Category: Energy

Total blackout

Andrew Levi

Britain’s imminent energy Armageddon, and how to avoid it: in a long read, Andrew Levi warns that the scale and nature of the crisis is still widely misunderstood, and the measures needed to address it woefully underdeveloped. Brexit, a unique act of self-harm, worsens the UK’s situation. Without great good luck, only radical immediate action […]

Now is the summer of our discontent!

Mike Zollo

“Your government?! What a joke that is!” That was the sniggering reaction earlier this afternoon, albeit not in so many words, from our Danish neighbours in the Spanish village where we are spending a few weeks. OK, so it’s human nature to find it easier to recognise other people’s problems than to acknowledge our own, […]

The real risk is that the economy could fail this winter

Richard Murphy

How many people lived in fear in the summer of 1914, dreading what might happen? Come to that, what about 1939? People must have known that they were living on a precipice then, just as we are now. A disaster is about to happen, but there seems to be denial all around. The disaster that […]

Rishi Sunak delivers a package to set the world on fire

Tom Scott

Unfortunately, it will do this all too literally, by driving up new oil and gas extraction while doing far too little to address the acute poverty that now faces millions. Tom Scott lays bare the shocking truth. The U-turn in government policy that everyone was expecting finally arrived today, when Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a […]

Energy prices – what’s going on? Letter to David Warburton MP

Editor-in-chief
wind farm

Dear Mr Warburton, I am writing to you – with copies to local news outlets – about the recent large rise in gas and electricity prices. I am old enough to remember the oil crisis of the mid-1970s. During that period the government brought in a number of energy-saving measures; these included banning the heating of […]

Supply and demand

Tony Whitehead
power station chimneys

We are addicted to fossil fuels, so the news that European oil and gas supplies may be interrupted by the current global geopolitical situation linked to the unravelling humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is focusing minds. ‘Something must be done’ before the lights go out and the home fires stop burning. However, in a myopia we […]

Let’s tax dirty oil and gas profits to tackle the cost of living crisis

Tom Scott
Dirty profits tax poster

A ‘Dirty Profit Tax’ would help to address both extreme levels of poverty and the accelerating climate emergency, argues Tom Scott. This winter, millions of people in our country are facing extreme poverty. The cost-of-living crisis, largely caused by the dramatic rise in oil and gas prices, means that many are already having to choose […]

The last thing we need in 2022 is a poll tax on energy consumption

Richard Murphy

The FT reports this morning that: Households facing a “cost of living catastrophe”, including soaring gas and electricity charges, in April could yet be spared a £100 levy on their bills which had been intended to recoup the money to cover recent energy company failures. Ofgem, the energy regulator, is looking to spread the cost of the […]

Thank you and goodnight: the Conservative Party conference…

Graham Hurley

Watching Priti Patel tossing chunks of glistening legislation to the rapt audience at the Tory Party Conference is to be powerfully reminded of feeding time at the zoo. The same Pavlovian flutter of audience hands at the applause lines; the same salivating eagerness for yet more blood, yet more political protein; the same smacking of […]

“It’s only one petrol station…”

Tomasz Oryński

“It’s only one garage”, I was told when I mentioned that there was no HGV diesel at Lomond Gate earlier this week. But is it really not an issue when only some garages have no fuel? A thread: Lomond Gate is the last garage on the A82 going north that is really suitable for trucks. […]

Silent cars: letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor-in-Chief, You have recently published two contrasting articles on electric cars. Without wanting to contribute to the for-and-against debate, I wish to offer a view on an aspect of these vehicles which seems to be overlooked in most reports about them. I well remember an item on electric cars – the vehicle of the […]

Electric cars: the rhetoric vs the reality

Anna Andrews
empty road under beautiful sky

“We bought an electric car thinking we were doing the right thing… but it’s cost us a lot to set the whole thing up.” So said my friend Trisha, after she read my “Net zero” article in West Country Voices and thought our readers might be interested in her experience of buying her first electric […]

From star to satellite – science in a post-Brexit world

David Love

In matters scientific, European nations do far better working together Our civilisation has advanced dramatically in the last few hundred years and we have only to look to the leaps made in science and technology to understand why. Yet how many people realise that a key element of science lies in cooperation between different nations?  […]

Take part in the nationwide star count!

Bob Mizon

Bob Mizon, UK coordinator of the British Astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies, wrote an article for us last summer aboutlight pollution. We are sharing this press release to alert everyone interested in the night sky to the chance to help count stars. Bob’s original article follows on below. Nationwide star count to reveal lockdown’s […]

Environment Box Set

Editor-in-chief
path through broad-leaved woodland

In case you missed them or ar e hungry for a binge read, here is a selection of articles on environmental issues from our first five months: You can read Part 2 of Tony’s series on Dartmoor here. Part 3 will be published in January.

Green industrial revolution or greenwash?

Miles King

Earlier this week I imagined, not altogether seriously, how Boris Johnson came to create his ten point plan for the climate, or the green industrial revolution, if you like. At the time, there was no detail other than the prime minister’s article in the Financial Times and a shortish press release. Now the government has […]

Cornwall faces cold homes pandemic

James Miller

Despite its mild winters, Cornwall has among the highest levels of cold homes and fuel poverty in the UK, forcing many people to choose between heating their homes, and eating. The Government’s £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme, which aims to insulate up to 650,000 homes and create 140,000 jobs across the UK, launches this month. […]

Somerset’s ambitious plan: carbon net zero by 2030

Oliver Patrick

The UK is committed to being carbon net zero by 2050; however, Somerset’s councils have declared they will work towards the same target 20 years earlier. So what is the scale of the challenge in Somerset and what part can we play, as a community, in reaching this ambitious goal? In 2019 all five of […]

Somerset powers up!

Richard Wilkins

Somerset powers up as cutting-edge green energy storage scheme gets turned on. South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has proudly turned on the largest council-owned battery storage system in the UK. Located next to a National Grid substation near Taunton, the site – purchased in 2018 – has been transformed, in partnership with local and international […]

Build back better

Belinda Bawden

Do you remember last summer? It was hot all around the world. So hot that alarms were sounding everywhere about the need to act now on climate change. Prince Charles joined scientists in warning of the urgency, suggesting that we had an 18-month window to change our current trajectory. Of course, it’s not just about […]