Wednesday 30 December 2009

New Year's celebrations around the world by webcam

Christchurch, New Zealand (GMT +12hrs)

Sydney, Australia (GMT +10hrs)

Tokyo, Japan (GMT +9hrs)

Manila, Philippines (GMT +8hrs)

Hong Kong, China (GMT +8hrs)

Phuket, Thailand (GMT +7hrs)

Crap - haven't got time to put the iframes in! You get the idea, anyway!

Udaipur Lake Pichola, India (GMT +5.5hrs)

Dubai Jumeirah Beach, UAE (GMT +4hrs)

Peponi Hotel, Lamu, Kenya (GMT +3hrs)

Cape Town, South Africa (GMT +2hrs)

Paris, France (GMT +1hrs)

London, UK (GMT)

Praia de Santos, Brazil (GMT -3hrs)

Caracas, Venezuela (GMT -4.5hrs)

New York, USA (GMT -5hrs)

Mexico City, Mexico (GMT -6hrs)

Venice Beach, Los Angeles, USA (GMT -8hrs)

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii (GMT -10hrs)

Time zone reference:

Thursday 24 December 2009

Power Source for Fossil Fuel-Free Vehicles

An Australian bus powered by Compressed Natural Gas

by L. Berney

Thinking about the world's future energy requirements and how that energy could be supplied without the use of fossil fuels, it has always seemed to me that the first choice is Geothermal Energy to generate main-line electricity. (The second choice would ne Nuclear. Other 'renewables', solar, wind, wave, tidal flow, hydro-electric (dams), could never produce more than a fraction of the energy the world needs.)

One major problem I foresaw was how to power road vehicles. If petrol and diesel are to be replaced, vehicles will have to be powered by batteries or by hydrogen. Hydrogen could be used to replace petrol/diesel either in a normal internal combustion engine, or in a hydrogen cell to produce 'on-board' electricity. I always thought that, for vehicles, the on-board storage and roadside refueling incurred in the hydrogen option would present serious difficulties. What I have seen here in Australia shows that, in fact, there would be no problem.

Australia has plenty of 'natural gas' but little or no oil. Virtually all the buses and taxis, and many private vehicles in Australia are powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Petrol/diesel tanks have been replaced by gas cylinders. Many filling stations supply CNG. The NG 'pump' has a hose (like a petrol pump) with a lock-on connector which fits the vehicle's filler pipe. Natural gas is 'pumped' into the vehicle's container cylinders -- just like filling up with petrol/diesel, and just as fast.

The engine of the bus or car running on natural gas works just as it would on petrol or diesel; only the carburetor has to be adapted. The power output and acceleration are the same. The gas cylinders hold enough gas for 200-plus miles. The cost per mile is considerably LESS than petrol/diesel!

The widespread use of CNG to power vehicles goes on in countries other than Australia; notably Argentina, Brazil and India. At the end of 2008 there were said to be world-wide over 8 million CNG vehicles on the road.

Natural gas is, of course, a fossil fuel. In a fossil fuel-free world, compressed hydrogen could easily replace compressed natural gas, so the problems I envisaged are in fact already solved!

Friday 18 December 2009

George Tilley is the winner on Slips - Viva UK, MTV Networks (Show 108)

Click the image above to watch the show in full

Fergus vs. George

George's friends and family watch the first broadcast of the show on the big screen at the Broadway pub in East Grinstead

Step son George was the winner in the TV show "Slips" on Viva UK (channel 358 on Sky and Freeview 21), broadcast last night for the first time at 10pm (but will be repeated ad infinitum).

George's racing skills won him his car back plus his competitor's car, both of which were souped up by the TV show (similar to the way "Pimp My Ride" does it)!

Here we all are at the Broadway pub watching the show

George (right) cringing while watching himself on the big screen

George cringing even more!

All of us having a laugh

Two articles in the local media about the show:

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Further to "Climate Change - The Skeptics " of 7th December.

As I see it....... by L Berney

As detailed in "Climate Change - The Skeptics " of 7th December, climate change skeptics are convinced that the "Global Warming is Man-Made" proponents are wrong -- indeed they claim the whole concept is a gigantic scam. They say,"Planet Earth has always had warmer periods followed by cooler periods. The reason for periodic 'Global Warming' and 'Global Cooling' and the resulting effect on climate has nothing to do with man-made CO2 -- it has to do ONLY with the varying output of the Sun."

For those who are interested in the debate and want to know more, here is Part 1 of a series of videos explaining the skeptics' convictions clearly and in detail.

The logic, it has to be said, is convincing.


Monday 7 December 2009

Climate Change - The Skeptics

As I See It....... by L. Berney

The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 takes place in Copenhagen from 7th to 18th December. It will be attended by 192 nations; many heads of governments will be present. The objective is to agree a framework for climate change mitigation beyond 2012.

The majority of scientists say they believe that the planet is getting warmer and this ‘global warming’ is due in the main to human activity, namely the release into the atmosphere of the greenhouse gas, CO2 resulting from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas (the fossil fuels).

These scientists say that, unless robust and immediate mitigating action is taken, the temperature of the planet will rise over the coming decades by 3ºC to 6ºC and that the effects on humanity will be catastrophic.

However, there are a large number of other scientists (the skeptics) who did not, and still do not, agree with that scenario. They challenge the accuracy of the records that purport to show that the planet is getting warmer. They assert that:
  • the man-made CO2 that has been added to the atmosphere over the last two centuries has made no significant change in the temperature or the climate.
  • the Earth’s temperature rise in the 20th Century was only 0.5ºC and that was due to the Earth’s gradual recovery from the ‘mini ice age' of 500 years ago, not to man-made CO2.
  • there is no hard evidence to expect , even less to predict with certitude, that the rise in temperature in this 21st Century – if indeed there is a rise at all -- will be substantially greater.
They claim that the projections of temperatures and climate changes being used to support the ‘disaster’ scenario are based on faulty and unproven assumptions. They believe that whatever global warming is taking place is the result of natural cyclical causes, not man-made causes. They fear that the actions being implemented by World Leaders to drastically reduce the volume of man-made CO2 will cause great harm to the World’s economy – needlessly.

Some quotes, typical of many others, from papers issued by leading scientist skeptics:

"...The environmentalists consider their ideas and arguments to be an undisputable truth and use sophisticated methods of media manipulation and PR campaigns to exert pressure on policymakers to achieve their goals. Their argumentation is based on the spreading of fear and panic by declaring the future of the world to be under serious threat. In such an atmosphere they continue pushing policymakers to adopt illiberal measures, impose arbitrary limits, regulations, prohibitions, and restrictions on everyday human activities and make people subject to omnipotent bureaucratic decision-making. Man-made climate change has become one of the most dangerous arguments aimed at distorting human efforts and public policies in the whole world..."

"...Some scientists perpetuate the 'global disaster' myth to encourage governments to fund more research into global warming for their own financial benefit. In the papers they publish, data which contradicts their hypotheses is omitted. If it was realized that there was no such danger, that funding would stop..."

"...For those of you old enough to read in the 1970s, there was a lot of hysteria back then about the global temperature dropping and that the planet was entering another ice age. The same ‘if we don't act promptly, in 10 years it will be too late' statements were published, on the covers of reputable papers and magazines by many of the same ‘scientists,' and for many of the same base motives. The only difference between the 1970s and now was that the disaster that was just around the corner was global cooling! How times change, while people don't,.."

This site sets out the skeptic’s position:

This is the link to a US Senate report of 11 Dec 2008 (231 pages) headed “More than 650 International Scientists dissent over Man-Made Global Warming”:

This site summarizes a large number of articles opposed to the current policies:

A Petition signed by 31,000 skeptical scientists. These scientists are "...convinced that the human-caused global warming hypothesis is without scientific validity and that government action on the basis of this hypothesis would unnecessarily and counterproductively damage both human prosperity and the natural environment of the Earth."

December 2009


To illustrate how the Earth's temperature swings higher and lower naturally, long before man-made CO2 was a factor:

“The Romans wrote about growing wine grapes in Britain in the first century, 2,000 years ago. There were about 40 vineyards,” says Avery, “and then it got too cold during the Dark Ages, 500/600 years ago.

"Ancient tax records show the Britons grew their own wine grapes in the 11th century, 1,000 years ago during the Medieval Warming, and then it got too cold during the Little Ice Age of 600 years ago. Wine grapes are among the most accurate and sensitive indicators of temperature and they are telling us about a cycle. They also indicate that today’s warming is not unprecedented.”