This week I have a strong focus on the UK flooding of recent weeks. Was this caused by CO2 induced Global Warming? Were the floods unprecedented? Have they happened before? Were they caused by the ineptitude of The Environment Agency? Does getting facts and policies right matter any more?
UK flooding: The BBC reports on The Great London Flood of 1928; Lord Stern warns of global conflict; Ed Milliband talks of dither and denial; The Greens call for introduction of a totalitarian State; global warming brings great skiing conditions to Scotland.
World: US Lawrence Livermore Laboratory claims incremental breakthrough in fusion. 20 more stories below the fold.
Whether humans are the cause of 100% of the observed warming or not, the conclusion is that global warming isn’t as bad as was predicted. That should have major policy implications…assuming policy is still informed by facts more than emotions and political aspirations.
David Cameron has been “taking command”. He’s cancelled a visit to the Middle East. He’s got George Osborne to open the nation’s coffers. It’s ‘money no object’ time
Two pumps from the Netherlands are being used to try to reduce water levels at the flooded Somerset Levels.
The area began flooding more than six weeks ago and the continuing heavy rain has since flooded dozens of homes.
Thousands of homes are under threat, train services have been cancelled and the Marines called in to the Thames Valley, ahead of forecasts for yet more storms to hit Britain later today.
Scotland will start February with amazing snow conditions, with one of the country’s five areas, Glencoe, reporting there’s even more snow than in the record-breaking winter of 2009-10.
While the rest of Britain was reporting floods and mild temperatures, in the Scottish ski areas phenomenal amounts of snow led to staff having to dig out ski lifts and even huts and cabins.
In 1928 the Thames flooded much of central London, with fatal consequences. It was the last time the heart of the UK’s capital has been under water. How did the city cope and what has changed?
It was after midnight when the river burst its banks. Most Londoners slept as the floodwaters gushed into some of the nation’s grandest buildings and subsumed many of city’s narrowest slum streets under 4ft of water.
Dither – and denial – over the widely agreed cause of extreme weather are paralysing government and steering the country towards a security crisis, believes the Labour leader.
Extreme weather events in the UK and overseas are part of a growing pattern that it would be very unwise for us, or our leaders, to ignore, writes the author of the influential 2006 report on the economics of climate change. The record rainfall and storm surges that have brought flooding across the UK are a clear sign that we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change.
The Green Party of England and Wales has called for a purge of government advisers and ministers who do not share its views on climate change.
Any senior adviser refusing to accept “the scientific consensus on climate change” should be sacked, it said.
Propane is a byproduct of both natural gas production and crude oil refining. Just in the past year, its production has spiked by 15 percent, and a good chunk of that new production is considered surplus, to be exported from brand new fuel terminals. In fact, just since 2012, propane exports have gone up from around 150,000 barrels to 400,000 barrels a day as of last October. It should be flush times the Hank Hills of rural America. But, according to The New York Times, it’s quite the opposite.
Egypt faces a serious energy crunch in securing the required petroleum and natural gas imports to meet expected summer requirements, Egyptian Oil Minister Sherif Ismail told Reuters on Monday. While keeping the geographic company of hydrocarbon giants, Egypt is a net energy importer and currently relies on regional allies for oil and natural gas shipments.
What passes for energy policy in the UK took another turn for the worse yesterday when Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, waded into the debate about energy prices by suggesting that both Centrica and SSE are profiteering from gas sales and should possibly be broken up.
The output of the Cruachan hydro electric power station in Argyll could be more than doubled under plans revealed by Scottish Power.
Energy secretary Ed Davey’s attack on British Gas and SSE for making double digit profits will win him support from hard pressed consumers but it ignores the fundamental issue that is driving up the cost of energy in the UK: As a nation we increasingly depend on expensive imports of natural gas to keep us warm in the winter.
The energy minister’s letters to the assorted competition and energy regulators is a masterpiece of iron fist in velvet glove.
Naturally Ed Davey understands the annual energy market assessment being carried out by Ofgem, the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition and Markets Authority must be “independent”. And the regulatory troika must feel it can “recommend any of a range of things, ranging from no action to a full market investigation reference”.
U.S. scientists announced on Wednesday an important milestone in the costly, decades-old quest to develop fusion energy, which, if harnessed successfully, promises a nearly inexhaustible energy source for future generations.
For the first time, experiments have produced more energy from fusion reactions than the amount of energy put into the fusion fuel, scientists at the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California said.
My selection of stories posted by Luis de Sousa At The Edge of Time.
The German government has proposed a new fee that will affect companies generating their own electricity. Critics say the fees will drive companies away from renewables altogether.
Villages face the bulldozer as one of Europe’s renewable energy leaders leans more heavily on an old habit.
BOSTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) — Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the most water-stressed and drought-ridden U.S. regions, a study indicated.
Fracking involves massive amounts of water, sand and chemicals injected at high pressure to fracture rock and release stored gas. The technique has unleashed a U.S. oil and gas boom.
Fifteen soldiers were killed this week guarding an oil pipeline in northern Iraq, the first assault to involve so many casualties amid concerns an al-Qaida insurgency in western Iraq is spreading to vital oil-producing regions.