Ford mocked Tesla over 7000 cars made a week

Ford European CEO Mark Armstrong mocked Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk as he stated that they were managing to make 7000 cars a week. He pointed out that Ford makes about 7000 cars every four hours.

Well this may be very impressive to build so many, it should be pointed out that Ford, a company that is over a century old, had to be pushed into starting to make electric cars by companies such as Tesla (less than a decade old),  and will not start releasing their electric models until the early 2020s. Continue reading “Ford mocked Tesla over 7000 cars made a week”

Animals can’t feel pain apparently – according to the Tories

The British government has an odd habit of throwing new laws that have nothing to do with the case in point on to laws being written. In this case the British government, going against all scientific understanding, have stated that all non human mammals have no emotions or feelings, including the ability to feel pain. In this case it has more to do with the bill being discussed than one would think, it is in line with the Brexit withdrawal bill as the move is to strip the phrase ‘sentient beings’ from European Animal Rights laws that are transferred from European to British law books. Continue reading “Animals can’t feel pain apparently – according to the Tories”

Green solar subsidies capped at £100 million,  fossil fuels given £3 billion – where is the level playing field?

The government has set a total maximum for the amount of money supporting rooftop solar,  through feed-tariffs, at £100 million. This has been stated many times to stop the need for any subsidies in the near future.

Now I can understand this idea,  subsidies are required early in new industries. Why is it then, that with fossil fuel markets being hundreds of years old, the government is subsidising an industry that by the government’s own rules sounds have sunk or been swimming on its own for more than a century? The government is doing this partly through customers bills, to the tune of 3 billion a year. Continue reading “Green solar subsidies capped at £100 million,  fossil fuels given £3 billion – where is the level playing field?”

Encounter with a slow worm

In the UK, people don’t always think of reptiles when thinking of animals they might see on a walk. In the last decade I have been living on land beside a large area owned by the army and while they are using it at times the rest of the time it is free to be used by anyone. This land apart, from large blocks of woodland, is mostly sandy scrubs with bracken and other plants of similar nature growing on it, as such this is the perfect habitat for reptiles. Continue reading “Encounter with a slow worm”

Can Tesso National Park in Indonesia be saved and restored?

The Indonesian government has promised to repair the damage done to the Tesso National Park. The park still has a population of Sumatran elephants and Sumatran tigers and as such is a highly important reserve that must remain. However much work is to be done as 75% of the park has been deforested and large parts of this has been replaced with palm oil plants. Large numbers of local people have also decided to settle in the park and have on several occasions attacked people who have come to try to sort the park out, despite knowing that where they are living is illegal. Continue reading “Can Tesso National Park in Indonesia be saved and restored?”

Church of England to divest from companies contributing to climate change

The Church of England General Synod has just met and agreed a policy of divesting from companies that are significantly contributing to climate change. While this is a good thing in of itself, particularly given that the Church of England pension fund is a sizeable fund, it is also widely recognised as one of the most successful funds in terms of performance. Because of this it is a highly influential fund, and therefore this publicly stated direction is likely to have a greater impact than the billion pounds that will be moved directly. Continue reading “Church of England to divest from companies contributing to climate change”

EPA director resigns – what next?

In some countries one personal investigation would make a minister resign, Scott Pruitt had 14 and expected to survive them all, however he has finally resigned.

Given Trump, and some of the clearly incorrect things he has said about the environment, particularly about how climate change was invented by the Chinese to give them an advantage, I think any sensible movement in American public policy on climate change and reducing carbon emissions will not happen while Trump is in the White House. Continue reading “EPA director resigns – what next?”

Carbon emission reduction in UK – great progress except in some areas

The UK emissions have fallen 43% since 1990! That is hugely impressive, but there is a problem. Housing and car companies have not made similar progress, and without these large carbon emitters pulling their weight progress will slow dramatically, and make future reductions difficult if not impossible. This analysis is from governmental climate advisors.  Indeed these reports say the housing and car industries should be embarrassed by their lack of progress in this regard.

It is of significant note that the government seems to have significantly taken their eye off the target on reducing carbon emissions since the last election, in terms of largely killing off the solar industry and more recently the Swansea bay tidal lagoon, as well as the expansion of Heathrow.

The area of car pollution and home pollution are currently addressable, and at times the government had supported it.

The government is likely to be able to fix much of this with three changes.

  1. Commit to ceasing production of petrol and diesel cars sooner – they have said 2040, but this is many car cycles. Bring it back to 2030 and it will supercharge this transfer. 22 years away is perhaps after 3 car replacement cycles,  12 is one and a half cycles so would focus car companies in making desirable affordable cars in the next decade
  2. Bring back subsidies for solar. Work with the government to set this up in a more competitive way. Perhaps work with Insolight to help bring affordable solar panels with twice the efficiency to market quicker, and stop electricity companies control of the electricity grid being used to halt viable home solar being affordable (require closer to market rate for electricity sold on, or allow home to home electricity sale).
  3. Bring more funding to help insulate houses with loft and wall insulation.

These three policies would not be expensive compared to some of the other government projects. Furthermore all being people driven, given the right government campaigns, it would likely accelerate these changes,  which is what we need.

Extending the ban on ivory to other species

After the sudden rise in ivory poaching that started around 2008 there was a big increase in protection though this was often to slow. Half of the forest elephants of west Africa (thought to be as closely related to mammoths as African Savannah elephants), were taken in the last decade. ecosystems such as the Selous in Tanzania, one of the largest mostly undisturbed remaining Savannah habits, which lost up to 100,000 elephants. Continue reading “Extending the ban on ivory to other species”

UK government considering aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050

In 2008 the UK committed,  as part of a climate agreement,  to cutting climate emissions by 90% compared to 1990 emissions by 2050.

Partly due to the decline in coal powered power stations, UK emissions averaged a defile of 6% the last 3 years and our emissions are now at 1890 levels – pretty impressive. Continue reading “UK government considering aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050”