Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


Schemes to ramp up climate alarm propaganda with ‘warming’ [sic] labels are already in the pipeline e.g. in Sweden. They try to claim a health risk from the warmer weather they feel sure lies ahead, while pointing the finger at humans for this supposed problem and equating it to tobacco smoking. If the pollution doesn’t get you, the climate emergency will…type of thing. Crude stuff loosely based on dodgy climate models.
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Mike Gill and colleagues explain how the implementation of of fossil fuel labelling could have a significant impact on the awareness of climate change, says The British Medical Journal blog. This article is part of The BMJ’s Health in the Anthropocene collection.

The use of fossil fuels should be rapidly reduced to keep the global mean temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels—a core goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Emphasising the risks to health of fossil fuel use, now and in the future, could motivate action.

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Typical electric car set-up


The battle of the chargers is underway. Too much home charging could overload the local electricity network, but nobody wants to sit around in public areas every day or two waiting for a more expensive power-up. At present this is of little interest to much of the population anyway, judging by the very low sales of EVs.

“Less-than-ideal” electric vehicle (EV) chargers were backed in last week’s Budget, which ring fenced £500M over five years to implement rapid charging hubs in public places, says New Civil Engineer.

Instead, policymakers should shift their focus away from costly public rapid chargers to investing in the scaled deployment of smaller, slower chargers on residential streets, says the report.

‘Electric Vehicles: Moving from early adopters to mainstream buyers’, by EV infrastructure company Connected Kerb, says that many potential EV buyers have no access to the convenience of chargers at home or nearby, and this is hindering EV take-up.

The report found that 67% of current EV drivers would not have bought an EV if they did not have access to overnight charging.

Connected Kerb chief executive Chris Pateman-Jones said: “That is a massive red flag when you look at the existing infrastructure deployment strategies.

“Rapid chargers are more expensive and less convenient – inconvenience deters uptake. Focus must be redirected to on-street residential and workplace charging that reflects existing charging behaviours and incentivises more people to transition to EVs.”

Existing charging behaviours indicate that 80% of charging is done at home, with 64% of this being overnight.

“This is where drivers want to charge,” Pateman Jones said. “They use costly public chargers only when their preferred option is not available. They do not think like petrol vehicle owners, going to a fixed location to ‘fill it up’.”

Full article here.


Try not to weep. It will no doubt take place eventually, and hundreds of fuel-thirsty jets will descend on Scotland – or somewhere else – to discuss one more time how not to burn fuel in order to ‘save the world’, or something.

International climate talks scheduled for Glasgow in November have been thrown into doubt as the global clampdown on travel intensifies because of the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Financial Times (via The GWPF).

Government officials said it was increasingly likely that the annual UN gathering would be postponed given the fast-changing situation.

“Nothing is definite yet but from my vantage point I would bet on it being cancelled pretty soon,” said one Whitehall official.

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National energy supplies will be manipulated by the government long into the future, under the dubious banner of climate concerns. Providers will have to go along with whatever the latest prescriptive policies are, including forcing up the price of gas. Forget market forces and open competition. What could possibly go wrong?

In his Budget announcement [this week], chancellor Rishi Sunak said the CCS Infrastructure Fund would be worth “at least £800M”, with the first site to be established by the mid-2020s, reports New Civil Engineer.

The initiatives will create up to 6,000 jobs in Teesside, Humberside, Merseyside and St Fergus in Scotland – in a move described by Sunak as “levelling up in action”.

CCS can provide flexible low carbon power and decarbonise many industrial processes. It is important for the UK since other key sources of low carbon electricity – such as offshore and onshore wind and solar – are weather dependent.

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It turns out that a method based on reacting to internal resistance during fast recharges should be less damaging to the battery. However, this suggests not-so-fast mid-journey recharge times.
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Commercial fast-charging stations subject electric car batteries to high temperatures and high resistance that can cause them to crack, leak, and lose their storage capacity, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in a new open-access study published in the journal Energy Storage.

To remedy this, the researchers have developed a method for charging at lower temperatures with less risk of catastrophic damage and loss of storage capacity, reports Green Car Congress.

In order to make EVs more competitive with combustion engine vehicles, development of an effective fast charging technique is inevitable. However, improper employment of fast charging can damage the battery and bring safety hazards. Herein, industry based along with our proposed internal resistance (IR) based fast charging techniques were performed on commercial Panasonic NCR 18650B cylindrical batteries. To further investigate the fast charging impact and electrode degradation mechanisms, electrochemical analysis and material characterization techniques including EIS (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy), GITT (galvanostatic intermittent titration technique), SEM (scanning electron microscopy), and XRD (X-ray diffraction) were implemented.

—Sebastian et al.

Mihri Ozkan, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and Cengiz Ozkan, a professor of mechanical engineering in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, led a group that charged one set of discharged Panasonic NCR 18650B cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, found in Tesla cars, using the same industry fast-charging method as fast chargers found along freeways.

They also charged a set using a new fast-charging algorithm based on the battery’s internal resistance, which interferes with the flow of electrons. The internal resistance of a battery fluctuates according to temperature, charge state, battery age, and other factors. High internal resistance can cause problems during charging.

The UC Riverside Battery Team charging method is an adaptive system that learns from the battery by checking the battery’s internal resistance during charging. It rests when internal resistance kicks in to eliminate loss of charge capacity.

For the first 13 charging cycles, the battery storage capacities for both charging techniques remained similar. After that, however, the industry fast-charging technique caused capacity to fade much faster—after 40 charging cycles the batteries kept only 60% of their storage capacity.

Batteries charged using the internal resistance charging method retained more than 80% capacity after the 40th cycle.

Full report here.

Credit: carsdirect.com


As Green Car Congress points out, weight is a major factor for vehicles and EV batteries are heavy. Time to look at real issues instead of non-existent ‘carbon pollution’.

Pollution from tire wear can be 1,000 times worse than a car’s exhaust emissions, Emissions Analytics has found.

Emissions Analytics is an independent global testing and data specialist for the scientific measurement of real-world emissions and fuel efficiency for passenger and commercial vehicles and non-road mobile machinery.

Harmful particulate matter from tires—and also brakes—is a growing environmental problem, and is being exacerbated by the increasing popularity of large, heavy vehicles such as SUVs, and growing demand for electric vehicles, which are heavier than standard cars because of their batteries.

Vehicle tire wear pollution is completely unregulated, unlike exhaust emissions which have been rapidly reduced by car makers due to the pressure placed on them by European emissions standards.

New cars now emit very little in the way of particulate matter but there is growing concern around non-exhaust emissions (NEEs).

Non-exhaust emissions are particles released into the air from brake wear, tire wear, road surface wear and re-suspension of road dust during on-road vehicle usage.

No legislation is in place to limit or reduce NEEs, but they cause a great deal of concern for air quality. NEEs are currently believed to constitute the majority of primary particulate matter from road transport, 60% of PM2.5 and 73% of PM10.

In the 2019 report ‘Non-Exhaust Emissions from Road Traffic’, the UK Government’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), recommended that NEEs are immediately recognized as a source of ambient concentrations of airborne particulate matter, even for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions of particles—such as EVs.

Full report here.

EC Power’s All-Climate Battery


This type of battery, adopted by BMW among others, will be used in runabout vehicles at the next Winter Olympics in Beijing. Its self-heating feature means it can perform well in sub-zero conditions, unlike most Li-ion batteries. One report says it’s ‘only 1.5 percent heavier and costs 0.04 percent more than a conventional lithium-ion battery’.

A lithium-ion battery that is safe, has high power and can last for 1 million miles has been developed by a team in Penn State’s Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center, reports TechXplore.

Electric vehicle batteries typically require a tradeoff between safety and energy density. If the battery has high energy and power density, which is required for uphill driving or merging on the freeway, then there is a chance the battery can catch fire or explode in the wrong conditions.

But materials that have low energy/power density, and therefore high safety, tend to have poor performance. There is no material that satisfies both. For that reason, battery engineers opt for performance over safety.

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That didn’t take long. Are these challengers aware the Heathrow decision was about a legal technicality, with the judges specifically saying they weren’t trying to halt the project?

A legal challenge against the construction of HS2 is to be launched by broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham over claims the project is incompatible with the government’s net-zero carbon emissions target, days after the High Court ruled against Heathrow expansion, Construction News reports.

The move comes as Heathrow Airport warned that the government’s decision not to appeal its legal defeat last week – over a failure to comply with planning policy, as it did not take into account terms included in the Paris Agreement on climate change – could mean the scrapping of housing and roads plans.

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Hybrid car [credit: Toyota]


The electric-only motor bandwagon is now rolling in the UK, and already it looks like open season on hybrids.
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Plug-in hybrid cars are not as good for the environment as manufacturers claim because they can’t operate in electric-only mode if it’s cold, the vehicle has been put in cruise control or the electric motors can’t generate enough power.

That’s according to a green transport campaign, which highlighted the limitations of hybrid vehicles as part of a market review, says This is Money website.

Greg Archer from Transport & Environment said one leading carmaker ‘is conning its customers’ with claims of green grandeur.

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So-called ‘net zero emissions’ of carbon dioxide is a smoke and mirrors political game that has little or nothing to do with any actual climate.

PA Pundits - International

By David Wojick, Ph.D. ~

The UK has passed a law mandating zero net emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by 2050. Airplanes emit a lot of CO2 and cannot run on batteries, or not very far anyway, so what does net zero air travel look like?

We now have two studies on this question, which are diametrically opposed. They illustrate very nicely the fact that climate alarmism has split into two opposing camps — the moderates and the radicals. Let us ignore the fact that both camps are wrong and look at the difference between these two studies. They say a lot about policy debates to come.

The first study is by the airline industry itself, with the apparent blessing of the UK government. This is the moderate view and it is very moderate indeed. In fact it is almost benign.

The title is “Decarbonization Road-Map: A path…

View original post 944 more words


Climate paranoia has hit the UK courts big-time. It now seems illegal not to obsess over trace gases in the atmosphere, due to the Paris climate agreement.

Heathrow Airport’s controversial plans to build a third runway have been thrown into doubt after a court ruling, reports BBC News.

The government’s Heathrow’s expansion decision was unlawful because it did not take climate commitments into account, the Court of Appeal said.

Heathrow said it would challenge the decision, but the government has not lodged an appeal.

The judges said that in future, a third runway could go ahead, as long as it fits with the UK’s climate policy.

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The less efficient the vehicle, the shorter the wait at the traffic lights, and vice versa – electric cars and newer vehicles must wait longer. So the incentive lies with inefficiency – genius!

Approximately 6 billion gallons of fuel are wasted in the US each year as vehicles wait at stop lights or sit in dense traffic with engines idling, according to US Department of Energy estimates.

The least efficient of these vehicles are the large, heavy trucks used for hauling goods—they burn much more fuel than passenger cars consume when not moving, reports Green Car Congress.

Now, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have designed a computer vision system—using the preexisting stop-light cameras of GRIDSMART, a Tennessee-based company that specializes in traffic-management services—that can visually identify vehicles at intersections, determine their gas mileage estimates, and then direct traffic lights to keep less-efficient vehicles moving to reduce their fuel consumption.

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Typical electric car set-up


Expensive energy-intensive processes are needed to make a key battery ingredient for electric vehicles. How does this make any sense at all? They talk about the factories needed ‘to meet homegrown demand’ – but where is it?

As Europe looks to declare its tech independence by becoming a leader in next-generation batteries, it will have to start by making its own graphite, says TechXplore.

The problem is, nearly all of it now comes from Asia, mainly China.

So France’s Carbone Savoie and Germany’s SGL Carbon, the only European firms deemed capable of taking up the challenge, have been corralled into an ambitious battery alliance launched by Brussels last year.

“Thank you for bringing us on board this ‘Airbus for batteries,’ though to be honest, we weren’t even on the passenger list,” Carbone Savoie’s chairman Bruno Gastinne told France’s deputy finance minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Thursday.

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M42 ‘smart’ motorway [image credit: Snowmanradio @ Wikipedia]


Hansard (the Official Report) is the edited verbatim report of proceedings of both the House of Commons and (in this instance) the House of Lords.

These extracts from a very recent debate highlight serious EV safety issues which seem to have been ignored to date:

Lord Snape:

My Lords, like previous speakers I thank the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh, for introducing this debate. It is apparent that smart motorways have few friends—other than perhaps in the Department for Transport.

Those of us who have used them are aware of the dangers and see from time to time the awesome consequences of all four lanes of traffic being in use at exactly the same time.

Baroness Randerson:

Finally, I raise the issue of electric vehicles. When an electric vehicle ceases to function, it stops; it does not coast in the way that other vehicles do.

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Bulk carrier


Here comes the latest ‘green’ pipedream that won’t work, as the report almost admits. Another thin excuse to bang the tedious climate change propaganda drum.

Ocean-going ships could be powered by ammonia within the decade as the shipping industry takes action to curb carbon emissions, says BBC News.

The chemical – the key ingredient of fertilisers – can be burned in ships’ engines in place of polluting diesel.

The industry hopes ammonia will help it tackle climate change, because it burns without CO2 emissions.

The creation of the ammonia itself creates substantial CO2, but a report says technology can solve this problem.

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Image credit: United Airlines


More wreck-o than eco? Here we find that ‘biodiesel from food crops emits an average of 1.8 times as much CO2 as fossil fuels which increases to three times more in case of biodiesel from palm oil.’ Looks like another non-solution to the claimed problem.

The UK’s aviation industry is touting biofuels as a way to make plane transport greener. But some biofuels can end up doing more harm than good, says Wired.

In the next 30 years, the number of flights is expected to increase by 70 per cent.

Unless things change, by 2050 the aviation industry will have used up more than a quarter of all the carbon dioxide we can safely emit while keeping global warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But the aviation industry says it has a way out.

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Lack of public enthusiasm for much-touted electric cars wasn’t overcome by these relatively low-cost offerings. Where they think a sales boom is going to come from is a mystery.

An all-electric car-sharing scheme in London is being scrapped next month in a setback to the capital’s ambitions to get more polluting vehicles off the road, says the Evening Standard.

French-owned Bluecity, which ran a fleet of distinctive red battery-powered cars, said its £5-per-half hour service was no longer financially viable after it secured deals with only three London councils. It will officially shut down on February 10.

A second car-sharing club, German-owned DriveNow, is pulling out of London at the end of next month. It operated 130 electric BMW i3 cars out of a total fleet of more than 700 vehicles.

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M42 ‘smart’ motorway [image credit: Snowmanradio @ Wikipedia]


UK smart motorways have been getting negative press lately for safety – or lack of it – reasons. Running out of EV battery power could be a risk too far on such roads, branded by some as ‘death traps’.
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Smart motorways could be rendered obsolete within a decade as they are not suitable for electric cars, it was claimed yesterday.

AA boss Edmund King warned the routes would be even more dangerous because it would not be possible to tow the stranded vehicles to safety, says All World Report.

He said driverless cars could also run into problems on smart motorways, where the hard shoulder is used as a regular traffic lane to ease congestion.

Developers recommend if a motorist falls asleep in an autonomous vehicle then it should pull over in a safe place – but this may prove impossible with no hard shoulder.

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Night train to Brussels

Posted: January 20, 2020 by oldbrew in climate, Emissions, Travel
Tags: ,

Austria’s ‘nightjet’ train


All aboard the virtue signallers’ express! In nuclear-free Austria that is – possibly the only country to fully build a nuclear plant and never operate it.
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The first night train to set off for Belgium in 16 years departed from Vienna Sunday, carrying Austrian and European politicians who hope the new route can set an example as the continent tries to meet its climate targets, reports Phys.org.

The carriages of the “OBB Nightjet” pulled out of Vienna’s main station punctually at 8:38 pm to the strains of a live band playing the EU anthem “Ode to Joy”, the slogan #loveyourplanet emblazoned along their sides.

Scheduled to arrive in Brussels at 10:55 am on Monday, the rail journey emits less than a tenth of the CO2 per passenger than the equivalent flight.

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So what’s new? Nothing really, but these issues show few if any signs of being resolved in the near future. Governments intending to pressure or force people to buy EVs are going to be unpopular with millions of car users, it would seem. Woolly climate propaganda isn’t impressing many buyers.

Ipsos, the global research and insights organization, says it has uncovered the thoughts of consumers regarding BEVs, Green Car Congress reports.

These new findings are released in the second module of the Ipsos Global Mobility Navigator Syndicated Study, in which 20,000 consumers worldwide shared their opinions on alternative engines and what it would take to get them to consider one.

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