Archive for the ‘Eco-technologies’ Category

Back to nature

December 20, 2012

Coming home for Christmas supplies my yearly dose of relaxation, fattening but delicious food and nature. Only when the greenery and mud surrounded me did I realise how much I’d been missing contact with the natural world. It’s so satisfying to observe biological systems just getting on with their things, autonomously and quietly.

Pollarded Ash Tree

Pollarded Ash Tree



Carbon capture and storage: Bury the myth and focus on alternatives

September 26, 2012

That was the title of a recently published paper I wrote (with the help of Luke Temple, who edited it) about a tantalizing idea: let’s take all our nasty excess carbon dioxide, and pump it underground. Much like sweeping the mess under the bed, the report found that CCS only seems like a good plan in the land of short-term wishful thinking.

If you want to know more, check out the IPPR website, where the research is published alongside 7 other politically relevant energy essays. Alternatively, see below for my very brief summary of why CCS “is not wise”, to paraphrase an interview by Vaclav Smil.

Some technological complexities that must be overcome for CCS to work.


Open source: on-line publishing, software, data and journals

March 7, 2012

I’ve just done a talk as part of the post graduate forum, at Sheffield’s Geography department. Thanks to everyone who attended.

For the benefit of those who didn’t, and people who want links to the things mentioned, below is a brief summary and a list of links:


The proportion of German electricity from ‘renewables’

October 6, 2011

Renewable is the name that has been given to technologies that convert diffuse environmental energy fluxes into forms useful in the human economy. What follows is an overview of their strengths and weaknesses, a look at the Germany’s historic production of renewable electricity, and some insights into what is needed for a society that is based 100% on renewable energy resources. (more…)