems create conditions that are favorable for nitrous oxide producing bacteria. Human sewage produces 3% of human emissions

Apart from being created by human activities, nitrous oxide is also released into the atmosphere by natural processes. The Earth’s soil, oceans and atmosphere are all natural sources of nitrous oxide emissions.

Human sources of nitrous oxide are smaller than natural emissions but they upset the balance in the nitrogen cycle that existed before the Industrial Revolution.

So, those wood burning stoves contribute. Fossil fuels, overall, are a minor addition to other human caused sources, the human caused being smaller than the natural. And nowhere is diesel particularly called out as a source.

My source for this?

Source: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

So, now what we’ve got to do is go back through all this shite talking about diesels and tease out what is their specific contribution to the problem. We need rather more than just they produce NoX, there’s a lot of it about. We need to know how much of that a lot is down to this one source.

Anyone know of any studies that actually do this?

These people are crazed loons

A plan to extract millions of litres of water out of a Unesco world heritage site, send it by pipe to the coast and ship it to foreign markets for bottling has ignited a campaign over water resources in New Zealand.

An export company is proposing to collect 800m litres a month of the “untapped” glacial waters of Lake Greaney and Lake Minim Mere, mountainous dams that are fed by rainfall on the Southern Alps.
Jen Branje, the founder of protest group Bung the Bore which initiated the petition to parliament, said the government must halt the practice.

“We want a ban on all bottled water exports until we have legislation in place to protect this resource.

“Currently it is being given away willy-nilly for free and it is depleting our own reserves and that shouldn’t be happening.”

According to government figures, New Zealand’s annual freshwater resource is 500tr litres, of which 2%, or 10tr litres, is extracted.

This particular effort is 10 billion litres a year or so. That’s 0.002% of a renewable resource’s annual regeneration capacity.

We’re not exactly hitting Hardin’s limits to Marxian extraction yet, are we?

Isn’t this interesting

Renault diesel cars emit the highest levels of toxic nitrogen oxides of all the big manufacturers and the French company’s recent models produce nine times the legal limit, tests have found.

Volkswagen, which has paid £15 billion to settle cases in the US over cheating emissions tests, now produces the least-polluting cars, according to Which?, the consumer group.

Jeep, Nissan, Hyundai and Ford scored badly in the Which? tests, producing at least five times the limit.

As engineers the world over have been saying, absolutely everyone has been lying. Because the basics of diesel technology are that you can’t reduce both CO2 and NOX in a cheap diesel engine. Only an expensive one.

Well done to the planners there.

Injustice is it?

Researches have described the “environmental injustice” facing commuters, who are exposed to up to eight times more pollution than car users.

Even though motorists produce the most pollution per commuter, they are the least exposed to harmful particulate matter (PM) as they are sealed off from the outside, a study by the University of Surrey found.

“We found that there is definitely an element of environmental injustice among those commuting in London, with those who create the most pollution having the least exposure to it,” Dr Prashant Kumar, who led the study, said.


Pedestrians too, people just living there. It’s not about public transport.

Interesting, no?

Hundreds of ancient earthworks resembling those at Stonehenge were built in the Amazon rainforest, scientists have discovered after flying drones over the area.

The findings prove for the first time that prehistoric settlers in Brazil cleared large wooded areas to create huge enclosures meaning that the ‘pristine’ rainforest celebrated by ecologists is actually relatively new.

The ditched enclosures, in Acre state in the western Brazilian Amazon, have been concealed for centuries by trees, but modern deforestation has allowed 450 to emerge from the undergrowth. They were discovered after scientists from the UK and Brazil flew drones over last year.

The earthworks, known by archaeologists as ‘geoglyphs’ probably date from around the year zero.

What would be even more interesting to know is how long does it take?

That is, remove man from any particular environment around here. How long does it take to go back to “normal”? Normal meaning pretty much how it was before any men turned up?

100 years is obviously too little time, but is 500 enough? 1,000? For example, say we just stopped farming the British uplands. How long before the ancient forests are back as George Monbiot recommends?

Well, obviously, which idiots don’t know this?

The gathering of discarded timber in urban areas for fashionable wood-burning stoves and an ignorance of fire techniques is contributing to Britain’s air pollution crisis, it has been claimed.

People living in cities who grew up with gas-fired central heating but have now turned to “cosy” wood-burning stoves need to be educated on the use of appropriate wood, academics and industry leaders say.

Their warning comes after Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said that the capital’s “filthy air”, which on Monday exceeded the pollution levels of Beijing, was creating a health crisis.

Previous studies have suggested that levels of particulate pollution surge at weekends as people light up stoves.

This is simply so friggin’ obvious. What’s happened, everyone become morons or something?