Here's our weekly update of interesting green stuff we've stumbled upon on the web
Plum LineConsumer culture leaves us "stressed, depressed, fearful, angry and neurotic, our old brains tell us, "Try harder. Get more." To try to feel better, we strive to get more of the things we already have: more wealth, more choice, more information, more entertainment, more self-esteem, more control. But it no longer works. We are overshooting our rainbow." Times writer, John Naish, launching the the landfill prize, which seeks the most useless, wasteful consumer gadget of the last 12 months.
Plum JobThe clever - or simply logical - Swedes have come up with a system to collect commuter's body heat and use it to provide 15% of the heating for a new, neighbouring, 13-storey building. Ventilators from the station will suck up the warm air given off by the 250,000 people and use it to heat water. "All that's needed are a few pumps and some pipes," the project leader said.
I hope all the morning grumpiness gets filtered out ...
Green Gauge IssueA welter of discussion about Britain's decision to go nuclear (again). Back bencher Michael Meacher's blog calls calls John Hutton's statement yesterday, "the woolliest, least explicit, and feeblest intoning of generalisations I have heard in a long time. He lists the questions that he asked the Government about the policy but didn't get an answer on and yet the Government is going ahead anyway. Trust the future and trust the experts.
But Polly Toynbee accuses the Government of being in thrall to a cabal of said experts well-funded by the nuclear industry to write off the renewables lobby and carry the message that: "nuclear power is the grown up option. All the rest are tree huggers." It makes it hard to know which experts with clipboards to believe. It seems the biggest con is that such stations will be built purely as investment vehicles.
Ecologist editor and Tory-lite, Zac Goldsmith, pointed out on Newsnight that there had been a green light on building nuclear in the US for 30 years, but nothing was completed until the Government guaranteed 80% of costs. Professor Tim Burke from Imperial College on the same programme said that nuclear power stations, globally, could not be the answer to preventing catastrophic climate change: one was being built a year. 14 were needed to have an impact. The supply chain for this was not feasible.
With the Government saying that it is 'unlikely' that the first power station will come online before 2017, more debate is to be had, no doubt.