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  1. The BBC report indeed states that over the past 60 years the sun has been more active than at any time in the previous 1000 years. It then goes on to say that sunspot activity cannot explain the warming observed over the last 20 years, which is instead put down to a human-induced greenhouse effect. The following article, published online in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, also shows that solar variability can in no way explain the observed temperature rise since 1985. There does seem to be a wider problem in receiving climate science through the mainstream media. After hearing the argume
  2. Here's the link to the Tradable Energy Quotas (TEQs) website: Tradable Energy Quotas Basically, every adult is given an equal (free) entitlement of units. Fuels (and electricity) each carry a rating: one unit represents one kilogram of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent in other greenhouse gases, released when the fuel is used. If you use less than your entitlement of units, you can sell your surplus, and if you need more, you can buy them. The number of units available on the market is set out in the TEQs budget, which looks 20 years ahead. The size of the budget goes down yearly. The TE
  3. To a large extent, peak oil and climate change seem to be two sides of the same coin. Both are due to Western civilisation’s overwhelming dependence on oil (climate change also being due to other factors). However, I think you’re right in that peak oil will soon become a much more urgent problem than climate change. Living in a wealthy country, the effects of climate change are quite remote for us, at least for the most part and in the short-term: it’s our children and certainly our grandchildren who will suffer the most serious effects. Climate change is already causing droughts in the
  4. I wouldn't worry too much about it. A friend of mine feels the same way about Angel (David Boreanaz) from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  5. Some of my favourite horror films: Candyman Hellraiser Halloween Evil Dead (all 3 films) The Lost Boys (Kiefer Sutherland and "Bill" from Bill and Ted both play vampires) I haven't seen the Howling, but that Picardo chap has certainly played a bunch of weird roles. He was in Gremlins 2, and also the Wonder Years where he played Coach Cudlip. Although I'm not sure if that qualifies as horror; then again....
  6. Thought this was worth adding to the discussion: it's an article from the Guardian yesterday (again by George Monbiot) about the negative impacts of biofuel production. Here's an extract: Another key point is that, due to deforestation, biodiesel produced from palm oil is responsible for ten times as much climate change as ordinary diesel. The full article is available here: http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2007/03/27/a-lethal-solution/#more-1051 I didn't listen to the whole budget speech last week, but this point is certainly relevant:
  7. I don’t think I’m doing Mr Monbiot justice here at all. The impression I get from reading his book is that he does consider all the available options, and how they may fit into an overall scheme. I’ll try to put his point about biofuels into context. The main gist of the chapter on transport (by my reading) is as follows: Biofuels Should only be employed on a small scale, as at present. Setting higher targets will lead to a massive surge in imports of both palm oil (for biodiesel) from Malaysia and Indonesia, and sugar cane (for ethanol) from rainforest land in Brazil. This report by
  8. Hi Freyr, thanks for your questions. Yes, I was referring to road transport in the UK only. Here's the relevant extract from Monbiot's book: According to the report Monbiot cites, the UK has 17 million hectares of agricultural land, of which 5.7 million hectares is arable land: http://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/publications/auk/2003/chapter3.pdf I see what you mean; since trees don't need to be grown on as high-quality land, there may be considerable scope for them to be used as biofuels.
  9. Sorry, I wasn't at all clear in my earlier post when I said that biofuels are a pipedream. What I meant was not that they weren't being developed, but that in terms of meeting demand they simply aren't feasible. In George Monbiot's recent book: "Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning", he discusses how supplying all our cars, buses and lorries with biofuels would require 25.9 million hectares of arable land to grow them (in the UK we currently have 5.7 million hectares). Even if we used up all of our potential cropland for growing biofuels, we wouldn't even meet a quarter of the demand. This
  10. Hello all, I'm new to Shetlink so this is my first post. Nice to meet everyone. I've been doing a lot of reading about global warming lately, and would like to hear folks' opinions on a suggested framework for reducing emissions. "Contraction and Convergence" is a framework put forward by a chap named Aubrey Meyer, of the Global Commons Institute of London. His idea is that a global agreement is first reached on the maximum level of greenhouse gases we can reasonably permit in the atmosphere (from what I've read and heard on the news, this is likely to be at most 450ppm CO2 equivalent). On
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