I have been concerned about the environment for as long as I can remember (to the extent that I once almost voted for the Green Party, before they became obsessed with climate change). I have been perplexed for some time by the state of environmentalism, where concern about “carbon” (as they insist on calling CO2) seems to trump any real concern for the environment. Any environmental degradation is acceptable, even welcome, it seems, if it’s “renewable”. The end justifies the means.  

In August 2017 Paul Kingsnorth published “Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist”, and there are aspects of Paul’s book that resonate with me. This passage says it all for me, and sums up the current state of environmentalism nicely:

This reductive approach to the human-environmental challenge leads to an obvious conclusion: if carbon is the problem, then ‘zero carbon’ is the solution…

To do this will require the large-scale harvesting of the planet’s ambient energy: sunlight, wind, water power. This means that vast new conglomerations of human industry are going to appear in places where the energy is most abundant. Unfortunately, these places coincide with some of the world’s wildest, most beautiful and most untouched landscapes. The sort of places that environmentalism came into being to protect.

And so the deserts, perhaps the landscape always most resistant to permanent human conquest, are to be colonised by vast ‘solar arrays’, glass and steel and aluminium, the size of small countries. The mountains and moors, the wild uplands, are to be staked out like vampires in the sun, their chests pierced with rows of 500′ wind turbines and associated access roads, masts, pylons and wires.”

He continues with a catalogue of environments, each doomed to destruction through the introduction of large scale industrialisation, all in the pursuit of ‘net zero’: open oceans, coastlines, estuaries, rivers, croplands, and even the rainforest. All are to be sacrificed for a ‘greater good’. He finishes with:

“So here I was again: a Luddite, a nimby, a reactionary, a romantic; standing in the way of progress. I realised that I was dealing with environmentalists with no attachment to any actual environment. Their talk was of parts per million of carbon, peer-reviewed papers, sustainable technologies, renewable supergrids, green growth and the fifteenth conference of the parties. There were campaigns about ‘ the planet’ and ‘the Earth’, but there was no specificity: no sign of any real, felt attachment to any small part of that Earth.”

It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one scratching my head over the willingness, even apparent desire, to destroy the environment, on the part of people who call themselves environmentalists.

One tenth of the contiguous US states to be blanketed in turbines and solar panels

Paul Kingsnorth’s words turned out to be remarkably prescient. On 15th March 2021, the Guardian published an article headed “The race to zero: can America reach net-zero emissions by 2050?” and sub-headed “Joe Biden wants zero emissions by 2050, but time is ticking. So how will the country have to change over the next 30 years?

It commences:

“If America finally weans itself off planet-heating emissions, the country will look and feel very different.

Landscapes from coast to coast would be transformed, carpeted in wind turbines and solar panels, with enough new transmission lines to wrap around Earth 19 times. The populace would whiz past in their electric cars, to and from homes equipped with induction stoves and heat pumps. Hundreds of thousands of people who would have prematurely died from the toxic fossil-fuel age would still be alive.

It’s an appealing vision, according to Eric Larson, senior research engineer at Princeton University…”

An appealing vision? Well, an absence of premature deaths would be good news, but there must be other ways to achieve that. As for the rest of it…really?  

Further on, the article tells us that as the use of coal, oil and gas is scaled back,

“A gargantuan effort [will be required] to erect solar panels and wind turbines – first an extra 300GW of wind and 300GW of solar by 2030, before supply soars further to five times today’s transmission capacity by 2050.

This endeavor [sic] will require around 590,000 sq km (or 227,800 sq miles) of America to be blanketed in turbines and panels, around a tenth of all the land in the contiguous US. If you took a stroll along an Atlantic-facing beach there would be a good chance you’d see renewable energy in all directions, with an expanse of ocean the size of Belgium dotted with towering offshore wind turbines.

… As solar and wind are intermittent, moving clean energy to all corners of the country will require the current electricity transmission system to triple in size, an extraordinary roll-out of new poles, wires and substations.”

To my mind, this is a Dantean vision of hell, a sign of the world going mad. Yet to some people, this is “an appealing vision“. It ought to be an environmentalist’s worst nightmare.

“A very significant pollution event”

The environmental damage caused by the new breed of environmentalists is increasing all over the world. And it’s all too evident in the British Isles. An incident that has received little publicity, but which was reported on the BBC website in November 2020 was described as “peat slide devastation” at Meenbog Wind Farm, under construction in Donegal. It caused damage on both sides of the Donegal/Tyrone border, as thousands of tonnes of peat were washed into an internationally protected salmon spawning river, the Derg. An Ulster Angling Federation spokesman said:

 “…this is a very significant pollution event, one of the largest in the history of Northern Ireland and Ireland and involving large acreages of bogland. It is one that will be difficult to reinstate.”

Interestingly, the report also suggests that there had been opposition to the wind farm development with anglers and others claiming it could lead to instability in the bog where the 19 turbines are going in, but planners had decided it was not a risk.

Ironically, a 2014 report for the Northern Ireland Environment Agency noted that siting wind turbines on peatland could release considerable carbon dioxide from the peat, and also damage the peatland contributions to flood control and water quality:

The potential knock-on effects of using the peatland resource for wind turbines are considerable and it is arguable that the impacts on this facet of biodiversity will have the most noticeable and greatest financial implications for Northern Ireland.”

This wind farm, though, was built just over the border.

Even more ironically, Northern Irish politicians are currently falling over themselves to introduce a Climate Change Act, to the extent that two bills to this end are currently before the Stormont Assembly. Given that Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions are utterly insignificant in the global scheme of things, perhaps they would do better to concentrate on looking after the environment?

120,000 square metre artificial island

On 4th February 2021 the Guardian reported on plans by Denmark to build a “clean energy hub” by building a new artificial island 50 miles offshore in the North Sea. The island is to be the size of 18 football pitches. Despite that, we are warned that:

“…the North Sea island might be difficult to complete before 2033, meaning it might not help Denmark reach its ambitious 2030 target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 70% from 1990 levels.

The tone of the whole article is rather breathless and very enthusiastic, and we are told:

“’This is truly a great moment for Denmark and for the global green transition,’ Denmark’s climate minister, Dan Jørgensen, said in a statement. ‘The energy hub in the North Sea will be the largest construction project in Danish history’.

Apparently this sort of thing is “green”. Nowhere does the article discuss the possible environmental problems that might be associated with this plan. The article contains only the briefest reference, near the end, to the need to carry out environmental impact assessments on the sea bed.

Double standards

It seems that we are back in Paul Kingsnorth’s world, where he wryly observes, “Container port wiping out estuary mudflats: bad. Renewable hydro-power barrage wiping out estuary mudflats: good.” 

For example, in 2009, the greenprophet website complained that Dubai’s artificial islands project was causing environmental damage. As recently as March 2019, the Guardian reported in critical terms on the Hong Kong government’s plans to build one of the world’s largest artificial islands, discussing claims that the island could damage the environment and marine life. In 2016 the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, as well as rejecting China’s sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, ruled that China’s building of artificial islands there had caused environmental damage.

But you’ll look in vain for environmental criticism of any artificial islands constructed for the purposes of supplying “renewable” energy. The BBC’s article on the subject of Denmark’s “energy island”, published on its website on 4th February 2021 made no mention of possible environmental issues, and (like the Guardian) is gushing in its general tone. The Euronews online article (which invited me to sign up for its green newsletter) was similar in tone and content. The same is true of Forbes, DW (Deutsche Welle), the Independent, and pretty much any news website that has reported on the story.

Minimising, but not avoiding, bird deaths is a victory

On 1st March 2021 a report appeared in the Guardian with this heading:

Wind power company vows to help save critically endangered California condor

and this sub-heading:

The condor, a vulture threatened by giant wind turbines, may be helped by energy company’s breeding project

The report advises that:

The threat to wildlife from renewable energy turbines has been a growing concern for environmentalists. In 2013, a study by the Wildlife Society into bird and bat fatalities at California’s Altamont Pass wind resource area projected 573,000 bird deaths a year nationally, including 83,000 raptors, and 888,000 bat fatalities.

With no apparent sense of irony, the turbine company’s operations wildlife compliance manager said:

Our goal is to minimize the risk of mortalities. We see this as a win for condors”.

In fairness, the company in question is trying to do something positive, but it’s a strange world when minimising condor deaths (i.e. killing condors, just not so many of them) is regarded as “a win” – especially for the condors in question.

Solar power – more bird deaths

What of solar power? On 1st January 2017, an article appeared on the Black & Veatch website with the heading:

Impact of Solar Energy on Wildlife Is an Emerging Environmental Issue”

It reported on how large concentrating solar plants use “power towers” that consist of hundreds of thousands of computer-controlled mirrors to track the sun throughout the day, reflecting the sunlight to boilers at the tops of towers several hundred feet high. The concentrated sunlight heats the water in the boiler pipes to create superheated steam, which is then piped to a turbine to generate power.

Birds, insects, and bats that fly through the highly concentrated, high-temperature solar beams they are ignited in mid-air. The report says that they may be killed by the heat, by the force of falling to the ground, or by a waiting predator…

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) law enforcement personnel at a large concentrated solar project in California observed this happening every couple of minutes.

The article claims that it’s also possible that the brightness and intensity of the light from large solar fields could be attracting insects even during the daytime, which in turn attracts their predators, birds and bats. Night lighting of these facilities consists of security lighting, which also attracts insects and their predators from the surrounding darker desert. The USFWS Office of Law Enforcement in a report released in April 2014 refers to the types of large-scale solar projects that cause these impacts as “mega-traps.”

Pollution at end of useful life

On 14th December 2020, Conor Prendergast wrote an article for the website of Discover Magazine, which summarised the problems that we face when solar panels reach the end of their useful life (after maybe 20-30 years). He pointed out that to improve the efficiency of solar panels, cadmium and lead are often added. These are difficult to extract when it’s time to dispose of defunct solar panels, to the extent that if done properly, it can cost more to recycle a solar panel than to manufacture it in the first place. It’s not uncommon for solar recycling plants to extract valuable silver and copper, and then simply burn what’s left, dumping the residue in landfill, whence there is a danger of leaching into groundwater. Cadmium is a carcinogen. China and the USA are the largest users of solar power, and neither country has required solar companies to collect and recycle properly. Maybe the USA will follow the EU’s lead here, but what of China and poor developing countries? It’s not a small problem – the International Renewable Energy Agency has suggested that by 2050 up to 78 million metric tons of solar panels will have reached the end of their life, and that the world will be generating about 6 million metric tons of new solar e-waste annually.

And the problem isn’t just with solar panels. On 7th February 2020, the BBC website published an article under the heading “What happens to all the old wind turbines?”. The opening paragraphs make for stark reading:

Welcome to the wind turbine graveyard. It stretches a hundred metres from a bend in the North Platte River in Casper, Wyoming.

Between last September and this March, it will become the final resting place for 1,000 fibreglass turbine blades.

These blades, which have reached the end of their 25-year working lives, come from three wind farms in the north-western US state. Each will be cut into three, then the pieces will be stacked and buried.

It pointed out that the first wave of wind turbines from the 1990s are now reaching the end of their useful lives, and that disposing of them in an environmentally-friendly way is not easy. The materials that they are made from – glass fibre in the case of older blades, carbon fibre in the newer ones – are very difficult to recycle. Pyrolysis is – in theory – one option, involving breaking up the composite fibres in ovens at temperatures of up to 700C. This can recover the materials for alternative uses, but vast amounts of energy are required. 

Turbines, of course, are popping up everywhere, and are only getting bigger. And so is the size of the headache of what to do with them at the end of their useful lives. Liu and Barlow’s paper, “Wind turbine blade waste in 2050” estimates that there will be 43 million tonnes of blade waste worldwide by 2050, with China possessing 40% of the waste, Europe 25%, the United States 16% and the rest of the world 19%. Not so renewable after all, then.

Rare earth minerals

Rare earth minerals are vital for many aspects of modern life, including smartphones and flat screen TVs. They are also essential for magnets in wind turbines, and are used in the batteries required for electric cars. They are therefore, as technology currently stands, vital to the “net zero” agenda. However, there is a problem, a problem that the BBC brought to our notice in April 2015 when Tim Maughan wrote an article for the BBC website headed “The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust“. China has a substantial proportion of the planet’s rare earth minerals and so, apart from the danger to the developed world’s plans, if China decided not to co-operate in this area, there is a serious environmental problem associated with this issue too.  

The industry associated with China’s extraction and use of rare earth minerals is centred on Baotou in Inner Mongolia, about which the article tells us:

“Even before getting to the toxic lake, the environmental impact the rare earth industry has had on the city is painfully clear. At times it’s impossible to tell where the vast structure of the Baogang refineries complex ends and the city begins. Massive pipes erupt from the ground and run along roadways and sidewalks, arching into the air to cross roads like bridges. The streets here are wide, built to accommodate the constant stream of huge diesel-belching coal trucks that dwarf all other traffic.”

“Diesel-belching coal trucks”, eh? There’s an irony.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the western world is exporting its CO2 emissions (and jobs) to countries with poorer environmental standards, such as China. It seems that it’s more than just CO2 that we’re exporting to China – we’re exporting environmental degradation too, thanks to the apparent lack of concern of China’s authorities with regard to such matters:

“For example, cerium is extracted by crushing mineral mixtures and dissolving them in sulphuric and nitric acid, and this has to be done on a huge industrial scale, resulting in a vast amount of poisonous waste as a by-product. It could be argued that China’s dominance of the rare earth market is less about geology and far more about the country’s willingness to take an environmental hit that other nations shy away from.

And there’s no better place to understand China’s true sacrifice than the shores of Baotou toxic lake. Apparently created by damming a river and flooding what was once farm land, the lake is a “tailings pond”: a dumping ground for waste by products.”

And here’s the final irony:

“It’s a truly alien environment, dystopian and horrifying. The thought that it is man-made depressed and terrified me, as did the realisation that this was the by-product not just of the consumer electronics in my pocket, but also green technologies like wind turbines and electric cars that we get so smugly excited about in the West.”



  1. Hot on the heels of my thoughts in this piece comes this:

    “Deep sea mining to help make electric vehicles”


    “As the world begins to move away from petrol and diesel-power cars, there are questions over how the metals needed for batteries in electric vehicles will be sourced.

    One possibility is to mine the deep ocean floor. A number of companies are lining up to exploit the minerals found there, but campaigners warn it could have a disastrous impact on the marine environment.”


  2. And on the same subject, there’s this too:

    “New deep-sea mining operation of rare earth minerals will be catastrophic for our oceans”


    Maybe the powers-that-be at COP 26 should worry a little less about climate and a lot more about this sort of thing:

    “The next great frontier in resource extraction is located deep beneath the waters of our world’s great oceans. But experts warn that the reckless dredging of our delicate, underwater ecosystems could be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back, environmentally speaking.

    In an in-depth piece he wrote for The Atlantic, Wil S. Hylton warns about the impending launch of “history’s largest mining operation,” which threatens to deliver what could potentially amount to a type of final death blow for the health of our saltwater terrain.

    While it’s been known since at least 1868 that our underwater sea beds are loaded with many of the same precious metals, gems, and minerals as what exists here on land, the technology to dig it all up is only just now making its debut.

    According to Hylton’s research, oceanographers have identified copper, nickel, silver, platinum, gold and even gemstones hiding within the vast networks of rock and dirt that comprise the varied ocean floor terrain. And very soon, massive mining enterprises will begin to hoover it up all without prejudice, and with minimal government oversight.

    That’s because most of these mining operations will take place in international waters where there are few restrictions on methods of extraction”


  3. I love the Guardian quote: “Joe Biden wants zero emissions by 2050, but time is ticking.” Mistaking a clock for “time” is like mistaking a thermometer for heat.

    Good to see Paul Kingsnorth is on our side. Do you have his book in a copy-and-pastable form? In which case perhaps we could serialise it for him.

    Back in 2009 Paul and George Monbiot had a memorable conversation at the Guardian reproduced here:
    in which each tried to out-doom the other.

    Dear Paul,
    Like you I have become ever gloomier about our chances of avoiding the crash you

    Dear George,
    You say that you detect in my writing a yearning for apocalypse. I detect in
    yours a paralysing fear…

    The odd thing is that they are the ones worrying, when they have every government and the whole of the capitalist world they hate on their side, while we continue to always look on the bright side.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Untamed cultures are blind to the consequences of their expansion, whether in iconic infra-structure, the victims of missionary zeal or merely the burden in millions of minds. They make those millions of minds blind to the consequences too. The deployment of renewables (solar + wind turbines) across 35 nations with major amounts of both, correlates to a cultural attitude (r=0.73). And because of the interaction of old and new culture, anti-correlates with national religiosities (any Faith) too (r=0.65). So deployment cannot be a matter of the the climate or climate exposure of nations, nor climate-science nor any rational policy (religion is a purely cultural phenomenon). But this suggests limits to penetration. The vast majority of all publics are not believers, they are merely accommodating the culture because a) their elites typically are, and b) outside of some nimbyism they’re not aware of the massive downsides. In principle, should they become familiar with said downsides, their permission, ‘stolen’ in their name as it is, would nevertheless still be withdrawn. That’s why Planet of the Humans faced so much heavy censorship. It’s unfortunate that carpeting countries with renewables is so much more damaging than carpeting them with cathedrals and churches (or mosques, whatever). It’s a pity they didn’t stick with tree-hugging. I could cope with vast stands of giant redwoods outside of every town where the populace goes to be in awe of tree-ness and share in the spirit of their slow but mighty growth. We’d still have to sacrifice something of course, on principle. But as long as it isn’t maiden’s blood to fertilize the roots and just a 5% redwood maintenance tax, it’d still be a good deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Geoff

    Don’t assume that Paul Kingsnorth is “on our side” – he is very concerned about climate change, for instance. However, he is IMO a deeper thinker than the average climate-concerned person. He at least recognises the damage caused to the planet by those who would “save it”, and he objects to that. Wikipedia summarises the book here:


    Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the Guardian wasn’t much impressed!


    “Hope finds very little room in this enjoyable, sometimes annoying and mystical collection of essays. Kingsnorth despises the word’s false promise; it comforts us with a lie, when the truth is that we have created an “all-consuming global industrial system” which is “effectively unstoppable; it will run on until it runs out”. To imagine otherwise – to believe that our actions can make the future less dire, even ever so slightly – means that we probably belong to the group of “highly politicised people, whose values and self-image are predicated on being activists”.

    According to Kingsnorth, such people find it hard to be honest with themselves. He was once one of them.”

    The book is worth a read, IMO, for a different perspective. Regrettably, I have never seen it for sale, and when I read it I did so by borrowing it from my local library.


  6. With due apologies for the epic comment…

    The UK’s next great offshore windfarm, Hornsea 3, was mentioned a while back on Cliscep re: the killing of kittiwakes. This rather cute gull is red-listed in Birds of Conservation Concern 4 because of an estimated breeding population decline of 74% over 25 years. Sounds pretty serious. And individuals have a habit of flying into wind turbines (well, you can’t really call it a habit, since they only do it once each). It does not take a great toll on the long-lived adults, where breeding success is hit or miss, to easily erode the population.

    So bearing in mind it is acknowledged that Hornsea 3 is going to take an annual toll on kittiwakes, and quoting my earlier survey of the Environmental Statement, “about 60 different numbers for potentially slain kittiwakes are given, from 13 to 395 per year,” saying no to it might be what we walking dead call a “no brainer.”

    But the Secretary of State said Yes to the windfarm and No to the hapless kittiwakes. I quote his “reasoning” below.

    KEY to acronyms:
    AEoI = Adverse Effect on Integrity
    IROPI = Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest
    SPA = Special Protection Area (formerly European level site designation for birds)
    SAC = Special Area for Conservation (formerly European level site designation for things other than birds)

    A development, having an AEoI on a Natura 2000 site may proceed (subject to a positive conclusion on alternatives and provision of any necessary compensation) if the project must be carried out for IROPI. The Secretary of State has therefore considered whether the Development is required for IROPI.

    The Secretary of State is satisfied that there are imperative reasons of overriding public interest for the Development to proceed subject to adequate compensatory measures being implemented.

    In arriving at his conclusion, the Secretary of State has reviewed how the Development provides a public benefit which is essential and urgent despite the harm to the integrity of the kittiwake feature of the Flamborough and Filey Coast SPA and the feature ‘sandbanks slightly covered by sea water all the time, of the North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reef SAC and the Wash and North Norfolk Coast SAC that will result from the Development in combination with other operational, consented and planned developments.

    The conclusion is predicated by the principal and essential benefit of the Development as a significant contribution to limiting the extent of climate change in accordance with the objectives of the Climate Change Act 2008. The consequences of not achieving those objectives would be severely deleterious to societies across the globe, including the UK, to human health, to social and economic interests and to the environment.

    No doubt the following paragraphs provide data to support the conclusion that there is an acceptable trade-off here between the climate change damages abated by the windfarm and the acknowledged ongoing killing of a red-listed bird? Nope. Reducing everything in conservation onto a single axis (carbon dioxide) means that as long as we’re rowing in what seems to be the right direction in carbon dioxide emissions (I’m not convinced of that for wind farms), we can just kind of shrug about the collateral damage.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. JIT, the final paragraph in the “justification” you quote demonstrated just how crazy these people are. Perhaps a future article might look at the CO2 emissions associated with producing, installing and finally scrapping wind turbines, including the associated ongoing maintenance (NB lots of concrete in those foundations, and we know that concrete manufacture is a process that produces lots of CO2).

    It is also rather ludicrous to suggest that a single wind farm (however big) makes “a significant contribution to limiting the extent of climate change”. We are here dealing with religious fervour, where logic has no part to play.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. And now we have this:

    “Cumulative effects of offshore wind farms: loss of habitat for seabirds”


    “This report updates ‘A first approach to deal with cumulative effects on birds and bats of offshore wind farms and other human activities in the Southern North Sea’ (Leopold et al. 2014) in response to the ‘2030 Roadmap for Offshore Wind Energy’1. In addition to assessing the wind farms that will be built in the period leading up to 2023, it also describes the construction schedule and locations for the offshore wind farms due for construction in the period leading up to 2030.

    The assignment includes the updating of seabird density maps for a total of ten seabird species (Table 2) using the approach from the Leopold et al. (2014) report, supplemented with survey data that have become available for the years 2013-2017. There are concerns for the selected species about the risks of collision (with offshore wind turbines) or habitat loss, which can affect the population (possibly significantly). Five of the ten selected seabird species are considered to be at particular risk of habitat loss; these five species are discussed in this report against the background of the planned roll-out of offshore wind until 2030.

    The knowledge question to be addressed relates to the habitat loss that may occur for five seabird species (divers, i.e. Red-throated and Black-throated Divers (studied in conjunction), Northern Gannet, Sandwich Tern, Common Guillemot and Razorbill) as a result of the ongoing development of offshore wind farms in the southern and central North Sea, both in a national context (the Dutch EEZ or DCS: national scenario) and an international context (international scenario). Using the Relative Displacement Score from the extended Bradbury method as elaborated in Leopold et al. (2014), the step is made from affected seabirds to expected additional mortality as a result of habitat loss. These modelled mortalities are compared with the reference measure Potential Biological Removal (PBR).”


  9. And now this:

    “Portugal to scrap lithium mining project
    Locals spent years fighting to halt the project, a cornerstone of Lisbon’s raw materials policy.”


    “Lisbon is set to cancel a contentious lithium mining project in the northern Montalegre region, Portugal’s environment minister told POLITICO.

    “At this moment I see the possibility of having a lithium mine in Montalegre as very unlikely,” João Pedro Matos Fernandes said Tuesday.

    The EU is trying to set up an independent stream of crucial raw materials to ensure it’s not dependent on third countries. It imports almost all of its lithium — a key ingredient in the batteries used to power electric vehicles. The European Commission estimates that demand for lithium will grow 18 times by 2030 and 60 times by 2050. That’s set off a race to open mines in Europe, with projects being eyed in Finland, Spain, Serbia, the Czech Republic and Austria, as well as Portugal.

    The Montalegre project’s concession license will be “rejected due to a lack of professionalism” on the part of LusoRecursos, the company awarded a government exploration contract in 2019, Matos Fernandes said. He said the company submitted a “clearly insufficient” environmental impact study, and added that it won’t be long before “that license is completely canceled.”

    Informed about the scheme’s impending cancellation, an incredulous LusoRecursos CEO Ricardo Pinheiro said his company would bring a “nice lawsuit in the courts.”

    The minister’s comments signal the end of one of Lisbon’s signature raw material schemes, just one week before the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU hosts a conference on green mining.

    The €500 million project aimed to build a massive mining and industrial processing complex in a bucolic corner of northern Portugal bordering the Gerês-Xurés biosphere reserve. It had been strongly opposed by locals for environmental concerns.

    The scheme involved leveling a mountainous, 825-hectare site, with parts of the new project located just meters from residents’ properties.

    LusoRecursos claimed that up to 30 million tons of lithium petalite could be extracted from the site and potentially used to make everything from e-vehicle batteries to storage infrastructure for renewable energy. The company’s bid to survey the area was greenlit over a decade ago, but the idea only started to move in 2019, when the government signed a contract giving LusoRecursos exploration rights.

    “The mining project would have destroyed the landscape and made farming here impossible,” said Armando Pinto, coordinator of Montalegre com Vida, the community group that spearheaded opposition to the project.

    The region’s traditional farming economy has earned it recognition as a United Nations Globally Important Agricultural Heritage site. Locals like farmer Justino Dias credit this mode of farming — along with a burgeoning rural tourism sector — with stemming the exodus of young people from the area, a serious problem in much of Portugal’s interior.

    The mining complex “would threaten all of that,” said Dias. The project’s impact on the agricultural sector would also jeopardize local access to the EU farming subsidies that are key to the area’s survival, he added.”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A final takeaway quote from that Politico article:

    “Green mining doesn’t exist,” he said. “Politicians need to stop trying to get rid of pollution in cities by polluting our villages instead.”


  11. Tomo, a commenter at Bishop Hill, has drawn attention to a website that looks like some sort of parody/spoof, but it does usefully contain this:



    “A shocking expose on the truth behind green technology is being released this Earth Day.
    Bright Green Lies will “peek behind the green curtain” to show the true cost of many environmental solutions such as electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines.

    Julia Barnes’ film sets out to dispel the myth that climate change and environmental destruction can be offset by buying green.

    Hoping to redirect the contemporary eco movement from sustaining run away consumption to protecting the natural world, the film intends to lift the lid on the real extent of greenwashing….

    …Bright Green Lies shows that over the last three decades the environmental movement has been co-opted by lobbyists for the renewable industry, which it is claimed will be the number one cause of habitat destruction by the middle of the century.

    Award winning director, Julia Barnes says words like “clean”, “free”, “safe”, and “sustainable” are often thrown around by “bright green” environmentalists.

    “They act as if solar panels and wind turbines grow on trees,” she says. “There are a lot of us who are there for the right reasons and I think we can turn it back to the good side again.”

    …Barnes claims there is fear among eco warriors over lifting the lid on renewables when they have been promoting them for so long.

    “To me it seemed like the most important thing I could make another film about.”

    The mass production of materials for renewables requires increased mining, industrial manufacturing, habitat destruction, greenhouse gas emissions, and the creation of toxic waste, according to research in the film.

    “I was amazed and there’s this whole side of these technologies that we don’t hear about in the mainstream environmental movement and it’s so important.

    “We have this huge movement but no matter how impassioned a movement it is, if it’s pushing for the wrong solutions it’s not going to work,” she adds….”

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Mark, about the lithium project, was there any accounting for the opportunity costs? Would the potential value of the lithium project be greater or lesser than the value of traditional farming? Could some of the value of the “move” be held for the local community by taxes! Would it create more jobs for the community? Would there be a scheme to clean up the damage afterwards? Just shutting down the scheme is a recipe for disaster, especially if, in a few years, the government is going to insist on battery powered vehicles. In Spain, the former Río Tinto copper mines eventually got reopened about 10 years ago, after a colossal amount of bargaining around environmental controls and clean up. At current prices, production is profitable but the reopening costs were enormous and….. Largely funded by Chinese interests


  13. MiaB, I honestly don’t know the answer to your question. My point really is that “green” initiatives are often, in reality, the exact opposite of “green”.

    There’s loads on the internet about Portuguese lithium. Just type “Portugal” and “lithium” into a search engine, and you’ll be spoilt for choice. My quick search just now produced this as a top story:

    “Matos Fernandes says Portugal will not exploit lithium “at all costs””


    “Environment Minister Matos Fernandes has said that Portugal would not exploit lithium “at all costs,” but that it was “absolutely fundamental” for decarbonisation, which is why the government will proceed with a strategic assessment.
    “Lithium is absolutely fundamental for decarbonisation. Europe has so few resources of its own, and the [Covid-19] pandemic has shown that. With Portugal having lithium, we must exploit it,” said João Pedro Matos Fernandes, who was speaking to journalists in Porto on the sidelines of a conference on strategic challenges in climate action.

    The environment minister said that “there are people who are committed not to exploit lithium in Portugal at all costs,” guaranteeing that Portugal will not make unbridled exploitation without rules.

    “We do not have the prospect of exploiting lithium in Portugal at all costs, but we want to do it. Once lithium gained such a strategic dimension, the state stopped granting licenses and we wanted to design a competition for a number of sites where there is great potential for lithium exploration,” he said.

    That study, he said, is being prepared by the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC).

    “There are several sites, we feel that we should make a strategic assessment. We are in a hurry to explore the lithium, but everything will be done according to the characteristics of the territories and always taking into account the environmental values”, he stressed.

    Jornal de Notícias reports that the government will proceed with a strategic environmental assessment before opening a tender for mining and lithium exploration in Portugal.”

    That article is 6 months old, but still fairly topical.


  14. “UK plastic waste being dumped and burned in Turkey, says Greenpeace”


    “UK plastic waste is being exported to Turkey and then illegally dumped and burned, according to a new report.

    Greenpeace said about 40% – or 210,000 tonnes – of the UK’s plastic waste exports were sent to Turkey last year.

    But rather than being recycled, investigators saw some of it dumped by roads, in fields and in waterways.

    The UK is a “global leader in tackling plastic pollution”, the government said – after Greenpeace called for it to “take control” of the problem.

    Greenpeace’s report warned Turkey was becoming Europe’s “largest plastic waste dump”.

    The charity said it had investigated 10 sites across southern Turkey and found plastic bags and packaging from UK supermarkets and retailers at all of them.

    Packaging for a coronavirus antigen test was also found, indicating the waste was less than a year old, the report said….

    …The UK generates more plastic waste per person than any other country apart from the US, the report added.

    Turkey, Malaysia and Poland received the largest amounts of plastic waste exports from the UK in 2020…

    …Turkey received nearly 40% of the UK’s plastic waste exports in 2020 – an increase by a factor of 18 since 2016, when 12,000 tonnes were sent.

    European Union member states also sent 20 times more plastic waste to Turkey last year compared to 2016….”

    Yet another example of “green” ideology leading to damaging unintended consequences. If only they’d let us burn it. Then it wouldn’t become an ecological problem, and it generate some reliable energy too.


  15. Mark, the video report at that page dates to a couple of years ago if I remember correctly. The sequences with the schoolchildren are particularly interesting.

    Let me be PM and I will ban exports of plastic waste with the first stroke of my pen. Where are your green credentials Boris? Come on. Do something useful.

    Yes, we could burn it, but not many would want to be downwind from the plant. There are EFW plants now – I think the difficulty comes in defining “non-recyclable” waste.


  16. “Move to net-zero ‘inevitably means more mining'”


    “The public will need to accept greater mining activity if the world is to meet the challenge of going green.

    Resource experts say the current supply of various metals and minerals cannot support a global economy producing net-zero carbon emissions.

    Extraction rates have to be raised, the scientists argue, if only in the short term.

    Eventually, large-scale recycling should be able to satisfy the demand for key commodities such as lithium.

    New mining initiatives are often met with resistance because of the negative impacts they can have on the wider environment and on health. And some activities have drawn particular ire because they’ve become associated with labour abuses.

    But Prof Richard Herrington and colleagues believe an urgent conversation needs to get going on where and how the inevitable new extraction is practised.

    “The public are not in this space at the moment; I don’t think they understand yet the full implications of the green revolution,” the head of Earth sciences at London’s Natural History Museum told BBC News.”

    Oh dear, oh dear.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. “How to protect birds and bats from wind turbines”


    “South Africa’s Verreaux’s eagles have a problem. The very landscapes they favour, where the air currents along vast ridges carry them as they soar, are prime locations for wind farm developers – who want to make use of exactly the same resource.

    “At least 24 carcasses have been picked up under wind turbines,” says Dr Megan Murgatroyd, from Hawkwatch International. “For this species in particular, it seems to be quite a conflict.”

    Sometimes the birds die when they collide with the swiftly spinning blades of the turbines, which are difficult for them to see. Or, they get electrocuted by power lines at the wind farms.

    Dr Murgatroyd is on a mission to stop this happening and she’s decided to work with wind energy companies in order to find ways of reducing fatalities.

    Around the world, wind energy on and offshore is gathering momentum. In May, the International Energy Agency announced that the amount of wind energy capacity added worldwide in 2020, 114 GW, was nearly double the additions made in 2019.

    But many worry that not enough is being done to prevent the deaths of thousands of animals, even though the rise of renewables is generally seen as good news in the fight against climate change.

    That was underlined just days ago when a bearded vulture, released into the wild last year in southern France, was killed by a wind turbine after it ranged north into the Netherlands.


  18. “Denmark parliament approves giant artificial island off Copenhagen”


    “Plans for an artificial island to house 35,000 people and protect the port of Copenhagen from rising sea levels have been approved by Danish MPs.

    The giant island, named Lynetteholm, would be connected to the mainland via a ring road, tunnels and a metro line.

    The approval by Denmark’s parliament paves the way for the 1 sq mile (2.6 sq km) project to begin later this year.

    But it faces opposition from environmentalists who have concerns over the impact of its construction….

    …A case against the development of Lynetteholm has been brought before the European Court of Justice by environmental groups.

    Concerns include the transportation of materials by road involving large numbers of vehicles. One environmental assessment suggested that up to 350 lorry journeys a day through Copenhagen would be required to deliver the raw materials once construction had begun.

    Building the artificial island, the size of about 400 football pitches, would require some 80 million tonnes of soil to be delivered to the area to create the peninsula alone, local media report.

    There are also concerns among environmentalists about the movement of sediment at sea and the possible impact on ecosystems and water quality….”

    And yet, as I said in the article:

    “But you’ll look in vain for environmental criticism of any artificial islands constructed for the purposes of supplying “renewable” energy. The BBC’s article on the subject of Denmark’s “energy island”, published on its website on 4th February 2021 made no mention of possible environmental issues, and (like the Guardian) is gushing in its general tone. ”

    I haven’t seen Danish environmental groups bringing any cases or expressing concern about the “renewable” energy islands, either.


  19. Mark: how to protect birds from wind turbines? Easy answer. Pull them all down. There is no viable alternative that I can see. Placing a tariff on birds killed relies on finding their carcasses, which would be impossible at sea, and would likely lead to shenanigans on land (e.g. employing people to go out with dogs to collect the corpses and dispose of them secretly).

    Sooner or later public opinion is going to swing against these things. Rather than building more, we should be spending money burying power lines and investing in electricity generators that score on reliability and low wildlife impact. I have no doubt that we will reach population-level effects on quite a few species of birds pretty soon if things go on as they are.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Next up:

    “Where mining meets rainforest: the battle for Tasmania’s Tarkine
    Campaigners say plans for a new tailings dam threatens wilderness that should be declared a heritage area”


    This sounds pretty horrendous:

    “Four days before the Morrison government was due to decide the future of a mining development in the takayna/Tarkine, 77-year-old Frits Harmsen planted a camping chair in front of trucks on an unsealed road snaking through Australia’s largest temperate rainforest.

    Harmsen, a former French horn player with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, was part of a small band of Bob Brown-endorsed protesters who on Friday began a 19th day attempting to block work by MMG, a majority Chinese-owned minerals company, in Tasmania’s remote north-west.

    Up the road, the mining giant was attempting to carry out drilling and other testing for what it hopes will become a much larger project – a new pipeline and waste storage facility near the town of Rosebery.

    MMG says a new tailings dam is needed to extend the life of an 85-year-old zinc, copper and lead mine that employs about 500 staff and contractors. If the dam is approved, the company expects to clear up to 285 hectares – roughly equivalent to 350 football pitches – of rainforest and other terrain for both the South Marionoak dam and a 3.5km pipe that would carry toxic waste from the mine across the Pieman River.”

    Among the products mentioned is copper. What is copper used for?

    “Because copper is a highly efficient conductor of electricity and heat, it is used in renewable energy systems to generate power from solar, hydro, thermal and wind energy across the world. Copper helps reduce CO2 emissions and lowers the amount energy needed to produce electricity. In many renewable energy systems, there is 12-times more copper being used than in traditional systems to ensure efficiency.”


    And by the way, who owns MMG?

    “MMG’s major shareholder is China Minmetals Corporation (CMC). Founded in 1950, CMC is one of China’s major multinational state-owned enterprises. It is a major international conglomerate that involved in the development, production, trading and integration services of metals and minerals, in addition to its finance, real estate and logistics divisions/businesses.

    CMC’s subsidiary China Minmetals Non-ferrous Metals Co. Ltd. (CMN) was formed in 2001 and currently owns approximately 74% of the total shares of MMG, with the remaining 26% owned by public shareholders including global resources and investment funds.”



  21. UN priorities?

    “We are running out of time to reach deal to save natural world, says UN talks chair
    Warning comes amid fears of further delays to Kunming summit, which aims to agree on curbing destruction of ecosystems”


    “The world is running out of time to reach an ambitious deal to stem the destruction of the natural world, the co-chair of negotiations for a crucial UN wildlife summit has warned, amid fears of a third delay to the talks.

    Negotiators are scheduled to meet in Kunming, China, in October for Cop15, the biggest biodiversity summit in a decade, to reach a hoped-for Paris-style agreement on preventing wildlife extinctions and the human-driven destruction of the planet’s ecosystems.

    The summit was meant to take place in October last year but has been delayed twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Basile van Havre, a co-chair for the UN convention on biological diversity (CBD) negotiations, has raised the prospect of a third delay to the Kunming summit, which he fears would threaten the ambition of the biodiversity targets for this decade.

    Van Havre said countries must meet in person for preparatory talks for at least two weeks if the biodiversity summit is to go ahead in China. He warned the talks were unlikely without a major push on vaccinations for delegates in developing countries and, given China’s restrictive travel policy, also called for another country to step up and host preparatory talks to help the process stick to the current schedule.

    “In my view, the time has come to roll up our sleeves and put a practical plan on the table or face another delay. We need a proper plan,” Van Havre said. “If we need to delay by a few months, fine – everyone can understand that. But let’s give ourselves a full plan that enables us to meet the deadline and not wait for things to magically happen.

    “If we’re not going to get together in the short term, we cannot have an ambitious agreement.””

    How much lower priority this all seems to be, even though the destruction of the natural world (fuelled in part by all the net-zero targets) goes on apace, than the fanfare surrounding COP 26 and climate change.


  22. Speaking of China:

    “Chinese banks urged to divest from firms linked to deforestation
    China funnelling billions into harmful production of beef, soy and palm oil, says campaign group”


    “Campaigners have called on Chinese banks to stop funding overseas agribusinesses that accelerate deforestation and biodiversity loss and have a negative impact on regional water cycles and climate.

    In a new report, the campaign group Global Witness said Chinese banks were funnelling billions into global agribusinesses, becoming some of the biggest global financiers of deforestation.

    The report found that, between January 2013 and April 2020, Chinese financial institutions provided more than $22.5bn to major companies that produce and trade commodities at high risk of driving deforestation. They include beef, soy, palm oil, paper, pulp, rubber and timber.

    Five of China’s biggest commercial banks have provided $10.25bn, according to the report. The research shows they constitute 45% of all the financing provided by China’s financial institutions. Global Witness has urged Chinese financiers to undertake more rigorous checks on companies they engage with overseas.

    The analysis is based on publicly available data produced by Forests & Finance, a coalition of non-governmental organisations. In April, the consortium wrote in a separate report that since the Paris Agreement, from January 2016 to April 2020, Chinese banks have become the second largest financier of commodities related to tropical rainforest deforestation.”

    The (IMO) naivety shown in writing the above, then saying this at the end of the article, is a big part of the ongoing problem in coming to terms with the problems caused worldwide by China. Whatever the western world does, China’s actions (whether ecological or climate-related) will, IMO, ensure they are futile, yet still people can write things like this:

    “Recent reports highlighting the role of Chinese banks came amid president Xi Jinping’s push to show China’s leadership in tackling climate change. Beijing has pledged for its emission to peak by 2030, and to be carbon neutral by 2060. Campaigners urge Beijing to match its rhetoric with action.

    “With President Xi’s bold commitment on climate, China needs to put its money where its mouth is by ensuring that Chinese banks are not financing agribusiness that fuels deforestation, the climate crisis and biodiversity loss,” said Yin.”


  23. Perhaps there’s a sign of waking up to the damage caused by climate worriers and their short-term and ignorant fixes, but there’s no sign yet of humility or reducing the shrillness of net zero demands:

    “‘Quick fixes’ to the climate crisis risk harming nature”


    “Climate change and nature loss are interlinked and must be tackled together.

    That’s the finding of a key report by 50 leading scientists searching for combined solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises.

    “Quick fixes” for climate change risk harming nature, say the experts.

    Potential “climate and biodiversity fails” include misguided tree planting and large-scale bioenergy crops.

    The report is the first collaboration between two groups of influential scientists advising international governments on tackling climate change and extinction.

    Prof Camille Parmesan of Plymouth University, a co-author of the report, said smarter tree planting strategies are needed.

    For example, plantations of a single species of non-native tree “are a disaster”, she said, as these forests will be vulnerable to extreme weather or outbreaks of plant pests.

    …The authors highlighted areas where efforts to tackle climate change could be harmful to nature, including:

    Planting bioenergy crops in monoculture over a very large share of land
    Planting trees in ecosystems that have not historically been forested or reforestation with a single tree species, particularly exotic trees
    Renewable energy technology, such as electric car batteries, that causes a surge in mining activity
    Building dams and sea walls that pose a barrier to wildlife.
    Commenting on the report, Dr Will Pearse of Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, said only by treating climate, biodiversity, and human society as coupled systems can we address “the current catastrophes”.

    He said “simple ‘quick fixes'”, such as tree planting or technological innovations, are shown to be ineffective (and sometimes actively harmful) when implemented without a holistic approach.

    “Taking examples from the report, large-scale tree-planting can be harmful to biodiversity or food production, while reliance on rare-earth metals in technological solutions need safe disposal at the end of their lifecycle. ”

    The report has been released in the run up to two key global summits later this year….”

    I am delighted to read this, because it echoes what some of us (dismissed as deniers) have been saying for years. I’m delighted to see that the Guardian has a report (though rather low-key, it seems to me) too:


    The BBC report didn’t provide any links, so far as I can see, but the Guardian offers this:


    I need to read the report in full before commenting further, but recognition of the problem is a start, I suppose, and I should be grateful for that. Now if only they’d stop dismissing those of us who have been pointing this out for long before they worked it out for themselves….


  24. “The rush to ‘go electric’ comes with a hidden cost: destructive lithium mining
    Thea Riofrancos
    As the world moves towards electric cars and renewable grids, demand for lithium is wreaking havoc in northern Chile”


    “I had come to the salt flat to research an emerging environmental dilemma. In order to stave off the worst of the accelerating climate crisis, we need to rapidly reduce carbon emissions. To do so, energy systems around the world must transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Lithium batteries play a key role in this transition: they power electric vehicles and store energy on renewable grids, helping to cut emissions from transportation and energy sectors. Underneath the Atacama salt flat lies most of the world’s lithium reserves; Chile currently supplies almost a quarter of the global market. But extracting lithium from this unique landscape comes at a grave environmental and social cost.

    In the mining installations, which occupy more than 78 sq km (30 sq miles) and are operated by multinationals SQM and Albemarle, brine is pumped to the surface and arrayed in evaporation ponds resulting in a lithium-rich concentrate; viewed from above, the pools are shades of chartreuse. The entire process uses enormous quantities of water in an already parched environment. As a result, freshwater is less accessible to the 18 indigenous Atacameño communities that live on the flat’s perimeter, and the habitats of species such as Andean flamingoes have been disrupted. This situation is exacerbated by climate breakdown-induced drought and the effects of extracting and processing copper, of which Chile is the world’s top producer. Compounding these environmental harms, the Chilean state has not always enforced indigenous people’s right to prior consent.”

    Liked by 1 person

  25. “Mining’s new frontier: Pacific nations caught in the rush for deep-sea riches”


    “Miners are pushing hard to extract metals from the ocean floor, but there is mounting concern about what it might do to the marine environment”

    “…companies have their eyes on polymetallic nodules – bundles of ore that resemble potatoes, which litter the surface of the deep sea and are rich in manganese, nickel, cobalt and rare earth metals. The nodules are up to 10cm in diameter and are thought to form at the staggeringly slow rate of just a few centimetres every one million years.

    “A battery in a rock,” is how DeepGreen, one of the big players in the nascent industry describes the polymetallic nodules. It touts deep-sea mining as a less environmentally and socially damaging alternative to terrestrial mining, and says it is crucial for affecting a transition to a greener economy, with the nodules containing the minerals needed for the batteries used in electric vehicles.

    “Society has an urgent, growing need for battery metals to enable a full transition to clean energy and electric vehicles. We believe that polymetallic nodules are the cleanest source of these metals, with by far the lightest planetary touch,” says the company on its website.

    Its proposal is to dispatch ships to the CCZ and suck up the nodules through long pipes that stretch to the seabed. The nodules would be processed on the ship, with excess sediment pumped back into the sea….”.


    “There are concerns about the environmental impact deep sea mining could have on marine ecosystems, particularly given how little is known about them and the very slow pace of reproduction and growth at those depths.”

    ““You are talking about the destruction of the habitat on the seafloor. Any area you are mining will be destroyed,” says Duncan Currie, an international lawyer who has worked in oceans law for 30 years. He represents the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition which is calling for a moratorium on deep sea mining.

    Amon was part of a project that conducted baseline surveys in the area of the CCZ that the UK has a licence to explore for potential mining.

    “As part of the work we were doing out there, we found that of the megafauna, the larger animals, more than half of them were completely new to science, and more than half of them relied on the nodules as a surface to attach to. Things like corals, sponges, anemones – they actually need the nodules. So potentially mining in that area could have quite a drastic impact.”

    “It’s also our largest ecosystem so it provides about 96% of all habitable space on earth,” says Amon. “I think most people still assume that that space is just sort of empty or there’s not a lot happening. But actually, it couldn’t be further from the truth, the deep ocean is a vast reservoir of biodiversity.””

    Liked by 1 person

  26. “A billion new trees might not turn Ukraine green”


    “It was an ambitious signal of green intent when Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky declared this month that a billion extra trees would be planted within three years, and a million hectares would be reforested in a decade.

    The EU’s 27 member states have set a much more modest goal of at least three billion new trees by 2030.

    But green experts fear that, far from improving Ukraine’s environment, the pledge could have a detrimental impact on biodiversity and natural ecosystems.”

    Now, “green experts” are not top of my list of people to turn to. However, it’s another example of the unthinking “green” religion potentially causing more harm than good to the environment.


  27. “Farmers swap crops for energy as east of England solar farm proposals double
    Applications on sites in Herts, Cambridgeshire and Essex climb to 840 megawatts in last five months”


    “The number of new solar farms planned for the east of England has more than doubled in recent months as farmers decide to swap crops for clean energy.

    New solar farm applications for sites across Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex in the last five months have climbed to 840 megawatts, or the same as 2m household solar panels.

    The solar boom is expected to yield more than double the solar energy capacity that came forward for the east of England in the same months last year, and would be enough to power the equivalent of 400,000 homes with clean energy.

    Dr Nina Skorupska, the chief executive of the Association for Renewable Energy, said it was “crucial that this momentum is maintained” to help meet the UK’s climate targets and “also help stimulate much-needed new investment in the region”.

    Most of these new solar farms will be built on former agricultural land as landowners begin to swap growing crops for generating clean electricity, according to UK Power Networks, which manages the local electricity grid.”

    But it’s not really very “green”, is it?



    East of England solar farm proposals double. Applications on sites in Herts, Cambridgeshire and Essex climb to 840 megawatts in last five months

    I once read a novel about solar panels while staying in rural Cambridgeshire, which is flat, pretty, and ideal country for replacing uneconomic orchards and fruit fields with acres of heavy metal-heavy silicon. It’s called “Solar,” it’s by Ian McEwan and I recommend it as an introduction to everything that’s wrong with climate hysteria and English literature.

    There’s this washed up Nobel prize-winning scientist who’s financed by the government to invent a new improved solar panel which will save the planet. While screwing his friend’s wife he has an altercation with someone (possibly the husband, or a rival, I can’t remember) who slips up on a polar bearskin rug, bumps his head and dies. To escape a manslaughter charge he frames the plumber, who gets fifteen years.

    There’s not a lot about climate or “the science” – in fact so bored is McEwan by his subject that the other scientists in the story are anonymous, being referred to collectively as “the pony tails.” (See Jonathan Jones’s Josh-drawn avatar.) 200 pages and several philanders later he’s demonstrating his planet-saving panels in the Nevada desert when the newly released plumber turns up and smashes his panels, dooming the planet to extinction.

    Well, at least it does make you think about radical solutions, which was McEwan’s aim, I think.


  29. East of England solar farm proposals double. Applications on sites in Herts, Cambridgeshire and Essex climb to 840 megawatts in last five months

    So… the Barley Barons are all losing their EU subsidies, and looking for something to take their place?

    Liked by 1 person

  30. “Deep sea mining may be step closer to reality”


    “Are the first mines on the ocean floor getting closer to being a reality?

    The tiny Pacific nation of Nauru has created shockwaves by demanding that the rules for deep sea mining are agreed in the next two years.

    Environmental groups warn that this will lead to a destructive rush on the mineral-rich seabed “nodules” that are sought by the mining companies.

    But United Nations officials overseeing deep sea mining say no venture underwater can start for years.

    It’s all about a letter that refers to the small print of an international treaty which has far-reaching implications.

    Nauru, an island state in the Pacific Ocean, has called on the International Seabed Authority – a UN body that oversees the ocean floor – to speed up the regulations that will govern deep sea mining.

    It’s activated a seemingly obscure sub-clause in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that allows countries to pull a ‘two-year trigger’ if they feel negotiations are going too slowly.

    Nauru, which is partnered with a mining company, DeepGreen, argues that it has “a duty to the international community” to make this move to help achieve “regulatory certainty”.

    It says that it stands to lose most from climate change so it wants to encourage access to the small rocks known as nodules that lie on the sea bed.

    That’s because they’re rich in cobalt and other valuable metals that could be useful for batteries and renewable energy systems in the transition away from fossil fuels.”


  31. “Wokingham farmer forced to make way for solar farm”


    “A tenant cattle farmer fears he will have to sell his herd after he was told to leave to make way for a solar farm.

    Andrew Lake, 58, has been given notice by Wokingham Borough Council to leave High Barn Farm in Berkshire where he has worked for nearly 15 years.

    He has so far been unable to find another farm and says agricultural land should not be used for solar farms.

    The council said “tough decisions” had to be made to achieve its climate emergency action plan.

    Mr Lake keeps more than 360 cows on the farm in Barkham that he rents from the council.

    But permission has already been granted to install 72,000 panels on the pasture, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.”


  32. “Construction of offshore wind farms could have ‘severe impact’ on marine life”


    “The construction of new offshore wind farms in EU seas could have “severe negative impact on marine life and fisheries”, MEPs have alerted in a report.

    The text stresses that fishers and stakeholders must have a “fair participation” in the decision process related to the construction of offshore wind farms in European waters….

    …According to the European Commission’s estimate, 30% of the EU’s electricity demand in 2050 will be met by offshore wind, corresponding to an increase from the current 12GW offshore wind capacity in the EU-27 to a target of 300GW in 2050.

    The European marine space already counts 110 offshore wind farms with more than 5,000 wind turbines….”


  33. “‘Enough with the burning’: EU executive accused of sacrificing forests
    Campaigners criticise European Commission strategy that allows continued burning of trees for fuel”


    “The EU executive has been accused of “sacrificing forests” after it published proposals that would allow trees to continue to be burned for fuel.

    The charges of “accelerating climate breakdown” through wood-burning were made on Friday as the European Commission unveiled its forest strategy, which includes a goal to plant 3bn trees across the EU by 2030.

    The forest strategy is part of a broader plan to confront the climate and nature emergencies and put the EU on track to cut emissions by 55% by the end of the decade, a mammoth bundle of legal proposals known as “Fit for 55”.

    Campaigners said the commission had not gone far enough to tighten the rules on wood that can be burned for fuel. A draft update to the EU’s renewable energy directive proposes banning the biomass industry from taking wood from “primary forests” – virtually untouched ancient woodlands, which account for just 3% of all EU forests.

    In the next tier of “highly biodiverse forests”, wood for biomass would be limited “to ensure no interference with nature protection purposes”, the commission said. Overall “the use of whole trees for energy production, whether from the EU or imported, should be minimised”, while subsidies for biomass from tree stumps and roots will be phased out.

    Lina Burnelius, project leader at Protect the Forest Sweden, said the commission had failed to address one of the key drivers of forest degradation – counting forest biomass as renewable energy. “Fit for 55 is harmful to forests and insufficient to tackle climate change. We are in desperate need of honest policies that include all our emissions in the statistics.”

    The European Commission had chosen “to sacrifice forests rather than admit that current EU bioenergy policy is making the climate crisis worse”, she said. “Enough with the burning. We cannot just switch from burning one climate disastrous fuel to another”.”

    Liked by 1 person

  34. “Bryn wind farm: Calls to withdraw 250m-high turbines plan”


    “Opponents to a proposed wind farm in south Wales have urged the Welsh government to dismiss the plans.

    If approved, Y Bryn Onshore Wind Farm in Neath Port Talbot would be the largest onshore wind farm in the UK.

    Residents are opposed to the planned size of the 26 turbines – 250m high – and the potential risks they pose to wildlife, property values, as well as people’s physical health and mental wellbeing.

    The company behind the proposal, Coriolis, said the wind farm would provide energy to 125,000 homes, and that technical surveys and studies were under way.”


  35. “Millions of electric car batteries will retire in the next decade. What happens to them?
    The quest to prevent batteries – rich in raw materials such as cobalt, lithium and nickel – ending up as a mountain of waste”


    “A tsunami of electric vehicles is expected in rich countries, as car companies and governments pledge to ramp up their numbers – there are predicted be 145m on the roads by 2030. But while electric vehicles can play an important role in reducing emissions, they also contain a potential environmental timebomb: their batteries.

    By one estimate, more than 12m tons of lithium-ion batteries are expected to retire between now and 2030.

    Not only do these batteries require large amounts of raw materials, including lithium, nickel and cobalt – mining for which has climate, environmental and human rights impacts – they also threaten to leave a mountain of electronic waste as they reach the end of their lives….

    …Only about 60% of lead-acid batteries are used in cars, said Richard Fuller, who leads the non-profit Pure Earth, another 20% are used for storing excess solar power, particularly in African countries.

    Lead-acid batteries typically last only about two years in warmer climates, said Fuller, as heat causes them to degrade more quickly, meaning they need to be recycled frequently. However, there are few facilities that can safely do this in Africa.

    Instead, these batteries are often cracked open and melted down in back yards. The process exposes the recyclers and their surroundings to lead, a potent neurotoxin that has no known safe level and can damage brain development in children….

    …Yet, as recycling becomes more mainstream, big technical challenges remain.

    One of which is the complex designs that recyclers must navigate to get to the valuable components. Lithium-ion batteries are rarely designed with recyclability in mind, said Carlton Cummins, co-founder of Aceleron, a UK battery manufacturing startup. “This is why the recycler struggles. They want to do the job, but they only get introduced to the product when it reaches their door.”

    Cummins and co-founder Amrit Chandan have targeted one design flaw: the way components are connected. Most components are welded together, which is good for electrical connection, but bad for recycling, Cummins said….”

    Liked by 1 person

  36. “Is deep-sea mining a cure for the climate crisis or a curse?
    Trillions of metallic nodules on the sea floor could help stop global heating, but mining them may damage ocean ecology”


    “…The nugget is a polymetallic nodule and oceanographers have discovered trillions of them litter Earth’s ocean floors. Each is rich in manganese, nickel, cobalt and copper, some of the most important ingredients for making the electric cars, wind turbines and solar panels that we need to replace the carbon-emitting lorries, power plants and factories now wrecking our climate.

    These metallic morsels could therefore help humanity save itself from the ravages of global warming, argue mining companies who say their extraction should be rated an international priority. By dredging up nodules from the deep we can slow the scorching of our planet’s ravaged surface.

    “We desperately need substantial amounts of manganese, nickel, cobalt and copper to build electric cars and power plants,” says Hans Smit, chief executive of Florida’s Oceans Minerals, which has announced plans to mine for nodules. “We cannot increase land supplies of these metals without having a significant environmental impact. The only alternative lies in the ocean.”

    Other researchers disagree – vehemently. They say mining deep-sea nodules would be catastrophic for our already stressed, plastic-ridden, overheated oceans. Delicate, long-living denizens of the deep – polychaete worms, sea cucumbers, corals and squid – would be obliterated by dredging. At the same time, plumes of sediments, laced with toxic metals, would be sent spiralling upwards to poison marine food-chains.

    “It is hard to imagine how seabed mines could feasibly operate without devastating species and ecosystems,” says UK marine biologist Helen Scales – a view shared by David Attenborough, who has called for a moratorium on all deep-sea mining plans. “Mining means destruction and in this case it means the destruction of an ecosystem about which we know pathetically little,” he says.

    It is a highly polarised dispute. On one side, proponents of nodule extraction claim it could save the world, while opponents warn it could unleash fresh ecological mayhem. For better or worse, these mineral spheres are going to play a critical role in determining our future – either by extricating us from our current ecological woes or by triggering even more calamitous outcomes….”.

    The whole article is well worth a read, IMO.


  37. …we can slow the scorching of our planet’s ravaged surface

    Mark, I admire your fortitude, but reading more of this is likely to make me sick. In fact, an effective torture for me would be to strap me in a chair, sit me in front of a screen, and show me a slideshow of Guardian environment articles.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I hope this is good news, but it does shine a light on the inherent conflict between those international bodies which actually care about ecology and those who obsess only about reducing greenhouse gas emissions:

    “Conservationists call for urgent ban on deep-sea mining
    Motion at Marseille summit wins global support for warning of permanent biodiversity loss and unknown effect on ecosystem”


    “A motion calling for a ban on deep-sea mining has been adopted in Marseille at the world’s biggest biodiversity summit since the pandemic, after an overwhelmingly supportive vote by governments and civil society groups.

    The world congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature recognised scientists’ concerns that biodiversity loss will be inevitable, is likely to be permanent and the consequences for the ocean’s ecosystem unknown if deep-sea mining is permitted.

    Conservationists say the motion sends a strong message to governments about the global opposition to the mining of the seabed at vast depths for valuable minerals and metals.”

    It’s just a pity that nowhere in the article does the Guardian even mention that the pressure for precisely this sort of deep-sea mining is coming from those who promote the “renewables” that rely on the “valuable minerals and metals” that are in short supply.


  39. “Scotland’s fastest-flowing river ‘devastated’ by hydro schemes”


    “Hydro-electric schemes have had a “devastating impact” on a river dubbed the “fastest flowing in Scotland”, it has been claimed.

    The 109-mile (175km) Spey – Scotland’s second longest river after the Tay – flows through the Highlands and Moray.

    A Spey Fishery Board-commissioned study said too much water was being diverted away from the Spey for use in generating electricity.

    It said water flow and levels on the river had dropped as a result.

    Energy giant SSE Renewables, one of the UK’s leading developers of hydro-electricity, said it prided itself in being “a responsible operator”, and was working closely with regulators and fishery boards while generating “clean and flexible” hydro power.”

    Despite the fact that this is about the environmental damage caused by anti-climate change “environmental” energy schemes, they still have to work climate change in to it:

    “Spey Fishery Board (SFB), which manages the river’s wild salmon and sea trout fisheries, said hydro, along with other land uses and a lack of snow melt, had affected water levels.

    It said this had left the Spey, and its wildlife, at greater risk to the effects of climate change.”

    It’s pretty damning, nevertheless:

    “SFB said the new research showed the renewable energy projects could significantly reduce the natural flow in the Spey – by up to 24% at Boat o’ Brig, near Fochabers in Moray, and by up to a 61% at Kingussie in the Highlands.”

    “SFB director Roger Knight said: “It is now abundantly clear that the scale of water transferred out of the Spey valley to generate hydro-electricity is having a devastating impact on the river.

    “It has denuded the groundwater storage supplies and has drastically reduced the Spey’s ability to cope with hotter, drier summers which are predicted to occur more frequently under climate change.”

    He added: “It is crucial that licensed abstraction from our upper tributaries is reappraised and appropriately regulated to give this iconic river the sustainability it deserves as the reality of the climate emergency becomes apparent.”

    Sepa, the organisation responsible for issuing and reviewing licences to abstract water, said there were a number of projects ongoing to improve the availability of water.

    It said abstractions were also under review.”

    SEPA, the Scottish version of the EPA, seems to be about as much use as its counterpart south of the border.

    There’s quite a level of complacency on display between the hand-in-glove triumvirate of SEPA, SSE and the Scottish government:

    “The Scottish government said it would “carefully consider” the Spey Fishery Board’s report and would respond “in due course”.

    A spokeswoman said a wild salmon strategy was being developed and an updated River Basin Management Plan was due to be published at the end of this year.

    The plan will set out the government’s aims and objectives to improve rivers to “good ecological status” by 2027.

    The spokeswoman said: “This will include measures to improve water levels on the River Spey by reviewing abstractions for hydro power, and projects to improve fish passage through our Water Environment Fund.”

    An SSE Renewables spokesman said: “We work closely with our regulator, Sepa, and a range of stakeholders, including the district salmon fishery boards to ensure that we minimise our impact on the natural environment, while also maximising the generation of clean and flexible hydro power, which will be increasingly important in meeting Scotland’s net-zero targets.””


  40. “Land clearing for the Kaban wind farm in North Queensland, Australia.”

    Never, ever believe wind farm operators if they tell you they care about the environment.


  41. “Anglesey: Solar farms ‘no benefit’ to communities”


    “A number of solar projects are being planned on the island, including the-2,000 acre (809 hectare) Môn Solar Farm, on sites near Amlwch, Llannerch-y-medd and Llyn Alaw.

    It plans to have a capacity of 350 MW – enough to power more than 130,000 homes a year.

    Separate plans, also near Llyn Alaw, could see 750 acres (304 hectares) filled with solar panels.

    With the large projects classed as Developments of National Significance (DNS), the Welsh government is responsible for deciding whether they go ahead.

    Anglesey councillor Carwyn Jones said the plans would see a loss of “fruitful agricultural land” and have little benefit to local communities.

    Mr Jones said while the council was supportive of low-carbon and renewable energy schemes, there were “no economic benefits” for communities, or jobs being generated.

    “It’s a balancing measure [but] we don’t see much benefit from these projects as it stands,” he added.

    Campaigners against the 135-acre scheme at Bryngwran and Caergeiliog have said the “drowning” of fields in solar panels is similar to the flooding of a Snowdonia village to provide Liverpool with water.

    Seventy people were forced to leave their homes as Capel Celyn, with its school, chapel, post office and 12 houses, disappeared under the waters of the new Tryweryn reservoir in 1965.”


  42. “Sweden’s green dilemma: can cutting down ancient trees be good for the Earth?
    The country’s model for managing its trees is bad for biodiversity… and political unity”


    “…The supply of biofuels in Sweden has tripled over the past 40 years and now provides close to 30% of its total energy supply, helping to halve its consumption of petroleum products.

    For Le Moine, however, none of this is worth the loss of natural habitat. “They keep telling us we have more forests now than we had before,” she says. “My reply is we have never had this many trees, but never had such a little amount of forest ecosystem.”…”.


  43. “Race to the bottom: the disastrous blindfolded rush to mine the deep sea
    One of the largest mining operations ever seen on Earth aims to despoil an ocean we are only barely beginning to understand”


    “In late June, the island republic of Nauru informed the International Seabed Authority (ISA) based in Kingston, Jamaica of its intention to start mining the seabed in two years’ time via a subsidiary of a Canadian firm, The Metals Company (TMC, until recently known as DeepGreen). Innocuous as it sounds, this note was a starting gun for a resource race on the planet’s last vast frontier: the abyssal plains that stretch between continental shelves deep below the oceans.

    In the three months since it was fired, the sound of that shot has reverberated through government offices, conservation movements and scientific academies, and is now starting to reach a wider public, who are asking how the fate of the greatest of global commons can be decided by a sponsorship deal between a tiny island and a multinational mining corporation.

    The risks are enormous. Oversight is almost impossible. Regulators admit humanity knows more about deep space than the deep ocean. The technology is unproven. Scientists are not even sure what lives in those profound ecosystems. State governments have yet to agree on a rulebook on how deep oceans can be exploited. No national ballot has ever included a vote on excavating the seabed. Conservationists, including David Attenborough and Chris Packham, argue it is reckless to go ahead with so much uncertainty and such potential devastation ahead….

    …Mining companies also insist on urgency – to start exploration. They say the minerals – copper, cobalt, nickel and magnesium – are essential for a green transition. If the world wants to decarbonise and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, they say we must start extracting the resources for car batteries and wind turbines soon. They already have exploration permits for an expanse of international seabed as large as France and Germany combined, an area that is likely to expand rapidly. All they need now is a set of internationally agreed operating rules. The rulebook is being drawn up by the ISA, set up in 1994 by the United Nations to oversee sustainable seabed exploration for the benefit of all humanity. But progress is slower than mining companies and their investors would like.

    That is why Nauru’s action is pivotal. By triggering the “two-year rule”, the island nation has in effect given regulators 24 months to finish the rulebook. At that point, it says TMC’s subsidiary Nauru Ocean Resources Inc (NORI), intends to apply for approval to begin mining in the Clarion-Clipperton zone, an expanse of the North Pacific between Hawaii and Mexico….”


  44. “Biomass is promoted as a carbon neutral fuel. But is burning wood a step in the wrong direction?”


    “Many scientists and environmental campaigners question the industry’s claims to offer a clean, renewable energy source that the planet desperately needs

    Thick dust has been filling the air and settling on homes in Debra David’s neighborhood of Hamlet, North Carolina, ever since a wood pellet plant started operating nearby in 2019.

    The 64-year-old said the pollution is badly affecting the health of the population, which has already been hit hard by Covid.

    “More people are having breathing problems and asthma problems than ever before,” David said. She started suffering from asthma for the first time two years ago and other people in Hamlet have been getting nosebleeds, which she also puts down to the dust.

    “The older people have it the worst,” she added. “They stay inside most of the time and when they do come out they struggle to breathe. They can’t sit out in their yards like they used to.”

    The plant, owned by Maryland-headquartered Enviva, the world’s largest biomass producer, is one of four the company operates in North Carolina, turning trees into wood pellets, most of which are exported to the UK, Europe and Japan to burn for energy.

    Biomass has been promoted as a carbon-neutral energy source by industry, some countries and lawmakers on the basis that the emissions released by burning wood can be offset by the carbon dioxide taken up by trees grown to replace those burned.

    Yet there remain serious doubts among many scientists about its carbon-neutral credentials, especially when wood pellets are made by cutting down whole trees, rather than using waste wood products. It can take as much as a century for trees to grow enough to offset the carbon released.

    Burning wood for energy is also inefficient – biomass has been found to release more carbon dioxide per unit of energy than coal or gas, according to a 2018 study and an open letter to the EU signed by nearly 800 scientists.”


  45. “Himachal Pradesh: ‘Human greed causing death and destruction in the Himalayas'”


    “After two successive landslides killed dozens of people in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, people are still reeling from the shock.

    Known for its lush valleys and snow-covered mountains, Kinnaur district in the state is a major contributor to the hydro-power generated in the Himalayan state.

    But locals blame the construction of these dams for the disasters that have been unfolding recently. They are now demanding an end to building new dams.

    But can dams alone be blamed for disturbing the region’s ecology?”

    Can’t be bothered to watch the accompanying video, but suffice to say, it’s greed, not “green” that’s causing the problems, so far as the BBC is concerned. And as regards “But can dams alone be blamed for disturbing the region’s ecology?” my money’s on them putting it all (or mostly) down to climate change and absolving the hydro power works.


  46. “A fifth of Indonesia’s palm oil sites lie in protected forests, says Greenpeace
    Greenpeace says law enforcement failures led to Unesco sites and land mapped for orangutan habitats being turned into palm oil plantations”


    “Almost one-fifth of the land used for Indonesian oil palm plantations is located in the country’s forest estate, despite a law banning such activity, according to a study by Greenpeace.

    The report, produced by Greenpeace and TheTreeMap, describes a catastrophic failure of law enforcement that has allowed swathes of land, including Unesco sites, national parks and areas once mapped as habitat for orangutan and Sumatran tigers, to be turned into oil palm plantations.

    Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, which is used in many everyday products and foods, from shampoo and lipstick, to chocolate and frozen pizzas. Demand for palm oil, however, is driving the destruction of carbon-rich forests that are home to indigenous communities and crucial to biodiversity.”

    As ever, when these reports are mentioned, they somehow overlook telling us that the drive for new palm oil plantations came about in large part because of the plan (including by the EU) to use palm oil as a bio-fuel. Funny that they never mention that.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. “Ormonde offshore wind farm debris could be widespread”


    “Debris from an offshore wind farm caused by a “disappointing” maintenance work error could be widespread, an operator has warned.

    Swedish energy company Vattenfall said turbine parts fell into the sea at the Ormonde Wind Farm six miles (10km) off the coast at Barrow, Cumbria.

    Several members of the public have reported finding pieces on beaches….

    ..A spokesman said: “An incident during planned maintenance resulted in components falling into the sea.

    “No-one was injured, but we alerted the relevant authorities immediately and we have launched a full investigation.”

    He added: “We take environmental protection extremely seriously and are very disappointed that this incident occurred.

    “We are working as hard as we can to get everything cleaned up.

    “The debris is not harmful but it’s best not to touch it, just to make sure everyone stays accident free.”

    The farm was built in 2011 and has 30 turbines which could produce enough electricity to power 100,000 homes, the spokesman said.”

    The spokesman apparently didn’t say how many homes it actually powers nor how intermittently it does so.


  48. More intermitttently than Vattenfall had bargained for?

    “we alerted the relevant authorities immediately”

    But ‘several members of the public’ had to find the debris before we got to hear about it?


  49. “Debris from Barrow wind farm incident washes up on Maryport shore”


    “Debris from a wind farm near Barrow has been found washed up on a shore miles up the Cumbrian coast.

    John Gorrill, who is a beach clean organiser for Fix the Firth voluntary group, found pieces of green debris on the shore at the northern tip of Maryport golf course.”

    That’s rather a long way away from the scene of the incident.


  50. Saving the planet, not just by trashing it, but by trashing people’s lives too:

    “‘Like slave and master’: DRC miners toil for 30p an hour to fuel electric cars”


    “Congolese workers describe a system of abuse, precarious employment and paltry wages – all to power the green vehicle revolution”

    Well worth a read.

    “As delegates meet at Cop26, the UN climate change conference in Glasgow, the transition from petrol to EVs is being talked about as a key step in reducing carbon emissions. Global sales of passenger EVs – excluding hybrids – are expected to soar from 3.3m in 2021 to 66m in 2040. In the UK, that growth will be driven by the government’s ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

    Last year, about 70% of the world’s cobalt came from the DRC and the vast majority of that – 93,000 out of 100,000 tonnes, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence (BMI) – came from large-scale industrial mines.

    Although some battery and car manufacturers have reduced the amount of cobalt in their batteries, BMI says the volume of sales of cobalt into the sector will rise four or fivefold over the coming decade. The World Bank estimates that demand for cobalt production will increase 585% by 2050.”

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Mark, I quote once again from Jit quoting the Guardian’s pull-out special for COP26 on Sunday:

    The People’s Summit, a parallel movement bringing together climate justice campaigners, begins. The events are spread across four days and include subjects such as defending the right to protest, queer ecology as climate justice, self-care and collective-care, and voices of the most affected.

    My bold. Those most affected I’m sure included a delegation of DRC Cobalt miners working for almost slave wages. Didn’t it?


  52. Richard, your comment here and on Poll-Axed about the Guardian turning all denialist in view of the articles it has published in the last few days, touches on an interesting point. Even the Guardian seems to be aware that all is not well in the world of climate alarmism, that not everyone is on board with the agenda (far from it) and that the agenda is actually causing a lot of harm. However, so deep runs the religious nature of the fervent belief of its editor and journalists in the dangers of climate chaos, that nothing will move it on the subject, not even the evidence of its own reporting.

    That a newspaper/website devoted to left-wing ideology can fail to take up the baton in any meaningful way on the damage caused to poor people by the political response to climate change – a response which it advocates – leaves me increasingly perplexed. But I’ve been here before – the terms left and right no longer seem to mean much, and certainly traditional Labour supporters from the 20th century (like me) must be as bemused as I am by what is happening in the 3rd decade of the 21st century. “Left”-wingers actively seeking to damage the lives of the poor is something I am never going to understand or get used to.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. In the interests of balance (a subject we at CliScep are more committed to than is the BBC) I should put this story here:

    “Cambo oil field project ‘could jeopardise deep sea life'”


    “The proposed Cambo oil field project could jeopardise hundreds of species and contribute to the climate crisis, environmental groups have warned.

    Environmentalists said pipelines would cut through the Faroe-Shetland Sponge Belt, a UK Marine Protected Area.

    The warning comes amid controversy over whether the project, thought to contain hundreds of millions of barrels of oil, should get the go-ahead.

    The UK government said an environmental impact assessment would be carried out.

    The Cambo oil field is situated approximately 125km (75 miles) to the west of the Shetland Islands in water depths of between 1,050m (3,445ft) and 1,100m (3,609ft).

    Five different water masses meet in the area, bringing nutrients that help deep-living cold water species to thrive, including sponges known as “cheese-bottoms”, worms, and long-lived molluscs called ocean quahog.

    A review from the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide warned that the project “could jeopardise hundreds of species over several decades, as well as livelihoods”.

    Sixteen marine protection and climate groups – including Greenpeace UK, WWF UK, the Marine Conservation Society and Friends of the Earth Scotland – have written to the offshore oil and gas environmental regulator, Opred, asking it to include marine impacts when assessing the Cambo drilling application.

    They raised concerns about the likely impacts the pipelines would have on the seabed, on hundreds of marine species and on the local fishing industry, and underline the devastation that an oil spill in the area would cause.”

    If true, they might well be good reasons to prevent it going ahead. It’s odd, though, that the same concern for marine species and local fishing industries never seems to be visible when it comes to proposed off-shore wind turbines.


  54. Mark (8:15am): It reflects well on the editors that they do print such stories. I prefer to think of them not as religious fundamentalists but like Menno Simons who didn’t give up on the essentials but jettisoned loads of the inessentials and contradictions. (The founder of the Mennonites. The point is, he moved radically.)

    The next stage? As they print such stories they start to say “We have to admit the sceptics were right about this point.”

    You may say I’m a dreamer, as John Lennon would put it (founder of the Lennonites).

    Liked by 1 person

  55. This is an old story, presumably regurgitated for COP 26, but still….

    “Climate change: Corporate mass tree planting ‘damaging’ nature”


    “Large firms buying up farms in rural Wales to plant trees have been accused of using the land to “offset their guilt” over emissions.

    Thomas Crowther, an Earthshot Prize finalist, also warned mass planting of the same type of tree on swathes of land could be “dangerous” for nature.

    Recently a number of west Wales’ farms have been bought by investment companies for tree planting schemes.

    The scientist has urged companies to be socially and ecologically responsible.

    Greater effort to conserve a wide variety of ecosystems is needed to meet climate change goals, and people from the areas had to be involved, he said.

    Moves by large-scale investment companies to buy up family farms – in an attempt to offset carbon emissions – have led to fears whole communities could be “destroyed”….”.

    Ah, the Law of Unintended Consequences.


  56. And on the same theme:

    “Cape Town’s Day Zero: ‘We are axing trees to save water'”


    “Cutting down trees to save a city from drought might seem like an unlikely plan, but that’s exactly what the South African city of Cape Town has started doing, after becoming the first global city to come close to running out of water.

    It is three years since it edged dangerously towards what was described as “Day Zero” – the moment when some four million inhabitants would be left without water.

    Its existential crisis was triggered by a severe and unanticipated drought that turned all the local reservoirs into dustbowls.

    Today, dozens of teams armed with chainsaws are seeking to protect those reservoirs in an unusual manner – by chopping down tens of thousands of trees on the mountains surrounding them.

    It is a furiously ambitious, and oddly counter-intuitive battle to limit the impact of climate change.

    On a recent morning, high above a thick layer of mist, two workers abseiled down a steep ravine to remove several isolated pine trees in an area that was littered with stumps.

    “The pines are not indigenous to this area. They use up so much water – much more water than indigenous plants. This is the green infrastructure that we need to fix,” explained Nkosinathi Nama, who is co-ordinating the work on behalf of the Greater Cape Town Water Fund.

    The non-indigenous pine trees, initially brought into the region for the timber industry, have spread fast across the mountains, crowding out the local, far more resilient, and less thirsty fauna in Cape Town’s catchment areas.

    The pines, and other alien species like the eucalyptus, are now responsible for consuming an estimated 55 billion litres of water per year – equivalent to two to three months of the city’s annual consumption.

    “One of the lessons of Day Zero is that our water catchment areas need to be rehabilitated and restored so that they are resilient,” he said.”


  57. Trees seem to be becoming more controversial at Cliscep. It used to be the “wrong sort of leaf” but now it’s “the wrong sort of tree”: around Cape Town it’s tree apartheid; in central Wales tree ghettos. Elsewhere trees are anathema and are removed with extreme prejudice to keep heaths pristine. Around chez Kendall we are planting saplings to add to the beautiful fall colours, but curse the seemingly endless supply of leaves arriving on our lawn.


  58. “Rio Tinto’s past casts a shadow over Serbia’s hopes of a lithium revolution”


    “People in the Jadar valley fear environmental catastrophe as Europe presses for self-sufficiency in battery technology”

    “Abattery sign, flashing dangerously low, appears superimposed over a view of the globe as seen from space. “Green technologies, electric cars, clean air – all of these depend on one of the most significant lithium deposits in the world, which is located right here in Jadar, Serbia,” a gravel-voiced narrator announces. “We completely understand your concerns about the environment. Rio Tinto is carrying out detailed analyses, so as to make all of us sure that we develop the Jadar project in line with the highest environmental, security and health standards.”

    Beamed into the country’s living rooms on the public service channel RTS, the slick television ad, shown just after the evening news, finishes with images of reassuring scientists and a comforted young couple walking into the sunset: “Rio Tinto: Together we have the chance to save the planet.”

    The pivot to ecological saviour and bastion of transparency is perhaps an unlikely one for Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest metals and mining corporation.

    Throughout its almost 150-year history, the Anglo-Australian multinational, which posted profits after tax of $10.4bn (£7.3bn) in 2020, has faced accusations of corruption, environmental degradation and human rights abuses.

    It is currently fighting a civil lawsuit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that accuses the company of fraud at its Mozambique coal business. That follows a £27.4m fine in 2017 from the UK’s financial watchdog for breaching disclosure and transparency rules….

    …In July, Rio Tinto announced that it would invest $2.4bn in a project in the Jadar valley, in western Serbia, overlooked by the Cer and Gučevo mountains, building what it says will be Europe’s biggest lithium mine, and one of the world’s largest on a greenfield site.

    The company estimates that over the expected 40-year life of the mine, it will produce 2.3m tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate, a mineral critical for large-scale batteries for electric vehicles and storing renewable energy, and 160,000 tonnes of boric acid annually, necessary for the renewable energy equipment such as solar panels and wind turbines.

    Rio Tinto boasts the mine will make it one of the top 10 lithium producers in the world, and could produce enough for more than 1m electric cars a year, of which annual sales are expected to jump from 1.2m vehicles in 2017 to at least 23m in 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.

    The EU, with which Serbia has an association agreement facilitating trade and regional funding, imports all its battery-grade lithium from outside Europe. Talks about supplying leading German car manufacturers have begun. Four 40ft shipping containers carrying the infrastructure for a lithium processing plant have set sail for Serbia from Australia.

    The project is gathering momentum. But anxious and angry campaigners, including the thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets of the Serbian cities of Loznica and Belgrade over recent months, say they are witnessing an unfolding disaster in the country’s “breadbasket”, responsible for around a fifth of total agricultural production, raising questions about the strange bedfellows being made in the maelstrom of the green revolution, and whether lessons have been learned about consumption and production that has made the transition to a decarbonised world so urgent.

    Shortcomings in Serbian democracy further raise concerns over whether the voices of those on the frontline are being heard…

    …Over the following years, donations started to be made by Rio Tinto to local causes. Gornje Nedeljice’s school received funds for classroom renovations. The football team’s clubhouse got a new roof and farmers were offered vouchers for expensive agricultural equipment. There was even cash for the Christmas bazaar among the 107 donations dished out since 2003, of a total value of $608,807 (£451,034).

    “After a year or two, the mine was suddenly going to be 80 hectares,” said Petkovic. “Then in September last year, we received letters telling us that our land had been rezoned from being agricultural to building land. I remember a friend invited me to her house where a group of us women were asked by a lady from Rio Tinto about what we wanted from the mine, what opportunities might interest us … We were idiots. We weren’t paying attention.”

    Rio Tinto said it did not recognise the figures cited by Petkovic but conceded that plans had evolved. According to the spatial plan published by the Serbian government in March, the zone at risk of subsidence will be spread across 850 hectares, the size of more than 1,000 football pitches….”.

    It sounds a bit like the modus operandi of wind farm developers in Scotland.


  59. “‘Like putting a lithium mine on Arlington cemetery’: the fight to save sacred land in Nevada
    Thacker Pass is rich in lithium deposits but is also a place of historical and cultural significance to the Paiute people”


    “On a windy afternoon in northern Nevada, where her family has lived for generations, Daranda Hinkey stood before one of the largest lithium deposits in the world – the place where, as she puts it, “there’s so much lithium it makes people foam at the mouth,” she says.

    The area is known as Peehee Mu’huh – or Thacker Pass – and while it could be a lucrative resource for companies hoping to cash in on the electric vehicle revolution (lithium can be used to power rechargeable batteries), Hinkey and her peers say large-scale mining operations could irreversibly damage one of her community’s most sacred sites.

    “It’s like putting a lithium mine on Arlington cemetery. It’s just not fair,” she said….”.


  60. Some of us have been saying this for a very long time. It’s good to see the BBC catching up, eventually:

    “Indonesia’s biodiesel drive is leading to deforestation”

    “Indonesia pledged at the recent COP26 climate summit that its greenhouse gas emissions would peak by 2030 and then start to fall.

    It’s also said that it will end deforestation by that same date.

    But to reduce emissions from its transport sector, it’s relying on using more biofuels – production of which can lead to the loss of forested land.

    So how can it both curb its emissions using biofuels and end deforestation by 2030?

    Indonesia is now the third largest producer of biofuels in the world, behind Brazil and the US, and the world’s largest producer of biodiesel – a biofuel alternative to regular diesel fuel.

    Biofuels come from plant material and animal waste, and can be used to power vehicles or for heating and electricity.

    They are considered a renewable alternative to traditional fossil fuels (coal, petrol and diesel) as they can be replenished quicker and release fewer greenhouse gases.

    Indonesia produces biodiesel from crops, primarily palm oil, and government policy stipulates that all diesel fuel must contain a mix of at least 30% biodiesel – to rise to 50% by 2025.

    The transport sector accounts for 13.6% of the country’s emissions and 45% of its energy consumption. The government believes this policy could reduce their transport emissions by 36 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040.

    But taken along with an expected 6% annual growth in its vehicle fleet, it means biofuel production will need to increase by nearly 50% over the next three years to meet demand.

    This would require a substantial increase in land used for biofuel production, perhaps by as much as 1.2 million hectares – to about a quarter of all palm oil cultivation in the country.”


  61. “Kilgallioch wind farm cleared to pass 100-turbine mark”


    “A wind farm in southern Scotland has been given the all clear to pass the 100-turbine mark.

    The Kilgallioch development straddles the border between Dumfries and Galloway and South Ayrshire.

    It currently has 96 turbines but the Scottish government has now approved the construction of a further 11.

    It said the environmental impact of expansion would be “acceptable”….”.

    This is how they get away with massive environmental damage – mission creep. Build a few, then a few more are OK< even if the final total would have been unacceptable when first mooted.

    Objections count for nought:

    "The Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) raised an objection to the plans due to concerns over their effect on a nearby hen harrier roost.

    However, the Scottish government decided that any impact was acceptable – subject to a number of conditions."


  62. “Hydroelectric dams linked to tiger and jaguar losses”


    “The global expansion of hydroelectric dams has had a destructive impact on the habitats of tigers and jaguars, according to a new study.

    Researchers found that dam construction, particularly in Asia, has affected more than one-fifth of the world’s remaining tigers.

    In some local forest areas, the dams are said to have precipitated tiger extinction.

    Jaguars face a growing threat with dams on their ranges expected to quadruple.”

    Liked by 1 person

  63. “Deep-sea mining may push hundreds of species to extinction, researchers warn
    New research sees two-thirds of mollusc types only found living by hydrothermal vents added to IUCN’s red list of endangered species”


    “Almost two-thirds of the hundreds of mollusc species that live in the deep sea are at risk of extinction, according to a new study that rings another alarm bell over the impact on biodiversity of mining the seabed.”


  64. “Concern over impact of Norfolk Boreas offshore windfarm on seabirds
    Project backed by Boris Johnson likely to get go-ahead but is on site that rare birds travel though, campaigners say”


    “A major new windfarm project that will power millions of homes is likely to be approved on Friday, but conservationists fear for the safety of endangered birds in the area.

    The Norfolk Boreas offshore windfarm is due to get the green light from the government, the Guardian can reveal.

    The windfarm is said to be being backed by Boris Johnson who, government sources claim, is so keen on the project that he refers to himself as “Boreas Johnson” in meetings about it. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) source claimed that Johnson was extra keen on the project because of his love of Greek mythology – Boreas was the ancient Greek god of the north wind. It is said the prime minister hopes this can be a flagship green energy project that could make Britain the “Saudi Arabia of wind power”….

    …However, the north Norfolk coast is home to some of Britain’s most significant colonies of endangered sea birds including kittiwakes, gannets and lesser black-backed gulls. There are concerns from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds that the blades could kill the birds. On top of this the project involves disrupting the area where the birds feed, and making it more difficult to travel from the ocean to their nests. If it takes the birds too long to fly back to their young, the chicks can starve to death.

    An RSPB source said the site has difficulties because of the number of rare birds that feed, travel through and nest in the area. “Ultimately we need to get away from sites with unavoidable problems. Which is in the gift of the Crown Estate, as the seabed belongs to the Queen,” he said.

    “We are very concerned about the cumulative impact of all these turbines in one space. The secretary of state has ‘accepted’ other windfarms will impact on seabirds in this area (some globally important colonies for kittiwakes and others) – and the mitigation methods being proposed are untried and untested, so it could well be over a decade before we know if they will be successful, by which time the damage will have been done to the colony.”…”


  65. “Almost two-thirds of the hundreds of mollusc species that live in the deep sea are at risk of extinction, according to a new study that rings another alarm bell over the impact on biodiversity of mining the seabed.”

    So why do they not die off every time there is an underwater earthquake?


  66. Bill, for the very same reasons humans don’t become extinct every time there is an earthquake.


  67. “Letters / Reality check”


    I haven’t verified/can’t verify the statistics contained in the letter, but I certainly agree with the general sentiment:

    “In our headlong rush to ‘save the planet’ perhaps a sobering reality check for the deluded Greens is long overdue?

    A small, ever-so-green, 100-megawatt wind farm needs 30,000 tons of iron ore; 50,000 tons of concrete and 900 tons of non-recyclable plastic.

    For the same power from an ever-so-green solar farm you need to increase that by 150 per cent.

    An electric car battery weighs half a ton, making just one requires shifting 250 tons of earth somewhere else on the planet.

    All require what are called ‘rare earths’, so a phenomenal 200 to 2,000 per cent increase in toxic mining, processing and shipping is required somewhere else on the planet, usually from unregulated regimes with very lax environmental standards.

    Solar and wind have weather-dependant limits, but we need energy ALL the time, so we have to have permanent back-up. The giant Tesla factory in Nevada would take 500 years to make enough batteries to supply the USA with electricity for 1 day!

    After 30 years and countless billions in subsidies wind and solar supply less than 3 per cent of the world’s energy. On top of that, like all machines ‘renewables’ are built from non-renewable materials – and have to be replaced time and time again, so definitely NOT a one-off cost.

    The International Renewable Energy Agency calculates that solar energy goals for 2050 to meet the Paris Accord will result in old-panel disposal constituting more than double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste!

    The environmental cost?

    To accommodate 2,000 MW of gas or nuclear power generation requires the same area of two 18-hole golf courses. Whereas, accommodating 2,000 MW of wind power requires an area the size of Belgium!

    Then, of course, you still need 2,000 MW of gas or nuclear power to accommodate those hundreds of occasions each year when wind and solar power is producing absolutely nothing.

    Renewables will undoubtedly cause far more environmental damage to wildlife.

    Instead of ‘saving the planet’ rampaging renewables are actually devouring it!

    George Herraghty


  68. “2021 was the year clean energy finally faced its mining problem
    A clean energy revolution will hinge on getting mining right”


    “This year, the clean energy sector finally started grappling in earnest with one of its biggest challenges: how to get enough minerals to build solar panels, wind turbines, and big batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. Figuring that out will be critical for escaping fossil-fueled ecological disaster. It’ll also be crucial for policymakers and industry to move forward without throwing certain communities under the bus in the transition to clean energy.

    Instead of cutting through landscapes with oil and gas wells and pipelines, clean energy industries and their suppliers will open up the Earth to hunt for critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, and copper. Compared to a gas-fired power plant, an onshore wind turbine requires nine times more mineral resources, according to the International Energy Agency. Building an EV requires six times more minerals than a gas-powered car.

    It’s about time to scrutinize what that hunger for minerals might cause, given the recent boom in pledges from countries and companies alike to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Digging up the necessary minerals is already proving to be a minefield. Protests are popping up at proposed mines that no one really wants in their backyard. The conflicts that cropped up in 2021 are just the beginning of a challenging road ahead.

    In May, the International Energy Agency (IEA) issued a warning: the world isn’t mining enough of the minerals that are the building blocks of a clean energy future. And supply chains for many critical minerals are vulnerable, according to the IEA’s report. “Left unaddressed, these potential vulnerabilities could make global progress towards a clean energy future slower and more costly – and therefore hamper international efforts to tackle climate change,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said in a statement at the time. “This is what energy security looks like in the 21st century.”…”.

    And much more in similar vein. Well worth a read, IMO.


  69. Mark did you really mean to write “ Digging up the necessary minerals is already proving to be a minefield.”. Priceless.


  70. Alan, sadly not my words, I was merely reporting what was written in the article. I’ll happy take credit for them, though. 😉


  71. “Hertfordshire: Plans submitted for solar farm on green belt land”


    “A solar farm the size of more than 88 football pitches could be built on green belt land, according to plans.

    AGR 4 Solar Limited wants to build an 88-hectare (0.8 sq km) solar farm near three villages in Hertfordshire.

    Thirteen objections have already been raised, including one describing it as “environmental vandalism”.

    The applicant said the proposed solar farm would contribute to the government target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Following the submission of the plans to North Hertfordshire Council on 14 December, residents raised concerns that the development would “create a blight on our landscape” in the villages of Great Wymondley, Graveley and Little Wymondley.

    Another said it could make “driving to Great Wymondley from Graveley like driving through a demilitarised zone”, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

    The scheme would include around 150,000 solar panels, as well as 22 transformer stations and 22 battery storage containers….

    …In a statement submitted to the council, AGR 4 Solar Limited argued the benefits of the scheme would outweigh any concerns about the green belt.

    “If North Hertfordshire are serious about their commitment to tackling the climate change emergency action is required now to dramatically alter the current path of future greenhouse gas emissions within the district and nationally,” it said.”

    Thanks to the stupidity of political virtue-signalling, the Council is rather hoist on its own petard, methinks:


    “On 21 May 2019, the council passed a climate emergency motion which pledged to do everything within the council’s power achieve zero carbon emissions in North Herts by 2030.

    This declaration asserted the council’s commitment toward climate action beyond current government targets and international agreements.”


  72. “Norway blows up hydro dam to restore river health and fish stocks
    Campaign by local angling club to free fishes’ migratory routes is part of move across Europe to create free-flowing rivers”


    “A dam that has blocked the Tromsa River in Norway for more than 100 years was blown up with dynamite this week, freeing migratory routes for fish.

    “It’s a big step,” said Tore Solbakken of Norwegian angling club Gudbrandsdal Sportsfiskeforening, who has campaigned for five years to have the old hydropower plant dam removed. “I’m very happy. It’s all about restoring healthy rivers and fish populations.”…”.

    Although hydro power might be the most reliable form of renewable energy, no form of renewable energy avoids damage to ecology.


  73. “ScotWind could ‘accelerate some seabirds towards extinction’, warns RSPB
    A leading charity has expressed concerns about the potentially devastating impact of ScotWind on Scotland’s seabirds.”

    https://www.energyvoice.com/renewables-energy-transition/wind/uk-wind/scotwind/380394/scotwind-could-accelerate-some-seabirds-towards-extinction-warns-rspb/“The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Scotland says the scale of new offshore wind farms could “accelerate some seabird species towards extinction” unless there’s major action.

    According to the organisation, the projects already approved in Scotland are forecast to “kill hundreds of seabirds”, ranging from Kittiwakes to Puffins.

    And the new raft of developments, which will be greater in size, would “greatly increase” the impact on wildlife.

    Crown Estate Scotland announced yesterday that 17 new offshore wind project ad been approved through the ScotWind process.

    It means that hundreds of new turbines will be deployed around Scotland’s coast in the coming years.”


    “Kittiwake extinction risk and the death of Environmentalism – The Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm poses an existential threat to bird species at risk of global extinction.”


    “If a British Secretary of State ignored the advice of his own planning inspectors and over-rode a powerful international protection for a Red-listed species of bird to give consent to a power station development so large it will be visible from space there would of course be a deafening outcry from environmentalists, right? But, anyway, no Secretary of State would do such a thing, right?

    Wrong, sadly, wrong on both counts.

    On the 31st of December last year, and just before standing down as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to concentrate on Chairing the 26th UN Climate Conference (COP26), the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP gave the go-ahead to the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm in spite of a recommendation by the inspectors to refuse because of the unacceptable impact on Kittiwake populations.”

    Liked by 2 people

  74. “‘We are afraid’: Erin Brockovich pollutant linked to global electric car boom”


    “A Guardian investigation into nickel mining and the electric vehicle industry has found evidence that a source of drinking water close to one of Indonesia’s largest nickel mines is contaminated with unsafe levels of hexavalent chromium (Cr6), the cancer-causing chemical more widely known for its role in the Erin Brockovich story and film.

    The investigation also found evidence suggesting elevated levels of lung infections among people living close to the mine.

    Recent years have seen a race between mining companies to gain control of the world’s largest nickel reserves in Indonesia.

    Nickel, an essential component in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, could bring transformational wealth to a country where Covid has pushed the number of people in poverty up to 10.19%.

    Yet people living on the remote Obi Island, which has recently become home to one of Indonesia’s largest nickel mines, just want clean and safe water.

    Unlike other minerals used to power EVs such as cobalt and lithium – which have been linked to environmental damage and human rights abuses –nickel’s supply chain has so far gone largely unscrutinised….

    …The Guardian was told by the village midwife clinic of more than 900 cases of potentially deadly acute respiratory infections (ARI) among the approximately 4,000 residents of Kawasi in 2020. More than half of the cases were reported to be in newborns or toddlers aged four and under.

    According to Indonesian health officials, the ARI prevalence in Kawasi was just under 20% in 2020, compared with a national average of 9%. Aside from the midwife clinic there was no active local health centre in the village when the Guardian visited.

    “The difference [since the mining started] is enormous. The beach was still clean, the sea was not muddy like this and not red yet. People still fished in front of their houses,” says a nurse who has lived in the village since 2009, before the mine started operating. “The trend of [higher] ARI cases began at the same time as [mining] exploration also began,” adds the nurse.

    “I keep thinking: is there any future for the children?” says Maria*, who grew up in the village….”.

    The irony in that last sentence is acute. In wondering whether there is any future for the children, Maria isn’t worrying about climate change, but about the measures being taken supposedly to “deal with” climate change. The irony is that the Guardian (which is at its best with sort of investigative journalism) can write what follows without ever toning down its message about climate alarmism and the “need” for net zero:

    “The Chinese battery component producer GEM has signed an agreement to purchase nickel from the company, PT Halmahera Persada Lygend. GEM supplies battery components to many of the world’s leading EV battery manufacturers, including Chinese-owned CATL, which controls about 30% of the global battery market.

    The ultimate beneficiaries are likely to be many of the most well-known EV brands, with nickel from these mines used to produce batteries that could end up in cars sold by Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen (VW).

    Booming nickel prices and a “battery arms race” have seen a rush to develop mines but there are fears that regulatory oversight has failed to keep up with the pace of development.”


  75. I never expected to see this in the Guardian:

    “‘Green industry wants to take our land’: the Arctic paradox
    Sweden’s ‘green transformation’ promises to help Europe fight the climate crisis. So why is it uniting radical environmentalists, ecologists and Sami reindeer herders in protest?”


    “…Rackete, Litvinov and the others are convinced that to truly defend the Sami way of life, they will need to embrace what seems like a paradox and oppose renewable energy projects, including Arctic wind parks, “green steel” and other parts of the so-called green transition intended to help Europe meet its global climate obligations.

    “If we have ambitions to really change things, to enable reindeer herding and Sami life to keep going, we’re going to have to mobilise against all sorts of extraction projects,” says Bowers. This, he adds, should include the “green transformation” of Sweden’s far-north, with its industry-leading plans for coal-free steel, its near-completed EV car battery gigafactory and the vast wind power projects needed to power it all.

    The green industrial transformation of northern Sweden is central to the nation’s claims to become a climate world leader. In her inauguration speech in November, the prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, hailed the “ramping up of a green industrial revolution”, with “CO2-free steel production, battery factories … tens of thousands of new jobs” and 700bn kronor (£57bn) invested in green industry in Sweden’s Arctic north. “Sweden must show the outside world how the climate transition creates jobs and growth,” she said.

    It’s easy to become enthused by the supposed climate benefits. The state company LKAB’s plans to produce hydrogen-reduced iron instead of iron ore pellets for example, promises to cut a Switzerland-sized chunk from Europe’s total carbon emissions by allowing steel plants to close their blast furnaces.

    “All of this is like some sort of promise for the future, but it’s destroying what we actually have right now,” Bowers says. “We know that the Sami people have been able to live with their environment. But with these green projects, there’s no proof that it’s actually going to reduce emissions.”

    Bowers falls back on an argument one might expect to hear from a fossil fuels advocate. “If you look at wind power, studies have shown an increase in emissions, because of all the mining and transport infrastructure.”

    From the point of view of Henrik Andersson, a Sami reindeer herder, green industrial projects are worse even than the Malmberget iron ore mine, which started on Sami summer herding grounds back in 1735 and then, after a rail link was built in 1888, grew into one of biggest mines in the world….”.


  76. “Bowers falls back on an argument one might expect to hear from a fossil fuels advocate. “If you look at wind power, studies have shown an increase in emissions, because of all the mining and transport infrastructure.”

    so the Guardian are going to be nice & call Bowers “a fossil fuels advocate”. wonder why the change in tone when it’s the “Sami people” ?


  77. “‘Deep-sea gold rush’ for rare metals could cause irreversible harm
    Mining companies are planning to profit from the new industry, but environmental campaigners warn of disastrous consequences”


    “…The hoped-for gold rush lies thousands of miles away on the bed of the Pacific Ocean, where trillions of potato-sized nodules of rare earth elements vital to power the next generation of electric cars have been discovered 4,000m below the surface.

    Mining companies are hoping that global rules to allow industrial scale deep-sea mining to collect the haul could be set in place as early as July 2023.

    However, environmental campaigners warned that mining for the metals would be “dangerous”, “reckless” and cause “irreversible harm” to little-known ecosystems. One estimate suggests that 90% of the deep-sea species that researchers encounter are new to science.

    Louisa Casson, a Greenpeace campaigner, criticised the industry for running the conference and banks for considering investing in the “dangerous and unnecessary” projects to “make a quick profit”.

    “This destructive new industry wants to rip up an ecosystem we are only just starting to understand,” she said. “[They are] aiming to make a quick profit while our oceans and the billions of people relying on them bear the costs.”…”.

    Well, quite, and it’s the net zero agenda demanded by the likes of Greenpeace that requires the minerals that these companies want to mine so dangerously and recklessly:

    “…Eleanor Martin, a partner at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright who advises banks on financing offshore projects, said global banks were “very eager” to invest in deep-sea mining projects as they project the cost of lithium and cobalt needed for electric car batteries will continue to spiral upwards. “To build the number of [electric] cars we will need, we will need much more of these metals.”

    “Banks are sitting on pots of green money,” she said in reference to money designated for projects aimed at tackling the climate crisis. …”.


  78. Mark
    mining the deep sea floors and consequent untold environmental and ecological damage have been news since at least the time I was a snotty undergraduate (=eons ago). The only changes are what is being sought. Originally nickel, now rare earths.


  79. Alan, no doubt. I posted a link to the article here because times have changed – now the environmental vandals claim to be the good guys, claim to be “green”. I beg to differ.


  80. “The challenge of tracking seals around tidal turbines”


    “The push for tidal power is bringing a new set of questions for those developing the green energy technology: Are marine mammals such as seals going to be affected?

    Tidal energy generation can come in different shapes and sizes but in basic terms, what we are talking about is sinking turbines underwater – some the size of a bus – with rotor blades propelled by the power of the sea to make renewable electricity.

    In much the same way that the development of wind turbines brought a concern for birds, experts need to make sure that wildlife is protected from the new green energy technology of tidal power….”.

    Hmm. “… the development of wind turbines brought a concern for birds…”? But not enough to stop putting them in places where they kill lots of birds or (as in Shetland) disrupt the locations where ground-nesting birds are now being deliberately scared away so that the work can go on. Is this what they call “green-washing”.


  81. “‘Greens’ Destroying Germany’s Ancient Forests To Make Way For Industrial Wind Turbines”


    “To make way for over 30,000 of these things, the German wind industry has ruthlessly clear-felled ancient forests, once considered out of bounds.

    Provided the wilderness being turned into smouldering ash is used as a platform for hundreds of 260m high/300 tonne industrial juggernauts, it’s all for the greater good.

    Trashing thousand-year-old oak trees and carving up pristine woodland is all in a day’s work for those promising to save the planet.

    Germany’s Black Forest has already been overrun; chainsaws, bulldozers and blazing torches doing their worst to save us from the horrors of a change in the weather.

    The Reinhardswald in the State of Hesse is their next target. A magical place where the Brothers Grimm brought Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to life, both literally and figuratively.

    The Greens are determined to wreck even that remnant of German history and culture with a move to rip up the forest to make way for a fleet of whirling wonders.”

    Liked by 1 person

  82. Translated from a Norwegian LinkedIn page, via a private Facebook page I visit:

    “Batteries do not create electricity – they store electricity produced elsewhere, especially through coal, uranium, natural-powered power plants or diesel-powered generators. “So the claim that an electric car is a zero-emission vehicle is not true at all.
    Since forty percent of the electricity produced in the United States comes from coal power plants, thus forty percent of the electric cars on the road are carbon-based.
    But that’s not all of it. Those who are excited about electric cars and a green revolution should take a closer look at the batteries, but also wind turbines and solar panels.
    A typical electric car battery weighs a thousand pounds, roughly the size of a suitcase. It contains 25 pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds of cobalt, 200 pounds of copper and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel and plastic. There are over 6,000 individual lithium ion cells inside.
    To make each BEV battery, you’ll need to process 25,000 pounds of salt for lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for cobalt, 5,000 pounds of resin for nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore from copper. In total, you have to dig out 500,000 pounds of dirt for a battery. ”
    The biggest problem with solar systems is the chemicals used to turn silicate into the gravel used for the panels. To produce sufficient clean silicon, it must be treated with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, fluoride, trichlorotane and acetone.
    In addition, gallium, arsenide, copper-indium-gallium diselenide and cadmium telluride are needed, which are also highly toxic. Silicone dust poses a danger to the workers and the tiles cannot be recycled.
    Wind turbines are non-plusultra in terms of cost and environmental destruction. Each windmill weighs 1,688 tonnes (the equivalent of the weight of 23 houses) and contains 1300 tonnes of concrete, 295 tonnes of steel, 48 tonnes of iron, 24 tonnes of fiberglass and the hard-to-win rare soils Neodym, Praseodym, and Dysprosium. Each of the three blades weighs 81,000 pounds and has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, after which they must be replaced. We cannot recycle used rotor blades.
    Admittedly, these technologies can have their place, but you have to look beyond the myth of emission freedom.
    “Going Green” may sound like a utopian ideal, but if you look at the hidden and embedded costs in a realistic and impartial way, you’ll find that “Going Green” does more damage to earth’s environment than it seems.”


  83. “The Kintyre wind farm ‘gold rush'”


    Read it all and weep.

    Largely unseen by the outside world, a transformation has been taking place in the remote Kintyre peninsula on the west coast of Scotland. And it is not over yet.

    Funded by international power companies and one of the biggest corporations in the world, nine wind farms have already been built in Kintyre, consisting of about 150 turbines.

    In the coming years there could be 14 more wind farms with as many as 200 turbines, creating what one local described as an “industrial landscape”….

    …There are plans for two wind farms nearby which would be 230 metres tall, that’s the height from ground level to the tip of a turbine blade at its highest point.

    For context, the BT Tower in London is 190 metres tall, the Gherkin is 180 metres. And a wind farm is not a single isolated structure.

    The proposed developments near the Mull would consist of about 30 towers, visible for miles around, particularly at night, when their aviation warning lights would be switched on…

    …Mr James explains why he believes the site is important.

    “There’s a large number of rare species of birds, bats, pollinating insects that use this habitat, that are part of this integrated ecosystem and they may indeed be directly affected by the development,” he said.

    “And if all those elements stop working properly together, then the ecosystem will suffer and the habitat will die.”

    The development that Mr James is talking about is the Earraghail wind farm.

    Scottish Power Renewables [despite its name, that’s a Spanish company] expects to hear next month whether it has been given permission to go ahead for up to 13 wind turbines with a maximum tip height of 180m.

    Mr James hopes that won’t happen.

    He wants to use a nearby ruined croft house to create an eco-friendly artists’ retreat but it is only a few hundred yards from the site of the wind farm.

    He believes his project will not be viable if the wind farm, as proposed, is built [oh irony]…

    …Travelling south down the Kintyre peninsula, I’m looking for the Beinn an Tuirc wind farm.

    …The huge towers and the enormous blades sweeping through the air above Kintyre look like any other wind farm. But what is different about this one is who owns the power which it produces.

    Scottish Power Renewables signed what is known as a power purchase agreement for Beinn an Tuirc 3 with Amazon.

    It means that all the power generated at the 14-turbine wind farm belongs to the giant US corporation.

    The deal also means that Amazon benefits from a fixed price for the duration of its 10-year deal with SPR.

    Mr James is not directly affected by Beinn an Tuirc 3 but he worries about its implications for the future.

    He said: “Big silicon valley companies driving wind farm development in Scotland because of their own consumption and high levels of demand is at odds with local interests – local environmental interests, local economic interests – so it can’t be that we’re there simply to service their demands.”

    Alasdair Bennett also worries about the benefits or lack of them for local communities.

    The Scottish government guideline is that power companies should donate £5,000 to local communities for every megawatt of electricity generated. But it is not mandatory…

    The question for people in Kintyre, what will be the long-term impact of these global forces on them?


  84. any comment from Mac ?

    “Mull of Kintyre, oh mist rolling in from the sea
    My desire is always to be here
    Oh Mull of Kintyre”


  85. “EU limits subsidies for burning trees under renewable energy directive
    MEPs vote on amendment to phase down share of wood counted as renewable but reject calls for complete phaseout”


    The European parliament has called to end public subsidies for the environmentally destructive practice of burning trees for fuel, but campaigners warned the plans risked being “too little, too late”.

    Voting on an amendment to the EU’s renewable energy directive, MEPs called to “phase down” the share of trees counted as renewable energy in EU targets. But they swerved setting any dates to reduce the burning of “primary wood”. They rejected calls for a complete phaseout of a form of energy generation that scientists have warned releases more carbon into the atmosphere than burning gas or coal.

    The EU wants to expand renewable energy as fast as possible, as it seeks to accelerate the green transition and end dependence on Russian fossil fuels. MEPs voted for 45% of EU energy to come from renewable sources by 2030.

    Behind this headline target, Europe’s dash for bioenergy has caused growing alarm. More than 500 scientists last year called on EU and world leaders to end subsidies for wood burning.

    “There has been a misguided move to cut down whole trees or to divert large portions of stem wood for bioenergy, releasing carbon that would otherwise stay locked up in forests,” stated the letter.

    The scientists state that the large increase in carbon emissions caused by felling trees creates a “carbon debt” the world does not have time to repay. “Trees are more valuable alive than dead both for climate and for biodiversity,” they wrote.


  86. Mark – just noticed this from your above comment –
    “The Scottish government guideline is that power companies should donate £5,000 to local communities for every megawatt of electricity generated. But it is not mandatory…”

    have you a link to that not mandatory guideline – my brother might be due a fiver I recon.


  87. Dfhunter, afraid not – the BBC article does not provide a link to back up the statement.


  88. Mark, thanks for the link – “consultation analysis” or an online questionnaire to most people.
    title – “Analysis of the consultation responses received to the draft Onshore Wind Policy Statement between 28 October 2021 and 31 January 2022.”
    “Chapter 1: Current Position
    When referring to respondents who made particular comments, the terms ‘a small number’, ‘a few’ and so on have been used. While the analysis was qualitative in nature, as a very general rule of thumb it can be assumed that: ‘a very small number’ indicates around 2-3 respondents, ‘a small number’ indicates around 4-6 respondents; ‘a few’ indicates around 7 to 9; and ‘some’ indicates 10 or more but fewer than half of those who commented at any question. Where larger numbers of respondents are referred to, a ‘significant minority’ is 10-25% of respondents, a ‘large minority’ is denoted by 25-50% of respondents, and 50%+ is ‘a majority’.”

    “1.38. A large minority, again across all respondent types, requested increases to, or full realisation of, community benefit funds. £5000/MW or less was regarded as too little, as well as benefits claimed to be often falling short of those pledged, though there were also cautions that any increases would impact wind farm financial viability through increased costs or reduced revenue. There were also suggestions that community benefit funds need to be contractually bound and have better standards of governance.”

    “1.49. A few individuals and communities’ organisations were adamant that no more financial support or mechanisms should be needed as taxpayers already contribute an environmental subsidy.”

    I note the phrase “A small number of mainly renewable energy organisations and communities’ organisations said…” seems to crop up a lot in this survey


  89. “Drax: UK power station owner cuts down primary forests in Canada”


    A company that has received billions of pounds in green energy subsidies from UK taxpayers is cutting down environmentally-important forests, a BBC Panorama investigation has found.

    Drax runs Britain’s biggest power station, which burns millions of tonnes of imported wood pellets – which is classed as renewable energy.

    The BBC has discovered some of the wood comes from primary forests in Canada.

    The company says it only uses sawdust and waste wood.

    Panorama analysed satellite images, traced logging licences and used drone filming to prove its findings. Reporter Joe Crowley also followed a truck from a Drax mill to verify it was picking up whole logs from an area of precious forest.

    Ecologist Michelle Connolly told Panorama the company was destroying forests that had taken thousands of years to develop.

    “It’s really a shame that British taxpayers are funding this destruction with their money. Logging natural forests and converting them into pellets to be burned for electricity, that is absolutely insane,” she said.

    The Drax power station in Yorkshire is a converted coal plant, which now produces 12% of the UK’s renewable electricity.

    It has already received £6bn in green energy subsidies. Burning wood is considered green, but it is controversial among environmentalists…

    …Burning wood produces more greenhouse gases than burning coal.

    The electricity is classed as renewable because new trees are planted to replace the old ones and these new trees should recapture the carbon emitted by burning wood pellets.

    But recapturing the carbon takes decades and the off-setting can only work if the pellets are made with wood from sustainable sources.

    Primary forests, which have never been logged before and store vast quantities of carbon, are not considered a sustainable source. It is highly unlikely that replanted trees will ever hold as much carbon as the old forest…


    …Drax told the BBC it had not cut down the forests itself and said it transferred the logging licences to other companies.

    But Panorama checked and the authorities in British Columbia confirmed that Drax still holds the licences.

    Drax said it did not use the logs from the two sites Panorama identified. It said they were sent to timber mills – to make wood products – and that Drax only used the leftover sawdust for its pellets.

    The company says it does use some logs – in general – to make wood pellets. It claims it only uses ones that are small, twisted, or rotten.

    Who do you believe? The BBC or Drax? I trust neither of them. Tricky!


  90. “The cost to capture carbon? More water and electricity
    A Louisiana power company’s plan to capture climate emissions is raising concerns about the state’s water supplies”


    A carbon capture proposal for a central Louisiana power plant has been titled “Project Diamond Vault” by its owner, Louisiana utility Cleco. The utility says the project will have “precious value” to the company, customers and state.

    Yet less than six months after announcing the project to capture carbon from the plant’s emissions and store them underground near the plant, Cleco revealed in a recent filing to its state regulator the $900m carbon capture retrofit could reduce electricity produced for its customers by about 30%.

    Cleco maintains it hasn’t committed to this path. But, if it decides to produce additional power necessary to run the carbon capture process, it could increase the plant’s water use by about 55%, according to studies of similar power plants.

    The Louisiana project is not an outlier.

    Operating enough carbon capture to keep the climate crisis in check would double humanity’s water use, according to University of California, Berkeley researchers. Regardless of the method being used – on a power plant or capturing carbon directly from the air – more power and more water will be needed.

    The Cleco proposal provides an object lesson in how one solution can exacerbate another problem.

    “These technologies to mitigate climate change have unintended environmental impacts, like water use and water scarcity,” said Lorenzo Rosa, a principal investigator at Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford. Carbon capture and sequestration increases water withdrawals at power plants between 25% and 200%, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that cites Rosa’s work….


  91. “These technologies to mitigate climate change have unintended environmental impacts, like water use and water scarcity,”

    well they wood, but at least “IPCC report that cites Rosa’s work” can give a good estimate on increased water withdrawals – “between 25% and 200%”.

    so we know they are not just making figures up.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. “Mark Carney’s investment fund accused of deforestation
    Former Bank of England Governor’s green credentials questioned by campaigners”


    Mark Carney has been accused of climate hypocrisy after his investment company was revealed to have cleared vast swathes of tropical forest in Brazil.

    The former Bank of England Governor, who has positioned himself as a green finance champion and is a special climate envoy for the United Nations, joined Brookfield Asset Management in 2020 and is currently the firm’s chairman.

    But campaign group Global Witness has claimed Brookfield was responsible for 9,000 hectares of deforestation in Cerrado, a sensitive region of tropical savannah in Brazil.

    The space cleared was roughly equivalent to 11,000 football pitches and was repurposed for farming soybeans.

    Global Witness warned this had harmed local biodiversity and led to an estimated 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, where previously it would have been absorbed by trees and other vegetation.

    Just hours before the claims were published, Mr Carney gave a speech in Montreal about the “biodiversity crisis”, tweeting afterward: “We can’t get to #netzero emissions without eliminating deforestation and accelerating nature-based solutions.”

    He has also previously urged investors to “take ownership” of climate change and not “divest your way out of the problem”.


  93. “Offshore Wind Farms Could Cause ‘Cataclysmic Destruction’ Of Ecosystems
    The UK’s plan to rapidly expand industrial wind farms around the coast will be at the expense of the environment and biodiversity”


    Wind energy, cheap electricity from the elements. Surely a great idea?
    But has it just become a cash cow for big industry and governments, with precious little benefit to citizens – and, ironically, all at the expense of the natural world?
    I’ve written many times over the years about the potential for ecological damage caused by badly planned wind farms, particularly large offshore developments, the detrimental effects of which have been vastly underestimated.
    Now, as the industry expands at an alarming pace, we disregard the evidence at our peril.

    Worth a read, IMO.


  94. “North Kesteven solar farm could power 180,000 homes, say firms”


    Energy companies have announced plans for a huge solar farm in Lincolnshire which could power 180,000 homes.

    Developers said Springwell Solar Farm would generate enough clean energy to supply the equivalent of about half the homes in the county.

    The 1,400-hectare site between Lincoln and Sleaford would be 10 times bigger than London’s Hyde Park, with a capacity of 800MW.

    Two thoughts. First, if it goes ahead, it won’t power 180,000 homes, certainly not reliably and not when power is most needed in the dead of winter. Secondly, how much damage will it do to nature and crop production? 1,400 hectares (note the use of hectares to make it sound less) is 3,459.475 acres, and that’s a heck of a lot of land. To put it another way, in a way that can readily be understood, it’s about 2,620 football pitches.


  95. “Dolphins ‘shout’ to get heard over noise pollution”


    Dolphins struggle to hear each other and cooperate in a world of increasing noise pollution, a new study reveals.

    They are one of many marine mammals that rely on whistles and echolocation to work together for hunting and reproducing.

    But noise pollution from human activity like shipping and construction have risen dramatically in recent years.

    If they are no longer able to cooperate it could have detrimental effects, the researchers said….

    …Sound is one of the most important senses for marine animals. Unlike light, which is quickly absorbed by water, it can travel tens if not hundreds of kilometres.

    As a result, cetaceans – whales, dolphins, porpoises – have developed a complex range of sounds to “talk” to each other.

    It was already known that they will increase the volume of their calls or the frequency to try and compensate for noise pollution caused by human activity.

    Pernille Mayer Sørenson, a PhD candidate at Bristol University who led the research team which included the Dolphin Research Centre and St Andrews University, said: “We knew from previous studies that noise pollution impacts animals, but from this study what we do for the first time is look at how noise impacts how animals work together.”

    The study, published in the journal Current Biology, revealed that the efforts of dolphins to compensate for pollution by “shouting” were not enough and they struggled to work together….

    The BBC is at it again, saying that “noise pollution from human activity like shipping and construction have risen dramatically in recent years”, but valiantly failing to mention that pile-driving for offshore wind turbines is one of the fastest-growing (and most damaging to cetaceans) human construction activities at sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  96. “Welsh ‘Amazon forest’ at risk from solar farm plan – campaigners”


    A brewery’s solar farm plans on “Wales’ Amazon rainforest” have met opposition.

    Wildlife campaigners want a temporary ban – or moratorium – of solar farms on the Gwent Levels due to concerns about their impact on biodiversity.

    Budweiser Brewing Group wants to develop renewable energy sources to cut carbon emissions to net zero at its brewery in Magor, Monmouthshire.

    The Welsh government said it was unable to comment as it may prejudice any future decisions.

    With several other solar proposals for the Levels, a wildlife trust has expressed its concerns over the risk of biodiversity loss.

    Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I said it would develop a scheme that tries to provide ecological enhancements.

    The solar farm is expected to be built on environmentally sensitive marshland near Magor, to the east of Newport.

    It will be used to generate electricity for a hydrogen plant that will power Budweiser’s Magor brewery.

    According to the project developer, Protium, “Magor Net Zero” will comprise a solar park, a wind turbine, a hydrogen refuelling station and a green hydrogen production facility that will collectively displace more than 15,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.

    It is part of the global beer brand’s plans to cut carbon emissions.

    But wildlife campaigners fear solar farms could weaken vulnerable ecosystems on the Gwent Levels, a wetland area between eastern Cardiff and Chepstow, Monmouthshire….


  97. “The green revolution is fuelling environmental destruction
    Net zero warning as the staggering true cost of going green is revealed”


    Roughly 80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, the new generation of offshore wind turbines being built at Dogger Bank will be taller than some skyscrapers.

    Along with masses of solar panels and electric cars, these feats of human engineering will become the backbone of a new, green economy that will emerge as we abandon fossil fuels.

    Yet as we embrace net zero carbon emissions in the name of saving the planet, growing tensions are emerging over what must be done to achieve this goal.

    According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Bank, the switch to “cleaner” renewable energy sources is going to require an unprecedented surge in the extraction of precious minerals from the earth.

    Whether it is lithium and cobalt needed for batteries, or rare earth elements used for magnets that power wind turbines and electric car motors, we simply can’t make the green technologies we need without them.
    Yet campaigners and researchers warn that the mines producing these minerals raise troubling environmental questions of their own, with the worst examples ravaging landscapes, polluting water supplies and desolating crops. The industry also poses geopolitical challenges for Britain and its allies, with China currently dominating the supply chains.

    It means that without drastic improvements to global standards and greater engagement by the West, the switch to clean power risks becoming very dirty indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

  98. “Why Environmentalists May Make This Whale Species Extinct
    On the 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, green groups throw their once-sacred “precautionary principle” to the wind.”


    …Surveying for, building, and operating industrial wind projects could harm or kill whales, according to the U.S. government’s own science.

    The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has given the wind industry 11 “incidental harassment authorizations,” or permits to harass hundreds of whales, including 169 critically endangered right whales.

    The industry will bring more ships into the areas that could strike and kill whales. Submarine noise pollution from the wind farm’s construction and operation, and entanglements in equipment, also add to the risk. So too could air turbulence generated by the turbines harm or destroy zooplakton feeding grounds.

    And, now, wind developers are demanding higher speed limits for their boats. If they don’t get them, the industry claims, it will need to build hotels for the workers at the sites, right in the middle of right whale habitat.

    Defenders of the wind projects say they can reduce and mitigate the noise and ship traffic from the wind farm construction, but a senior scientist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) contradicted that claim last spring when he wrote in a letter that “oceanographic impacts from installed and operating [wind] turbines cannot be mitigated for the 30-year lifespan of the project unless they are decommissioned.”

    Scientists representing many of the same environmental groups supporting the industrial wind energy projects wrote in a 2021 letter that “the North Atlantic right whale population cannot withstand any additional stressors; any potential interruption of foraging behavior may lead to population-level effects and is of critical concern.”

    Industrial wind projects “could have population-level effects on an already endangered and stressed species,” concluded the NOAA scientist, Sean Hayes. What are “population-level effects?” In a word: extinction.

    What is going on? How is it that nearly every major conservation and environmental organization is actively championing industrial energy projects that could lead to the extinction of a whale species?


  99. Not everyone is so puzzled – just the BBC and its “green” friends:

    “Another whale mysteriously washes ashore on US East Coast”


    Since the start of December, 15 whales have washed ashore on the US East Coast.

    The tragic mystery has left environmentalists and researchers scratching their heads.


  100. “Scotland Littered By Tonnes of Toxic Plastics Shed By Thousands of Wind Turbine Blades”


    …Traverse any Highland Glen these days in the hope of finding peace and tranquillity, and you’ll be hard-pressed to avoid Scotland’s hundreds of wind factories and their looming industrial presence. To make way for them, more than 17,000 acres have been cleared and 14 million trees have been clear-felled in the process, adding to a morbid sense of pointless, industrial-scale environmental destruction.

    But, right now, it’s another feature of these 300-tonne monsters and their 50-60m blades that has highlanders up in arms.

    And that’s their habit of constantly shedding toxic microplastics and spreading them far and wide.

    Ben Borland reveals that littering the landscape with toxic plastic junk with complete impunity, is yet another example of how the wind industry gets a free kick on every environmentally harmful aspect of their subsidy-soaked operations.

    Energy minister Michael Matheson also admitted that no wind farm operators have been fined for failing to maintain their turbines and there is no scheme in place to monitor microplastic pollution.

    A Scots Tory MSP has hit out after the SNP Government admitted it had no idea how many of Scotland’s 19,000 wind turbines may be releasing dangerous chemicals.

    There have been concerns for years about the environmental impact from the erosion of microplastics from the colossal turbine blades, which are made with fibreglass and epoxy resin.

    One of the chemicals is called Bisphenol A, which has been linked with fertility problems in humans and wildlife. Campaigners say a single turbine can emit up to 62 kilos of microplastics annually, although this is disputed by the renewables industry….

    Liked by 1 person

  101. On our travels round Scotland we are seeing the plastic plague being replaced by the take away coffee cup plague or is it allowed being made of paper ( got a plastic top ) and eventually degradable ? The hardest to accept are those lying on the ground beside an empty bin.


  102. Cups littering ground by bins were thrown by the aerodynamically challenged.


  103. And what about the Ozymandias Litter when these giant turbines themselves fall to the ground?

    Plasticks and cups littering the ground…

    Something I loved in the Patrick O’Brien”Master and Commander Series’,all 22 volumes, was Captain Jack Aubrey’s appreciation of the simpler life at sea compared to life on land. ..responding to storms at sea, strengthening the mast, bringing in the sails, compared to dastardly conniving on land…(of course,
    plotting at sea, too, but it was pretty basic compared to the land manoeuvrings.)

    Liked by 2 people

  104. Bethstheserf. And what would Captain Jack Aubrey have made of todays spread of marine micro plastic pollution even into the lungs of still the unborn?


  105. “Anger at tree felling at Open championship venue”


    Hundreds of trees felled at a world famous Scottish golf club and Open championship venue have not been replaced after more than two years, according to outraged locals.

    Two hundred trees were cut down on the south side of Carnoustie Golf Links in 2020 so that underground cables could be laid connecting the nearby Seagreen offshore wind farm to the electricity grid.

    One walker who frequents the area where the trees were cut down told the inndependent investigative journalism co-operative The Ferret that the environment there has been transformed from a “nature haven” into a “wasteland”…

    …Managers of the courses, the owners of the wind farm, and Angus Council, all pledged that 1,000 new trees would be planted around the Carnoustie courses to replace those cut down. They also promised that 80 of the cleared trees would be “sensitively transplanted” to new locations around the golf links.

    However, locals claim that no new saplings have been planted. They also allege that trees due to be transplanted had to be destroyed after some had roots damaged by golf club staff who tried to move them with a tree spade which was too small…

    …Donaldson added that birds used to nest in the trees but had now left. “What was a nature haven in the southwest corner of the links, with many indigenous Scots Pine and Silver Birch, is a wasteland”, he said.

    Donaldson’s claims were echoed by fellow Carnoustie resident, Ian Wallace, who also walks his dog round the golf links. Wallace said there was no evidence of new trees being planted and branded the impact of the felling in the southwest corner of the course as “shocking”.

    The cable corridor runs along the south side of the Carnoustie Links near its border with the Ministry of Defence’s Barry Buddon army training camp.

    The cables will connect Seagreen – which is located 27km off the Angus coast and a joint venture between SSE and French oil giant, Total – to a new substation at Tealing. New energy installations are exempt from needing felling permission from Scottish Forestry….

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of this story, that last sentence is shocking.

    Liked by 1 person

  106. “‘A national scandal’: how US climate funding could make water pollution worse”


    …Boosting corn acreage, to create more ethanol, is one of the Biden administration’s goals. It wants to increase ethanol production from 15bn gallons in 2022 to 21bn gallons this year, and 23bn gallons by 2025, principally to meet the administration’s national energy strategy for ethanol to be a primary feedstock for producing “sustainable” fuel for airlines.

    Though the $1.01 a gallon tax credit provided in the new law is a win for corn and ethanol producers, the administration’s plan for ethanol is a big problem for water. Corn farmers already apply more than 4bn lb of nitrogen fertilizer to produce the current national supply of ethanol. Based on this usage rate, refining five billion more gallons of ethanol could lead to 1.5bn more pounds of fertilizer being applied to fields in corn-growing states. That would exacerbate the water quality issues plaguing the region.

    “We’re putting more and more pressure on the productivity of agriculture to produce more corn, more livestock for our fuel,” said John Ikerd, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri. “It’s also producing more pollution. Any other industry that creates this amount of pollution and represented this level of risk to public health would be heavily regulated.”

    Congress didn’t add any additional safeguards for water in the Inflation Reduction Act….


  107. “Deep sea mining noise poses harm to blue whales, scientists warn
    Paper calls for assessment of impact of sound pollution on cetaceans before firms allowed to mine sea bed”


    Deep sea mining could be doing irreparable damage to blue whales and other rare marine creatures, scientists have warned.

    A peer-reviewed paper published by the University of Exeter and Greenpeace Research Laboratories focuses on the overlap between cetaceans (such as whales, dolphins and porpoises) and target sites for deep sea mining, especially in the Pacific Ocean. The authors warn that urgent research is needed to assess threats to these mammals.

    The research, published in Frontiers in Marine Science, finds that noise pollution in particular could cause damage to the sensitive, intelligent animals.

    Scientists said the disturbance would be constant for the marine mammals, similar to noisy construction work in a human neighbourhood that was impossible to escape from.

    “Imagine if your neighbourhood was suddenly disrupted by construction work that goes on 24/7, your life would change dramatically. Your mental health would be compromised, you might change your behaviour to escape from it. It’s no different for whales or dolphins,” said Dr Kirsten Thompson, of the University of Exeter. The research concludes that the constant disturbance could cause ill health….

    No obvious link between deep sea mining plans and “green” energy etc is made in the article, though in fairness it does say this:

    Metals for industry including copper, cobalt, nickel and manganese are in the sea bed, and there are also thought to be rare earth elements such as yttrium, as well as substantial veins of gold, silver and platinum.

    The Greenpeace representative, although no doubt well-meaning, might like to stop and think about the impact that offshore wind turbines might have on, inter alia, cetaceans. Instead we get this:

    Louisa Casson, a Greenpeace campaigner, said: “Deep sea mining companies are determined to start plundering the oceans, despite little research about the impacts this industry would have on whales, dolphins and other species.

    “Deep sea mining could damage the oceans in ways we do not fully understand – and at the expense of species like blue whales that have been a focus of conservation efforts for many years. Governments cannot uphold their commitments to protect the oceans if they allow deep sea mining to start.”

    As for this:

    Imagine if your neighbourhood was suddenly disrupted by construction work that goes on 24/7, your life would change dramatically. Your mental health would be compromised…

    The people of Shetland are already suffering from 7 days a week works and disruption courtesy of SSE and the Viking Wind Farm, and in Weisdale Voe just now they are also suffering overnight from the noise of the boats involved in cabling activities. There is no escape, but I haven’t heard a word of protest from Greenpeace.


  108. “Towy Valley: Campaign to stop 60 miles of electricity pylons”


    A call has been made to save one of Wales’ “great treasures” from 60 miles (96km) of pylons over the countryside.

    Bute Energy wants to connect a proposed windfarm at Nant Mithil, Powys, across the Towy Valley to the energy network near Carmarthen.

    More than 250 people joined a public meeting at Llandovery Rugby Club, where Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price called for a rethink.

    The company said the plan could see energy produced for 200,000 homes.

    It added that it wanted to “power Wales with clean green energy, and empower local communities through investment, jobs and skills”.

    At Friday’s meeting, Mr Price said one of the “great treasures of Wales” must be safeguarded.

    Mr Price, who is the area’s Member of the Senedd (MS), said the plan would “trash a vital part of inheritance”, adding: “We support the aim of ensuring Wales meets the target of 100% renewable electricity generated in Wales but we don’t have to do that by building the cheapest option that will be incredibly environmentally damaging in this area of great sensitivity.”…

    We support the aim…but…Thanks goodness for NIMBYs; without them nobody would stand in the way of trashing our environment:

    Not In My Back Yard

    Liked by 1 person

  109. “US protesters turn ire on wind farms to explain whale deaths – but where’s the evidence?
    Controversy stirs in New Jersey along political lines as some scientists say wind turbine theory is ‘cynical disinformation’”


    I accept that we don’t have proof that wind farms are causing the death of whales, but we don’t have proof that they’re not. And while correlation isn’t causation, at the same time that wind farms are being developed, we also have more whale deaths than usual. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not. We don’t know. But while the Guardian headline chooses to dismiss concerns as “cynical disinformation” by repeating words to that effect from “some scientists” (which, on reading the article – see below – seems to be one person, namely Greenpeace’s oceans director), it’s interesting to note that Greenpeace seem more concerned to maintain the wind farm programme than they are about the dead whales:

    …Many raising alarms on recent whale deaths have pointed to noise created by offshore wind survey work as confusing the whale’s navigation system.

    But scientists argue that current evidence does not support such a claim.

    “It’s just a cynical disinformation campaign,” Greenpeace oceans director John Hocevar said to USA Today….

    In the Guardian’s world, any doubts about renewable energy seems to be unforgivable:

    …Discussions around whale deaths have become increasingly partisan.

    Arguments that windfarms are harming whales is a talking point that has been parroted by conservative politicians and figures, including far-right Georgia congresswoman Majorie Tayor Greene and Fox News host Tucker Carlson….

    “Far-right” politicians “parrot” doubts, while nice Greenpeace effectively say there are no doubts (or that expressing doubts constitutes a “cynical disinformation campaign”, so the Guardian knows who it believes. Personally I’m waiting to see if further evidence can cast light on it.


  110. a talking point that has been parroted by conservative politicians and figures…

    Where a talking point means something the Guardian doesn’t want anyone to talk about.

    I’ve no idea how substantial the problem is, by the way. Can I imagine that Tucker Carlson is overplaying the point? Sure. But guilt-by-association is dripping from this sentence. Why don’t we talk about such ‘talking points’, until the situation is clearer?


  111. “Flatpack wood turbines could give wind power a green boost”


    It’s an uncomfortable dilemma that has cast a long shadow over the sustainability credentials of a green form of energy.

    For while wind turbines may project a carbon friendly image, when it comes to their manufacture, the steel, concrete, and plastics that go into making them take their toll on the environment.

    While disposing of them at the end of their life poses additional problems: blades made from fibreglass and carbon fibre are particularly tricky to recycle, meaning they tend to end up in landfill.

    With almost three weeks to go until 1st April, we are now told this:

    Now however, there are hopes that the next generation of towers and blades could solve the problem of how to make wind-powered renewable energy more environmentally friendly.

    And the solution, according to a spate of new start-up businesses, could lie with good old-fashioned trees, laminated wood and ‘Ikea-style flatpack’ pieces, all stuck together with glue.

    The idea of wood-based wind turbines has taken hold in north Europe, where firms are on the verge of scaling up prototypes and early versions.

    In Germany, start-up firm Voodin Blade Technology is working with Finnish timber specialist Stora Enso to develop wooden turbine blades. Currently in production is a 20m blade for a 0.5 megawatt turbine, with plans for an 80m version fitted to a turbine up to 6 megawatts in capacity – the size used in commercial farms.

    While in Sweden, another start-up, Modvion, is driving forward its idea of constructing turbine towers using sections of laminated wood.

    Lightweight and easy to transport, it says the laminated veneer lumber (LVL) modules can be carried on the back of a lorry and slotted together on site – like a giant flatpack kit – helping to avoid road closures and enabling more parts to be transported in a single journey.

    Because the engineered wood it uses is stronger than steel at the same weight but less expensive to produce, it opens the prospect of wood being used to construct ever taller towers – meeting a key demand of the wind energy sector and without the need for costly reinforcements.

    Apart from the ongoing problems of bat and bird killing and representing an unsightly blemish on the landscape, it sounds like a theoretical improvement. Will it work? Obviously not offshore. And is making them from wood really “sustainable”.

    I’m far from convinced by the final sentence in this quote, but it’s interesting to find an admission regarding the CO2 footprint of current wind turbine technology:

    Then, once at the end of its 25-30 years lifespan, the tower can be taken apart and the wood reused, such as for high-strength beams for the construction industry. Eventually it can be recycled further, for lower spec uses like partition walls before being further reduced to paper.

    The firm says using a renewable material like wood means their towers can also act as a carbon sink, reducing emissions for the entire turbine by 30%.

    It adds: “The life cycle emissions from a 110m tall wind turbine tower of steel is approximately 1,250 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

    “The corresponding tower in wood emits 90% less emissions, which means around 125 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

    “The wood is also storing carbon and therefore acts as a carbon sink.

    “When you take that into account, the tower reduces and stores more CO2 than it emits.”


  112. “Deep-sea mining for rare metals will destroy ecosystems, say scientists
    Businesses want to trawl for nickel, manganese and cobalt to build electric cars and windfarms”


    An investigation by conservationists has found evidence that deep-seabed mining of rare minerals could cause “extensive and irreversible” damage to the planet.

    The report, to be published on Monday by the international wildlife charity Fauna & Flora, adds to the growing controversy that surrounds proposals to sweep the ocean floor of rare minerals that include cobalt, manganese and nickel. Mining companies want to exploit these deposits – which are crucial to the alternative energy sector – because land supplies are running low, they say.

    However, oceanographers, biologists and other researchers have warned that these plans would cause widespread pollution, destroy global fish stocks and obliterate marine ecosystems.

    Liked by 1 person

  113. “The race for more battery materials could cause ‘irreversible’ damage under the sea”


    From electric vehicles to renewable energy, the future runs on batteries. That’s driving soaring demand for raw materials used to make batteries, including nickel, cobalt, and copper. By next year, mining companies could start harvesting those materials from the deep sea at an industrial scale for the first time.

    But the damage that would do to ethereal ecosystems on the seafloor could be catastrophic and irreversible, a new report warns. Ocean researchers and advocates are intensifying calls for a deep seabed mining moratorium before it’s too late….

    Liked by 1 person

  114. “Protesters urge caution over St Ives climate trial amid chemical plans for bay
    Campaigners worry about scheme’s impact on marine ecosystem but Planetary Technologies says concerns misplaced”


    “Planetary can stick it up their waste pipe,” read one of the many waspish placards at the north Cornwall beach where more than 300 protesters gathered on Sunday.

    They came to Gwithian beach to object to a proposed carbon dioxide removal scheme by the Canadian company Planetary Technologies – winner of a $1m XPrize for climate change solutions in 2022 – which wants to add magnesium hydroxide to the wastewater pipe at Hayle that stretches out to sea.

    The firm’s scientists say the chemical deployment could reduce the acidity of the ocean and remove CO2 from the water, thereby drawing harmful CO2 out of the atmosphere to replace it.

    But protesters fear the chemistry may negatively affect the bay of St Ives’ precious marine ecosystem, which includes a grey seal population, and are demanding greater scientific scrutiny.


  115. “Larne Lough: Swimmers protest against gas storage caverns plan”


    Swimmers have taken to the water at Islandmagee to protest against the building of gas storage caverns nearby.

    Seven gas caverns are set to be constructed by carving out salt layers under Larne Lough to store half a billion cubic metres of natural gas.

    The firm behind the project say it will create jobs and improve energy security by giving a 14-day buffer during periods of peak demand.

    Protesters say the caverns would pose a threat to the local environment.

    A marine licence for their proposed construction was approved by the Department of Agriculture and Environment (Daera) in October 2021, but is subject to a judicial review brought by opposition groups the No Gas Caverns campaign and Friends of the Earth NI…

    …Long-term, the caverns could be used to store hydrogen as a product of surplus renewable energy, maximising our wind power generation potential and making a contribution to reaching Net Zero.

    But campaigners say the hyper-saline water released in carving out the caverns threatens vulnerable species in several Areas of Special Scientific Interest along the coast, potentially creating a “dead zone”.

    They fear building space for storing gas locks Northern Ireland into fossil fuel infrastructure that would damage Net Zero ambitions.

    The controversy shows just how difficult and delicate a balance it is to strike between human and environmental needs….


  116. “America’s big shift to green energy has a woolly mammoth problem
    Transmission lines in the US need to be increased threefold, but faces pushback from fossil conservation and green groups”


    America’s renewable energy drive needs more than a million miles of new transmission lines but emerging resistance includes opponents worried about building them in one of the country’s richest areas of ice-age fossils.

    The Greenlink West project would build a 470-mile-long transmission line bringing clean electricity north of Las Vegas to Reno in Nevada, but it cuts through an area containing everything from woolly mammoth tusks to giant sloths to ancient camels.

    The pushback has highlighted a major, and growing, challenge to Joe Biden’s attempts to expand clean energy in order to tackle the climate crisis – how to quickly build vast new networks of electricity transmission across America without falling afoul of local communities and green groups.

    If the US is to eliminate planet-heating emissions by 2050 it will need to increase the capacity of its current 700,000 circuit-mile network of poles and wires by threefold, researchers have estimated, in order to electrify key components of everyday life and shift intermittent wind and solar energy to areas where the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing.

    The nascent stages of this gargantuan effort, the scale of which hasn’t been seen since the US built out its highway system in the 1950s, is already facing opposition from various conservation groups, locals and fossil fuel interests from New England to the Arizona desert.

    “Transmission is contentious because it’s long, it’s linear, so it affects a lot of people,” said Jessica Wilkinson, North America renewable energy team lead at the Nature Conservancy. “We are seeing local concerns being raised and they are growing as these projects increase in size. It’s all new to people.”

    Suddenly, as lawmakers jostle over ways to speed up new projects, local opposition seems likely to grow. “It’s only been energy nerds like me into this, most people haven’t really thought about it,” said Tim Latimer, chief executive of Fervo Energy, a developer of geothermal projects.

    “But this is the next big barrier to renewables. There really is no transition without transmission.”

    Those committed to preventing the defilement of valued landscapes are now placed in a conundrum where an unprecedented amount of infrastructure development is needed to protect those landscapes, as well as people, from global heating.

    …For developers of renewable energy projects, however, the lack of transmission capacity is a major headache. Even as clean energy projects have gathered pace, turbocharged by last year’s $370bn in climate spending via the Inflation Reduction Act, they face frustrating waits to be connected to a fragmented, congested electricity grid….

    So it’s not just the UK…:



  117. “Deep-sea mining hotspot teems with mystery animals”


    A vast stretch of ocean floor earmarked for deep sea mining is home to thousands of oddball sea creatures, most of them unknown to science.

    They include weird worms, brightly coloured sea cucumbers and corals.

    Scientists have put together the first full stocktake of species to help weigh up the risks to biodiversity.

    They say more than 5,000 different animals have been found in the Clarion Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean.

    The area is a prime contender for the mining of precious metals from the sea bed, which could begin as early as this year.

    Companies want to exploit valuable deep-sea metals in international waters, but have yet to start extraction….

    …Some believe the minerals found in the seafloor are a promising source of metals such as cobalt and nickel needed for technologies such as mobile phones, wind turbines and EV batteries.

    But opponents have argued that we don’t know enough about ocean ecosystems to guarantee that mining won’t cause irreparable harm….


  118. No young Bill, your last statement is a huge taxonomic inexactitude. Also Amphibia don’t favour salty water.


  119. Yes, yes, but said newts have a habit of migrating to anywhere people want to dig holes in the ground.


  120. Rubbish, in all my years working for the oil industry and drilling deep holes, I encountered nary a newt, great crested or otherwise. Nor did I hear of any near Portuguese reservoirs recently. But whatever species are involved, and many will probably be ‘new to science’, almost certainly they will constitute a formidable defence of their home habitat. What a great pity British peatland doesn’t have them.


  121. Alan,

    I suspect Bill’s comment was tongue in cheek. But I am with you about peat land.


  122. Mark i was aware that Bill’s amphibian comment was tongue-in-cheek and my responses have been in-kind (except for the comment about peatland (added in large part with your viewpoint in mind)).


  123. Mark, the idiotic ‘renewables’ fanatics are slowly (painfully slowly) learning that the ‘renewable’ tag applies ONLY to the natural source of the energy (sunlight, wind, which are essentially inexhaustible). It very much does NOT apply to the technology and raw materials needed to ‘harvest’ wind and solar radiation. Oops, they didn’t teach that on the University ‘Environmentalism & Sustainable Technology’ course!

    Liked by 1 person

  124. Jaime,

    I suspect that today’s “environmentalists” (I use the term loosely, since so many of them have – until now – seemed happy to trash the environment in order to “deal with” climate change) are simply doom-laden.

    To date their mentors at the BBC and the Guardian have obsessed almost entirely about climate change and fossil fuels. Consequently that’s what they lose sleep about. But if the Guardian and the BBC wake up to the environmental devastation they have encouraged, then maybe their acolytes will start agitating about that instead. They have a sufficiently doom-laden mentality.

    I was going to say that we can live in hope, but it’s not really hopeful, is it? At that point they will deny us all forms of energy and we really will have to live in mud huts.


  125. Mark – thanks for the “Solar panels” link above.

    a couple of quotes from the BBC post stuck out for me –
    “Energy experts are calling for urgent government action to prevent a looming global environmental disaster.
    “It’s going to be a waste mountain by 2050, unless we get recycling chains going now,” says Ute Collier, deputy director of the International Renewable Energy Agency.
    “We’re producing more and more solar panels – which is great – but how are we going to deal with the waste?” she asks.”

    “In many cases, solar units become relatively uneconomical before they reach the end of their expected lifespan (25yrs quoted). New, more efficient designs evolve at regular intervals, meaning it can prove cheaper to replace solar panels that are only 10 or 15 years old with updated versions. If current growth trends are sustained, Ms Collier says, the volume of scrap solar panels could be huge. By 2030, we think we’re going to have four million tonnes [of scrap] – which is still manageable – but by 2050, we could end up with more than 200 million tonnes globally.”

    “Moreover, the technology is expensive. In Europe, importers or producers of solar panels are responsible for disposing of them when they become expendable. And many favour crushing or shredding the waste – which is far cheaper.”

    so “Saving the Planet by Trashing it” will be the “Solar panel” go to plan I would bet.


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