Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Image credit: Airbus


Nonsensical climate virtue signalling takes to the skies. Hydrogen production is expensive, and operating two fuelling systems at airports also sounds costly. ‘Zero emission’ only applies if hydrogen is produced without burning any fuels – as the EU recently told the Netherlands – so the burden on renewables to power entire countries, plus all their vehicles, will have to extend to aircraft as well? Pie in the sky springs to mind.
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Aerospace giant Airbus has announced plans to build zero-emission aircraft using hydrogen power technology.

On Monday (21 September), the firm revealed three concept designs that are on the table and is targeting a 2035 entry-into-service, reports Euractiv.

Airbus is working on three designs for aircraft that could be zero-emission, which range from a conventional turbofan jet with space for 200 passengers to a ‘blended wing’ concept that is a significant departure from the current generation of planes.

“These concepts will help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft, which we aim to put into service by 2035,” said CEO Guillaume Faury.

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Money to burn?


The EU pushes ever further into its climate fantasy land, where so-called targets can be raised at will and the victims of them miraculously obey, regardless of any real world obstacles like actually selling cars. It prefers noises made by teenage ‘activists’ to anything said by the wealth-creating vehicle makers. The bill for this insanity is now expected to top a trillion euros every three years. Where are such gigantic sums supposed to come from?
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The EU’s target to reduce its industrial emissions by 2030 should increase from 40% to “at least 55%”, European Commission (EC) president Ursula von der Leyen said in her State of the Union address.

That would seriously burden Europe’s auto industry, says Fleet Europe.

The cause of decarbonisation is better served by better policies rather than stricter targets, ACEA counters.

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Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid [image credit: greencarreports.com]


More evidence that a PHEV is often used as a device for getting a hefty government subsidy to buy a fuel-powered car. The report also begs the question: if plug-in hybrids need the engine for heating below about 14C, what can full electric vehicles offer drivers when it’s cool, or freezing – apart from battery drainage?
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Greenpeace and Transport and Environment have conducted a study of how owners of plug-in hybrid cars use them in real world driving and come to a startling conclusion — plug-in hybrids are no damn good at lowering emissions if drivers don’t plug them in.

This revelation is intended to convince UK regulators to include PHEVs in their proposed ban of gasoline and diesel powered cars by 2030, says CleanTechnica.

Whoa. Who’da thunk it, huh? A car with a plug needs to be plugged in! That is shocking news.

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Dublin-Holyhead ferry link [image credit: Stena Line]


The report below refers to air pollution but ignores carbon dioxide emissions, which are *supposed to be* a much bigger problem according to climate obsessives.
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A no-deal Brexit could cost up to 5,000 jobs in Ireland’s fisheries, but it’s not just access to the UK’s coastal waters that the country is hoping to hold on to in any post-Brexit arrangement, says The Conversation @ Phys.org.

Perhaps more important to Ireland is the UK’s motorway network.

Every year, more than 150,000 trucks transport over 3 million tons of freight to and from Ireland to the rest of the single market across the UK land bridge.

One route involves goods being shipped from Dublin to Holyhead by ferry and then by road to Dover before being shipped to Calais.

It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of this land bridge for Ireland.

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Nikola Two truck model


Some critics say Nikola has been cheating by using gravity as a propulsion method when promoting its truck concepts — or they use words to that effect. Of course exaggerated claims are not unheard of in the world of supposedly ‘green’ engineering. The company has tried to defend itself, as the share price yo-yos with each new claim or attempted rebuttal. This is where the climate-crazed world is taking us, or trying to.
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With its electric and hydrogen-fueled trucks, the firm Nikola aims to revolutionize the future of the transportation sector, says Phys.org.

But with one investor claiming the group is running on empty, it has been having a rollercoaster ride on the stock exchange for the past week.

Founded in 2015 by Trevor Milton, the company is mainly working on the development of trucks and pick-ups powered by electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells, as well as building out hydrogen recharging stations.

Although it has not yet built anything, it has forged strategic partnerships with several renowned industrial groups including the German engineering giant Bosch, the Italians CNH Industrial and, most recently, US car-maker General Motors.

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E-truck test route [image credit: transport-online.de]


The bill for such a system would be massive and a lot of fuel duty revenue would be lost. What does it offer to anyone outside the haulage industry?
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Electrification of 7,500 km of the UK’s major road network would enable most lorries to be powered by overhead charging cables, resulting in dramatically reduced carbon emissions, a new report has found.

A team from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF) – bringing together heavy vehicle engineering expertise from the Department of Engineering and logistics expertise from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Westminster and a consortium of industry partners—has proposed that building a so-called ‘electric road system’ could be used to decarbonise 65% of UK lorry kilometers traveled by 2040, says TechXplore.

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Credit: BBC


Another round of the usual ‘scientists agree’ assertions without saying which scientists, what exactly they supposedly agree on, and where the evidence – if it exists – can be found.
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It’s already clear that torrential rain played a significant part in the first fatal derailment in the UK since 2007.

Scotland’s Transport Minister Michael Matheson has confirmed the conditions were a factor and Network Rail footage shows there were landslides in the area.

The climate is changing and scientists agree it’s very different to when the railways were built by our Victorian ancestors, claims BBC News.

Though landslips are not uncommon, particularly in that area around Stonehaven, climate change means they are happening much more frequently as the land struggles to cope with the volume of water.

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The assertion being of course that human-caused emissions of the trace gas carbon dioxide somehow have a specific effect on the Earth’s climate, which must be countered. But if everyone is forced into electric cars, the speed limit argument becomes obsolete. Lower speed limits also mean more vehicles on the road at any one time, trying to complete their journeys, which in turn could lead to more traffic delays, potentially undermining the whole idea. As usual they conflate pollution and climate arguments to cause confusion.
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Canadian cities from Edmonton to Montreal are lowering speed limits, primarily in an attempt to save lives, says CBC News.

But slowing down may also be an easy way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution — not just on urban roadways but also on highways (and even the high seas).

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Exposing some of the disconnects between carbo-phobe ideology, as expressed in (for example) UK private transport policy, and on-the-ground realities.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

The rush to decarbonize every nation in the world in one or maybe two decades reflects the “I want it all NOW!” philosophy imbued through modern education systems. Current and recent former students – and their teachers – demand a perfect world (since they can envision one) and exhibit zero patience (hence the nationwide riots in the U.S.).

Hopefully the mad stampede to destroy the West’s ability to use fossil fuels at all will be sidelined by harsh realities of economics, logistics, and resource availability (including a hoped for reticence to rely on child slave labor to satisfy their blood lust). Yet the United Kingdom, formerly a bastion of sanity, has mandated, as part of its drive toward an all-electric society, the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in every home by 2030 and that all new cars and vans be hydrogen or electric vehicles (and…

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Image credit: Carbuyer


A ‘climate think tank’ proposes trying to choke off SUV demand by banning adverts, but the most obvious advert is the vehicle that’s already on the road, visible to all. This report claims ‘soaring sales for electric vehicles’, but the actual numbers are tiny compared to total sales of all propulsion types – especially SUVs.
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A new report draws parallels between the ban on tobacco advertising and changed behaviors, says Greenbiz.

The United Kingdom should ban the advertising of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in order to help drive down transport emissions and accelerate progress towards the country’s net zero goals, a study published this week has urged, drawing parallels with the ban on tobacco advertising and its success in changing behaviors.

Produced by climate think tank the New Weather Foundation, the report highlights how average emissions for new cars sold in the U.K. increased in 2019 for the fourth year in a row.

The same trend has been documented across much of Europe, as soaring sales for electric vehicles and low emission models are more than offset by increased demand for heavier and more polluting SUVs, which made up four in 10 of the U.K.’s new car sales last year.

By contrast, while sales of electric and plug-in hybrid models are growing exponentially, they are doing so from a low base with data from the European Environment Agency showing that fewer than two in every 100 new cars are fully electric.

The growth in SUV sales comes alongside increased advertising expenditure to promote the vehicles, the study adds, a marketing strategy that appears to run in conflict with the stated decarbonization ambitions of some of the world’s biggest car firms.

The study highlights the example provided Ford, which has set a net zero emissions target and promised to invest $11.5 billion in developing electric models through to 2022, but has at the same time stepped up efforts to promote its most high carbon models.

From September 2016 to September 2018, Ford went from a roughly 50/50 split in U.S. advertising spend between cars and SUVs/pickup trucks, to spending 85 percent on the latter, in pursuit of the higher profit margins provided by larger vehicles, the study notes.

Full article: We banned advertising for cigarettes. Should we do the same for SUVs?

Once more the courts are asked to intervene in UK transport policy on the grounds of ‘climate change objectives’ and other supposed issues, while the roads get ever more overcrowded.
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Transport Action Network (TAN) has been granted permission for judicial review of the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to go ahead with the £27 billion roads programme (Roads Investment Strategy 2 or RIS2), reports Ekklesia.

Mrs Justice Lieven gave the go ahead for the review, saying that TAN’s case that Mr Shapps had not properly considered the impact of the multi-billion pound roads-building scheme on climate change objectives, including the carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act 2008 and the Paris Agreement, was arguable.

The Judge also declared the case to be “significant” which means it will be fast-tracked and should be heard at the High Court by early November.

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Tesla plant [image credit: Steve Jurvetson @ Wikipedia]


H/T TechXplore

But Plan B includes putting heavy batteries in already heavy trucks, making them too heavy for hauling goods — or reducing their payloads. But at least the fact that there aren’t going to be anywhere near enough batteries to replace all fuel-powered vehicles with expensive EVs is out in the open, leaving climate obsessives with yet another headache. Wade through the usual paranoid propaganda to see how big the problem is.
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We need to change our transportation system, and we need to do it quickly, claims The Conversation.

Road transportation is a major consumer of fossil fuels, contributing 16 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, which warm up the Earth’s atmosphere and cause changes to the climate.

It also pollutes the air, threatening health and costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually.

At the same time, electric vehicles are getting cheaper, and vehicle range and the availability of charging stations are improving.

This is exciting for many because it seems to suggest an easy and convenient answer to the problem of transportation emissions: if everyone swapped their fossil-fuelled vehicle for an electric equivalent, we could all keep driving, safe in the knowledge that we are no longer killing the planet by doing so—and all while enjoying a new car that is quiet, cheap to power and fun to drive.

Everybody wins, right? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be that simple.

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‘Environmentalists say the impact of the project will lead to irreversible damage’ reports newsdevelops.com. But what about the ‘damage’ of not building it – shortage of goods train capacity, lack of seats forcing people on to other modes of travel, etc.? Trying to put the brakes on modern life via the courts has failed this time, but it surely won’t be the last attempt.
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The broadcaster Chris Packham has lost his case against HS2 in the Court of Appeal.

Environmentalists say the high-speed rail project is leading to irreversible destruction of ancient habitats and woodlands.

Packham said the case for HS2 should be revisited despite Friday’s ruling against him.

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West Coast main line and M1 motorway, southern England


Can’t blame the promoters for claiming their monster rail project is a benefit to all and sundry, by any means available. It’s obviously part of their job to try and do so. Cue climate propaganda.
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The project promoter has said that HS2 will enable new train paths on the existing network which can be used to move more goods by rail, and has released a new video to demonstrate this potential, reports New Civil Engineer.

The video uses Derby-based rail freight company DC Rail, which specialises in moving construction materials by rail, as an example. The firm is part of construction firm Cappagh Group which is currently constructing a new rail freight terminal in Wembley, on the West Coast Main Line, that will help it offer new rail services to customers in London.

HS2 Ltd has said that building HS2 will free up a “massive amount of space” by moving high speed services onto dedicated tracks to free up more train paths on the existing network for freight.

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Yet another climate conference?


Carbophobes tell conference goers to tie themselves in knots over a minor trace gas in the atmosphere that’s essential to plants, trees, vegetation etc. It’s climate alarm time again.
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Prior to the global pandemic, climate researchers identified an uncomfortable truth: the very meetings and events meant to support the fight against climate change were themselves causing vast greenhouse gas emissions through international air travel, says Phys.org.

Building on learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Otago’s Professor James Higham, of the Department of Tourism, and his Oxford University colleagues Ph.D. student Milan Klöwer, Professor Myles Allen and Associate Professor Debbie Hopkins have identified new measures that may reduce the carbon footprint of conference travel by up to 90%.

The study is published this week in the journal Nature.

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German hydrogen train [image credit: Euractiv]


Here comes more climate propaganda, but it gives some details of how the hydrogen might be produced if the proposals ever take off. The thorny subject of cost is not mentioned, which is usually a sign that it’s going to be way up high compared to today’s standard fuels. Using electricity to make electricity, with hydrogen in the middle, sounds clunky to say the least but climate obsessives wave away such niggles.
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Eco-friendly hydrogen is regarded as a “silver bullet” [Talkshop comment: or maybe not] when it comes to fighting climate change, asserts Deutschland.de.

With its hydrogen strategy, Germany is now promoting its production.

Hydrogen is regarded as a kind of miracle substance. In an engine or fuel cell, it burns when oxygen is added and becomes pure water.

It can be transported in pipelines or in liquefied form on tankers. Easily storable, it can replace fossil fuels in virtually every situation: in lorries, cars and trains, and in the production of steel, cement and chemicals.

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Experimental E-plane [image credit: Siemens]


If only batteries could lose some of their heavy weight during flight, matching the reductions achieved by burning fuel, he might be onto something. But as they can’t, this looks like more pie in the sky.
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Exclusive: Acting Liberal Democrat leader calls for green short haul flights to be UK’s next “moon landing mission”, reports i-news.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey is calling for all domestic flights to be zero carbon by 2030, arguing the target must become the UK’s new “moon landing mission”.

Commercial planes run mainly on fossil fuels, and engineers are struggling to design a zero carbon passenger jet to replace them.

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VW ID.3 [image credit: Alexander Migl @ Wikipedia]


The car is about the same size as VW’s Golf model but weighs 200 kilograms more due to the battery, which has an 8 year guarantee. What is guaranteed is not clear. List prices for most versions are well in excess of 30,000 euros, but subsidies are on offer. Don’t all rush at once…
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Volkswagen ID.3 latest news

Even before the Volkswagen ID.3 goes on sale, it has managed to pick up an award – from carwow!

The ID.3 collected the Most Wanted award at the 2019 carwow Car of the Year awards, says Green Car Congress.

This award is given to the brand that has the most-read news story here on carwow – and the ID.3 scooped that accolade by some margin.

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Image credit: RAC


Hardly a day goes by without a climate propaganda item from the BBC, and here’s another one, laced with pollution claims as well. Now it’s claimed even electric cars are bad for the environment, if not for the climate. No mention of trucks, buses, taxis, tractors, vans and the like, which can’t work from home or switch to cycling. The madness never ends.
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The vast majority of emissions cuts from electric cars will be wiped out by new road-building, a report says.

The government says vehicle emissions per mile will fall as zero-emissions cars take over Britain’s roads.

But the report says the 80% of the CO2 savings from clean cars will be negated by the £27bn planned roads programme, reports BBC News.

It adds that if ministers want a “green recovery” the cash would be better spent on public transport, walking, cycling, and remote-working hubs.

And they point out that the electric cars will continue to increase local air pollution through particles eroding from brakes and tyres.

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This is from a press release via Green Car Congress. The maker ‘estimates that its technology would be able to achieve a carbon emissions reduction of 25% for this vessel’.
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Norsepower Oy Ltd., the leading global provider of auxiliary wind propulsion systems, and SEA-CARGO, leading logistics provider in the North Sea market, announced an agreement to install two of Norsepower’s largest Rotor Sails (earlier post) on board the SC Connector, a sidedoor Ro-Ro.

The agreement aso marks the installation of the world’s first tiltable Rotor Sail, showcasing the innovative design adaptations that can be made for individual vessel requirements.

The SC Connector, a 12,251 gross tonne (GT) Ro-Ro cargo vessel operates in the North Sea, which allows for some of the most favorable wind conditions for Rotor Sails.

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