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Messages - silkman

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Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: March 27, 2017, 09:55:45 PM »

I can honestly say that in many years of vegetable gardening I've never knowingly killed a bird with a net. The only species interested in getting at my brassicas are Wood Pigeons and they are big enough to look after themselves. I use cheap plastic nets to keep them at bay. The truth is that, without the nets, there are no sprouts for Sunday lunch.

As you rightly say, soft fruit bushes are more of a challenge as they do attract lots of interest from a range of smaller birds. So to protect our precious currants and berries I use much more expensive soft woven nets that don't seem to cause any problems. I do on occasion have to rescue the odd well fed finch that has found its way in but can't get out again though!

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: March 20, 2017, 09:44:49 PM »

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: February 15, 2017, 09:26:51 AM »
And as a result the UK's plans for a nuclear renaissance face another major threat to add to the problems at EDF's Hinkley Point.
  Unions are urging the government to take back control of its nuclear strategy after Toshiba’s deepening financial crisis cast fresh doubt about its involvement in the planned Moorside power station in Cumbria.

Justin Bowden, GMB’s national secretary for energy, described the situation as a “fiasco” after Japan’s Toshiba, the lead party behind Moorside, revealed a $6.3bn writedown in its US Westinghouse business and confirmed it was scaling back investment in new overseas nuclear projects.

Meanwhile the UK Government remains in nuclear La La Land:

.   Greg Clark, the business and energy secretary, sought to reassure that the UK project would go ahead. “I have spoken to Toshiba and NuGen today. I welcome the continued commitment of the NuGen consortium to the Moorside project,” he said.   

The chance of replacing the ageing coal fleet with new nuclear is zero and the investment in sensible alternatives such as the Smart grid, local generation and storage grossly sub-optimal. There seems to be little chance that post-Brexit UK will hit its Paris targets

I hesitate to say it but this appears to be a really "cool" idea. This is from the linked Economist article:

  That cooling effect, 93 watts per square metre in direct sunlight, and more at night, is potent. The team estimates that 20 square metres of their film, placed atop an average American house, would be enough to keep the internal temperature at 20°C on a day when it was 37°C outside.

To regulate the amount of cooling, any practical system involving the film would probably need water pipes to carry heat to it from the building’s interior. Manipulating the flow rate through these pipes as the outside temperature varied would keep the building’s temperature steady. Unlike the cooling system itself, these pumps would need power to operate. But not much of it. Other than that, all the work is done by the huge temperature difference, about 290°C, between the surface of the Earth and that of outer space.   

Can those more expert than me spot a flaw? There has to be one...... Surely....

Science / Re: ClimateGate 2
« on: February 06, 2017, 10:21:04 AM »
Predictably, Matt Ridley is all over this story in The Times this morning:

The sad fact is that in our "post truth" world any open and rational responses to the story will have little influence on, not just the denier community, but on the mass of folk who are not sufficiently engaged to take an informed view.

It seems to me that we may be making a rod for our own backs by putting this highly sophisticated and complex data set supporting the warming of the planet front and centre of the Climate Change debate.

We all know that the insidious increase in heat being retained by our planet as a result of anthropogenic impacts on the atmosphere are real and essentially irreversible. And most dramatic is the one that this Community is dedicated to.

Perhaps our best response to attempts to undermine confidence in the data we have on the temperature of our warming planet is to continue to showcase the impact of all that excess heat on the Arctic ice.

The ice cubes cooling our global gin and tonic are rapidly disappearing and the implications are clear.

Surely this is the counter argument that says it all:

Antarctica / Re: Rift in Larsen C
« on: January 07, 2017, 09:02:48 AM »
As Hans pointed out in an earlier post, the bookies are now on to this story.

Paddy Power is offering 6 to 1 on the calving to take place in January but February and March are joint favourites at 7 to 2.

Remember, the bookmakers are seldom wrong :)

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: January 04, 2017, 05:20:59 PM »

We find leeks are pretty easy to grow and they're very hardy when standing over winter. Slugs are a challenge when they're young but we've never suffered from leek moth. Maybe we're too far North for that. Rust is a bigger challenge for the onions and shallots too. There's not a lot you can do about it.

The secret is to grow lots of different things. Every year some do well and some struggle.

Our objective is to be able to eat at least something home grown 52 weeks a year. This is the most challenging time - there's a limit to how many Jerusalem artichokes you can eat!

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: January 03, 2017, 11:41:36 PM »

The secret is keeping those darned slugs under control :)

Enjoy your well-earned sabbatical!

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: January 01, 2017, 01:41:20 AM »
Here in NW England its chilly, currently 8C, but the vegetable plot keeps on giving. Today we harvested sprouts, leeks, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and a swede. Downhill now to the early rhubarb. Fresh air and exercise to boot - what's not to like?

Happy New Year!

Science / Re: Mauna Loa CO2 2016 Thread
« on: November 08, 2016, 06:11:52 PM »
.....and August 29th 2016 was almost certainly the last single day with a Mauna Loa CO2 reading below 400ppm for an extremely long time. If one ever needed evidence that mankind was capable of geoengineering the planet then this, surely, is it. And still the GOP is in denial. Everything crossed over here in the UK for a Hillary victory today.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: September 19, 2016, 10:10:24 AM »
Unbelievable levels of smoke showing over Western Siberia on this morning's MODIS. Swipe to the left to see more.

Signs of significant action too in Indonesia. When will they learn?

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2016 melting season
« on: August 28, 2016, 09:54:11 AM »
Those waves in that location are probably giving S&S some sleepless nights.
This seems to be the kind of weather they warned of, which could release lots of CH4 from the not so deeps off the Arctic coast of Siberia.
With weather like this is it even likely that anyone would be around to notice? Would the storm dissipate any Methane plumes that might even now be spewing, well before they had been spotted by satellite?

I don't know about Shakhova et al but those waves are certainly causing the Northabout crew a sleepless night or two according to the blog young Ros is writing:

"Chukchi Sea UTC 22:15 27 Aug

The Chukchi Sea is wild and we are wet, tired and hungry.

We are into the second day of 25 to 30 knot winds, throwing the boat around and everything in it. Many people are feeling queasy and not managing to eat very much. We are being thrown around in the saloon whenever we try to do anything, such as make a cup of tea or cook dinner. I for one feel ill, weak (through not eating enough), and slightly sick all of the time. All of our kit is soaked from being washed over when we are on watch. We can’t light the stove to dry things out or warm up because it doesn’t work when we’re heeled over. As Barbara put it, it’s all she can do to get onto her watch. Her sleeping bag is soaked because the waves have been leaking through the forward hatch – so is Ben’s, and Denis’ whole bunk is wet. Nikolay has himself strapped into his bunk with bungees to sleep. David is not sleeping because his ley cloth is not keeping him in his bunk properly. Apart from that we are having a wild ride."

Consequences / Re: cruising the Northwest Passage, anyone?
« on: August 23, 2016, 12:28:45 AM »
Crystal Serenity has just passed through the Bering Strait and into the Chukchi.

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: Greenland 2016 Melt Season
« on: July 22, 2016, 08:51:36 AM »
Melt extent, as forecast, went above 40% on July 20.

Arctic sea ice / Re: Arctic Image of the Day
« on: July 14, 2016, 03:15:16 PM »
Are the folk caught gathering on the beach by the Barrow webcam looking at a polar bear.... or is it just an ice floe.... or, looking closely, could it be two bears?

This year's Healy mission has recently reached the edge of the ice after passing through the Bering Strait. Links to its position and webcam here:

UK assigns climate skeptic to head climate change committee

UKIP to chair assembly climate change committee despite scepticism
Wales Green Party leader Alice Hooker-Stroud said putting a UKIP politician in charge of a climate change committee was "absolutely ridiculous".

"It makes a complete mockery of Welsh politics and today I am ashamed to be governed by a group that could make this decision," she said.

Sigmetnow, this story fortunately relates to the Welsh Assembly, not Westminster.

That said, anything is possible should the increasingly odious Andrea Leadsom become our next Prime Minister with the support of the climate sceptic right wing of the Tory party!

Wales, of course, is a country the size of, well, Wales😊. However, they did unlike England, get to the semi-finals of the EURO 2016 football tournament, just edging out the mighty Iceland in the process.

Good things sometimes come in small parcels, it seems.

In the post Brexit gloom here, just 35 miles from the Welsh border, we could do with some good things right now.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 26, 2016, 01:30:00 AM »
  So managing the decline is the better path perhaps than going all in on BAU.

Therein lies the rub.

If I felt that the success of the Leave campaign and the consequent destabilisation of the structure of the U.K. and of Europe had anything to do with the concept of a transition to a new order that recognised the unsustainability of BAU (Green or otherwise) I'd be cheering from the roof tops.

The sad fact is that the driving force behind this outcome is an attempt to shore up the UK's position in the old world driven by exponential growth. It's all about "controlling our borders". We don't need a wall, except in Ireland, but the basic thought process is identical to Trump's solution.

Unquestionably the EU has a massive democratic deficit but it has to date played a positive role in nurturing fledgling democracies across the continent. I happen to think that is a platform to build on and not to disparage and destroy.

I'm also of the view that the UK as a mature parliamentary democracy, despite or maybe even because of its colonial history, should be playing a key role in addressing the obvious challenges created by the Brussels plutocracy.

We desperately need to start moving towards a new order that recognises that it's in the best interests of everyone to abandon the economics of exponential growth and to work towards the more equitable distribution of wealth that is needed to inhibit both conflict and migration.

This maybe pie in the sky and a collapse of society may be inevitable but I fail to see why I should do anything other than to try to realise that dream.

With that in mind it terrifies me that the victorious Brexiters have no clue as to what they intend to do next but one thing is for sure - "managing the decline" is not on their agenda.

The rest / Re: Europe - Collapse dynamics
« on: June 25, 2016, 11:46:40 AM »

I couldn’t agree more.

I’m still in shock following Thursday’s result and I’m struggling to get my head around what we’ve just done to the future of my six grandchildren.

The referendum campaign was a travesty, fought on both sides with soundbites, untruths and xenophobia stirred up by the popular press and was ultimately decided on a single issue that became totally conflated with EU membership – immigration.

In reality it became a plebiscite on the effectiveness of our self-interested, metropolitan political class and the decision was an understandable urge to wish a plague all their houses – Corbyn as well as Cameron.

But we now have to live with the consequences and the challenges are substantial. Just like the ice in the Arctic the resultant storm is creating cracks and fissures everywhere. Whoever picks up the poisoned chalice of Government (and even that’s unclear!) will have to face Scottish devolution, renewed pressures for a united Ireland, disputes over Gibraltar and a myriad of other challenges as well as addressing the issue of EU exit and the resultant need for new trade deals.

Climate change I’m afraid won’t get a look in though the resultant recession may seem to solve the problem for a while.

And what’s really most frightening is we have no “Brexit” government in waiting. We don’t even seem to have a plan:

I think one of Roger McGough’s poems sums it up well:

I wanna be the leader
I wanna be the leader
Can I be the leader?
Can I? I can?
Promise? Promise?
Yippee I'm the leader
I'm the leader

OK what shall we do? 

Greenland and Arctic Circle / Re: The Nares Strait thread
« on: June 06, 2016, 09:24:39 AM »
Big changes at the Western end of the Nares Strait this weekend. The polynya closest to the Strait is joining the main stream. Collapse of the current arch imminent?

Policy and solutions / Re: Revolution
« on: May 30, 2016, 12:08:26 PM »
I once sat next to Ken Livingstone (left wing ex-London mayor with good climate change credentials) at a Climate Change Conference Dinner in Cambridge.

When asked who he thought were best placed to sort out the climate he nominated the Chinese. When asked why, he responded "Because they're not constrained by democracy"

He had a point.

As a follow up someone asked him if he would therefore like to see a dictatorship in the UK.

"Yes - as long as I could be the Dictator" was his reply.

I think he was joking........

Science / Re: Mauna Loa CO2
« on: April 08, 2016, 12:40:11 AM »
New record at Mauna Loa with a month or so to go to the expected peak. A single daily reading means little but seems to be increasingly unlikely that this year's trough will be south of 400 ppm.

With 410 ppm already on the horizon the chance of limiting the increase to <450 has to be extremely small.

Walking the walk / Re: Gardening
« on: March 26, 2016, 12:10:56 AM »
10kg from four redcurrant bushes, Neven?

No problem!

See reply #228 on page 5 above for our 2014 crop

Science / Re: Mauna Loa CO2
« on: February 23, 2016, 09:14:34 AM »
Keeling Curve kicks on up.......

Policy and solutions / Re: Global economics and finances - impacts
« on: January 07, 2016, 12:07:15 AM »
The result of "underwhelming" 2.9% per annum growth is a doubling of the global economy in 24 years - by 2040, the same timeframe that COP 21 sees as critical to the achievement of their almost certainly underpowered 2C target.

This old and sometimes politically incorrect video of Albert Bartlett's explanation of the exponential function has been posted on this site before:

It's long and there are shorter versions to be found on YouTube but if you haven't watched it it's worth finding the time.

It illustrates brilliantly exactly why economists' views of "sustainable" growth are undefendable in the context of a finite planet.

The simple message is that if "business as usual" can only be achieved through exponential growth it will lead to failure. The only variable is how long it will take.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 04, 2016, 01:02:14 PM »

I totally agree that the Plan was visionary, pointed us very much in the right direction and had the potential to allow us to take a leadership role as the world (hopefully) starts to recognise the existential nature of the threat.

I'm sorry to say that, as ever, short term political expediency has pushed the long term agenda onto the back burner.

We'll miss our 2020 targets, let alone later ones. Sorry to be so negative!

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: January 04, 2016, 09:40:47 AM »

I fervently wish that your faith in the previous UK Coalition Government's Carbon Plan was well placed.

Yes, it was both ground breaking and legally binding when driven through by the Conservative's Liberal Democrat partners as a price for their support but has it has any real impact? The simple answer is no.

Cameron moved rapidly from his commitment to be the "greenest government ever" to "getting rid of this green crap" and through obfuscation, neglect and budget cuts has quietly canned the Plan.

Here's just a few examples:

Electricity generation - reduction in renewable support through feed in tariffs,  continued subsidies for Carbon industries, a massive push for fracking and cancellation of CCS investment.

Housing - cancellation of the Green Deal and abandonment of plans to tighten Building Regulations

Transport - commitment to a new runway at Heathrow

The list goes on.

I don't think you can look to the current UK government for leadership right now, I'm afraid.

Science / Re: Mauna Loa CO2
« on: December 31, 2015, 01:16:15 AM »

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« on: December 31, 2015, 12:38:35 AM »
About a week according to ECMWF:

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2015/2016 freezing season
« on: December 30, 2015, 02:17:43 PM »
The webcam at the Isfjord Radio Hotel on Svalbard is clearly showing the effects of the rain and the high temperature on the lying snow. Amazing - unprecedented in December?

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 29, 2015, 06:09:45 PM »
Current temperature at Longyearbyen Airport as reported by Weather Underground is 6C:

"Longyear Airport
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
                          Actual       Average   Record
Mean Temperature   3 °C      
Max Temperature   6 °C         -9 °C         3 °C (2004)
Min Temperature   0 °C"

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 22, 2015, 08:33:31 AM »

I've mowed that lawn since 1983 and until recently the last cut was end Oct and the first in late March.

Not much sign of change in the medium term forecast either if the ECMWF is to be believed. Here's New Year's Eve. More rain in the Lakes and no snow in the Alps. A snowless Davos in January might help the Economic Forum get the message.

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 21, 2015, 08:14:53 PM »
Here in NW England, I mowed mine yesterday. Not sure if it was the last cut of Autumn or the first cut of Spring!

Happy Holidays!

Policy and solutions / Re: Coal
« on: December 16, 2015, 12:14:15 AM »
The head of Europe’s coal lobby has said that his industry will be “hated and vilified in the same way that slave-traders were once hated and vilified” as a result of the Paris climate deal, in an extraordinary diatribe sent to his members and press outlets.

“The world is being sold a lie, yet most people seem to accept the lie, even if they do not believe it,” Ricketts warned. “The UN has successfully brainwashed most of the world’s population such that scientific evidence, rational analysis, enlightened thinking and common sense no longer matter.”

Desperate times call for desperate messages.

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: December 14, 2015, 02:57:45 PM »
Not much sign of a significant negative response for carbon stocks on the FTSE with BP, Shell and BHP Billiton all off around 2% at lunchtime in a flat market.

Not too much coverage in the financial press over the weekend either.

That said, UK traded coal stocks have already been hammered extremely hard. The writing is already on the wall for them.

Consequences / Re: Conservative Scientists & its Consequences
« on: December 09, 2015, 12:40:04 AM »
I'd suggest that if Kevin were to delete the word "slightly" he'd be a bit closer to the mark. We'll all be the victims of the tyranny of exponential economic growth - even at a modest 2% per annum!

Consequences / Re: Weird Weather and anecdotal stories about climate change
« on: December 06, 2015, 09:01:38 AM »
Folk in the North of England are made of pretty stern stuff. Just look how the kids in Cumbria responded to Desmond, the latest 100 year storm to hit the Lake District...... Six years after the last one!

Watch what's going on behind the lads on the bikes:

Yes but.......

The totality of Rudd's speech yesterday was little short of disastrous for those of us in the UK who would like to see us taking a leading role on Climate Change. Oliver Tickell sums it up well in the Ecologist:

"Amber Rudd's speech today exposes her total failure to assemble a coherent energy strategy, writes Oliver Tickell. It reveals the increasingly certain failure to meet EU renewable energy targets, proposes a new tax on wind and solar generation, and leaves the country facing the real prospect of lights going out in the next decade. The one hard policy? To maximise oil and gas recovery."

The Tories are looking to fracking and nuclear to secure the country's energy security whilst at the same time completely ignoring the smart grid and energy storage revolutions that are being embraced by more enlightened governments.

And don't even start me on the demand side. We have the poorest housing stock in Northern Europe but we choose to build a dodgy French nuclear plant with Chinese money rather than insulate our houses, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, in an infrastructure project that would be paid for by the consequent reduction in the cost of treating cardio-pulmonary disease in the NHS.

I'm angry!

Science / Re: Global Forest Watch
« on: October 19, 2015, 08:50:36 AM »
No sign of a let up in the peat fires in Indonesia that are currently emitting carbon at a rate greater than the total US economy according to the Global Fire Emissions Database:

There's some international collaboration now to tackle the fire but it's clearly too little too late:

This situation seems destined to continue until the current El Niño subsides

Typhoon Koppu (Lando) is starting to batter the Philippines. Forecasters are saying that the slow moving nature of the Category 4 storm will bring unbelievable amounts of rain.

It looks like the start of yet another difficult time for this nation that sits in the eye of the El Niño fuelled storm track.

Policy and solutions / Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: October 17, 2015, 09:42:03 AM »
Dodgy dealing at Porsche too it seems:

The full Times article is behind a pay wall but the gist is that Porsche secretly put a software delay into the throttle system at 30mph to ensure that the cars met noise pollution requirements.

The result, according to the anedotal reporting in the article, was a 2.5 second delay to the car's acceleration on overtaking from 30mph, causing a risk of collision and, clearly, enormous loss of face for the purchaser of a £50k vehicle who paid the price precisely to perform this sort of manoeuvre.

Another example of industrial arrogance in the face of environmental legislation it seems and more damage to the reputation of VW.

Consequences / Re: 2015 - The Year of the Feedback?
« on: October 14, 2015, 08:55:56 AM »
As ASLR already pointed out the hot spot of CO2 associated with the Indonesian peat fires is remarkable.

Jai Mitchell just posted this link to a 2002 Nature paper indicating that 0.81 - 2.57 Gt of Carbon may have been released by similar fires in 1997 on the Global Forest Watch thread:

I've got a personal interest in the ongoing ecological tragedy as I have three grandchildren currently suffering from the PM 2.5 in Singapore but the scale of the potential global impact is staggering.

Science / Re: Mauna Loa CO2
« on: October 11, 2015, 10:07:09 AM »
The Keeling Curve is closing in on 400ppm already.

Walking the walk / Re: Weeds and wild-growing plants
« on: October 06, 2015, 03:07:59 PM »
Up here in NW England rocket is a staple but our favourite is wild garlic. We have a shady border at the end of our garden where it competes very effectively with the bluebells. The young leaves are delicious in early spring and we also make wild garlic pesto which is great with goats cheese.

Add a few wild strawberries in summer and the delicious taste of fresh blackberries in the autumn and it's free hedgerow food that marks out our seasons.

The combination of El Niño and the annual rain forest burning in Sumatra has turned Singapore into a Smog Zone for most of the past month.

Levels of PM 2.5 have been persistently high. Life for my three grandchildren out there is getting increasingly difficult with schools closed on a regular basis and there's little sign of an end in sight.

The highlight of the weekend for my family was the opportunity to go out for a while without "smog prep" as the Air Quality Index dropped into the Amber zone. It's back to "unhealthy" right now.

The Island needs the usual evening thunderstorm on a regular basis right now but it seems El Niño is effectively putting a lid on that.

Now Category 4 and really battering the Bahamas but models indicating a higher probability of avoiding a direct hit on the East Coast.

It seems as though Obama is going to use his imminent trip to Alaska to put Climate Change centre stage. This week's storm and its impact on the ice, the coast and Shell's drilling activities will serve as an interesting precursor to his visit and perhaps give the doubters a little more food for thought.

A good piece this morning from the Union of Concerned Scientists about the threat to Native Alaskan villages is probably amongst the first of many seeking the opportunity to exploit the spotlight on the State:

Arctic Background / Re: Arctic Wildfires
« on: August 24, 2015, 09:24:58 AM »
The frightening fact is that JDA's two stories from the Siberian Times are datelined 11 days apart.

These wildfires seem to be totally out of control and are clearly threatening the future of a critical but fragile, globally significant heritage site.

Similar fires have been burning in the area all summer. If this isn't a wake up call for those with their heads in the sand about the threat to our Boreal forests I don't know what is!

The rest / Re: A “BABY BOOMER’S” Apology to Future Generations
« on: August 12, 2015, 10:07:50 PM »

I too was born in 1946 on the other side of the Atlantic and would like to second your eloquent apology.

We really were the luckiest generation of all time. In almost 70 years I've never had to carry a weapon or fight a war. There have been some bumps in the road along the way - Suez, Cuba, Vietnam, 9/11 but I was a teenager in the 60's, a scientist in the 70's and 80's and financially secure thereafter.  What's not to like?

I've been constantly amazed to watch science and technology change society and will admit I was into my retirement before the challenges facing the world I helped to create became increasingly apparent.

Just why the fallacy of sustainable exponential growth took so long to impact my thinking I can't explain. All I can say is that I really do fear for the future and can only try, belatedly, to play my part in spreading the word.

My three children have grown into likeable adults and I have five beautiful grandchildren. The youngest is just two and will be my age in 2083. I do hope that he finds a way to live a fulfilling life and that his generation will rise to the challenge of solving the problems that we Baby Boomers will leave behind.

Finally, thanks to Neven for providing an outlet for the hopes and fears of many like minded folk across the world and the generations. It's about the ice - the canary in the mine - but it's about so much more!

Policy and solutions / Re: Better Tomorrows
« on: July 19, 2015, 10:27:34 AM »
"Soon -- just like the utilities who are contracting for clean energy because businesses want to buy it -- builders will start building net-zero houses because their customers ask for those features, and will pay for them." 
You'd think so wouldn't you?

The UK government's recent but badly designed Green Deal scheme has totally failed to stimulate interest in energy efficiency amongst homeowners and has served simply to give the big six utilities another mechanism to maintain their control  of the market.

Having been heavily involved in a Green Deal Pioneer Places scheme I have first hand knowledge of the background to its failure. The controlling hand of the Big Six was no surprise but the most disappointing thing about the whole experience was just how little value the average householder in this country placed on energy efficiency, despite complaints about fuel bills. All the attention is on the supply side.

As a part of our government-funded scheme we retrofitted two buildings to the highest standards to illustrate what was possible. Local estate agents, when offered the chance to learn about the benefits, were uninterested. This was entirely logical from their perspective as they were only reflecting their customers' interests. One of the two properties was sold recently and attracted a higher price than the pre-retrofit valuation - entirely, we understand, based on the improved cosmetics of the state of the art solid wall insulation!

With today's Sunday papers covering Amber Rudd's intentions to push fracking with the self-serving support of Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos, it should be no surprise that the Tories are running away from their prior commitments to tighter building regulations. Their commitments in Paris later this year will be hollow.

The world (or at least the UK) is upside down on this one!

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