Friday, January 27, 2006

Please participate in a new energy issues survey--UNIDO-ICHET survey

This was posted as a comment on my Energy News blog and I thought it should be given a more prominent position:

(Project leader: Mavis Tsai, Ph. D. Shih Hsin University

Dear All:
We have launched a poll sponsored by UNIDO-ICHET to study public opinions and attitudes towards hydrogen energy related issues. We are also looking for feedback related to UNIDO-ICHET's website.

Would you please go to one of the URLs listed below (either site) and take the survey. Your answers will produce valuable information for our researchers. (UNIDO-ICHET homepage) or

and click on the 'UNIDO-ICHET survey' button. Or go straight to the questionnaire web pages

Please forward this message to anyone who has an interest in the hydrogen economy.
Thank you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Rhyme about the qualities of different woods as fuel

My current project is managing a project to develop the use of biomass fuel in the UK for heating and power so I was amused to find this rhyme about the burning qualities of different woods on the website

Beechwood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new holly laid beside
Chestnuts only good they say
If for years tis stayed away
Birch and firwood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last
Flames from larch will shoot up high
Dangerously the sparks will fly
But Ashwood green and Ashwood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown

Oaken logs, if dry and old
Keep away the winters cold
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Elmwood burns like churchyard mould
Even the very flames burn cold
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
So it is in Ireland said
Applewood will scent the room
Pears wood smells like a flower in bloom
But Ashwood wet and Ashwood dry
A King may warm his slippers by.

See lots of other good stuff on website.

Scientist blogs evidence for climate change

Professor Howard Dalton, Chief Scientific Adviser To the UK Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has been invited to the Antarctic by the British Antarctic Survey to discover firsthand the evidence for climate change.

Prof Dalton will record and share his 10-day expedition through a live blog, which will be updated daily as he visits the sites of some of the most dramatic evidence of climate change on the planet.

During the trip he will:

  • Consider at first hand research being done to assess the stability of the ice sheets
  • Examine the effects of climate change on animal life
  • Find out about the BAS’s sustainable operations and minimum waste strategy, which leaves nothing behind except human waste.
  • Explore an ice crevasse and witness the latest research on ice cores, which shows that levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere responsible for global warming are higher now than at any time in the past 650,000 years.
  • Discover how the sustainability of fishing in the South Atlantic is affected by climate change.

You can follow Howard's adventures in the Antarctic, which will include camping overnight and exploring ice crevasses here.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Future carbon trading

Carbon trading for individuals?

'Imagine … it is 2015, and you are buying fuel for your hybrid car.
You go to pay, and are told that your purchase will cost £100, plus 50 carbon credits.
Thankfully, you have just received your regular top-up of free carbon credits into your online carbon account, which already has a healthy balance due to your low carbon consumption. So you hand over your carbon ID card, and the credits are electronically taken from your account in real-time. This saves you having to buy the units at the point of sale, which at current market prices would cost you £25.'

I found this scenario on the website of the Sustainable Development Commission, an independent advisory body to the UK government. Although a few months old (placed on the site in September) this is a still the subject of lively debate on the SDC website, which is also a very valuable source of ideas and information on sustainable development.

What do you think? Is this the way forward? Will this encourage individual responsibility or is it a recipe for massive bureaucracy and corruption?

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

All views expressed here, unless otherwise stated, are my own.

John Cockaday