I think winter’s turned up early

How is it that a week ago I was poddling around in sandals, vest tops and linen trousers,  yet today I had to dig out a jumper and warm socks (and was still cold)?

The weather change has been quite sudden. Last Sunday it was pleasant even at eight in the evening, by Wednesday it felt like November (I can’t speak for Monday and Tuesday, I spent them asleep). I’m certain it wasn’t as chilly this time last year.

It’s terrible, I’ve had to put the heating on every day. I was hoping to get in to October before I had to do that. My house has gas central heating, like most people in the UK; I try to keep my gas usage as low as possible, because it’s expensive and non-renewable, unlike my electricity which does come from renewable sources. It was one of the deciding factors in my choice of energy supplier.

When I moved in to my little house the energy supplier was one of the main companies, then I transfered it to another, but I didn’t like their prices or customer service, so I shopped around and stumbled upon Green Energy. I set everything up online and when I had to ring them I got straight through to a person not an automated service. They took my readings and worked out an affordable monthly bill. It is cheaper than both previous suppliers and the website is easy to use and bills are delivered electronically. Since I’ve been ill, this has been incredibly useful for me, because it means I don’t have to deal with people unnecessarily. I swear I don’t work for them, I’m just really happy about the service

Service levels and pricing weren’t the only things that led me to make the decision I did, as I said. I knew from the start that I wanted as much of my power supply as possible to come from renewable sources, since I support the increased use of renewables. In fact the Humber region hopes to be home to a large renewable industry soon, with the jobs that go with it. It’ll be a kick in the teeth if the government’s anti-green policies damage that; we (by which I mean the local area) can’t assume Phillips 66 and Crystal Millennium will provide work forever. Branching out is necessary; to get metaphorical, a monoculture of wheat will grow for a season, but a forest can last for a thousand years or more.

While the capacity for renewables is nowhere near its limit in the UK and we could certainly do to follow the example Denmark in this, convincing people to accept onshore and offshore wind turbines, for instance, is hard. Turbines provoke outrage at the spoiling of the view, and confuse bats (apparently). Meanwhile, domestic solar panels are losing some of their appeal with the withdrawal of various government schemes to help with installation costs and tariffs. People complain that all this technology costs money while ignoring the billions that get given to the oil industry to subsidise their costs.

Oil sources that are easy to get at and have large deposits are getting harder to find, so fossil fuel companies are having to look at previously untouched and economically unviable sources to find their future supplies, such as Canadian tar sands on First Nations land, arctic oil deposits, and shale gas. All of these sources are difficult to extract good quality fuels from and merely extend our dependence on fossil fuels. A relatively new means to extract fossil fuels, fracking, has been mooted as one way to get more oil.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been causing somewhat of a stir. Here in my part of Lincolnshire there was a small well dug earlier in the year, ostensibly as a traditional oil well, but there were protests from a small group of anti-fracking demonstrators from East Yorkshire. Locals will tell you we’re not on shale and if anyone tried to frack we’d deal with them the same way we did with the people who wanted to bury nuclear waste in the area several years ago – there were protests, it didn’t happen. As to the fracking protesters, it took a while but some people supported them. As it turned out, the well was shut down because though they could extract gas and oil conventionally from the site, the sandstone is water wet.

Out of interest I went to the public meeting the protestors held before leaving. I hadn’t realised the extent of fracking in the US and Australia. I spoke to other people too who were not connected with the protesters, and from what we discussed, I don’t think it’s economically viable here, which is why it’s puzzling that the government is so supportive when they are doing their level best to knock back the renewables industry? Unless they have connections to fracking companies? But I’m sure the Conservatives would never be so corrupt…(is my sarcasm showing?)

Alright, that’s enough for one day.

Good night,




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