back to article Climate change blows out eco-boss's record bid

An attempt to set a new wind-powered land speed record, backed by a self-described "hippie" businessman and wind energy promoter, has failed. Dale Vince OBE, founder of energy-trading and windfarm firm Ecotricity, blamed carbon-induced climate change for the setback. Ecotricity is backing the "Greenbird" high-speed land yacht …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    He definitely is in the wind business

    Looks like he's generating quite a lot of it himself.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    He'll go Far......t then

    Being a Vegan he'll be intimately acquainted with the awesome power of wind then......

    Where's the rootin tootin raspberry icon when you need it..?

  3. A J Stiles
    Thumb Down

    Easy to blame anyone but yourself

    It's easy to blame anyone but yourself when things go wrong. Perhaps it was the wrong sort of wind?

    By the way: How *do* they manage to get all those wind turbines to do exactly 3000rpm (and hence give 50 cycles per second, in perfect sync with all the other power stations) irrespective of how hard the wind is blowing?

  4. Colin Millar

    Its dirty work but someone's got to do it

    Grauniad reading, sandal and sock wearing, humous eating, eco-faddists have to be relieved of their cash by someone - they should be branded 'Born to be fleeced'.

    Who was it who said 'never give a sucker an even break'?

  5. Alexis Vallance
    Thumb Down

    What an idiot

    So 'unseasonal rains' are automatically attributed to climate change?

    Newsflash - weather conditions aren't static year in year out. No doubt the lake bed has been flooded numerous times in the past before anyone thought of 'climate change'.

    Perhaps when it was a lake?

  6. Dave
    Thumb Down


    "we produce more than 12 per cent of England's wind energy."

    All kidding aside, how big does this become when you factor in the wind energy captured (please stop saying that 'Energy' is 'generated') in Scotland, Wales and NI, much of which is exported to England?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ha ha ha.

    What a clown!

  8. TeeCee Gold badge
    IT Angle

    Sometimes it rains.

    ISTR that Donald Campbell's second attempt at the Land Speed record with the rebuilt Bluebird gas turbine car (rebuilt after the first attempt and crash at Bonneville) was also on a dry lake bed where it hadn't rained in 20 years (another Aussie one, Eyre).

    It pissed down with rain, writing the whole thing off for that year. Funnily enough this was before carbon-based Global warming became a universal excuse for the weather playing silly buggers, so it was put down to sheer bad luck.

    Funny how somewhere in the last 40-odd years "Shit Happens" got replaced by "Global Warming". Is this now official?

  9. Anonymous Coward



  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    He looks just like another famous carbon-neutral "hippy businessman".

  11. Chris

    I'm going for the fastest sodium bicarbonate lemon juice renewable energy powered speedboat......

    I read this as he was attempting to break the land speed record in a wind powered vehicle, not he was attempting to break the wind powered vehicle land speed record......

    While I applaud their effort at going faster than 116.7mph in a wind powered vehicle, it does not compare to going 763 mph and breaking the sound barrier.

    But if what I'm reading about apparent wind is correct, maybe they can have a 763 mph car follow behind them with a giant turbofan blowing the Greenbird along?

  12. David Leigh
    Thumb Down

    What a dongbrain!!!

    'I firmly believe that wind power will be our main energy source'

    Oh yeah - and when the wind don't blow?????

    This guy is a complete numpty. There is no credible alternative to nuclear power so live with that you climatista! He is just spouting the usual anti-capitalist/Dave Spart nonsense, backed up by no credible science.

    Just remember that CO2 makes up only 400 parts per MILLION in the atmosphere; most of it comes from completely natural sources, volcanoes being a huge contributor - are you guys going to protest against volcanic eruptions?

    Just leave him in a padded chamber to foam at the mouth as the temperature drops (as it has over the last 10 years). Remember the 70s - global cooling was the terror then!!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Wrong sort of wind ?

    Seems he's generating methane, as the septic tanks say " blow it out of your ass "

    Did you know the earth is going to crash into the sun next week due to climate change !

    Why rip reg? Because we want MORE icons !

  14. Wade Burchette

    The guy's brain is too small


    This would explain a lot. These eco-nazis crack me up. If it is too wet, man's fault. If it is too dry, man's fault. If is too cold, if it is too hot, if it is anything at all, it is man's fault. And since, no matter what, it is our fault, we have to do something about now! I sure wish these vegans eco-nazis would eat some meat, then maybe their reasoning skills would return. A big steak loaded with protein and B12 might give the clairvoyance to see that there is no set definition of what normal weather is, therefore, they are only comparing what is happening now to what they want.

    Give me my coat, I'm going to Uncle Jim's farm and and finding me a nice cow. Yum yum yum.

  15. Rob Crawford
    Paris Hilton

    Australian drought

    According to the news Austrailia was suffering a country wide drought (for the last few years) due to CO2 Except for him of course.

    So what carbon emmissions where created by him heading off to Oz with his land yacht for a bit of self pleasure.

    Also what these wind experts all seem to ignore is the UK (and much of mainland Europe) is often becalmed and it dosn't matter about spreading the turbines right across the the British Isles (or even Western Europe) cos there is no appreciable wind for days at a stretch.

    They also in the same breath complain about wildnerss areas being despoiled (until it comes to their own companys windfarms)

  16. Adam Foxton

    @A J Stiles

    They don't. It'll either go through a generator with some sort of variable gearbox or- more likely- have some sort of electrical trickery applied to it- for example having it rectified to DC then pulsed into a transformer at a precise number of pulses a second. That way it doesn't matter how fast the windmill turns- whatever happens, it works just fine.

    Similar bits of electrical trickery (or "electrickery") will be employed to make sure it's the correct voltage.

    On a different note, how come they couldn't just stay until the water level dropped a bit? In their website photo they clearly show it sat on a beach so it can't have any trouble getting over slightly damp land. Okay it'll slow them down a bit but technology has improved so much in 40 years you'd hope the Greenbird could comfortably overtake the current record holder even with that handicap!

    Wind powered cars will suck as much as electric cars until the battery technology really improves- at which point petrol will be worth a lot less. Build a 300 mile range, 100mph top speed, under 10-sec 0-60 (easy with series-wound motors) 5-seater that's on sale at a few tens of thousands of pounds and people will rush out to buy it. I certainly would!

  17. Dave
    Thumb Down

    weather -vs- climate

    If it happens this week it's "weather" if it happens for the next 10 years it's climate. Don't let him blame a bad weather day on anything but chance. To call it climate change is just rubbish.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else noticed

    that recently the threat of global warming has changed into climate change after it's completely failed to become hot, surely the climate is constantly changing anyway??

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ A J Stiles : The speed of a swizzlestick.

    Without knowing how they actually do it, I can think of a few ways they could.

    1) Gearing. Constantly varying transmissions have been around in cars for a long time.

    2) Don't, generate DC then convert with a giant inverter.

    3) Vary the field in the alternator to vary the resistance and thus speed.

    4) Use the variable rate power for pumped storage and rely on the pumped storage generators to smooth the cycle.

    5) Some not too fantastically challenging electronics could smooth it.

    6) Vary the blade pitch.

    I know, I know, such a problem as generating 50Hz power is probably insurmountable and all those swizzlesticks are fake.

  20. Steve

    Person who stands to benefit from adoption of windfarms says...

    ... "windfarms are the way of the future"

    Go figure!

    I shouldn't knock him, Al Gore did very well by doing the same!

  21. Chris G

    Just another jet set hippie

    The guy is a twat! Whilst wind can and undoubtedly will have an important part to play in supplying the national electricity needs of the UK, it will never reach 50% never mind being the main source.

    Unless he knows something about climate change that nobody else knows.

    Vegans are a weird lot and almost always have more than one axe to grind, perhaps he would like to stay in the outback and develop his windmills there. It would do us all a favour.

  22. Franklin

    Renewable energy

    is a bit of a misnomer, anyway. The generators will be replaced on a statistically regular basis (wear, damage, etc) which makes them the non-renewable consumable. Current "carbon trading" theories of cost put these on rather unfavourable footing with the stored solar energy (in the form of petroleum and coal (and peat, if you're in Ancient Scotland)) we use now, and not much (if at all) better than a combination of good ol' fashioned "doing without" and drudgery.

  23. Chris

    The worde you need is...


  24. Anonymous Coward


    If we got every living person, in unison, to inhale and exhale, while facing east. Granted, we'd probably have to hand out a couple of breathmints, but at least we could get this clown a little closer to achieving his goal, so he would do the honorable thing and fade away into obscurity.

  25. Son

    pompous ass

    While sparing us all that terrible CO2 pollution and it's resulting climate change, just how did Mr. Tamboreneman plan on getting himself, 'The Blowhard Speedster', the pit crew, and all their crapto Oz???? I heard it would be by hot air, (methane), balloon.

    Could someone verify this ??

  26. Jason Croghan

    Unseasonably rainy weather...

    Has been happening since records began, but there wasn't any 'vegan, former bus-dwelling New Age traveller, peace campaigner, hippies' around to blog about it back in the day.

    Wake up, wait for a week and try again instead of complaining like a twat. Or try living in Ireland for a year and then complain about unseasonable rain.

  27. Richard Ormson

    So how would he get to Australia....

    ....without emitting any CO2?

    Or is he a hypocrite as well as an idiot?

  28. Matt Clary
    Paris Hilton

    dry lake beds

    Leave it to the eco-nuts to complain when a lake bed is not dry.

  29. Aging Hippy

    @A J Stiles @JonB Windmill Speed

    Think of a factory where there is sheet material rolled onto a big roller - steel mills, paper mills etc (anyone in the UK can use a history book as reference). There's a lot of energy to be dumped when the roller is stopped. This uses the motor as a generator, some fancy electronics to convert the energy to DC, then to AC in phase with the mains input and dumps it back into the mains supply.

    Now think of the electronics as just the mechanism for stopping the blades on the rare occasions the wind wants to turn them.


    The blades can run at optimum pitch for the wind irrespective of the output requirements.

    The system can be run in reverse to start the blades spinning or keep them running when it is politically wise to do so.

    Wind generated by spinning the blades can be picked up and used by the next wind farm so giving a way of storing energy much like a stored water system (OK, I made this one up but when you see it in a politician's or expert's proposal you saw it here first)

    Please note that I am an Aging Version 1 Hippy - "make love not war", "make tea not war" (English version), overthrow goverments etc. <RANT>The Reg - please do not mix verion 1 hippies with the new age hippies who only seem to want to jump onto the latest bandwagon of scientific mumbo-jumbo to allow goverments to exploit the masses. The sooner these windmills start falling down the better.</RANT>

  30. loren massie


    Perth, just a reasonably short (by Oz standards) distance form this dry lake is having a rather dry Winter(the wet season). Must be global warming or the cows fault or something other than weather. Either that or he could have come in summer, the dry season instead and had better luck.

    Wind power or other unreliable power collection systems can't supply much more than 25% of total system requirements. Something about destabilizing the grid. They also can't replace any of the generating capacity since as someone said, it doesn't always blow or shine or whatever.

    But what really pisses me off me is these guys always give us the maximum capacity of their turbines not the average generated over a reasonable time span.

    The one thing I'll remember from a visit to Pommy land, was all those wind turbines sitting atop otherwise pretty green hills. Go Nukes.

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