IEA says World Crude Oil Production Peaked in 2006


According to the IEA the crude oil production in the world has already peaked in 2006. Australia's Broadcasting Corporation's Catalyst program had a peek at Peak Oil and made some fairly stark discoveries. Existing fields are declining sharply. Worse, we need to find the equivalent of four new Saudi Arabias ! Let me repeat that 4 new Saudi Arabias needed somewhere , anywhere !

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Another successful conference presentation (i.e., I didn't poop my pants) #IIFET2016

Environmental Economics

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Who Killed the Electric Car (2006)

The Green Changemakers

And destroyed the US auto industry in the process? See the Film for Free Here! link] Link: [link] "In 1996, electric cars began to appear on roads all over California. They were quiet and fast, produced no exhaust and ran without gasoline.Ten years later, these cars were destroyed." Part 1: Part 2: Tags: Technology Documentary Energy

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Review of 2006


The year ended with the market research group Mintel publishing a report saying: "2006 has proved to be a tipping point for the eco-warrior, as environmental issues and greener lifestyles have gone mainstream," So what has triggered this sea change? If you've come here to avoid all those lazy 'review of the year' articles in the dead tree press then you've come to the wrong place!


Environmental Economics

year update » March 11, 2011 Hole-bait* I've covered this ground before: After navigating turbulent financial waters since opening in 2006, the U.S.

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Honduras?Land of Love & Peace? ~ Richard Phares | elephant.

Elephant Journal

Since the rule of Mel Zelaya , who became president of Honduras on January 27 2006, the number of senseless gruesome killings has multiplied. Want to stay in touch with elephant? Get 10 free articles a week: subscribe free to our Best of the Week newsletter. or get our popular Daily Wake Up Call. Together, we can make mindful independent reader-created media powerful! Video. Talk Show. Member. Login. Advertise. Event Sponsorship. Our Writers. Write. Press. About. Contact. Get RSS.

Ground Source Heat Grump


In today's Observer, Lucy Siegel repeats the old chesnut about Ground Source Heat Pumps producing 3-4 units of energy for every unit that is put in. What she doesn't say is it takes 1 unit of electricity to get 3 units of heat. To get 1 unit of electricity you need to burn 3 units of gas in a power station. A modern condenser boiler is 90% efficient, so you'd get 2.7 units of heat if you just burnt the gas directly. On top of this I've been told that GSHPs struggle in practice to deliver 2.5

The grass is greener on the eco-friendly side of the fence


The Energy Savings Trust have reported that eco-friendly Britons are more likely to experience a general sense of happiness and wellbeing, according to research from Imperial College London. This chimes with my not-scientifically-proven-but-strongly-held-anyway belief that eco-living is fun and not the hair-shirt-fret-a-minute it is often made out to be in sections of the media.

Eco-products: What makes a product green?


Do you ever find yourself wondering whether a product is 'green' or not? Do you ever think you're being conned by 'green wash'? Fear not, here's a very simple guide, or the start of one anyway. Basically there are two different ways a product can be green: 1. It requires/uses less stuff*. Examples: energy efficient light bulbs, hybrid cars, lightweight packaging etc. It is made of/uses 'better' stuff.

Revenge of the SUV


You'd think they could read - not long after I posted my ' death of the SUV ' blog, a Landrover Discovery wrote off my push bike and left me somewhat battered and bruised on the tarmac. This could get personal

Green Home Improvement - Insulation pt 2


If you live in an old house like us, it's really worth having a poke about the nooks and crannies. Having topped up insulation in our main attic, I had a look in the space above a small offshoot at the back of our house. There was no insulation at all above the ceiling, part of the wall was simply a thickness of wallboard, some of the central heating pipes were unlagged, and whole bricks were missing for the pipes to get into the bathroom (see above).

Hastings: Puppet or Muppet?


I've been passed some background information (thanks David!) on the "Renewable Energy Foundation" whose 'independent' report Max Hastings quoted in the Guardian yesterday: "According to the Guardian (July 15th 2004), REF is backed by anonymous wealthy individuals and hopes to gather the 80 or so groups opposing wind farms around the country " Independent? You really have to be careful what you believe, don't you?

Personal Carbon Trading


Here in the UK, the Government has just published a 41 page report on personal carbon trading. This is the idea that everyone gets a carbon allowance and if you produce more carbon than that, then you have to buy credits off someone who hasn't. Your credits would probably be stored on a card which you would use to pay your fuel bills. I was going to comment on the idea, but the authors note that the debate so far has been based on gut instinct which in turn is based on untested assumptions!

S(h)UV off!


More good news. According to The Times , The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have announced that "sales of new 4x4s fell by more than 15 per cent last month compared with November 2005, and have fallen in every month this year except March. Sales in the year to date are down 6 per cent compared with growth of 4 per cent last year. By contrast, sales of small cars and people carriers are up significantly."

A (laundry) load of (eco)balls


I bought this set of eco-balls months ago, but it took a while to build up enough courage to try them. The idea is to put all three in your washing machine instead of washing powder. A combination of oxidising pellets inside and the thumping of the clothes by the balls knocks all the dirt out without any pollution. And by jove it works! As a trial I chucked in a dirty old towel I had used to clean the floor after some DIY and as you can see the results speak for themselves.

Carbon Offsetting: The Case for the Defence


This is the second part of a piece on carbon offsetting - read the case for the prosecution here. In terms of carbon offsetting deflecting from the real problem, the very act of measuring your own carbon footprint can be an eye-opening experience, adding to, rather than buying off your guilt. My initial reaction to the results is always to wonder how to reduce the excesses of my lifestyle.

Green Home Improvement - Paints


We used the multi-award winning Ecos paints. They may not be the most eco-friendly paints on the market as they contain non-organic materials like titanium dioxide, but they are excellent. Pros: - NO solvents (VOCs) which cause local air pollution and health problems. - No toxic materials. Recyled packing materials (reused large egg boxes). - No smell. Very fast drying. Cons: - Colour range is a bit limited. -

Green Driving


As the Guardian reports that the Chancellor is considering higher taxes for the most polluting cars , readers may be interested in these two sites: 1. Green Future's review of green cars (hat tip to eco-worrier ). Although I dispute the idea that the Saab featured is the only vehicle that will run on biodiesel - see the blurb on my Golf. Vicenze's video reviews of the same

Earthships Vid


If you want to learn more about the Earthship , check out this video. It cuts off rather suddenly, but the second part can be seen here. Apologies for the spacey muzak

It's That Time of Year Again.


The publication of the Green Guide to Christmas has provoked interest from the Times and The Guardian , each giving their hints and tips on how to be a little greener this year. My biggest dilemma at this time of year is choosing presents. Nothing to do with fretting over their environmental impact, I'm afraid, just choosing presents full stop. Every year I trudge round the shops, my eyes glazing over as I try to remember what I've bought people in previous years and to spot that perfect gift.

Good News! (for once)


Most environmental statistics are bleak and getting worse, but edie is reporting a 3% fall in the waste produced by households last year, and a 10% fall in the amount being sent to landfill. To put this in context, most councils plan that waste will increase by 3% each year so this is a significant turnaround and shows that the war can be won. The edie report talks at length about various recycling initiatives, but is silent on the reasons why overall waste levels have fallen.

Switching to Green Electricity? It's a ROCky road.


I could say that one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch to a 'green electricity tariff'. Unfortunately it is not quite so simple. There are two types of green tariff: 1. Green Supply" - you purchase electricity which is guaranteed to come from a renewable source. Green Fund" - you pay a premium which is invested in building new renewable energy projects. Straightforward so far?

Is Carbon Offsetting a Con? The Prosecution Case


There has been much recent interest in 'carbon offsetting' - the idea that companies and individuals can ‘offset’ their carbon dioxide emissions by buying into low carbon projects such as renewables, energy efficiency and, most controversially, tree planting. George Monbiot certainly does not mince his words when it comes to offset schemes. Writing in the Guardian , he likened offsetting to the 15th Century Dutch practice of paying for God’s pardon for crimes such as incest, lying or murder.

Indy asks: "How Green is Your MP?"


Following Friends of the Earth's Big Ask campaign ( saucy version posted here ), The Independent has surveryed every MP in the land on their attitudes to the environment. The Indy's verdict: "If you take our responses as a guide, the LibDems care the most: 56 responded, with just 7 absentees. And David Cameron has clearly had an effect on the Conservatives: 114 replied, 82 didn't.

What can I do with.


The Times' eco-worrier blogger Anna Shepherd has found this great website where people can suggest uses for waste materials - anything from take-away materials to out of date condoms. I love doing this sort of thing: - I picked up a tip once from the Guardian that tetrapak bottles make great BBQ firelighters. They do as they are made from waxed paper - but make sure you cut out the plastic spout first. -

Green Canaries


The Independent is reporting that Norwich is the most eco-friendly place in the UK. Peterborough comes second - things must have changed since I worked there 12 years ago and the buses stopped running at about 5:30pm

Winter is coming.


sometime soon. I don't think I've ever seen leaves on the trees in mid-November before, but I assume the temperatures will drop in the coming days. It is all seasonal domestic bliss chez Kane at the minute with me putting the insulation in and weather proofing the wormery , while Karen makes pickles and chutney from the left over green tomatoes from her allotment. Sometimes I worry I'm turning into Will Duguid from the Guardian's fitfully amusing Ecotist column.

Green Home Improvement - Insulation


My consignment of Thermafleece insulation arrived on Friday, so I've spent the weekend topping up the existing rockwool insulation with 100mm of waste sheep's wool. It is fantastic stuff - easy to handle, easy to cut, non-toxic, non-irritant, high insulation value, renewably sourced and it only uses 14% of the energy needed to make rockwool. It is so benign you can hug it. Only one problem.

Fishy Business for a Friday


As I'm defrosting some organic trout from Graig Farm for tea, I got thinking about the wild fish stocks crisis. Last week's copy of Science published research warning that if current trends continue there will be no viable wild-caught seafood at all by 2050. There seems to be a stark choice for Government - whether to slash the industry now or wipe out the stocks and the industry in a couple of generations' time. Seems straightforward to me.

Flight of Fancy - A plane better than a Prius?


The Guardian is reporting that engineers have designed a 'flying wing' called the SAX-40 which would achieve 149 passenger miles per gallon compared with 121 for a Boeing 777. A Toyota Prius hybrid car (or a good diesel) gets 144 passenger miles per gallon. I don't know over what distance they make the comparison as obviously an aircraft has to go up and down as well as across, if you know what I mean. This won't save the planet on its own, but it would be significant progress.

Hallowe'en/Guy Fawkes Eco-Trivia


This week is the peak of the year's air pollution - dioxins from all those sofas etc on the bonfires, plus plenty of smoke from fireworks. Humbug

The igmony of being slated by British Gas!


I got a card with my British Gas bill offering a free energy review based on answers to a number of multiple choice questions, so I thought I'd give it a punt. I got my report back this weekend and they absolutely crucified me - an E on a rating of A to G. The problems (with my desperate excuses in brackets) are: i. an old boiler (replacement on order with solar pre-heating, plus wood burning stove) ii. insufficient insulation (top up on order) iii.

Ali G(reen)


As Borat offends half the world in his new film, I thought you might enjoy this clip of his long-lost brother from Staines discussing environmental issues

What a waste of good food!


I was at an event yesterday which had a workshop on domestic waste minimisation. This has always been a tough nut to crack as the amount we bin has been rising at about 3% every year on average. We came to the conclusion that food waste was the key area as most domestic waste is either food or food-related packaging. Every calorie of food we eat requires 10 calories of oil to get it onto our plate, so there's a massive global warming implication here too.

The UK only produces 2% of greenhouse gases? I don't think so.


I've posted a couple of practical tips since Monday, so it's back to harrumphing about the discussion around the Stern report! I am fed up with hearing the excuse that, as the UK only produces 2% of carbon dioxide emissions, then there's no point us doing anything. This completely ignores the global supply chain which supplies the West with our standard of living.

Earthship Ahoy!


This summer I visited the Brighton Earthship , one of the most sustainable forms of housing being designed to be completely "off grid" in terms of energy, water supply and sewerage. The earthship concept comes from the US, and, according to its promoters, Earthships Biotecture , they are "self contained dwellings that will sail on the seas of tomorrow".

Guardian Eco-nasties


Post-Stern , the press is struggling between the need to do the right thing and the need to pay for it. If you're reading this then you've probably had enough of it, but I recommend Monbiot's 10 point action plan. Back to Eco-living. The Guardian has a lovely little section today on smalll eco-nasties - Olive Oil from New Zealand, Disposable Garden Furniture Wipes, and, my favourite, the Fairy Power Dishwashing Brush. That's right, you don't even have to move your wrist.

Scrub that - this must be Green Monday!


The green-talking yesterday has paled into insignificance compared to the release of the Stern report on the economics of climate change. Its headline conclusion was that unless we invest 1% of the world's annual wealth now, we could knock 20% of the economy in 2050 - worse than the Wall Street Crash which caused the Depression in the 1920s. It certainly got Blair & Brown's interest, neither of whom have been willing before to walk the walk on environmental issues.

Is this Green Sunday???


When I started this blog, I thought I'd comment on environmental news stories. As it turns out, I would have time for little else as the media is completely saturated with climate change at the minute. But today is worth a special mention. With David Cameron and Menzies Campbell banging the green drum on the telly this morning, David Milliband has broken cover and announced that Labour will consider green taxes after all , a big shift from previous Government comments.

Calling all Black Country Swiss Tonys.


Car salesmen from the West Midlands have been judged the least eco-friendly Britons according to Planet Ark

Green Home Improvement Tip No.4


Windows & Doors When we bought our house, it was completely single glazed and leaked heat like nobody's business. We replaced all our windows with slow-grown softwood triple glazed units and put in a new, matching front door. As we have a very tall house at the rear, maintenance is an issue, so we got them coated externally in a thin aluminium coating. The windows are superb and look beautiful, but we have had some problems with the door coating.

The Art of Climate Change


In a recent e-mail from Creative Concern I saw this image from the anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters. This made me think about the amount of recent art inspired by climate change, and how powerful art can be at getting a message across. Here in Tyneside we recently hosted "Come Hell or High Water" an installation by Michael Pinsky as part of the Climate Change, Cultural Change programme.

Freecylin' Away


I'm a bit of a sucker for IKEA. Its "come to buy a bookcase and get seduced by this hi-fi rack" approach to selling gets me every time - and recently I did end up with a hi-fi rack which I didn't like when it was back in my living room. After trying it as a printer stand and a few other applications, I put it on Free Cycle and a nice man came and took it away and gave it a new life in the Karaoke business. My local Freecycle group has over 3500 members, and there's some cool stuff turns up.