An article which once again, points out the deficiencies in some ‘Green’ ideas. Biofuels are seen as a clean answer to our energy needs, especially for fuel for cars. In order, that we in the Global North, can continue in our wasteful consumption. Some of the article below, may be considered, an exaggeration, but we are once again raping and pillaging the Global South, so as to ensure we maintain our comfortable life-styles.
UN Land Grab Rapes Africa Of Resources & Rebrands Dissenters As Rebels ~ White Owl Conspiracy

Is biomass really dirtier than coal? – Response from the Initiat

I thought I would post Andrew Llanwarne’s letter in response to iCARBS press release against the FoE, Greenpeace and RSPB report on Biomass: Dirtier than Coal? Any form of incineration produces CO, CO2, NOx and particulates, and is an old technology.  But the UK Government keeps trying to push incineration, biomass and waste, as the answer to our energy problems.  It also does not have the strict regulations, standards and enforcement that the rest of the EU has.  It is time the UK Government rethinks it’s strategy towards renewable energy and adopts a strategy fit for the 21st Century and not it’s 19th Century one.

Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:17 am (PST) . Posted by:

“Andrew Llanwarne” andrew.llanwarne

The Biomass Energy Centre report referred to below challenges the findings in the Dirtier than Coal report, based largely on the practices and pricing structure in the UK timber market, with only a passing reference to overseas markets which would be the primary sources of timber for major UK biomass power stations. There is reference at the end to the “extensive work” of the British Govt with industry and NGOs in ensuring overseas supplies will be sustainable, but there is plenty of evidence elsewhere to show that these standards are not assured by assessors paid by the developers. These sources do not seem to take into account the very poor efficiency standards which push up emissions relative to output when timber is used for electricity generation. Locally based CHP or heat-only is the best way to use biomass for energy, where it can make use of locally-sourced waste materials and surplus timber. This is the Scottish Government’s stated policy, but its proposals for future allocation of ROCs are directly contrary to the policy. Although Scottish Government proposes to limit subsidies for electricity-

only plants to 10MW, there is a loophole for biomass power stations of any capacity with a token heat production such as those proposed by Forth Energy (SSE and Forth Ports joint venture). These Scottish plants will only have to meet the DECC “good quality” efficiency standard of 35%, which is only half the 70% efficiency requirement from the EU for CHP production. A second loophole has been left for converting coal-fired power stations to biomass, in the belief that this will result in reduced emissions. The RSPB report undermines that belief.
The overall plea from ICARB is for more careful analysis and peer review, which is a reasonable request, but decisions are being made now on large-scale biomass for electricity developments across the UK, Europe and elsewhere. These will tie us in to reliance on a massive scale of overseas timber production for at least the next 25 years, dramatically increase demand on world markets and ensure that, even if some companies manage to secure relatively “sustainable” supplies, others will have few scruples over social and environmental standards if their investments are at risk. The EU Biofuels Directive has demonstrated what happens to communities and ecosystems when there is a sudden increase in demand for different commercial crops. Any assessment really has to look at the systemic consequences of UK policies on a global scale. The findings would be unlikely to support the large-scale use of imported biomass to generate electricity. Andrew Andrew Llanwarne
8 Glasclune Way
Broughty Ferry
Dundee DD5 3TJ
Tel: 01382 732457
Mob: 0791 294 5325
Sustainable Solutions….Working with Knowledge….Exploring the FutureTo:
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2012 17:56:29 +0000
Subject: [localsustuk] Is biomass really dirtier than coal? – Response from the Initiative for Carbon (ICARB)Hi all,

Please see the press release below and please forward to others.

For those of you who don’t know about us I should stress that it’s highly unusual for us to decide to go to the press.

Cheers and thanks,



Is biomass really dirtier than coal?

Contact Prof Susan Roaf / Dr Keith Baker 0788 412 5540 /

Is biomass really dirtier than coal? This is what is being claimed in a new report by RSPB, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth [1].

However the report, called ‘Dirtier Than Coal’, is based largely on a new paper by Tim Searchinger of Princeton University [2] that has yet to be peer-reviewed.

ICARB [3] questions why the authors of the ‘Dirtier Than Coal’ do not appear to have consulted the UK-based experts whose peer-reviewed work is referenced by Searchinger.

The Biomass Energy Centre has issued a critical response to the report [4] and ICARB welcomes further submissions from those named in the reports.

We have previously raised concerns over carbon accounting-based claims for biomass because of a lack of transparency and peer-review. In this case ICARB wants to raise that Searchinger’s understanding of practices specific to the UK has been questioned by at least one of the

authoritative sources he references.

ICARB is not commenting on specific aspects of these reports but we do call for a more balanced coverage of the work.

[1] The report, published by RSPB, Greenpeace (UK), and Friends of the Earth (England, Wales

and Northern Ireland), is available at:

[3] The Initiative for Carbon Accounting (ICARB) exists to advance the field of carbon accounting to facilitate the reductions in carbon emissions necessary for a sustainable society. We are an independent expert group supported by Heriot-Watt University, Glasgow Caledonian University, the Crichton Carbon Centre, and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, and funded by the Scottish Government. Website:

Why the EU must dare to debate ‘degrowth’ « Feeding the habitesult of crisis in fuel, food and fina

At the UK’s Green Party Spring Conference 2011 in Cardiff, Tim Jackson,Prosperity without Growth’, spoke at a fringe meeting.  He spoke about how the Green Party should take this moment of financial turmoil, t o push the message for change, away from the failed economic models.  He said it would be tough, but telling the public the truth, that there would not be jobs for all, would ultimately bear fruit, for those brave enough to say it, how it is.  The Green Party, under Caroline Lucas, MP., failed to deliver the message for a different economic model.

Why the EU must dare to debate ‘degrowth’ « Feeding the habit.

Tim Jackson stated there are three aims:

  • Establishing the limits;
  • Fixing the economic model;
  • Changing the social logic.

Changing the social logic is something Annie Leonard and her Story of Stuff Project’, tried to do.

In a commentary by Pavan Sukhdev in ‘Prosperity without Growth’, states:

GDP growth does not capture many vital aspects of natural wealth and well-being such as changes in the quality of health, the extent of education and changes in the quality and quantity of our natural resources.

The ongoing economic crisis, itself a result of crisis in our fuel, food and finance, and at a parallel crisis in our ecological and climate commons, suggesting that both share a common cause: our failed economic model.

Tim Jackson does state there is a need for investing in jobs, assets and infrastructure:

  • retrofitting buildings with energy- and carbon-saving measures;
  • renewable energy technologies in particular the electricity grid;
  • public transport infrastructure.

If politicians do not start to send out the message for change, it will come about but it will be forced on people by events beyond human control.  Without change now, catastrophic climate change will force change.



Massachusetts’ Clean Economy Sees Massive Growth, Now Hosts 71,000 Jobs In Cleantech

This article shows what can be achieved with a strong political leadership.  While in the UK, we have a Government that keeps changing FITs (feed-in tariffs) for renewable technologies and is promoting large utilities companies with their Green Deal.  The UK will not be able to survive what is ultimately going to come, in not that a distance future.  Manchester City Council is the same, they keep claiming to be ‘Green’, whilst actually doing anything different than before.  They constantly says they cannot do anything without others doing something as well.  I think this article promotes the vision, that it can be done where there is the will.

pby Andrew, via CleanTechnica Government investment and support for clean, renewable energy development is paying off handsomely in Massachusetts, where the clean energy economy grew 11.2% between July 2011 and July 2012. The state’s fast-growing clean energy sector now employs 71,523 people at 4,995 clean energy businesses across the state, according to a Massachusetts Clean […]/p

via Massachusetts’ Clean Economy Sees Massive Growth, Now Hosts 71,000 Jobs In Cleantech.
We have seen the Scottish Government investing in wave and tidal technologies.  The UK has some of the best wave and tidal resources available in the world and has not been exploited by the UK Government.

Mull of Kintyre set to host CoRMaT tidal current turbine

As well as investing in wind, another asset, the UK has in abundance:

Latter-day Geography Lesson


This, quoth the Eskimo master
      was London in English times :
step out a little faster
you two young men at the last there
the Bridge would be near on our right hand
and the Tower near where those crows stand —
we struck it you’ll recall in Gray’s rhymes :
this, quoth the Eskimo master
was London in English times.

This, quoth the Eskimo master
      was London in English days :
beyond the hill they called Clapham
boys that swear Master Redtooth I slap ’em
I dis-tinct-ly heard–you–say–Bastard
don’t argue : here boys, ere disaster
overtook her, in splendour there lay
a city held empires in sway
and filled all the earth with her praise :
this quoth the Eskimo master
was London in English days.

She held, quoth the Eskimo master
      ten million when her prime was full
from here once Britannia cast her
gaze over an Empire vaster
even than ours : look there Woking
stood, I make out, and the Abbey
lies here under our feet you great babby
Swift-and-short do–please–kindly–stop–poking
Your thumbs through the eyes of that skull.

 A poem by R.A.K Mason, 1924 I was taught at school which I thought was referring to London after the nuclear mutual annihilation.  It is in fact a prophecy of were we are heading because there is no political party taking climate change and sustainability seriously. 

High ambitions for high rise sustainable living | green alliance blog

The link below is a blog from the Green Alliance and a project to involve residents in living sustainably.  I think this blog will go some way to debunk the notion of some white middle-class environmentalists, that people who live in council/social housing do not care about sustainable living.  Maybe, environmental groups in Manchester will endeavour to involve more people from council/social housing in their work?

High ambitions for high rise sustainable living | green alliance blog.

Manchester City Council’s Environmental Scrutiny Committee Meeting.

This morning I attended a Environmental Scrutiny Committee meeting, where the public were invited to attend.  Some of the committee members appeared pleased that a number of the public were their, with some of public putting forward short presentations.  Bot when the Council’s economic advisers gave their presentation, my heart dropped.  They were advocating ‘business-as-usual’, even though this is the cause of our present financial crisis.  Also a councillor dismissed the importance of local food production, stating he wanted his electorate to stop smoking and drinking.  He obviously does not understand, this is due to the inequalities of the present system and their lack of empowerment. 

And in the workshop I attended, once again a councillor argued that the airport was low carbon, as the emissions did not affect Manchester but were felt elsewhere.  And it was best the expanded Manchester Airport, because if aviation went elsewhere it would not be a low carbon as that of Manchester Airport.  The attitude of some of the councillors are totally blinkered, they cannot see the real damage the airport is doing to Manchester and the surrounding area.  And things will get worse with the building of the by-pass, so motorist can get to the airport faster instead of using public transport.  These views were reinforced by Richard Leese, he even decided that one of the action points would not be Manchester’s but AGMA’s (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities). 

It would appear the council leadership have not taken any notice of the mass of information on the unsustainability of ‘business-as-usual’.  Someone from AGMA, when someone said the council needed to show leadership, said Richard Leese had showed leadership because he gave a speech!  This is not leadership, in fact Richard Leese, is very good at saying the council is not responsible for this, they cannot do this or that.  He does not show leadership, but is a bully boy who wants to get his own way no matter what others think. 

It is a pity this video from the European Environmental Agency was not available to show them.  Though, I doubt it would make much difference to the likes of Richard Leese

UN Live United Nations Webcast – – Sustainable development for fighting poverty – Sustainable Development Dialogues, Rio+20

A web-cast from Rio+ about sustainability, most of the others available so far are about corporates.  As well as the young female who silenced the World when she gave a speech 20 years ago being present.  A Mr Supe was on the panel and his message was, ‘Small farm, Small farm, Small farm.  He pointed out that $275 Billion of subsidies went into fertilisers and pesticides.  While a couple of reports one by Julius Protina and another by the FAO, highlighted how sustainable farming practices using old methods were more productive than intensive farming.  And it was through assisting these small farmers  not corporations was the only way ahead.  His comments come about 50 minutes in.

UN Live United Nations Webcast – – Sustainable development for fighting poverty – Sustainable Development Dialogues, Rio+20.