Britain is in danger of running out of gas. Yesterday, the National Grid that is responsible for Britain's gas and electricity network, issued an unprecedented warning – called a “gas balancing alert” – warning that there was not enough gas to meet demand. Gas supplies to some businesses might have to be reduced. Not surprisingly, the move sent wholesale prices spiralling up fourfold.
Michael Klare, author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency has picked up on comments made by British Defence Secretary John Reid, that we reported in a blog last month (see blog here).
BP – the oil company that is running an unprecedented public relations campaign trying to portray the company as green and caring - was last week responsible for the largest ever oil spill on Alaska’s North Slope.
Americans consume approximately one million barrels of oil a day in non-fuel products. As an article in Christian Science Monitor notes: “Look around you. What do you see? A computer screen, the print on this page, a pen, your shirt. Chances are there's petroleum in all of it. Petroleum-based substances are in everything from lipstick to laundry detergents, clothes to computers to chocolate bars - even fertilizers and pharmaceuticals”
Scientists have found that temperatures in the Bering Sea are warming. This is bad news for wildlife that is dependent on bottom-dwelling creatures that thrive in cold temperatures. Species affected are said to be sea ducks, gray whales, bearded seals and walruses.
Are we witnessing an about-turn in energy thinking in the UK? The Labour government, worried by climate change and energy security, is in the middle of a review on energy that will be published in the summer. All the pundits believe though that the government will commit itself to a new generation of nuclear power plants, based on the existing centralised idea of supplying electricity.
As we blogged yesterday some environmentalists are questioning the ecological impact of biofuels. Now it seems they are also questioning the latest "alternative energy" source in Spain: Olive pips.
Tomorrow the EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs will present the "eagerly-awaited" Green Paper on Energy Policy, where he will outline a common European response to issues such as energy security and climate change.
Once again Britain’s credentials as a leader in the fight against climate change are being undermined. Tomorrow, one of the country’s leading scientific research organizations – the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) – will vote on closing three strategic research centres.
They may be in favour at the White House, but a new report attacks the concept of biofuels being the panacea for either climate change or energy security.
Written by the British-based think tank Science in Society (ISIS), it says that Biofuels have gained prominence from politicians and environmentalists because they are “carbon neutral”, in that they do not add any greenhouse gas into the atmosphere; burning them simply returns to the atmosphere the carbon dioxide that the plants take out when they were growing in the field.