4 06 2010

Moved to new address:

Green Five

25 05 2010

Caroline Lucas – gives an alternative Queen’s speech. Make sure to click the tinyurl at the bottom to see more of the Green MP on the Channel Four website.

Business Green – on India’s plans to to introduce a renewable energy certificate (REC) scheme to encourage investment in low-carbon projects.

George W. Bush – at the American Wind Energy Association’s conference talks about the US energy transition.

The Economist – on the biggest conservation deal in history.

And finally the Guardian’s Adam Vaughan warns that despite the success in halting a third runway at Heathrow, the regional airports have plans to expand.

Laws to “Cut With Care”

24 05 2010

More than £240m of cuts will be made to the two environmental departments in Whitehall – the Department for Environment and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

David Laws, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, announced that there will also be cuts of around £3m to the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC).

“Nature Capital”

23 05 2010

Before clicking on the video, read this BBC article for a short background on why the Champs- Elysees was transformed into a giant strip of green farmland over the weekend.

Recycling Bins

20 05 2010

Right-wing blogger Dizzy Thinks tells us about a conversation his wife had with the local council regarding getting a bigger recycling bin. It starts with:

Mrs Dizzy: Hi, is that the Refuse Department?
Council: Yes
Mrs D: Look, you collect my recycling every other week and my ordinary black bin rubbish every other week, right?
Council: Yes
Mrs D: Well the thing is, I fill the recycling wheelie bin up within a week and then have to take the rest to tip because you don’t take extra bags. The tip guys just tell me, because it’s mixed recycling, to chuck it in the “Cannot be recycled” bin. So I was wondering, can I get a larger wheelie bin for my recycling?
Council: You can but you need to prove you’re recycling more than will fit in the bin.
Mrs D: Errrr OK.
Council: If I can take your number, I will get one of our recycling officers to call you and visit your house the day before your bins are collected to confirm you need a bigger bin.
Mrs D: But that means I will be keeping lots of bags loose for a week and they’ll get ripped open by foxes.
Council: I’m afraid this is the process for getting a larger bin, we have to inspect you to check that you really need it.
Mrs D: So you mean I have to take a day off work and wait for your inspector to come round and check inside my bin and decide whether it is overflowing enough?

You can see the outcome of Mrs Dizzy versus the local council Refuse Department here. Yes, it’s been a slow news day!

Oil: A N00bs Guide

19 05 2010

The vast majority of people who have been tracking the BP oil disaster by watching television news or reading online/newspaper commentaries will admit that it has been a tricky story to follow. It has now been four weeks since the pipe burst in the Gulf of Mexico. And yet only now is the truth starting to emerge. It is still very much a “live” story.

To their credit, the people over at The Oil Drum have recognised the need to put together some sort of  “beginners guide” feature on the Oil Spill. They have also given a background on related issues including the supply and demand of oil during turbulent financial times, peak oil theories and energy alternatives to the “black stuff”. Well worth a read.

Figueres named as new UN climate chief

18 05 2010

Christiana Figueres has been appointed as the new UN climate chief. Ban Ki-moon yesterday named Figueres, from Costa Rica, as the successor to Yvo de Boer.

Climate groups such as the WWF Global Climate Initiative welcome the appointment. Kim Carstensen said:

Figueres will bring forward her experience with government, business, and civil society and at the same time the perspective of a developing country government. Her background should allow her to foster trust between countries and to push for an ambitious climate deal.”

Greenpeace International climate policy coordinator, Wendel Trio said:

Christiana Figueres has been lead negotiator for a country that aims to become carbon-neutral by 2021, the type of attitude we need on the global stage. We hope she can really engage all countries in a fast-moving dialogue to get agreement on a global deal that will save the world from dangerous climate change.


Dates for the Diary

17 05 2010

Tomorrow, Tuesday 18 May, Prof. Carlota Perez will deliver a lecture at the LSE on the “potential of information technologies, the challenges of the environment and the scope for re-specialisation in the globalised economy [to] bring about a sustainable global ‘golden age’.” Click here for full details.

On Wednesday 18 May, the Royal Academy of Engineering is hosting a seminar which will focus on “how to identify current challenges and the potential opportunities for Disaster prevention” in developing countires. Click here for full details.

For a bit of light relief, on the first Sunday of June try the Camden Green Fair.

Likely to update this post over the next couple of days as new lectures, seminars and summer events are confirmed.

“We will Trust but we will Verify”

15 05 2010

President Obama used a well-known Reganism in his message to oil companies on Friday.

For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cosy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency [the Minerals Management Service, MMS] that permits them to drill…It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore. To borrow an old phrase, we will trust but we will verify.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that BP representatives do not regard the Gulf oil spill disaster as the end of deepwater exploration.

“Ee by gum, it’s parky out”

14 05 2010

UKPA – David Cameron has promised to make the coalition the “greenest government ever”. Speaking to the Department for Energy and  Climate Change (DECC), Cameron announced:

The three things I would pick out are first of all the green economy; we’ve got a real opportunity to drive the green economy, green jobs, green growth and make sure we have our share of the industries of the future. Clearly there’s the climate change agenda where we have got to get back on track both nationally and internationally, and third there is the issue of energy security which I think is vitally important and I think we need to do a huge amount of work on.

New Energy Focus – looks at the latest additions to the DECC.

The Mirror – reckons that in the UK we spend six months of our lives talking about the weather!