Friday 10 July 2009

When is French British?

Team Green Britain is the new advertising campain launched by EDF energy. EDF stands for √Člectricit√© de France and is owned by the French government. Of the Big six energy providers they sit at the bottom of the green spending league.

So ... not Green ... not British

What is worse is that they have hijacked the logo of Ecotricity who are (as far as I can tell) one of the greenest energy providers around.
The Ecotricity Van
 The EDF van

    Some EDF facts
  • 85% owned by the French State.
  • The worlds third largest producer of toxic Nuclear waste – but the two producers ahead of them are actually whole countries, rather big ones too – The US and Canada. So EDF are the world’s biggest corporate nuclear polluter.
  • They have some 5 million domestic customers in the UK.
  • They produce about 30 million Tonnes of CO2 per year (in the UK). No small amount.
  • Recently they bought British Energy – might explain why they suddenly feel so British.
  • They sit at the bottom of the green spending league (of the Big Six anyway, Good Energy pip them to the very bottom…:) ) spending the least per Capita (per customer) building new renewables. A measly £10 last year.
  • EDF have never met their minimum legal obligation under the RO – how green is that?
  • Fred Pearce from the Guardian has some useful info on that front, including the fact that - EDF Trading boasts of being “one of the largest participants in the global coal market” and it imports 30M tonnes a year in to the EU, for burning in it’s own and other peoples coal fired power stations (the ultimate CO2 producers of course).

It's just not cricket!
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Tuesday 7 July 2009

Microsoft Furniture

A salesperson walks into your office today and tells you that you have to buy a new, pre-built, expensive desk for every one of your employees. You have to buy a new desk today and replace it every three to five years. Additionally, there are no options for the desk and you may not alter it in any way - one desk is all we make and you have to buy it from us. You see, you don’t really own the desk; you’re simply purchasing a license to use the desk. Chairs are sold separately and we have the corner on the market for chairs that are 100 percent compatible with the desk. The chairs are also very expensive.

Does that sound like a scenario in which you wish to participate? Preposterous, you say? Is it? Now, what if I told you that you do have a choice of desks? In fact, just across the street from your office is an entire mall filled with desks and chairs from which to choose. Here’s the exciting part: The desks in that mall are all free. That’s right, free. Take as many as you want. You want chairs? They’re free too. If you want to customize your desk - or even build one from scratch - you can. What’s stopping you? Go pick up your free desks and chairs.

I’m feeling your reluctance to load up on those free desks and chairs. What’s the problem? Do you believe that there’s something wrong with those desks because they’re free? The free desks and chairs are just as good as the expensive one, plus they’re customisable down to the most minute detail.

If you’re like most, you’ll opt for the “one size fits none” expensive desk. Having choices, even if the other choices are free, often doesn’t make it any easier to choose. Sometimes it’s a “follow the crowd” mentality. For example, if your insurance company, family physician, elementary school and engineering company all bought the expensive desks, who are you to go in some other direction? A mind of your own is a terrible thing to waste.

Who cares if, while using your expensive desk, you occasionally have to open all the drawers and reclose them for the desk to work properly. Again, it’s what everyone else bought and it’s good enough for him or her, so why should you go to the trouble of learning how a new desk works or messing about with some new-fangled chair? After all, if something goes terribly wrong with the desk, you only have to call the manufacturer and someone will fix it, right?


The desk manufacturer assumes no responsibility for the workmanship or the maintenance of your desk. That’s left to independent businesses or individuals who’ll charge you to fix the desk. The manufacturer releases semi-annual patch kits to fix any anomalies you find with your desk. However, there are numerous manufacturer freebies: Cute drawer handles, holographic arm rest decals and fun paperweights to make your desk-using experience more enjoyable.

One word of caution: You should make nightly copies of all your desk’s contents and store them in a larger, more expensive desk that no one uses. Yes, you have to buy a chair with that desk too. Don’t become too attached to your current desk (now that you have it arranged just as you want) - you have to upgrade to a newer, heavier and better version in a couple of years. Not to worry, if the new one is so cumbersome and unstable that your productivity slows to a crawl, the manufacturer will have a better version in a couple of years for you to buy.
You’ll buy it and again you’ll be just like everyone else.
Via LinuxPlanet
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Monday 6 July 2009

Crazy theories

Sometimes I read about geo-engineering ideas and I think, 'that sounds like a fantastic idea' assuming of course there is no unforseen side effect; other times I hear about a scheme that makes no sense at all. I have just read about an idea to reduce ocean acidification, which is absolutely bonkers. In essence the problem is this - too much Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere means more is absorbed by the oceans, the Carbon Dioxide in the ocean forms cabonic acid whic prevents things like corals and phytoplanktons from forming shells correctly. In order to correct this imbalance Tim Kruger, a former management consultant has proposed a project known as Cquestrate. This involves adding Lime to the ocean to reduce the acidity. The lime will react with the Carbon Dioxide to form calcium carbonate which will sink to the bottom of the ocean to form a sedimentary rock sequestering the Carbon for centuries (it sounds good up to this point)

However the big question is this where does Lime come from? Lime is produced on an industrial scale by roasting Limstone at over 1000 degrees C this releases huge amounts of Carbon back into the atmosphere, and it takes lots of energy to heat it this hot too. Where is the sense?Link
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