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UK report: Energy security 'more important than climate change'
Alok Jha, Guardian
Energy security 'more important than climate change'
Report warns that UK must extend the lifespan of coal and nuclear facilities to plug the predicted shortfall in electricity supply, but is dismissed as 'naive' and 'overstated'
Securing the country's supply of electricity is more important than tackling climate change, a new report from energy analysts has claimed. It warned that the UK's economy could be wrecked if there was no action to plug the energy shortfall predicted for the next decade, with businesses going bust and hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs.
But the report, led by Ian Fells, emeritus professor at the University of Newcastle and a veteran energy policy analyst, has been dismissed as "naive" by
Greenpeace, and "overstated" by the energy secretary John Hutton. Environmentalists argued that the report's recommendation for new coal-fired power stations went against the advice of scientists and that the rest of the world was forging ahead with renewables.
(15 September 2008)
Sweeping improvements in the energy productivity of Europe's economies could prevent the runaway energy demand and consumption currently threatening to undermine the EU's economic growth, says a new report by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).
Europe has "an opportunity to increase energy productivity that would halt energy demand growth in the region completely," says the new MGI report , entitled 'Capturing the European energy productivity opportunity'.
Indeed, according to MGI's findings, as much as twice the amount of electricity consumed by the entire EU 25 in 2003, or eight million barrels of oil per day, could be saved using existing technologies...
(10 September 2008)
Saving energy is good but the approach here seems to be to find an easy fix to continue business as usual. This leaves us heading towards the same crisis
Cheap thrills: Can you live on a pound a day?
Jamie Merrill, The Independent
We may all be tightening our belts, but just how far would we goto save money? Teacher Kath Kelly lived on just £1 a day for a whole year, and lived to tell the tale. Jamie Merrill follows her lead – and learns some life-changing lessons on the way
I'm crouching down tight on my bicycle, trying to avoid the driving rain and the oily spray from the road. I'm hung over, hungry, and trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to battle my way through London's Saturday lunchtime traffic. It's not, I have to say, how I like to spend my weekends.
Usually, by this time I'd be sitting in a cosy café with a strong coffee, a hearty fry-up and the morning's newspaper, easing my way out of last night's beer-induced haze. But not today; my mission – one I'm starting to regret having accepted – is to try to survive on just £1 a day. For one week only, I'll have to get by on just £7.
I'm following in the footsteps of Kath Kelly, 47, a cash-strapped English teacher from Bristol who transformed her personal finances by living on £1 a day for an entire year. After a drunken bet with friends, Kelly, who wanted to save for her brother's wedding gift, ate for free at buffets, cycled everywhere, shopped at second-hand stores, ate wild berries and scrounged leftovers from restaurants to get by...
(16 September 2008)