There's a lot of shopping days left until Christmas comes around again, but nonetheless I've been watching a pantomime. You can watch it too if you like. Here's a video recording of Thursday's United States Committee on Science, Space, and Technology hearing that purportedly examined "The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Process". I don't usually spend my time avidly watching committee meetings on the other side of the Atlantic, but this one was of great interest to me because a fortnight ago I spent a couple of days at Exeter University listening to a long list of scientists expounding about how they took part in the "IPCC process", and their resulting conclusions.
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Yesterday afternoon up in Westminster a selection of South West Members of Parliament, together with one or two from further afield, debated the controversial topic of "Planning policy and wind turbines in the South West" led by Geoffrey Cox, the Conservative MP for Torridge and West Devon. Here's a video recording of the proceedings:
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After a lot of prevarication the Department of Energy and Climate Change web site now proudly proclaims that:
Consultation on the Renewables Obligation Banding Review is now closed.
In a press release yesterday the Secretary of State, Ed Davey, said that:
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Some more background information has come to light concerning the apparent confusion within the UK government about their renewables obligations. The Guardian has printed what it claims is a letter dated July 9th from George Osborne to Ed Davey discussing in particular a reduction in ROCs for onshore wind. Quoting from that letter:
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Amongst a plethora of TL(and longer)As it is our sad duty to report today that the Renewable Energy Association are very disappointed by the (in)actions of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The REA recently published the Summer 2012 edition of their "REA News" magazine. Here it is:
As you can see, in her introduction Gaynor Hartnell, REA Chief Executive, expressed the view that:
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Regular readers will know that the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change begin in Durban, South Africa in less than a week. At the same time and place the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol will also take place. The question now is what if anything all these discussions will achieve apart from a modicum of global warming from all the hot air that will doubtless be emitted by the attendees?
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I've been involved in quite a few debates in various places around the web over the last week or so, and I've been revisiting those conversations and reflecting on what our glorious Group of 20 leaders achieved in Cannes last week, particularly regarding what they refer to as "Global Governance".
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The next summit meeting of the leaders of the G20 nations takes place next week in Cannes, and the global financial crisis is top of the agenda. A variety of people from around the world are pressuring the G20 leaders to introduce a "tax on bankers". Such a tax has been discussed over the years under a variety of aliases, including "Tobin Tax" and "Financial Transaction Tax". However here in the UK currently the most popular euphemism for the idea is "Robin Hood Tax". Here's a video in which the team of Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy (of Love Actually fame) present their interpretation of the concept:
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This weeks European edition of Fortune Magazine contains interesting articles on the "Solar Gold Rush" in the Southwestern United States and the chequered history of the Tesla electric supercar.
Even more interesting, to me at least, was the fact that included inside the see through wrapping was a copy of "The Mini Rough Guide to Energy and our Planet", sponsored by big oil company Shell. The foreword is written by Jeremy Bentham, who used to be head of hydrogen at Shell, but now bears the title of "Chief Scenarios Developer". Jeremy outlines two possible scenarios Shell use in their strategic planning. In the first, codenamed "Scramble":
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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently commissioned a survey from Professor Ed Gallagher, former chief of the Environment Agency and now head of the Renewable Fuels Agency. Prof. Gallagher was asked to investigate the effect of biofuels on food prices and on the environment in general.
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