Friday, May 16, 2008

Share and share alike

It's Friday. My back hurts, my RSI is like sherbet in my veins and I'm clocking off.

So as one kind reader has shared, so do I, and my making a comment-free link we maintain cleanliness on our hands, other than to say it's often not the message that matters so much as the messenger...


I at least have a new word to add to the lexicon.

More on Hydrogen.....

....from Guardian CIF. The piece argues that Hydrogen fueled planes are a possibility, but it is perhaps all the more interesting for the comments that it has generated.

Make some noise!

Or... don't.

DEFRA have produced an online map of the country's noise pollution.

On balance, an... 'interesting' idea.

I just don't see it being very practical, hence useful, hence being used. I wonder how much it cost... and will cost to maintain. Versus a bloke with a mic. going out on demand.

BBC - Maps chart noise in urban areas


(DEFRA) Detailed noise maps available at the click of a mouse -

A new Defra website provides maps showing the level of environmental noise from major industries, road and rail networks in 23 urban areas in England.

The information, covering 80,000 km of roads within urban areas, 28,000 km of major road networks and almost 5,000 km of railways, will be used to draw up action plans to reduce unreasonable levels of noise, where practical. In urban areas these will also include measures to protect designated quiet areas.

Users are able to search by postcode to access maps that show noise levels over an average 24 hour period, as well as during night time hours only. The site also includes information on the number of people exposed to these levels of noise. All member states have to produce maps under the EU Environmental Noise Directive.

Note: An agglomeration is defined by the regulations which implement the directive as a continuous urban area of more than 20 hectares with a population of more than 250,000 and a population density of more than 500 persons per square kilometre. The boundaries of the agglomeration do not necessarily match those of the local authority with the same name. In some cases the area mapped goes wider than the local authority area, in others areas have not been mapped because the population density was below the threshold level.

The following gives a guide to typical noise levels:

Level Noise Description

120 Threshold of pain
95 Pneumatic drill (un-silenced at 7m distance)
94 Fast Train (180 km/h, behind yellow line on station platform)
83 Heavy diesel lorry (40 km/h at 7m distance)
81 Modern twin-engine jet (at take-off at 152m distance)
70 Passenger car (60 km/h at 7m distance)
60 Office environment
50 Ordinary conversation
40 Library
35 Quiet bedroom
0 Threshold of hearing

The alternatives are out there...

The other night I watched a very inspiring programme on the SKY documentary channel about alternative energy innovations.

And I must say I was impressed, not just by the number, but also the quality of ideas on display.

One that caught may attention was a unique wind turbine design that really seemed had a lot going for it, but a US designer called Bill Becker.

I attach here the Google page I called up as there's a lot to wade through, and there may even be pros and cons, but I just wanted to get it logged now while fresh in my mind.

Medium shows; don't trust media (or quangos)

Found an interesting site recently, attracted by a debate on some rather spectacular waste stats:

BBC More or Less - Going to waste?

Let's just say that, in their 'enthusiasm' to make a problem look a lot worse some, such as The Independent and WRAP, are seen by the BBC to have been less than rigorous in confirming, or fully explaining their facts.

So says the BBC (it's a few minute slot at the end of 20 -odd). And in this case, I'll say I see merit in their investigations. We're talking numbers that go from 1/3 to 1/5 in the blink of a rational challenge, and factors of 100 wrong.

Me, I don't have £3.5B (or even £50M) to play with, so I don't know, so I simply share what I read... and crank the necessary eyebrow where and when appropriate.

Eco-woe word of the day is....

....... 'Barbarisation'. Its a new term on me, but I did kind of understand what he meant once I'd read through the article in the Guardian.

Loads more doom and gloom!