Thursday, December 18, 2008

A nail in the coffin of old king coal?

That's what some new scientific research reported by SoftPedia suggests; that coal is far more damaging in terms of CO2 emissions than is burning petroleum or gas.

"by burning fossil fuel, power plants emit 40 percent more deadly CO2 than facilities using natural gas or crude to generate electricity."

by using oil and gas alone, humankind may be safe from the effects of global warming for a long time".

So we all have to give up burning coal. Hmmmm, I don't think it is going to be quite that simple, even though the evidence is slowly building up - see TreeHugger.

When targets achieve the opposite effect

Seems like the lack of thought behind setting targets has created yet another snafu where the exact opposite of what the target was required to do is happening.

In this particular case, as reported in the Telegraph, councils are rejecting more planning applications purely in order to guarantee that they win the maximum central government grants available.

"More local authorities were meeting the 13 week target set by Whitehall by simply rejecting an application or encouraging the developer to withdraw it. This meant that they qualified for the grant money."

At a time when the building development market has collapsed because of the recession, this is simply absolute madness!! And perhaps I now understand why a guy I know has had his application for a large wind turbine turned down, despite the fact that he lives high up in a remote spot, and none of his neighbours (a handful within a three mile radius) objected!