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back to article CBI calls for UK lo-carb tech spend 'equal to weapons'

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for the British government to give development of low-carbon technology the same emphasis as it does that of weaponry. At present, around £250m of government funding goes into low-carbon tech annually, while the Ministry of Defence spends on the order of £2.5bn on the …

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What about spending it all on 'low carb' green weapons?

Like nano and bio weapons which convert evil drugs into fuel crops or nuclear-powered space flight to put more nuclear power spy satellites up for us...

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Joke

Fantasy land

Good point, well made!

What planet are they on??

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Anonymous Coward

Too late...

This should have been started when it became apparent that the public generally don't want nuclear power stations.

There's no option now.

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Go

Nuclear Power? Yes please :D

Unfortunately the "Greens" are against anything remotely resembling economic growth.

Can we have a tidal barrage across the Severn estuary that will generate a lot of zero-carbon (once all the building of it has been offset, of course) electricity? No, because there are a very small number of sea birds that may be affected. How few? Well I've been there quite a lot and you hardly ever see as much as a skanky old gull.

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Anonymous Coward

lol

Invest in British R&D and business, NuGov? LOL.

I mean really NuGov much prefers to waste its money figuring out new ways to blow up brown people, spy on it's own populace, and enforce meaningless laws. New jobs, growth, and future opportunites have meant nothing to our overlords since the 80s and shall continue to mean nothing for a very long time.

I for one am looking forward to living in Blackout Britain.

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xjy
Paris Hilton

Equal to weapons ha-bloody-ha

"Our" (since when did any of us own anything here except mortgages or loans or the soil in our flowerpots?) country is such an arsehole internationally that it needs the weapons a) to beat off rivals (coming soon as the crunch bites deeper); and b) to waste all sorts of value it can't get rid of any other way without contributing to the glut now engulfing the capitalists (and their victims) of the world.

It doesn't need green cos there's very little profit in it so far, except that the CBI smells profit coming soon alongside the weapons, coal and nuclear, while the government (as should be obvious, given the cesspool it lives in) has no sense of smell whatever.

(Paris cos she can smell publicity and a good time at ten thousand paces...)

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Silver badge

Simple: declare war on carbon.

Surely it's not the americans who have a monopoly on declaring war against abstract notions (terror?) and inanimate objects (drugs?). Why can't we play, too. I'd suggest replacing waponry with paint-balls (biodegradable, of course) and changing the specifications for all new battleships to be made of wood - from managed forests, only.

If this has the side-effect of making warfare less deadly and less effective, then that might just be a desirably benefit, as well.

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Thumb Up

Nuclear Power?

<sigh> no doubt some muppet will post something about going nuclear and fail to mention the fact that it's a damn stupid idea.

Only a moron would propose building "standard" fission reactors. We've less than 100 years of fuel left at current consumption, demand is increasing, and we are closer to "peak economic production" of fuel than we are to "peak oil". And no, there is no realistic prospect of finding new sources in places where it is economic to extract it.

Current nuclear power is cheaper than most renewables at the moment, (and only if you conveniently ignore the costs of security and waste handling). But it's going to get a lot more expensive before running out completely. So there's no point.

Ok, so you can try to rely on new tech, but fusion reactors have been 20 years away for the last 60, seawater extraction can't be made to add up (subtract the energy cost of pumping and filtration from the energy coming out of the reactor, and you'll get a near zero, or negative number), and the rest of them are behind fusion.

In fact, your only viable nuclear option is breeder reactors, which are more expensive, but still make the grade. But no-one is building them.

So, much as I hate to say it, the CBI is suffering a sudden outbreak of common sense. Or, more likely, they've realised that enough people are choosing to go green, there's a big wedge of loot to be made...

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Thumb Down

Surely..

If the CBI wants more research into green technologies so their members can make money selling products based on those green technologies then the CBI should be asking private enterprise for more funding into green technologies. Instead of the country paying and the CBI members making huge profits?

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Bronze badge

Gen-IV reactors + thorium

Aside from the dyed-in-the-wool extremist fringes of the CND, most people presumably want to see existing nuclear waste made safe and the threat from weapons mitigated as far as possible.

It does more for global stability to develop safe, secure and reliable energy sources than to prepare to squabble over the declining resources that the world holds.

Gen-IV has the potential to reduce the half-life of nuclear waste from hundreds of millenia to a few centuries by fissioning transuranic elements, and to turn existing stockpiles of decommissioned weapons into energy. It can increase the utilisation of uranium by a factor of 50 or so and also allows the use of thorium, of which there are large reserves, and reactors can be proliferation resistant.

The UK had been at the sharp end of research. It's a shame that the nuclear energy industry has been run down, with several thousand top-level jobs disappearing in the last decade or so. Whatever happened to the 'white heat of the technological revolution'?

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Coat

"lo-carb tech"?

And there was me thinking it was some kind of Atkins diet.

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Ru
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Unhappy

@Nuclear Power? Yes please :D

Given the history of hydro power projects mangling ecosystems, I for one suspect that a tidal barrage will cause far too much damage to be worth the power it returns.

I am however quite in favour of nuclear power. Too bad we ran our own nuclear power industry into the ground, and now have to buy the knowhow from the french. Physics and engineering graduates? we've heard of em.

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Anonymous Coward

But where's the greed?

Is this CBI the Confederation of British Industry one?

The one who wants to reintroduce slavery to improve British competitiveness?

The deplorable bunch of fish-faced enemies of the people?

The author of this article must have either missed something, or the CBI have started putting dope in their staff trough...

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Anonymous Coward

Might sound reasonable..

If it hadn't been proposed by the only organisation that can rival political parties for sheer offensiveness. Where's the swill boys?

I still get the giggles recalling Digby Jones particularly cretinous suggestion that programme makers write in more 'sympathetic' portrayals of business types on popular TV. Perhaps a "Celebrity Devils Island" for real business types would be easier to sell. The top prize being a bag of coconuts and a (enforced) 300 foot leap into shark infested waters.

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@Nu gull lover

The studies have been done and it is feasible from an energy production point of view. The area is already a marine desert because of the highly opaque water, and it has been postulated that the ecosystem will flourish as a result of the barrier being built. As an engineering graduate I for one believe that we could plan and build such a project in a way that is sympathetic to the environment at both local and global levels.

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