New UK Electricity Pylons?

This video on new pylon designs misses the option of putting the cables underground (or underwater) instead. This would have a higher up front cost but lead to much better looking countryside and probably lower total cost of ownership.

The lower total cost of ownership was the argument Dr Liam Fox (Defence Secretary) used in his recent objection to a scheme to place new pylons in his Somerset constituency.

If we do have to endure yet more pylons, I’d vote for the sail design, “Plexus”, by Amanda Levete Architects & Arup, shown in the attached photo.



Love Clean Streets – The Result

I posted recently about and the mobile phone app of the same name. I wasn’t sure that Merton Council were going to act on anything I’d reported, but I’m happy to say that they’ve sorted out all the graffiti that was on public property already. So, a genuinely useful service.

I do wonder if graffiti taggers will start using it to figure out where the freshly painted surfaces are for them to be the first to tag up again! Tags:


UK to tackle bogus carbon schemes

Following on from my previous post about carbon offset schemes, I discovered via the BBC that the government has decided to provide a voluntary standard for schemes. Their initial recommendation is to go for one of the following four schemes that meet their evolving standard:

The last one, Carbon Offsets Ltd., is difficult to find information on. It is in partnership with the Airport Operators Association, probably as a result of the government’s investigations, which seems to have been initiated by the AOA in the first place.

In related news (from last week), Tony Blair eventually capitulated to demands to carbon-offset his personal flights too.



Carbon emissions offsets for flights

This morning I was alerted by a newsletter of an organisation I’ve been meaning to look up for a while. They are called "Climate Care" ( and they allow you to calculate the impact your activities have on carbon emissions into the environment. They also identify and fund environmental projects in developing countries to offset these emissions.
Of particular interest to me are the calculators on the site for offsetting flight emissions. Having just been on honeymoon in South East Asia I have been feeling guilty about the effect on the environment of our travel (but not so guilty as to have arranged our honeymoon in Bognor Regis instead). They didn’t have all the flights on there, but as a rought estimate it turns out I had the following impact:
Your Carbon Profile Tonnes CO2 Value
1 Flight (Quatar) 2.89 £ 21.70
2 Flight (Bangkok) 2.90 £ 21.79
3 Flight (Vietnam) 0.46 £ 3.49
The Bangkok to Vietnam leg actually included stopping in Cambodia but Siem Reap airport wasn’t listed. Likewise, Koh Samui airport wasn’t listed so that’s missed off entirely.
A word of warning: Climate Care is not a charity. It is a company who "pay a fixed royalty of 10% of annual turnover to Climate Care Ltd – a separate company that has provided the Trust with financial and management resources over the years" (taken from here).
It’s a shame this isn’t a tax efficient mechanism (e.g. Gift Aid for charities) for offsetting carbon costs. I’ll do some more research before going with this organisation and let you know what I find.