* Posts by scatter

112 publicly visible posts • joined 29 May 2009


Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight


Re: A luddite writes...

Gotta say the argument about how regular flying is so terribly exhausting and tiresome for poor, downtrodden execs that they really can't live without supersonic flight / a new, more convenient airport / an extra runway etc etc *really* grates.

The externalities of aviation (whether that be accelerated climate change, disrupted sleep for millions, air pollution or surface congestion around airports amongst many others) are enormous and I couldn't give a flying fuck if executives find aviation inconvenient. Flying all over the world on a regular basis is why you get paid much more than average so you can just deal with it. After all, the rest of us have to deal with the impacts of your flights and we don't get any compensation for the disrupted sleep and destabilised climate.

New solar cell breaks efficiency records, turns 34% of light into 'leccy


Re: Critical questions

"as well as costing several orders of magnitude above conventional energy supplies"

Eh? Even FOAK renewables like the proposed tidal lagoons have a strike price the same order of magnitude as Hinkley Point.

Latest onshore wind and solar prices are substantially below gas and coal in many markets.


Re: In terms of watts per dollar...

Well that's true but I'm not a big fan of those systems. I just prefer the idea of using solar thermal at 50% efficiency to PV at 15%.

We're off grid and we do use our immersion heater as a diversion load when the batteries are full but if I was grid connected I think I'd prefer to export and have my neighbours use it.


Re: Barking in the wrong forest.

Well I sincerely doubt you can get costs down that low but it's really not worth the bother. If you check the Warwick wind trials you'll see that micro wind has a capacity factor in the order of 1%. It's really not worth bothering with, however cheap you can make it.

ETA: in very windy rural locations (like up a mountain in Scotland) then yes micro wind can be made to work. But you may as well stick up a proper wind turbine and get a decent amount of power.


Re: In terms of watts per dollar...

Just to add a UK perspective where it's a little bit different:

Here hot water is predominantly generated using natural gas. Over half of UK boilers are condensing boilers heating water at somewhere around 80% to 85% efficiency and that proportion is growing all the time.

Hot water only represents only around a fifth of total domestic heat requirements so if solar water heating generated all of your hot water (impossible in the UK) you would save about £150 per year. A more likely figure is about £100 per year. A new solar water heating installation costs about £3,000 to £5,000.

A 4kW PV system on the other hand costs somewhere around £6,000 to £8,000, generates about 3,600kWh a year which is about the average electricity demand. Assuming you use half and export half then you'll save £180 on avoided electricity costs alone (ignoring feed in tariff and export rates). Also the PV installation is avoiding electricity generated on average at about 50% efficiency at best.

So there's very little in it in terms of payback times. I love solar water heating though and it would be great if the industry could get the costs down. It's a good fit with solar PV as evacuated tube installations only takes up a small proportion of a house's roof so you can fit PV panels around it as well and get the best of both worlds.

SEWTHA is a great book but it didn't have all the answers and did slip gradually out of date in some key areas (it was published all the way back in 2008 I think). It was a very important contribution to the energy debate though.


Re: Barking in the wrong forest.

The problem with that is that at low panel prices, inverter costs and soft costs start to dominate so it's more cost-effective to use panels that are more efficient, although a bit more expensive.

A 1 or 2kW wind turbine generates bugger all unless it's in an exceptionally windy spot because it'll be mounted about 10m off the ground with all the turbulence and boundary layer that implies. A large offshore wind turbine will have a hub height over 100m, will knock out 8MW and has a capacity factor of 40% to 50%. With wind turbines bigger is most definitely better.

Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb


Re: 'ere we go

Well-Lit is a UK company selling lamps with a CRI of 97. They're excellent.


Re: TCO?

Look for high CRI lamps. Their light output is virtually identical to incandescent.


Re: TCO?

Much of northern Europe uses gas for space heating which is generally a lot cheaper and lower carbon than electricity. Also having your heat sources up near or even in the ceiling is not really a great way to go about heating a room. Much better and cheaper to fit the most efficient lighting you can find and leave your heating system to do the space heating as it was designed to do.


Re: Sounds expensive

"And so called White LEDs are ghastly colour rendition"

Not any more. Look for high CRI lamps (95+). The light they produce is barely indistinguishable from incandescent.

Top boffin Freeman Dyson on climate change, interstellar travel, fusion, and more


He'd add no more weight to climate science than, say, Stephen Hawking does, and Hawking's support for climate science doesn't make the blindest bit of difference to anything at all so I don't get your point.

If denigrating an *entire* field of science isn't arrogant I don't know what is.


"How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?"

Or... just maybe it's not your field and you don't know what you're talking about.

His arrogance is pretty breathtaking.

Massive global cooling process discovered as Paris climate deal looms


I'll look forward to Lewis correcting his article then....

Any time now....

He'll definitely do it this time...

It is the science section of the Register after all and when someone believes in the scientific process they correct their mistakes don't they....?


Classy move Lewis

Classy move Lewis

Not disingenuous at all this article, oh no. Let's take some excerpts:

"MASSIVE GLOBAL COOLING process discovered as Paris climate deal looms; 'Could explain recent disagreements'"

"... global temperatures have actually been stable for more than fifteen years, a circumstance which was not predicted by climate models and which climate science is still struggling to assmilate"

"...Global models at the moment assume total emissions of isoprene from all sources - trees, plants, plankton, the lot - of around 1.9 megatons per year. But, according to the new research, the newly discovered "abiotic" process releases as much as 3.5 megatons on its own - which "could explain the recent disagreements" between models and reality."

But let's look at the press release that he lifted this quote from:

"Isoprene is a gas that is formed by both the vegetation and the oceans. It is very important for the climate because this gas can form particles that can become clouds and then later affect temperature and precipitation. Previously it was assumed that isoprene is primarily caused by biological processes from plankton in the sea water. The atmospheric chemists from France and Germany, however, could now show that isoprene could also be formed without biological sources in surface film of the oceans by sunlight and so explain the large discrepancy between field measurements and models. The new identified photochemical reaction is therefore important to improve the climate models."

"Thus, it is now possible to estimate more closely the total amounts of isoprene, which are emitted. So far, however, local measurements indicated levels of about 0.3 megatonnes per year, global simulations of around 1.9 megatons per year. But the team of Lyon and Leipzig estimates that the newly discovered photochemical pathway alone contribute 0.2 to 3.5 megatons per year additionally and could explain the recent disagreements."


So this reference to a discrepancy between observations and models appears to be to concern a discrepancy between isoprene models and measurements, not climate models and temperature observations. I'd go so far as to wager he hasn't even bothered to read the paper. Lame but typical. The work sounds useful though and no doubt will go into the pot and help refine GCMs, just not in the way that Lewis so desperately wants.

As an aside, it is really quite adorable how Lewis is using the Register as a platform to run his own pre-COP21 disinformation campaign. And single handedly as well because all of the Register's proper science journalists have reputations to uphold so wouldn't stoop this low.

Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?


Re: The end of any driving pleasure

Sorry, never going to happen.


Re: The end of any driving pleasure

"Think outside the box. You don't need to deliver 5MW of power. You can use a battery replacement system."

This is true but you're going to need an awful lot of batteries and a thumping great big grid connection to service peak times when you could have hundreds of vehicles arriving every hour.

"Alternatively you could use a system that charges the car while it is still moving."

AKA a hybrid which is the obvious solution to driving long distances in an electric vehicle.


Or... this whole driverless car thing is going to fizzle out in the coming decade as it's just too damned difficult and it'll become the colonies on the moon of this generation.


Re: The end of any driving pleasure

"If (and I admit it's a big if), battery power becomes usable to the point of the convenience that we now have with liquid fuels of "add 600 miles of range in 90 seconds""

That's never going to happen due to charging constraints - you'd need a cable that can deliver 5MW of power to achieve that kind of speed of recharge.

More importantly it's totally unnecessary to have electric vehicles attain that kind of charging performance. Get (or rent) a hybrid or take the train if you want to nail 600 miles in a single trip.

'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error


Re: Here we go again

No, it's because a bunch of sunspot experts (astronomers, not climate scientists) worked together to fix a discrepancy in the data. Quite understandably astronomers don't want to use data that is known to be dodgy in their research. As to the ins and outs of the work, I couldn't help you but it'll all be out there in the literature if you care to take a look.

If it also happens to poke a big hole in the sunspots drive climate change hypothesis well... that's just tough luck for the proponents of that hypothesis and it's probably about time for them to move on.


Re: Here we go again

What, so you'd prefer that we continue to use unadjusted data that is known to be faulty? That would be useful...

Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping one per cent of EU energy


Re: Heat Engines 101

I know they require it. My point is that comparing renewable generation (which isn't supplied by heat engines) to primary energy consumption (which is overwhelmingly heat engine driven) isn't particularly helpful.

As our energy future involves largely dispensing with heat engines it's much more useful to consider the energy we need to actually do the job at hand. An average car in the UK uses about 1kWh to travel 1 mile, the average electric car uses a quarter of that. This should be taken into account when thinking about how much renewable capacity is needed.


"By the most recent figures available, in fact, the EU is using around 1,666 million-tonnes-of-oil-equivalent of energy from all sources every year: that's 20,710 TWh. Wind electricity makes up just over one measly percentage point of that. Solar? About half that again, for a total renewable-'leccy contribution of around 1.5 per cent and a roughly corresponding CO2 reduction."

Comparing wind generation against primary energy consumption is a bit misleading. About 70% of all petroleum energy, 60% of coal energy and 30% of natural gas energy consumed is rejected to the atmosphere as heat (all numbers guesstimates). Ignoring technological gains in efficiency through better vehicle design, simply switching to renewables-powered electric transport will dramatically slash primary energy consumption.

Even so, wind and solar are still a small slice of the energy pie at the moment but that will change and it certainly doesn't mean they've failed; it just means we haven't deployed them enough.

Wind is currently at the same point that nuclear was in 1980, solar is where nuclear was back in 1975 when France started deployment of nuclear power in earnest (it's also worth noting that nuclear generation in Europe in 2015 has dropped back to where it was in 1995 - see BP statistical review).

Let's revisit this in 2050 and see what piece of the pie renewables and nuclear are delivering then.

Scientific consensus that 2014 was record hottest year? No


What a desperate article, all the way to the final paragraph of scaremongering. It's almost comical.

'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'


Re: How many errors can you fit in one paragraph?

"But for the amount of money and environmental impact that has been put into Wind power, you could be seeing many times that amount of electricity from other sources."

What environmental impact are you referring to exactly? Wind turbines pay back their energy investment very rapidly.

"The article is stating that actual bills have risen. So if you're stating that usage is actually down then that makes the situation worse, not better. And what are the reasons for electricity usage being down? If it's better insulation or similar, then that's no credit to wind power, it's something that is independent of energy source. If it's down to rising energy costs however (which surely is a factor), well then that's not a good thing, it means people are being driven to use less by the increased costs of which renewables are a very large part."

But they're not a large part! Their impact is quite small (see next comment).

Reductions in demand are down to a combination of energy efficiency measures (mostly driven by legislation and energy efficiency programmes) and behaviour change (mostly driven by prices).

Historically energy bills have risen overwhelmingly because of non-environmental reasons. But the thrust of the paragraph is actually looking forwards as Lewis states "even the paltry amounts of renewable energy now generated and to be generated in Britain are having very severe effects on household and business utility bills, to the tune of 60, 70 or even 100+ per cent increases in the near future". He's probably basing it on a recent REF-sourced Telegraph article "Green policies to add up to 40pc to cost of household electricity" but that's refering to prices not bills. If your prices go up (say) 40% and your consumption goes down (say) 20% then your bills go up by 12%. Of course as the source of that article was REF they assumed energy consumption would stay constant so that they could make the numbers look scary.

"Those are actually pretty big sums of money. You got angry at 15% being called "paltry" despite the huge cost of that 15%, but you want to dismiss 5% surcharge on energy bills. And in reality, the cost is much higher because investment and development of the renewables has taken the place of other more economic means of energy production. It has displaced better technologies."

I didn't get angry. I'm just calling out Lewis's usual flawed propaganda. And yes I consider the 5% of energy price rises attributable to renewables to be small beer up against the remaining 95% which is attributable to everything else. Don't you? Saying that "renewables policies have already caused very severe price rises" is completely unsupportable however desperate you are to spin it.

My view is that energy prices are going up whatever route we take and that steadily increasing energy prices are ultimately a good thing. The low prices we've enjoyed historically thanks to the fossil fuel bonanza have been the anomaly and we've built this hugely inefficient society around those low prices. Now we're moving to a new state where energy prices will remain high for the forseeable. It undoubtedly presents challenges for the less affluent and for businesses, but the fact is that it also drives down energy demand across the board. We need to be much more aggressive in enabling those reductions in demand: product standards should be ratcheted up as a matter of urgency, far better support for the fuel poor should be deployed and businesses need to start investing in energy efficiency now because they are very late to the party. Even if we go down a high nuclear route, getting demand as low as possible is a really good idea because we'll need to build fewer powerplants.


How many errors can you fit in one paragraph?

"An illustration of this fact was given last week, when UK government figures (which the Department for Energy and Climate Change had endeavoured to keep secret) revealed that even the paltry amounts of renewable energy now generated and to be generated in Britain...."

In 2014 renewables are going to have contributed somewhere in the region of 15% of UK electricity supply. How is this paltry?

"...are having very severe effects on household and business utility bills, to the tune of 60, 70 or even 100+ per cent increases in the near future."

As you well know, energy price increases <> energy bill increases because energy consumption is not static. Average household electricity demand is down about 15% since 2005 and average gas demand is down more than a quarter. I'd like to see electricity demand coming down faster but the government has not grabbed the energy efficiency nettle to a sufficient degree so we'll have to make do with 2% reductions per annum for now. Undoubtedly higher electricity prices will drive further reductions.

"British renewables policies have already caused very severe price rises..."

Costs of support for renewable energy amounts to 5% of energy bills and about 5% of the increase in bills since 2010.

"...for very little carbon reduction."

15% of electricity supply isn't far behind nuclear. So do you believe that nuclear is also giving us very little in the way of carbon reductions?

Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again


Re: So they didn't include every community near.....

As it's a Health Canada study I would assume it was funded by the Canadian taxpayer.

White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?


Re: @ scatter

@ Squander Two... Well it results in the same illumination levels for longer periods of time. The thrust of the article was that there would suddenly be a big increase in illumination levels (i.e. lots more lights or the same number of much brighter lights) which is what I was pushing back on because there is no evidence for it but it's always rolled out by people trying to diss energy efficiency in lighting.


Re: @Scatter - look at the numbers, not the technology

Am I missing something? I just checked those out and they seem to be for theatres, not residential lamps.

It's undoubtedly a mixed bag with a lot of cheap shite out there but the good quality ones are definitely there for the buying and getting cheaper all the time. And the existence of crap products is no reason not to tighten the legislation, just a reason for good quality information for consumers, choice editing from retailers or, even better, additional parameters to the labelling requirements such as CRI or PF (there is precedence for that as washing machines are rated for spin and wash performance as well as energy).

I would argue that LED halogen replacements are in a better place now than CFLs were at the same point in their deployment cycle and we want to avoid making the same mistakes that were made with the GLS phase out.


Re: @Scatter - look at the numbers, not the technology

"And if they do that then they are the most stupid idiots in the history of bloody fools, and the entire lighting industry will fight them to the death. Just because something is LED does not mean it's efficacious. Lots of them are utter shite, consuming more electricity to make less light than a halogen."

Yer wot? Please point out an LED lamp with lower lumens per watt than the equivalent halogen lamp. 30W of LED lighting would be immensely bright and way too big for a standard fitting - you can get LED security floodlights that consume 30W but I wouldn't want one in my living room.

"The last round of proposals set a Lumens/Watt minimum and said nothing whatsoever about the technology. This is the only sane thing to do - defining a particular technology is the act of a moron."

I couldn't agree more! It's far and away the best metric and I don't care what technology achieves it. But it will have exactly the same effect - it'll phase out the halogens and replace them with LEDs.


Re: @ scatter

"Disingenuous toad"? It sounds like you're straight out of the 1920s you insufferable cur.

I wasn't being in the slightest bit disingenuous. I merely provided some numbers to show that your claim that it had flattened out wasn't quite correct. It's still trending down, albeit a lot slower than previously. The reason for this is entirely clear when you look at the evolution of demand from the different lighting technologies:


Unsurprisingly the rate of reduction decreases as the incandescent GLS lamps fall out of the lighting stock very quickly. It only takes a few years to get rid of the vast majority of incandescents so their contribution to lighting demand has effectively dropped off to zero.

Now the focus will shift to the 50% of lighting demand that is consumed by halogen lamps. That tiny blue strip in the above graph represents LEDs and that strip will rapidly expand as the halogen strip disappears. How soon that starts is down to the European Union (or electricity price rises). The EU has already made a start, phasing out the most inefficient halogens but it's the directional halogens that need to go as they form the bulk of that demand. Thankfully halogens only last 1,000 hours also so they'll disappear just as quickly as GLS lamps once the transition starts.

It'll do wonders for reigning in the winter peak in electricity demand too so initiating the phase out of halogens really should be a top priority.


"Between 2010 and 2012 the decline you note flattened out"

Not according to the numbers in Table 3.10 (units are ttoe):

2010 - 1,212

2011 - 1,179

2012 - 1,181

2013 - 1,145

We'll just have to wait and see what the Commission does regarding a halogen lighting phase out. My money is on them going for it (it's a no-brainer now with halogen replacements now being at the right quality and price point) so my money's on the Gone Green trend for lighting.


Re: @ scatter

Oh I'm sure there'll be some rebound through people leaving lights on longer (another factor that should be, and is included in any forecasting of benefits from energy efficiency) but that's quite a different thing to adding lots more lighting to increase illumination levels within the home, something which that policy blog seems to imply is inevitable.


"But when is the inflexion point? When will we be satiated with light and thus energy efficiency, in its provision, will lead to less energy use? As this climate change policy blog puts it:..."

I'm afraid that climate change policy blog is simply wrong. We've already reached saturation of interior lighting levels in our homes (at least in the UK) and I'm sure there are very very good psycho/physiological reasons why we aren't going to have daylight levels of illumination indoors (does he really consider that to be a likely scenario??)

This is quite clearly demonstrated by looking at the trend in lighting demand over the past 40 years. UK residential lighting demand peaked in 2002, trended down slowly til 2007 when it fell off a cliff and in 2012 was now back to the level that we last saw in 1978 (see DECC publication Energy Consumption in the UK for the numbers). And over that period the number of households in the UK has increased by a third.

In spite of replacing the vast majority of our incandescent GLS bulbs with CFLs (which have a much lower total cost of ownership) we haven't seen a major uptick in demand for lighting services. And we won't see a major uptick when we replace those CFLs and, much more importantly, all of our halogens (which really are a phenomenal waste of money and energy and now account for half of residential lighting demand) with LEDs which will be well underway before the decade is out.

No, in the UK residential (and indeed all) lighting demand is going to continue to fall off a cliff thanks to LEDs and this is going to make a big impact on our electricity demand.

In the developing world we will see an increase in demand for lighting services which is great because LEDs are enabling the rapid growth of off grid, renewably sourced lighting which is to be welcomed.


Re: Let there be light!

"Admittedly using electric bulbs is an expensive way of heating your home compared to gas, but the planet-savers didn't factor in the lost benefits of incandescent filaments, that on a fully adjusted basis were probably around 15% of their energy use. "

Afraid that's simply not true. As a 'planet-saver' who's worked on the nuts and bolts of energy efficiency for nearly a decade, the heat replacement effect has been well understood and factored in to efficiency savings calculations from lighting to appliances and ITC for at least as long. It doesn't make a big difference but it's big enough to be worth factoring in to any saving calculation.

Climate: 'An excuse for tax hikes', scientists 'don't know what they're talking about'


**Of course the confusion here may be worsened by the fact that we aren't "currently seeing" any climate change by the headline measure: there has been no global warming for perhaps 15 years.**

Oh dear, Lewis yet again betrays his profound ignorance of the issue. What he's trying to say is that there has been no surface air temperature warming for perhaps 15 years, completely neglecting the fact that only 2% of warming goes into the atmosphere with more than 90% going into the ocean.

Incidentally it's factually incorrect to say that there has been no surface air temperature warming for the last 15 years but it's a convenient fiction to maintain.

Hello Warsaw: Greenland ice loss will be OK 'even under extreme scenarios'


Re: IPCC blaming heretics again?

No heat since 1995? What planet are you on? The data simply does not agree with that statement:


Look out! Peak wind is coming, warns top Harvard physicist


If we get to the stage that we're sapping that amount of energy out of the wind then I'll be pretty happy, but in the meantime wind generation will have been lifted well out of the boundary layer and will be quite happily generating far more than its ground based cousins.

Climate shocker: Carry on as we are until 2050, planet will be fine


For a more balanced view

I'd recommend reading the Skeptical Science piece on this research for a bit of balance to LP's breathless 'reporting':


One thing to note is that this research has not yet been peer reviewed or published or even accepted by a journal yet and the results should be treated as preliminary (this is not mentioned in Page's article, surprise surprise). Also the SS article rightly flags the fact that the model returns completely different climate sensitivities depending on the years you include in the analysis (3.7 degrees for the period from to 1750 to 2000 and 1.9 degrees when looking to 2010) which sounds odd to say the least.

Polar sea ice could set another record this year


"something almost equally unusual"

Only Lewis Page could spin this story to suggest that the two ends of the earth are equally unusual.

Compare and contrast the two graphs:




One is about 2 standard deviations away from the mean and the other is more like 5 or 6.

Arctic ice shrinks to ‘smallest in satellite era’ - NASA


Standfirst: "And winter’s not yet over"


Arctic ice panics sparked by half-baked sat data



Why hasn't a correction or clarification been published on this article? One of the authors of the research has commented above to point out the error in the story and yet nothing has appeared on the article itself.

Amount of CO2 being sucked away by Earth 'has doubled in 50 years'


Re: Nails in the coffin?


The earth is absorbing more CO2 (thankfully) and yet atmospheric CO2 continues its inexorable rise...



War On Standby: Do the figures actually stack up?


Re: Standby is most definitely significant...

In what way has he demonstrated that it's bad science or that the standby conclusion is incorrect? Lewis has pointed out some inconsistencies but that's hardly surprising in a 600 page report that deals with many millions of data points and consequentially a need to resort to software to pick through this data. But to suggest that this invalidates the standby findings is plainly incorrect but typical of his agenda-driven reportage.

Naturally the figures I gave were anecdotal but of course we have the real data in our hands, so let's take a look at the main report and compare it with my 'anecdata'. Sky box consumption varies between 15W and 20W over a 24 hr period so let's call standby 15W. The average router was 6.3W, LCD TVs are a couple of watts on average, which already brings us to over 20W and half way to the 47W figure.

I find it bizarre that there is such denial of this real data. Standby is an issue, however much people want to wish it away. Some of it is being dealt with (TVs are a prime example) but it will take quite a while for the impacts to filter through. Other product types have most definitely not been dealt with and legislation should be brought to bear on manufacturers who are foisting shoddy products that cost us a lot of money each year.

The same goes for in use consumption which is of course much bigger than standby consumption. But to suggest, as Lewis does, that we should ignore standby because other issues are bigger (and he does this all the time) is plainly nonsense. It's an easy, highly cost effective win and we'll need these simple and small wins every bit as much as the big wins.


Standby is most definitely significant...

...and something can be done about it. so it's very good that this report is highlighting it. Some of the responsibility falls on the person operating the equipment but most of it falls on the equipment manufacturers. I don't see what's outrageous about an organisation such as the energy saving trust promoting action on this matter.

And after consistent pressure at a European level via the Energy Using Product Directive the manufacturers of many product sectors have made great strides in reducing standby. Lewis notes that modern TVs have very low standby consumption which is absolutely correct but he needs to remember that not everyone has modern TVs. In fact the old ones are no doubt happily sitting in bedrooms or kitchens in standby ticking away.

47W or more of standby is very achievable. I just tested the kit in the corner of my living room (TV, Virgin box, cable modem and wifi router) and it came to 20W. And that's just three things, all of which can be switched off when not in use and by switching them off I'm getting a very welcome saving of about £15 per year on my electricity bill. I can easily see that a small family with multiple TVs, computers and assorted other devices could have standby consumption well in excess of 47W.

I find it strange that Lewis disses actual monitored data that takes our understanding of household electricity consumption much further on but holds up McKay's work as being correct when McKay was working with the much more limited data that existed back then leading him to underestimate the impact of standby. OK it's a small sample size but then I imagine monitoring every electricity using device in a house can't be cheap.

Yet again Lewis confirms my general rule of thumb that if he gets in a tizzy about something he doesn't like then it usually has merit, while if he promotes something as The Solution it usually doesn't.

Amount of meat we eat will barely affect future climate change


Re: Numbers

Also this reduction is achieved through a really quite modest cut in meat consumption:

"To make a really significant difference, however, we will need to bring down the average global meat consumption from 16.6 per cent to 15 per cent of average daily calorie intake – about half that of the average western diet."

But Lewis makes it sound like the evil commie scientists want everyone to go vegan.

Earthquakes will release captured carbon: Stanford study


Re: Hmm

You do know that oxygen and nitrogen (comprising about 99% of the atmosphere) are not greenhouse gases and so do nothing to trap heat so this talking point is one of the lamest ever put out there?

'Scientists' seek to set world social, economic, tech policy at Rio+20


Re: What's so damn bloody annoying

Oh sure we can increase GDP more efficiently but there are thermodynamic limits to the gains which can be made from efficiency (although we've barely made a start on that path). The example of your worker making wooden objects needs to buy tools, light his or her workspace, get the finished objects to market etc etc. Those will have non-zero energy inputs.

So the only conclusion that I can draw is that energy growth is inextricably linked to GDP growth (however you define it) and therefore indefinite GDP growth is impossible because we'll eventually cook ourselves with waste heat as Tom Murphy points out. That applies to fusion power as well by the way.


Re: What's so damn bloody annoying

Except that value added is surely associated with an energy input so physical limits do come into play.

Unless you're proposing that you can get growth without any energy input at all? I'd be interested to know how that is possible.

Smart meters are 'massive surveillance' tech - privacy supremo


Re: Got a reference for this?

Interesting, ta. I believe the UK smart meter spec defines a 5s resolution and I imagine it's substantially harder to identify these kinds of things at these lower resolutions.