Sammy Wilson, a protestant in the Democratic Unionist Party, said he believes the world’s climate is cooling, not warming, so the British government’s “Act on CO2??? campaign is hogwash, reported the Associated Press and the Belfast Telegraph.
“I dispute the theory, and it is only a theory, that the world is warming due to CO2 emissions and other human activity,??? Wilson wrote on his Website. “Government policy and decision making has been heavily influenced by the green lobby, which I believe has been detrimental to the British economy. Green taxes have been levied on business and families, in the guise of promoting green behaviour, but in reality they have been stealth taxes which have hampered economic growth and made it harder for people to prosper.???
Although North Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, the local Protestant-Catholic power sharing government apparently has a lot of autonomy. Not only that, individual ministers have a lot of control over how policies are carried out, even if they face strong opposition from the rest of the four-party coalition, according to the AP.
Wilson’s own party actually supports efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
General Motors' Bob Lutz, a strong advocate for the company's Chevy Volt, plans to retire by the end of the year.
Lutz is leaving during a year when GM will have to fight hard for its survival. The automaker has said that it still plans to launch the Volt, a plug-in hybrid-electric car, in 2010 despite its financial woes.
Lutz, who has been the vice chairman for global product development, will become a senior advisor starting on April 1, the company said Monday. Thomas G. Stephens, GM’s current executive vice president for powertrain and quality, will take over Lutz’s job.
Lutz has been a big supporter of the Volt, which GM is banking on to set itself apart from other automakers who plan to introduce their own plug-in hybrid electric vehicles around the same time. He also is known for controversial statements, such as the one expressing his disbelief in global warming. Earth2Tech has a good post listing some revealing and funny quotes by Lutz.
The outspoken man has done his part in pushing GM to recognize the importance of developing alternative, fuel-efficient cars. The rest is up to the company to make good use of the federal loans to return to good financial health.
The Gainesville City Commission has approved a solar feed-in tariff for residential and business customers served by the Gainesville Regional Utilities in Florida, making it the first such program in the country.
The approval followed a previous vote by the commission last December to draft an ordinance for the program. Under the program, which still needs the state’s approval, owners of solar energy systems would sell the electricity to the utilities at $0.32 per kilowatt-hour under a 20-year contract. The rate, which is higher than the price for conventional power, will remain for the first two years of the program.
The rate likely to be adjusted lower for new solar energy system owners after the first of the two years to reflect the expected declining costs of owning and operating solar energy systems.
The program is modeled after the successful one in Germany, which has become one of the largest solar markets in the world. Spain, France, Italy and other European countries also have similar programs. Utilities there also are required to buy all the solar power available for sale at prices higher than conventional power.
The Gainesville program could take effect as early as March 1.