Ah, yes, solved, is it?

The world’s first fully electric commercial aircraft has taken its inaugural test flight, taking off from the Canadian city of Vancouver and flying for 15 minutes.

“This proves that commercial aviation in all-electric form can work,” said Roei Ganzarski, chief executive of Australian engineering firm magniX.

The problem being that it doesn’t scale up. Neither in size of plane nor distance:

Battery power is also a challenge. An aircraft like the one flown on Tuesday could fly only about 160km on lithium battery power, said Ganzarski. While that’s not far, it’s sufficient for the majority of short-haul flights run by Harbour Air.

There is just the slight problem here

Blue Planet, Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg are all household names bringing information about serious environmental issues to the masses. They’ve helped green issues shoot up the agenda for this year’s general election, with a poll last month revealing that more than half of voters said that the climate emergency would influence how they cast their vote.

If it wasn’t for the media these scientific messages wouldn’t be heard or understood by millions of people. And Greta Thunberg’s extraordinary global impact demonstrates her mastery of skills that have little to do with what we usually think of as science.

None of the three are telling us the science.

Which is – we’ve already done sufficient to miss the more hair raising predictions of climate change. What’s left to do reveals a chronic problem that will be easy enough to deal with over the next few decades. That’s if we decide we’re going to believe the IPCC reports of course. If we decide we’re not going to then even less needs to be done.

There is no science anywhere which states that we need to cease economic growth and overthrow capitalism and free markets in order to deal with anything at all – other than varied teenage phantasms perhaps.

That climate change killing the food supply thing…..

Horses should be moved into bare paddocks, vets have said, because an abundance of grass caused by climate change is making them fat.

Gillies Moffat, director of a veterinary centre in Hythe, Hampshire, said the wetter and warmer climate has meant the animal’s staple food has grown more rapidly than in the past.

Apparently the worst that will happen is that the steaks will have a little more marbling in them…..

Should make the Greens happy

Brazil had hoped to secure more than $26 billion in fees from oil companies for the rights to exploit fields that the government said may hold 15 billion barrels of oil.

Instead, the country secured about $17 billion, with Petrobras, its own state-run oil company, and Chinese operators making the only bids.

President Bolsonaro wants Brazil to boost its oil production and to join the Opec cartel of leading crude producers.

However, international bidders were said to have been deterred by high fees, as well as the requirement to work with Petrobras, which had exercised rights to become the operator in two of the four blocks up for grabs. The other two licences secured no interest at all.

They’re asking too much rather than there being no interest at any price.

But all the Greens will now praise the oil companies, right?

More than half the country is mad

A majority of the UK public and almost half of Conservative voters support a radical plan to transform the economy and tackle the climate crisis, a poll suggests.

YouGov found that 56% of people back the total decarbonisation of the UK economy by 2030 and just under half support public spending to make large swathes of public transport free to use.

Total decarbonisation in 11 years? They’re mad.

You can pass a law saying it

Jacinda Ardern’s landmark climate legislation has passed in New Zealand parliament, with historic cross-party support, committing the nation to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and meet its commitments under the Paris climate accords.

But it’s not going to happen, is it? Not because someone’s passed a law at least…..

Here’s a fun thought

Petrol from algae. Bit of GM, we know that the chemistry is possible. Atmospheric CO2, seawater, few other bits and bobs, sunshine.

So we can make something akin to oil that way.

Obvs, price is a bit of a handicap. But now think that we get that down. To where we’re actually price competitive. $30 a barrel oil equivalent. Yes, OK, a what if but still.

So, what’s the cheapest way of beating climate change? Run those plants at double volume and pump the new algal oil back into the old fossil reservoirs. That’ll be fun, won’t it?

This is a fun policy

Labour has indicated it could ban the use of private jets within five years if it wins power, amid claims that billionaires should not be able to “trash the climate”.

Andy McDonald, the shadow transport secretary, has endorsed a report calling for a ban on private flights by 2025.

The report, compiled by the left-wing Common Wealth think tank, claims that private flights from UK airports contribute as much to climate change annually as 450,000 cars.

So, if one flies in can it fly out again?

Further, what’s the definition of a private jet? The Emir of Qatar has a private 747. Ownership? But near all are owned by companies. It’s more difficult than it seems….

Yes, we should laugh

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg is a long way from where she needs to be. Since a UN speech in New York in late September, the 16-year-old Swedish campaigner has spent weeks traveling overland en route to the COP25 climate summit in Santiago, Chile. But a last-minute change of location due to that city’s anti-government protests—the event will now be held in Madrid, Spain—has left her scrambling for an eco-friendly lift across the Atlantic.


Stupid damn fools:

The government has banned fracking with immediate effect in a watershed moment for environmentalists and community activists.

The Ecksian solution presents itself as the only reasonable thing to do.

You understand this better than I do

New battery technology could give electric cars more than 200 miles of charge in as little as 10 minutes, according to new research.

Hmm, OK.

To do so, the team developed a battery that uses thin nickel foil to create an internal self-heating structure. By heating the battery to 60C, then cooling it to room temperature, they were able to charge the battery to 80% in 10 minutes but avoid damaging it, even when repeatedly charged in this way. A Tesla Model S currently takes 40 minutes to charge from a flat battery to 80% using a supercharger.

Well, yes, but doesn’t faster charging mean you need ever bigger and thicker copper cables to pump the ‘leccie in?

This gets Greta Thunberg about right

Or at least the people abusing her while pulling the puppet strings:

Is this democracy’s death spiral? Are we, in this country and others, falling into a lethal cycle of fury and reaction, that blocks the reasoned conversation on which civic life depends?

The Guardian view on language in politics: playing with fire
Read more
In every age there have been political hucksters using aggression, lies and outrage to drown out reasoned argument. But not since the 1930s have so many succeeded.

Amazingly that’s not what George Monbiot is talking about.

Interesting thought

Bombardier has struck a deal worth €100m (£89m) to power trains with lithium batteries, in a major milestone that could cut the cost of a multibillion-pound government commitment to fully electrify Britain’s railways by a third.

The train maker has picked Swiss battery specialist Leclanché as its preferred supplier for the next five years.

The deal comes after 18 months of testing and will see the first commercial operation of lithium battery-powered trains on Britain’s railways.

Fewer than half of Britain’s train lines have electrified rails or overhead wires installed, meaning large sections of the network are reliant on more dirty diesel-powered locomotives.

Does the cost of hauling the – heavy – batteries around beat the cost of adding the wires or rails to electrify the line?

I can imagine it does on some very lightly used line crossing some howling wasteland in the middle of fuck all. Say, Cardiff to Newport. And quite possibly not on a major route in London’s suburbs. Say.

But then are the extra costs of the batteries, over diesel, worth the reduction in emissions? Probably not, eh?