What was behind Friday’s National Grid outage? Network theory, not conspiracy

National Grid is getting a kicking in the aftermath of last Friday’s electricity blackout. Potential explanations swirl around both social and mainstream media. The system cannot cope with too much wind-generated electricity. The Russians hacked into the computers. A puzzling aspect is that the initial shock to the National Grid was a very small one. […]

Bring Back Cedric the Pig!

Executive bonuses are back in the news. The Goldman Sachs pot of £8.3 billion has been prominent. German executive pay has overtaken that in the UK for the first time. Top management seems to have no shame. Some bad publicity, but the fat cheque remains safely in the bank account. How one longs for the […]

Obama allies lead the way on a positive approach to climate change

The fracking debate continues apace, with the announcement by the British Geological Survey that there are over 4 billion barrels of oil in the shale rocks of the South of England. The government has proposed new rules of access to land in order to speed up the exploitation of this oil, with payments of £20,000 […]

Energy and Emissions: Taxation or Technology?

Energy prices are in the news. The recent actions of some of the energy companies can plausibly be described as provocative, no matter how well founded their decisions might be. They run the risk of provoking the ire of both the Opposition and the Government. One interesting aspect of the debate is that it has […]

Prisons, incentives and how to save the planet

Criminals are refusing to leave Portugal’s prisons.  According to the International Herald Tribune, prisoners are starting to want to serve the full amount of their sentences rather than be released on parole.  This is despite the fact that there is record over-crowding and conditions inside are reported to be dire.  Motoring offenders are increasingly failing […]