Friday, 14 February 2014

ten measures to improve uk's flood resilience

The Green Party – Ten measures to improve the UK’s flood resilience, and to address the underlying causes of flooding
  1. Reverse staff cuts at the Environment Agency (EA), increase its budget, and drop plans to impose a duty on it to consider economic growth, which could get in the way of providing independent expert advice
  1. Strengthen planning rules for urban and rural areas to prevent further development on flood plains and ensure developers prioritise flood resilience and prevention – including through incorporation of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) in new developments as well as a programme of retrofitting SUDS to existing communities. Ensure better transparency of decisions so public can hold decision makers accountable
  1. Get rid of any cabinet Ministers or senior governmental advisors who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won’t take the risks to the UK seriously
  1. Increase spending on flood defences to a level in line with expert recommendations from the EA and the Climate Change Committee (CCC), change the cost benefit ratios required for projects to go ahead, and simplify the process for local authorities to apply
  1. Rethink land management policies to encourage the storage of water in upland areas, and make flood prevention is a non-negotiable condition of all farm subsidies
  1. Improve UK’s future resilience:  Adopt proposals[i] for the immediate creation of a new Cabinet-level committee on infrastructure and climate change resilience, and a Royal Commission to set out the long-term impacts of climate change on land[ii], making  detailed recommendations as to the necessary institutional, funding and policy responses
  1. Start paying attention to advice from the Met Office and the CCC that climate change will lead to even more such events in the future.  
  1. As called for by Platform London and other campaigners[iii], redirect the billions of UK fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks into assisting the victims of flooding.  This would free up money to address the underspend and assist the victims of flooding, as well as putting a halt to public money exacerbating the problem of climate change that is making the floods so much worse.
  1. Tackle the undue influence of big business in Whitehall and Westminster – end the revolving door between the fossil fuel industry and government
  1. Step up the UK’s action on climate change, for example by committing to a binding EU-target on renewables


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Sustainable nuclear fusion breakthrough raises hopes for ultimate green energy

Such a diabolical and misleading headline. What's going on?
While Germany, Spain, Denmark combined installed enough capacity from renewables over the last 10 years producing in 2012 some 75% of uk electricity with less subsidies than fossil and nukes yet such science fiction :(... Gets headlines in the guardian....

Friday, 7 February 2014

Pope's autographed Harley-Davidson sells for $285,800


Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 10:00
The Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide bears the autograph of Pope Francis. It sold at auction for $326,000 in Paris. Bonhams image.
PARIS (AFP) – A Harley-Davidson motorbike that briefly belonged to Pope Francis was sold to a mystery European buyer for 210,000 euros ($285,800) at a high-profile auction in Paris on Thursday.
"It's a record for a post-vintage motorbike, from the 21st century," noted Bonhams France, the auction house. Including fees, the unidentified buyer paid a total of 241,500 euros to obtain the bike.
The U.S. motorcycle maker gave the 1,585cc Dyna Super Glide to the pope in June to mark the brand's 110th anniversary, and while the 77-year-old never rode it, he signed it before donating it to Roman Catholic charity Caritas Roma.
The funds from the sale will go toward the restoration of the charity's hostel and soup kitchen at Rome's Termini railway station.
A jacket that was also given to the pope by Harley-Davidson was snapped up for 57,500 euros, including fees.
The bike is on show at the Grand Palais in Paris – where the auction took place – among hundreds of other iconic vehicles such as Rolls-Royces and Cadillacs.
According to Bonhams, Pope Francis has another Harley-Davidson, although the famously humble pontiff is more of a fan of buses.
He opted to ride one the day after his election last year instead of taking a limousine, and regularly used them in his homeland Argentina instead of taxis.