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Protesters Camp at Harlington

Aug 12 2007 20:07
William the Conquerer
Climate change protesters have set up camp at Imperial's Harlington sports ground.
Protesters set up camp (Photo:

The Camp for Climate Change protesters set to protest at Heathrow Airport next week have set up a base at the Harlington sports ground, the BBC is reporting. 150 people occupied the site overnight and have erected a "temporary eco-village".

Any person who gains access to and/or occupies these fields is doing so unlawfully and should vacate the field
Imperial College statement on the occupation

Although there are no students around to make active use of the site for sports, it is still used by Queen's Park Rangers for training. Other clubs also have equipment stored at the site, some of which is expected to be used over the summer tours season.

Next Sunday a day of "direct action" and "civil disobedience" will be launched from the camp, to protest against the environmental damage caused by aviation. The protest groups will also be joined by locals opposed to attempts to expand the airport. The village of Sipson, which neighbours the airport and sports ground, would be wiped off the map by a proposed third runway at Heathrow.

College staff have visited the site over the last couple of days and issued the following statement:

"The College is cooperating fully with the police and thanks them for their presence at and around its grounds. The College is concerned foremost that this protest should be peaceful, safe and not damage the land."

"Imperial College staff visited its Harlington sports ground on Sunday and again this morning. The College will be keeping a close eye on developments and will be reviewing them regularly as the week progresses."

"Imperial College is the freehold owner of this land and has not given permission to any person or organisation to have access to and/or to occupy these fields. Any person who gains access to and/or occupies these fields is doing so unlawfully and should vacate the field. Imperial College reserves all its rights, including any claim(s) for damages and costs, against all and any occupiers of these fields."

BAA successfully won an injunction against certain protesters last week, however it only applied to a small number of people. The judge hearing the case could not understand the original request, asking BAA to clarify exactly who they wanted banned.

BAA called for a complete ban of protests at the airport, citing its concern that police would be distracted and allow terrorists to launch an attack. Next weekend is expected to be one of the busiest weekends of the year for air travel. An outcry followed from protesters and many others, who took the view that banning legitimate protests because of terrorism meant the terrorists had won. Officers from four police forces are being drafted in due to concerns that the protests themselves could attract people (other than terrorists) looking to cause trouble.

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Discussion about “Protesters Camp at Harlington”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. ..   
Aug 12 2007 21:42

What is wrong with flying? If I want to go from London to Edinburgh I will use far less fuel if I go by plane instead of driving a car the whole way. So flying is better for the enviornment than driving!

Aug 12 2007 22:24

F**king hippies, if they mess with our pitches, there'll be some stoner beating going on...unwashed stinking bastards.

Aug 13 2007 00:32

Luke, they're probably better washed and less stinky that the average rugby player!

Mind you, I agree with your sentiments, bloody tree-huggers...

Aug 13 2007 11:42

Beat me to it Luke, that was my first thought as well - f**king hippies!

Aug 13 2007 12:51

i hate hippies too, they should go and get jobs instead of sitting in drumcircles and getting high.

Aug 13 2007 17:25

This article has been updated with a statement from College.

Aug 13 2007 20:52

f**king hippies, causing C02 emissions burning their damned weed

Aug 13 2007 21:02

i agree F**king hippies!

however has anyone looked at where their planning to put the third runway?

it would make Harlington pretty much inaccesable thats if college doesnt sell to BAA for land for a starbucks!

and even if it did remain i think Line out calls might be a little difficult to hear Luke!

Hippies arent the answer but maybe we shouldnt be supporting the third runway too much!

Aug 13 2007 21:09

Ah, but that's where you're wrong;

3rd Runway = Harlington worth Mega $$$, Imperial have new grounds at Acton ready and waiting, closer to college, cheaper transport, plus more planes to watch, more CO2, more global warming, more sunshine, more p***ed off hippies, hence everyone's a winner, baby!!!

Aug 13 2007 22:23

3rd Runway = Harlington worth absolutely nothing whatsoever. Land around Heathrow is almost worthless at the moment because of the threat of a compulsory purchase order and extra noise.

It would only make sense for a hotel or car park. I doubt the local authority would consent to turning a green space into concrete after Sipson had been flattened and replaced with a runway, taxiways, starbucks, hotels, car parks and extra service buildings.

11. Matt   
Aug 13 2007 23:21

I support the "hippies", we should be investing in rail rather than air travel. "But it's slower" isn't an excuse, if we invested in it the rail travel would be almost as fast and more convenient, like Japan's trains.

Enjoy your sunshine. You'll need a boat.

Aug 13 2007 23:38

Ashley, in the latest plans the sports grounds are inside the boundary of the new runway and terminal area, and hence would be included in the compulsory purchased land, and hence would be sold at a price negotiated by the two parties. Also considering that the College owned land has considerable value for gravel extraction, you can expect the College to drive a hard bargain, so i personally expect a lot of good to come of it!

13. Monty   
Aug 14 2007 00:26

bring on the runway!! yaay

Aug 14 2007 01:09

how can any of you ramble on about "lazy stinking hippies"...? Madness.. they are the only people i see out there who have the comitment, energy and balls to actually do somthing.. most of the rest of "society" are sat inside in front of out computers with broadband. They are actually out there living their own lives not sitting behind your corporate desk as a corporate slave. They have researced theirs and the polices powers in relation to many different situations, including how to leagaly use the land. they got there at night and worked all the way through, no sleep.

What they are doing is in the interests of

6, 000, 000, 000 human beings and many more generations, that may not ever exist if the problem of climate change is not NOW. not 2050.

Aug 14 2007 08:59

Compulsory purchase land is purchased at a price determined by the district valuer, the price is not in general negotiated by the vendor and buyer once the legal process of compulsory purchase has started.

However, it would be likely that BAA would make offers for collage to sell the land voluntarily prior to starting compulsory purchase proceedings. One would expect the college to sell at this point as once planning permission is given eventually losing the land would become inevitable and a better price is likely to be secured by mutual consent than from compulsory purchase due to the extra legal fees of compulsory purchase not being incurred.

16. Me   
Aug 14 2007 09:09

Joe Shep - I agree it is great that people have the time and the energy to protest for something they believe in. However, I am sure that a) a great number of them only have the time to do so because we are paying their living costs (not all of them would have taken a weeks holiday for this) and b) drove there in the first place.

There is a lot of stick headed towards the airlines at the moment in but reality they are one of the few industries to be tackling climate change and reducing emissions as much as they can. The car industry just keeps producing more and more Chelsea tractors.

17. hmm   
Aug 14 2007 11:46

I think this was all part of a cunning plot by our new Deputy President (Clubs and Socs)...come on, you've seen that beard...

Aug 14 2007 23:08

"They are actually out there living their own lives not sitting behind your corporate desk as a corporate slave"

Lol Joe Shep, Lol. It's like the Levellers are shouting down my broadband

Aug 15 2007 11:48

To "Me"

You aren't paying their living costs, most probably have more flexible jobs where it's easy to take time off work, they aren't shackled to computers in offices.

If the airlines are trying to reduce emissions, why do they need more runways? Oh, I know, it's so they make more money at the expense of the planet. They don't give a damn about anything else, they're just out to make money for their shareholders. That's how business works. If a "we're green!" hypocritical marketing campaign helps them, then they do it.

Aug 15 2007 13:03

You think it's all the fault of the airlines? Perhaps they are working to demand, the fact that the overwhelming majority of people WANT to fly places.

Though it seems almost certain that the emissions are having a negative impact on the environment (and you should always have doubt in your mind) is there noting to be said for the fact that the world is now a much smaller place. Human ingenuity gave us the ability to fly, and a large chunk of the human population has benefitted from this.

I'm sure human ingenuity will also work out how we can fly in a cleaner way, but it bugs the hell out of me to read "Oh, I know, it's so they make more money at the expense of the planet. They don't give a damn about anything else, they're just out to make money for their shareholders". Bull, have you even taken a flight? Your parents? Friends? We might as well destroy all cows because of the massive ammount of methane they pump into the atmosphere

Aug 15 2007 13:53

A large chunk of the human population is dead because of flight, by weapons dropped from aircraft, by wars started because the world is a smaller place (and maybe to get more oil for the planes...), and pretty soon, because of rising sea levels and more extreme weather, which aviation is partly to blame for.

I don't just blame the airlines, business is very responsible too, since most flights are for business.

One cleaner way to fly is to use airships, we can make really low-density but strong materials, fill them with helium and fly, but it's going to be a lot slower the flying. They might be useful for freight. (I'm not putting that forward as a serious suggestion, just an interesting aside. A serious alternative is rail transport, at least throughout Europe. Do you know the most popular destination from Heathrow is Paris? If aircraft fuel was taxed as much as rail fuel [i.e. electricity] then it wouldn't be [sometimes] cheaper to fly [or if rail-electricity wasn't taxed etc, etc].)

I haven't taken a flight since I was 16 (when it wasn't my choice). My friends have, but I'm responsible only for my own actions, though I try to persuade them not to.

Yes, please destroy all the cows (or don't breed any for 2 years and there won't be many left). I don't eat beef, mostly because of the environmental impact.

22. cynic   
Aug 15 2007 15:37

Still makes me chuckle that people are opposed to adding one runway at one airport, and let smaller ones spring up all over the county. Strikes me that it would be more efficient to have a hub to hub model, with surface transport at either end - the A380 is meant to be more fuel efficient than a (probably reasonably sized) car on a passenger mile basis.

This would encourage people to fly from the central airport, in more fuel efficient planes, possibly bankrupting the smaller airports. In turn this would then limit domestic flights.

Surely the best way of encouraging this is to encourage BAA to develop Heathrow (and for that matter gatwick).

So yeah, I care about the planet. My computer is powered by nuclear and I support a third runway at heathrow.

Aug 15 2007 16:40

To "X":

I hope you're not one of the people that encourages vegetarianism for all. Simply put, it's impractical, and very probably impossible for every human being to be vegetarian.

Not all land is suitable for growing crops; land that isn't suited for crops can be used for animal pasture. There isn't enough arable land on the planet for everyone to be vegetarian.

Additionally, the environmental impact of you eating grain-based products is probably the same as you eating beef - intensive, modern crop farming causes topsoil erosion, mineral leaching and general soil damage. In short, know your facts before you make a decision you think will benefit the environment.

Aug 15 2007 16:47

Aircraft do not actually contribute a great deal to carbon emissions of this country. The greatest polluters by far are the energy industries. We should be shifting to nuclear power, as solar, wave and wind will never supply enough energy for this country, and fusion has been fifty years away for fifty years.

I'm not saying we should not improve air travel, for example -

Newer planes (most stock is over 30 years old, many of them are the older 737 and 767 Boeings) which have lower emissions (new turbines, better aerodynamics, etc)

Larger planes on high-traffic routes to increase fuel efficiency (replacing several smaller aircraft).

These are the things that we should be doing; protesting against another runway is practically Luddite in comparison.

Aug 15 2007 17:41

To "vegetarian morons" -- I don't encourage vegetarianism for all. I sometimes eat mean, although not often. In general, I think people should eat less meat, it is one of the biggest greenhouse gas producers and will have knock on effects (lots of people say to eat less red meat for better health).

I think you're right saying not all land is suitable, at least at the moment. If the land can support the animal (i.e. we don't need to feed the animal, it just grazes) and it can't be used for crops I think that's OK.

I do know some facts ;-) and the most relevant here is that most animals are fed on grain! (Which we could eat if we didn't give it to the animals.)

It takes four times as much grain "via cow" to make the same amount of protein as just eating the grain gives. This means 4 times as much land is needed (the Amazon rainforest is suffering here, since a lot of soy beans are grown there to be fed to animals), land is needed for the cattle, there's increased environmental costs of transport (presumably because transporting dry grain is really easy, but it's much harder to transport live animals and/or fresh meat), and we get problems with disease (BSE, foot and mouth, bird flu).

Yes, modern crop farming causes all those problems. Breeding animals requires more crops though...

I don't know if we can avoid the mineral leaching etc even if everyone were to be vegetarian, I wouldn't be surprised if the population of the world was too high; but maybe proper crop rotation would work.

I think I know the facts and have made the right decision anyway.

  • ------

It's very hard to protest against smaller planes, or old planes, yet still raise awareness and actually get something done. (Although, with larger planes replacing several smaller planes they shouldn't need a new runway should they?)

I'm not sure nuclear power is a good idea, it doesn't have a zero "carbon footprint" since there's such a high cost in mining the fuel etc and building and cleaning up afterwards. is interesting (particularly the comment than even tidal power could provide the same energy as the proposed nuclear plants would produce, and in the same time).

Aug 15 2007 20:45

I find it very, very hard to believe that renewables can satisfy the *growing* energy requirements of the country. Wind is seasonal, as is solar. Tidal is less seasonal, but the platforms are tricky to maintain and can be quite expensive.

Moreover, there is nothing in the Greenpeace document that says they've account for exceptional load in the system - it is absolutely imperative that the grid does not go down, as I'm sure you'd agree. That thing simply cannot be allowed to happen.

Nuclear (especially the newer reactor designs) require a high initial startup cost in terms of both carbon and money, but provide safe, clean power for a long time. The waste produced by the newer plants have much shorter half-lives, and therefore is less demanding to dispose of.

As for fuel considerations, nuclear power stations actually require only small amounts of fuel - requiring much less mining than coal (and oil and gas, though these are obviously different types of mining).

And my only final thought on vegetarianism - we are omnivores by nature. We have evolved to eat small amounts of meat on an infrequent basis. I would be surprised if you don't take some vitamins to counteract what you're missing in your diet. The modern culture of meat in every meal is unnecessary - as we evolved from hunter/gatherers we would have only eaten when we killed, which was rarely, and the rest of the time we were herbivores. I'm sure many of the problems you list could be solved if we simply ate *less* meat, no *zero* meat.

(and I've just read that topsoil is being depleted at 20 times the rate it is replenished, so we're probably f**ked both ways :)

Aug 15 2007 21:18

As far as I know high load is currently (bad pun!) taken account of by things that are quick to go online -- hydroelectric power being one example (you can pump the water back up the hill if you need your high-load-buffer back). Coal isn't any good for this, I'm not sure about gas or nuclear; presumably it depends how safe it is to suddenly heat up the system. Is wind seasonal when we have the whole country (and the sea) to use? I'm not sure how much of a problem this would be. I saw a documentary somewhere about somewhere in Finland or Sweden (I can't remember) that was doing really well from solar, although I don't think there was much industry there.

Greenpeace's video mentioned reducing (or at least not increasing) demand, with insulation, CHP (so you don't need electricity to heat buildings), modern light bulbs and banning standby.

However safe nuclear is, I think a solar panel or a wind turbine is safer...

(There's another video on the Greenpeace site with a plane being crashed into a nuclear power plant... I'm not sure how much of a problem that would be, the Japanese power plant seemed ok-ish after that earthquake last week [from what the BBC said anyway]. I don't trust the government to make the right decision though, there's so much money to be made by companies whatever they decide)

I don't take any vitamins, but there are some fortified foods already. I mistyped, but meant to say "I sometimes eat meat" in the previous post.

I'm not sure how much meat people used to eat. There are some cultures that have eaten none for a very long time (some, or maybe all, Buddhists I think, I'm not sure if they're vegan or vegetarian though). If my history teacher at school was correct, the ancient Greeks only ate meat at a sacrifice, which wasn't much and wasn't that often. They did use the milk though. Eating less meat would be a great leap forward. I think most people think veg[etari]an food is boring, but they forget all the meals they eat already that don't have any meat (most peoples' breakfast, things like pizza, lots of salads, quiche, some sandwiches, beans on toast, and that's without trying to be vegetarian).

Aug 15 2007 22:19

Well done X, someone has learnt to use copy and paste from on topic; filthy, stinking, tax dodging, vegetarian, bike riding hippies at Harlington. Has anyone got any clue why we don't just chuck them off for trespassing, or is that far too sensible for plod to do...

Aug 15 2007 22:35

Luke: I haven't copied and pasted anything. I have a memory though, and can remember things I've read in the past.

I see you're resorting to insults, you're obviously putting your education to good use there!

Aug 15 2007 22:47

It wasn't an insult dear boy, just a wry and tired comment about the fact that the thread has been hijacked by the same type of people who are out there waving flags and getting stoned thinking that it'll make the blindest bit of difference to the whole deal...but if they sleep better at nights, that's fair enough, but as ACC Chair, as they say out here in the country, GET ORF MY LAND!!!

31. BJ   
Aug 15 2007 23:05

Luke, your attitude is quite shocking. If you had a valid point you'd be able to make it without resorting to puerile caricatures of the people at the camp and hurling facile accusations of hypocrisy at those who take you to task for your arrogance. Whilst you might be able to find "friends" who agree with you now, I expect as time goes by you will find yourself increasing isolated. In the meantime I guess we will have to suffer the insufferable.

Aug 15 2007 23:17

Luke - there's no good reason to go through the pain of removing the camp. So far they haven't caused any damage, are well organised and seem to be looking after the place. The area they are occupying isn't used at the moment and it would by somewhat stupid to leave a mess in their wake.

There's no criminal behaviour happening, just the small civil matter of trespass. College has, in a statement sent to the media, asked them to leave nicely.

Now, should they start causing problems later on they could have them removed, but it just isn't worth it at the moment. A sizeable portion of academics and the student body are probably in favour of the camp itself and public opinion as a whole is divided.

Having your name in the paper as "the camp is illegally occupying a sports ground owned by Imperial College London" is actually reasonably free, neutral publicity. Being in the paper as "30 protesters and 2 police officers were hurt as the climate camp was forcefully evicted from the site owned by Imperial College London" is a bit rubbish. Even worse would be "Child Killed During Camp Eviction from Imperial College Land" - there are kids at the camp so that would be a possibility if they ended up under a police landrover or something.

It just isn't worth it unless they're causing real problems.

Aug 15 2007 23:28

Ouch!! I'd personally argue the other way around, right now I feel isolated, but as protesters disrupt flights, as your holiday flight becomes more expensive because of 'green tax', or price increases due to capacity constraints at already slot restricted airports force you to you shell out more to get to Tuscany every other weekend, my point of view shall become rather more commonplace...

But finally, and with quite a hallelujah, back to the original question; Has anyone got any clue why the protesters aren't simply evicted for trespassing???

Aug 15 2007 23:30

Sorry Ashley, forgot to refresh!

Aug 15 2007 23:34

X, you make some interesting points.

CHP, insulation, and efficient energy devices are all in the forefront of people's minds now, and the government has done a reasonably good job of making sure people know about this stuff (the scale for domestic appliances, grants for getting your insulation done). CHP is a bit more complex, so they're dragging their feet.

Nuclear IS safe. In the last 50 years of nuclear power, there have been two accidents resulting in deaths: Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl. TMI taught us an awful lot about instrumentation in these plants. Chernobyl was a flawed design - all the things that were engineered wrongly no longer exist in modern plants. Modern plants are engineered such that a failure in any safety mechanism resulting in a loss of control of the nuclear reaction rate shuts the reactor down.

I wish people would stop fearmongering about nuclear power - you mention the word nuclear and the Daily Mail/Sun/Mirror go insane, while the broadsheets use it as an excuse to dig up the C-word again. It's our best hope (barring some major advance in solar panel efficiency - they really are very inefficient, you know - or a sudden fusion breakthrough).

Oh, and the only part of a nuclear power plant you need to protect is the reactor chamber, and these are engineered to withstand a large, fully-fueled passenger jet flying into them. These people don't muck about.

Aug 15 2007 23:53

By the way, the one criticism levelled at the camp is that they have heavily restricted media access - the media are only allowed on site by appointment or at particular times and must be identified with a flag at all times.

This is a little strange and may suggest that something illegal is indeed going on somewhere, but they might just want their privacy. The idea of limiting access to a site which you have no legal right to be on is a little bizarre.

I've asked if they're going to apply the same restrictions to me, given that I'm allowed to be on the site and take photos of pretty much whatever I like in Imperial's non-sensitive areas. I wonder if the police would give assistance to someone from Imperial wishing to make use of land to which they have a legitimate claim?

Aug 16 2007 00:12

There's a limit to how much inaccuracy I can take...

Three Mile Island did *not* cause any direct deaths, I haven't checked but I think one official was quoted in a report as saying "the number of excess cancers expected as a result of 3MI is 1" or WTTE.

Chernobyl was not a completely flawed system, it was being run under completely flawed operating personnel (ooh, let's shut down all safety mechanisms for a little test of ours).

Solar panels are not all that inefficient, it's just that the best ones out there (and a fair few are up in Blackett, having done my final year project on a related topic) are not on general sale yet.

Generally speaking, nuclear reactors produce much the same byproducts as those in days of yore (subject to random fissioning of the Uranium/Plutonium fuel), each of which will have the same half-life no matter where it is created/disposed of.

Tidal power is not a viable source for large-scale electricity production, as just about every prime location is already being used - you *have* to have a large height difference in the water level either side of your dam/turbines/generators, so this limits where you could build them anyway.

Getting back on-topic, what always amuses me is the number of "professional hippies" that go to all these events, such as Heathrow protests, G8 summits abroad, nuclear power stations et cetera, how do they get to each one? Walking? Train? Or, and this is just a random stab in the dark, by air travel and cars?

38. ...   
Aug 16 2007 00:24

Luke: The police can't remove the 'hippies' because trespass is a civil offence - not a criminal offence. The owner of the land is free to take them to court, but the police are powerless to do anything.

X: You said "If the airlines are trying to reduce emissions, why do they need more runways?". Well, the airlines want to reduce the amount of fuel they burn. Fuel costs money. Sitting in a holding pattern above Heathrow airport because the runways are congested wastes fuel. Therefore an increase in runways will cause less fuel to be used per flight. One extra terminal is being built (a 25% increase in terminals compared with a 50% increase in runways). Therefore there will be some extra flights but all flights will be less congested and spend less time in the air. Why do you think they chose to put the new runway so far away?

In general: Stop having a go at vegetarians. I am a vegetarian, I am not a hippie, I support nuclear power, I am proud to be able to fly. Don't lump me with them.

And finally, as I said in my first comment, flying is better for fuel usage than driving. I don't know of any cars that do 140 miles to the gallon (with one passenger inside).

Aug 16 2007 17:01

he's got me as a friend. damn hippiecrites

40. Alice   
Aug 16 2007 18:35

Ashley, with regard to the hippies letting Imperial people onto the site; perhaps we should attempt to organise a hockey match?

Aug 16 2007 20:38

Alice, I think that even playing on grass would be a little shock from the lovely astro surface you usually use, nevermind the knee-high meadow that the hippies have chosen to camp in...on the other hand, should ACC Orienteering want to do a course around the sports grounds, and newly founded Hippietopia, I'd dare say Mr Mosley, a keen Orienteerererer, would have opinions on the current 'occupation' !!!

42. Harry   
Aug 17 2007 11:33

Ideas about airport expansion *reducing* CO2 emissions are interesting, but ultimately I find them unconvincing. The BAA's of this world will expand and expand, as long as people are buying cheap flights. We don't have to run our lives and countries driven purely by market forces. We could look at information like this: (CO2 levels going back 400,000 years) ...and make a choice for the benefit of future generations. Heathrow airport is already the largest airport in the world. Britain could set an example to the rest of the world by putting a lid on it.

Let's face it, that's not going to happen. The airport expansion will go ahead. But I think it's important that people are made to sit up an think a little a bit, and that's something which protests like this can acheive.

I was disappointed that Imperial College have sided with the police and BAA, in trying to suppress this protest. Scientists have spent years trying to get the message across about climate change and CO2 emmisions. If Imperial College is going to weigh in on this, then as an acedemic institution... a scientific institution... it should really be on the other side of the fence.

Aug 17 2007 11:48

How has Imperial College weighed in on the side of BAA and the Police? It said "you're there illegally, if you cause an damage we'll sue you". They pretty much have to do that to cover their own backsides if the protests turn nasty.

It could just have them all thrown out if it really wanted to. It won't, precisely because a large proportion of the student body and academics support the camp.

Personally, I'm happy that they are there and seem so organised. They have the right to protest and seem to be doing so an organised, professional and sensible way. I can overlook the trespassing precisely because its effectively an unused field owned by a university which has just launched a new Centre for Climate Change!

The really stupid thing is the paranoia and conspiracy theories coming from the camp, like the police are likely to phone in hoax bomb threats just to blame it on the protesters. Some of them need to grow up a bit. The media restrictions are also ridiculous and on the level of banana republics and the likes of North Korea...

Personally, I think a peaceful climate camp which invited everyone in (including media) to the workshops would do a lot of good without any "direct action" which will just p*** a lot of people off. The more disruption that is caused, the more anti-camp the public will be.

44. Geek   
Aug 17 2007 12:49

Right, since some people seem to want to know:

Nuclear plants never load follow - since this would induce low cycle fatigue in the pressure vessel, shortening their life (=mega $$$). They generate the baseload.

Coal fired power stations take about an hour to run up to temperature, possibly a bit less. This is because you need to get the boiler nice and hot before you introduce the coal (they are started on oil), otherwise the fire goes out (bit embarrasing). They do load follow(ish), and can be run on part load. Closed cycle gas generation plants take a while to run to full load, since they have a steam cycle. Again, load following is fine.

Open cycle gas generation plants run at the flick of a switch, which is very useful (but inefficient), since you can then use them to back up your renewables, which have a habit of not working at inconvinient times - the dutch (with 17% or so wind) were having problems with grid stability.

The real problem is that 75% (or so) of the UK's renewable resources in in Scotland, and the bulk of the load is in london.

It also comes down to how much you can sell your electricity for - business day in winter, plenty, but how often does PV work then? Summers bank holiday = can't really give it away.

Another chuckling thing - aircraft are responsable for 2% of uk emissions (at the moment). China now manufactures more CO2 / greenhouse gasses than the US. Where is the protest outside the chinese embassy then eh?

Oh, and Mr / Ms X please don't quote greenpeace on nuclear power and expect us to believe anything you say. Sorry, don't trust them on nuclear at all - they're just not even open to it as a concept, which is a problem, since it's then really hard to generate your baseload...

As for the Bannana republic protest camp, it's probably not really a problem, provided they don't come back again next year, or the year after, or the year after, before expanding to something the size of glastenbury. If I was college, that is what I'd be worried about the most.

Aug 18 2007 22:13

"The campaigners insist they cannot be evicted without a court order as long as no criminal damage is committed."

I wonder if sticking yourself to the gate with superglue counts as criminal damage.

Aug 19 2007 09:41

Maybe not criminal damage on purpose......

But with something like a tent on top of grass for a week the grass will be badly damaged for a while afterwards.

Outside tents, and on "paths" inside the camp the grass will wear away where people are continuously treading.

I do not know the exact details, but I am assuming the pitches get pretty torn up over the college year, but then recover over the summer (especially a wet summer like this one). So won't the pitches be ruined for next year, regardless if they take all their rubbish with them at the end?

Aug 19 2007 11:19

To post 42 (Harry)

I hope people don't take those graphs *too* seriously. A good scientist should be suspicious of taking data from the up turned point of the curve, without seeing what the curve does next. Also, I suspect that the more recent data on that graph is somewhat less averaded than the earlier data, because I've certainly seen graphs with little spikes here and there that aren't on this graph.

Bad science to sell ideas bugs me, especially when its scientists waving it in my face. And I am not actually a climate change sceptic, just a scale of climate change sceptic

48. harry   
Aug 29 2007 16:19

If you look at the discussion page associated with that graph image, there's a couple of other people questioning it with regards to sampling frequency. Does the graph hide large swings in CO2? Perhaps that is a natural knee-jerk reaction for a scientifically minded skeptic seeking to debunk this graph, but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. I could explain why, but someone's already done that at length, on the discussion page there.

As for the suggestion that we should "see what the curve does next", a good scientist might recommend that, but how long would they recommend waiting? At present the CO2 levels are shooting up beyond any previous levels. Carbon isotopic evidence shows that this is caused by the burning of fossil fuels (modern humans) Shall we wait another 2000 years to see if the curve goes down again?

I'm also a scale of climate change skeptic. It's good to be skeptical. For example things like the recent flooding in Southern England are probably part of larger patterns of climate change, but *not* necessarily serious indications of human induced disastrous climate change (as many people and press have concluded) Complications of cause and effect, and very long timescales can make the issue difficult for laymen to understand. Sprinkle a bit of media sensationalism on top, and you have a very confusing situation.

Which is why it's disappointing that Imperial College put out a statement (a news storey) which seemed to speak against the climate change protest, when it should be working to raise awareness of CO2 levels. Disappointing but predictable. Of course it's about covering their backsides as Ashley Brown says.

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