More BioDiesel Nonsense

If that Lord High Priest of Grumpiness, Viscount Weatherly, DSO, Bart is allowed to vent his prejudices within the halls of - mostly, but not, I suspect, uniquely concerning oversized American pick up trucks, - then I feel it only reasonable to kick off with one of my own pet hates.Bio Fuels. A nonsense if ever there was one, and yet touted by those who should know better as being the saving of us all. This is unalloyed, abject, ocean-going tripe of the highest order, and one is forced to wonder what sort of diseased logic allows the subject to be taken seriously.Bio Diesel costs more energy to produce than it actually provides the end user. Don’t take my word for it – have a look here - and note the numbers. And this chap seems to know what he's talking about as well. For a cold scientific analysis of the whole business, have a look here. Bio Fuels are a scam; discussion of the same takes peoples’ minds off the key issue, which is the fast approaching end of accessible oil. We should not be trying to save the world with a soybean; we should be attempting to work out some coherent policy that will allow transport to continue during a time of declining oil stocks. BioDiesel is no more than Snake Oil for the 21st Century.Here is the latest manifestation of this gonadery – this time it’s DaimlerChrysler - but be assured that the rest of the OEMs will continue spouting drivel about the same. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

Canal call for London

British Waterways has hit back at claims that it is doing too little to promote freight on London's canals. And the organisation, which maintains 100 miles of canals and rivers and 110 acres of docks in the capital, says campaigners demanding that freight is shifted from roads onto London canals are "living in cloud-cuckoo land".

Del Brenner, secretary of campaign group Regents Network, claims that about 100 LGV trips a week could be saved in and around the Islington City Road basin by switching freight from road to water. He says this would cut congestion and pollution in the area, both of which are currently being exacerbated by the building of housing.

Brenner says: "We can take a bulk of traffic off the road at the same time as not taking the bread out of the mouth of the haulage industry. With any building beside waterways, water should be used to take demolition material away and bring in aggregate materials. Water freight comes in for heavy, non-time-critical material."

But British Waterways says encouraging freight onto water is not as simple as "waving a magic wand". A spokesman explains: "No serious freight has been carried on London's canals for the best part of half a century, and anyone who images that some magic wand can be waved is living in cloud-cuckoo land.

"We're looking into the options for the City Road basin area at the moment," he adds. "There are considerable challenges to make it stack up commercially: the cost comparison between barge and road haulage investment needed in getting a 19th-century canal system working and the number of locks that need to be dealt with."