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mikeh -

> The passive heating from the sunspaces had been insufficient for comfort in winter and created overheating in summer.

This touches on a problem with many so called eco-houses. I have had an interest in low-energy housing since the first oil-shock in the 70's. It seems to me that ensuring you use as little energy as possible to maintain the heat level within your property is the most sensible strategy. I don't think it takes a genius or a great deal of scientific knowledge to work out that there is a fallacy in the thinking of eco-design that has large glass areas.

Many such properties often have very large areas of glass, usually south-facing. These can sometimes be portrayed as heating your house with free solar energy. The only time you need an input to heat your house is in winter, whatever you heat it with. It is dark for up to 16 hours a day. At sunrise and sunset there is at least 30 minutes where the flow of energy is out through the window even though it is "light" outside. The best triple-glazed high performance windows are close to an order of magnitude worse as an insulator, than the walls of a well insulated house.

Nov 15, 2013 at 5:10 PM | Registered Commenterretireddave

There is an excellent presentation on shale gas & oil by Citi contained within an article on No Hot Air (
It covers the current status, reviews the economics, demonstrates the high - and ongoing - rate of technical development and gives some show-stopping projections. Along the way it answers some of the issues which have come up here from time to time. It would be a keeper but is not downloadable.

Nov 15, 2013 at 4:40 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

Royal Arctic Line is reporting early (2-3 weeks) ice formation in NW Greenland Waters:

It's in Danish, but Google Translate is your friend.

Nov 15, 2013 at 3:27 PM | Registered Commenterreslow

Nov 15, 2013 at 7:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS
I'm confused most of the time anyway, Sandy.
I didn't realise the cockroach was having a pop at me. Shame I missed it.
If it was complaining about my link to WUWT it helps confirm my belief that it is probably a bot (note the screams of protest when we suggest it isn't just one person!) programmed to react to some key phrases. 'Tim Ball' is evidently one of them.

Nov 15, 2013 at 1:45 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Jesuits against fracking

An old joke tells of a Franciscan, a Dominican and a Jesuit who are arrested during the Russian revolution for spreading the Christian, capitalist gospel, and thrown into a dark prison cell. In a bid to restore the light, each man reflects on the traditions of his own order.

The Franciscan decides to wear sackcloth and ashes and pray for light. Nothing happens. The Dominican prepares and delivers an hour-long lecture on the virtue of light. Nothing happens. Then the Jesuit gets up and mends the fuse. The light comes on.

As the payoff suggests, the Society of Jesus has always been known for practicality and unflappability in the service of its motto: Ad Maiorem Dei gloriam (for the greater glory of God). Equally well known is the Jesuits' reputation as educators – giving rise to the adage: "Give me a child of seven, and I will show you the man." (h/t The Guardian!)

The ever pragmatic Society of Jesus, seeking active folk of obsessively held faith team up with fractivists - one has to wonder who's recruiting who eh?

Nov 15, 2013 at 1:14 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Damn! It's just happened again. I'm halfway through drafting a post, while logged in, and the time expires and I'm logged out. But, the screen still says that I'm logged in.

So, I post my comment and get the message that says that it is under consideration. Eventually, the comment appears but I can never comment on that thread again because my earlier comment is perpetually being considered.

If we are kicked out of being logged in, why not warn and tell us?

Nov 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

cheers @mikeh V interesting and real world
but Yorkshire Post had a glowing report about the "success" so far of the Drax biomass convertion (YP is corrupt as hell)

Nov 15, 2013 at 10:37 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"the extra heat has been ploughed into the oceans "
- For overseas readers or people as dumb as me : "Massey Ferguson" is a brand of tractor so likely to plough farm fields
- Hence the explanation that global warming heat didn't appear in rising temperatures as the IPCC predicted, but rather the heat is hiding in the ocean, is called by @lapogus "the Massey Ferguson Effect"

Nov 15, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The name(s) used by our pet troll bring to mind the Beddington Zero Energy Development in Sutton, London: BedZED for short. It was a flagship of green development but reality has been rather different:
> The biomass wood chip boiler (biomass gasifier) is no longer in operation and the back up power source, a gas boiler, is now used.
> The downdraft wood chip gasifier CHP (combined heat and power) had reliability problems due to technical failures and the intermittent schedule of operation (no night time operation) imposed by the local authority.
> The 'Living Machine' water recycling facility had been unable to clean the water sufficiently. The cost of the facility also made it unviable. (They called in Thames Water for a conventional system).
> The passive heating from the sunspaces had been insufficient for comfort in winter and created overheating in summer.
> Plans to create allotments in an adjacent field had failed.

It seems that the ZED in Bed is indeed......

(Apologies for rattling the cage but the irony is too good to miss)

Nov 15, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Registered Commentermikeh

Johanna, that's another great talk by Ridley, thanks. Here's the direct link to the Catallaxy thread: Matt Ridley at the IPA, November 2013.

Watch out for a brilliant presentation by Professor Hans Rosling which the BBC broadcast here in Bishland last week, on world population. It's not on the i-player anymore but hopefully it will get on the web somehow. There are some clips here:

Don't Panic - the Truth about World Population, BBC This World, November 2013.

Nov 15, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

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