IPCC and renewable energy — the view from Texas

So, the IPCC has concluded that averting climate change catastrophe is ’eminently affordable’. Of course it is — it always was. Quibbles about the ‘cost’ of averting climate change have always been spurious, partly because the cost of not taking action will always be greater (ie death), and partly because any ‘cost’ will always show […]

Bad news, good news…

Two stories here, one describing the problem, one addressing part of the solution. First, a new study by Nasa shows yet again that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades, just as many previous empires and civilisations have done. Echoing Jared Diamond (TED talk here, synopsis here) they find the key factors driving the risk of […]

Environmentalism as competitive advantage

An interesting sign of the times, here. Lawyers for Coca Cola in South Africa have written to Sodastream complaining about their advertisement at OR Tambo International Airport. The advertisement was an ‘installation’ — a giant cage containing used cans and bottles of Coke, Fanta, Sprite and other brands, together with the tag line “Save the world from […]

Sir Stelios sets up short term car hire club

Depending which way you want to look at it, a new entrant to the car hire industry, or a substitute for buying a car, has just been announced by Sir Stelios Haji-Iaonnou and Brent Hoberman (co-founder of lastminute.com). Their new service, called Zipcar, will rent cars by the hour and will be test launched in spring 2012. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/68d4cba2-249d-11e1-bfb3-00144feabdc0.html

Crowdfunding shows principles for disruptive business models

Self-publishing used to be called ‘vanity publishing’. But the arrival of the Internet, the ability to sell e-books, and the technology to cost-effectively produce small print-runs, made it increasingly popular. Now an online publisher unbound.co.uk has taken the model one step further. Interested readers can visit their website and review potential books being proposed. If they find […]

Daily snapshot

A eurozone recession “looks almost inevitable before the end of the year, even if the debt crisis does not intensify further”. A Treasury select committee is calling for a “radical overhaul” of the accountability and governance of the Bank of England, through the establishment of a supervisory board that would reduce the power of the governor […]

Electric car charging-points rolling out across Britain

The Welcome Break and Little Chef chains are installing charging points for electric cars at their restaurants across the country, in partnership with electricity companies. Blackfriars station in London is getting a new (solar PV) roof that will generate about half the electricity it uses.

Tesla motors unveils electric family car

Tesla Motors, inventors of the all-electric sports car that did 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 125mph, has now launched a family model. Range is 300 miles. Top speed is 130mph. Acceleration time from 0-60mph is 5.6 seconds. Founder Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, said “We are trying to change the [automotive] […]