Wednesday, 23 April 2014

"Making fracking safe is simply not possible" says former oil-man

They say there's no louder an apostle than a sinner converted. And no more devastating a critic than an insider who has seen behind the gilded curtain. So the words of Louis Allstadt, ex-VP of Mobil Oil, must be echoing fearfully around the fracking industry.

"Making fracking safe is simply not possible, not with the current technology, or with the inadequate regulations being proposed," he told a group of elected officials in New York State this week.

With 30-plus years working at Mobil Oil, before its merger with Exxon (he headed its oil and gas drilling division in the Americas), this is not a man easily dismissed a part of the 'anti-everything brigade'. Initially in favour of drilling for shale gas - and the promise of energy plenty its proponents like to make - he turned against it after digging deeper. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

No bolt from the blue..

The leaky natural gas infrastructure of many US cities has been repeatedly pointed out of late - including a detailed street survey that pinpointed many methane leaks in Manhattan just one 12 months ago:

Manhattan's 'methane sieve' warning a year before explosion piece written for EarthTimes.
Manhattan's 'methane sieve' warning a year before explosion - See more at:

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Fossil fuel out, but dinosaur still in charge?

As US Virgin Islands finally move forwards on serious solar, some are asking whether the public utility is moving nimbly enough to ease the path to greater small-scale solar at homes & businesses:

News Shoot: Laying down the silicon in St.Croix post written on Hot House Islands

Sunday, 24 February 2013

When small is beautiful - and bountiful

While Big Ag touts GM and pesticides and fertilizers, farmers in the Indian state of Bihar are achieving big yields by giving their seeds a little organic TLC:

'he bought in his staggering, record-breaking 22.4 tonnes per hectare (five times the usual yield) with nothing but some clever and careful nurturing of his crop - without a drop of pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer in sight. Not only that, but Sumant Kumar is far from the only farmer in Bihar to see yields rise. In fact, this impoverished state in the north-east of India saw its rice harvest leap'

'The record harvests changing lives for impoverished Indian farmers'.. new article written for The Earth Times

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The e-bike with total conceptual purity

Electric bikes are allowing designers to re-imagine what a bike can do - as the nCycle concept bike demonstrates with its elegant design solutions:

'The bag is empty, there are feathers all over the floor, and the one remaining pigeon is looking decidedly nervous. Yep, yet another escaped feline, in the shape of a concept e-bike, has been unleashed onto the electric-biking public, bristling with design boldness, and inviting broomstick swipes all round. The nCycle is its name, and there’s no doubting its potent visual appeal.'

'The nCycle: e-Cycling Uncluttered'.. new post added for EvRdr's collection of all that's cool and eclectic in the world of cycling electric..

Saturday, 5 January 2013

The perils of forcing renewables from the top down..

Whether shifting to Sun,Wave or Wind, don't forget to start with the People: 

'While many on Maui may have applauded the prospects for cleaner energy,  reduced bills and the extra jobs that the wind farm development has bought to this rural Hawaii island, it's a different noise coming from just across the water, on the island of Lanai.'

When the wind's blowing the wrong way post written on Hot House Islands telling an Hawaiian tale of two windfarms..

Monday, 10 December 2012

Grid getting by on Grass?

'Residents of St. Croix, the largest of the US Virgin Islands, will soon see their electricity coming from a novel source - towering fields of grass. 1,000 acres on the wetter west side of the Caribbean island have already been sown with Giant King Grass, a proprietary variety of tall-growing elephant grass that will be harvested to feed an anaerobic digester. The digester will produce bio-gas that will, in turn, power a 6MW turbine.'

Read more at new post on Hot House Islands:

Virgin Islands break Ground on Power-from-Grass Project