Green or Greed, you decide

(James Higginson) #1

(Mark Rimmer) #2

I had an electric Renault Clio a few years ago, it was great! I then bought an electric peugeot 106 without its batteries, which had been leased. Although the car had only covered 16000kms - less than a fifth of the batteries’ life - the leasing company would not sell them. I spent the next 2 years looking for batteries but eventually gave up & sold the car. It is the waste of the batteries which annoyed me. They pollute when manufactured & again when they are dismantled so it makes sense to get the full life out of them inbeteen times. This goes for most products today, with governments & manufacturers being the WORST offenders, not the 4x4 driver!
Biggest bloomer to date? The scrappage schemes! I personally know of a mint Peugeot 106 with 32000 miles on the clock being cashed in & of course scrapped! It drove like a new car & would have driven for many years to come. What would the carbon footprint per mile covered be?

(Stuart Wilson) #3

Funnily enough, not too much though, they’re supposed to shut down automatically under adverse conditions but it doesn’t always work out that way.
Less seriously, possibly in front of the Houses of Parliament or l’Assemblée Nationale in France.
I’m not sure if they work better with hot air though.

(Stuart Wilson) #4

Just watched the videos of flicker effect. I didn’t notice any on his house in the background. Assuming it is his.
I know I couldn’t live with it. They should be sighted in large industrial areas as stated in the blog. Wind farms are not going to prevent climate change. Peoples’ attitudes to the use of energy are.

(Liane Edwards) #5

Blimey, where does this guy live? We weren’t even told that 6 wind turbines were going up, the nearest is just about half a km away from my house. At night they sound like a washing machine if the wind is in our direction and the blinking lights at night are a bit annoying. I don’t actually live in the commune that they went up in, so no benefit for me, even though I am one of the closest living to them! It hasn’t affected our house price (apparantly!). I have actually got used to them and fortunately we have some tall trees and a large barn which blocks 4 out, but in the winter (after the leaves have dropped from the trees) we shall have a full on view with flashing lights from 4! My French neighbours were a wee miffed to say the least, they had no idea either and can see all 6. I live only 3 miles from a small town but have/had a fab view over the countryside. Just annoyed that not even a courtesy letter was sent so we could at keast have had our say, see where they were going up etc.

(Roger Thomas) #6

Interesting your approach to electric/hybrid vehicles. I used to live near Starcross and one of the features of the old railway station was a building from the industrial revolution, the atmospheric railway. It was Brunel I think who came up with the idea of not having the power source in front of the train, but materials science let him down, the rats ate the leather seals faster than they could be replaced. A bit earlier in my life I used to visit my grandparents in London and was amazed that the busses didnt make any noise, they were ‘Trolley busses’ the power was supplied by an overhead line thus electric traction without batteries. Could we not extend this theory into everyday life using 21st century technology and supply the power safely from under the surface of the road like a big induction coil? I’m sure a decent engineer out there must have the same idea.
Oil is too important to burn, hydrocarbons are base materials for the plastic industry, fertilisers, pesticides etc.

(Roddy Hays) #7

Neither wind nor solar energy are the panacea to world energy problems. Not in their present forms, at least. With their current systems both are good at present to augment the present power sources, and they do provide some "green’ relief across national grids and local networks when demand merits it, but as they are expensive to implement and run, it rather negates their long-term future, especially in poorer countries.

And electric individual transport will never become the reality that the green developers would have us make out. To create an electric vehicle makes more demands on the resources of the earth than the build of a conventionally powered vehicle - indeed, a car such as the Prius looks wonderful on paper but as China holds 97% of the reserves of the rare metals needed for its batteries and motor, we’re looking at a resource more finite than fossil fuels, though Greenland may offer some more reserves of the “Dragon Metals”.

There is, unfortunately, no quick, economic or easily arranged short term solution post Peak Oil. That there might be a solution in a different form, in 30 or 50 or more years time is a possibility, but the earth and its inhabitants have to prioritise their needs for now - to keep transport rolling and food delivered, homes warm and clothes made - whilst utilising what remains of fossil fuels to create and develop the next great power solution. But I think they never will.

And all of this pales into insignificance really, because countries such as the UK, France, USA, Germany and Japan (just for example), make up less than 10% of the world’s population, and while we worry about Peak Oil and energy the other 90% of the world worry more about food, water, safety, climate, and firewood. By the year 2050 people like us reading a forum like this will be even more in a minority, and whether our computers are powered by wind, sun or tide will be but a small detail in the great uncoiling of power created by 12 billion hungry people on the move to our greener pastures.

It needn’t be doom and gloom, of course, since we have the capability within ourselves to yet do a great good for the planet, but I fear those concerned enough to try and do something will be but a room of candles bravely waiting with the shutters open as the hurricane of the Sixth Extinction looms large and dark on the periphery of this century.

(Roger Thomas) #8

I am glad I live in France especially when I look at my electricity bill 93% green no carbon electricity…I’m sorry the developer in the clip was making a case for green energy and offering wind farms as the panacae for the worlds ills, there will come a time when individual transport will not be powered by fossil fuels, electricity generation will need to increase but wind farms/wave power are not the way or at least nobody has shown that they produce more energy than they cost to manufacture and service.
As much as there are fears about Nuclear at least we know it works, produces enormous ammounts of energy and leaves behind a very small waste problem.

(Jeni Middlehurst) #9

The interview left me inspired and ashamed at the same time. Does anyone really think it is a singular British trait to be so self protective? I think not. I think that the “what will it do for me” syndrome is multi national. But in our case, perhaps if the UK government and local authorities actually worked as hard in bolstering a spirit of individual and national pride as they do in allowing councils to punish people for not being able to follow their restrictive practices, then we might actually start looking after ourselves and everybody else. We need some of the old wartime spirit back again and authorities that give the people the opportunity to help themselves and other.

(Helen Aurelius-Haddock) #10

We are due to have twelve in the village where I live.
The closest turbine will be half a kilometer from the nearest house.
The village will also have a small solar farm erected by the company in charge of the wind turbines, and the profit from this will be ploughed directly into the village coffers.
I think that has to be a positive aspect of the turbines coming to the village.